Upon seeing Tab, Ashera was initially frightened, but when she realized that help had arrived, she calmed down. We proceeded with Tab leading, followed by me and then Ashera.
We arrived at the room and peeked inside. Inside, there were two men, one burly and the other looking malicious, both sleeping on the desk.
This time, we cautiously entered the room, with me leading, followed by Ashera and Tab.
Step by step, I felt my tension gradually dissipating with each step…
We were just 5 meters away, then 2 meters, and finally 1 meter…
(Just a bit more, a bit more and we can escape…)
At that moment, I became overwhelmed with anxiety, focusing solely on myself.
A noise of something falling echoed, and I turned to look behind me. It was Ashera. She must have reached her limit of fear. She had accidentally kicked over a trash can…
“Ashera, run! Run as fast as you can!”
Ashera obeyed my command, but she was running with all her might, which, for an adult, would be nothing significant. If left alone, she would be caught in no time.
(Is this my mistake? My selfishness? I need to create an opportunity for Ashera to escape…)
Feeling cornered, or perhaps it was to protect Ashera, even though I had been filled with fear just moments ago, I found myself confronting Ganchi and Jarrod, holding my makeshift spear.
“The kid… When did…? Ganchi, wake up!”
“Um…hmm, what is it?”
“The kids escaped!”
“Haa? The kids escaped?”
Tab was quick to react and drew his dagger, while Ganchi and Jarrod, looking disoriented, slowly got up.
I had to rely on my makeshift spear to fight them off. Ganchi and Jarrod also drew their daggers.
“You brat, did you betray us?”
“What a coward… I knew from the beginning that including this brat was a bad idea.”
As they exchanged words, Tab and I continued to back away, inching closer to the exit.
“Do you think you can escape? I’ll spare your life for now. Drop your weapons.”
We ignored Jarrod’s words and kept moving away.
“Ganchi, I will leave the kid to you. Don’t kill him.”
“Hehe… Leave it to me…”
Ganchi and I, Jarrod and Tab, faced off against each other one-on-one.
“I can’t stand brats like you. You’ve lived a carefree life… I’ll torture you until you cry and scream.”
Jarrod approached slowly with his dagger extended forward. He seemed experienced in such matters. I had little experience with physical altercations, except for a few childhood fights.
If I had any advantage, it was that he underestimated me and my ability to manipulate magic. I also had my “body enhancement” and a makeshift spear.
(I have to give it my all from the start. It’s the only way…)
I focused my magic onto my legs while brandishing my makeshift spear. I checked that everything was in place and then released a light sphere from my hand towards Ganchi’s face. I thought it would hit him, but just as I expected, Ganchi instinctively sliced through the light sphere with his dagger.
I thrust forward…
As Ganchi cut through the light sphere, I stepped forward with my enhanced legs and thrust the makeshift spear straight at him…
The makeshift spear easily pierced Ganchi’s chest…
Ganchi was surprised… Then his expression turned into a mix of crying and laughter as he shifted his gaze from his own chest to my face… He seemed like he wanted to say something, his mouth moving, but no sound came out…
And then, he slowly crumbled…
He was dead…
Around Ganchi, blood slowly spread like a blossoming flower…
I snapped back to reality at Jarrod’s cry.
However, by that time, my determination had vanished, replaced by a different kind of fear, one distinct from what I had felt earlier.
As I looked around, I saw Tab bleeding from his left arm… He must have been attacked by Jarrod… I had to help him. I knew it rationally, but my heart was already broken…
I ran recklessly. Before I knew it, I could see Ashera ahead of me. She was running with all her might, even though she must be in pain.
As I pushed myself to catch up with Ashera, I suddenly felt an intense hostility directed at me from behind.
In the midst of my fear, I glanced back, and there was Jarrod, his eyes burning with anger, chasing after me.
(What about Tab? What happened to him? I can’t take this anymore. Please, let us escape.)
While silently screaming inside my head, I turned my attention forward and continued running. But, contrary to my wishes, the distance between Jarrod and me was closing.
(He’s catching up.)
I had dropped the makeshift spear. I didn’t know if it was still embedded in Ganchi or not, but my hands were empty.
I would reach Ashera soon, and Jarrod was closing in on me.
(It’s no use. Damn it. If Ashera gets caught, I have to…)
Summoning every ounce of courage I had left, I stopped running and prepared to confront Jarrod. But Jarrod quickly closed the gap between us.
(It’s scary. Why are we killing each other in a place like this!!)
I was nearing my limits in both physical and mental exhaustion. I could only muster enough strength to envelop my arms in magic.
I cursed silently in my mind as I watched Jarrod closely, who didn’t bother hiding his anger.
“The brat… I don’t need you anymore. I’ll kill you. It’ll be a hassle if you’re left alive. Once I’m done with you, I’ll go after that kid. I’ll kill you both.”
He seemed genuinely serious, not hiding his anger as he pointed the dagger at me.
Perhaps he thought I was a magic user or Ashera’s guardian. He didn’t realize that I was unarmed. He swung the dagger towards my neck, aiming for a kill.
