“Well, this is goodbye, Master. You were a good friend, but your shrewdness is to blame.” Sarles gave his parting words.
Sarles’ body flew backward, violently crashing into the wall before he could even shriek in pain.
Blain and his brilliant head instantly deduced what had just occurred.
Right before Sarles was blown away, a white arrow darted past Blain’s field of vision.
Furthermore, he could glimpse a brown-haired student standing on the rooftop, as well as a white-haired female student standing close by.
Magicians that could snipe Sarles on the mark from that distance were few and far between.
Blain immediately arrived at that conclusion.
“Ouch, that hurts like hell… man, is this for real…?” Sarles shakily stood back up. Blood streamed from his head, but there was still life in his eyes all the same. “Seems like I’m at a disadvantage here… Haha! Things are heating up! See ya later, Master Blain! Getting to know you had its fair share of ups and downs—but I surprisingly had a blast!” he said, running out of the door.
Blain activated a spell that, provided there was nothing in the way, allowed his voice to reach faraway places. “It’s me, Blain! Sarles made a run for it! I’ll chase after him, so reinforce the academy entrance!” he conveyed to the faraway Albert, following after Sarles in a hurry.
Firvus witnessed something unbelievable.
Albert’s Magic Arrow hit a student that looked like Sarles dead on, sending him flying.
…He managed to land an inch-perfect shot on Sarles all the way from here… You always pull off the most ridiculous shit…
The male student, who had been pinned down by Sarles until now, got back to their feet and looked at the rooftop.
“It’s me, Blain! Sarles made a run for it! I’ll chase after him, so reinforce the academy entrance!”
His voice was quite loud, to the point where it felt like Blain was talking right next to them.
Sarles made a run for it, huh… Firvus thought, sighing. He was a brilliant student. He caught my eye as his homeroom teacher.
Firvus felt a lingering feeling of despondency in his chest. “…So Sarles is part of Darkness, huh…”
“Darkness?” questioned Albert.
However, Firvus shook his head. “There’s no time to explain. For starters, we’ll prioritze helping Blain.” Firvus continued, “I’ll head over to the school building to give Blain a hand. Laura, you stay here with Liz.”
“Albert, you head over to the main entrance. This is good timing.”
That despicable Royal Court Magician asked me to send Albert to the main entrance. There couldn’t be a better time to send him than now.
Just then, someone spoke up. “E-Excuse me!”
It was Liz. She handed the ring she had just taken off to Albert. “Apparently, this ring reacts to that thing they stole! There’s a chance they already have it on them, so this ring might prove useful…!”
“I see.” Albert extended his hand, but—
Firvus intercepted him. “…Carlyle asked me to give this to you. It probably does the same thing as that ring, so it wouldn’t really matter either way, but take this instead,” he said, handing Albert yet another ring.
“‘If the Seal of Darkness is stolen, give this to Albert and have him go to the academy main entrance at around noon tomorrow.’ is what he said.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Albert tilted his head to the side and took the ring.
“…Beats me… I don’t know anything more than that, either. He likes to keep his secrets. Apparently, he wants you to track down the thief.”
Albert didn’t seem convinced, but he didn’t say anything more. Carlyle was the one asking, so he probably decided to take it for granted.
He simply said one last thing:
“…I’ll leave Blain in your hands.” Albert made his way to the rooftop exit.
“Albert!” Laura called from behind.
Albert stopped in his tracks and turned around.
“Please be careful!” she said.
Albert wasn’t the most expressive person, but with a small smile, he replied, “…I will. I’ll come back in one piece.”
After Albert vanished down the stairs, Firvus returned to the school building, walking toward the place where Blain and Sarles had been.
The sound of glass shattering and someone shouting got louder the closer Firvus got.
That must be Blain. He’s deliberately making loud noises in an attempt to draw attention to Sarles’ getaway.
Likely curious about the ruckus, a few students came out of their classroom and asked about the noise, “Ah, Mr. Firvus. What’s that noise?”
“…Don’t worry about it. Get back in your classroom and self-study,” Firvus said, changing where he was headed.
If I focus on the noise, I’ll be able to anticipate where Blain and Sarles are gonna end up. So, I just gotta get there before they do.
Firvus exited the school building and went to the schoolyard.
Just as he anticipated, he spotted two people running.
It was Sarles and Blain.
“Stop right there, Sarles!” Firvus exclaimed sharply.
