Chapter 14 - Dragon’s Shadow (3)
Truthfully, Azell had no thoughts about moving around with her. He knew that the target of the enemy was her. When he was escaping the ruin excavation site, Azell prioritized Rick and Giles. After he had woken up, they were the only two people he became attached to. It was unfortunate, but there was a limit to what he could do for the rest of the people.
However, as if it was par for the course, Arrieta stuck to Azell. This was why he had to party with her and her companion, while he was escaping with Rick.
‘My situation always seems to flow towards the difficult side… My fate can’t really be this unlucky, right?’
Azell came down from the tree while holding back a sigh.
Rick approached him. He was fine since he heeded Azell’s word and hid well.
“What is this?”
Rick put forth the block of wood Azell gave him. Then he continued to ask questions.
“It was strange. People went past me as if they didn’t see me. Even the enemies did that. At first, I thought it was because of the confusion…. I can feel magical energy from this. What did you do to it?”
“I casted a concealment spell. I don’t have a lot of magical energy, so it wouldn’t have lasted long. Unless you jumped around and yelled, the others wouldn’t have noticed you.”
This was the reason why Azell insisted on handing over the wooden block to Rick. Also, if he gave an object imbued with his magical energy, it was indicator that’ll point out Rick when he wanted to find him during the confusion.
Rick was surprised so he queried.
“Spirit Order can do such a thing?”
“Yes, it can”
“It’s the first time I heard of this. Who are you really…..”
Normally, spirit order was considered an extension of a martial art that deals with super human technique. People only knew about the super human physical ability and the extrasensory perception of the Spirit Order practitioner. However, they didn’t get the core principles.
It was actually a secret technique stolen from the Dragon Demon race, and it was another form of magic. Depending on one’s will, it affects the mind and it has more influence over one’s mind than magic.
In the past, Azell had learned the Spirit Order’s writing of divination to contend against the Dragon Demon race. He used it in full force to fight against them.
Currently, he had lost his power, but the techniques he learned hadn’t deserted him.
The confused Rick spoke.
“No, it’s not the time to quibble over this. Thank you.”
If it wasn’t Azell, then he would have died in the confusion. Rick honestly expressed his thanks.
Azell smiled. However, he suddenly called out to Arrieta.
“What’s going on?”
While asking his question, Azell wasn’t intimidated at all by the status of the princess. If she had a stiff personality then she would have bristled at the human of low standing who had ‘dared’ to talked to her without her permission. However, Arrieta accepted his behavior without any animosity.
“I’m sure that the organization called the Dragon’s Shadow is targeting you, Princess.”
“I agree with you on that point. From the beginning, the attacked was aimed at me.”
“By my estimation, their goal was to capture you alive. By any chance, do you have any idea why they want you, princess?”
“I have no idea. I’ve never even heard of an organization called the Dragon’s Shadow.”
“Is there any possibility of a grudge?”
“I have no idea. Since I’ve come-of-age, I’ve only received orders from the throne to fight for the people. I’ve fought against humans on the battle field and killed some of them. Still it isn’t something that would have led to a grudge held by such suspicious people.”
“So that’s how it is.”
Arrieta asked Azell, who was frowning.
“Do you mind if I ask you one question?”
“By listening to your words, they aren’t the evil magicians that had a antagonistic relationship with you.” (TLN: if you forgot, he made up a lie saying he was kidnapped by an evil magician)
“I think so?”
“Why is it a question?”
“I don’t have much memories about them. You might have heard about my situation from someone else, but….”
“I’ve heard that you have lost many parts of your memories, and you almost have no memories from the past couple years…”
“That is true.”
“I have a hard time believing that story. However, it isn’t a question I should quibble about right now.”
Arrieta shook her head, and brushed the question aside. She continued to speak. No, she was going to speak, but Azell suddenly frowned. He turned his gaze toward one side of the forest. He spoke while standing up.
“I’m sorry, but we’ll have to push the story to another time. We have to move.”
“What do you mean?”
“The enemies are approaching.”
“How do you know this?”
Arrieta queried. She was a Dragon Demon, so her senses were evolved. It couldn’t even be compared to a normal person. However, she couldn’t feel the presence of the numerous enemies approaching them.
“I just know it. I believe they are masking their sounds with magic.”
