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His mind is already past the point of saving. Leticia dropped the brain-dead soldier onto the ilder.
Being exposed to various methods of interrogation has destroyed his mind. If he were more honest from the start, mind hijacking magic and advanced truth serum wouldn’t have been used.
But it was none of their concern anymore, human rights don't exist on an unknown battlefield.
“What should be done about him?”
Michihiro asked, by no means he cared for that person.
“Why don’t we just burn him together with those? He is already mentally dead, better put him out of his misery.”
Maya pointed at the pile of inferno burning near them. The fuel was the corpses of the men killed by Hannah. Their armour and personal items were all removed. Stored inside Hannah’s compression device, it will be used for identifying the soldiers when they reach the Arystal dukedom.
“Maya-chan, mentally dead people do not perceive despair or sadness, so there is no need to ‘put him out of misery’.”
“The hospitals in the dukedom have talented healing magic practitioners, they should be able to heal mind damage.”
-Why would you want to heal your enemy? Michihiro wanted to ask. As if reading his mind, Leticia said with a smile.
“He is still a person from the same country, as a noble, I am charged with the task to protect and guide the people.”
It was a sound argument. Michihiro nodded in agreement even though he was unable to look at the situation from a noble’s point of view. That person may be from the same country but he is still nonetheless a rebel. Unlike normal soldiers who are paid to fight, rebels revolted on their own will. Social sciences class didn’t explain anything about this at all.
With everything taken care of, they left all unnecessary baggage on the ilder and headed east.
Leticia called out to her dragon.
Though it was nowhere near them, it still heard her and answered through telepathy.
“What did father say?”
<Several scouts has already been dispatched. He wants you to bring your fiance and his companions as soon as possible.>
“No, I can’t do that. As a noble with sufficient power, I must ascertain the safety of the people.”
From the interrogation, it would seem the village on the east had been razed to the ground. Leticia wants to confirm it before going to the dukedom.
<...I knew you would say that, so I have already rejected your father’s request.>
Leticia smiled silently.
“Thank you for being so understanding.”
<Of course, I have been watching over you since birth. I’m like your second parent.>
She could imagine the dragon giving her a smug smile.
“We are going to the village, please watch over our belongings and do not follow us. If there are more enemies and they will hide themselves again due to your presence, it will cause us some trouble.”
<Mm… Sorry about earlier, the rebel marauders managed to spot me before I sensed them.>
“We will be back soon.”
7 kilometres is the approximate distance to the village.
For a normal person to travelling foot, the village is undoubtedly far. Their plan was to pass through the forest and travel in a straight line to the village, but it will still take them an hour to get there.
“I will cast physical enhancement and wind blessing magic on myself and Maya-dono so we can keep up with your speed.”
Before Hannah started chanting, Maya hopped onto Hannah’s back. Completely expecting that, Hannah readily held onto her thighs to support her.
“Can’t walk for too long, my legs will break.”
Of course, there was no way that was real. She just didn’t want to walk.
Hannah shook her head at Leticia, telling her not to bother Maya. Leticia has yet to understand Maya’s personality but she knew Maya was not a child to be trifled with.
Setting her mind free to focus on manipulating the arcane powers in her, Leticia began chanting. With only herself to cast magic on, she finished all necessary spells quickly. Pale yellow light and unnatural winds surrounded her for a moment when the magic activated.
Michihiro and Hannah nodded at one another in silence and increased the power of their armour. The red and blue glowed with increased intensity from the liquid conductor veins flowing around their armour.
Taking the initiate, Michihiro ran into the forest, followed by Hannah and then Leticia as the rear-guard. Michihiro’s <Juggernaut model> Techinoic armour possess better overall specs than Hannah’s armour, it was natural for him to take the vanguard.
If they were to meet an opponent that had to be killed, Hannah will utilise her superior speed and overtake Michihiro to quickly deal with the opponent. The rear-guard; Leticia, will only act if their speed dropped. Whether Leticia can keep up with their speed or not is still a question.
1 hour and 15 minutes.
Leaving the other side of the forest took longer than expected.
Though they did not come across any human enemies, Michihiro had to scare off several magical beasts.
He guffawed when a massive bear with lightning claws suddenly appeared to block their path. Instinctively, he launched a powerful punch at it, sending the pitiful bear to sleep instantly.
Well, those were not the reason that caused the delay.
Leticia was the one to blame.
Her physical enhancement magic suddenly ran out and the distance between her and the others increased drastically. Michihiro and Hannah did not realise the person at the back was missing until they stopped to take a break.
They turned around to find Leticia and when they found her, she was drawing a magic formation on the moss covered soil with a tree branch. Apparently preparing for a more advanced physical reinforcement magic. 10 minutes were used up to cast the new magic.
Well, time is abundant. It’s not like the location of the village will change.
