Aylas unwillingness was obvious from her scowl as she trailed behind Dabih on the hastily erected tent at the area no doubt where Keid is brushing his bushy eyebrows.
”Is this my last expedition for a month again? ” She huffed, crossing her arms over her chest in her small way of rebelling.
The 2 consecutive runs this month was the result of Ayla staying put last month without causing any major headaches. It was the condition that Ayla and her guardians agreed for a long time.
Well, that streak just ended today.
Stupid ground rules.
”No, I will overlooked this matter until we finish this run. So in the meantime, we should report what happened earlier to Keid. ” They didn enter the tent after seeing the familiar lunatic with the porter with her earlier just outside the tent.
By this time, the twitching had calm down to the point that nobody would notice it unless they look closely. Still, Ayla was aware of the slight pressure from something pressing at the back of her eyes. It was an expected sensation because of her large action earlier, so she didn dwell on it.
”This…? ” Dabih started before pursing her lips. She didn really want to know. This unexpected combination naturally draw in Dabihs attention plus she immediately recognized the poor porter as Aylas driver.
Ayla raised her eyebrow questioningly when the lunatic slowly dab another cotton ball to a part of the porters head. Blood then soaked the cotton, earning a sharp hiss from the porter. How did he manage to knock himself over?
The porter didn even notice that he had a wound until Vega drag him here to clean up the wound. But it would explain why he was seeing stars early in the morning since regaining consciousness.
How stupid can you be? She thought, while crossing her arms over her chest.
But for people who understood the greenettes psychology, her small gesture clearly shows her thoughts.
e so harsh, Ayla. Look what youve done to little Olivers head. ” She briefly held up the bloody cotton for Ayla to see before disposing it.
”We almost did not see a deep wound on his head. Its dangerous enough that he passed out. Thankfully, he woke up right after Moblit took him to the other porters. ” Vega continued then paused as she gave Ayla a look full of suspicion.
”You didn knock him on purpose did you? ”
Ayla can help the scoff to escape her mouth at Vegas absurdity. ”Why would I waste my energy to do that? ”
She rolled her eyes as if she couldn believe the words directed to her right now. ”And its even the other way around. I saved his pathetic ass from being eaten and a lot more soldiers. If you want me to not take action, then you should assign someone more reliable next time. ”
Oliver, the porter, had a bad feeling that this issue may get blown out of proportion, and interjected. ”Party Leader, its not miss Aylas fault. Im supposed to look after her but I failed. I will definitely reflect with myself afterwards. ”
Oliver winced after impulsively rushing his body forward, forgetting his injury. But he had to do it since he was in the middle of this. Even if he wanted to defend himself against Aylas sharp tongue, its not worth being drag to this crazy problem.
Aylas bright green eyes suddenly shifted to him, while wearing a deep frown. Oliver almost bit his tongue, thinking he made the wrong call. ”Don beat yourself too much. Nobody was expecting you to fight that leviath anyway. Who do you think you are? ”
A beat of heavy silence hung over the group because of Aylas blunt words before it was broken by Vegas loud laughter.
Ayla looked away from the porter since she accidentally caught a glimpse of his pinched face that was about to cry, while mumbling, ”thats stupid. ”
”Right! What Ayla meant is actually don blame yourself! Ayla had chosen the best outcome to ensure both of your safety. ” Vega enthusiastically piped up. As the person who sees the other for almost seven years, Vega naturally guessed that Ayla mean those words as is.
Majority of the Ayla-related problems in the faction is exactly her tendency to not mince her words, which as expected, would set off anyones temper in the receiving end.
So as her guardian, she had to salvage this situation caused by this nasty child as much as possible. ”Just ignore Aylas expression and tone and youll know she means well. ” Vega nodded slowly, patting Olivers shoulder in sympathy.
The sound of someone clearing their throat, succesfully gained everybodys attention. ”I can hear the voice of the chief inside. It seems that chief is already connected to discuss the next agenda. ”
Ayla looked over at her confuse. ”Next agenda? I thought this stupid expedition is over? ”
Vega suddenly pop out of Aylas side, wrapping her arm over Aylas arm. ”You thought we would just go back inside the barrier without gaining anything? He could we waste humanitys strongest weapons time in this ”stupid ” expedition?! ”
Vega shook her head dramatically as if incredibly offended, while taking a step back. ”Did you really think so lowly of us? ”
”Yes. ” She said bluntly. Unfortunately, Ayla wasn in the mood to play along her tirade right now.
