The Summoner Laughs Last - 9
In the evening, Thunder returned to the inky clouds. The seventh day of rain had also passed without incident. The once dry earth was drenched now, with puddles of water everywhere.
However, since there was still the possibility of the drought continuing, it was necessary for the area to have a sufficient amount of water stored. To achieve that, a few more days of rainfall were needed.
Together with Seirios, Lion headed towards the Mayor’s house. Normally, since he couldn’t hold up an umbrella during the summoning, Lion would be completely drenched after summoning Thunder. However, this time his clothes were completely dry. This was because Seirios would always put a barrier around Lion while he was summoning.
“Mister Sei, thank you for helping me today too. I’m glad I said that you’re a black mage. No one will suspect you, even if you use magic.”
“I guess so. Although, I’ve put a considerable number of restrictions on my powers, so I can’t do anything big.”
The aura of intimidation that Lion had felt wafting off of Seirios’ demon form that he saw at the lake sanctuary was so potent, that it would be hard to breathe when one was in his vicinity. However, whenever Seirios was in his human form, Lion didn’t feel any of this intimidation.
When Lion asked if demons were able to restrain their powers at will, Seirios pointed a finger at his own ear.
On his earlobe sat a simple earring with a red jewel; his only accessory.
“I’m just suppressing them with these, since my magical powers could affect humans considerably.”
Seirios chuckled and shot Lion a flirtatious look. His strong and brilliant appearance overflowed with an unimaginable charm.
“Want to see what those effects are, Lion?”
“Nope! That definitely sounds like it won’t be anything good, so I’ll pass, thank you.”
The lights from the town’s houses became visible.
Hm? Is there someone there? Could it be a child?
He could see a small silhouette in the distance. For a moment, Lion thought that it might be a child from the town, however, when he looked closely, he realized that he was wrong. The being had a tail, with fur growing all over its body. It looked like a monkey, but had only one leg.
After the monkey looked back in their direction, it headed towards the town, hopping on its single leg.
“It’s a demon!”
Was this the demon that had brought this drought? Immediately, Lion pressed his palms together and made the preparations for a summoning.
A stabbing pain ran through his torso, and Lion bent forward, clutching his chest.
Right, it wouldn’t work! He’d already summoned Thunder today!
“Lion! What are you doing?”
“I’m sorry, I wasn’t able to do another summoning…That demon is headed towards the village! Mister Sei, would you go after it?”
“You are defenseless. I don’t care what happens to the town.”
“Eh, no, Mister Sei! If that’s the demon that caused the drought, it must have ill will towards the town!”
“Didn’t you say you’d run if the demon showed up?”
I did, but-!
There wasn’t anyone like a black mage or a swordsman in this town, no one with the skills to ward off demons. Although at the moment, even if Lion wouldn’t be of any use either, there was still Seirios. Lion had said that he’d run, but there was no way he could just leave a demon, who was right under his nose, alone…
“Please, follow after that demon! If it tries to cause harm to the townspeople, stop it! I’m going to tell Mayor Adon about this. Please, Mister Sei!”
It was pathetic, but Lion really couldn’t do anything himself. He clung to Seirios’ robes. The man looked down at Lion with a frown on his beautiful face, his expression troubled, and then he gently removed Lion’s hands, giving in.
“…Alright. But, don’t forget that you’re also in danger. Hide inside the Mayor’s house.”
Seirios went after the demon, even though he still worried about Lion, chasing after it with terrifying speed. Lion broke into a run as well, heading towards the Mayor’s house.
However, he immediately felt that something was wrong. Someone was watching him.
He quickly looked behind, making sure that there was no one following him.
What the heck, there wasn’t anyone behind him-?
“You’re finally alone, Summoner. There was a human with some strange magic by your side all the time, so it took me a while to make my move.”
A plant that resembled poison ivy coiled around Lion. It wrapped over his mouth and around his neck, preventing him from making any noise. Suddenly, a man – no, a demon that took on the form of a human – stood in front of him.
The pupils of his huge, glaring eyes were long and thin, like a cat’s claw, and his hair was white. His nose was pointed and for some reason reminded Lion of a bird’s beak. The magical powers rising up from his slim figure clearly didn’t belong to a human.
“You can’t summon anymore, can you? You didn’t do anything when you saw Drought1.”
“Hahaha.” The demon laughed coldly and hoisted Lion, who was unable to move, up like a piece of luggage. Huge wings protruded from the demon’s back.
This was bad. Lion was being carried off somewhere!
Lion’s desperate resistance was in vain. The white haired demon flew up into the sky.
They crossed the river that marked Rowan’s boundary, then they descended into deep woods. Lion was tossed onto the ground like trash, and he hit his back and shoulders heavily.
“Now, this is the demon territory. We have the right to kill any humans who venture here. Calling forth beasts like Thunder… You’re a nuisance. So, I’m going to kill you now.”
Was there no way for him to defend himself? Or to do something?! Trapped inside the ivy’s hold, Lion was thinking desperately.
Running was his only option. The ivy had bound his hands and mouth tightly, but luckily for him, he was able to move his legs.
