She lost consciousness because of the magical staves that hit her.
She was restrained back into the large cage, chained.
Rodan didn’t do anything to stop them from binding her. Not because he was powerless, nor he was careless. He could simply take her away, and escape the city.
But that will not be the right choice, for he was not on his own.
“I could escape with her, but it will not change anything for the better for any of us. I will become a full-fledged criminal. Nono will be captured for my crime, and most importantly, her.
If I escape here with her, then she will suffer because of me. There is a reason why I live in the Red Forest and not in the city, a reason that could cost me the lives of those who were highly affiliated with me.
Moreover, she was not a human. She’s considered a monster by everyone, which means she will be continuously hunted down till the moment she surrenders to her demise.
That... is not what any of us wanted. That’s why I’ll hold myself, for now. These fellas are the authorities of the circus, after all.”
When Rodan stood up, he didn’t realize that one of the guards was right behind him. He was one of those who held a pike in his hands.
“What a disaster, eh...? Nobody could’ve thought that the creature was so powerful, even causing one of our best actors, who were extremely good in arts of magic and swordsmanship dead. He was a good man...”
Rodan did not give a reply. He only stared at the chaotic situation in front of him. The circus guards came with a body bag. They carried away the dead body of the knight hero actor.
After a moment, the barrier around the arena dispersed, followed by Nono jumping into the arena. He rushed to Rodan quickly.
“Roro! Are you hurt?”
“...Nope. I’m pretty much okay,” he said slowly. He turned his attention to his friend with a blank stare. “You’ve done really well, Nono. The barrier really helped.”
“Roro... I... I’m...”
“—Hey, you two!” Someone called. He was one of the guardsmen. “Ringleader Ortho wanted to see you two in his office immediately.”
Rodan and Nono were escorted to the ringleader’s room. There, both of them were told to wait. Nono felt nervous sitting next to Rodan. Why couldn’t he? Anyone would get nervous and tense should they sit next to someone who was striving to hold out against a massive pressure. That’s exactly how Nono felt when he saw Rodan. He was staring sharply with his arms crossed. Some sweat was raining down from his forehead. He was trying his best not to blow out.
Several minutes later, the ringleader entered his office and thanked them both for coming.
“Ah, nice to meet you, gentlemen, pardon for my lateness. Oh, and thank you for waiting as well,” he said while reaching for his chair.
“Yeah, nice to meet you as well,” Rodan replied flatly.
“Uh,” Nono nodded. “Nice to see you too, sir,”
“Ahh, what can I say to you gentlemen?” the ringleader said to himself, only to be followed by him bowing down his head on the desk, which nearly broke it in half due to how loud the thud noise was.
“I’m truly grateful!” he said sincerely. “If not for you, my circus would have gone down to dust!”
Rodan’s expression loosened up a little when he heard him. “Hmph... No problem, old man.”
“B-But, you’re hurt back then! That monster tore through your skin, right?” the ringleader asked.
“W-Well... that’s a problem, indeed,” Rodan instantly looked away. Shortly, he turned his attention back to the ringleader, “But it was not of a big deal, so you don’t need to worry about it, truly.”
“...I see,” the ringleader replied in a relieved breath. “You’re a strong man, sir. Allow me to thank you from the bottom of my heart for saving everyone. It was saddening that Mr. Efran was killed. It was a massive blow to me and aaalll of us. He was a really good man.”
“...Well, there’s nothing we can do about it. It was unexpected and out of our reach,” said Rodan which sounded cold but true. “The only thing we can do now is to hope that he may reach the other side peacefully, and not let his efforts go to waste. You got homework to do, Mr. Ringleader.”
“...You’re right. Mr. Efran is one of our biggest stars. His years of service in my circus will not be forgotten. We will remember him. We will prepare a proper burial for him, too.”
Rodan let out a relieved breath, “Good. That’s what I expect from a true professional. Ahh, it was troublesome, not gonna lie!”
“Oh, don’t you worry, good sir! I have prepared an ample prize for your help!” the ringleader said smilingly.
Nono slightly smiled. “He’s back to who he is, huh?”
Shortly, they were captivated by the large cage that was just pulled back from the arena and now put in front of the office.
“Haaah...” the ringleader gave a heavy breathing. “How disastrous of that creature to go wild like that in front of public,” he stated while walking near the cage. Rodan and Nono accompanied him along.
“Is this kind of thing had happened before?” Nono asked.
“No, this is the first time,” the ringleader replied solemnly. “Besides, this creature was new in our community.”
“New?” Rodan wondered.
“Yeah, we bought it a few days ago for 5 gold coins. It wasn’t looked like this before. It looked more of a devilish monster back then. I didn’t know it could revert into a humanoid creature,” the ringleader explained.
“You’ll never know what’s hidden in someone’s body,” Rodan calmly stated. “Especially someone like her, there has to be something with her,” he added.
