The sounds of dry branches, burned slowly by the red fire, were resounding throughout the night on that lakeside. There, sat Zedediah with his silver mask over his face, slowly roasting a chunk of meat with his sword, just like the time when he was still with his Master. On the other side of the fire, sat Tooru, Lucy, and Riria side by side, staring at Zedediah in silence.
“You guys won’t eat?” asked Zed as he offered his piece of meat to the three of them.
Tooru, Lucy, and Riria just shook their head and kept staring at him. They were really curious about what Zed was going to tell them.
“Do you three really want to hear it that much?”
Hearing Zed’s question, the three then nodded their head enthusiastically.
Seeing that, Zed just sighed and said, “Just eat this first. I will tell you about it while you guys are eating.” After he said that, Zed gave the meat-covered sword to Tooru.
As the three began to eat, Zed started to ponder about what he should say to them.
“So… what do you guys already know about me?” Zed asked to the three of them.
“You are….strong,” answered Tooru.
“Zed is mysterious…?” said Lucy.
“Scary?” said Riria shortly while tilting her head and munching the meat.
“Eh?! The last one is-” Zed wanted to retort, but then just continued, ”mhmmm… Well, forget it! I will just tell you right from the beginning! Then, let’s start from myself. So, my real name is Zedediah, Zedediah Knightley.”
When she heard Zed’s real name, Lucy’s eyes opened wide in disbelief. “I-Impossible… Then, Zed is…”
“Yes, I am a member of the Royal Family of Knightley Empire,” said Zed. “I am the First Prince of Knightley Empire, Zedediah Knightley, the son of the 41st Emperor of Knightley Empire, Joseph Knightley. Well, I am not a prince anymore though, I am just a commoner with the name ‘Zed’ right now.”
When they heard Zed’s real identity, the three of them were really shocked. The thought that Zed is a prince had never crossed their mind even once. This fact was really far away from their previous guess. ‘To think that this lazy and short-tempered guy was actually a prince…. This must be a joke…’ was what the three of them were actually thinking at the moment.
Seeing the three pair of sceptical eyes staring at him, Zed could only frown, “You guys are thinking of something rude, aren’t you?”
“N-No…I wasn’t thinking that you were a reincarnation of the demon or something!” shouted Tooru.
“No, of course not!! There is no way that Zed was an assasin that run from the organization, right?!” said Lucy in panic.
“……..you two….,” Zed really wanted to smack the two’s head, but then…
“What does the fact that you are a prince has anything to do with this lake?” asked Riria, she was still restless, as she really wanted to know about her parents.
Hearing her question, Zed fell silent. He wanted to tell her that he was the one who made that lake, but how?
Then suddenly, Lucy said, “T-then, because you are the prince, you were there back then. And because of that, you knew what had happened to the city. Am I right?”
Hearing that, Riria turned realy anxious and said to Zed, “Zed!! Is that right?! If yes, then tell me!! What happened to the city?! What happened to Riri’s parents?!!”
Seeing Riria looking anxious like that, Zed could only sigh and give up. “Yes, I was there. And I will tell you about it as well. But first, calm down…”
Riria wanted to protest as she couldn’t hold back anymore, she had waited for years after all. But then, Lucy grasped her hand and patted her head slowly. As she felt Lucy’s warmth, Riria then began to calm down little by little.
Seeing that, Zed then started to speak about his story, “So, it all happened 10 years ago. On that night, where the sky lit up just like what Riria had seen before.” Zedediah turned his head to look at the lake and said, “I was still 11 years old back then. On that night, the Demons suddenly came and attacked this city. They were flying down from the sky and rampaged across the city; I think, they came through a Teleportation Formation. I didn’t know how many Demon were there, but the magic formation on the sky was really big, it was as big as the city itself.”
“Demons….” Tooru murmured as he started to imagine about what happened to the city back then.
“I-Is there any survivor?” asked Riria slowly, her face was pale and anxious.
