Chapter 20:

Part 19

Fragile Phantasy

As Yunya lay unconscious, she was transported back to her childhood memories. Memories of a time when she was just a little girl, looking up to her perfect older brother. He was strong, kind, and smart, everything she wished she could be. Yunya idolized her brother and longed to be just like him, to make her parents proud. In their clan the altair swordsmans, women were looked down upon, Yunya desperately wanted to prove her worth. and she longed to make her parents proud by becoming just as accomplished as her brother. But no matter how hard she tried, her parents never acknowledged her achievements. They treated her like she was nothing, even though she excelled in every test and won every duel.

As women were seen as inferior beings with no rights. They were not allowed to lead, choose their own spouse, or have any other job except to serve men. Yunya had always dreamt of breaking free from these chains, she wanted to change this twisted tradition.

But fate had other plans. One day, while attending a meeting, the clan was ambushed, and a man was captured by their enemies. The elders of the clan decided to exchange Yunya for the captive, even though she was the daughter of their leader. She was taken to a small room for exchange to become the wife of the rival clan, crying and begging for her parents to save her"Mom, Dad i'll promise i'll be a good girl, so please don't leave me alone!!"but to no avail.

Just when all hope seemed lost, "don't worry big bro is here I here I will protect you" her brother appeared and hugged her wiping her tears. He had come to rescue her, and his mere presence filled Yunya with a sense of calm. But he was caught in a trap and sacrificed his life to ensure her escape. His last words to her were, "Don't worry, I won't leave you," As she fled, the image of her brother's smiling face filled her mind, reminding her that her life had value and that someone cared for her.

After that incident, her parents chased her away, claiming she was cursed with bad luck. The clan disowned her, and Yunya found herself living in a place where no adventurers dared to venture, a frozen wasteland where she honed her ice magic. She trained relentlessly, building her strength until she was old enough to leave and become an adventurer, to fight for what she believed in and change her clan's archaic traditions.

Suddenly, Yunya woke up, feeling disoriented but determined to stand on her own two feet. She knew what she had to do, and nothing would stop her. Her brother's sacrifice had given her a reason to live, a purpose to fight for. And she would honor his memory by defying the norms of her clan and proving to the world that a woman could be just as strong, if not stronger, than any man.

As Yunya limped towards the salamander, she could feel the numbness spreading through her body. But she knew what she had to do. She had to distract the monster and give Vica a chance to escape. "I'll get the monster's attention," she said decisively. "Try to get out of here quickly."

But Vica was not so easily convinced. "Sister, don't do this," he pleaded. "There is another way."

The salamander was getting closer, ready to sink its teeth into Yunya. She readied her stance, determined to use her strongest attack. she lunged forward, her sword gleaming in the dim light of the cave. "Divine Freezing Arc!" she cried, slicing her sword in a sharp, straight line that turned into ice and approached the attacking salamander. But even as she struck, Yunya felt the numbness spreading through her limbs, the monster was too fast. It dodged her attack, She knew that she had pushed herself too far, that her body was on the verge of collapse. and Yunya closed her eyes, bracing herself for her imminent death.

Suddenly, Silva appeared and tried to block the salamander's attack with her big shield, while Vica's magic rained on the monster. But the salamander was too powerful. It broke the shield in two and came closer to swallowing Yunya and Silva whole.

The salamander's powerful jaws came closer and closer. But just as all hope seemed lost, a hole was opened at the top of the cave, and KC emerged on rollerblades, his presence causing the monster to freeze in its tracks.

The salamander recoiled from the light of day that streamed in through the hole, seemingly repulsed by its brightness. But KC was undeterred. As he fell through the air, he kicked with all his might, his rollerblades creating blades of wind that sliced through the monster's thick skin.

Despite the wound, the salamander was still a formidable foe, and KC knew that they needed to act fast if they were to survive. "Are you two okay?" he asked, standing in front of the salamander to prevent it from attacking Yunya and Silva again.

As they huddled around Yunya's motionless body, desperation clouded their minds. Vica's eyes flickered with concern as she gently brushed Yunya's hair away from her face. "The numbness has spread through my sister's body, she is paralyzed," she whispered, her voice choked with emotion.

Without a moment's hesitation, KC reached into his pocket and produced a small vial of first aid herbs. "This is the first aid herbs you asked to be delivered," he said, his voice steady despite the fear lurking beneath the surface. Vica took the herbs and applied them to Yunya's body, hoping for a miracle.

