Chapter 45:

Chapter 45: Go back.

The Master and The Slave

Folmon push his foot harder on Nesto neck, he can feel his throat breaking apart under pressure, he places both hands around his ankle and tries to lower the pressure that's the elf is putting on his neck. The black mist begins to sting Nesto's hands, but he kept on holding on to Folmon's ankle.

It was a battle of endurance, Nesto couldn't fight the elf or Neya would get hurt, but he needs to buy time for himself, so he could find a way to escape with his master.

"You know, I think I change my mind, I do blame you for killing my brother," Folmon said as he took a dagger out from his belt.

"Folmon, behave. We can still use him," The queen said as she enters the room while the bottom of her gown drags a few stone dust on the floor.

"Yes, my queen," Folmon said as his attitude change from manic to calm and well-mannered.

Neya's sight went to her mother, elegantly enter the room with ease and unfazed by the fighting earlier. The way Lucilla enters the room, she emits a sense of calm and un-threatened by the danger that Nesto could have direct to her. It's like she almost has a hidden thing that can give her an advantage over anyone.

She stops and set her gaze through the hole at the mountain range that is visible under the moonlight.

"The answer to your questions is already given to you if you pay more attention to your birthplace, but since you're a spoiled, and ignorant child. You choose to abandon your home the moment you were cast out. You didn't come back when you had the chance, because you were too afraid."

"So I'm not going to indulge you with the answers you seek," Lucilla said as her voice remains calm, but to Neya's ears, her mother sounds like she is mocking her.

Every word like a jab to her soul, "Let Nesto go, it's me you want, just let him go."

"No, Neya. I won't leave you," Nesto said through his clench teeth.

"Only if you be a good girl and follow what I say," Lucilla said.

"I will, whatever you want," Neya said.

"Magister, unlock her cuff and proceed with the test," Lucilla said.

The Magister follows the queen order without trouble; he unlocks the cuff around Neya's wrist. The cuffs and the chain fall to the floor cause a rattling noise to echo in the room.

"My queen, please choose a target," The Magister said.

"That mountain next to the path that's lead to Targia," Queen Lucilla said.

"Yes, my queen," The Magisters said, and he aims the cube toward the mountain that she picks.

"Now, girl, place your hand in the slot," The Magister said as he shoves Neya toward the cube.

Neya swallows the saliva in her throat and slowly bring her hand toward the slot on top of the cube. Her breath begins to shorten and fasten. There is a doubt in her mind that the cube might hurt her or even worse, kill her, but she has to do it, or Nesto will get hurt in her place.

"No, Neya. Don't do it!" Nesto grunt.

Folmon use his other feet to kick Nesto on the side of his waist, he let out a groan as the pain travels through his body. Neya stop her hands after she sees her butler get hurt, she looks at her mother.

"You promise," Neya said.

"Folmon," Lucilla warn.

"Forgive me, My Queen." Folmon bows his head in shame.

Neya toughens her resolve and slides her hand into the slot. The slot closes itself and traps Neya's hand in it. A small prick can be felt on her finger inside the slot, Neya wince as she felt a small trickle of blood escape her skin. The cube vibrates, and the gears start to rotate again while the marble in the cube begins to glow a golden light.

Neya waits, and the cube shot a stream of bright golden light toward the mountain that the Magister picks as a target. The Magister was amazed by the beautiful light, Folmon loosens her feet as his focus was grabbed by the light, Lucilla watch, and wait for the result.

Neya closes both of her eyes while waiting for something horrible to happen while Nesto worried gaze went to his master.

They all expect something to happen, but in truth it did nothing.

The stream of golden light stops as suddenly as it begins and the cube immediately falls apart and turn to dust after the light was gone. The mountain remains there and undisturbed just like before.

The weapons they expect was nothing more than a glorified lantern.

"I don't know, this thing was supposed to be a weapon," The Magister said.

There is a snippet of disappointment on Lucilla face, but it immediately went away as she walks out of the room. Folmon was confused by what happens.

"My queen, how about the human and your daughter?" Folmon ask.

"Do what you must," Lucilla said as she walks toward the door.

"My queen, I'm sorry, I have failed you." The Magister drop to his knee while facing the queen.

"Magister, prepare the people for war," Queen Lucilla walk out of the room while she said in a grave manner.

After the queen gone out of the room, the Magister follows her from behind and the other three in the room. Neya saw her mother left the room, then turn to the caster with a dagger aim at Nesto throat. She turns to the door and shout.

"You promise!?" Neya called out, but there were no answers.

"Goodbye, Silver flame!" Folmon said as he raises the dagger for a downward thrust.

"Nesto!!" She runs toward Nesto.

Suddenly a small adorable head popped out from Nesto's front pocket, it wiggles out from the pocket and flew in front of Folmon's eyes. The small fairy glows a bright blue light that overwhelms the entire room. Folmon was temporarily blind by the light and Nesto could feel his footing loosen.

He pushes the elf leg off his throat causing the caster to fall on his back while Nesto rolls out underneath him. Neya blocks the light from her eyes with her arms, her butler grabs the saber and dash toward her.

He sheathes the saber on his back and lifts his master into his arms. He saw the knights enter the room with weapons ready, Nesto grimaces as the knights block their escape route. The Fairy stopped her light and Nesto saw the large hole in the wall that he made earlier while fighting Folmon.

