~ Chapter 120: A mother's gentle smile ~
[Shanteya's point of view]
“The tree knew not if he should provide the shade for his little friend. If he believed his words, then once he recovered, the monster would eat his roots and let him to rot in the sun.” I said and then turned the page of the children's book.
“What happened then, mother?” Anette asked curiously as she floated in circles around me.
“Hemwit cwab bad?” little Bachus asked as he looked up at me with teary eyes.
“Don't be ridiculous, little brother! The palm tree will definitely save the hermit crab, right?” Anette said as she gently patted the little boy's head with [Telekinezy] spell.
“B-But...” he looked up at me.
“Let's see then.” I showed my two children a warm smile and then turned the page.
These two little angels were born between me and my husband, who was a powerful Godlike Dungeon Lord. In this world, being a Dungeon was akin to being a monster, but on this island, he changed that sort of mentality.
Anette, who was a Dungeon like her father, was no different than a normal little girl in regard to how she behaved and talked, while her twin brother, who was growing up fast, was half-Dungeon and half-El'doraw. In a way, he was like my sister-wife Nanya, who was the daughter of a demoness and a Dungeon, however, she never got to know who her twin was or if he was still alive.
Ever since my children were born, they were taught to care for one another as siblings and regard me as their mother and Illsyore as their father. My sister-wives were also their mothers, they were 'the other mother'.
“Although the palm tree feared the hermit crab's dangerous threat of eating his roots, it couldn't just let him die like that. A bit reluctant, a bit afraid, the palm tree chose to offer his shade to the strange creature.” I continued the story.
“Yes!” Anette cheered and made a loop in the air.
The reason why I could see this form of hers was still a mystery to me, but Illsyore believed it had something to do with the fact that I was her biological mother like he was her biological father. It was natural for parents to be aware of their children's little tricks, if this could even be called that. Bachus could see her as well, but Nanya and the others couldn't.
“The shade helped the hermit crab, and in a few hours, he recovered. The palm tree showed compassion and trust towards the little creature. He could have ignored him, but he didn't. Then, when the crab woke up, he looked up at the tree and asked him: 'Why did you offer me your shade when I told you that I would eat your roots?' The palm tree replied 'Kindness and maybe mercy?' The crab looked up at him and down at his claws. There was just one lone tree there, and he was one lone crab. He could have left him to die, but the palm tree chose to save him, to offer him his shade. The crab then told the tree 'I lied... I didn't believe you would help me. Nobody does.' The crab remembered his friends deep down under the sea, who mocked and laughed at his little shell. The tree never cared about how he looked and even when threatened like that, he still sowed him kindness. The hermit crab was ashamed and saddened because he couldn't trust that out there he could find others like him. From that day on, the hermit crab protected the tree from all sort of bugs, and the tree offered him shade and safety from the predators on land.” and with these final words, the story was over, and I closed the book.
“I like the story, mother!” said Anette.
“I'm happy you do, now it's time for both of you to go to bed.” I told them.
“OK!” she said cheerfully as Bachus snuggled under his blanket. “There's one thing I don't understand, though...” she said.
“What is it, Anette?” I asked her.
“Why is the story entitled 'The coconut crab'?”
“Because they are a type of hermit crabs. There's also a monster called that which grows as big as a house. Your mother Tamara loves to hunt those.” I told her.
“I lwike mommy Tamawa's cooking!” said little Bachus.
“We all do, my little boy, but I know how to cook as well!” I said proudly.
“Um!” he nodded with a happy smile.
I gave him a kiss on the forehead and then tucked him in. Afterwards, I got up from my chair and went to give Anette a goodnight kiss as well. She was a level 124 Godlike Dungeon now and lived in the same room as her brother. Illsyore helped her level up by having her help with the construction of the Illsyorea City which surrounded our academy.
“Good night, you two! Mother loves you.” I told them and then left the room.
Only Anette's faint white light was left glowing within. Bachus' bed had a veil to keep his side in the shade.
