Second Death Row Series: A Death Row Convict Teaches at a School of Magic - Cel a24
- Second Death Row Series: A Death Row Convict Teaches at a School of Magic
- Cel a24 - Archer in the Dead of Night
Translator: MadHatter Editor: MadHatter
“Hmm, such a thing happened huh.”
With the sun long since set, a pair of girls were pacing on the asphalt, where the dimness was faintly revealed by the streetlights that had been scattered around the area.
The two girls, Karen and Fina, were on their way home following the completion of the ‘Kaguya’ activities for the day.
“Yes. So, Lady Karen, please allow me to be under the guidance of Teacher Kanaki for a while. Of course, I will be your escort as always…”
“I don’t particularly mind. Do not fret on my part. Go ahead and snatch whatever techniques you can from him.”
Contrary to expectations, Fina’s request was readily granted, in spite of speculation that more opposition would be forthcoming. Feelings of being more or less outwitted were not inexistent, but Fina was nonetheless heartened by the outcome.
“Thank you, Lady Karen!”
“No problem. Since you are competing in next month’s SKT, it’s only logical that you would be eager to sharpen your skills, though it came as a surprise to me that the avenue for you to achieve this goal would be receiving direct instruction from that teacher…”
In opposition to her words, Karen did not strike a note of animosity in her tone as she had before. From all signs, the last case or so had apparently eliminated her aversion to Kanaki, even if her feelings of fondness for him were still absent.
Thank goodness, Fina thought, and immediately afterward, she found herself harboring simultaneously complicated sentiments somewhere in her heart.
Against her initial impression, she came to grasp that Kanaki was, to a certain extent, dependable as a teacher. While he may be inadequate in terms of ability, he was sincere in his treatment of each and every one of his students, and her request this time was also based on her trust in his skills in martial arts. The fact that not only herself, but her esteemed Karen likewise acknowledged this, even if it was only partially, was a cause for rejoicing, rather than any ill feelings. But why was that…
“Fina, it’s all right. For my part, Senior Aldar has actually offered to accompany me on assignments from time to time. Even though our relationship has been on a bad footing, I suppose I can learn an abundance of insight from our joint struggle. I may not be very fond of him, but I will relent here and ensure that regret will be inflicted on him for his crude conduct toward you.”
By crude conduct, are you referring to the last time he subdued me during the lesson? Admittedly, I was mortally frustrated at the time, but I am not so dragged down by it now.
Being competitive and rooted in the past was one of the few shortcomings of Karen, an otherwise impeccable person.
Well, Karen’s feeling of resentment over what was done to Fina made her irresistibly gratifying though―
“Yes, ‘they are here’.”
Right as they neared a small bridge over a stream, Fina’s footsteps came to an abrupt halt.
The follower was not at all perplexed, and even Karen stopped in her tracks without question.
Fina activated her magical power and invoked “See-through”.
It was then that they perceived that a small-scale barrier was in effect around the bridge they were on.
“It would appear a barrier has been set up.”
“It’s not a coincidence huh. The aim is us, or more likely, me. What kind of barrier is it?”
“There’s dispelling barrier, soundless barrier… and invisibility barrier.”
“They are quite stringent. Perhaps the person behind this is ‘Eraser’ that was reported in ‘Kaguya’.”
Eraser. An unidentified devilish homicide who has recently been obliterating people in this city.
The other day, Rain made contact with him and a battle ensued, but he was thwarted by a mass of skeletons summoned by a third party, therefore escaping.
Even with the interference of the third party, this was the very individual who had fled from Rain. Assuming that the assailant was Eraser, they too must be on their toes.
“…I will go.”
Signs of presence were eventually sensed simultaneously from the front and the rear. Fina and Karen called forth their respective specialized equipment, as well as their magical tools that doubled function as weapons.
From the magical tool that can store supplies, Fina brought out a magic sword and Karen pulled out magic dual swords.
Carrying and utilizing highly potent magical tools with the ability of lethal force was strictly prohibited for most people, but under special circumstances, their usage and implementation were excused. Such special circumstances included being a member of the “Kaguya,” the Security Force, or in a position where they could be vulnerable to danger.
At last, as if to sandwich the two girls with their weapons poised, the assailants emerged from both ends of the bridge.
Each of them that crossed their vision was a hulking, monstrous deformity bearing the body of a boulder, one or two times larger than a full-grown adult.
“―Stone Golems huh. Moreover, there are only four of them? Oh, what a bummer of a thing to brace myself for. Who’s the practitioner?”
“I can’t detect them nearby. It is conceivable that they could be lurking in the vicinity with a very advanced level of ‘Hide,’ but…”
“They are likely monitoring us from afar.―Hmph, prying eyes are truly hideous. Let’s keep a lookout in the area, just in case.”
No dialogue was warranted at all should the hostile be of deformed species. Having exchanged minimal information, Fina and Karen launched into a run concurrently. Fina rushed forward and Karen dashed backward.
