Chapter 21: Yet another mission.
Their job wasn’t practically hard. They would sit in the cars, going with Mr. Rhoads to his conferences and meetings then coming back with him. Reyan sat in the same car as the politician man to make sure they would protect him in case anything happened and others separated randomly and sat on the other cars. The man had his own bodyguards as well so they didn’t have to deal with any situation alone. Up until now, there were no problems and just like that, two days passed.
Right now, they were waiting for Mr. Rhoads to come back. This was the last time they would act as this man’s bodyguard.
‘It so suffocating.’
Kairen loosened his stiff tie, leaning against a car outside the building. He yawned and massaged his tired eyes.
He couldn’t rest really well last night as he once again had a nightmare. He couldn’t sleep well these days, continually having to struggle with nightmares. It wasn’t anything new for Kairen, but he preferred that his old habit wouldn’t come back to him at a time like this. He needed all his energy to deal with this crazy world.
“How much do you think they will pay us for our missions?”
It was Nibel who asked that. He really seemed excited about the money he would get as he talked about it a lot. Kairen turned his head his way. He was also curious, but as he didn’t really know about the prices and money in this place, he kept silent whenever there was a conversation about it.
“Why are you so excited about that?”
“I want to know! You have to plan for your future you know...”
“Do you need money that much?”
“Well, who doesn’t?”
“If you are really low in money I can lend you some.”
With that, Nibel almost jumped up. He looked at Ellyn with sparkling eyes.
“Really? You will lend me money?”
“Well, if you promise to return it.”
“I will I will I promise!”
“Ok. We can talk about it when we go back.”
‘Good for you Nibel.’
Who would lend money to others so easily? Kairen thought they must have gotten close to each other in these few days.
“Ah! He is back.”
Reyan pointed at the man walking down the stairs. Mr. Rhoads’s meeting must have ended. They all started moving after seeing their boss coming this way. As usual, Reyan sat beside the man and the remaining four went to other cars. The drivers also came and they started moving.
Kairen was leaning against the window and gazing outside. The sky was dark and gloomy as if it would rain really soon. He felt someone tab his arm while he was deep in thought. When he turned, he could see Ellyn looking at him.
Kairen tilted his head. Ellyn scratched her cheek and opened her mouth.
“Um... since today is our last day in a team and we may not see each other again...I wanted to ask you something.”
“What is it?”
“Uh, you... Are there any problems?”
“What do you mean?”
Ellyn took a deep breath as if to ready herself for a long talk.
“Well, you have been acting differently than usual these days. I heard others saying that you have suddenly changed but didn’t believe it. Seeing it now, I feel like they were right.”
“And also, your magic. You used to use the strongest spells you knew. Why are you suddenly using low-level spells? How do you make them so strong? Is there a secret? Can you teach that to me?”
“And also the way you use your mana and control it is different than before... you also talk so formally to everyone as if you don’t know us!”
‘What is with this suddenly?’
“You do really pay a lot of attention to others.”
Ellyn placed her hands on her mouth and looked away.
“Sorry, I- I didn’t want to upset you! I just wanted to see if I could help you in any way...”
“No, it’s fine.”
‘Are you one of those people who would worry about everyone?’
She seemed like a nice and sincere person to Kairen. Well, it was nice that there were still kind people around him.
Kairen opened his mouth to answer her.
“There is nothing to-”
But he couldn’t finish his sentence. The car they were in suddenly took a dangerous turn and stopped.
Kairen and Ellyn opened the door and jumped out of the car. They could see the car that Reyan and Mr. Rhoads were riding in. The car was upside down, one side of it bent inward in a weirds way as if it was hit by something. Outside the car, Reyan was holding Mr. Rhoads. It seemed like he grabbed the man and jumped out of the car before the car was hit.
Nibel and Alyx also rushed their way, but there was no time to talk.
The car that Kairen got off from a few seconds ago suddenly exploded. The shockwave pushed Kairen and Ellyn away and fire burst out.