Silva, surveyed the scene with a critical eye. "In that case, let's rest here first before attacking again," she declared, her voice commanding.

KC nodded in agreement, his mind already racing with a plan. "Alright, find a place to rest. Use this repellent to keep your scent away from the beast," he instructed, handing each member of the group a small bottle of repellent. "Hey, what are you going to do?" Silva asked, her brow furrowed with concern.

"I will keep him away from you," KC replied, determination etched on his face as he approached the snarling monster. Without hesitation, he attacked the salamander with razor sharp winds, sending it reeling.

But the salamander was quick to recover. Its reflexes were faster than when it was hit earlier, and it dodged KC's attack with ease. "Ok, got your attention. Then follow me!" KC yelled, his voice filled with adrenaline as he jumped onto his rollerblades and sped away.

The salamander chased him relentlessly, its jaws snapping just inches from his heels. KC raced towards the ceiling of the igloo-like dome cave, using the magnetic pull of his rollerblades to stick to it. The salamander followed, determined to catch its prey.

As KC looked down at the beast, he noticed something peculiar. The salamander seemed nervous, its movements slow and gentle. "Then this is your weakness," he thought to himself, a plan forming in his mind.

With all his might, KC unleashed a powerful attack on the ceiling of the cave. But to his horror, his weapon malfunctioned, turning into a watch because of the time limit. "Uhh, no, not again," he groaned as he fell towards the ground.

as he tumbled towards the ceiling. The salamander pounced, eager to devour its prey, but the cracks in the ceiling gave way, and a beam of sunlight poured into the cave.

The salamander recoiled in pain, its skin dissolving in the sun ray. as Kc falling towards the ground, but just as he was about to hit the hard surface,
But Vica was quick to act. Using her magic, she created a bubble around KC, saving him from certain death. "Come with me," she said, her voice urgent as she led him to a hiding place to rest. Yunya lay there, still unconscious, her fate unknown.

As the group settled into a small hole for some much-needed rest, Silva suggested they take a break to restore their magic before attacking again to complete their mission. With the adrenaline of their recent battle still coursing through their veins, the group was exhausted and quickly fell asleep.

But as the hours passed, a strange occurrence took place. Yunya's head suddenly leaned against KC's shoulder, causing him to sweat with discomfort. He wasn't used to such close intimacy with a member of the opposite gender, and he was caught off guard by the depth of her dream.

As he tried to distance himself from Yunya, he noticed tears streaming down her face. "Brother," she whispered, her voice trembling with emotion And her face contorted with sadness and fear.

Those words brought back painful memories for KC, memories of his own sister whom he had hurt and mistreated. He quickly removed Yunya's head from his shoulder, creating distance between them as he kept watch for any signs of danger.

An hour later, the group stirred awake, Vica immediately noticing that KC had not slept. "Didn't you get any rest?" she asked.

"Not really sleepy and I promised to myself that I will protect all of you," KC replied, his eyes scanning the cave for any signs of movement.

Yunya opened her eyes, her heart racing as she thought she had heard her brother's voice calling out to her. "Im here brother!!"she said But as she looked around, she realized he wasn't there, her disappointment palpable. and for a moment she thought she saw her brother standing there. Her face turned red from embarrassment as she realized her mistake, but KC was watching her with concern.

Concerned, the group turned their attention to her. "Are you okay, sis?" Vica asked, her voice laced with worry.

Yunya's face turned bright red with shyness because they saw him sleep talking. KC watched her carefully, his eyes filled with genuine concern for her well-being. There was something about her vulnerability that tugged at his heartstrings, something that made him want to protect her at all costs.

Yunya sat there, lost in her thoughts as she contemplated the unfairness of the world. "They say that I hate men, but thats not true, I hate men who objectify women" She despised how men often objectified women, judging them solely based on their looks and gender, and treating them as mere objects for their own pleasure, without giving any regard to their inner feelings. She hated the idea of being seen as weak or inferior, and thus she always tried to hide her vulnerability from others.

But there was something different about KC. She could sense that he genuinely cared for her, and it made her feel safe and secure in his presence. With a deep breath, she made a bold decision to approach him.

"Hey," she said, her voice firm and resolute. "If you help us defeat the salamander, we'll give you all the reputation."

"Works for me," KC replied, his eyes shining with excitement.

Suddenly, Vica intervened. "Sis, we already know the monster's weakness. It's the sun's rays."

Yunya smiled, feeling a sense of relief wash over her. "Then let's form the plan."