With a smile on my lips, I closed the door behind me and then let out a sigh. The feeling I was holding within my heart now was without a doubt one of happiness. In all those years as an assassin for Phantom Rage, I didn't even hoped to dream of something as blissful as having children or a family. At best, I could only hope for one day to return to my parents.
I should head to bed as well. Tomorrow I have classes to teach. I wonder if the children did their homework? They had a week to complete it, but what if it was too difficult for them? My mind began to wonder as I was walking down the hallway.
Then, when I was right in front of my room, I felt a tingling sensation on the back of my neck. It was a feeling which told me there was something wrong, yet when I looked down at my hands, I wasn't trembling. This dangerous element, whatever it was, did not represent something threatening to me but to someone around me, someone weaker... someone I cared about it.
The children... I thought and then turned around. But we are within Illsy's Dungeon Territory, who could sneak through without alerting him? I wondered, but I swiftly remembered that there was a type of magic capable of doing this, capable of allowing an individual or more to freely sneak through one's Dungeon Territory. Assassins? But... that's impossible, right? I thought.
Still, was it really impossible for it to be so?
It was the dead of night, the right time these scoundrels preferred to act. They could sneak past our defenses if they were skilled enough, but this would require extreme luck on their side or to have already learned the way in. For the safety of our children, in this part of our house there were no traps either.
Out of the many people living in Illsyorea City, it wouldn't be such an impossible thing to image that one of them was captured and forced to describe the paths of the guards or even mark them down. It would have taken them quite a while to do so, but while it was highly improbable for someone to waste so much energy, it wasn't impossible.
Right now, I had two choices: ignore this strange feeling I held in my heart as nothing but stress or paranoia, or I could go and check it out... to search and hunt.
Closing my eyes, I took a deep breath in and then let out the air slowly. When I opened my eyes, the decision was made. Focusing my Magic Energy in my body, I pulled out the dagger Illsy gave me as a present from within the Storage Crystal in my right hand.
With a single step, I faded in the darkness and stepped within the shadows. The Magic Energy around me created a perfect camouflage that hid even my breath and scent. I calmed down my heart and focused my senses.
In the time I spent on the islands filled with monsters as well as while traveling with Illsy to this place which became my home, I rarely got the opportunity to go on a human hunt. Partially to blame was their own weakness...
There were many spells I could use now, but for the moment, I focused only on detection. The main skill I was using was [Living Being Sonar]. As for how it worked, Illsyore explained to me one time that both inanimate objects and living beings had different quantities of Magic Energy within them as well as a different flow. In a living being, magic was like a stream that kept on flowing, while in inanimate objects it was still and withheld the information of their shape.
Using this skill, I could detect who was around me, mark them and then hunt them.
There's one... two... six near me. I thought as I looked at the red ghastly lights that only I could see thanks to my spell.
I targeted the one who was the most isolated from the others, a watch guard right outside my home, hiding in a bush. Illsy and the others were still unaware of their movements within the shadows, which made these intruders believe they held an advantage.
What a foolish belief...
I jumped out the window and flew through the air, letting the light of the two moons, Lunaris and Lunoria, pass right through me like I wasn't even there. Thanks to my high agility and nimble body, I was able to easily land right behind him without him detecting me.
Closing the distance between us like a whisper in the wind, I stopped him from screaming and broke the bones in his hands. With the twist and a turn, I slammed him with his back on the ground and pressed the blade of my dagger to his neck. The assassin wore the same clothes I once did, but he was not of the same rank as I was back then, this one was... an Emperor Rank.
“So what does Phantom Rage want here?” I asked him, but he glared back in return. “I guess you wouldn't say, but this doesn't mean I can't read you.” I told him and then stabbed my dagger in his liver. “You have a few minutes left to live, at most. I'm giving you just ONE chance to spare you of a cruel agonizing death. Who and why is all I need, you'll be dead anyway, and I'll definitely not tell who divulged the info.” I told him.
