Sunday, May 1, 2016

In That Moment of Suffering Chapter 36 – Explaining Her Actions



 New chapter up!

Chapter 36 – Explaining Her Actions

"Y-You. Where did you come from?" Captain Lewis asks blankly. He points at Senna still trying to process the situation.

"Me? Since I made everything go black with my <Darkness> spell." Senna giggles seeing their blank expression. She maintains a smiling expression, while finally allowing herself to relax after the tiring act of pretending to be an overlord. {So tiring. It's a good thing I made it in time.}

Senna and Mika had been traveling for a full 8 days towards the closest city in the area. She detected the battle just as it fell into the limits of her [Detection] ability. Before dashing off to scout the situation, she casted a few <Barrier> spells on Mika. Mika wanted to come along, but they had already determined that Mika's body would be unable to handle the strain of Senna's high speed movement. Thus, Mika was forced to fly behind at her own pace in order to catch up to Senna.

Senna blinded everyone with a simple <Darkness> spell as she arrived to stall for time and determine the sides. The complicated situation of carefully analyzing the background of everyone would take time, so she made preparations. She formed a mass of <Dark> magic to use as a puppet and coupled it with her <Illusion> spell to create something incredibly eye catching. A benefit of her ridiculously strong growth was the massive improvements to <Illusion> spell. It allowed her to make it as realistic as possible, while distorting not only their sight, sound, and touch, but also mask her spell entirely from a magician’s senses. With her spell active, she could take her time and gather as much information as needed with her [Identification] and [Analysis] skills.

However, not everything well according to her plan. When she was still gathering information, Mika's voice rang in her mind. {Sis! I'm almost there!} Senna quickly glances at Mika's direction.

{I'm almost done here. You don't need to rush.} Senna replies.

{Ehhh... I want to help! Let me do something!} Senna feels a wave of Mika's devastation hitting her at full force.  The immediate shift to a restless plea transmits clearly to her. The negative aspects of the Blood Contract began to affect Senna. Even though she wants to shield Mika from the brunt of any danger, it is equally difficult to reject Mika’s desire for participation because of their strong emotional connection.

Senna sighs giving in. {Okay. Fine. You can help me fight some humans that are hiding right now.}

{Yay! Where are they?} Mika mentally cheers.

Senna gives a wry smile at Mika's emotional flip. {You're not going to ask what's happening?}

{If they're fighting Sis, they must be bad. They deserve to die.} Mika replies with a cold blooded ruthlessness.

Senna smiles freezes as she facepalms at Mika’s blind faith. {Got it. We need to talk later.}

{I’m kidding.} Mika adds.

{Okay. Either way, let's talk later.} Senna sighs and notes Mika's current position. {Fly to the right...There! Burn everything! No need for restraint!}

{Okay!} Mika immediately releases a strong stream of fire quickly melting the sand and igniting it. Mika gained some experience fighting against wild animals as they traveled and with Senna's protection, Mika learned various ways of using her magic. However, while Mika could control her magic to precisely attack a target, she still preferred to attack with full force. She happily complied in attacking with pure power and with no concern to controlling her magic.

Senna hastens her information gathering, while making sure Mika stays safe. Since most of the desert wildlife has been cleared out due to the assassins' stake out, the two of them could destroy everything in the area without worrying about the consequences. Mika has a tacit understanding that Senna will clean up the aftermath and restore things to normal no matter how much destruction either one of them causes.

Senna occasionally gives directions to Mika allowing Mika to round up all the assassins in a circle of fire. Mika used the same tactic of rounding up her targets before dousing the interior of the fire circle with even more fire. Her flames melt down the desert sand forming a layer of molten glass just like Senna, and continue to burn and spread atop the molten mass.  

Feeling the threat to their lives, the trapped assassins attack Mika without restraint. However, Mika's body is covered in a protective layer of fire in addition to a second layer made of pure magical energy. Any weapons used to attack her melt upon touching the <Flame Barrier>. Most spells are weakened passing through the <Flame Barrier>. However, they still end up dispersing upon striking the pure mass of energy from the <Barrier> spell.

