Chapter 24:



Morning had arrived, and with it, a moderate wind. Moderate in both effect and volume, it was a wind of middlings, so to speak.

Never treading on one realm to surpass another. Pleasantly fresh, yet not cold, ever-present, yet not cumbersome. The perfect mediator between one stage to the next.

Sat upright against the wall, a certain Paladin inhaled said air.

How comfortable. Jaiga thought, feeling the breeze sweep through her mouth, throat and lungs with an almost spiky texture. It was far too pleasant. So much so that it invited the thought of a distinctly normal contemplation.

One of the weather.

Or, to be more specific, how the weather was changing.

How, Autumn, though still in effect, had begun to fade. And with it came a colder, more indifferent touch than custom. It was a weather that spoke of a shift in season. A reminder that all things came to an end.

That much Jaiga understood.

No matter. Weather need not be my enemy. Jaiga mused. Whether change imposed itself or not, she would wear it through as she had, time and time again.

A short while longer.

Relishing the peace, Jaiga chose to bask in the orange light of morning. Her eyes still closed, she only saw conjurations of her mind.

Thou shalt walk through the valley of dissent.

The time amounted to thirty seconds before she stopped.

Satisfied, the Paladin lifted her eyelids. Her vision adjusted to the environment swiftly, with only a second of a blurriness.

Dawn has arrived.

The Paladin looked around at the surroundings. Her mind was perfectly clear now. Before long, she realised that nothing had changed from the night prior.

That, the students, once fast asleep, were in the same positions as before. Jaiga supposed this meant they were safe. That their bodies, fragile as they were, remained untouched by monsters or other forms of molestation.

Careful as not to wake the others, Jaiga stood. The plates in her armour scrapped against each other. Her hazel eyes looked about, weary for any sign of motion. No students budged, however.

Exhaustion, stress, discomfort, and other variables rendered the students capable of little but a deep rest. That, and the ones easily stirred, were woken up long before.

Charlotte was of the former category. Still sat against the wall, Jaiga's blanket tucked to neck height. There was even a string of drool from her lower right lip. And while Jaiga would normally chastise one for such improper etiquette, she didn't in this case.

Not all were deserving of punishment—much less those of such kindness and dignity. Thinking over what to do, Jaiga considered if she should just leave Charlotte there.

A moment later, and she concluded that it was fine. Mages and vampires, while difficult, were of a more reclusive category. So unless the latter was prompted by bloodlust, things were set for a peaceful road ahead.

A warm whisper came from her mouth, as if offering prayer.

Motivated by a new day ahead, the Paladin walked. Heading down a long corridor barricaded by students on both sides. Her gait took her to a double door, and with a push, it opened.

She found herself in a large cafeteria tended by androids and golems.


Unfamiliar with their presence at such early hours, Jaiga looked closer.

She found that they were setting up what seemed to be signs. Pieces of cloth inscribed with blackened text, pointing towards the entrance to outside.

A few students appeared too, but Jaiga had no opinion of the matter.

Noting the strange decor, the Paladin moved forward. Jaiga was curious and prepared to ask a question. Her query was to be directed towards the android at the entrance—an elvish woman and one of Rainee’s servants. Decorated in a dress as dark as midnight and decorated with frills as old and foreign as the elf herself.

"Good morning Meliya," Jaiga said in Elvish, her tone marked by politeness.

The elf turned around, a roll of tape in her left hand. She had a pretty face, a mole on her left cheek, and a black choker around her slim neck. Her clothing, though, was surprisingly modest. No lewd reveal of thigh skin, breast window, or otherwise provocatively similar things existed.

Jaiga assumed it weird for a degenerate like Rainee to make her as such. Rumour had it; he was a lustful pervert. Occupied with only thoughts of degeneracy even until the death of his master.

Strange that he would determine such apparel if that was the case.

The Paladin relegated that question to further notice. Instead, she waited for an answer, standing with her hand on chin.

Meliya glowered. "Good morning."

I shall make this quick then.

Jaiga pointed to the sign. "What is this you're setting up for?"

"Rainee's delusions."

The Paladin prepared to say something but was cut off halfway.

"Budget adventure's guild."

"Budget adventurer's guild?" Jaiga repeated in confusion.

The elf rolled her eyes, looked to the ceiling, and spoke again. "See for yourself." Then lazily raising her finger to the outside, mumbled, "There".

Jaiga repositioned herself slightly. She peered through the cafeteria's door and saw what was outside. In full view was a grand building of three floors high, made in the style of antiquated buildings of yore. Based on assumption, Jaiga assumed it to be an 'Adventurer's Guild Building'.

Details of their existence were well documented throughout history. Having been prominent during and prior to the Demon Age.

They were known as buildings meant to incentivize community and regulation for missions, Jaiga recalled.

Buildings of a time long past. A time of heroes and adventurers. Times when the individual was still able to carve their destiny. Leaving their fate in not the hands of circumstance and authority but themselves.

The thought of it was strange, leaving Jaiga's face darkened with longing.

Times when the Jangsgrude did yet strive.

The stillness of Jaiga's body gave way to concern. Imposed more so through an unmoving metal hunk of armour.

Times when the apostates were aplenty. Times when I may yet rejoice, knowing there existed a never-ending slew of degenerates to slaughter.

Meliya, who held a raised brow, uttered a quick "You good?"

"Very,” the Paladin replied, her voice both clearer and warmer than a puddle on a summer day. Unable to hold herself no longer, Jaiga deigned to press onward.

Responding with a quick nod and a ‘thank you’, the Paladin proceeded. Departing from the cafeteria, Jaiga set her destination on the border of the forest. Her heavy steps strode across the wet earth, imprinting themselves onto the ground.

Steward McOy
Patreon iconPatreon iconMyAnimeList iconMyAnimeList icon