12 Years Old: Chapter 55 – The Hostage’s Disposition
First published on Ainushi
Author’s note: Warning. This chapter contains depictions of bloodshed.
When he saw our figures behind the Abbott’s back, Father called out our names with a worried look on his face.
By Father’s side, stood his Highness alongside his guards and several magicians that were there to protect the prince. Amongst them were also the guards that were employed by our household.
From what I can see from a distance, there was not a scratch on Father. At most, the fabric of his clothes were worn out… I’m glad he’s okay.
「Georg! What have you done to Liz?!」
「I don’t recall ever laying a hand on her.」
Since I didn’t change my clothes, Father saw the painful gashes on my torn negligee. He raised his eyes, glancing at Abbott Georg furiously. If the situation was not as precarious as this, he would have grabbed him.
….. It’s better if I don’t tell Father that I did this to myself. Especially when it can be overheard by the couple that were standing behind me.
「….. Father, I’m fine. It’s nothing.」
Pretending that I was feigning bravado, I smiled and hugged Ruby tightly. Their vigilance would surely diminish when the others saw that I was needlessly trying my hardest to cope…..
Although my eyebrows dropped, I laughed and as usual, buried my face on Ruby’s neck. It’s fine by me, if all they see is a young girl who’s in pain.
「….. Ruby. When I give the signal, start running with me.」
Without it seeming out of place, I placed my mouth close to Ruby’s ears, and whispered really softly to him in an angle that couldn’t be seen by the couple. Ruby is a smart kid so I’m sure he understands my intentions. Naturally, even the risk that comes with it.
Ruby grasped my hand tightly. He nodded lightly with a slightly nervous expression. Seeing how nervous he was, I rubbed his back.
….. Even with all my powers, I can’t guarantee Ruby’s safety. I don’t think I’ll be able to steal a march on a veteran magician.
However, if this keeps up, Father and his Highness will be in danger. That being the case, I have to take action. Even if I were to be in danger. Even if I have to hurt people.
Clasping my ring, I closed my eyes.
….. Gilles, you’re probably angry with me, aren’t you? I won’t act rash. But. Nevertheless, there is something that I must do.
I trust you, Gilles. Cecil-kun and Father too, I trust them both.
….. Therefore, just this once, please trust in me. I’m doing the best as I can. I’m not in the position to say this but please, please.
After confirming Gilles’ position and his reaction from the ring, I slowly opened my eyes and gazed at Father. Father noticed the look I gave, his pupils narrowed slightly.
「….. Georg, for what reason did you start this insurgent?」
「Isn’t it obvious? I’m unsatisfied with the state of this country.」
「Nevertheless, you plotted to assassinate his Highness.」
Father who had sensed my intentions, raised his voice and demanded an explanation from the Abbott. Even though he was spoken to with a reproachful tone, the Abbott was not perturbed. He responded back with unwavering words filled with conviction.
That didn’t mean that Father’s help went to waste.
I held on to Ruby’s hand firmly, my eyes fixed motionlessly in Father’s direction. And, as much as I could supply from within my body, I let my magical powers flow into the enchantments. There were only two necessary enchantments. Let’s wager everything on those two.
I’m not exceptionally good at keeping things, even to the last minute details under control. Not as bad as Cecil-kun, though as I was to some extent, able to guide him.
However, I can’t be making excuses right now in this situation. Everything is dependent on my abilities.
I converted my densely packed magical powers into the enchantments. However, I made certain that none of it was leaking out of my body. I didn’t want them to suspect anything.
As long as I didn’t unleash it, no matter how much sorcery I was refining, the ribbon that I had tied on my hair would deceive them. Even now I’m being saved by Gilles – the rings that we bought together, the magic power concealment ribbon.
「Serving the castle whilst you plot a rebellion. Shame on you!」
「Youngsters buried by the lull of peace. It’s youngsters like you, that should be ashamed of yourself. What do you even understand of what we’ve been through?」
The both of them raised their voices angrily, quarrelling with each other. Behind me, the couple were distracted by their words.
