Chapter 15:


The Guardian

Eric looked around the room for a way to distract Alice's attention while he would open the exit but because the room was so empty, nothing come to his mind.

To go out from that place Eric needed to touch the pedestal and activate the magic power from his tattoos but since Alice was here, he couldn't use magic in front of her and there was no way that she wouldn't notice it if he did it secretly.

While he was still pondering about what to do, Alice got confused by his sudden silence.

"Eric? Is there something wrong? Let's get out of here!"

"Ah, y-yah!"

Eric gave Alice a wry smile and walked to the pedestal.

("Now what?")

("Do you need my help, Master?")


While Eric was at a loss about what to do, a sudden voice echoed in his head. He looked around but the only ones here were Alice and him.

"Did you hear that?"

"Hear what?"

Eric wanted to confirm if Alice heard that voice too but she just showed a confused face.


("Did I start to go insane?")

("Master, your sanity is currently at a normal level.")

When he thought that he started to become crazy, the voice talked to him again and now he knew that he didn't hear it wrong.

("Hm...? Who are you? Why I'm the only one who can hear you?")

("I can respond to all my Master's questions but that will take time and I think Master needs my help right now.")

Eric wanted to know who was talking with him but for now, he needed to go out of that place without raising any suspicions.

("Do you know how we can get out of here without Alice seeing me using magic?")

("Yes, close your eyes, Master!")

("Why would I...")

Before Eric could end what he wanted to say, two magic circles appeared under his and Alice's feets. The magic circle started to shine brightly and the light blinded Eric for several seconds. He felt how his body floated a little and in the moment when his view come back, he was already outside in the forest.

"What happened?"

Confused, Eric looked around and asked Alice if she knew something but she answered with a serious expression.

"We were transported outside... this wasn't the way you come out last time?"

"No, last time some stairs came out of the wall while the ceiling opened..."

Eric said the truth here and he also was astonished by what happened. Alice didn't say anything anymore and started to think about something.

"Then can you open the entrance again?"

Eric looked around at the forest that come back to normal without any traces of last night's fighting then scratched his hair and gave a wry smile.

"I could do it but... I don't really know where it is. Last night I was lucky that I tripped over a root or some random occurrence opened the door but now, all looks the same and I'm not sure where it was even more now that we were transported outside..."

("Master, I can show you where is...")

("Shut up! No one asked you!")


Alice stayed quiet for a while then made up her mind. She summoned a sword and cut deep a 'X' on a tree then looked at Eric with her usual face.

"Is alright, we will come to investigate later, now let's go back to your house. I'm worried about the situation over here."

Eric nodded and both of them returned to his home.

* * *

When they come back, there was no trace of battles but Iris and Ari were outside doing something to the barrier, probably repairs. When they saw Alice, they left all they were doing and jumped to hug her.

After a long time of attempts to release herself from their embrace, Alice asked Iris and Ari about what happened on their end, and with a brief explanation, we understood all that happened last night quickly.

Apparently, after Alice left and Yuki contacted them, they came here immediately and while Yuki explained the situation, the barrier got suddenly attacked. They concentrated on maintaining the barrier while waiting for reinforcements from the camp but soon Kratos's subordinates left without any reason. Iris and Ari thought that this was a trap and didn't pursue them.

After some time, the reinforcements from the camp came and they started searching for Alice and Eric but they couldn't find them anywhere. They did indeed find the place where Alice fought but since she wasn't anywhere between the corpses they thought that she was captured and after a night of searching they finally give up.

Now they wanted to strengthen the barrier and form a meeting to discuss what they were going to do but since Alice and Eric came back, they didn't need to search for them anymore.

After this, they took Yuki and we came to the camp to explain what happened to Irra too. There, Alice also explained about what happened with us and that we found a clue about the location of the Guardian's Crystals.

"A secret underground hideout heh?"

"Yes! Although we don't know the exact location, we have a general idea of where it should be."

Irra understood the gravity of this matter and took a quick decision.

"Hmm, I understand, both of you rest well today and tomorrow we will go out to search for that place."

With this, the discussion ended when it was almost night and Eric finally got back into his room after two days.

He threw his tired body on the bed and while he had his face burned in the pillow he said something that just he could understand.

"A thmm$#@ em&%$."

("Master, you know that I can't understand if you're not using proper words.")

The same maid-like voice that he heard all the day answered his indecipherable mumbling and Eric raised his head from the pillow annoyed.

"I said you owe me some explications! Also, don't pretend that you don't understand when you continued responding when I was talking to myself every time today!"

As he said, since morning he heard things like "Why is Master like a side character from a story?" when he didn't talk and Alice explained the situation alone. When he was lying about some parts of his story in front of Irra the voice ironically told him "Master is so good at lying that if I didn't know the truth I would be fooled too!".

Eric found her words rather annoying but since he couldn't find anything to say back, he just explained the situation to the voice clearly.

But since he answered questions all day it was the time to receive his answer too. He was waiting for the voice's answer but regretted it soon enough.

("Master, humans need to communicate like humans and animals like animals. If Master wants to communicate like an animal that doesn't mean that I need to lower myself too and answer Master's questions.")

Eric felt how a vein almost exploded on his forehead but he tried to keep his calm and respond normally.

"Alright, alright, my bad, now, can you answer some questions?"

("Yes Master, ask anything you want!")

Eric could feel a little happiness in the voice when she answered and that annoyed him very much again but he didn't let it bother him and asked his first question.

"Ok, then who are you?"

("I think Master already guessed who I am so why do you still ask? Or if you really didn't guess after so much time then put me back and let me sleep until the next generation.")

Eric lifted his both hands and looked at the rhombus tattoos, from the middle of his palms, which started to glow slightly.

"What's your name?"

("Master, my name is Krystal, the artifact created by the first Guardian, I am pleased to meet you in this generation too!")