Vera felt a slight panic. Annelotte had already left for quite some time and she hasn't returned yet. Though she was itching to rush to York and look for the two, she couldn't leave at all with Innilis and the werewolf there. Just as she was feeling more and more distressed, Annelotte's transference formation finally lit up in the distance. Leguna was covered in cuts all over. His tight black suit had been stained crimson with blood; she didn't know how much was his.
"How did it end up like this?"
The moment Vera saw the bloody boy and Minnie and Jaehart's corpses behind Annelotte, her body shuddered uncontrollably.
"We'll find out the details when he wakes up. Let's treat his injuries for now," said Annelotte as she hoisted Leguna onto a straw mat.
"Those bastards!" cursed Vera as she took out a medical pack.
Seeing the state of Minnie and Jaehart's corpses sent waves of rage coursing through her head.
Werewolf Kurdak was awake. He smelt the thick stench of blood on Leguna. A flash of savagery and greed darted across his eyes. But, seeing the two busy women, he made the wise decision to remain silent. His instincts told him it wasn't a good time to cause trouble.
The two women briefly treated Leguna's injuries.
Though it was rather humiliating to be stripped of everything but his underwear, treating each other's injuries was common. Both Vera and Annelotte were used to it. At first, Annelotte was rather awkward when it came to such matters, but she eventually got used to it. As for her... The girl had practically been unharmed these two years.
The wounds on the boy were quite numerous but mostly skin-deep. The more serious ones were internal. He had sustained them from Kratt's impetus the moment before the latter's death. However, it wouldn't be much of a problem. Leguna should recover with a few days of rest. The real reason he was unconscious was the toll forcibly using Host of Darkness and seeing what happened to Jaehart's family took on him.
Annelotte and Vera didn't rest after wrapping his injuries. They promptly started to bury Jaehart and Minnie. Though the two women didn't have great endurance, they quickly finished all the work with the help of Annelotte's spells.
"You should get some sleep, Sis. I'll keep watch tonight," said she as she rubbed the sweat from her forehead.
The girl's skin -- smooth and fair as porcelain -- was stained with patches of mud. Thanks to the sweat, the beautiful face that would stun most had turned into a smudgy mess. Her moon-white robe also had a few mud and blood stains all over. For the meticulous clean freak that was Annelotte, she couldn't normally endure it. But as far too much had happened tonight, she couldn't be bothered.
"It'd better if I stay up. You're worn out after a long day too," countered Vera.
As Annelotte was a magus, she was usually given preferential treatment when it came to night watch, namely, she never got it. She had also expended much of her energy, making the rounds with transference spells, she should be resting.
She shook her head.
"I'm fine. Magi only need a few hours of meditation to recover. You should get some sleep."
"Alright. Just wake me up if anything happens."
Vera was also really worn out. After washing quickly, she burrowed into her tent. Innilis could be seen sleeping peacefully within. She stroked her little face before lying down lightly to get some rest.
Annelotte looked at Kurdak, silently eyeing her from afar, as she went over what had happened.
Eye of Arcana, Farsi, Nabir, Leguna, Jaehart...
She had a feeling everything was Balor's fault one way or another.
Isn't Balor afraid of being punished? Would the chairman really allow anyone to leak Leguna's information to the Eye? Or, has the chairman picked Balor and given up on Leguna? What will happen to him? What will happen to the party?
Countless questions looped round and round endlessly in her mind. When she finally snapped out of her stupor, she had realized she could only get worried for Leguna. She didn't want to admit it, but she had become attached to the boy and his party, their party. The bonds she had forged over two years of living on the edge with them could not be denied.
After some hesitation, she decided to dictate a conference spell to speak with Wayerliss. She wanted to know what awaited Leguna. She didn't bring up what happened as she believed Wayerliss would've gotten word of it already.
Meanwhile in Moonshadow's Starfall branch, though it was almost dawn, Wayerliss still hadn't slept. As an elf, he just had to meditate for a while to recharge. In stark contrast, Marolyt's face was ashen. He was incredibly strained; this usually handsome old man looked more his age than normal.
"I already told you, you aren't Black Rose's match. She's our guild's star! Do you think an old chump like you can challenge a female dark elf? You deserved it!" mocked Wayerliss unreservedly.
"Bullshit! This old one can go for seven rounds night after night! After so many evening battles, it's only natural to run out of steam eventually! Just you wait. Let me rest for a few nights and I'll let that Black Rose tramp understand my true might!" cried Marolyt ragefully.
"Black Rose costs 500 gold for one round. If what you say is true, you just spent 10 500 gold in three days. Since we're old friends, I'll give you a discount, you owe me just ten thousand."
"The heck?! You didn't say this would cost me!" raged Marolyt.
"I didn't say I wouldn't either."
Wayerliss loved Marolyt's pathetic side. The old man rolled his eyes.
"I don't have money, and I won't sign my life away either! I'd like to see what you can do about it!"
"I knew you didn't have any money," Wayerliss said with a disdainful smile, "You poor dog!"
Marolyt really didn't understand how the benevolent and innocent-natured elves could end up producing such a failure. Just as Wayerliss was about to continue mocking, he suddenly froze.
"Annie sent me a message."
The moment he heard mention of his precious daughter, Marolyt stopped bothering with Wayerliss's insults.
"Nothing. She felt what Balor did was a little overboard. She hinted that I've been favoring Balor. And... Tsktsktsk," mused Wayerliss mysteriously.
"Did you sprain your tongue or something? What are you tsk'ing about?"
"Sheesh, girls really do eventually go their own way once they grow up. Annie also asked me whether I've abandoned Leguna and what would happen to him if he failed. It seems your daughter really cares about this disciple of mine," said Wayerliss with a raised brow.
"Hmph! He's only a stinky little pauper! He's far from a match for my Annie!" said Marolyt contemptuously.
"He's no pauper. I have plans to hand the guild to him."
"Hmph! I can't be bothered with you. What are you going to do? Are you really going to give up on Balor?" Marolyt hurried to change the subject.
"Of course I'll give up on Balor. However, he still has his uses," Wayerliss said, "Though his actions are not to satisfaction, at the very least, he's a good whetstone for Leguna. I'd like to see what the kid can do under pressure from both Balor and the Eye."
"Are you really going to go that far just to raise a disciple?"
"You're a poor pauper with nothing to your name. Unlike you, I have quite the empire. Since I will be handing my guild over in the future, how can I afford to skimp on raising my successor?"
Wayerliss didn't miss the chance to give Marolyt another jab.
"Say anything else and I'll end you!"
Marolyt felt the irresistible urge to bite Wayerliss's ears off. Knowing that he'd only be insulted more the longer he stayed, he made the wise decision to withdraw.
"The Eye might make their move in the next couple of days. I should head to Annie and watch over her. I won't let those bastards hurt my daughter. Also, I leave the Chino front to you. Stok has been gaining quite a bit of momentum lately."
"Understood. I'll head there in two days. You should come along as well. I'll need your help. Don't worry, I will negotiate with the Eye before then. By the time we leave, Hladik will have been schooled in obedience," said Wayerliss.
"I don't mind as long as you can guarantee it."
Marolyt turned to leave without bothering to say goodbye.
Seeing Marolyt leave, Wayerliss subconsciously cracked a smile. He snapped his finger. An attendant waiting in a dark corner entered the room appeared.
"Make arrangements for a meeting with Eye of Arcana's chairman."
"By your will," said the attendant with a bow before he left.
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