Folmon scream as his eyes is unable to see anything after the light was gone.

Nesto dash toward the edge with Neya in his arms. He looks down the edge, and there was nothing that can soften their landing. Nesto glances back and saw the knights approaching them; Neya looks at her butler distress face.

Nesto looks down at his master face with a smile, "Do you have faith in me?"

"Always," Neya said as she wraps both arms around his neck and brings her face closer to his chest.

Nesto jumps off the edge, his back facing the fall.


Time slows down for Neya as she hears a multiplies explosion behind Nesto. Her gaze went to her butler's face as he shows the excruciating pain off having multiple explosion set off behind his back. The blast from the explosion manages to slow down their fall; Neya hugs Nesto closely, wishing that some of the pain that he felt was shared with her.

Time turns to normal when Nesto back touches the ground, Neya quickly gets off Nesto and help him get up. When she saw what happen to his back, her heart drop, the explosion had left a terrible mark on his back.

The muscle underneath was visible, blood drip down to his leg, his skin was blackened and burned. Neya strengthens her heart and helps Nesto get out from there, but when they were about to walk away, a single knight manages to found them.

Nesto was unable to fight due to his injury, Neya looks around her, but there was nothing that can help them.

The knight unsheathes his sword and rushes toward them with an intent of killing them both, but an arrow pierces through elf helmet. The knight then falls face first on the ground. She turns her head to the source of the arrow and saw Vel on top of the wall with a bow in his hand.

"Here. Hurry." Vel said as he drops a vine rope down the wall.

Neya rushes to the rope with Nesto leaning on her. She then helps Nesto get up the wall along with herself. She and Nesto went into the dark forest while the human boy in front of her guide them both.

She could see the fortress behind her getting further and further away from her.


The journey back to the camp was longer than they were expected due to Nesto constants need of rest, but Neya didn't feel distressed by the time it took them to get back home. Instead, she wanted her butler to take a rest even more, despite Nesto stubbornness to keep going.

It was late evening when the three of them stop for the night.

"Last. Arrive Late afternoon tomorrow. Me. Gather food. Tonight." Vel said before he heads into the forest leaving Neya and Nesto alone with the campfire.

Neya fell to her knees behind her butler and face her butler back. He leans forward while taking off his torn clothes, and wince at the pain. She unwraps the bandage around her butler's chest to check on his wound. Every single time she looks at the horrible wounds on his back, she can't help herself but feel guilty at what happens.

"Stop it, Neya," Nesto said.

"What?" She said surprised.

"It's not your fault, so don't beat yourself too hard," Nesto jests in somewhat painful manner.

Neya let out a gloomy laugh, "You know me too well, but what you say goes both ways."

She takes out leather water bag and a clean cloth from the leather bag beside her. Neya pours the water on his butler back to clean off the old remedies and wipe the residue off with a clean cloth.

"Ouch, ouch, ouch," Nesto let out as the water run down his back.

With his back clean, she could see the five crystals embedded to his back and what looks like a small crack on one of them.

"Miss Neya?" Nesto call.

"Hmm? Ahh, nothing, I think I saw a small crack on the crystal," Neya said.

"It's probably nothing," Nesto said.

"Are you sure?" Neya ask.

"I'm sure, it's nothing," Nesto said.

She ignores the crack and took out a newly made remedies wrapped in leaves that Vel made from the leather bag. She opens it and scoops up the medicine with her hands then rub it on her butler wound.

Nesto let out a groan of pain "I hate this, I hate being useless. I should be the one who takes care of you, not the other way around."

"Now you feel what I usually feel," Neya said as she cleans her hand off with water.

She then took out another clean bandage from the bag and wrap it around his body. Neya makes sure the bandage is warp snugly and tight around her butler's chest. After the bandage is wrapped around his body, Nesto wears his torn shirt and jacket back.

Vel came back with berry and dead rabbit that he hunts in the forest. The boy prepares the foods with the help of Neya. Nesto wanted to help but was decline heavily by his own master. So he just watches as the two kids prepare his meal for him.

After the food is cooked and eaten by the three of them. Nesto went ahead and sleep first as the pain is soothed after the remedies took effect on his wounds.

Neya pulls back a lock of her hair back behind her ear while she looks at the fire with her cheeks rosy up. "I forgot to thank you for helping me escape."

Vel looks away as he saw the beautiful elf girl cutely pull the lock of her hair back into place, "No. Trouble."

"You know, I hate seeing people get into danger because of me," Neya said.

Vel clears his throat and said clearly for the first time, "Many people cared about you, that's why they're willing to get in front of the danger to protect you."

"Doesn't that mean you cared about me?" Neya asks as she bites her lower lips.

"Yes," Vel said still looking away as he scratched the back of his neck.

Neya let out a happy and joyous smile as her cheeks redden even more "You are getting good at talking in common tongue."

"Learn. From you and others." Vel said.

Nesto with his eyes close, but still can hear clearly was awkwardly trying to sleep with what he just heard. There is a sense of joy that knowing Neya is growing up, but a sense of fatherly anger when he knows that she likes the boy.

Somewhere deep inside Nesto mind, something just embedded in his soul.

If he wants his blessing, he will need to beat him in combat first. Nesto ain't going to let her go easily, that's for sure.