I managed to catch the dagger with my bare arm, but it came at a cost. My arm was filled with a sharp pain, and a red welt appeared.
I had endured the pain and cautiously looked at my arm. Jarrod, who had been watching, shouted.
“You, are you a damn mage?! Are you that kid’s protector? I fell for that act… Damn it!”
Realizing that he was mistaken, I decided to capitalize on it. Without saying a word, I glared at Jarrod and pointed my right hand, channeling magic into my fingertip, creating a glowing effect.
Seeing my glowing fingertip, Jarrod retreated, realizing the danger.
I gathered all my strength and jumped, aiming for the center of the face. With my entire body acting like a spring, I swung my right arm with all my might. Normally, this would have broken my hand, but with magic enveloping it, there was no issue.
Jarrod took my fist to the face and was sent flying about 3 meters. Now he was lying sprawled on the ground.
As I muttered that, I felt like I heard a scream in my mind, as if some sort of flag had been triggered…
Ten seconds, twenty seconds passed, and Jarrod showed no signs of movement. Just as I was about to relax, he slowly began to stir.
“I’ll kill you… I’ll kill you… I’ll definitely kill you…”
Mumbling terrifying words, he tried to get up. Trembling with fear, I re-enveloped my hands and feet with magic.
As he raised his head, Jarrod’s eyes widened, and he froze. Was his gaze fixed a little to my side, or perhaps behind me?
Jarrod’s face expressed fear, astonishment, panic, and a multitude of negative emotions all at once, and in that moment…
He ran away…
I could only stare in bewilderment as Jarrod fled.
(Why? Why is he running away?)
My thoughts were in disarray, but I felt a brief sense of relief.
Then suddenly, a powerful wind rushed past me. No, it was a man who had run past me like the wind…
The man ran at an incredible speed and caught up to Jarrod in an instant, using a sword in his right hand to decapitate him…
(Eh? What’s happening? His head… it’s gone… I don’t understand…)
I stood there in a daze, and then I heard a voice from behind.
I turned around to see Ashera standing there with two knights guarding her. She looked happy.
“Ashera, are you alright? I’m so glad…”
Ashera seemed uninjured, which was a huge relief.
Ashera shouted happily while looking behind me who was still confused.
Still in a state of confusion, I turned to see Ashera’s father, Captain Halva of the Blue Ring Knights, walking towards us confidently.
I don’t remember much after that.
I felt like I was in a dream, and when I finally came to, I was sitting inside a building in the square.
“Al, are you hurt? We heard you were kidnapped, is it true?”
My father’s voice brought me back to reality, and suddenly, everything became more real. The fear of being kidnapped and the fear of having killed someone overwhelmed me.
Scared… I don’t even understand what I’m scared of. I clung to my father like a child.
“Dad… I… I killed someone. It wasn’t an accident… I wanted to kill him… and in the end…”
“It’s okay! You’re safe now!”
My father shouted, holding me tightly. I seemed to have suffered more psychological damage than I realized.
I buried my face in my father’s chest and tried to clear my mind. I don’t know how much time passed, but eventually, I started to calm down a bit.
Then, a man escorted by knights approached me.
“Aldo-sama, may I speak with you?”
I lifted my head from my father’s embrace and looked at the man. It was Tab.
“Tab! You’re alive!”
I rushed towards Tab, leaving my father behind, and we embraced each other, relieved to see each other safe.
“Yes, I managed to… Ha… Hahaha…”
Tab replied with a somewhat awkward attitude, perhaps due to the pressure from the knights.
“Dad, I was saved by Tab. Without him, I wouldn’t have been able to escape.”
“Is that so? If Tab is truly your savior, then we must repay him with our utmost gratitude… Well, we should, but…”
My father seemed to have some doubts about Tab. His story was almost too perfect.
“It’s true! And I want to give Tab some medicine for his sick daughter as a thank-you.”
“I see… medicine for his sick daughter, you say… Well, I suppose that’s fine. Someone, please listen to his story and arrange for the medicine he needs.”
Tab’s face filled with relief, and tears welled up in his eyes. At that moment, my father leaned in and whispered to Tab.
“There won’t be a third time…”
Tab’s face contorted with fear, and he left the room as he did before, escorted by the knights.
As Tab left, I noticed that my mother and El had arrived.
They had heard a rough explanation of what had happened, but suddenly, my mother embraced me, and I almost suffocated in her embrace.
I couldn’t help but think about how ironic it would be to survive that ordeal only to suffocate in my mother’s arms.
Now, I’m alone in my room, staring at the ceiling. I’m calmer than when I cried to my father, and I have a little more composure.
(I’ve realized something from this experience. Life in this world is far cheaper than in Japan. I can’t cling to Japanese values, or I might not survive. I need to distinguish between allies and enemies and be ruthless when it comes to enemies… And if I plan to leave this house in the future, I should learn not only magic but also martial arts. Otherwise, I’ll regret it someday.)
Until now, it all felt like a game or a novel, and there was a certain detachment from reality. But this time, experiencing life and death, I truly felt the reality of being reincarnated in another world, and I made a renewed determination to live in this world.