Zed just grasped a tree branch with his hand and continued his story without answering Riria’s question, “That night, as I was running inside the castle to find my mother, that ‘thing’ suddenly came… It grasped my mother with its filthy hand and also stabbed me with my own sword.” Zed gazed at the sword on Tooru’s hand while moving his hand over the old wound on his right chest.
“While that sword nailed my body over the cold floor, That Demon…”
The branch on Zed’s hand snapped. Zed was furious as he was remembering the scene on that night.
“I was too weak to protect her…” said Zed weakly while throwing the broken branch into the fire.
“Zed….” said Lucy slowly. She was confused about what Zed meant when he said that he had been too weak to protect ‘her’.
But Zed just cutted her and then spoke with a furious tone, “I could only curse at my own weakness as I was lying on that cold floor, looking at that Demon as he laughed while eating my own mother alive….!”
“!!!” The other three were speechless when they heard that. They didn’t know what they should say to Zed at that moment. They couldn’t even begin to imagine what Zed was feeling when he saw his mother being…..eaten…..like that.
“Z-zed…”, only Lucy was brave enough to speak to Zed at that moment, the other two were still shocked and stupefied.
“…..Sorry…., I shouldn’t speak about something like that to children…” Zed sighed. To Zed’s eyes the three of them were still kids, a 15 years old boy, a 16 years old girl, and a 17? or 12? years old littke girl.
“No, we don’t mind at all. But, are you okay?” asked Tooru. He didn’t know how Zed was at that moment, because Zed’s face was currently covered by the mask.
“………I’m fine,” answered Zed.
Hearing that, the three didn’t urge Zed to continue his story and only waited in silence. Only now did they know, that Zed’s past was something that they really shouldn’t ask about.
Zed was silent as he was thinking about how he should put the words to explain the continuation. After a while, he then said, “But I still managed to kill that Demon. That time, as I felt my end was nearing, I put all my mana into a single [Fireball] and threw it at him. And, he died….”
Hearing that, the three’s faces brightened up. They knew how strong Zed’s [Fireball] was, but to think that it would even able to kill the Demon like that.
But then, Zed said again, “But….It seemed like I put too much mana into it…” Zed then looked at the lake again. “To think that it would now become a lake like this…”
Hearing that, Tooru, Lucy, and Riria got confused, as they still didn’t understand what Zed meant by that.
Then Zed said, “I didn’t know that it would become like that. That [Fireball] just grew bigger and bigger, until it swallowed everything….the Demon, my mother, my family, the castle….and even the city…”
“Th-That’s….” Lucy couldn’t believe that a single human could wield a power as terrific as that. She knew that Zed was strong, but, to be able to decimate an entire city with a single [Fireball] is….simply inhuman. She really couldn’t believe it, however, she knew that Zed is someone who wouldn’t simply joke about something like that.
“This lake is the proof…” said Zed, “This lake is round, just like the [Fireball] back then…”
The three hurriedly looked at the lake beside them. Then, they suddenly realized, the lake was strangely round and there weren’t any river flowing through it as well.
“Don’t tell me….” Tooru couldn’t believe it either, but the proof was there, right in front of his eyes.
Only then could they see it. This round lake, was really the city after it was swallowed by Zed’s [Fireball].
“T-Then…What about the people in the city?” asked Riria as she looked at Zed. Riria thought that even if her father and mother were really inside the city on that night, she knew that they were not so weak that the Demons could kill them, but, what about the fire?
Seeing Riria’s anxious face, Zed couldn’t bring himself to tell her the truth. So, he just shook his head and said, “Sorry…”
As she heard that single word, Riria could feel the world around her starting to crumble. “Father…? Mother? T-Then…..It was you? Y-You killed them?”
Zed looked straight at Riria’s eyes and said, “Yes.” He knew that he couldn’t run from his sin. He had already prepared himself to bear the consequences, even if it meant that he would lose his life.
Zed had killed her family, that’s why, he felt that it was fine even if she wanted his life in return. And he was right…
Riria snatched the Sword on Tooru’s hand and started to run around the campfire to where Zed was sitting. ”You murderer!!!!” she shouted.
