Chapter 20:

Chapter 5.3, Training Facility Part 2

Don't Worry, We Have the Best Supporter in Our Team

“What is this?” she muttered as she tried to look behind her. Bookmark here

Her body felt heavy as if she was made of lead. When she finally saw the cause of her problems, her face turned pale. Part of her felt like there was something alive from the arrow behind her. She couldn’t tell what it was but all she knew was she shouldn’t stay here for long. Bookmark here

The magic arrow’s effect could only be cancelled by the caster’s will or destroy it. She was in no state to take the offensive and that leads to one option. Bookmark here

With limited strength, she dragged herself towards the ledge of the building. She took a deep breath and let the gravity took her over. Bookmark here

As she fell, she waited for the effects to wear off from her, and when it did, she withdrew a small weapon out from her magic gloves. With one fluid motion, she fired an arrow towards another building across Alice. There was a rope attached to the arrow and she later used her momentum to get herself into the next building. Bookmark here

She rolled a few metres when she landed on the floorings. Once she got herself up, she relocated herself to a safe location, away from Alice’s field of vision. Bookmark here

“I need to get back to Aiden.” She muttered to herself. Bookmark here

Looking back at the mini crossbow she had wielded, she decided to keep it holstered to her side waist. “Guess I have to use my armour-piercing arrows.” Bookmark here

She switched out her usual silver bow to mithril bow, including her normal arrows with piercing arrows. Her emerald eyes searched her surroundings for anything suspicious until she regained visual of her target.Bookmark here

Jayce and Aiden seemed to be on equal footing. She was surprised by Jayce’s weapon, turning two swords into a bow and returned fire to her arrows with his magic arrows. Bookmark here

From there, she relocated herself to every possible blind spot Jayce might have. Even though Jayce deflected her arrows with his bow, he was unable to defend himself from Aiden’s blades. Bookmark here

She had some suspicion that Jayce purposely allows some of her arrows to hit him. She knew doing so would give him the disadvantage with the Aiden’s poison effect remained active on his mana shield. Bookmark here

“I have to end this quickly before he activates whatever he had in his sleeves.” Bookmark here

With that, she whispered to herself, “Archer skill: Air barrage.” Bookmark here

She began firing four arrows for every shot she had made up high in the air at a certain angle. The arrows let gravity took over and gradually speed up until they reached terminal velocity as they descended.Bookmark here

Hearing the arrows heading towards them, Aiden leapt away from Jayce and sprinted for cover. Bookmark here

From Aiden’s action, Jayce could guess what that indicates to. He turned around and looked above. He had five seconds to make a choice. He took a deep breath and held out his bow. Bookmark here

“With the contract that binds us together, I call upon your shadow to rend our enemies to sunder!”Bookmark here

A dark silhouette raised from his shadow. With a snapped of his fingers, the shadow stretched in front of him, deflecting the incoming arrows. Once it finished its duty, it returned to his shadow. Bookmark here

“Now. Shall we resume our bout?” he asked his opponent who was taking cover in one of the buildings. Bookmark here

When he was in protection of his shadow, he took the opportunity to drink an antidote that was taken out from his magic gloves, removing the Aiden’s poison effects. He didn’t have much mana left in him, his swords getting heavier every second.Bookmark here

“Yeah. Let’s end this,” agreed Aiden, replenishing his blade gauntlet with another vial of poison. Bookmark here

“Assassin skill: Shadow Strike!”Bookmark here

“Thief skill: Elusive Strike!”Bookmark here

Their final move rendered each other unconscious. Aiden was too quick for Jayce’s eyes to perceive, however, his passive skill kicks in the last second to return a blow to him in the chest. Bookmark here

A signal rang throughout the training room, signalling the end of their session with both Alice and Irene remained conscious.Bookmark here

                                                           ____________________Bookmark here

“That was a close one,” said the boy who dropped to his rear end on the floor, gasping for air after today’s training.Bookmark here

“Close? Even with my support, you still got your butt kicked by Jayce.” Irene handed a potion to him and a towel.Bookmark here

They were at Alice’s apartment. Aiden recovered shortly after the training session. As for Jayce, he was currently resting in his room thanks to Aiden’s help to carry him back. Bookmark here

