“...Something in Miss Ringo’s garden was dragging them to come here?” the baron asked as he heard Rodan’s words.
“Precisely,” the red-haired man responded. “As the fight goes, I can only imagine an object is literally dragging them all here. It is possible that Ringo had taken some sort of item back to her safe house and it attracts these monsters to attack her.
...Hm... But it still doesn’t explain why they become so powerful... how riddling...”
“Hm... what if it was actually what Sir John said before?” Nono wondered. “...About an Arch Demon or two. I mean, it’s possible if there’s more than one, right? If that’s the case, then it should be possible that those Arch Demons are cooperating...”
“I hope it would be as that simple, my friend,” Rodan stated. “I told you, if there’s an Arch Demon, probably an S-class adventurer would drop in to slay it. Just one Arch Demon is enough to make one of those powerful adventurers into action hence the demon’s influence, let alone two of them.
The strongest adventurer might’ve killed them by now. But at this rate, the guy’s not even here.”
“Sir Rodan,” Sir John called.
“I think it is likely that an Arch Demon is around. Even though their influence can be spread out to many monsters, their very presence could’ve successfully hidden to the point that they managed to not attract any strong warriors into fighting them.
And I think what your friend says is right, judging by the situation you’ve been through. There might be two or more Arch Demons lying around and they’re working together. If it is impossible for a single Arch Demon to influence as far as even the road to Astur, then two of them or perhaps three would be more than sufficient for the task, right?”
“...” Rodan thought about it.
“Hmm... it’s true. It is possible if it’s that way—No, that’s gotta be the only possible way for this to happen!
But if that’s true, then where should we find these Arch Demons? Our movement was staled as long as these Woruvens attack us. It will be nigh impossible to find those demons as quickly as possible.”
“Oh, right, Sir Rodan, there’s one more information I’ve forgotten to tell you of,” Sir John stated.
“Oh? Let’s hear it, then.”
“I highly believe that these monsters were shared the traits of their influencers, either strong or weaknesses.
My knights have succeeded in noticing one major weakness, Sir Rodan. Ever since we knew about it, we kept exploiting that weakness of theirs to suppress them.
And that weakness of theirs is...
...Sensitive to light.”
The baron’s next information was as shocking as if an atomic blast hitting right at Rodan’s heart and mind. Nono was as shocked as his master. It made both of them sweat unevenly.
“What?! They are sensitive to light you say?!” Rodan nearly yelled as he grabbed Sir John’s shoulders. “You’re not lying about that, Johnny?”
“O-Of course, sir,” Sir John got stuttered as he replied. Rodan’s sudden change of attitude was surprising to him, but soon he regained his composure.
“That’s what my men found and I’ve confirmed it myself. We used some light magic to see things better in the dark, only to notice that these Woruvens were throwing their sights away from our light. I thought they were running away from our presence, but it didn’t seem to be the case since there are many of them still going after my knights.
When the second time we flashed our light to those monster’s eyes, that’s when I began to notice. I shot my own share of light magic to their eyes and they were somehow... running for their lives. That trait is very not Woruven-like.
Just from that point and on, I realized that a possible Arch Demon was lying around and probably have weakness to light magic. Well, either an Arch Demon or an object that you’ve told us, Sir Rodan.
Pardon me to ask, but did you know something about this? Your hands are shaking, sir...”
Rodan realized his trembling self and let go of the baron.
“Shite... It reminded me of something...
You should’ve told me sooner, Johnny!”
“My apologies, sir, I didn’t have enough time back then to share our knowledge with you,” the baron bowed down politely.
“Roro... c-c-could it possibly be...?”
Rodan flinched at Nono instantly, “Yeah...! The only one sensitive to light...!”
“Guard the garden, Sir John! Tell your men to steer clear of the safe house. Don’t let any of your knights near that building no matter what. Until I return, don’t get near the house, do you understand?!” Rodan commanded with a rapid voice.
Baron John Falconet was perplexed by his words, but he is not going to question his orders. “U-Understood, Sir Rodan,”
“Very well, then. Nono!” Rodan called his disciple. “To the safe house!”
The two rushed all the way back to the safe house in the middle of the garden. Sir John who saw their backs as they left him made him thought of something.
“Could it be... there’s a demon in that house...?
Heh, how presumptuous of me to think that Sir Rodan possesses a demon in his side? Impossible, it’s very impossible. He is not the type to risk his life to make a demon as his pet.”
The night was already gloomy, and it was much scarier as mist gathered around the garden, creating poor visibility in which the darkness of the night had made already. As Rodan and Nono got close to the building, their worst fear happened.
The house was all dark, either the exterior or the interior. No lights or torches were lit. The night time and the gathering mist around the house made it looked invisible in the clad of darkness. It got visible to Rodan and Nono’s eyes once they got quite close enough, whereas it should’ve been noticeable from a far distance.
“Shite, how come I didn’t come to think of it?” Rodan cursed himself. “From the moment I’ve met Ruru up until now... I’ve yet to know from what race she is from. I could only guess.
No, no, she’s not. She’s immune to sunlight. She didn’t even drink blood. Vampires couldn’t spread their influence as great as an Arch Demon.
Despite her appearance that’s so vampire-like, but it was already clear that she’s not one. But it’s strange that she’s sensitive to weak source of lights such as lamps, torches, and light magic.
Ruru is not a human. Anyone can tell that. Even her powers are superhuman-like.
Judging by her traits visually, I could only think that she might be a demi human, lycanthrope, or perhaps a demon. That’s why I don’t want anyone to know about her yet until I know her origins crystal clear.
If Ruru is in fact from the demon race, then what kind of demon that’s sensitive or perhaps weak to light but not sunlight?