“That’s right. I was a bit of greedy back then, hoping to dig as much gold as possible from her debut today. I thought so, only to realize I’ve dug a grave for my subordinate and nearly have my head eaten by her.”
“Debut? This is the first time she appeared on stage?” Nono asked.
“Yes,” the ringleader replied. “As I told you, we bought her a few days ago. I was told that this monster would make a good attraction in the circus, for it was an extremely rare species. I thought I could make a fortune from a creature like this. Turned out it made a disaster, huh?”
“By buying, you mean she’s a slave?” Rodan asked sharply.
“Apparently so,” the ringleader wiped his sweat. “A slave master named Karn Karraz sold it to me, saying that this monster was the last slave he had and he wanted to sell it so that he may retire.”
“Karn Karraz...” said Rodan wondering the name.
“Karn Karraz... somehow that name rings a bell to me. But where did I hear that name before?” Nono wondered to himself.
“Well, he’s quite mysterious, I’d say. He was pretty young-looking and his attitude was as handsome as his face. It was strange for me to hear someone retiring in their early age.”
“Hah! Don’t be deceived, Mr. Ringleader,” Rodan retorted. “This world isn’t as simple as black and white. Even looks can deceive you. He may look young, but he could possibly be over a thousand years old!” he explained.
“Self-experience, huh...?” Nono frowned to Rodan’s words.
The ringleader chuckled, “Hahaha, perhaps so! This world isn’t as simple as we think, is it? Well, then... oh, here it is.”
One of his guardsmen handed over a sack. Clattering sounds of coins colliding to each other were heard from the sack.
“This may not be much, but allow us to thank you. May these 500 gold coins serve your life well, good sir,”
“Woah! 500 coins?! Moreover in gold?!” Nono got excited as he accepted the sack. Rodan smiled from behind his mask, but soon his smile melted as he looked at the ringleader.
“Now that a tragedy happened... we must go to a new city. Our hope of getting anything more in this city is over with. Probably, we must go back to the capital city, or maybe to a city full of fortune. After how the citizens saw this white creature raged, I don’t think they would want to watch our show anymore. Because of that as well, I dare not show this creature to public again, or else it will endanger more lives.
This but a karma I had to endure. Maybe this creature went berserk because I let people throw rocks at her? It sure was strange. She was really obedient to me and the guardsmen before.
Hooomph... what a tragedy, o’ dear agony...”
Rodan who heard it caused him to sweat profusely. In his mind flied a massing thought.
“Um... I’m really, REALLY sorry, Mr. Ringleader. I think I know what made her went berserk. And I think I know JUST WHO was responsible for making her going on a rampage.
That’s right. It was me, who handed her food!”
Rodan looked back at the large cage and thought for a moment.
“Hey, Mr. Ringleader, you don’t have any use for her, right?” Rodan asked casually.
“Well, yes. I don’t want to make my circus a bloody one. I don’t want any more lives to be killed because of it,” the ringleader replied. “Though... I couldn’t guarantee I can make sure she won’t go on a rage again, ha-ha...”
“Then...” Rodan walked near Nono and snitched the sack in an instant, surprising him as a result.
“—W-Wha!? Roro! What are you doing?” he yelled.
“Mr. Ringleader, keep the 500 gold coins,” Rodan stated while handing over the sack. “In return, we’ll take her with us.”
A short moment of silence happened, only to be followed by Nono and the ringleader’s scream in disbelief.
“HAAAH?! Are you crazy, Roro?! You know how lethal she is! You nearly got yourself killed back there and now you want to keep her along? What are you, a masochist, huh?!”
“EHH?! G-Good sir! I’m afraid you couldn’t do that. You’ll e-endanger yourself with that creature in your house!”
“You can’t forever restrain her, right? If you couldn’t guarantee her not rampaging again, then I will take her with me.”
“R-Roro! What is the meaning of this? Are you going to endanger the lives of our community?” Nono asked furiously.
“Sheesh, so noisy of you, Nono! Lookie here, the Algae circus—
“—It’s Algoria, good sir—”
“—Ah, right, whatever the name of this circus is. They went around the world as they entertain people in their journey. Imagine bringing a berserker along with them. Just imagine how many lives are going to be threatened.
But, if she was under someone’s care, then the only one in risk is that one person who takes care of her.
I guarantee it. I promise she’ll not hurt the people in our community, Nono. I will make sure she won’t blow up again. Leave it to me.”
“And that’s settled! Mr. Ringleader, you won’t mind if I take her with me, right?”
The ringleader gave a guilty look in his face, “Are you certain she will not threaten the lives of people around you?”
“Huff.... aaargh, darn it! Fine, then. You may take her with you, as long as you can keep your promise, that is.”
“I told ya, leave it to me.”
And in that moment, the white creature was taken by Rodan Rouge. Meanwhile, Nono was anxious of what’s going to happen in the near future with a demonic creature in their circle.