Alice lost track of Irene after she fired her compound magic arrow. But Irene was still surprised her Air Barrage was unable to land a hit on him. Bookmark here

“Alice, did you know anything about his last spell?”Bookmark here

She titled her head quizzically at her question then realized who she was referring to. “No. That was the first time I’ve seen a shadow spell.”Bookmark here

Shadow spells were sub-classes of gravity spells, under the same concept of wielding gravity, these spells allowed casters to control their shadows. But the existence of shadow spells was only known through research documents. Bookmark here

The problem was that the documents were incomplete, leaving adventurers nothing but a myth.Bookmark here

“Not only that, he even combined his swords into a bow.” She continued, Bookmark here

“Yeah…” Alice’s eyes became lifeless for a moment, remembering the close-death from their time in grimoire’s world.Bookmark here

“Are you alright, Alice? You look pale of all the sudden. Did Jayce threaten you or something?”Bookmark here

“Ah. No. I’m fine. Anyway, it takes quite a while from him to recover.” Bookmark here

She glanced back toward Jayce’s room. She was worried about him. He defended himself against Aiden’s relentless attack and Irene’s volley of arrows. She felt guilty for not being there for him; she couldn’t cast another spell after using the long white crossbow. Bookmark here

“Alice, you can be really frightening sometimes,” joked Irene as she drank the tea she had prepared for them.Bookmark here

“You mean the magic arrow I fired behind you?”Bookmark here

“Yeah. Even with my keen eyesight, my eyes couldn’t even catch a glimpse of it. I couldn’t tell where you were when I moved to the next building.” Bookmark here

She thought to herself of whether to tell them about this spell she had used against Irene. After pondering some time, she decided to keep it aside and ask Jayce instead. Bookmark here

Maybe he might know something about this. Bookmark here

“So how’s your condition, Aiden?” she turned her gaze to him, who was testing his blade gauntlets.Bookmark here

“He will be fine. Aiden recovers quicker than any normal adventurer would be. We shouldn’t concern ourselves with him,” said Irene nonchalantly. Bookmark here

“That’s because you kept using me as a test subject for your custom bows and arrows!”Bookmark here

“What are you saying? My arrows can’t kill you when you have the magic gloves’ safety mechanism.” Bookmark here

Without Alice knowing, she gave a smirk toward Aiden.Bookmark here

Aiden could hear the slight movement of her mouth, it sent a shiver down his spine.Bookmark here

“Aiden, you look pale. Maybe you two should get back to your apartment to rest. I will be nursing Jayce.”Bookmark here

“Okay. We’ll see you in class tomorrow.”Bookmark here

After they left their accommodation, Alice went to check on Jayce. She swung the door open quietly and peered inside. Jayce sounded asleep on his bed. She went over to him and placed a hand on his forehead. Bookmark here

“His temperature seemed to be fine.” She nodded to herself then glanced around. Bookmark here

Come to think of it. This is my first time entering his room. Bookmark here

His room looked normal and it was similar to her room: one study table, one chair, one bookshelf, one side table, and one alchemy table. She brought a chair to the bedside and sat down, looking at his vulnerable state. Bookmark here

“Ughh…” He rubbed his eyes as he rises, but then he felt the strains throughout his body and fell to the bed. Bookmark here

“Don’t force yourself.” Bookmark here

She placed a hand on his shoulder and another on his back to steady his fall. Bookmark here

“Looks like our roles are now reverse.”Bookmark here

“I don’t think this is the time to joke about it. You just experience mana deficiency.”Bookmark here

In most cases, the safety mechanism of the magic gloves always had surplus mana for adventurers to avoid mana fatigue. Alice could guess that his mana capacity was lower than average. Bookmark here

But that contradicted from the way he held himself against Aiden and Irene. Bookmark here

Then where else did he get his mana from?Bookmark here

“Sorry.”Bookmark here

“There’s nothing to apologize. It’s just training, Alice. We all make mistakes.”Bookmark here

“But… I didn’t manage to support you when you were in a pinch,” she retorted, averting her eyes away from his gaze.Bookmark here

“I’m guessing you were unable to cast spells after the last one. What kind of spell did you use?”Bookmark here

With his reminder, she told everything she had experienced during their training.Bookmark here

“Interesting. Are you still able to create that weapon again?”Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