Zed already gave up, if Riria wanted him dead, then so be it. Even though that would mean that he couldn’t fulfill his promise to kill the Demon Emperor, he believed that Tooru would be able to do it in his stead. As Zed saw her getting closer to him, with a sword on her hand and with tears flowing down from her eyes, Zed closed his eyes slowly.
“Die!!!!!” shouted Riria.
“NO!!!” As Riria swung down the sword to cut Zed, Tooru jumped over the campfire and managed to stop her by holding her down to the ground.
“Move!!” shouted Riria while struggling to free herself.
“Z-Zed! You are lying right?! It was the Demon Emperor right?! No matter what, it shouldn’t be possible for you to destroy the city just like that, right?!” shouted Tooru panickly to stop Riria from killing their own friend.
Seeing that Tooru was trying to protect him, Zed could only snicker, “Hahaha, I wish I can push the blame to him like that….” Even though he could easily do that, he just didn’t. It was not that he was proud to have done something so….hideous like that, he only wanted to face it straight on; he had done it, then he wouldn’t run from it.
Zed stood up and jumped over the roof of the carriage that parked behind him. As he landed on the roof, he lifted his hand straight upwards as if he was grasping at the stars on the night sky.
The other three were looking at Zed in confusion.
Then, a [Fireball] slowly formed over Zed’s hand, growing bigger and bigger. It slowly became bigger than Zed’s arm, then bigger than Zed himself, bigger than the carriage, bigger than a normal house, and even bigger than the church and orphanage in Sefia city. And…. it was still growing.
Tooru, Lucy, and Riria couldn’t believe what their eyes were seeing at that moment. There, over Zed’s hand, was a huge ball of fire with a color of bloody red, as Zed had lowered the temperature to make sure it wouldn’t harm the three of them.
Then slowly, the [Fireball] turned back to become smaller and smaller, until it was only as big as Zed’s palm. The color had also changed from bloody red into reddish black. Zed had compressed it to make it easier for him to throw it.
“Close your ears,” said Zed.
Then, he threw the [Fireball] as far as he could onto the lake.
A huge explosion occurred in the middle of the lake.
As the three tried to stop the noise from bursting their ears, they saw that the [Fireball] was currently expanding itself into a huge bright ball of fire. It looked just like the sun, lighting up the night sky. While expanding itself, the huge sun was also swallowing and pushing the water around at the same time.
Then, together with the steams, a wall of water started to form around the huge [Fireball]. It then slowly moved to approach the border of the lake. If one saw it from above, they would see that it looked just like a blooming flower.
At the beginning, because it was far, the wall of water looked small and pretty slow; but, as it came closer to them, the three became more and more surprised. There, on the horizon in front of their eyes, was actually a 5 meter tall wave, speeding up to the place where they were currently standing.
Then a few seconds passed, now, right in front of them, was a 10 meter tall wave, standing tall as if it was readying itself to swallow three little humans in front of it.
“A-A-A-A-a-a….” Lucy couldn’t speak clearly and only mumbled as she saw that the wave was approaching them really fast. She just slowly moved closer to Tooru and hugged his arm.
Riria sat there beside her, holding her mouth with her hands.
Tooru slowly stood up as he saw that ‘tsunami’, his eyes were wide open in disbelief.
Then…, the wave fell down, swallowing the three of them inside it.
But strangely, the three of them didn’t feel anything. At first, they only felt a slight bump after they closed their eyes in reflex, fearing the pain from the heavy mass of water, that was going to smash them into pulp. But then, as they slowly opened their eyes, it was already pitch black.
But it didn’t hurt at all, it was even as if something was embracing them. Moreover, even though it was slightly wet, they weren’t out of breath at all and they could even feel that their face was somehow still dry.
Then they suddenly thought, did they die? Did Zed kill them?
But they could still feel their own body and could also move it a little. They could even still hear the raging sound of water around them. So, they were still alive, but why was it so dark?
