Go to the main entrance.
As per Firvus’ request, I headed toward the main entrance.
The only way out of this academy was through the main entrance. Tall walls surrounded the campus, and if you threw caution to the wind and climbed them, an alarm bell would sound.
I loitered around the front of the main entrance.
Royal Court Magician Carlyle instructed me to wait here with this ring I received. Apparently, it contains a spell that’ll react to whatever the enemy stole.
I can’t make heads or tails of his order, but whatever that court magician says is bound to have some deeper meaning to it.
My only job is to fulfill what I’ve been asked to do.
…But still, there’s nothing to do…
There weren’t many people frequenting the academy during the day.
Just when I thought I’d be standing here bored to death—
A man dressed in a robe came walking from the direction of the school building.
Or was it a man? I’m pretty sure it was. The person in question was too tall to be a woman, and their body was well-built enough to show through their robe.
I couldn’t get a clear look at his face, since a hood was covering it.
…For starters, I guess I’ll see if the ring reacts…
There’s no way it’s gonna react—
is what I thought, but my expectations were betrayed in an instant.
The ring started giving off a dim light.
I thought it might’ve malfunctioned, but this is something from Carlyle—I doubt he of all people would make such a careless mistake.
I slowly shook my hand from left to right.
The light got weaker the further away the ring was from the man, and vice-versa.
…I suppose this proves I wasn’t just seeing things.
I audibly swallowed my saliva.
Who could he be?
I know he’s not Sarles, since the robed man’s body is much burlier than his.
He was still quite a ways off.
Naturally, my Magic Arrow could easily reach him from here, but—
Should I really fire off a Magic Arrow at a stranger without warning?
I can’t really help but second-guess myself here.
But that just won’t do.
Why have I come here? Why am I standing here?
To capture whoever this ring reacts to.
In that case, I need to shoot.
Shoot my Magic Arrow at that man.
I can almost hear Carlyle whispering in my ear.
—Go on, shoot. Shoot, Albert!
I took a deep breath.
I opened my right hand, holding it steady at the robed man.
The ring kept shining as ever.
I steeled my resolve. “Magic Arrow.”
A white streak of light flew from my hand, hurtling at the robed man.
A direct hit—
is what I thought.
The robed man swung something. A long, jet-black object crashed against my Magic Arrow.
With an ear-grating noise, my Magic Arrow vanished. In the man’s hand was a greatsword with a black blade.
The man took off his hood, which had been covering every inch of his head.
Looking downward, he pressed his left hand against his face. After removing his hand and lifting his head, his face finally became visible—
The top half of his face was covered by a mask.
The man swung his sword with both hands, and as if taking aim at his enemy, he pointed his sword at me.
…I see that Carlyle was right on the mark.
The man hit the ground running, propelling himself forward.
I cast my spell, “Magic Arrow.”
Skipping back to when Albert had yet to fire the first Magic Arrow—
In his shock, Lucard forgot to breathe.
Is that… Albert—!?
Standing in front of the gate, a man pointed his right hand at Lucard.
Lucard recognized that face.
His face was handsome, but it showed little emotion, bordering on expressionless; his lips were tense, verging on an unsociable frown.
Despite upwards of 10 years going by, he still had the same look on his face.
Lucard wouldn’t mistake that man for anyone else.
He knew his name, too.
His friend, who had suddenly vanished from the academy 10 years ago, was now standing right there.
Why is Albert here after disappearing 10 years ago?
Why is he wearing the school uniform?
Lucard was bewildered. This was an all-too unbelievable turn of events.
But it was happening.
Lucard breathed in and out, calming himself.
What I’m witnessing is reality. Thus, I need not falter. Simply go with the flow and respond accordingly.
…So you’ve returned, huh, Albert…?
For the first time in a long, long while, Lucard felt ever so slightly joyful.
During their student days, Albert had always been an unpredictable—and a tad peculiar—classmate of Lucard’s, but not in his wildest dreams did he expect Albert to show up here of all places.
Lucard’s lips curved into a small, amused smile. Though I suppose that’s just like you, huh, Albert?
And with that, Lucard discarded the warm emotions in his heart.