She looked back at her magic gloves. The new magic circle at her palm were no longer there and they were replaced with the old magic circle that Jayce had created. They disappeared the moment she fired her magic arrow at Irene. There was no proof to show.Bookmark here

“I believe you.”Bookmark here

“Huh?”Bookmark here

“I said I believe you. I know you’re not the kind of person to lie this sort of thing.”Bookmark here

“What makes you say that?” she looked at him in askance.Bookmark here

“We both knew each other’s passive skills. You’re not fond of lies whereas mine was reflex.”Bookmark here

“But what if I lie to you?” Bookmark here

This time, she asked a question that she might regret asking. But to her surprise…Bookmark here

“You won’t,” he placed a hand on her head. Bookmark here

Under the moonlight, he gave a smile to her to determine his answer. Bookmark here

“After seeing your actions in the past few days, I doubt you will do so.” Bookmark here

“I…” Bookmark here

She tilted her witch hat forward, her face turned scarlet red at the thought of his answer. But then a thought crossed her mind and raised her head. Bookmark here

“Oh. Your dinner.” She went out of the room and came back with a dish in hand and placed it on his tableside. Bookmark here

“?” Bookmark here

He sat upright on the bed and placed the dish on his lap. The food looked extremely suspicious as if the odour welcomed him to the underworld. Bookmark here

“…Alice, what kind of ingredients did you put inside?”Bookmark here

“Carrots, bear meat, salt, sugar, vinegar…” Bookmark here

And the list goes on.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

“What’s wrong?” she asked, genuinely innocent.Bookmark here

He was still experiencing mana deficiency, so he couldn’t move his limbs well, and that left him one choice. His eyes lost its shine the moment he gazed towards her dish. Bookmark here

                                                           ____________________Bookmark here

The next day. Everyone was present in class in perfect health. Well, all except for Jayce who was clutching on his stomach with one hand. Alice flustered the moment he made such a gesture.Bookmark here

Jayce reminded Alice to calm down during class until Nora arrived at their classroom for a magic lesson. Bookmark here

She checked on Jayce’s condition. Bookmark here

He sighed and explained the situation to her.Bookmark here

“I see. Alice, you must have made quite an impact on him.” she smiled. Bookmark here

“!” Bookmark here

Jayce glared at her. Bookmark here

He wouldn’t want her to cause any more misunderstanding on Alice, even though he knew of her passive skill. Unfortunately, Alice’s passive didn’t kick in, but instead…Bookmark here

“I’m afraid I don’t.” Bookmark here

Her shoulders drooped at the thought of their yesterday’s training session. Bookmark here

Just the sight of her reaction was enough to make her feel guilty. She put that aside and began their lesson. Bookmark here

“Anyway… we will be resuming our studies on magic circles.”Bookmark here

When the lesson ended, Irene and Aiden left the class to their own device. Jayce then asked Irene favour. Bookmark here

“Nora. Would you be interested to hear Alice’s new magic circles?” Bookmark here

“!” Bookmark here

Hearing that was enough to make Nora’s eyes became brighter. Bookmark here

“What kind of magic?” Bookmark here

She came close to her almost as if she just cast a teleportation spell and looked around her figure, searching for any new forms Jayce had pointed out. Bookmark here

“I don’t sense any new spells from her.”Bookmark here

You can sense them? thought Alice.Bookmark here

“Hear her out, Nora. Not examining her body,” sighed Jayce.Bookmark here

“I know. I just want to see your reaction. Alice’s reactions are better than yours. Right, Alice?” Bookmark here

Nora walked back to her front and continued. Bookmark here

“Anyway, let’s see what you have. Can you extend your hand toward me?”Bookmark here

“Sure.” She held her hand out as instructed.Bookmark here

Nora held her hand with both hands and began an incantation. A magic circle was formed on top of their hands, rotating as she invoked her spell. Once she finished her incantation, she had gained access to read her magic circuit. Bookmark here

“Hmm. Everything seems normal to me. I don’t see anything that indicates what you had done yesterday,” said Nora after she deactivated the spell. Bookmark here

“Any idea what might cause this phenomenon?” asked Jayce, who was getting himself ready to leave the class.Bookmark here