Sneering, Sarles slowed his pace and repositioned himself, shooting both Sarles and Firvus a glance.
Sarles was a sorry sight to behold.
The right side of his face was steeped red from the blood streaming from his head. Both his hair and clothes were a mess, and his breathing was rough, presumably from running at full speed. He still had his usual casual smile on his face, but that only made him all the more depressing to look at.
“…Sarles… give it up already…” Blain said, coming to a stop.
Sarles spread both of his arms. “Hah! Well, would you look at that! Here we have not only Professor Blain, but Mr. Firvus as well! Seems like your boy Sarles is in deep water!”
Firvus and Blain took aim at Sarles with their right hand and wand respectively as they closed in on Sarles little by little. While swaying back and forth to mess up their aim, Sarles pointed both hands back at the two of them, creating a deadlock.
“…Just… stop with this nonsense already, Sarles…” muttered Blain. “I have a solid grasp on your prowess; you’re an outstanding fighter. However—you can’t possibly expect to win while taking on me and Mr. Firvus at the same time. Throw in the towel.”
“He’s right, Sarles!” Firvus added on. “Enough with the pointless resistance! I’ll make sure you don’t receive terrible treatment after this is all said and done! You won’t be harmed in any way; you have my word!” Firvus said.
He genuinely meant what he said. He spent a long time with Sarles as his instructor, and he considered him to be an excellent student, both personality-wise and grade-wise.
If he could save him, he would—Firvus sincerely thought that.
“But that’s only on the condition that I disclose everything I know about Darkness, right? I’m afraid that just isn’t gonna happen, teach,” answered Sarles. “Also, Blain. No hard feelings, but there’s still something I haven’t shown you yet.”
Moments later, black butterfly scales sprouted from Sarles’ body.
It closely resembled Liz’s scales, but the concentration and density were in a different league altogether.
“I wonder if two Hundreds such as yourselves can manage?” Sarles said, laughing evilly.
“Well, how about three Hundreds?” A voice resounded from behind Firvus. The person in question stood next to Firvus.
It was Flin.
“It’d be hard not to notice after the huge commotion you guys made… I can only imagine if the other instructors are rushing over as we speak.”
There’d be a lot more in store for Sarles than just the three of them.
This was checkmate.
“AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” Sarles lowered both arms, looked up to the sky, and doubled up with laughter. “Welp… Guess it’s impossible, after all… Seems like this is the end for me.”
“Do you surrender?”
In response to Blain, Sarles shook his head. “I’m afraid I can’t do that.”
Right when he said that—
“Kah!” Sarles coughed up blood without warning.
He didn’t just cough once, either—blood gushed from his mouth, as if a dam had burst. Sarles’ uniform was stained dark-red.
“Sarles!” Firvus yelled. The three of them rushed over to Sarles.
Blain lifted up Sarles, who had collapsed onto the ground. “What did you…!?”
“Haha… I self-destructed… I’m a member of the organization, so I still have my pride, I guess…” Sarles said in a strained voice, smiling weakly.
His smile reminded everyone of his usual cheerful grin, but it only further indicated that he was at death’s door.
Sarles couldn’t be saved.
He will die.
“Sarles… you’re such a dumbass…!”
Firvus felt anguish in his chest.
Sarles flashed a thin smile. “The Seal of Darkness has already fallen into the Son’s hands, teach. He should’ve left the academy by now… It’s my win… Hahaha!”
The Son—! Firvus felt a chill go down his spine after hearing that word. Did the Son of Darkness really make a move?
—I might just catch the Son of Darkness, you know? Firvus remembered what Carlyle said. And Albert’s currently…
Everything was going all according to that court magician’s plan.
“…Hey, Blain… This is farewell… I’m not gonna apologize for tricking you all this time, but… I liked your way of thinking… I hope… you get your revenge…” Sarles said with a laugh. He gently closed his eyes.
“Sarles…” Blain let out an anguished voice.
As the homeroom teacher, Firvus too felt a torrent of gloomy emotions in his chest, but he set his feelings aside. I’ll sulk after this is all over.
The Son of Darkness was attempting to leave the academy with the Seal of Darkness, and Albert was heading toward the main entrance.
Did you make it in time, Albert?
Yesterday’s chap. Something came up while I was working on this, so I posted later than I wanted. I’ll start on recreator now, should be ready by tomorrow. Thanks for reading.