As KC listened to Yunya's plan, his nerves began to fray. He glanced down at his watch, realizing with a sinking feeling that it was not yet fully charged. How could he execute the plan without dying? Despite his reservations, he knew that failure was not an option. The ceiling of the cave had been fixed by the monster while they resting, and now it was time to execute their plan.

The group took their positions, Yunya gave the signal, and KC sprang into action. "Hey hungry, chase me!" he yelled at the top of his lungs, and the monster immediately took notice. KC could feel his heart pounding in his chest as he sprinted away from the monster, but he knew he had to keep going.

As the salamander closed in on him, KC had an idea. He grabbed Silva's huge broken shield he propped it up in front of him to glide across the downward cave floor like a makeshift sleigh. pulling himself along with Vicas' magic for added speed. The plan worked, and soon he had led the monster to the designated spot.

With the monster in hot pursuit, KC led it straight to their planned spot, the adrenaline coursing through his veins.

"Now!" Yunya shouted, and the group unleashed their combined magic assault on the cave ceiling. They hoped to create a hole in the ceiling, aiming to shatter it and let the sunrays stream in. allowing sunlight to shine on the monster and weaken it. But their plan was foiled when they realized that it was already night, and the cave was shrouded in darkness, leaving the monster unscathed.

The group was stunned, and the monster seized the opportunity to attack. With a furious roar, it charged towards them, ready to rip them apart. ceiling began to crumble because of their attack, KC knew that they had to act fast if they were going to make it out alive.

"Hey, salamander! Over here!" KC shouted as he hurled a rock at the beast's face. The monster turned its attention to him once again, and KC led it towards the huge falling rocks.

In a split second, KC realized that he was trapped. He had led the monster to the very place where the ceiling was collapsing, and he was now surrounded by debris. His heart sank unsure if he would make it out alive. As the rocks rained down around him, he braced himself for the worst, knowing that this could be the end.

As Kc saw the crushing weight of the falling rocks "Why did I wanted to protect them so much", his mind raced with thoughts of his sister. He longed to be the older brother she deserved, to make things right between them even though he couldn't get the chance, he smiled accepting his fate"Guess I just wanted to act an older brother even for someone at least for the last time in this way."

But fate had other plans. In a split second decision, Yunya threw herself in harm's way, pushing KC out of the path of danger and taking the full brunt of the rocks.

As the dust cleared, KC was filled with a sense of dread. He couldn't lose another friend. He frantically scrambled to dig through the rubble, his heart pounding in his chest as Vica and Silva Helped.

Finally, they uncovered Yunya, covered in a thick layer of ice, her body frozen solid in a kind of magic that they had never seen before.

Silva's voice was low and solemn as he explained the gravity of the situation. "This is the iced flower. It will freeze all parts of your body, including your blood. If we don't act quickly, she will die."

Vica's eyes filled with tears as she looked down at her friend, feeling helpless and lost. "Isn't there anything we can do?" she asked, her voice cracking with emotion.

But Silva's answer was bleak. "Only high tier flame magic can destroy it," he said, his words heavy with resignation.

Panic set in as they tried everything they could think of to break the ice, to no avail. They were hopeless and desperate.

Just as all seemed lost, KC's watch beeped, signaling that it had finally charged. In a flash, he activated its power, turning it into a pair of flaming gloves. And then, with a fierce determination, he reached out and touched the ice that encased Yunya's body, melting it away with a searing burst of heat.

As Yunya stumbled free, gasping for breath, Vica and Silva rushed forward, their arms wrapping tightly around her. And as they held each other close, their bodies shaking with relief and gratitude,

Kc felt a rush of gratitude and relief wash over him. "Don't worry," he murmured, offering his hand to Yunya. "We're right here."

For a moment, Yunya couldn't believe what she saw. In that moment, she saw a reflection of her older brother in KC. And as he smiled, She felt a sense of ease and comfort wash over her, and slowly, she smiled back at KC and reached out her hand to take his.

As she slowly stands up, her companions watched in shock, surprised by the sight of Yunya showing appreciation to someone of the opposite gender.

Yunya and KC stood face to face, looking into each other's eyes, seeing each other on equal footing for the first time. In that moment, a new sense of respect blossomed between them.

"May I ask your name?" Yunya finally asked, breaking the silence.

"It's KC," he replied, a small smile playing at the corners of his mouth. "And you?"

"It's Yunya Altair," she said, a glimmer of hope in her eyes and with that, a new bond was formed.