Senna's protective side really shines with these barrier spells. On Mika's legs are three bracelets originally created for Senna. Senna passed them to Mika to have an extra layer of assurance and warped the bracelets to fit Mika's legs. <Barrier>, <Flame Barrier>, and <MP Restoration> enchanted bracelets protect Mika when she battles on her own. Senna also made it a point to refill the magic within the bracelets before engaging in this battle, so that the enchantments could function at max capacity.

Mika forms a patch of molten lava with her <Fire Magic>, but is still going strong despite the magical power used. Senna notes the death of the assassins on Mika's side and tells Mika to stop. Mika reluctantly rears in her pyromaniac tendencies and flies back to Senna's side.

After gathering all the information she needed, Senna started to move. By that point, the white <Flame Lance> had just been fired. What both parties failed to notice was the actual heat emitted by the spell. A barrier was secretly formed around the lance to contain most of the residual heat from the white <Flame Lance>. If not, everything within a hundred meter radius would have instantly ignited and burnt to ash. At the impact point, Senna formed a barrier to contain the spell, but made some intentional openings to still be able to make a show with the weakened version.

The elimination of the assassins was simple and direct because it wasn't an <Illusion>. The spell was cast while aligning with the immobile Black Being to make it look like it casted the <Dark Cannon> spell. The spell actually carved out large trenches in the sand before Senna sealed it with <Earth Magic> to eliminate all trace of the destruction. In a way, the show was excessively grand with corpses, weapons, and magical tools being destroyed beyond recognition.

Senna proceeded to heal all the injured with an advanced <Holy Healing Circle>. The thought of adding a <Water> based healing spell to supplement the <Light> magic from the healing circle crossed Senna's mind, but she decided to abstain. She consciously went overboard with the attack spells, but opted to take her time and slowly treat anyone that ends up needed extra healing.

With the situation resolved, Senna calmly waited for the Royal Guards to run away, so she can properly clear the remaining destruction. The glass spoon that was formed from molten sand would be especially useful once it was re-melted and clear of impurities. She didn't anticipate that they would make such a large commotion and end up approaching her though. She chose to reveal herself since it wasn't a complete negative to reveal her existence. In addition, the arrogant tone of the Black Being is quite the tiresome act for her to maintain. Continuing with the farce would take more effort and time to spin a believable story. It would be easier to be upfront at this point rather than get caught in her lie later. With that, the situation developed to Senna's current conversation.

“My puppet played his part, so I dispersed the <Illusion> spell since it was no longer needed.” Senna replies.

"Wait! An <Illusion> spell? Everything just now was fake?" Captain Lewis interrupts. His eyes bulge processing her words. The other men also stare at her in the same fashion of blank shock.

"It depends on what you decide to call fake. Most of it was real to an extent. However, that thing was simply meant to be a realistic statue. Also, how you want to view THAT is your own choice." Senna replies pointing behind them.

They turn around and remember the large molten glass crater burning behind them. The red glow of the crater makes them shudder once again at the pure magnitude of the destruction.

"If you have something you wish to ask, then please feel free. I will be cleaning up the area in the meantime." Senna bows slightly and walks to the side.

“Wait.” King Victor calls out.

“Yes?” Senna stops in place and turns back to the group.

“I am King Victor Erein, monarch to the Erein Kingdom. On behalf of the Erein Royal Family, I thank you for saving us all.” King Victor expresses his gratitude. “…But, why did you help us? From what I understand adventurers don’t offer their assistance unless they receive a reward for their actions.”

“Well, that view isn’t wrong. Most of them are like that. Mmm……” Senna laughs with a wry smile. “…Since you asked, I’ll answer honestly.” Senna points at Princess Liliana. “It would be unpleasant on my conscious to leave a child to die. That’s all.”

Their gazes gather on the young Princess. "Me?" Princess Liliana points at herself.

"Yep." Senna nods.

"Muuu... Don't treat me like I'm a kid! I'm already 8!" Princess Liliana declares sticking out her chest proudly. She stands on her toes as she holds her head high in the air.

