Katia von Trakia, 15 years old.
A lady born in the Trakia duke household, she was made to be the fiancee of the Second Prince Astor at 10 years of age after he fell in love at first sight with her.
5 years from then. As a result of her unrelenting hard work and the education she received at the royal palace, she mastered all aspects of etiquette, politics, and culture to perfection.
Her beauty only reached greater heights with time; Coupled with her bluish-purple hair and amethyst pupils, she was called the Night Fairy, blooming into a woman with both utmost loveliness and refinement.
A proud woman with an earnest personality, she was touted as the perfect fiancee to the prince—excluding a certain something.
Even that ‘certain something’ was no grave offense or something of the like.
“Lady Katia von Trakia! It’s about time you put an end to this and resign yourself! You’re being suspected of plotting a government overthrow from within!”
She was suspected of something that she had absolutely zero knowledge of.
Chris von Flembreed—she was pursued by the man said to be the Second Prince’s right-hand man, someone who, by all rights, should’ve been her ally.
She could have never imagined that she would end up being cornered in a back alley by him with his soldiers in tow like this.
“…I’m the one who wants to put this farce to an end.”
Glaring at Chris, Katia snapped back at him, just as she did when he suddenly appeared in the solitary cell back then.
“You have no grounds to suspect me of such things. Most importantly, even if we assume you do have a reason, what are my criminal charges? Without anything to charge me with, you mobilize the soldiers and attempt to arbitrarily capture a duchess. You’ve completely overstepped your authority—you won’t be forgiven for this.”
“Haha! That’s exactly what the villain would say after being driven to the wall!”
However, Chris fired back and one-sidedly dismissed her just claims.
“It’s true that I don’t have anything to charge you with—for now, that is. However, I mentioned it before, did I not? The one who ordered for this to happen was undoubtebly His Highness Astor, the Second Prince!”
Katia ground her teeth together.
“Surely my dear lady Katia understands just how magnificent Prince Astor is? He’s good-looking and accomplished in both the literary and military arts, a heroic prince that has already slain a great number of monsters at the young age of 15! That same gentleman said so himself: ‘Capture Lady Katia’, that is!”
“A hero is a being unbound by neither the passage of time nor the reasoning of man. If Prince Astor said to capture you, then there is profound meaning in doing so, and it is absolutely correct. In the face of his pious words, something like the presence or absence of criminal charges is a trivial affair, is it not?”
He’s screwing with me.
There was absolutely zero truth in disregarding the laws established by this country without any reason whatsoever, even if one were to suppose that the person in question was royalty.
The systems set in place required for a populace to function in society would end up falling apart if someone were to thoughtlessly violate those laws; that much was obvious.
…However, at the same time, Katia was convinced of something.
The bullshit he’s spewing would surely turn into reality.
That’s just how absolute the prince’s words were. No one would doubt a word he says.
If Katia were to obediently let herself be caught by Chris…
If she were to go back with him—in other words, voluntarily go along with him for questioning—she would be doing the same thing as acknowledging her crimes as a result.
They would fabricate nonexistent crimes to charge her with. She didn’t know what that prince was planning, but she knew things would end up as he saw fit.
These past 5 years, Katia had learned the hard way that this was how today’s aristocratic society functioned.
That’s why, at the very least, she had to avoid being caught here, no matter the cost.
With that in mind, Katia lowered her waist and entered a battle stance.
“Oh my, you still plan on resisting? Fine then. No matter how much of a criminal you may be, I suppose you still have the right to struggle to the bitter end.”
Seeing what Katia intended to do, Chris, still fully composed, raised the corners of his mouth into a slight smile tinged with delight.
“You all, don’t interrupt. She’s still a user of high-ranked Bloodline Magic. Leave this to me and devote your full attention to preventing any attempts of escape.”
After ordering the surrounding soldiers, Chris deployed multiple spheres of light behind him, which he had already finished chanting beforehand.