“I’m afraid not.”Bookmark here

“I see. Thanks for your help.”Bookmark here

“Thank you, Nora”Bookmark here

They thanked Nora for her assistance.Bookmark here

                                                           ____________________Bookmark here

At the end of the day, they headed to the guild’s room, where Jayce and Alice first met, to get a few books from the shelves to study the Hieroglyphs, given as an assignment by Nora. Bookmark here

“Do you have those books?”Bookmark here

“Yeah. It just that I never have gotten a chance to read them. I bought too many books and it was really difficult to get them from the market and dungeons.”Bookmark here

As he was about to reach for the door to their guild. The door was already opened slightly, he put up a hand to stop Alice’s movement. His didn’t sense anything bad from the room and the air coming from the room seemed to be relaxing. But still, he entered the room first.Bookmark here

“Oh, hey, Jayce. This room has almost everything you need to learn about alchemy and blacksmithing,” said the young girl who was sitting on one of the sofas while reading a book that was probably taken from one of the shelves.Bookmark here

“You guys can see through this room, too?” Bookmark here

It was unusual for these number of people, aside from Lucius and Lysette, to be able to perceive the Jayce’s guild room. But he had a feeling this gathering was no coincidence, so he had to ask. Bookmark here

“How did you find this room?”Bookmark here

“We were just wandering around the Academy and got lost. We just waited here for anyone who comes by and asks for directions to make our way back to our apartment. Strangely, we don’t see or hear anyone walking through this hallway,” answered Aiden in her stead, who was sitting on the sofa across from Irene.Bookmark here

Did they enter here just by being lost? Wait, isn’t this situation similar to Alice’s?Bookmark here

He looked back at Alice, who responded to him with a shrug. Bookmark here

He let out another sigh and offered Aiden and Irene to join his guild as they fulfilled the condition of being able to see through his illusion spell and enter the guild’s room.Bookmark here

“Yes!” shouted Irene as she stood up immediately and dropped the book she was reading. Bookmark here

Before the book dropped to the floor, Aiden smoothly grabbed it and placed it on the table. He, too, accepted his offer without hesitation. Bookmark here

“As the guild’s master, I welcome you to the guild: The Liberators.”Bookmark here

Alice gave a warm welcome to Aiden and Irene as well. Bookmark here

“Before we celebrate, I will need to grab certain books in this room?”Bookmark here

““Sure.””Bookmark here

They accepted his request happily, but soon their expression became grim after what Jayce had done.Bookmark here

“All right. I was looking for a few books regarding Hieroglyphs.” Bookmark here

He moved one of the sofas, the coffee table, then the carpet aside, only to reveal a magic circle that was drawn on the floorboard. He placed his hand onto the magic circle and infuse his mana into it, creating a pillar of light and books began to appear in the air and hovering within the magic circle’s light.Bookmark here

They were left speechless by the sight of it. Bookmark here

Books occasionally appeared and disappeared as if there were millions of books stored neatly onto a tall and possibly endless bookshelf. He then grabbed one of the books to examine it then tossed them back into the light, the book flew back into the same exact position where it had appeared.Bookmark here

“I’ve created a magic circle for storing books. Oh, feel free to borrow some of the books if you need them, and return them if you don’t need them anymore,” explained Jayce as he was searching for the books he was seeking.Bookmark here

“That’s…”Bookmark here

“Amazing!”Bookmark here

Before Irene could finish her sentence, Alice began more excited at the number of books available to read. Bookmark here

Her thirst for knowledge skyrocketed, after knowing the existence of this magic library, but…Bookmark here

“Jayce, you knew dimension magic?” asked Alice.Bookmark here

Dimension magic was considered as an advanced spell under magician class. She had to ask about this when she knew full well of Jayce’s magic circuit.Bookmark here

With her question, he grabbed a few books from the magic library and pass it to her. Bookmark here

“The answer to your questions lies in these books. A few of them was researched by veteran magicians and one of them was written by me. I would suggest reading from the official ones then my book if you want to get a better understanding.”Bookmark here

For Alice, Jayce found it hard to explain to her even without the presence of Irene and Aiden around them. She nodded to him and stored them into her magic gloves for later. Bookmark here

After getting what he was looking for, he and Aiden waited for the girls to grab a few more books regarding magic, archery and research documents regarding blacksmithing and alchemy.Bookmark here

I wonder what will happen from this point on, thought Jayce.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.