Don't Worry, We Have the Best Supporter in Our Team
“What is this?” she muttered as she tried to look behind her.
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.
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.
With limited strength, she dragged herself towards the ledge of the building. She took a deep breath and let the gravity took her over.
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.
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.
“I need to get back to Aiden.” She muttered to herself.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
“I have to end this quickly before he activates whatever he had in his sleeves.”
With that, she whispered to herself, “Archer skill: Air barrage.”
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.
Hearing the arrows heading towards them, Aiden leapt away from Jayce and sprinted for cover.
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.
“With the contract that binds us together, I call upon your shadow to rend our enemies to sunder!”
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.
“Now. Shall we resume our bout?” he asked his opponent who was taking cover in one of the buildings.
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.
“Yeah. Let’s end this,” agreed Aiden, replenishing his blade gauntlet with another vial of poison.
“Assassin skill: Shadow Strike!”
“Thief skill: Elusive Strike!”
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.
A signal rang throughout the training room, signalling the end of their session with both Alice and Irene remained conscious.
“That was a close one,” said the boy who dropped to his rear end on the floor, gasping for air after today’s training.
“Close? Even with my support, you still got your butt kicked by Jayce.” Irene handed a potion to him and a towel.
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.
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.
“Alice, did you know anything about his last spell?”
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.”
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.
The problem was that the documents were incomplete, leaving adventurers nothing but a myth.
“Not only that, he even combined his swords into a bow.” She continued,
“Yeah…” Alice’s eyes became lifeless for a moment, remembering the close-death from their time in grimoire’s world.
“Are you alright, Alice? You look pale of all the sudden. Did Jayce threaten you or something?”
“Ah. No. I’m fine. Anyway, it takes quite a while from him to recover.”
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.
“Alice, you can be really frightening sometimes,” joked Irene as she drank the tea she had prepared for them.
“You mean the magic arrow I fired behind you?”
“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.”
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.
Maybe he might know something about this.
“So how’s your condition, Aiden?” she turned her gaze to him, who was testing his blade gauntlets.
“He will be fine. Aiden recovers quicker than any normal adventurer would be. We shouldn’t concern ourselves with him,” said Irene nonchalantly.
“That’s because you kept using me as a test subject for your custom bows and arrows!”
“What are you saying? My arrows can’t kill you when you have the magic gloves’ safety mechanism.”
Without Alice knowing, she gave a smirk toward Aiden.
Aiden could hear the slight movement of her mouth, it sent a shiver down his spine.
“Aiden, you look pale. Maybe you two should get back to your apartment to rest. I will be nursing Jayce.”
“Okay. We’ll see you in class tomorrow.”
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.
“His temperature seemed to be fine.” She nodded to herself then glanced around.
Come to think of it. This is my first time entering his room.
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.
“Ughh…” He rubbed his eyes as he rises, but then he felt the strains throughout his body and fell to the bed.
“Don’t force yourself.”
She placed a hand on his shoulder and another on his back to steady his fall.
“Looks like our roles are now reverse.”
“I don’t think this is the time to joke about it. You just experience mana deficiency.”
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.
But that contradicted from the way he held himself against Aiden and Irene.
Then where else did he get his mana from?
“There’s nothing to apologize. It’s just training, Alice. We all make mistakes.”
“But… I didn’t manage to support you when you were in a pinch,” she retorted, averting her eyes away from his gaze.
“I’m guessing you were unable to cast spells after the last one. What kind of spell did you use?”
With his reminder, she told everything she had experienced during their training.
“Interesting. Are you still able to create that weapon again?”
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.
“I believe you.”
“I said I believe you. I know you’re not the kind of person to lie this sort of thing.”
“What makes you say that?” she looked at him in askance.
“We both knew each other’s passive skills. You’re not fond of lies whereas mine was reflex.”
“But what if I lie to you?”
This time, she asked a question that she might regret asking. But to her surprise…
“You won’t,” he placed a hand on her head.
Under the moonlight, he gave a smile to her to determine his answer.
“After seeing your actions in the past few days, I doubt you will do so.”
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.
“Oh. Your dinner.” She went out of the room and came back with a dish in hand and placed it on his tableside.
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.
“…Alice, what kind of ingredients did you put inside?”
“Carrots, bear meat, salt, sugar, vinegar…”
And the list goes on.
“What’s wrong?” she asked, genuinely innocent.
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.
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.
Jayce reminded Alice to calm down during class until Nora arrived at their classroom for a magic lesson.
She checked on Jayce’s condition.
He sighed and explained the situation to her.
“I see. Alice, you must have made quite an impact on him.” she smiled.
Jayce glared at her.
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…
“I’m afraid I don’t.”
Her shoulders drooped at the thought of their yesterday’s training session.
Just the sight of her reaction was enough to make her feel guilty. She put that aside and began their lesson.
“Anyway… we will be resuming our studies on magic circles.”
When the lesson ended, Irene and Aiden left the class to their own device. Jayce then asked Irene favour.
“Nora. Would you be interested to hear Alice’s new magic circles?”
Hearing that was enough to make Nora’s eyes became brighter.
“What kind of magic?”
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.
“I don’t sense any new spells from her.”
You can sense them? thought Alice.
“Hear her out, Nora. Not examining her body,” sighed Jayce.
“I know. I just want to see your reaction. Alice’s reactions are better than yours. Right, Alice?”
Nora walked back to her front and continued.
“Anyway, let’s see what you have. Can you extend your hand toward me?”
“Sure.” She held her hand out as instructed.
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.
“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.
“Any idea what might cause this phenomenon?” asked Jayce, who was getting himself ready to leave the class.
“I’m afraid not.”
“I see. Thanks for your help.”
“Thank you, Nora”
They thanked Nora for her assistance.
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.
“Do you have those books?”
“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.”
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.
“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.
“You guys can see through this room, too?”
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.
“How did you find this room?”
“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.
Did they enter here just by being lost? Wait, isn’t this situation similar to Alice’s?
He looked back at Alice, who responded to him with a shrug.
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.
“Yes!” shouted Irene as she stood up immediately and dropped the book she was reading.
Before the book dropped to the floor, Aiden smoothly grabbed it and placed it on the table. He, too, accepted his offer without hesitation.
“As the guild’s master, I welcome you to the guild: The Liberators.”
Alice gave a warm welcome to Aiden and Irene as well.
“Before we celebrate, I will need to grab certain books in this room?”
They accepted his request happily, but soon their expression became grim after what Jayce had done.
“All right. I was looking for a few books regarding Hieroglyphs.”
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.
They were left speechless by the sight of it.
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.
“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.
Before Irene could finish her sentence, Alice began more excited at the number of books available to read.
Her thirst for knowledge skyrocketed, after knowing the existence of this magic library, but…
“Jayce, you knew dimension magic?” asked Alice.
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.
With her question, he grabbed a few books from the magic library and pass it to her.
“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.”
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.
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.
I wonder what will happen from this point on, thought Jayce.