Bloodline Magic: The Archer of Magic Bullets, Mistle Tina.
It was a powerful Bloodline Magic, and it secured his position as the Second Prince Astor’s right-hand man.
After flashily deploying his magic, Chris called out to Katia in a voice filled with ridicule.
“Come then, be my guest and try to resist… I know for a fact that the resistance of a villain won’t amount to much. You said this and that about criminal charges, but you probably begged your father, the Minister of Justice, to cover it up, didn’t you?”
“—Take that back.”
“You can say whatever you want about me, but I won’t forgive anyone who insults my father in front of me!”
While she partly went along with his provocation, Katia firmly decided that she had no other option but to fight and began chanting.
“Peace be with you on the eve of apocalypse; The light of daybreak shan’t shine here any longer; The kingdom of salvation exists in the shadow of consciousness. Bloodline Magic: The Salvation of the Dead, Steria Tryvia!”
Beckoning to her call, a horde of departed spirits from the realm of the dead appeared.
They possessed no physical body of their own, but before long, they gathered together, condensing and transforming into a highly-concentrated cluster of mana. Similarly to Chris’ magic, they manifested behind Katia’s back.
Bloodline Magic: The Salvation of the Dead, Steria Tryvia. Its effect was the manipulation of spirits.
It’s known for connecting the realm of the living and dead using the lingering attachments of the deceased, thereby attaining a massive amount of energy from their dead souls.
Normally, it was powerful enough that it would even stand a fair chance to Chris’ Bloodline Magic.
Both parties readied their magic. Chris fired as he mocked her, and Katia fired with a sharp glint in her eye.
Both of their Bloodline Magic collided head-on between them.
The result was obvious at a glance.
Chris was the one who laughed loudly, and Katia was the one clutching at her body in a cloud of dust thereafter.
One could tell which magic came out on top from looking at their demeanors.
“What repulsive and fragile magic you have!”
Katia gritted her teeth and fired another sphere of mana, but that too was easily blown away by a shot of Chris’ magic from his spare hand.
This wasn’t a difference in technique; There was simply a hopeless difference in mana output.
“It’s just as the rumors say, Lady Katia! Despite inheriting an excellent Bloodline Magic, for some reason, you can’t utilize it to its fullest potential! The name ‘Miss Defective’ isn’t just for show, huh!”
That was the singular flaw mentioned earlier that Katia had.
When Katia was 6 years old, she manifested the Bloodline Magic “The Salvation of the Dead, Steria Tryvia”, which was one of the magics passed down through the Trakia household. Originally, it was supposed to boast immense power befitting of its prestigious lineage.
However, for some reason, when Katia used that very same magic, its output sharply declined, and its power fell to that of the lowest among all Bloodline Magics.
“It’s obvious just looking at your magic! It has the repulsive ability of manipulating the deceased, as well as its defect! All of this, combined with your guilty conscience, makes me absolutely certain you’re committing some act of defiance against the gods!”
“That’s right! Divine punishment must’ve fallen onto you from the heavens!”
“Lord Chris, please deliver the iron hammer of justice onto this foolish lady!”
The surrounding soldiers began adding to Chris’ arbitrary denunciation.
Katia re-deployed her magic to silence them, but just like last time—no, even more dominantly than last time—Chris brushed off her magic.
…This is worse than I imagined…
She was aware that her own magic had a defect, but it was still a Bloodline Magic descended from a duke household.
She thought she could at least scatter the surrounding soldiers and create a chance to escape some way or the other, but…
A gap in ability far greater than she ever anticipated existed between them.
“Now then, Lady Katia. Are you already done resisting?”
Chris asked Katia a question, putting his expression, which was basked in the delight of overwhelmingly crushing an inferior opponent, on full display.
Aggravated at that expression of his, she continued to deploy her magic—but then, Katia realized something.
Her magic wouldn’t come out.