Reyan yelled as he took out his sword. Mr. Rhoads who was crouching down behind Reyan talked, stuttering slightly.
“It... Is t-them...”
Kairen heard the sound of something slowly landing behind him. He jumped towards Reyan as he turned back. He could see people wearing masks and special uniforms appear from somewhere and surround them.
“What is going on?”
“That car suddenly exploded!”
“Is it a fight? A terrorist attack?!”
“Call the police!”
People in the street got panicked, some ran away while some took out their phones to take videos. Every car in the street distanced itself from the burning car and the masked people.
Kairen and Ellyn created layers of shield magic and Alyx and Nibel took out their swords as well. Other bodyguards also took out guns and stepped in front of Mr. Rhoads.
One of the masked men, who had green lines on his uniform unlike the others, was the first one to move. He came one step closer and looked at Mr. Rhoads.
“I will ask you kindly, give us the painting.”
“I- I don’t know wh-what you are t-talking about.”
“Hmm? Is that so?”
The man leisurely looked around. He looked at the cadets who were ready to fight, his eyes stopped on Reyan for a moment before turning his head towards other masked men.
“Capture that man in the back, doesn’t matter if he is injured or not. Kill the rest.”
Mr. Rhoads shuddered after hearing that. The attackers slowly started moving. Some took out weapons and some stepped back. it seemed like they were mages and aura wielders as well. Unlike these young cadets who didn’t have much experience in teamwork, their opponents moved in their formation in no time. And as soon as each one of them was in their position, they started attacking.
Countless magic spells fell on them and the men wielding aura-wrapped weapons rushed at them. The shields blocked most of the attacks and three swordsmen engaged in close-range battle with the enemy.
The wave of magic attacks continued to pure on them nonstop. The sound of swords crashing and heating each other could be heard. In terms of pure strength and talent, these cadets were superior, but they were experience-less. The enemy’s teamwork was overpowering them. The shields couldn’t hold on for too long and couldn’t protect swordsmen who were fighting outside their range at the same time. The three people were being hit by magic attacks without being able to dodge and it affected their own fight as well.
Kairen, standing behind the shield, looked at the mages of the other side. All of them seemed to be at least medium-level mages. The mages were skillfully attacking, blocking their enemy’s attacks, and supporting close-range fighters at the same time. They had to be taken care of first. Thinking that he started preparing his spell.
– You may accidentally kill innocent people or even the person you are supposed to protect.
He was suddenly reminded of Reyan’s words. He looked forward again. Kairen hesitated. Their opponents this time weren’t monsters but humans. Could he really use the spells he used to kill monsters on them? Wouldn’t they die? Did he want to become a murderer?
Kairen canceled his spell. He was frozen in the place with sudden thoughts. His mind was already tired from lack of sleep and he couldn’t think straight in this kind of situation. He didn’t know what to do. He had never thought about this before. His friends were fighting but he couldn’t do so. For a man born and raised in a modern era, this kind of situation was alien.
He heard the sound of an explosion. Someone rolled on the floor, jumped, and then landed beside him. His blonde hair was stained with blood and his body was injured.
“What the hell are you looking at? Cast your spell!”
Reyan yelled at him, seeing his friend staring blankly at the fight. He could see Kairen’s pale and scarred face and trembling hands, looking back at him with shaky eyes. He didn’t have time, Reyan picked up his sword again and ran again.
‘Cast spell... I should cast a spell... that doesn’t kill...not to kill...’
He had to knock them out. A spell not too weak and not too strong. A spell that can’t be blocked by shields. Kairen finally decided. He cast two spells at the same time and placed the lowest amount of mana possible in them.
‘There are 7 mages in total...’
He aimed at all 7 of them at the same time. It was quite hard to cast two spells and aim at 7 people simultaneously. Cold sweat formed on his forehead as he felt his mana get spent at a tremendous speed. Kairen closed his eyes to concentrate more and then released his spell.
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