Chapter 8: Darkness of Truth (4)
—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.
The Commandant and the instructors for Magic, Physical Combat, and Swordsmanship, together with the older cadets, each held their wands and swords in their hands positioned in battle formation. Next to the Commandant, Mahoro sighted Noah, Leon, and Oscar. His head spun at the unbelievable state of affairs.
The Commandant swooped through the air astride her broom and landed lightly in front of Mahoro and Siegfried. “I do not want to have to say this to a former student of mine, but you have truly been a troublesome child. If I had known that you would turn out like this, I never should have granted you entrance to the Academy.”
Albion was sitting on the shoulder of her black cloak, and when Mahoro met his eyes, Albion howled at him.
“Commandant, it has been a while. I believe that I was an excellent cadet during the time that I was here. So much in fact, that I’ve surpassed you as of now.”
From behind, Siegfried wrapped an arm around Mahoro to seize his chin and used his left hand to wave his wand. A clap of thunder roared, and a bolt of lightning surged towards the Commandant. Mahoro squeezed his eyes shut, thinking that the Commandant was hit, but maybe she had erected a number of barriers around her because she was unharmed.
Mahoro shouted as he tried to beg Siegfried to stop. “Lord Sieg! Please stop this! The Commandant is… There are other cadets too…”
Why was the Commandant leading the cadets in battle formation? Probably because the soldiers who were their vanguard had been annihilated. And if the cadets sustained injuries just like the soldiers? Just the thought made Mahoro sink into despair.
“Mahoro! Get away from Siegfried!”
There was a young man who had broken away from the formation of cadets. Mahoro realised that it was Noah, and it alarmed him. He tried to go over to Noah unconsciously, but Siegfried pressed down on his throat with his arm, and Mahoro moaned in a low voice.
“Well, this is a nostalgic series of faces. There is no need for the past. I shall take responsibility and bury it where it belongs.”
After Siegfried finished his murmuring, a large burst of flame shot from the end of his wand as he held it out towards the ground.
Siegfried commanded his wand in a sonorous voice. “O Beasts of Darkness, release yourselves. My name is Siegfried Valentino, the legitimate heir of the dark magic bloodline.”
The ground started to shake, and black beasts on four legs crawled out from the earth one after another. Their bodies were as big as bears, and their eyes glowed red. The beasts roared and rushed to attack the cadets.
Siegfried muttered in an excited voice, “I knew that this island concealed secrets. It had imprisoned dark beasts here.” He created a wind that seemed to push the beasts from behind.
“Noah!” Mahoro raised his voice without thinking when he realised that the beasts went to attack Noah first.
Noah immediately waved his wand, emitting flames that seemed to twist through the air. They seemed to possess a consciousness of a creature, burning to ashes in an instant any of the beasts that bared their fangs in their direction. One after another, the extraordinary hellfire of Noah’s fire magic reduced to char the dark beasts that rushed to attack him.
“Take care of them for me!”
Leon had appeared from behind Noah, and he waved his wand to drive off the beasts with water magic that Noah couldn’t cover. Noah put away his wand and quickly drew his sword. He swung his sword at a beast that jumped out to attack him from the right. The sword point was constantly emitting powerful flames, and the beasts were burned to ashes as they were slashed across their bodies.
“Out of my way!”
Noah swung his sword to slash beast after beast across their heads and bodies. The beasts screamed, carved into by the powerful fire-clad sword, burning up into flames in their last moments of death. This was the first time that Mahoro had seen Noah’s swordsmanship skills. The movements were beautiful—flowing and precise—each made with purpose and intent. In the space of a moment, Noah would tear through the vital points of a beast, and it would go up into flames.
“Mahoro! Come here!” Noah swung his sword as he yelled at Mahoro.
In the middle of the chaos, only Noah’s voice came through clearly to him. Mahoro opened his eyes wide in shock, like he had been struck by lightning. He wanted to go to Noah. He wanted to run from this horrific tragedy. That was what Mahoro thought from the bottom of his heart.
Leon swung a sword that emitted water and shouted, “Noah, I’ll make a path with Oscar!”
One after another, Leon stopped the beasts’ movements from leaving the area. The current of water released from his wand enveloped the beasts, and they could no longer move from their places. That was when Oscar came with his wind-clad sword and slashed them into pieces. The wind from Oscar’s sword was like a tornado that surrounded the beasts and tore them apart. Noah took the opened path and got closer to Mahoro. Whilst the other cadets struggled with their fights, Noah, Leon, and Oscar took down the beasts with smooth, fluid motions.
Mahoro yelled as loud as he could at Siegfried, who was holding him down. “Lord Sieg! Please stop! You mustn’t harm them…”
Siegfried narrowed his eyes and brought his forehead close. He spoke softly with a gentle voice. “I am displeased. I did not send you to this academy so that you could befriend the other cadets. I believe that I have told you that you belong to me, did you forget that…? I shall have to sever these future nuisances myself.”