Then, seconds passed. As they heard the sounds of water slowly diminishing around them, the dark sky above them opened like a curtain. There, sparkling under the moonlight, they saw the silver mask.
“Are you guys okay?” asked Zed as he looked at the three in his arms.
So, right before the wave swallowed them whole, Zed managed to catch and hide the three of them inside his robe. He also snatched his sword from Riria’s hand and stabbed it into the ground, so he could use it as a foothold to withstand the force of the water.
But of course, it wasn’t as easy as it sounded like, not only he moved instantly using the Mana Techniques, he also used his mana to strengthen his back so it could withstand the heavy push from the water. He could feel his mana nearing the limit as he had spent a lot of it for the giant [Fireball] and the Mana Techniques.
While holding his headache that was caused by mana deficiency, Zed looked at the three again, they were looking at him while trembling in his arms. It seemed like it was too frightening for them. “Sorry, I shouldn’t overdo it like that,” he said, “I didn’t even know why I did that… Thankfully, I still managed to grab you three on the last moment….”
Riria looked up and saw Zed’s mask. She was confused as why Zed had saved her like that. “Wh-Why did you save Riri? Even though Riri tried to kill you…” asked Riria.
Hearing her question, Zed was silent for a while. Then, he answered, “…….So you can kill me….I guess.” He still thought that Riria wanted him dead.
He had fired the [Fireball] not because he wanted to scare or injure the three, he just wanted to prove to them, that he was indeed the one who destroyed the city, not the Demon Emperor.
But Riri didn’t understand Zed’s doing, he had killed her parents, and then he threw a giant [Fireball] that nearly killed her as well, but then, he saved her. “Wh-Why? Riri don’t understand!!! Why did Zed kill Riri’s parents? Why?!!” shouted Riri as she hit Zed’s chest over and over again, while tears were flowing down from her eyes.
“…..I am sorry……,” said Zed slowly, “I….never wanted to kill anybody….no….never…., but….I did, I killed them. I…am sorry…” He didn’t know what else to do except to apologize.
“Riri don’t need your apologize! Riri don’t want to kill you!! Riri just want father and mother to come back!! Uuuuuuuuuuuuu….return them to Riri!!!” Riri shouted and cried like a little child.
Zed couldn’t say anything, he couldn’t bring the death back, if he could he would have done that already.
“Riri….” muttered Lucy as she hugged Riria, trying to calm her down.
Tooru just sat there on their side, pondering about what he should say to Riria and Zed.
Then, an hour passed just like that, without any of the four ever speaking. Only the sound of Riria’s cry could be heard, wringing the hearts of those who listened.
Suddenly, Tooru stood up. “It’s getting cold, I’m going to collect some branches to make a new campfire,” he said. “Lucy, please take Riria to sleep for now. We will talk again tomorrow, it’s getting late already.”
“O-Okay, but…” Lucy looked around them. ”The tents had been swept away, a-and, even the carriage as well.” The 10 meter tall wave had carried their tents, carriage, and even their horses away.
“You can use mine… [Storage]” said Zed as he put out his own tent. He rarely uses it, as he always slept beside the campfire, except for when it rained.
“Thank you Zed,” said Lucy.
Zed then started to set up the tent, while Tooru went out to find some dry branches. Lucy only sat there looking at Zed while hugging the sobbing Riria. After Zed finished setting up the tent, he gave Lucy his leather blanket for sleeping. Lucy silently took it, and then carried Riria into the tent.
After seeing the two girls going into the tent, Zed slowly walked to the lake’s direction.
“…why did I even do that…” sighed Zed as he looked at the dried up lake in front of him. Only a small pond of water could still be seen in the middle of the giant lake, it resembled a silver mirror as the moonlight shone brightly upon it.
ZRASH SRAAK SRAAK
Zed turned his head as he heard something was moving between the bushes. There, he saw Tooru walking to him while carrying some branches on both of his arms.