! I don’t—
“It seems like you don’t have any mana anymore.”
She used too much mana in the dramatic escape up until now.
Chris pointed that out with a faint smile and deployed an especially large sphere of light behind him.
“I’ve been told by His Highness that he doesn’t mind if I rough you up a little. It’d be a pain if you struggled on the way back, so I’ll have you go to sleep.”
Without a shred of hesitation, he aimed the sphere at Katia and fired.
That sphere most likely had more than enough power to rob Katia of her consciousness.
Then, they would drag her back to the palace. What lay in the future ahead was either imprisonment, or perhaps the stripping of her social status.
All the effort I made until today—
Ever since that fateful day, she desperately worked hard to carry out her duties as a noble.
She never once cut corners with her daily training or studying. She could proudly declare that she regretted absolutely nothing.
And yet, all that amounted to this.
Bloodline Magic was a gift of natural talent bestowed by the gods. If Bloodline Magic was all it took to justify this absurdity… If Bloodline Magic was all it took to completely crush any effort made whatsoever—
Then why exactly do we live in this country?
…I guess it’s already pointless to think about that stuff.
The sphere of light had already come within arm’s reach. She no longer had any means to deal with the ever-approaching magic in front of her.
Right on the verge of impact, what flooded back to her mind as her thoughts came to a grinding halt was the image of a single boy with whom she once parted with.
“Your magic is pretty, Katty.”
When she awakened her Bloodline Magic, she was loathed by everybody around her except her family.
What repulsive, dirty magic. That is no Bloodline Magic, they said.
Among everybody who detested her, there was a boy who genuinely complimented her without any hidden implications.
He overflowed with more talent than anyone else.
That’s why, even if everyone said that he didn’t have Bloodline Magic, Katia would never believe them.
“That’s why I believe—that you aren’t someone who should be in a place like this. I believe that one day, you’ll surely become an amazing magician and stand in front of me once more.”
“This is an absolute promise!”
Smiling wryly, Katia remembered when she said all of that.
I was an idiot back then, too.
She now understood that everything she said back then was impossible.
In reality, ever since he was banished, she didn’t have a single clue of his whereabouts—she didn’t even know if he was alive or not. Far from being alive in the first place, the possibility that he was dead was far greater.
In this situation where she was completely powerless to do anything by herself—
In the midst of this irrationality, where she could complain a hundred times over and still not be satisfied—
If God could just grant even the slightest miracle for me—
With a mixture of resignation and a voice on the verge of tears, she spoke from the bottom of her heart:
“…Save me, Herm.”
There was a response.
Katia widened her eyes in astonishment. Immediately after, a dazzling wall of light was deployed before her eyes.
Not even a millisecond after, the sphere of light impacted the wall. A tremendous shock wave sprung forth between Katia and Chris, followed by a dance of dust and wind.
Even so, neither the clouds of dust nor the shockwave made their way past the wall where Katia was.
When the smoke eventually cleared, in front of Katia—
“Um… Honestly, I don’t really know what’s going on.”
—stood a single young boy.
He was around the same age as Katia. He had silver hair and jade pupils.
He closely resembled Chris, who was aiming at Katia just moments before. However, what he didn’t have in common with Chris was the gentle and kind expression on his face.
“You seemed to be in trouble… Ah, also.”
There was no way Katia would mistake him for someone else.
He was taller, his face was more mature, and his voice was deeper. Also, for some reason, his way of speaking was slightly different. However—
She had never forgotten about him, not for a single minute since that day.
“I kept my promise and came back as a ‘magnificent magician’… It’s been a while, Lady Katia.”
Standing in front of Katia was Hermes von Flembreed.
And he carried out the promise he once made with her.
Today’s chapter. This one was pretty long. Just a reminder but that’ll be all for today, for those that didn’t see the new schedule I will post 1 chap of recreator on tues/thurs and 2 chap of magic arrow on mon/wed/fri and nothing on the weekend.