Chapter 21 – Attack of the mages

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It was the night of the day when the three childhood friends were together for the first time in a while, and Labrys hurried on her way home.

The sun had set, and it was completely dark around her.

Only the faint light of the spring moon dimly illuminated the main road.

(…Today was a fun day.)

Labrys thought back to the time she just spent in town… And smiled.

She managed to have fun with those two.
Even Chrom, who always felt distant.

His face had been looking sullen lately, but he smiled a lot that day.

(Too bad this day couldn’t last forever…)

Being with them was just too much fun…

But that was why she couldn’t ask that question.
She felt she might destroy something precious if she did.

(…I’m sure it’s all in my head.)

She told herself.

Chrom could use magic she didn’t quite understand, but he was still the same kind and good-natured Chrom as always.

Ask nothing, know nothing… And Chrom would stay the same.

Surely this fun time would continue if she did that, and for Labrys, that was enough.

But…

“…Eh?”

Suddenly, without any warning, her peaceful life collapsed.

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Many figures appeared in front of her.
This group was almost like a shadow picture.

All of them were wearing the same dark robe, had their faces hidden behind a mask, and held the same kind of staff.

(…M-mages!? When did they…!?)

Labrys quickly looked around her, and saw she was surrounded by mages from all sides.

There was no escape.
They completely encircled her in a second.

“Our master.
There is no doubt about it, this is the girl who was wandering around the battlefield yesterday.”

One of the mages said.

His voice was flat to the point of being unsettling, and there wasn’t even any way to tell which of them was speaking due to the robes and masks.

“Hm… I heard the ‘hero’ was a young girl, but could it be?”

“She does seem to have the aptitude.
The magic energy around her is of very high quality.”

“We will know when we dissect her.”

The mages looked at Labrys like a lab rat, and whispered to each other.

Labrys had no idea what was going on.
All she knew was that it was deeply unsettling.

“W-what are you…”

Labrys glared at the mages while grabbing her sword, but her voice trembled.

Her heart was pounding strongly.

(…These mages are all strong.)

Her instincts told her.

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“No, we are not random suspicious people, we are from the Sorcerer Association.”

One of the mages said.

Their robes did show the crest of the Sorcerer Association, but that was no reason to feel relieved.

There was no guarantee that they were really from the Sorcerer Association, but if they were… Rather than suspicious, Labrys felt she had been caught by very nasty people.

“We have a question for you… Are you that ‘hero’ who destroyed that large group of monsters?”

Asked one of the mages.

It was a pretty unexpected question.

“…Hero?”

Labrys frowned as she thought back to the previous day.

She couldn’t even imagine exactly what kind of battle went on there, but in the middle of it all, she saw someone who looked like Chrom, who had just annihilated a dragon.

“…I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Responded Labrys, after taking some time to pick her words carefully.

She felt she could not give a proper answer, because she had a bad feeling about this.

“Hm… Oh well.
We will know once we catch her and dissect her.”

Although there was no emotion in this voice, it was clearly full of enmity.

The mages all held up their staves quickly…

“…! Five Boost! (physical strengthening five)”

Labrys’ decision making was fast when it came to battle.

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She formulated a technique before the mages, and cherry blossom colored flames of magic energy rose up from her entire body.

(I’m going to break through a single point!)

No matter how strong they were, Labrys figured she would not lag behind if she faced only one.

If she broke through the encirclement, she could run away.

Not many people could hope to match her speed.

(Moonhart style twin blade technique… Twin Rabbit Chase!)

Labrys kicked the ground, while unsheathing the twin swords which burned with the color of cherry blossoms.

She then unleashed a fast attack with her twin swords, to create an opening in the encirclement.

“…Six Boost! (physical strengthening six)”

But with a thud, the mage in front of her released magic energy that felt like intense pressure, and the next moment, Labrys was blown away before she knew what was happening.

“Ku…!?”

Labrys went down to her hands and knees after her back hit the ground.

It was unbelievable.
A mage overpowered her.

(That’s a level six spell…!?)

It was a level a prodigy could only reach after a lot of training.

That was when she noticed the rank insignia on their robes.

“…No way…”

Her face twisted with despair.

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Every single mage encircling her was first-class.

(W-why… Why are there so many first-class mages here?)

The Sorcerer Association held tremendous power in the Centaur continent, and only the most outstanding prodigies and titans could reach first-class.

The people who surrounded Labrys were that strong.
It was like they were about to go start a war…

“““Fourth Sleep.”””

The first-class mages all held up their staves and chanted at the same time.

Labrys quickly felt her consciousness fading, and before long, her body no longer listened to her.

(N-not good… C-Chrom…)

She fell limply to the ground, and the mages crept towards her.

“…Hmph, a dud?”

“She does not appear to be a ‘hero’, or the one from yesterday people all ‘hero’ for that matter.”

“We really do need to comb through Almana…”

Their voices seemed to be getting further and further away, as Labrys’ consciousness sank into an abyss.

“But what about this girl, our lord?”

“…Good vessel.
Bring her as a ‘contender for demon king’.”

“Very well.”

“This girl may become a demon king.”

The last thing Labrys saw was the crest of the twelve sages, shining on the robe of a mage who looked down at her.

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