“I walked quite far, the water made the forest wet all over,” said Tooru as he put down the branches near the tent.
“Sorry,” said Zed while throwing a small [Fireball] onto the branches.
Tooru sat down in front of the newly made campfire and said, “No problem, you saved us after all. If not for you, then we would have drowned and died.”
“Well, I was the one who accidentally caused that though,” said Zed as he sat down across Tooru.
“Hahaha, that’s true,“ laughed Tooru. “But Zed… After I thought about it once again, it wasn’t you who killed them, right? It was more or less just an accident….”
“………No,” said Zed firmly, ”I did kill them.”
“But… Did you know that your magic would destroy the city when you fired it?”
“…..No…. Back then, I only wanted to kill that Demon, I never thought that the [Fireball] would become so big like that….,” said Zed. “But, I was still the one who killed them after all….”
“Then, what if they all were already killed by the Demons, and your [Fireball] only killed the Demons? Doesn’t that mean that you revenged them?”
Hearing that, Zed could only laugh, “Hahahaha….you are a really positive guy, aren’t you Tooru?”
“Ehehehe,” Tooru only chuckled and scratched his head.
“But still… their death was my responsibility….,” said Zed. About this matter, Zed was really hard-headed, he didn’t want to run from it, he had to face the reality.
“But why? It was the Demon’s fault, right? If they didn’t come, then no one will die….,” said Tooru. He still didn’t understand why Zed makes himself the bad guy. Wasn’t it the Demon’s fault?
“…..Tooru, do you know how many people lived in that city?” asked Zed as he looked at the wide lake beside them.
Hearing Zed’s question that he obviously had no answer for, Tooru just tilted his head and said, “No.”
“The city was actually not that big, It was only around 50 square kilometers,” said Zed, ”But… in that small city, lived more than 50 thousand people. So tell me…, do you think I can easily say that they were all killed by the Demons? Even if it was an accident, I killed 50 thousand people! And it’s not as simple as numbers! Do you think their lives were that light?! Those 50 thousand people had their own lives, their own family!! …. and….I took it from them…..” Zed slowly gazed at the tent where Riria was sleeping.
“……..No…… I shouldn’t yell at you like that. It’s not like you really understand. You are still young after all. Even I, after these 10 years, still don’t quite get it as well…”
“Hmm? That’s right….,” said Tooru as he realized something, ”you said that 11 years ago you were 10 years old, so….that means…., you are 21 years old right now Zed?”
“Hmm? I never told you?” asked Zed.
“Nope…,” Tooru refuted, “I thought you are as old as I am….”
Hearing that, Zed wanted to retort, “……..Tha-”
But Tooru then cutted him, “yawn… I’m sleepy, you aren’t going to sleep Zed?”
“…..No, you go sleep,” said Zed, ”Hmm? Ah, sorry that I destroyed your tent….”
“No worries, I can sleep here just fine,” said Tooru as he lay down beside the campfire.
“Use this, [Storage]“ said Zed as he gave Tooru another leather blanket from his Storage Ring.
“Thanks… yawn….” Tooru yawned while putting the blanket over his body. (AN : Somehow, I yawned when I wrote the yawn on their dialogue, multiple times…)
Zed just sat there for hours, looking at the lake where his hometown once stood. He pondered about all the things that happened on that night, about his mother, his family, the demons, the fire, and also the countless death.
Even when the sun already started to come peeking from the east, Zed was still sitting there, not moving even an inch. “Accident huh….,” he slowly muttered.
Hearing a sound coming from behind him, Zed turned his head. There, he saw Riria went out from her tent. It was unusual for her to wake up so early like this. Zed then looked carefully at her, messy hair and tired face, even her eyes were swelling, it looked like she was crying and sobbing for a long time the night before.
Their gaze locked with each other for a moment until Riria looked at the other way while frowning.
Seeing that, Zed turned his head back to the lake without saying anything. He knew that Riria now hated him, if she wanted to stab him from behind, then he would let her do it.
