As Calian stepped forward, the man’s gaze turned to him. Calian stared right back at him and asked,
“What does he want?”
“He says he is looking for a child thief,”
“The tail is a little long for him to simply have come looking,” he looked at Yuran with a meaningful gaze and Yuran’s eyes quickly swept past Calian, and quickly realised what he meant.
While he checked the surroundings, Calian asked the stranger,
“What does the person you seek look like?”
“A young elf,”
Calian nodded his head and pointed to Sia,
“Go and check,”
From within the robes, the sound of a sharp breath could be heard. With the road suddenly open before him, the man hesitated, looking at Calian for a moment.
Calian looked at Yuran, who nodded his his chin sharply,
Calina continued with a smile,
“And once you’ve checked, go back as if it wasn’t the person you were looking for – if you want to live that is.”
The man’s eyes became fierce, Calian ignored that gaze and once again focused on the surrounding energy. From the moment the man had approached their party, he had felt a weak energy in the air – it was hostility and bloodl.u.s.t.
Some people could hide their hostile energy, so even though he couldn’t tell exactly how many were in the bushes, he could at least gouge how many of them had arrows pointed towards them.
But the direction of the hostility was strange, it wasn’t just directed towards them in general, but specifically towards the stranger and Sia. It meant that the hidden men were waiting to kill both of them as soon as it was confirmed that the one inside the robes was Sia.
So Calian had understood that the man had been abandoned by his colleagues from the beginning and that whatever the elf, Sia, had stolen – it couldn’t be anything good.
Calian opened his mouth again,
“Don’t look away and listen, the ones hidden away are aiming at you and at that kid. As soon as you confirm it’s the child, the arrows will fly. So just go and try to make better friends,”
Of course the man didn’t believe what Calian had said, so his gaze slipped away – Calian made a thud on the ground with his foot,
“I told you not to do that,”
The words became the trigger,
In the same moment that Yuran and the knights pulled out their swords, six arrows flew.
Four of them were aimed at Sia.
Having been standing on guard, Kyrie and the knights were quick to block the remaining arrows and soon a second volley flew towards them.
This time, Calian also moved, he grabbed the man and pulled him down and the arrows that had been aimed at him bounced off a wide s.h.i.+eld that had spread around them. It was a.r.s.en.
Calian smiled brightly at a.r.s.en. Soon Yuran shouted orders to the knights,
“Go and check it out, don’t chase them too far,”
The knights’ priority was to guard Calian, there was no need to catch those who shot the arrows since their attack wasn’t directed at Calian – their escort mission came first.
Five Knights darted out towards the forest at his words. Immediately after, another attempt was made at shooting them with the arrows and they once again were bounced back harmlessly – after that no more arrows flew in.
They would have chosen to run away.
Kyrie and two more knights who had protected Sia, approached Calian to take over holding the man Calian still had in his grasp but the man’s hand was already sneaking around his sword handle. Kyrie who saw it first, was started and yelled out,
Perhaps he had forgotten that it was Calian who had saved him, but that man pulled his sword out and drew it up.
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Fortunately, Calian’s reaction was a little faster,
In what world would that be considered delicate?
The knights kept glancing back at Calian, who had a serene expression, even as they dragged the man away.
Calian was about to turn to Sia when he paused, this time, it was Yan who was staring at him.
Of course he knew about the magic, and he knew Calian had been practising his swordsmans.h.i.+p with Kyrie so rather than being surprised, he looked more angry.
If Yan had any issues, it was his inability to recognise skill – or specifically, he didn’t seem to be able to see Calian’s skill at all.
“Your highness, it almost became a problem again!”
A storm of nagging began.
Why did he step forward when there were knights all around him, what would he do if he got hurt and saying he was so lucky nothing went wrong – such words continued for a long time.
It was clear that to Yan, the man who had been dragged away by the knights with his shoulder pierced and bleeding might as well have been invisible.
Calian, who had been nagged at for a while, turned his head quietly and caught Yuran’s eye – who then immediately avoided his gaze.
He knew about Yan’s denseness and it was clear he was holding back his laughter. As the nagging that had seemed endless finally came to a close, the knights who had entered the forest chasing after the archers, returned.
They had no injuries, but no success either. Yuran who hadn’t asked them to catch the archers, didn’t reprimand them for anything, and instead asked,
“How many were there?”
One of the five knights came forward to answer,
“A total of seven people, they scattered right away and left no discernable trace,”
“Alright, I understand,”
All he had done was stop on his journey to get some rest and eat and had met an elf but he got caught up in something unexpected and endured a lot of nagging, so Calian stomped forwards towards Sia and whipped off the robe that he had been using to cover himself.
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