“Ugh... Who... are you?” he asked.
“Don't you know? The Phantom Rage once called me the Broken Doll.” I showed him a smile and then pressed the blade on his biceps, cutting deep within his flesh. “Speak.” I urged him.
“Aghmmmf!” I muffled his shout, but his eyes showed desperation, hate, anger, and confusion.
“I can detect at least six others around here, but that's only because I just started searching, this means there are six more tries for me.” I showed him a smile “What is your loyalty worth if you'll die anyway?” I purred and gently touched his right cheek.
He flinched. He was afraid of me. Good.
“If you promise... promise to kill me quick... I'll tell you.” he said.
“Oh my, you are afraid of dying?” I asked with a smile.
“No... I just hate those bastards! Ugh!” he declared, and I saw his veins turning black, a sign that his curse was activated.
Now that I thought about it, the [Curse of Obedience] was such a disgusting thing, an inescapable bond that chained you up like a dog to Phantom Rage. One wrong move, one word of treason spoken and it would result in them dying by having their life and energy drain away slowly. The reason why it didn't grant them instant death, besides the agonizing pain as they went through this, there was also the possibility that it could activate by mistake or because the assassin was quite young and inexperienced. The young ones usually still clung to hope.
“Agreed.” I told him.
“The target is a young child named Bachus. The purpose is to return him to Phantom Rage for him to become one of us. The higher up said that Master has plans for one such as him. Now, your part of the deal?” he asked, clearly suffering from my wounds but also glad to finally be rid of his accursed way of living.
It may well have been that he was someone just like me, kidnapped at a young age and forced into submission through this idiotic curse. Ah, but alas, this time, the Master of Phantom Rage made one grave mistake...
“Really now? Someone thinks they can kidnap the child of a being capable of wiping out an entire kingdom within a day? How ridiculous.” I said with a giggle.
The assassin, however, couldn't say a word... he was afraid. Why? Because he was seeing and feeling my killing intent.
“As you wish... Your death, painless it shall be.” I said and then plunged my dagger through his right temple and twisted the blade, cracking his skull and turning his brain to mush.
As I pulled out my bloodied dagger, I looked towards those other signs of life that got closer and closer to my precious children. Anette was there, asleep, but she was far too weak to defend her brother by herself. If I remember the procedures right, they were going to kidnap Bachus and if they saw my little girl there as well, they wouldn't hesitate to shatter her and take the pieces of her Crystal Body as some sort of trophy.
Their plan was good. Even a royal family wouldn't have stood a chance against them. These assassins, through their meticulous and perfected work, they could be regarded as professionals among their peers. After all, they had the skill to avoid Illsyore, the most powerful being on this island.
“One thing is to go after me, and another after my children...” I said as I focused on the closest target I could locate.
With a fast dash and a silent step, I moved behind her. The blade pierced her throat before she could scream, and with a single slice, I decapitated her. As her body fell bleeding to the ground, I rushed to the other one, a man ready to get inside the mansion through a window. As I covered his mouth with my hand, to muffle his screams, I pushed the tip of my dagger between his ribs and sliced his heart in half.
Three dead, and a lot more to go.
Within the span of a couple of minutes, these assassins all fell dead on the ground. Some had been decapitated with a clean swipe, others had their vitals stabbed by my dagger, while others were left with a sliced throat. Their bodies laid still on the ground, and the last three were apparently Godlike Rank assassins.
These fellows stood in front of my children's door, ready to burst in, but I scraped the blade of my dagger on the wall to catch their attention.
“Who is it?!” one of them called out.
I showed him a gentle smile and then vanished.
Well, I didn't disappear, but I moved so fast his eyes couldn't follow. In but a split second, my dagger found its way under his chin and pierced his skull. I then tugged at the blade and tossed his whole body to the side, away from the door.
By the time his comrades realized what happened, I was sitting next to them with a bloodied blade and a gentle smile on my lips. Given my facial complexion under the pale light of the moons, I must have looked like a ghost to them.