Green plains stretched out when they left the forest. Just a little bit more and they would have crossed into the rebel-controlled territory.
The village encircled by stone walls nearby is a well-defended border village. It was converted into something similar to a makeshift fort since the start of the civil war.
The original wooden fence was replaced by strong stone walls, watch towers were erected within the walls and the village itself expanded to accommodate for the increase in garrisoned soldiers.
However, nothing seems to be damaged, not even the grain fields or the nearby logging stations.
There were absolutely no remnants of a battle.
“This is strange. He said the village is already destroyed.”
Michihiro muttered as he scratched his hair.
“Yes, you’re right… Could this be illusion magic? I do not think our interrogation failed.”
Leticia took off her helmet. The breeze made her blonde hair to sway lightly in the air. She scrutinised at the seemingly peaceful village, the smoke rising from the chimneys is a good sign that the kitchens in the houses were busy.
“This illusion magic-”
Blinking her eyes twice, Hannah swapped her visor to infra-red vision
“-Looks very real.”
The walls were purple, the sun in yellow and the smoke were slightly dark orange. The colours shown were exactly what real feasible matter will be seen as through infra-red.
Proceeding without understanding what they were seeing is dangerous. They simply stood idle in their original spot, pondering on their next action.
A very well made illusion. But in the end, it is still a visual illusion. It wouldn’t be an illusion if it physically existed.
By using that reasoning, Michihiro picked up a nearby rock. Using all his power and utilising the armour’s capabilities, he threw it at the village walls. The rock travelling faster than a professional baseball pitcher’s throw passed through the wall with zero resistance.
A loud sound of metal crashing against something and a man’s short-lived scream came from the other side of the wall.
The illusion in front of them vibrated like a broken television’s static and slowly dispersed. Revealing a wall of shining metal - tower shields. One of the tower shields was on the grassy ground with 2 people collapsed on one another near it. A large glowing sphere rolled on the ground, slowly losing its light.
Due to the unexpected appearance of a large number of soldiers, they froze on the spot. Soldiers lined up in numerous rows behind the temporary wall of raised shields. Anyone could easily tell that they numbered more than a thousand.
Being the only unfazed person, Maya softly tapped Hannah’s head from behind.
Snapping back to attention with a ‘Ha!’, Hannah grabbed the other two and ran in the direction of the forest. The quantum computer embedded in the armour detected the change in weight, switched on overdrive mode. Intense blue light spilt out from the armour, their velocity shot up in an instant.
Magic circles appeared on the ground and it formed walls to block their path. They were so close to reaching the forest.
“Tch. Techionic shields, activate full powered in front.”
There was no time to decelerate her speed which is equivalent to a speeding car. Hannah manually activated the shields to block the imminent crash.
The shields are meant to block attacks, not meant to perform attacks. Similarly, one will still feel the pain if he uses his own fist coated with the shield to punch. The shields are just indestructible, mobile walls.
Hannah crashed into the Techionic shields head-on, and the shields pushed itself against the earth wall with the same force. It was enough to break through the tough magical wall but Hannah lost control of her legs and tumbled, causing the others to fall out from her grasp.
She coughed out blood and felt her lungs were punctured, most likely by several broken ribs. That is only natural because she was hit by a huge force from within the shields. Even though the power was greatly reduced by the shock absorbing material of the armour, it was still very strong.
Without checking on the other three, she quickly pulled out a syringe filled with regenerative serum and injected it into herself. Unlike Michihiro who has nanobots within his modified body, she was just a normal human who went through a soldier’s training.
Someone called out to her.
“Vleidistor-dono! Are you alright??”
It was Leticia. With blood still dripping from her pink lips, Hannah turned to nod at her.
Covered in dirt, her steel armour had lost its glimmer. Leticia slowly stood up. For now, she appeared to be free from any injuries except for minor scratches, the physical enhancement and wind blessing magic is performing just well.
Hannah nodded instead of speaking. It will take a few minutes for her injuries to completely heal with the medicine she just took. Even though she can still speak, it will be painful and there was the risk of choking on her own blood.
Maya lay sprawled right beside Hannah, looking at the afternoon sky in a daze.
Having 3 meatshields to absorb most of the impact, Maya had received the least injuries. Her hair was slightly ruffled and there was a single bruise on her childish face, ruining her adorable looks.
Knowing Michihiro had nanobots in his body, Hannah shifted his position slightly to the front so that he could share the brunt of the impact with her. He should be able to heal from any form of injuries except for missing limbs and organs.
Suddenly a person’s shadow extended from behind her. The shadow raised up an arm that was bending in the wrong direction and -
Snapped it back to where it should be.
Shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit
Those words kept on repeating itself in Hannah’s head.
Pupils dilating in anxiety, she knew screwed up.
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