I perceived Gilles’ reaction completely from the ring.
….. Now is the time!
Shortly after the signal, I grasped Ruby’s hand tightly and looked at Father. Upon which, I activated one of the sorceries I had on pause inside my body, unleashing it to my surroundings.
Drawing Ruby to me, I held on to him, so that he wouldn’t be caught up by my『Discharge』. With a snap accompanied by a rebounding sound, sparks made of high voltage electricities scattered all over the area.
In order to protect me, the surging electricity as if it understood my intentions, headed towards the couple and Abbott Georg. Never expecting that I would have fought back at a time like this, the couple were swept up by the lightning. I heard the sounds of them falling to their knees.
I pulled Ruby’s hand along, breaking into a run towards Father. Abbott Georg was momentarily surprised, but then forcefully erased my sorcery with his magic powers.
That was within my calculations. Unless I had went all out, the sorcery I had used wasn’t as powerful. The completely lowered competency made it too meagre.
Still, it was enough to create an opportunity.
The moment he froze, I grabbed Ruby beside me and ran past him. Naturally, Abbott Georg understood what had gone down and struck his sorcery at us.
Actually, he really wants to kill me, doesn’t he? For some unknown reason, I was ostracized by him. I wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t heard it from the others.
Now that I’ve escaped as a hostage, I was no longer his captive and therein, I can be eliminated as I’m a threat.
His Highness’s alarmed voice.
Even without being told, I had already noticed the fireballs that were drawing closer, about to engulf me. Father was counteracting the sorceries, that the rebel army hidden in the square were casting. The others were also engaged in battle.
There was no one who could spare an arm to save me. And this time around, I didn’t expect it either.
The gigantic fireballs that were in pursuit of me with the purpose of torching the back of my body, soon caught up with me. Though I felt the hot wind drawing behind my back, I had no intentions to defend against it.
Boom! Right in front of me, that deadly heat collided against us. It was that very moment, the fireball hit against something and disappeared after being repelled by it. What stood between us was a defensive barrier.
It was a one-time use absolute defensive sorcery. This was the charm that Cecil-kun gave me last time.
When he gave it to me then, I didn’t think that I’ll ever use it but who would have thought that I would encounter a perilous situation where my life was in danger. I’m seriously grateful to Cecil-kun.
As the disk that had swung on the chain earlier made a noise as it broke into pieces, I spun around and stuck my palm out towards Abbott Georg’s back.
It was worth constructing my favorite sorcery without sacrificing my defense. Because I had believed in the efficacy of Cecil-kun’s present, I was able to carry this out.
With all the strength that I have.
That was the sorcery that I had used previously against the earl’s son during our duel. But this time, I wasn’t holding back. If I did, I’ll definitely be destroyed.
In a sense, my aim was to incapacitate people so I invoked the sorcery. Unlike last time, I definitely had the intent to kill and there was no means for them to evade my incantation. I must protect. If I show the slightest hesitation, we’ll be killed.
The extremely low temperature in the air swept around the Abbott’s surrounding. The cold air took shape, icebergs forming against all odds with purpose.
Even I felt the chills, the flow of the cold air reaching as far as where we stood, but I didn’t care as I poured my magic. Though it was unable to produce absolute zero temperatures just like its namesake, the low temperature was capable of robbing people’s lives.
It’s satisfying enough if they froze and end up asphyxiated to death. If it’s asphyxiation, Mother will be able to do something about it.
After activating it, I turned around and headed with Ruby to Father’s side. Ruby had a slightly terrified expression because of my actions but even so, he clasped my hand tightly.
Ruby tried to run as fast as he could but since he was still a child, he couldn’t. There was nothing I could do about it, so I fell back to match his speed.
No matter. Just a little bit longer till we’re under Father’s protection.
Just then, I felt a familiar sensation as though my back was frozen in place.
Reacting to the sorcery behind me, I reflexively hugged Ruby and jumped off to the side. It’s already second instincts to me.