They stepped back. I turned on my heels and then kicked the closest one to me in the chest. He was sent flying into the wall, vomiting blood. Before he could fall on the ground, I was right in front of him, my dagger under his neck. The man's weight was all it took to decapitate him.
“Last one.” I said with a smile as I looked at him.
Frightened, the woman tried to run, heading for the window.
She was the last one. The last of these parasites who dared crawl inside my territory.
But just then, the door to my children's room cracked open, and a sleepy Bachus walked out while rubbing his eyes. If he saw all the death and carnage I caused, it would be a disaster, so I rushed to his side, blocking his view of the gore behind me.
“Bachus, sweet child, why are you up?” I asked him.
“Mommy, I heawd a noise.” he said.
“Oh, that's just mommy, doing a bit of late night cleaning. You should go to bed, it's late.” I smiled and patted him on the head.
His long el'doraw ears twitched and then nodded happily.
After he got back in the room, I looked back at the mess I made. The decapitated body was still spilling out blood, but Illsyore was going to clean it up later.
“Now then... One last left.” I said with a gentle smile on my lips as I poured a bit of Magic Energy within my dagger to activate its self-cleaning ability.
Jumping out the window, I quickly gave chase to the survivor. She wasn't that far away. Compared to Tamara, this one was oh so much easier to catch! Before she knew it, I was right behind her. I grabbed her by her neck and then tossed her on the ground. The impact shattered her armor and left a small crater there. She was a Godlike, so she would survive.
I slammed my foot in her stomach to stop her from moving away. She spat out blood and looked in terrible pain.
“Oh, my! Are you hurt?” I chuckled.
“Y-You... The Master will hear of this!” she threatened.
“Who?” I smiled and tilted my head.
“Ah, yes... that lunatic.” I looked right in her eyes.
“Y-You... You're not afraid of him?” she asked confused.
“Of the man who forced me to call him master? No, of course not.”
“I-Impossible! I heard you were the Broken Doll, but... I never expected you to be this powerful... To take out all 35 of us.” she said and coughed.
I must have struck her quite hard.
“Honestly, I stopped counting after the first six. You were too weak, a disappointment really.” I yawned.
“Keh! It matters not... Master will avenge us.” she said.
“Hm, I doubt that. Especially since he'll have other things to worry about.” I told her.
“Like?” she showed me a mocking smile.
Looking into the woman's eyes, I leaned down and pressed the blade of my dagger to her neck “Me.” I said and then cut, separating her head from her body.
Blood gushed out like a fountain, but I didn't let a single drop touch me.
Jumping back, I looked at the last expression this woman had. Her eyes showed me surprise and horror.
It's good the children didn't bare witness to this side of me. I said as I cleaned up the blade of my dagger again and reabsorbed it within my Storage Crystal.
After I looked one last time at the body, I left to find my husband. He was together with Tamara tonight, but I was sure that my intrusion won't upset them given what just happened. Besides, he really should find a way to counteract the effects of the spell that hides one's presence from the senses of the Dungeon Territory.
Note from the author: Thank you for reading this chapter, I hope you enjoyed it! Oh, and be sure to check out my other stories too!
This is the first chapter of the new Arc! Unfortunately, I haven't come up with the right name for it, but give me some time, and I will figure it out. :))
GREAT NEWS! The second volume of I was reincarnated as a Magic Academy! is up on Amazon awaiting to be purchased and for all of your generous reviews! 😀
You can find it here: Amazon.com Link
Author needs help!
You probably noticed the links to My Books and topwebfiction website. Well, I wish for more people to know about my work, and this way help me reach my dream of becoming a full-time writer. If you want to help me and my work, please give these stories their weekly vote and write a Review if you can on their info page (no one-liners please).
Thank you! 🙂
Buy a book!
Check out the author's published books!
An innocent side project!
Stories written for fun. Knowing the original isn't required.
Support DragomirCM in his endeavors to bring you more and more stories to read!