Vega beamed at her, ruffling her green mass of curly hairs not the least bit affected by her rude tone. ”Thats my honest shortcake. ” She laughed even more when she saw Ayla glaring darkly at her.
If only tossing this banshee somewhere far, faraway isn illegal.
Thats what Ayla thought.
”Come gallant knights, lets listen to eyebrows plan. ” Vega cheered, unaware of Aylas dangerous thoughts, while pushing Dabih and Ayla inside the tent.
Vega looked back to Leo, who is still standing in the sideline, as an afterthought. She almost forgot she was patching up a patient moments ago.
Vega widen her eyes meaningfully without any fluctuation in her tone. ”Can you go check Oliver for me please? ”
”Yes, party leader. ” Leos eyes flashed in realization as he flashed her a discreet thumbs up, then proceed to observe the porter silently after the opening of the tent flapped down.
They had not been an assistant and superior for a long time for nothing.
Thankfully, the porter already regained back a bit of a color on his face. Leo knew Keid can know about this or there won be another run for a month once again.
So if he can just persuade him…
”Are you okay? Nothing got damaged emotionally or physically right? ” Leo started to thread carefully since the porter looks out of it. What if something got unknotted in his brain?!
”You know, we receive our paychecks whenever we go out for a run right? So—. ”
”Wow, I think miss Ayla is really a good person. ” Oliver seem to have reach some kind of enlightenment…and possibly a misunderstanding.
”What did you say? ” Leo almost bit his tongue to stop the ”can you keep this incident from the chief? ” from escaping his mouth.
Oliver didn notice the stutter in Leos words nor the look of astonishment as he seem deeply affected by Aylas words earlier. ”Miss Ayla is worried for our safety without showing us. How could I only realize it now?! ”
Those self-proclaimed words made Leo speechless. He didn know whether to cry or laugh at the turn of the situation, which he didn even manipulated. This seems to be a good thing?
In the end, Leo kept the truth to himself. At least, the issue is resolved albeit in a weird way.
Everything will be fine…
He placed a hand over his chest in comfort, but why couldn he shrug off the iffy feeling that he was putting himself in trouble.
Inside the tent, a small number of porters were moving around efficiently. This is basically the time when porters are set to work their ass off.
”Whats with this agenda? ” Ayla asked to no one in particular as they stand across the makeshift table in front of a faint image of Keid, who is currently listening to a porters side report.
The real Keid is obviously still inside the barrier somewhere in the Winter moon barracks so what they are seeing right now is his image via a video communicator.
The main thing that makes the video communicator different is that it doesn have to be calibrated by an aurora user for it to work so anyone with the means to buy it can use it.
The device is already in market for a while now. Its about time the Convent branches out their influence from the military to exploit other practical uses of aurora to make money off an even more profitable area—the general public.
The military is indeed a big consumer with the tyrfings and other gadgets, but the general public never runs out of something to spend. Its a mystery why it took the Convent a long time to make a big move like this, if one think about it.
The porter already finished reiterating the details as soon as Ayla asked the question, which is why nobody had the guts to break the silence again with their offhanded remarks.
Keids huge presence could affect the mood in the room even with the pale graphic separating the real person and over here. Its because his thick eyebrows were furrowed, a sign that he was thinking of something important.
He had skimmed over the condensed report from the porters and Dabihs writings at the shortest time, and finally had a clear grasp of their situation.
They seriously have the worst luck to run into valkyries of all the days. Either way, valkyries had always been the unknown variable for the longest time because of their spontaneity and ridiculous strengths.
Keid didn delve more about the valkyries who messed up their itinerary.
As the brain behind the founding of this peculiar party, Keid has the highest decision power over the party. And for someone who was secretly given the title as the scheming demon, everybody is holding on whatever Keids gonna say.
Finally, after several minutes of silence, Keid break the tense silence with a single line.
”Continue the run. ”
Keid made his decision.
He ignored the others varied reactions and looked across to the screen specifically to the green haired magnae, who didn seem to have any opinion over the matter until Keid looked at her and gave her a specific order.