Though I was joined to Ruby, I moved as quickly as I could. Somehow, I managed to move to the side together with him…..But there was an excruciating pain running through my ankle.
I hugged Ruby and rolled on the ground; and there lo and behold, he scowled at us, as the both of us swayed to our feet.
「……As expected, you don’t go easy at all.」
Spitting the gravel and the blood from the cut in my mouth, I gave a stiff smile.
At the place that we were moments ago, there were large thorns made out of rock. I don’t want to imagine what might have happened had we been struck by those.
And in the spot where I had created small icebergs, stood the Abbott. His rage emitting from his entire body.
Fortunately for me, it wasn’t as if the Abbott hadn’t sustain any injuries. Half of his body was frozen, the beard he kept had hardened from the chill. Only his eyes held the embers of hatred burning within it.
Even though I had landed a fairly good shot with my sorcery when he was defenseless, my lack of combat experience…..How do I put it? There’s no actual words to describe this. According to Cecil-kun, although he’s a degenerate, he is the most powerful magician in the Magic Institution. Those words were not a lie.
Legally speaking, he could have easily tortured and killed me.
But I have my reasons why I won’t lose hope.
Having thrown and injured my back from the fall, I shouted at the top of my lungs calling out to my precious valet’s name. Even before I did that, a lightning bolt struck the Abbott’s right shoulder.
You can pretty much guess who did it.
That utterly serious valet of mine will never be late. It was exactly as I wished for.
From the ring, I knew Gilles was lying in wait nearby, waiting for my signal. That was what I had asked of him. There was a possibility that I’ll need him to watch over me, to counteract any sorceries.
His skin burnt, the abbott bellowed with wounds all over his body. The frost and burn, both contrasting wounds had ravaged the Abbott. Even so he hadn’t lost his will to fight, scowling at me and Gilles who had showed up.
Be that as it may, his golden eyes lifted, dense magical powers were rising from the Abbott’s body. It was powers unlike what he’d shown before, that Ruby in my arms was frightened. He had never been exposed to people with the intention to kill so that was natural, of course.
In response, I slowly realized my lips warped into a smile.
Before my eyes, I saw the Abbott’s intense magic powers materializing…..And then, glaring behind him, was yet another pair of golden eyes.
It was the two people that I had put my trust in from the very start.
「….. It’s our victory.」
I quietly closed Ruby’s eyes with my hand and murmured those words…..As ice pillars rain down on the Abbott’s body.
“ARGH!”. The sound leaked out as blood spewed out from the Abbott’s mouth. His body, thighs and shoulder were pieced by the ice splinters were furthermore frozen solid. Even the droplets of blood that spilled from his body had frozen.
「….. My apologies but as he’s the shame of our family, please allow me to handle this.」
With a voice colder than the piercing ice, the owner who had flung the sorcery moments ago spoke.
「Sorry I’m late.」
Though Cecil-kun looked at the Abbott with disdain like he has always had since he was little but the instant he saw me, his eyes darted away in embarrassment. He was still as naive as ever.
I …..Don’t rely on anyone essentially…..But this time around, I had to. There was nothing that I can achieve alone.
If looks could kill, the Abbott with an expression warped in pain from the ice piercing through his body, glared at Cecil-kun.
The gaze was not a look one would give to their own grandson but Cecil-kun didn’t mind in the slightest. Cecil-kun too was looking at him in contempt.
「You! What did you……!」
「Obviously I’m using sorcery.」
「You shouldn’t be able to use it!」
「Are you an idiot? When did I ever say that?」
In an acidic tone, Cecil-kun cut the Abbott’s sentence midway.
As Cecil-kun approached the Abbott, the Abbott knitted his brows and launched a fireball in Cecil-kun’s direction to obstruct him. Still, exhausted from the pain, his concentration was split in half so the attack was easily thwarted by barrier created from the pendant hanging off Cecil-kun’s neck. This was likely one of the mass produced items…..Even then, it had the stamina to withstand it.