"Yes. And I think it would be a waste if you were killed at your age." Senna smiles back.

"Is that really your only aim?" Captain Lewis asks dubiously.

"Yes. Otherwise, why would I go to the trouble?" Senna chuckles. "If I wanted you dead, then I wouldn't have bothered to help or even go so far as to heal everybody. Frankly, there's no merit in making enemies with the ruler of a kingdom."

"...That's true." Captain Lewis is forced to assent to her reply.

Senn shrugs at his reply in a carefree manner. "Regardless, I should clean that mess up before it causes too many problems. If you need any medical treatment, then just give me a call."

Senna launches herself into the air flying over King Victor's group. The guards tightly grip their weapons as she passes over them, but she ignores them landing at the edge of the crater. She lifts the glass spoon into the air with magic and snaps the handle. Tossing it over the bowl portion of the spoon, Senna reignites the residual flame and superheats it. The glass drips down melting into an open box shaped barrier. When the last of the glass melts, manipulates the collected molten glass and discards the impurities. Collecting the excess flames, Senna discreetly uses <Time Magic> to cool the glass until it solidifies into a glass cube.

Senna nods at her work and stores the cube away. The King and Royal Guards blankly watch Senna use extreme amounts of magic that they believe to be <Master> class magic. A bird's cry draws their attention away from her. They look up to see a red bird bathed in flames. A sharp whistle pulls their attention back to Senna, who is waving at the bird. The bird lands on Senna's outstretched arm as they seem to converse. Senna gives a quick nod and turns to King Victor. "I'll be back shortly!"

Senna leaps again into the air landing on a barely visible <Magic Platform>. She bounds from one platform to another using each platform momentarily as a foothold. Mika flies slightly behind Senna at her own pace. From the point of view of King Victor’s group, it seems as if Senna could control the wind and dash through the air.

Everyone stares blankly at the erratic Senna trying to process her odd behavior. "That was... different... Captain, what do you think?" King Victor turns to ask Captain Lewis.

Lewis removes his steel helmet revealing a head of blonde hair. Scratching his head, he tries to collect his thoughts. "Well... She doesn't seem to have any malice. But I find it doubtful that she has no ulterior motive for helping us though. Hertz, what are your thoughts?"

The Vice Captain, Hertz, standing next to the Captain straightens his back before answering. "Depending on what she's after, she could be our greatest ally or our worst enemy. She easily exceeds several <Master> class magicians put together. I am half in doubt if she's a fabled <God> class magician."

King Victor's eyes widen at the assessment. "Is she truly that powerful?"

"I believe she would be the strongest candidate to be classified as one." The Vice Captain Hertz answers. The group falls into silence as they process their thoughts.

Princess Liliana tugs on her father's cloak pulling his thoughts. "Father, Miss Senna said she healed us. Can she heal big sister?"

King Victor's eyes bulge even further as the idea appears in his mind. "She might...... But there might be a several problems with asking her though."

"Her credibility and abilities are still up for question. Not to mention what type of reward she will demand. Fulfilling the reward of saving his Majesty is already a concern if she decides to exploit it." Hertz grimaces as he mutters his thoughts.

"She shouldn't be trusted!" The other guard interjects. They turn to find his face twisted in rage. "She said it! That she was here the entire time! Several of our comrades died because she didn't do her duty as a citizen to help us earlier! She took her sweet time and waited until the last possible moment to help us!! There's no way such a person can be trusted!!!"

Just as they start to agree with his wrathful howls, a feminine voice behind them makes them nearly leap out of their skin. "And here I was thinking no one would blame me for the incident." Captain Lewis drops his helmet hastily as he grips his weapon. His helmet makes a small thud as it displaces some of the sand beneath him. The other two wield their weapons ready to attack before they see Senna standing there with a carefree smile on her face. Mika sits quietly on her shoulder quietly watching them. Mika's red/blue eyes catch their attention, but they pull their gazes back to the eccentric Senna.