Lion staggered upright, managing to turn his back to the white-haired demon and took off. The demon watched Lion, grinning.
“Hahaha, alright, run! I’ll have you entertain me, just like those weak demons had entertained you!”
Lion heard a swift sound of something cutting through the wind, and sharp pain shot through his tied hands and thighs. The white-haired demon was shooting feathers at him, except these feathers were transformed into deadly weapons. Lion kept getting cut shallowly, like he was being toyed with.
But from the demon’s words, Lion was able to glean some important information:
So the cause of the drought was the incident from last year after all!
He may have been running for his life, but the sharp feathers attacked from every angle and Lion kept losing his balance.
The white-haired demon followed Lion at a leisurely pace. Lion could hear him grumbling to himself, sure that no one else could hear.
“Normally, we demons should be oppressing the likes of you, so why had Master Vega…” He mumbled. “What if I killed everyone in that town before the news reached Master Vega’s ears? Waiting for these humans to wither and die is too much of a bother.”
His murmurs were unsettling, but Lion currently wasn’t in a position to worry about them. He’d been running for a while, but still hadn’t spotted a way out of the forest. Blood had trickled down into his left eye from his forehead, and it had become difficult to see. He was still being harassed by the feathers, his arms and legs slashed in multiple places. His wounds stung.
Tripping over the roots of a tree, he fell on the ground roughly. He was unable to fall safely and seemed to have twisted his right ankle. Simply said, he was unable to get up.
Lion wasn’t sure when, but the ivy that gagged him earlier had come undone. There was a gust, and then the crunch of footsteps on dry leaves coming closer.
“Won’t run anymore? I’m tired of this too. Once I’m finished here, I’m going to slaughter everyone in that town. So just die already!”
Lion could see the corners of the white-haired demon’s mouth lifting up.
I’m going to get killed!
I don’t want to! Someone save me!
At that moment, gusts of wind began to blow. A ‘gust’ was too mild of a word; it was a torrent of wind. All around him, the dense, thick trees creaked, breaking at their trunks. However, almost as if there was an invisible wall around only Lion, not even his hair stirred.
Immediately the white-haired demon raised a barrier of his own, but he was still sent flying. He was currently crawling on his belly, resisting the abnormal storm.
The tempest suddenly stopped, and a beast fell from the sky next to the white-heared demon.
“Gyaa!” The thing yelled as it fell to the ground. It was that one-legged monkey demon that the white-haired demon had called ‘Drought’.
“Lion, are you alright?”
Lion, who was curled into a ball to protect his head, heard a familiar, deep voice above him. High quality boots entered Lion’s cowering field of vision. When he looked up, he saw a pair of eyes with deep crimson irises. These eyes, that were bordered by a beautiful, red pattern that spread out from the outer corners, had instantly judged Lion’s condition and narrowed gently. His glossy black hair swayed still, although the wind had stopped.
This being, that contained so much power that a man could feel suffocated just by being near to it, was Seirios’ demon form. The one Lion had seen at the lake.
Seirios slowly turned around, facing the direction of the white-haired demon. His already googly eyes were open so wide that it would be impossible for him to widen them any further. The white-haired demon was trembling slightly.
“You sure did a good job of making ‘this’ dirty like this.”
“It was clever of you to try and make your move once I left his side… But, everything was over from the moment you set your sights on Lion.”
Lion thought he heard a swift slashing sound. But immediately afterwards, the screech of the white-haired demon resounded through the forest. The demon staggered, clutching one of his eyes, and collapsed. Reddish black blood, different from a human’s, was gushing out from between the gaps of his fingers, staining the grass black.
“Hey, stop dodging my attacks. I was thinking of splitting your skull open and gouging out what’s inside.”
“S-stop, please! Forgive me!!”
Seirios’ voice was devoid of any emotion. No confusion, no hesitation, nor any pity. Even Lion, who was protected behind Seirios’ back, felt chills running down his spine. Seirios was overwhelmingly superior to them.
The white-haired demon had put the town into a predicament, but the ones who had caused the problem to begin with were humans.
It couldn’t be said that the demons were the only ones who were wrong.
Lion couldn’t put any strength into his twisted ankle, so he crawled towards Seirios on all fours, grabbing the sleeve of his robe.
“Mister Sei, wait, don’t kill him. As we thought, this drought is their revenge for the demons that were slain last year. I think we should listen to what he has to say, too.”
“…Lion, you were about to be killed. What are you saying?”
“S-sure I was… But…”
“No. I’m unhappy about this…Tsk.” Seirios clicked his tongue. “So you’ve noticed after all?” He said, casually lifting his head to look up at the sky above.
“I beg of you as well. Please, leave this to me, Northerner.”
A beautiful, clear voice that sounded like ringing bells, resounded from the night sky.
The figure, illuminated by the moonlight and fluttering on white wings, was that of a woman, one that could only be mistaken for a goddess.
“So you’ve finally noticed, Vega.”
Apologies for the delay, here’s the new chapter~! Big thank you to my editor and proofreader for making these chapters so much better! <3