He decided to go with that explanation. It was tiresome for Azell to explain it and he didn’t have the time. Arrieta didn’t press for an answer.
“Then let’s move.”
Azell started walking in the front of the group, while he was grumbling inside.
‘I’ve been drawn into a troublesome matter. Since we’ve come this far, I can’t abandon them now….’
The bottom line was that it was impossible for Azell’s party to evade the enemy and run away.
The enemies tracked them as if they knew which road they took and how they were moving around. Moreover, they were much faster than his party.
Azell couldn’t help but click his tongue after he sensed the enemies closing in.
‘It’s impossible for us to shake them off.”
Azell and Arrieta could escape this place in a moments notice. However, their party consisted of Rick and Enora. When the enemies reached 100 meters from their location, Arrieta could sense their existence.
“They really are coming after us. As you said, they are hiding their sound. I’m sure there is a magician… He is a very talented bastard, who is good at hiding himself.”
“If it is him, I think I’m starting to understand what is going on.”
“From a different direction than the approaching enemy, there is someone else observing us. I can feel his Sight on the back of my head. Please take this point into consideration. Be careful not to let him read your lips.”
“Why is that?”
“It is better not to give them any information including what we are talking about.”
Arrieta made a surprised expression. The enemy could observe them with magic and her conversation could be made out by observing the movement of her mouth. She had never thought about this.
Once again she became curious about the man’s identity in front of her. What background does this man possess as to allow him to act like this in this situation?
“There may be others, but they haven’t entered into a distance where I could detect them. Maybe they don’t have their Sight on us or…..”
In Azell’s time, he was able to detect the enemy’s existence by the ‘Sight’ that was aimed toward him from long distance. It was an essential technique he had to learn. The Dragon Demon race was able to observe the humans at a distance much farther than an arrow can reach. They earned information this way and they even used magic to snipe people.
If it was the old him then he would have been able to capture the presence of his opponent easily. Since his magical energy was very low, he couldn’t use the technique to materialize the identity of the disharmony he felt with his senses.
‘Really. I’m so frustrated.’
He was used to fighting in a disadvantageous situation. At that moment, he wasn’t agitated, and he cooly assessed his capabilities to find a way out.
However, he did miss his former self’s strength. It was inevitable when he was facing a dangerous life threatening situation.
Azell laughed bitterly.
“If we move at our current pace, then how long will it take for us to arrive at the fortress?”
“I, I don’t know?”
Rick was taken aback.
Azell was leading them from the front, but he didn’t know the location of the Western Border Fort. The only person who might know the exact location of the place was Rick.
Rick spoke in a scarcely audible voice.
“I don’t really know either…..”
“You worked here for 2 years yet you don’t know that?”
“I’m a healer, so this is the first time I’ve left the encampment.”
“I don’t think that is something you should be boasting about?”
After Azell shot him down, Ricks morale fell. However, he realized an important fact.
“Wait a second. So you were wandering around the forest without knowing the location of the fort?”
“It was important for us to immediately escape where we were. I didn’t have time to quibble about such things until now.”
“I guess that makes sense..”
“Rick, it would have be nice if you knew the layout of this place… We are in a bind. Should we just head towards west?”
At that moment, Arrieta spoke.
“If it is the Western Border Fort, I know where it is.”
“I memorized it when I visited the fort. I am somewhat proficient in far-seeing techniques, so I think I can guide us without losing direction.”
“Then please guide us. I’ve never been there.”
“I understand. However, there is one problem.”
“What is it?”
“It is towards the direction where the enemy is approaching from.”
Unfortunately, the enemy was approaching from the direction of the fort. Therefore, the party had to give up on taking the shortest route and take a big detour.
Still, they eventually had to fight against the enemy when they failed to shake them off.
Suddenly, the screaming enemies jumped out from between the trees. They(TLN:Azell’s party) were very shocked. The enemy had hid their sound, so they were just a stone’s throw away.
“It’s a forest orc.”
Of course, Azell and Arrieta were utterly unflappable.
The orcs were the most typical humanoid monsters. Their shape were similar to humans, but their skin color was markedly different. Their face was shaped like a demon, and their canines protruded out from their mouth. Their average height was higher than the humans, and on average, they were also more muscular. They were a step above humans in combat ability.