Siegfried turned to the men whom he commanded. “Kill them all. I shall deal with the Commandant.”
Mahoro heard the men answer, “Yes, milord,” and his eyes went dark. Siegfried was someone whom he respected and adored… Siegfried was someone for whom he would gladly lay his life down…
Mahoro felt like he had been hit over the head with a club.
I don’t like this.
His days at Loewen Military Academy flashed through his mind in a blur, and his thoughts became clear to him.
He had thought that he had possessed the utmost loyalty for Siegfried, but a strong sense of revulsion had welled up inside him. He wanted to protect Noah and the others. He didn’t want to hurt the cadets. He didn’t want to see any more bloodshed.
Lord Sieg… I…
The roars of the beasts, the shouts of cadets, the cries, and the sounds of tearing flesh echoed through the air. The area had turned completely dark, with only the flames created by magic illuminating the surroundings.
“We shall load the ship. Let us use the dragon to do it.”
A dragon floated overhead in the sky. Mary waved her wand, and the large quantity of magic stones hidden in the lake levitated into the air. Mahoro didn’t understand who these people were or what they were trying to do. But one thing was clear—they wanted to steal the magic stones hidden in the lake.
Mahoro closed his eyes, pressed his fingers to his temple, and stifled his sobs.
Siegfried had said that there was a special magic stone embedded in his body. It was the reason why Mahoro could use magic. The reason why his magic went out of control. The reason why the magic that Siegfried and Mary used in his proximity increased in power.
I have to stop this.
Mahoro ground his teeth together and looked up at the dragon. At this rate, Siegfried would kill all the cadets and take over the island. He couldn’t let that happen. It was wrong to kill all these cadets who had done nothing.
Noah had told him to visualise an image in his head. An image… He visualised an image of the magic stones falling. The men had strapped the dragon with rope and placed the magic stones into a burlap canvas to carry over to the ship.
A powerful force welled up in his body, and in an instant, Mahoro was enveloped in light.
It appeared to have caused a physical shock, and Siegfried’s arm that had been holding Mahoro down released him. The streaks of light from Mahoro’s body aimed for the dragon and shot over to it. They ripped through the dragon’s belly, and as the dragon released a wretched roar, at the same time, it started spiralling in the air like it had lost control. The magic stones in the burlap canvas succumbed to the force of gravity and started to fall back down to the lake.
Mahoro staggered away from Siegfried and tore at his hair. His whole body convulsed, and visibly dazzling light scattered from his body. The streaks of light continued to strike the body of the falling dragon. His body released more and more light streaks, flying towards the forest, the beasts, and the sky. The nearby dragons in the forest crashed to the ground and sent tremors through the earth from the impacts.
“Lord Siegfried! It is dangerous here!”
His senses were so muddled that Mahoro could not tell what was happening around him. He couldn’t control his magic. He had no intentions to kill the dragons, but the streaks of light had turned into shock waves that even penetrated their bodies. He wanted it to stop, but his body continued to shoot out the light. They pierced the trees and made the people around them scream.
Mahoro heard the Commandant’s urgent command, and he thought that he needed to get away from this place. If he stayed, the people here would all die.
He turned towards the thicket, and when he tried to move, he found that his body had become strangely weightless. His body was radiating light, and it lit up the dark paths to a terrifying degree. Sparks scattered and crackled around his body, and when leaves from the trees touched the sparks, they caught fire, and the twigs that he stepped on turned to ash.
Help me. What do I do?
Mahoro ran through the forest and looked up at the sky in confusion. He had distanced himself from the lake in a blink of an eye. Mahoro realised how unbelievably fast that he had run, and he finally slowed his feet. He looked back and saw black smoke and flames in the distance. And heard the chaos of the troubled voices.
My body is… strange.
There was no one around, but sparks flew around him and made crackling sounds. No matter what he did, it wouldn’t calm down. His hands and feet were numb, and his head was spinning. The streaks of light had stopped shooting out of him, but sparks flew from his entire body. No matter where he went, with his body emitting this light, he would probably be found immediately.
I can’t stay here… Is there a place I can go where I won’t hurt people…?
Mahoro staggered deeper into the forest. After a short walk, he saw the entrance to a cave. If he were to go inside, he shouldn’t burn down the forest or hurt any people.
He stepped wearily into the cave. The entrance was narrow, but ten metres into the cave, he saw that it was much larger than he had thought. It was large enough to fit several people inside, and it further split into a number of paths. There was a pool of water to the path on the right, so maybe it was connected to a river or the ocean.
Mahoro stopped and collapsed on the ground. He noticed that his feet were bare and that his clothes were burned and tattered. The sparks from his body eased little by little, but crackling sounds still burst in his ears.
He tried to catch his breath and lay on the ground without moving. But his breathing remained ragged, and his heartbeat would not settle down.
—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.