"O-Oh...It's just you." Captain Lewis mutters relaxing slightly. He still keeps his sword pointed at her, but eases his tension enough to readily attack if necessary.

Senna nods slightly before focusing on the visibly agitated guard. "And? You were saying it's my fault I didn't help sooner, correct?"

"Th-that is..." Captain Lewis tries to form an excuse to protect his subordinate. It wouldn't be a joke if they angered her and caused all of them to be killed in a spout of anger. Unfortunately, Senna stops him with a motion showing her palm in front of his face.

"That's right! You're a terrible liar that's out for nothing except her own profit! A vicious citizen that is as ruthless a murderer as those damn assassins! You..." The guard takes the chance to verbally abuse Senna in front of her face. Senna calmly smiles at first. Mika on her shoulder glowers at the guard on the verge of attacking him.

Senna sighs sensing Mika is at the end of her patience. "Okay stop." Senna reveals her other hand. They tense thinking she is going to attack them, but falter seeing her wield a burnt severed arm. "It doesn't look like you have anything else constructive to say and just want to lash out at me. So it's my turn to talk."

"You!!!" The guard's face darkens as she talks down to him without an ounce of tension.

"Shut up and listen." Her tone hardens as her brow scrunches. Her expression clearly tells them that she's serious and isn't going to allow a single rebuttal. "Continue to argue and I'll make you eat this." Senna shakes the arm in her hand lightly waving it in front of them.

The guard's face blackens seeing Senna threaten him directly. He wants to yell at her, but the fresh image of her ability to easily slaughter him remains in his mind.

"Good." Senna lowers the severed arm slightly. "Then first things first, I am not a citizen of your kingdom. It's not valid to say I'm required to save someone I've never met before."

"You! You should..." The guard angrily yells incited by Senna's noncommittal answer.

"Mph." Senna pushes the severed arm towards his mouth. The guard hastily closes his mouth before the arm is shoved down his throat. The charred fingers press against his lips as Senna presses it against him. "I'm speaking. Let me finish." The guard scowls as he grits his teeth.

"Second, I'm not a god... I never have been nor do I plan to act like one..."  Senna slowly speaks letting her words sink in. "...Regardless of my abilities, I cannot resurrect the dead. I simply do not have the aptitude to perform the <Resurrection> spell." Senna admits with a pained expression. Mika rubs her head against Senna's trying to ease her. "Regardless, I always commit myself when I decide to help others. The second I arrived I started to immediately heal and treat the injured on either side. No one could die because I was secretly patching them up, whether it was your side or those assassins. Until I could figure out which side to support, I chose to prevent your battle from escalating any further by channeling a person's fear of the unknown." Senna lets out a quick breath. "If your friends are dead, then I'm sorry for your loss. Regardless, those that are dead now are the ones that already died by the time I got here. Those that are alive simply survived long enough for me to treat them."

Senna tosses the severed arm to the side after saying her piece. She sees the guard biting his lip still wanting to refute her. "I've said what I wanted to. If you believe me or not is your own problem." Turning around, she starts walking away.

"Ah!! Wait!" Princess Liliana runs up in a panic and grabs Senna's arm. "Don't leave!"

"Hm? What is it?" Senna stops at looks down at Liliana.

"You know healing magic right? Please heal my sister!" Liana pleads.

"Sister? Did I miss someone? I didn't see anyone else that looks like you?" Senna tilts her head at the sudden request.

"Not here! Back home!" Liliana tugs on Senna's arm.

Senna stares at Liliana for a moment. She gathers some additional information with [Analysis] and nods her head. "Sure. If you don't mind me visiting your home, then I don't mind helping."

"Really?! Thank you!" Liliana expression becomes ecstatic as she hugs Senna.

"That was easy." King Victor murmurs to himself.

"Miss Senna, was it?" Vice Captain Hertz steps forward.

"Yes?" Senna turns to look at him. She purposefully ignores his wary gaze.

"You agreed to the Princess' request without understand her condition. I find that a bit odd considering the situation..." Hertz comments.