Standing in front of him was an enemy.
And so long as he was an enemy, it mattered not if he was an old pal, nor was he interested in why he was here.
If he planned on getting in Lucard’s way, he’d cut him down without any mercy whatsoever—nothing more, nothing less.
Lucard withdrew the Cursed Sword Dáinsleif by the hilt from the belt at his waist, gripping it with his right hand.
You heard that right—from the belt at his waist.
Dáinsleif couldn’t be sheathed, nor did Lucard have one in the first place. Completely uncovered, it was tucked in Lucard’s belt.
That didn’t pose any issues.
The reason being? Dáinsleif had no blade. It only had a hilt, a guard, and the base from which the blade would form.
Lucard concealed Dáinsleif’s hilt under his robe in such a way that allowed him to respond to any given situation immediately.
Lucard’s ears picked up on his voice. “Magic Arrow.”
A white arrow akin to a flash of light flew at Lucard.
As soon as he perceived it, Lucard swung Dáinsleif without a moment’s delay.
In an instant, a black blade jetted forth from Dáinsleif’s guard.
With an ear-grating noise, he bisected the Magic Arrow.
He repelled it with ease, but Lucard was astounded internally. …What was that…!? It was heavy, and the shock is pulsating through my hand…!
His was clearly different from your garden-variety Magic Arrow.
If Lucard wasn’t wielding the Cursed Sword Dáinsleif, it would’ve likely destroyed his sword, blade and all.
…Albert, could it be—
A certain word flashed through Lucard’s brain: White arrow magician.
The Crest Master muttered those words days before being killed.
Then, he remembered something else.
During their student days, Albert could only use Magic Arrow.
…Did you really refine Magic Arrow to that level in the past 10 years!?
This came as a shocker to Lucard.
But it wasn’t beyond the realm of possibility. He tried, tried, and tried; but in the end, Magic Arrow was the only spell that didn’t forsake him.
And that very man honed Magic Arrow to the limit.
That’s quite the success story, wouldn’t you say?
…What the hell’s going through my head… I keep remembering my past self, even though this isn’t the time for that.
Lucard retrieved the Mask of Darkness which he had brought along from his robe. With Albert as his opponent, he couldn’t afford to let his face be seen.
He concealed his face with the Mask of Darkness—
as well as his wavering heart.
Lucard looked up, his gaze meeting Albert’s.
Lucard pointed Dáinsleif at Albert. “Shall we begin, Albert?” he whispered, propelling himself forward.
“Magic Arrow.” As if to counterattack, Albert fired Magic Arrow.
Lucard sliced his attack in half with Dáinsleif.
The battle had begun.
They were separated by approximately 50 meters. If Lucard, a warrior, manages to close the distance, it would be his win.
Albert let loose Magic Arrows one after the other, and a barrage of white arrows assailed Lucard.
Lucard forged through without breaking a sweat, cutting down each approaching Magic Arrow with Dáinsleif one by one.
Slowly but surely, he closed in on Albert.
The impact he felt from his Magic Arrows was abnormal.
It’s nothing special if it doesn’t hit me!
His abilities amplified by Darkness’ divine protection, Lucard was more than up to the test.
It would take time, but his blade would eventually reach Albert 50 meters away.
Be it friend or foe—
I won’t hesitate to cut you down.
“Nice to meet you, Son of Darkness. I haven’t forgotten about my dear academy students, either—how have you all been? Suddenly, Lucard heard the voice of a man he least expected to hear.
“W-What!?” Lucard reflexively yelled, coming to a halt.
Albert also stopped firing Magic Arrows and turned around.
They turned to see—
a hologram of a man’s upper body as big as the school building floating above the other side of the main entrance.
He had frameless glasses and golden hair that reached his shoulders, his handsome face reflecting his illustrious career.
Royal Court Magician Carlyle.
His hologram continued in a cheerful tone, “Now then—this is where the real fun begins. How about we get straight to the finale?”
Managed to get this done. Will post recreator tmrw, thanks for reading. Also, I changed Dynesleif to Dáinsleif. Apparently its an actual sword, didn’t know until I googled it lol.