Nidhoggr 13 Departure
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"We need to be quick. If we want any chance of succeeding, we need to get on that boat asap!" Lily repeated. I nodded; If our enemies dared to shoot at us, it won't be long before they would try something even more brazen!
And I wasn't sure if we were able to handle such a thing. We barely survived their first attack. Which made wonder who our enemies were. If they had that much firepower to their disposal, why didn't they ma.s.sacre us with everything they had from the get-go?
"Take only the most necessary things. Nothing more than money and maybe a change of clothes. Angelique, did you send a letter to your mother already?" The squid-girl nodded. She fiddled with her tentacles; The girl was clearly nervous.
I had to admit I wasn't feeling calm either. How could I? We were about to run from people who wanted us dead and run to another country!
"All right. We meet at the house around 8 PM." The teacher stated before she walked out of the cla.s.sroom. I glanced at the cla.s.s hanging from a nearby wall. 5 PM. So we had three hours to fill in before we ran.
"All right, I'll go to the shopping centre! Who knows how long it'll be before I can splurge!" Lily smiled. I smirked.
"As long as you don't get attacked by anyone, It's all fine!" I joked. The redhaired woman rolled her eyes and walked out of the room. I listened to the sound of her shoes disappearing in the hallway before I turned to Angelique.
The squid-girl fiddled with her long tentacles while her eyes dashed through the room. Her breathing was unsteady and droplets of sweat rolled over her smooth squid-like skin.
"Take a deep breath, Angelique. Getting stressed out over something is a sure-fire way to get yourself very tired." My voice made the girl jump. She looked around. Only when she saw my face, she calmed down. Albeit a little.
"Ye-Yeah… I-I'm going to go home as well." She said in a shaky voice. I saw her knees wobble as she slowly stumbled out of the cla.s.sroom and down the hallway. I wondered if she was going to be alright on her own… I wasn't feeling too confident myself.
But I just had to make the best of it.
After I read through Oberon's booklet, detailing about all kinds of Markings, for the hundredth time, I decided to go home. It was almost 8 PM either way. While I walked through the bustling streets of the city, I looked around.
I had no idea how long it would be until I could return, so I took this opportunity to look at all the famous landmarks the city had to offer. Who knows when I'd ever be able to return here?
A long stone pillar pierced the sky in front of me. People called it 'The tree'. How anyone could mistake a simple brown piece of rock for a green tree was beyond me. But according to many scholars, it held some kind of religious significance in ancient times. They derived that from the many symbols engraved on its surface.
Not that they understood everything. But the fraction they did manage to translate said so much as the fact that it was used in some kind of ritual. Nothing more.
While I was admiring the stone pillar, I heard someone shuffling behind me. Normally, I didn't take note of such things, but this time…
This time, the shuffling sounded uncomfortably close. When I casually glanced sideways, I saw a black coat out of the corner of my eye.
I felt the adrenaline slowly coursing through my veins. I saw two people dressed exactly the same way coming towards me and judging from the sound of footsteps approaching me from behind, they weren't the only ones.
"Too afraid to take me on alone, I take it?" No reaction. Figures. Why would they talk to someone that would die in the near future?
Well, I wasn't planning to die today.
I felt something cold near my right hand and directed my gaze towards the first attacker. I saw how cold air oozed from a magic circle. I recognized the insignia's on the side of the circle as Valhallan. So the Valhallfaction was in on this too?!, I asked myself.
"Die." The deep voice reverberated from the darkness of my attacker. At the same moment he spoke those words, the three others immediately lunged forwards. Underneath the cover of their cloaks, I saw the glimmering of hungry steel.
They were learning! If there was no magic to block or use for myself, I was like a sitting duck. The Valhallan circle was almost filled with enough magic energy! I deduced that by the amount of icy-blue glow radiating from the incantation.
I reached out to the circle, but my attacker was quicker. He reached back while an icy blade formed in place of the incantation. He didn't make any noise as he directed the point at my heart and thrust forwards. I let myself fall backwards in response.
The blade only sc.r.a.ped the skin above my chest, but it still hurt like h.e.l.l! I felt the cut burning as my attacker immediately changed position. The blade came cras.h.i.+ng down on me a few seconds afterwards.
I was prepared for it this time.
My power pulsated through my body as I reached out towards the icy blade. From the moment the beast of my Mark smelled the latent magic inside the weapon, it eagerly chomped down on its freezing surface.
The weapon shattered immediately. I felt the spell resonate within me as frosty waves rolled over my skin. I forced the creature inside me to regurgitate the spell once more. After an angry glare, it recreated the sword. However, it was longer and st.u.r.dier than its predecessor.