「….. You are no longer the head of the family. All that awaits you is the fate of a traitor.」
As if he was slashing him down diagonally from the shoulder with a sword, Cecil-kun spat out those words in a cold icy voice.
The Abbott’s expression harden in shock as Cecil-kun grabbed him by the collar and threw his body to the ground.
Disregarding the piercing icicles that were deeply embedded in him, Cecil-kun’s eyes flashed as he straddled the Abbott. Even though that man no longer had the strength to put up a fight, Cecil-kun still held on to his collar and didn’t release his hand.
「Hurry up and pass on for the next generation already, you old nuisance. Stop trying to lay your hands on people’s friends.」
Ah, I unconsciously released.
….. Cecil-kun actually acknowledged our friendship. That’s why he was this mad.
It’s a little indiscreet but that makes me really happy. Ruby who was taken in by Cecil-kun, on the other hand, was ill at ease, shocked by the sudden change in his attitude.
After he spat that out, Cecil-kun turned to Father who seemed to have finished gaining control of the situation and said「I’ll leave the rest to you」, leaving him in charge. ……Well, leaving it to Father was the safest option. First of all, with the ringleader of the mutiny on the verge of death’s door, it was better to take him captive. If he were to die right now, nothing will change.
「….. Liz-sama, are you alright?」
At last, having waited until the situation was under control, Gilles examined me as I let out a sigh. As he drew closer, he gently draped a robe over me and kneeled down. He examined my ankle though I’m sure he knew that it wasn’t in good shape.
Given that Ruby had let go of my hand, looking uneasily at it as well, “I’m fine”, I said and brushed his head. Well, given the worst that could have happened, I consider myself lucky that it’s a minor injury.
As Ruby looked towards Father anxiously as well, I said to him,「I’ll be fine so go to Father」and urged him along. He lowered his eyebrows but still, Ruby was worried about Father so he dashed straight to his side.
「….. Liz-sama, try not to get yourself wounded next time.」
Given that I had communicated about it via the ring, Gilles knew why I had these cuts on me. Healing sorcery wasn’t particularly Gilles’s strength and he was exceptionally worried about me….. But this infuriated him.
However, I’m not to blame for the matter regarding the earl’s son…..Afterall, I was terrified.
「….. That’s not how it went. I did this to myself.」
「….. I’m sorry I couldn’t save you sooner.」
When I covered my face with the robe, the hem of which was up to my knees as I sat there on the ground, Gilles apologized to me whilst gently brushing my head.
I don’t hate that large palm that was gently caressing my hair. I feel relieved when it’s Gilles that does it.
….. It’s not as if Gilles is at fault for all of this. If anyone was to blame, it’ll be that earl’s son.
From the depths of my throat, a strange voice popped out when Gilles suddenly took me in his arms.
As one might expect, I got the jitters from the timing of this hug. This time, it wasn’t because my heart was tickled by it, but because I was genuinely astounded.
Wondering what was going on, I raised my head and was met with a serious expression on Gilles’ face. However, it was not the expression he would direct at me. It goes without saying, it was a gaze filled with complete hostility.
There was the sound of something set ablaze. The sparks were repelled and scattered. It was then I noticed for the first time that fireballs had came soaring at us.
Gilles had immediately invoked『Air Cutter』and the fireball was split into four by the wind. Split into four, the remaining vestiges of the flames dissolved.
「….. Until the bitter end, you still continue to be a hindrance in my way.」
「I knew you’d come.」
The voice of a person whom I loathed the most; a remnant that remained faintly in my childhood memories…..Yes, that’s right. Cecil-kun had mentioned it before,「The people spearheading it are my old man and Gilles’ former house.」
「Just nice. There’s plenty I want to say to you….. Alfred Sévéne.」
Sorry for the long wait, folks! Here’s the new chapter. I’m going to work on Maid Mother’s chapter next so it’ll be a while before I post the next chapter of Happy Life ^^;;;
Lots to do. Lots to do. If anyone wants to help out, message me please.