Invitation from a Blood Relative
"Eirinn's family?" Leguna blanked out when he heard it. Even though Eirinn looked markedly different from most people, like her pointy ears, rare silver hair and elven features, Leguna had forgotten that she had half-elf bloodline in her after interacting for so long. He was only reminded of it when Linq brought it up.
Gosh, maybe she's wanted to meet her family for the whole time… But she never brought it up to me or asked me for help about it… Countless thoughts flashed across his mind, including feelings of guilt and self-blame. Perhaps Eirinn was being considerate of him, seeing that he was always so busy, and he felt thankful for it.
[I suppose I can make it up to her by helping her find her family this time around.]
[It's best for you to give up on that notion,] Gahrona said all of a sudden with a yawn -- as if she had just woken up. [Mmmmmh~ It was a great sleep indeed.]
[It's no wonder you've been quiet these few days, Teacher. What did you ask me to give up on again?]
[Finding Eirinn's relatives. It'll only end up being a great disappointment and she might receive a huge shock from it.]
[Because they're dark elves. You might not have seen them before, but I've had my fair share of interaction with them.]
[What kind of race are they?] he asked. He had heard that dark elves always took things to the extreme. But they probably wouldn't harm their own family, would they?
[What kind of race? Haha… I've seen rarer races than them, but the dark elves stand out from them, even more, when it comes to their behavior and personality.]
[Well, their craftiness can compete with you humans' for one.]
[Hey, why jab us humans like that? Just explain it normally!] he said, as if he had nothing to counter Gahrona's point.
Gahrona ignored his comments. She reminisced in the past and continued, [What's different… is that there's no line there won't cross.]
[That's right. They have no sympathy or empathy for any other race at all. They don't even have any concrete sense of morality or good and evil. The dark elves only care about one thing: their desire for pleasure, power, money and lust. To satisfy their desires, they'll happily do anything, especially things that involve killing!]
[You make them sound like rabid and desperate serial killers who live day to day in constant threat…] Leguna surmised.
[You can say that. However, these serial killers are incredibly smart and cunning. They won't charge in like blind fools and will instead do the most rational thing to achieve their goals.]
[Then… do you think that they might have some other ulterior motives by seeking Eirinn out?]
[It's not just a possibility. I'm certain.]
[Could the matriarch simply want to see her daughter again? That's a desire too, right?] Thanks to Eirinn's influence, Leguna tried his best not to hold any prejudiced views on other races, dark elves included, since Eirinn's family could be among them.
[While that might be possible among you humans, it's impossible among dark elves,] Gahrona said, dousing all his hopes, [I don't have any proof, of course, but according to my understanding, I can say for sure they're planning to do something to Eirinn. Whether it involves harm to you and her is one whole other story.]
[Is that so…] He gave it some thought and looked at Annelotte. He knew that she had a way to check whether the elf was lying.
Annelotte nodded slightly. "What's with that dark elf assassin from before?"
"She's an enemy of our household who probably received orders to harm Miss Eirinn," Linq said.
"Are you here to hurt her too?" Leguna coldly asked.
"No," Linq replied with a solemn look, "Our matriarch expressed that she misses Miss Eirinn and hoped I would be able to bring her back to us. I am only acting on orders. While I might do anything to achieve my mission, I had never fathomed the thought of hurting Miss Eirinn."
From Annelotte's point of view, the glow Linq exuded was still glowing green. Had he been lying, the spell's magic particles would react to the biological responses his body would produce, such as increased heart rate or secretion, and turn red.
Since the particles didn't change, it either meant that the elf didn't lie or he was trained to a point where his body wouldn't involuntarily react to lying.
"How should I treat the poison fully?" Annelotte asked.
"The specific mixture of poison used by different elven households are different. If you want to know how to treat it, you'd have to ask the poison maker," Linq said while he rolled his eyes. The words 'if' and 'might' could make the statement either true or false, but the glow Annelotte saw around him didn't change to red.
Leguna pondered for a moment and said, "Then, what do you plan to do now?"
"Try to convince Miss Eirinn to head to the Dusk Zone with me," Linq said. Looking at Leguna and Annelotte, he added, "But it looks like I also have to convince you two."
"You've convinced me," Leguna said surprisingly.
"What are you planning?" Annelotte asked.
"To take Eirinn to the Dusk Zone."
Eirinn's face paled at the sound. Did he want to cast her away?
Leguna turned back to Linq. "But, I'm only letting her go there to meet her mother. Don't think of trying to take her from me, or I'll flatten that Dusk Zone of yours."
"Even though your arrogance is sickening, I commend your bravery." Linq gradually regained his composure. It seemed that the two humans were indeed powerful, but they were still far off from scheming with Linq.
"I haven't finished," Leguna said with a glint in his eye, "I will be going with Eirinn on this trip. I can do you a favor, too, but in exchange, I want the antidote to Innie's poison. Deal"
Linq pondered for a moment and asked, "I wonder how many you are taking with you? I need to know how much value you can afford us to convince our household to help you."
"Only me," Leguna said plainly, but Linq could hear the confidence it exuded, "But I promise that I alone am worth more than all the assassins your household has."
"Prove it," Linq said, unconvinced.
Leguna's mouth curved into a demonic smile. The next moment, Annelotte turned off the magical lights in the office.
As a denizen of the Dusk Zone, Linq had impeccable night vision. He noticed a pitch-black dagger appear in the hand of the youth. The next second, the youth vanished. Before he could cry out, Leguna reappeared in front of him.
Annelotte turned the lights back up and Leguna waved his hand. There was a bunch of silver hair in his hand.
Linq's cold sweat came out in a torrent. He only just realized what Leguna had done. He had appeared behind him with blinding speed, or he used some kind of special power to do it. Linq didn't know. All he knew was that Leguna cut off some hair of his with the dagger and reappeared in front of him.
Having one's hair cut off was extremely humiliating for an assassin. What's worse is Linq didn't even feel it the moment it happened. That meant that he wouldn't be able to retaliate in the slightest if Leguna wanted to attack him. He wouldn't even know how he died!
As an elite assassin of his household, Linq believed that there were few he couldn't defeat given his level. But today alone, he suffered two humiliating lessons. The first was the intense pressure he faced before Annelotte, and then there was Leguna cutting his hair without him noticing. Since when had humans gotten so powerful?!
"Is this proof enough?" Leguna asked teasingly.
"It… it is…"Previous Chapter Next Chapter