That was Unknown magic for you!
I lashed out with the new sword. My attacker dodged out of the way; I really sucked at close-combat situations…
I heard footsteps approaching behind me; Those others don't know patience, do they? I immediately jumped to the right and dashed away. I heard my a.s.sailants yell to each other. When I glanced over my shoulder, I saw how they gave chase.
And here I was, thinking that this day would be relatively calm!
I dashed between the people commuting back to their homes. The sword in my hands was slightly melting, so I discarded it. No use keeping worthless tools around, I figured.
"Carnel? Why the rush?" Lily's voice echoed to my left. When I took a look, the redhead casually jogged alongside me. A pair of golden earrings s.h.i.+mmered against the orange evening glow. Did she buy them just now?
"Unwanted attention." I answered dryly and motioned behind me. After the redhaired vixen glanced in the same direction, she frowned.
"You just can't go a week without attracting the wrong crowd, can you?" She mused before she sped up. Her scarlet hair danced behind her as she glared into random people's eyes. I saw her irises glow in that same bright pink-colour before they nodded and followed her.
"Right. Let's buy some time!" The redhead said before she snapped her fingers. In a couple of seconds, the commuters went from a disorganized mess to standing between the two of us and our attackers like a human wall.
"Well, that won't stop them very long." I commented. The sickly green light of an wind-spell shone between the shocked commuters at the other side of the wall. I didn't want to see what kind of spell they tried to conjure.
"Stop complaining!" Lily pouted before she dashed off. I followed her. Anyone that had the misfortune of crossing us got shoved out of the way. No time to apologize.
"Hey, Tanya! Angelique! Let's move!" I yelled when we reached the house. After running for a solid ten minutes, I felt my body protesting against any further action. I never was the kind to sport for long periods of time.
I regretted that now.
"Why are you all sweaty?" Angelique's soothing voice lightened the pain in my sides, albeit a little. I took a deep breath to calm my lungs while the other two walked towards us. They each had a leather backpack.
"No questions. Not now. We need to run. Now." I answered in short sentences while I took in lots of air to calm down my lungs. I saw our pursuers emerging from behind the corner at the end of the street.
By the G.o.ds, they were a persistent bunch!
Angelique's tentacles rolled up in fear and shock when she saw the attackers charging towards us. They didn't even bother to make a point of being sneaky; Their weapons glimmered in the evening sun. Angelique started to seize up.
"Hey, stay with me!" I grabbed her shoulder and shook her out of her fear-induced stupor. She blinked with her brown eyes before she focused on my face. The corners of her mouth curled up.
"ThThanks, Carnel. I almost lost myself there." She said before she took a deep breath to calm herself.
"Let's go. I called the Fairy Court Marshals; They'll support us while we make our way to the harbour. Our s.h.i.+p is waiting there." The blonde teacher announced. She flexed her fragile b.u.t.terfly wings before she dashed past us. Lily smirked and quickly followed her, with me and Angelique hot on her heels.
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While was dashed the evening commuters, Lily glanced over her shoulders. She grunted.
"Those guys multiply like friggin' rabbits!" She commented. Tanya turned around and put her hands on the ground. Before I could ask what she was doing, several rocky spikes erupted from the concrete walkway.
"That should hold them back for a bit. Let's go!" The blonde teacher dashed past us. A couple of people closed in on us from the front. I thought those were more enemies, but Tanya raised her hands.
"Take care of the rear." She commanded. "Hold them back for as long as you can!" The people that had arrived were some of the Fairy Court Marshals, I realized. When we ran past them, they immediately started gathering energy for some high-tier spells.
It must be handy to have so many talented Marked people under your command, I thought to myself.
We just pa.s.sed the shopping street; Not much longer to go, I realized. When we rounded the corner to the street that lead to the harbour, I noticed a faint whistling noise in my head. Was I getting that tired from running around?
"Get down!" Tanya suddenly yelled. She grabbed Lily and Angelique, the people closest to her, and forced them to their knees. I quickly followed suit. A second later, a ma.s.sive fireball smashed into the skysc.r.a.per next to us. The scorching heat burned my eyebrows off without any problem.
Where did that come from?!
I scoured the rooftops of nearby buildings. At first, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. But the closer I looked, the more I noticed something out-of-place. It was right in front of me, about 300 feet up in the air. A figure stood there, cloaked in black. The dark-red glow spilling from his hands made it very clear; He was the sniper.
"How is that fair?!" Lily complained as she scrambled back to her feet. Tanya gently pulled Angelique off her a.s.s while I noticed the glow intensifying.