If she’s a demon, then that could explain WHY monsters were flocking to us.
Gah, too much to think of. Right now, I must focus on securing Ringo’s house. Her guild members and ultimately, Ringo herself are in danger. I’ve literally put her in the center of this chaos! I must rescue her!”
For a moment, Rodan thought of the white girl.
When they arrived, Rodan and Nono forced open the front door and found the entire house was as dark as the outside.
Rodan used his magic to illuminate his surroundings. In front of his chest emerges a ball of crimson light that emanated warm red light that was enough to reveal what’s hidden in the dark. His magic was known as the Red Radiance.
“Nono, find Ringo’s guild members on this floor. I’ll go upstairs,” said Rodan giving his command in a low voice.
“Gotcha, I will start looking now.”
Nono used his own magic to light his surroundings as he went to the door beside the middle staircase. Unlike Rodan, Nono’s magic needed to be pointed around like modern-day flashlight.
But just a few seconds into going, he got his soles pierced by glass shards. When he lit below his foot, he saw hundreds of reflections on the floor.
“These shards...” Nono rolled his eyes upwards and pointed his light to the wall and noticed three lamps had been scattered, all broken. The shards on the floor were from those lamps.
Nono became much cautious and decided to watch his step before going further into any room.
Meanwhile, Rodan who rushed upstairs also noticed many shards on the floor and carpets. He sprinted across the hallway without stepping a single one of them. Rodan took a glance to the left and saw the door heading to the roof was still wide open.
“Did she just get downstairs...?” Rodan wondered. He didn’t waste any second and quickly activated his magic sensing. In his perspective, he saw the door was showing stain-like marks on its surface.
“That door was still warm with her Mana remains...” When Rodan looked down, he noticed the same heat of magic was still there. He realized the stains formed a trail and headed towards Ringo’s bedroom.
“This is Mana residue... this type of residue can only come from light magic. Can it be that she already finds this house dark when she got down? She used her light magic to go towards the bedroom...! She must be still in her room.”
On the first floor, Nono got into the quarters of some guild members. Just before he opened the door, he found the floor was stained in slightly condensed red liquid. Not only that, he smelled a disgusting odor that seemingly crept from the crevice beneath the door. He nearly puked, but he managed to hold himself together and grabbed the doorknob.
“This... this is bad. I’ve bad feelings about this...”
When he got into the room, just like before, the entire room was dark and many glass shards are on the floor. Nono walked inside while keeping his nose shut. The stench made him want to hurl.
But what he found was rather... unexpected.
He heard heavy snorts from the bunk beds. When he lit to those, he found some guild members were deep in their sleep. Some looked extremely tired.
“Phew... How glad I am. I thought they were dead. But still, where’s this bad smell coming from? And what’s with those blood-like stains?”
Nono searched around to all corners of the room with his magical light. Accidentally, he tripped over something and fell down. Despite the hard crash, nobody woke up. Nono quickly got back up and checked himself.
There, he noticed his lower clothes were dyed in red and some upper parts of his gi were stained as if in blood. He realized he tripped over a bucket full of red paint.
“Ah, right... I just remember these guys were painting Ringo and Ruru. Red was the most used color for their paintings... but still... the heck’s with this smell?!”
The smell got thicker when he approached one of the bunk beds. When he checked underneath, he found a bunch of chopped durians. They were preserved with some kind of magic but their aroma still got away.
“Seriously?” Nono thought.
His concern ended rather anticlimactically.
But upstairs, Rodan’s discovery was absolutely shocking unlike Nono.
When he entered Ringo’s room, he found the door to her room was still open wide. Inside, he found more shattered glass. It was then he found out that the window was widely opened with its curtains waving wildly as the wind flew in.
“Hey, hey... You can’t be serious.”
Ringo Pumilia was crossing her garden. She had jumped down from second floor and rushed into going after Ruru. Her eyes were radiating a bit. She was currently using her own magic sensing ability.
“I can see her Mana residue lying scattered all over the place. I just need to follow where these trails will lead me and I will be able to find her.”
Ringo panted as she sprinted across. She nearly broke her ankle as she jumped from such height, making her speed not so great. Even in such state, she could still keep her pace and speed still.
“I should’ve been able to soften my landing, but I don’t know why my gravity magic didn’t activate... argh, it pains me, but I can still go. I must find her. I must not lose her!” She cared little to her own wellness when it comes to someone she took interest in was in trouble.
She stopped for a moment by the tree to gain some relieving breath. When she looked back, she noticed she was already far from her house.
“There’s no turning back now...”
Few seconds later, she was about to continue running, only to be stopped as she noticed a group of Asturian Knights chasing down a group of Woruvens. She didn’t want to be found out by them, so she stealthily used the bushes and went around while avoiding their attention.
But her attempt didn’t last long.
Right before her, a strangely deformed and huge looking monster emerged before her. When she saw its foot, it resembled verily that of the Woruvens. When she looked up, she saw the creature was indeed a Woruven.
“I... I must kill it...”
Strangely, her arms couldn’t move.
“Eh...? Why...? My hands felt so heavy...”
Her breath became incredibly unstable. Her hands became trembling. There she realized that she greatly feared what’s right in front of her: A gigantic version of the F-class monster wolf.
When she looked again, she realized what’s making her scared. The monster’s magical energy was scarily powerful. Its presence alone was already scary, now boosted with its insanely huge Mana capacity, it literally became demonic.
When she nearly fainted because of the huge creature, the giant Woruven looked away and growled. Not long afterwards, it jumped away from Ringo’s position and ran somewhere. Every step the monster made caused a slight tremor in the ground.
“What... is going on...? Where did it go...?”