ARTHUR LEYWIN’S POV:
Tessia was okay…
Bruises and scrapes were visible on her smooth, pale skin. Thankfully they were only surface wounds.
She was okay.
It seemed like she had been drugged with an anesthetic to keep her unconscious temporarily…
Yes, this was better. That way, she wouldn’t have to be awake for all of this…
She wouldn’t have to witness what I was about to do.
Sylvie, protect Tess. I’ll be enough to handle him, I reassured my bond.
This was my fault. I was a fool for letting Lucas live this long. This world had made me soft.
My head continued to pound as I walked towards Lucas.
Nothing else mattered. Not now. Not until I took care of the pest.
“S-Stay back!” Lucas stammered, a crazed look visible in his eyes.
He prepared a spell as he retreated. I wonder if he’d realized that his spells were in fact eating away at his lifeforce. It didn’t matter; I’d kill him before he did himself.
He released his spell, dozens of flaming orbs scattering and floating around, growing increasingly larger.
He continued to grin madly as his body visibly withered at the burden of the spell. The red flaming spheres turned blue as he further refined his magic.
It seemed as though he was planning on taking not just me, but half the school down with him.
‘Papa…’ Sylvie’s worried voice echoed in my mind.
I could let him kill himself with his own spell right now, but he didn’t deserve that; that would be too merciful a death for him. I needed him alive, at least until I got some answers.
I wanted to destroy him instantly, but the attack—the whole disaster—couldn’t have been done by Lucas alone. Someone had to have forcibly overexerted his mana core— to the point where even if I didn’t kill him now, he would probably die on his own.
Whatever it was he had taken made it possible for him to convert his life force into mana, thus draining him of his vitality. The odd discoloration of his skin and the mana beasts present were too much of a coincidence to not assume that it had something to do with the Vritras.
“By the look on your face, it seems you don’t know what’s about to happen. Do you think you could come out of this alive?” Lucas hissed, drooling from the side of his mouth.
“Die!” he spat, releasing his spell.
The dozens of flaming blue orbs, each capable of burning down a building, shot towards me like cannonballs.
I let out a crisp breath and muttered, “Second Phase.”
My vision shifted into monochrome, the only colors I could register being the particles of mana.
The very air seemed to freeze as a curtain of white flame erupted around me before I was bombarded with Lucas’ spell.
I didn’t have much time left in my second phase before the recoil hit. I needed answers before that happened.
As the cloud of steam and debris began to clear, I could make out Lucas’ figure, the deranged look on his face wiped clean, replaced by one of utter shock.
“H-How is that p-possible? N-No, it wasn’t supposed to be like this. How are you suddenly able to use ice-attribute magic?” he babbled, as if he had just seen a ghost.
Unrelentless, Lucas began chanting another spell, which surprisingly, by the amount of mana gathered in his right hand, was more powerful than the one prior.
It was a type of spell I’d never seen before. As mana congregated, it manifested into a flaming blue partisan spear. What amazed me was that the mana particles hadn’t simply formed the shape of a spear, but instead seemed to have transmuted into an actual burning spear.
“I hope you survive this one too. That way, you can watch as I make your precious princess kiss my feet!” he jeered, launching the flaming spear.
I shot out a condensed bolt of electricity with my right hand, while catching the shaft of Lucas’ spear with my left.
My arm lurched back from the force as an audible hiss resounded from the cloud of steam that rose due to the mesh of fire and ice.
“Gahhh!” Lucas’ shrill howl pierced through my ears. “My arm! It hurts! My arm!” he screamed.
I continued walking towards Lucas who was still pawing at the empty space where his left arm used to be.
“White Fire,” I muttered, and my left hand ignited in a pearl-colored flame.
I was less than a foot away from Lucas as he continued to back away from me. “‘Desecrate’? ‘Kiss your feet’?” I recited through gritted teeth.
“This… this isn’t fair! L-Lightning magic? You’re a q-quadra-elemental…” Lucas’ voice trailed off as he stared in disbelief, his lips trembling as he noticed my lightning-clad arm.
“Yes, I am.”
Lucas’ bloodcurdling scream tore through the air as I gripped his remaining arm. The flame surrounding my left hand began to spread, slowly freezing his arm down to the very molecules.
Tightening my grip, his arm shattered like glass as Lucas stared at the crumbling shards of what used to be his left arm.
“N-No… How dare you! I’m Lucas Wykes!” he spat out as fell weakly on his behind, his legs pushing away from me.
Kicking him to his back, he gave me a venomous glare, any trace of sanity gone. Placing my foot on his right leg, I pinned him down.
He wasn’t a human anymore. Not at this point.
Lucas spat out a mouthful of blood, his leg crumpled into a mess of crimson. Shattered bone fragments dotted the pool of red as it seeped through the cracks in the ground made by the increased gravitational force of my augmented foot.
Another bone splitting crunch echoed through the surrounding atmosphere before a shrill howl of pain promptly followed as I did the same to his other leg.
Just like how the Vritra had left Alea, limbless and slowly dying, inside the depths of a dungeon, it was only befitting to do the same to someone so vile.
Picking Lucas up by the scruff of his uniform, I slapped his face to get his attention. “Who was responsible for all of this?” I asked.
As his glossy eyes met mine, his expression deformed into a scowl before he spat blood at my face.
“You think you’ll get any sort of answers from me? Puahaha! I’ll tell you this, though! That incompetent fool you call your best friend—he’s gone! They took him away to who knows where! I’ll bet he’s dead already! Hahah—” I dropped him on the ground, “— Ugh!”
I had been so worried about Tessia that it hadn’t registered in my mind— the fact that Elijah had been caught up in all of this as well. I lifted my gaze as I scanned my surroundings for the first time since i had arrived. I could see the numerous students and professors peering at me with the unmistakable expression of fear. Yet, out of all of those faces, Elijah really was nowhere to be seen.
“Where did they take Elijah?!” I roared out, hoping someone—anyone—would answer.
“They went through there,” a hoarse voice spoke out— it was Clive. He pointed to an odd anvil-shaped contraption that had an abnormal amount of mana particles fluctuating in and around it.
“Who was it that took him?”
“A mage that called himself Draneeve,” Clive replied, picking himself up.
Was it a portal? Were my suspicions correct? Did the mastermind behind this really come from the continent of Alacrya?
“It doesn’t matter. He’s probably dead, anyways. And so will be the rest of you, when he comes back!” Lucas snickered as blood continued to leak from his two crippled legs.
Looking at Lucas, a talented mage raised with the notion that his worth only amounted to his strength, who was glaring at me with neither guilt nor remorse for his actions and betrayal, I couldn’t help but pity him. Almost.
Lucas could’ve truly tortured and crippled Tessia if I had arrived too late. His earlier words still rang in my mind, haunting me with images of what could’ve happened if I hadn’t made it in time.
I placed my foot between his mangled legs at the only extremity left on his body besides his head—the only place he could have any sort of attachment to.
“W-What are you doing?” His voice was tinged with a trace of fear.
I looked him dead in the eye and responded with what only seemed appropriate, “Taking measures to ensure your filth won’t spread to the next generation.”
His eyes widened at the impending realization as the stubs of his arms flailed. He opened his mouth to say something but…
“May your suffering last onto your next life,” I recited indifferently.