Also a Priestess?!
Leguna understood the moment he heard that statement. One hadn't planned to kill him from the start.
The first arrow fired was truly too weak. Though the wound became rather serious, it was due to his crazed fighting. The shot itself wasn't inherently damaging.
One was the strongest assassin in the Stokian agency, so given her abilities, careful preparation and sneak attack advantage, was Leguna's shoulder the best she could do? Of course not! Adding to the fact that she didn't smear poison onto the arrow and One's performance during the fight, it wasn't hard for Leguna to conclude that she had held back.
Additionally, Leguna also took note to one other detail. He recalled that One's arm had been hurt by Spatial Cut, but now, it already seemed healed.
Taking all that into account, he decided to trust her in the end. She stretched her hand out to Sasha, who was hiding behind Leguna. "Come, child. I'll take you two away."
"Don't even touch her!" he said as he blocked her.
"She won't be able to keep up with us. Do you want to carry her on your back in your state?"
Leguna gave it some thought and nodded to Sasha.
Even though Leguna was a northerner, an enemy to all Stokians, Sasha was surprised to find herself trusting Leguna more. So, she mustered her courage after seeing his nod.
One gripped her hand and slipped her onto her back.
"Sorry for what happened just now. I had to play my part, you see. But I trusted that you wouldn't get hurt with Leguna around," One said to the still-fearful Sasha.
She kept quiet and hid her face lower behind One's back.
One didn't mind that response either. She nodded to Leguna, motioning to him to stick close.
Leguna stood up and pushed on his left shoulder. It seemed that the potion had taken effect. The blood had already stopped and he nodded back to One.
And so, One started running.
It was only then that Leguna understood how terrifying her footwork was. She moved without a sound and at a blinding speed. Sasha, weighing around tens of kilograms, wasn't a burden to her at all!
He furrowed his brow and followed along.
It wasn't that difficult for the top assassins from either empire to circumvent the guards, and given how familiar One was with the millennium capital and its many secret passages, alleys and obscure hiding places, Leguna was able to move about relatively safely under her lead.
The way they left the city was also incredibly eccentric. One made a couple turns in an alley and came to the well of an abandoned house. She looked at Leguna before jumping down the well with Sasha.
There was an underground pathway underneath and it seemed to be a labyrinth. Leguna noticed he passed through tens of junctions, some being triple junctions, crossroads and five-way junctions. Leguna had wanted to remember the path but he gave up halfway.
The complexity of the labyrinth was far higher than he imagined. He doubted anyone but genius high-order magi like Annelotte could memorize the way with memory alone.
The thought ignited his curiosity.
"How do you even remember these paths?"
"Wanna bet if I'll tell you?"
He hadn't held much hope about it from the beginning.
"Your guess was right."
The three continued in the maze for half an hour longer until they reached a dead end. One pointed at the top and said, "Open that. I can't do it with her on my back."
Leguna eyed her cautiously before going up. There was a manhole cover, but he couldn't be sure whether it would be empty outside or filled with Stokian soldiers.
Leguna used Shadowedge to make a thin stick to prop up the cover. It was a little heavy, but his high-order strength still managed.
The silvery moonlight shone through the cracks. Leguna could see the shining stars in the sky. He breathed a sigh of relief and pushed the rest of the cover off before jumping up. He had never used Shadow Blink the whole time, choosing to reserve it for only the most crucial moments.
One wasn't lying. They did end up emerging outside, but they weren't too far away from the millennium capital. At the very least, he could still see the walls of the city not too far away, though it was worth noting that his vision was better than the average person.
"Are you not going to pull me up?" she asked, her voice sounding like some stereotypical weak woman's.
Annoyed, Leguna stretched his shadow stick down the hole. One grabbed onto it and he pulled it up. But as pulling the stick required his two hands, his scabbed wound opened up again.
"What happened to her?" Leguna cried angrily.
Sasha seemed to be out cold on One's shoulders.
But Leguna doubted that was possible. She still had her eyes opened when they were heading up!
"Don't worry, I just had her sleep a bit. The things we're about to talk about are better kept secret," One smiled.
"Only the dead keep secrets. Are you going to kill her?"
"Of course not--" She laid Sasha against a tree and said without turning back. "--I know that only the dead keep secrets, but I can't do it."
"Because you don't want me to do it, right?"
"Just because I don't want you to, does it mean you won't?"
One didn't reply. She turned around and saw his bleeding shoulder. "Your wound's open again."
"Let me heal it for you!"
Leguna initially wanted to refuse, but he noticed her gaze. It wasn't the teasing one like before. Instead, it even seemed rather pitiful. She looked a bit like a stray dog that wanted to beg for food but was afraid it would be refused or beaten.
Leguna couldn't help but yield to the gaze. He humphed and let One take his bandages apart.
She looked at the wound and began to pray, much to Leguna's flabbergastment.
"By the power of the dawn, heal the unfortunate."
She chanted stiffly, to the point of insincerity. However, the deity she prayed to still answered her prayers. Soon, divine energy began to form in her hands.
"You're even a priestess of Pyro?!" Leguna asked with shock.
The divine energy seemed familiar, just like the kind Eirinn used. Not only was she a high-order assassin, she also knew how to use divine miracles!
"No--" She frowned. "--But I can use his power."
Leguna didn't press the question. He doubted she would tell him about it anyway.
The healing hurt quite a lot initially as he also used Host of Darkness that night, so much shadow energy still remained in him. One's divine energy would prioritize removing that first before healing his wound.
Gradually, his tension eased. The healing did work rather well, not any worse than Eirinn's. Soon, his wound stabilized and scabbed up again.
"Thanks," he said after making sure he was indeed healed, "Why help me?"
One seemed a little disappointed to hear that question, but she didn't really answer his question. "It's been half."
"We… No, perhaps I should say they don't have much time left. You will be the key to their fates."
"Can you tell me what you mean by that?"
One ignored him and continued her muttering. "Even though to me… But since I made a deal with Pyro, I can only stand on this side."
"Hey! Are you hearing me?!"
"It's not something I can tell you directly. Otherwise, nobody will be able to tell how the future can change," One said with a shake of her head, "You'll have to find out about it on your own."
"At least give me a hint, will you?"
He didn't even know what to make of her inane mumblings.
She hesitated for a moment before saying, "Check out the founding war of Hocke. There's someone you should take note of and you'll know who that is."
"The founding war?"
Marolyt had asked him to do the same, but he was too busy at the bureau he hadn't had time to look into it. But now, One was asking him to do the same. What was going on?"
Before Leguna figured it out, One suddenly spat out a mouthful of blood.Previous Chapter Next Chapter