But then, “Sorry….,” Riria’s voice was heard from behind him.
Hearing that, he hurriedly looked back at Riria. Why did she apologize?
Riria was silent for a bit, and then she said, “I am sorry for trying to kill you last night….”
“…..No….that’s fine…. It was-“
Before finishing his words, Riria suddenly cutted him. “Riri…actually knew that father and mother….. were already dead,” she said while gazing at the foggy lake in front of her.
Zed was surprised when he heard that, but he still kept his silence, he wanted to know what Riria wanted to say to him.
Riria then walked to the edge of the lake.“When Riri became and adventurer, the first thing Riri did, was to ask the Adventurer Guild about father and mother,” she said, ”and from them…, Riri knew that Riri’s parent’s Adventurer Cards had shattered already…., but….” Riri’s tears started trickling down again as she didn’t want to admit the truth. “Riri still want to see them… Riri miss them….”
Seeing her tears falling down like that, Zed could only apologize again and again, “…….I am sorry….”
“…..No…..Tooru was right…..It was an accident. And if the Demons didn’t come, then Riri’s parents wouldn’t die, right?”
Seeing that Riria was eavesdropping on Tooru and him last night, Zed then said, “……..I suppose so…..but….”
“Stop blaming yourself,“ cutted Riria as she knew what Zed was going to say to her next.
“You never wanted to kill them, right? You only wanted to protect your mother, right? And if you didn’t do it, then maybe I would die as well. There is no way that the Demons would stop after attacking only one city,” said Riria. She might look childish, but she was still and adventurer after all. “Even though you had killed lots of people, you protected lots of them as well….,” said Riria while smiling at Zed. She knew that her parents wouldn’t blame him even though he had killed them, so she wouldn’t either, she forgave him. ‘He had suffered enough,’ she thought.
“…..Haha,” Zed chuckled, ”you said the same thing as him…”
“Hmm? Who are you talking about?” asked Riria.
“No, no one. Nevermind…. ”
Riria remembered that Zed’s life was not something that she should poke into, so she just left it be and said, “…..Zed….I am sorry, and thank you….”
“No…I…don’t deserve your thanks….I was the one who kil-”
Hearing that Zed was still blaming himself like that, Riria got annoyed. “Guh… Stop being so irritating and just accept it!!”
“Then, from now on, Riri is going to go with you guys to beat that Demon Emperor!! Riri will get revenge for Riri’s parents!” shouted Riria.
“……Okay…..” Zed couldn’t reject it as he felt that he owed her something, and it was just another kid that he needed to protect, no big deal.
DRAP DRAP DRAP DRAP DRAP DRAP
“Hmm?” Zed and Riria turned their head as they heard a noisy sound coming to their direction.
There, 200 meter away from them, Zed saw that a cavalery of knights, wearing the old Knightley Empire’s armors and helmets, were marching to their direction.
“Riria, wake Lucy up,” said Zed as he himself went to Tooru’s side.
Zed slapped Tooru’s cheeks, right and left, and then shouted, “Wake up!”
“…..Eh?! Wha?” muttered Tooru sleepily while rubbing his red cheek.
“We got a guest…,” after he said that, Zed stood up and looked at the incoming cavalery.
“HALT!” shouted a middle–aged man as their cavalery was 10 meters away from Zed and the others. It seemed like he was the leader of this cavalery.
Hearing his command, the 20 horse-riding knights behind him stopped and maintained their formation.
“Who are you four? What business do you have in this region? And what do you know about the explosion that happened last night? Do you also know about what happened to this lake?” asked the Leader as he looked at the four kids in front of him.
“….This guy is the Hero, and we are on our way to the Passage of Death,” said Zedediah shortly as he pointed at the sleepy Tooru. He was too lazy to explain everything.
Tooru only waved his hand because of his sleepiness, if he was fully awake, he would have done his pose already.
“Oh! The Hero and his companions! But, what proof do you have?” asked the leader again. There were no small amount of people that tried to imitate the Hero to do bad things.