”Get to work. ”
Aylas green hair began glowing vibrantly in response to her bubbling excitement. It would have been endearing if not for that wide ominous grin they knew she usually wore as a prelude to another devious plan.
”Oho? Aren you gonna regret this Keid? ” She raised an eyebrow as if taunting him. She was blatantly pushing a reaction from Keid from the way she used the kingdoms informal language and calling Keid without his military title.
”Giving me this much power is scary, I don think I can go back from before. ” She sighed exasperatedly, feigning a dark ambiguous undertone. Her eyes curved in the corner when she felt the porters flinched.
”Miss… ” A porter called Dabih hesitantly, eyeing the green haired intermittently. The porters around couldn even hide their shaky eyes and tense shoulders.
Only a handful of people could speak like Ayla and still be alive the next day. In that people, you
e either a crazy bastard or someone with enough wit to face Keid for a long time.
Dabih sighed, but couldn say anything for her fellow porters worries. Since they were currently facing a difficult variable, of course they have to introduce a formidable variable to even out the stakes.
Keid was outright ordering for a massacre to occur. It only happens a handful of times, but the memory definitely left a deep impression to their mind and body.
Keid only rolled his eyes at her deliberate scheme, expecting Ayla to do this empty threat every time.
How could he be sure of Aylas personality? Thats because he raised this goddamn troll as her guardian.
”Don do anything stupid or Ill deduct your allowance. If I hear one mischief from Dabih, say goodbye to this months allowance. ” He said breezily.
That instantly wiped out Aylas brazen grin and caused her shoulders to droop in a humble arch. Its because shes poorer than sewer rats right now.
Ah. The allure of good things in life is Aylas strongest bane.
”Now that I remember, it is better to be self-restrained in this serious situation. The greatest chief tactician had imparted another wisdom to this poor student. ” She stated benignly. The switch was scarily instantaneously.
Vega accidentally snorted out loud before quickly angling her body out of the communication devices sight to hide her pinched expression. If she look at anyone right, she might burst out laughing right there.
Keid can clearly hear Vega choking for suppressing her laugh in the audio even if he couldn see her quivering shoulders. His ears is extremely itchy right now. Why does it sounded like a mock coming from Aylas mouth?
This troll is really competitive. She was able to leave him this speechless with an unexpected move.
The porters were also conflicted based from the way they were throwing glances at one another.
Keid chose not to reply Ayla on that ridiculous comment and place his attention to their unrestrained party leader. ”Vega, how is the other team? ”
Vega first cleared her throat to collect herself before replying lightly. ”Caelum and the others were able to hold off the valkyries until we arrived. Its a good thing that part-timer was quite good in using tyrfing. ”
Vega had seen a glimpse of the part-timers unique style of fighting from a distance. His technique was quite lousy yet his raw strength is destructive.
Keid frowned in confusion as soon as mentioned Vega mentioned something peculiar. He more or less knew Miroh since he was under his class, but he was famous as the only knight who hadn calibrated his tyrfing yet.
He invited Miroh with his transparent and hardworking personality in mind. Keid wanted trustworthy people above any special skills from now on. Ayla is enough to cause chaos as is.
Speaking of Ayla, she smoothly avoided Keids eyesight after making eye contact with that sharp gaze pointed to her inquiringly.
Okay, she may be the most likely culprit, but she convinced herself that her intentions were good and it shouldn merit any deduction from her allowance; forgetting that she also thrown that same person to the leviaths mouth earlier.
The meaningful exchange of eye contact between Keid and Ayla happened quickly that others failed to notice it. They probably couldn see any conjecture since they haven personally met Miroh anyway.
”Then that plan about putting the part-timer in an inactive area was for nothing? ” Vega can help but remarked while scratching her chin. Separating the party was for the part-timer in the first place.
”Its quite the contrary, ” Keid sighed heavily yet another wrinkle had formed between his thick eyebrows, ”that part-timer somehow calibrated his tyrfing today. ”
”For real? ” Everybody gasped in surprise. That sort of luck or miracle was rarer than the luxurious beef in this shitty world.
”Its also a good thing that most of you survived. ” Keid pointed out.
”We can continue our agenda as long as there are a lot porters. ”
Everybody then changed their posture sensing Keids intention to begin the meeting for the capture operation