"Keep running!" Tanya said before she grabbed Angelique and pulled her along. The shy girl was getting overwhelmed and completely froze. Nothing surprising, considering her already frail nature. The fact that people were after her and trying to kill her didn't help either!
"There! That's the s.h.i.+p!" The blonde teacher pointed at a small wooden boat resting in the harbour. It was underwhelming; It got easily pushed around by the small waves that collided with its worn wooden hull.
"That's it?" Tanya glared at me when the words escaped through my lips.
"Sorry I couldn't prepare a wars.h.i.+p. But we are about to travel into another country, so that may not be the best option." She bit back. I held my hands up in defence while we barrelled down the broad lane.
"What are they doing…?" I mumbled. A small group of about twenty people gathered right in the middle of our path. A couple of them split of and ran towards the boat. A group of Fairy Court Marshals intercepted them.
The remaining attackers started channelling magic. A slew of spells appeared right in front of us, from low-tiered to powerful high-tiered spells.
"Handle the incoming attacks, I got this!" Tanya said. The beginning of a Gaispell formed between her palms. By the looks of it, quite a powerful one.
A blast of air raced towards us, followed by a barrage of smaller fireb.a.l.l.s. I jumped forwards and let my Mark devour both spells. The spells made my body feel so light and uncontrollable, while I was burning to pieces inside. G.o.d, eating spells and living through their effects was such an inconvenience!
"Keep your garbage!" I yelled before I fired one counter spell. Instead of countless fireb.a.l.l.s, One big ball formed. I used the wind portion of the spell to accelerate the ball. Both spells activated at the same time, hurtling the ball forwards.
One person stepped forwards. He put his hands together and an instant later, a thick wall of water appeared in front of my targets. My spell sizzled out right in front of them, creating a ma.s.sive cloud of steam.
"Tsk. Instant casting, huh? These guys are good…" I grumbled under my breath. However, the steam bought us enough time.
"Carnel, get away from there!" Tanya warned. "My spell's ready!" The spell slipped out of her hands and sunk into the ground.
At first, nothing happened. When I walked past the blonde teacher, I shot her an unsure gaze. Then, the ground started rumbling. The vibrations became so strong, I had to keep myself on my feet by grabbing a nearby lamppost.
One by one, magic circles appeared on the ground. Their brown colour made sure everyone knew they were Gaispells. But the insignia's were of a whole other level. They circled in and over, out and under the magic circles. I glanced at Tanya; That was a teacher for you!
The magic circles continued to pop up as they covered the entire lane, from us to the edge leading into the ocean. And underneath our attackers.
"Gaia Spike!" The blonde teacher yelled loudly. At her command, the magic circles activated and created a ma.s.sive field of sharp spikes. The roar of the crumbling earth drowned out the screams of our a.s.sailants.
"Holy… The f.u.c.k did you do, Teach?!" Lily's voice sounded genuinely surprised. And I couldn't blame her; Our teacher, someone I thought was quite tame in using her magic, literally wrecked an entire street with one spell.
"It's a magic principle for advanced Mark-users. I'll learn you about it later, however…" She grunted as she dropped on one knee. " It drains my energy immensely." I nodded and supported her left shoulder as we made our way to the boat.
"Ah, Boss! The vessel is ready." One of the Court Marshals stepped forth and kneeled politely. Tanya smirked and let him stand up. I saw the unconscious forms of their attackers lie behind them. Most of them showed burn marks, or had frozen limbs.
"Thanks. Your job is over here, get back to headquarters and prepare for a counterattack." Tanya ordered. The Court Marshals looked at each other before turning their gazes towards their boss.
"Shouldn't we come with you, Boss?" One of the Marshals offered. That was a good idea, in my mind. But Tanya denied us the extra forces.
"I don't want to cause a diplomatic war by bringing strong forces of war into another country." She explained. The Marshals had to admit that was a decent argument. After that, they took their leave.
"All right, let's get out of here." Lily said and carried the unconscious Angelique on the boat. Tanya and I followed. The wind was right and soon, we were on the full sea, on our way to a place called the Abyss Pa.s.sage, the gate to the neighbouring country.
"So… we failed to stop the Snake?" A mysterious figure watched the disappearing boat from the highest building in the city. A cloaked man knelt right behind the figure and nodded.
"Yes, my Lord. They killed thirty of our men, and escaped in the same boat you see before you. Our troops are already preparing forces to—" The mysterious figure held up a black leather gloved hand.
"No need. I have already contacted the Abyss branch. They will handle it from here." The mysterious figure announced before he walked away. A dirty smirk appeared on his young face before he disappeared into the shadows of the night.
Nidhoggr 13 Departure
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Nidhoggr 13 Departure summary
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