Stone Golem was a relatively easy demon to create. It was an alchemically created monster, and even in class, though not to this scale, a palm-sized Golem could be conjured.
Fina sidestepped the Golem’s broad punch, leaped up from its bosom, and bisected the Golem from the groin up.
The Golem, severed in two, instantly disintegrated back to its original boulder form.
The other Golem lifted its foot to stamp down on Fina, who was landing on the ground, but its movement was sluggish.
Fina channeled her magical power through the formula engraved on her magic sword, setting off the magic in a flash.
Engraved on the magic sword was a spell that, as the name implied, generated a blade of wind.
In a split second, the manifested invisible blade dismembered the remaining Golem’s limbs, forcing its enormous frame to prostrate itself to the earth. The assailant’s Golem was annihilated in the twinkling of an eye when Fina delivered the decisive blow.
Turning around, it seemed that the other side was over as well. Only ten seconds were spent. It scarcely qualified as combat given how sloppily the assaults were.
That was the thought that sprang to Fina’s mind but then, sensing the movement of magical power in her surroundings, a leap was initiated. On the spot where she had stood a moment ago, innumerable boulders flooded in.
Those were the remnants of the Golem that had fallen earlier. The remnants flew through the air as if a will had been instilled in them. It was a trap that incorporated the fact that the Golem would be overthrown. However, the two were not incapable of sensing that level of magical power coursing through the area.
“Fina, move aside!”
From the same sky above, Karen’s voice erupted, and after landing, Fina complied instantaneously.
Karen, who was still in the air, released a burst of magical power that was off the charts in the direction of the boulders, which began to stir once more.
“Let it all burn up!”
What Karen executed was an advanced magic, “Hell Flame Pillar”. Its dominating heating power was more akin to melting than burning at this stage.
The magnitude of the feat was beyond measure, as four pillars were simultaneously raised, rather than a single one. The flames that surged up with such momentum suddenly transformed the boulders into charcoal.
Overcome by the sheer force of the flames, even the results of the technique were blasted out of existence. No ingenuity was used to find the barrier’s origin or to aim at it; instead, a heavy-handed method of tearing it down—not by snapping the strings, but by ripping them apart—was employed.
The barrier was only effective in blocking out sound; it failed to render the inside of the barrier invisible, which caused a tremendous plume of smoke.
Karen, who descended amidst the smoke that eventually cleared, examined her surroundings before heaving a sigh.
“Even though I had no choice, I have done something spectacular. I wonder if I will be reprimanded later.”
“You will likely be fine. Now there is no more magical power reaction in the surroundings. There is probably no follow-up attack. As expected of Lady Karen.”
“Oh, thank you.”
Karen’s impassive countenance once and for all elicited newfound respect and unease in Fina.
Karen was more than formidable enough. Even if attacked, she would be capable of single-handedly vanquishing the foes.
For such an out-of-the-box woman, I wonder if my presence is really needed as an escort.
Right now, should Karen declare that she no longer required her services, Fina would be powerless to refute even a single word. For this not to take place, she would need to be skilled enough to protect Karen, but would such a thing really be within her power?
“I don’t think that developing your magic skills is the only thing you can contribute to her.”
The words that Kanaki once uttered to her come to mind.
But then, how can I contribute to Lady Karen…
At this time, Fina was undoubtedly in a state of distraction. It may have been that Karen had loosened her fighting spirit.
That distinct opening was something the assailant could not afford to let slip away.
A faint, ruffling sound drifted across the air.
The sound of Karen’s piercing cry reached Fina’s ears when she belatedly raised her head, disengaging her train of thought.
By the time of realization, Karen was standing in front of Fina with an arrow lodged in her back.
“―Don’t stop thinking!”
A voice arose nearby as the gravity of the spectacle that lay before her eyes gradually sank in, and her lips formed the semblance of a scream.
To their surprise, the voice belonged to Kanaki.
Taking his place in front of Fina and Karen, a sharp knifehand strike swung down into the void.
A delayed sound of something popping was followed shortly after by the sight of an iron arrow on the ground.
On closer scrutiny, the shape of the arrow… was identical to the one stuck in Karen’s.
“T-Teacher! Lady Karen, Lady Karen was shot by an arrow―”
“I know, settle down! Hurry and get out of here or you will be an excellent target for the enemy here!”
After saying so, Kanaki stomped on the ground, carrying Karen, who was still standing even after being hit by an arrow.
Fina hurriedly followed suit and took one quick glance behind her.
Even if I use “See-through”, there is neither a figure nor even a reaction of magical power in the surrounding area. Aside from the figure, it is unbelievable that there is not even a magical power reaction in the vicinity. If magic has been exerted nearby, even a residue of it should be recognizable, and yet…!
“Forget about the opposition! More importantly, right now we need to send her to the hospital! We have to move quickly!”
With unflinching resolve, Fina hurried behind Kanaki as she picked up the speed and turned her focus to the city at night―
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