Senna mischievously smiles. "You're worried I have ulterior motives because I'm accepting this request for free. Am I right?" Hertz grimaces, but does not refute the claim. "Well I don't mind since you have enough reasons to be wary of me. 'Because I feel like it' probably isn't enough of a reason for you... Put simply, I'm lost and just want to gather a bit of information to fill in the blanks on where I am."

The four men's face is painted with disbelief as they stare at Senna. "...Lost?" Captain Lewis asks unable to believe his own words.

Senna chuckles at their blank expressions. "Yes. I was battling a demon when the inactive magic circle beneath our feet went out of control. The next thing I knew, I landed in an empty field about 1000 kilometers that way." Senna calmly explains truthfully while omitting various pieces of information. She points to the Eastern direction that the two of them had been traveling. "Thanks to that, I have no idea where I am. I’ve been traveling on foot for eight days now trying to encounter any civilization. I have money from my hometown, but I don't know if anyone will take it." She calmly shrugs. "Since I finally met some people, I wanted to gather information and make a plan to get home to tell my family that I'm alright."

"...You don't look like someone that has been traveling for such a long time." Hertz refutes.

"Because I am a magician. It doesn't affect me greatly if I'm living in town or in the wild." Senna shrugs again.

"If you're only after basic information, then that isn't a problem for us since you've helped us greatly." Captain Lewis replies.

"Mm. That was my hope. Then I will gather what information I need before going on ahead. I expect your group will make enough of a ruckus in town that I will know when you are back in town. I can drop by the castle to take a look at the sick princess then." Senna nods and starts talking to herself.

"Huh? Wait a second! Why does it sound like you're leaving?" Lewis hastily stops Senna's talk.

"Hmm? Because I was? Considering that I'm an unknown third party, I figured I should keep my distance to let your group be more at ease." Senna replies.

"You're the Royal Family's benefactor. It would be rude to force you to travel alone." King Victor replies courteously.

Senna smiles kindly, but the atmosphere freezes in an instant. "Thanks, but no."

"....." Blank silence fills the immediate area. None of them expected she would refuse to travel with them and answer in such a direct manner.

"Eh?! Why?!" Princess Liliana breaks the silence first shaking Senna's arm.

Senna chuckles seeing their blank reaction. "It's not like I'm against accompanying you. It's just a problem if I do." She points over to the Prime Minister's group. Following her direction, they see the fat Prime Minister sternly glaring in their direction. "His group has been pointing killing intent at me since I rescued your group. No doubt because I spoiled his plans to kill you. Abstaining to kill him is already a large concession on my part to avoid disrupting your court's political situation. However, I expect I won’t be able to resist striking him down if I’m forced to stay nearby him for an extended period of time.”

"Wait! Are you saying the Prime Minister plotted to have his Highness killed? That's impossible!" Captain Lewis retorts. The image of the Prime Minister laughing over King Victor’s corpse appears in his mind, but he quickly shakes the idea away. In contrast, King Victor's expression becomes solemn as he starts to seriously consider the accusation.

"Why would it be impossible?" Senna replies with a business smile. Her voice shows little traces of kindness and exudes an aura of pure professionalism.

"Be-because he suffered from the attack too." Lewis retorts.

Without missing a beat, Senna answers with a bit of scolding in her voice. "What better way to drive away suspicion on yourself than to place yourself in the middle of the attack and receive realistic injuries?" Lewis falters and turns his head to avoid meeting Senna's gaze. Senna shrugs at his response. "I'm an unknown third party, so I don't expect you will believe me easily. I will stay around for some time, but I plan to take a different path. I wouldn't worry too much though. I saved you once, so I will follow through and deal with the reinforcements. Oh yes! Speaking of which, I should let you take custody of him."

Senna switches the topic after dropping that explosive piece of news. She lightly stomps the ground and a large, gray block of stone appears next to her. The guards want to press Senna, but stop and stare at the human head protruding from the gray stone. The man's head is fully exposed revealing his brown hair and gray eyes. His mouth is gagged with a large rock and tied to the back of his head to keep him from spitting it out. Below his head, the man's body is almost completely encased in the stone. His fingers are exposed from the side of the block, but his palm is still encased, limiting his movement. Half of his foot protrudes out in the same fashion showing that he is bound without allowing him to escape.