Zed then looked at Lucy. “Here!” shouted Lucy as she put out a document from her Storage Bracelet and gave it to the leader.
As he looked at the Document, the leader of the knights smiled and said, “Oh, real document signed by the Holy Pope. Ahahahaha! The real Hero! It’s an honor for me to meet Hero-sama! My name is Lazarck the commander of Fort Lake. Please come to our fort to rest and eat breakfast, it’s not much, but it will be a honor for us to be able to help Hero-sama and his friends!”
“Thank you, Commander Lazarck,” said Zed. “But we need to re-“
“Will there be meats?” cutted Riria.
“Ohohoho!! Of course young lady!! We just captured a huge bear yesterday! And just call me Lazarck!” said the commander.
“Zed! Let’s go!!” shouted Riria with a glittering eyes.
“We still need to resupply our equipments,” said Lucy.
“And we need a new horse and carriage as well….” added Tooru.
Seeing that it was actually his fault that they lost their equipments, Zed could only give up, “………….Fine.”
“Ahahaha! It will be our pleasure to help the Hero! Hop on!” shouted the commander.
Then the four of them hopped onto the horse and sat behind the soldiers.
“Hm?! Ah…?” Zed woke up as a drop of water fell onto his face. “Where am I?” he muttered as he sat down and looked around him. It was a dark stone cell with a wooden door on its edge. From the small window over the wooden door, a flickering light of torch could be seen, lighting up the cell dimly.
“Hmmm?! Tooru?! Lucy?!! Riria?!!!” shouted Zed as he shook the unmoving body of his comrades.
Fortunately, they were only sleeping…
“Hmm? Zed?” said Tooru as he sat down and squinted his eyes to see his surrounding. It was too dark for normal eyes after all, only Zed’s eyes could still see clearly in this darkness.
Then Lucy also woke up. “yawn…Tooru? Zed?”
Only Riri slept again after she muttered, “Meat?”
“It looks like we are inside the dungeon,” said Zed after he woke Riria up with a pinch on the cheek.
“Oh! Like in the game?” asked Tooru.
“Hmmm? I don’t know what a ‘game’ is, but dungeon is basically an underground jail,” said Zed.
Hearing that, Tooru sounded pretty disappointed, “Ouuu….”
“Why are we here?” asked Lucy.
Zed tried to remember what had happened to them, “So…After we arrived at the fort, we ate breakfast with those guys….and then….”
“Then…..” muttered Lucy.
“Riri can’t remember what happened after that as well….” said Riria.
Seeing that none of them could remember anything, Zed then said, “…….Let’s check our condition first…”
“Ah! The Holy Sword is not here! my bracelet as well! And what is this bracelet?” said Tooru as he stared at the violet-colored bracelet on his right wrist.
“The Holy Sword is gone?! Ah! And that is a Magic Cuff! Ah!! I have one on my wrist too!!” shouted Lucy panickly.
“Magic Cuff?” said Riria as she poked the violet bracelet on her wrist.
Lucy then explained, “It’s a Magic Tool to restrain a criminal from using their mana.”
“Hmmm….so….it seems like we were drugged and then thrown into this jail,” said Zed.
“B-But why?” asked Lucy.
“I don’t know,” answered Zed as he shrugged his shoulder.
“They look like a bunch of good guys to me,” said Tooru.
“Yeah… and they even gave Riri lots of food!”
“Then…. why?” asked Lucy again.
“It doesn’t matter, we just need to get out from here first. Who knows what they will do to us later…. Especially to Lucy…” said Zed as he stared at Lucy.
“E-Eh? Why me?!” asked Lucy frantically.
Suddenly, two shrieks were heard from outside the door.
Then, a voice was heard, “Hero! Are you here???”
“”””!!!”””” The four of them was surprised.
Who was that?! What happened? Will Lucy really get….
Sorry that it took me so long to write this chapter. And I apologize for the chapter number as well, 0.10 after 0.9 is strange, I know…, but nothing I can do about that….