The forest orcs had dark green skin, and their bodies were smaller than the orcs from the wilderness or the plains. They were physically weaker than the other orcs, but instead they moved more nimbly inside a forest.
“This is rather better!” (TLN: he’s saying he’d rather fight than run)
After saying this, Azell attacked the first bastard who jumped forth. He lightly avoided the descending sword, and he cut its head off.
At that moment, Arrieta shouted. The shout was infused with magical energy, and the surrounding space started to reverberate.
The forest orcs, who were running towards them, flinched. The shout was like a lion’s roared. It had the power of suppression, because it held the power of dissonance.
The moment she shouted Azell had naturally stolen the forest orcs’ swords, and he retreated to the back.
Afterwards, Arrieta swung her sword.
“Oh wicked darkness, split!”
A blinding light was emitted from the tip of the sword. It was the technique she had used previously to slice through the monsters, who had invaded ruin excavation site.
It was hard to believe that she would be able to defeat forest orcs in its entirety, but…
A destructive sound that hurt the ear rang out, and the light dispersed. At the same time, the forest orc’s bodies were surrounded by a light that looked like blue flames.
Arrieta was taken aback.
“Is it a defensive magic?”
Someone had casted a strong defensive magic on couple dozen forest orcs, which was able to block her attack. There must be a magician who possessed powerful magic. She was sure of it. Also…
Pa-ji-ji-ji-ji-jeek! (TLN: electricity sound)
There was a terrifying sound of discharge ringing in the air, and a large lighting fell from the sky.
Ggwa-ru-roong! Ggwa-gwang!(TLN:sound of thunder)
Their vision burned white. The lightning exploded and the space churned vigorously before settling down.
Then a deep low voice rang out.
“Hmmm. As expected of the Dragon Demon Princess.”
The person, who spoke on top of the tree, was a member of the Dragon’s Shadow. He wore a black robe around his body like the other members, and the veil of darkness hid his face.
However, it wasn’t Regina or Kirion, but another member of the Dragon’s Shadow. One could tell he was human by looking at the smooth back of his hands. (TLN: no gems embedded)
Koo-goo-goo-goo-goo……! (TLN: rumbling sound)
Inside the settling dust, a sphere made out of faint light came into view. Arrieta had put up a shield to protect her party.
“Are you the Dragon Shadow’s magician?”
“Yes, I am. Dragon Demon Princess.”
“I see you are a human.”
“Our organization isn’t only made up of Dragon Demons. Also…”
Hweeeeeeeee….(TLN: wind noise)
He was encircled by wind, and he started to rise into the air.
“Not all human magicians are weaker than Dragon Demons.”
It was as he said.
Dragon Demons were born with unfathomable amount of magical energy and stronger bodies compared to humans. However, a pure human could surpass them through spirit order or magic.
At that moment, the orcs from across the forest started charging towards them. At the same time, the sounds of an earthquake was heard from the other side of the forest.
The large humanoid ogres were approaching. Moroever, they could sense a large number of demonic beasts heading towards them from a different direction.
“They moved their troops while we were focused on this bastard!”
“Yes. We didn’t think we could sap away your strength with just this.”
The magician shrugged his shoulder. At the same time, Azell moved.
From the side, something flew towards him, and it grazed by Azell’s head. It was transparent so it couldn’t be seen. It was a energy arrow made from magic.
The magician was surprised after seeing this.
“Ho-oh, you dodged that. Like Regina said, I’ll have to be careful with you.”
“I’m tired of being sniped.”
Azell shrugged his shoulder.
The previous attack flew in from 100 meters away. The member of Dragon Demon, who brought the ogres, tried to snipe Azell in the confusion.
It was an invisible magical arrow that was sent when everyone’s attention was distracted. If it wasn’t Azell, one would have died without being able to do anything.
‘Did he think something that slow could hit me?’
Azell snorted. The magical arrow was invisible, but the speed of the arrow was slower than a real arrow. Of course, Azell’s standard was high enough to consider the speed to be inconsequential.
‘So there are only two bastards from the Dragon’s Shadow here?’
Besides the magician that showed himself in front of Azell, he realized there was another person who had tried to snipe him. He was the one bring the demonic beasts from the opposite direction.
During all this, Arrieta clashed against the charging forest orcs.