"This is?" Lewis hesitantly asks.

"The leader of those assassins. I figure he would be useful for information, so I left him alive~" Senna giggles with a bright smile. They stare at her with a bewildered look. Their minds are on the verge of overloading with the nonstop surprises they experience speaking with her.

"Neee... Miss Senna, is it really that fatty's fault that everyone got hurt?" Princess Liliana loses her patience and intrudes on the conversation.

"Yep." Senna replies without hesitation.

"...Can you punish him then?" Liliana asks points at the fat Prime Minister.

"I don't mind. How do you want me to do it?" Senna questions.

"Beat him up." Liliana replies clenching her fists in front of her.

Senna doesn't reply immediately and looks at King Victor. His expression is solemn as he mouths the words, 'Don't kill him.' Senna nods. "Okay. <Lightning Shot>." She immediately casts the spell without even moving her gaze away from King Victor.

"Huh?" King Victor asks unconsciously. Before he can further question Senna, the sounds of crackling electricity burst from the side.

"GAHHH!!!" They turn their head and see a flash of purple light behind the Prime Minister’s group as they collapse to the ground. Six orbs of purple lightning float in the air over the Prime Minister and his five guards. The guards shake off their heads and attempt to stand again.

Senna snaps her fingers. Arcs of electricity shoot out from the orbs snaking around to accurately attack the back of their necks for the second time. As soon as the second strike ends, a third bolt of lightning immediately follows striking the six of them once again. "<Nature Bind>" Plant vines emerge from the ground and completely encase the Prime Minister's group in vines.

Senna casually takes out a bottle of sleeping draught. She lobs it high into the air. It forms a large arc before crashing into the center of the six bound men. As the bottle shatters, a cloud of white gas expands enveloping them. "Done." Senna smiles turning towards the King. "He'll be asleep for awhile. The gas will fade in a bit, so feel free to do as you please with them. It doesn't matter to me even if you say that I initiated the attack." Senna looks down at the Princess. "How is it? Satisfied?"

"Unn." Liliana happily nods her head.

"..." King Victor holds his fingers against his brow trying to suppress the incoming headache.

"I say, what the hell are you?" The third guard comments staring at cloud of white mist.

"Like I said, I'm just a lost adventurer." Senna playfully sticks out her tongue.


Author’s Note
A chapter focusing on what Senna did from her end and discussions with the King’s group. Next chapter will be more talk with the information that Senna has yet to learn about the region.

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve decreased the number and frequency of [Status] boxes and descriptions of items. Part of it is to avoid spoiling too much information with new characters being introduced. The other part is mostly because the flair of using the boxes/windows have worn off a bit on me since I can just introduce it on the text through a paragraph or two. I might use it here or there, but they’ll remain infrequent.

Apologies for the slow release time, just general procrastination right now. I cleared the Main storyline for Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and should 100% this coming, so I’ll be less distracted after that. Though I’m still supposed to be studying :P, so I only plan to release two more chapters this month. Not sure how it will play out yet, so I won’t say anything definite. I never got a response about editing, so releases are still sporadic while my test looms closer over my head.

11 comments:

  1. Yay it's here!

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  2. Hi

    I've just found your novel yesterday and I like this

    good luck

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading and thanks for the support!

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  3. black out last night, slept with no AC, that giant cube of glass might've helped as a heat sink.

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    1. Sorry to hear about the black out. Considering it was molten, it would probably just make the temperature more unbearable. XD
      Thanks for reading!

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  4. without even moving her *faze away from King Victor.


    The was another word in there somewhere can't find it
    Also thanks for the chapter. Loved it

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  5. Whoops! Thanks for catching that! And thanks for reading!

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  6. Busy dealing with stuff on my bucket list this weekend. Will probably have the chapter up next weekend.

    ReplyDelete