“I Feel Like Someone Was Calling My Name”
A number of men had their hands on him, so there was nothing Claudio could do but watch as the gray dragon carried Lucy away in its arms without being able to take a step.
Even when he used his full strength–if not to kill them then at least to injure them–but for some reason he was unable to use any of his magic meaning his status as the strongest student of his year was pointless. He was helpless as soon as the heavily equipped men had surrounded him.
Claudio wasn’t able to do anything, so he did the only thing he could which was focused all of his hatred into his glare hoping that might make the men drop dead……..until the breathtaking power behind their flame attack made contact with the dragon in the air.
The dragon carrying Lucy. Claudio heard Lucy screamed out the name of her precious cat that had turned into something he had once thought was a fictitious creature in anguish. Then the dragon lost its balance in the sky, plunging towards the forest……
Claudio was screaming at the top of his lungs while trying to shake off the men’s grip. Of course there was no way for his voice to reach all the way to the forest, but he wasn’t able to stop himself from calling out Lucy’s name.
Ortensia and Conrad were right behind him, Conrad furiously kicking and screaming to throw of the men holding him down while Ortensia was in tears, using whatever magic she could to blow away her restraints. But nothing worked. What kind of dubious research is able to make even the magic of the Rosedot house ineffective……was what the rational part of Claudio’s mind was wondering. Of course, everything besides that one sliver of rational was busy screaming Lucy’s name.
“Release me! Do you think a bunch of outsiders like you can just intrude on school grounds, assault the students, and get away with it?”
Claudio glared at the man holding down his right arm and found that the man was laughing underneath his thick helmet. Then another person who was nearby pulled out a sheet of paper from his pocket and shoved it in Claudio’s face.
Reading the words transcribed there, Claudio’s eyes opened wide in shock.
“Sorry, but we already have permission from Liztena Magic Academy to do what we want.”
“Th-the headmaster would never……”
“There are some things in this world that just can’t be helped. Stupid baby boy.”
Sporting a cruel smile, the man waved the paper in Claudio’s face a little to twist the knife before shoving it back in his pocket.
That triumphant smile showed he had confidence in his complete hold of the situation, so it was natural for him to think there was nothing Claudio could do. Sure enough, all of the surrounding Liztena guards were floating around, unsure about what it was they were supposed to do.
In this situation, the headmaster was probably silently watching from a distance, his hands tied. It would be useless to rely on his help, so there was only one person who could take command here……..
Claudio calmed down his voice, and spoke once again to the man holding his arm.
“Release me. Who do you think I am?”
The words he spoke were the very words he hated more than anything. There was a part of him who wanted to ask him, “Who do you think you are,” naturally irritated from the arrogant way of thinking.
But if Lucy were here, she would teasingly say, “That’s a soldier’s way of think Mr. Prince,” or something of the like. She would use plenty of sarcasm of derision, but there would never be any hatred or maliciousness hidden in her words. Even though he was the second prince, he had always found that confrontational yet slightly kind attitude of hers endearing, and strove to always respond to those jokes of her ironically by patting her on top of her head.
Either way she would always turn to look at him and give a beautiful smile. But thinking that that memory too might be forgotten, Claudio aimed his focus on the man in his way.
Claudio had to go to Lucy immediately. But this guy wouldn’t let him go, and all of the authority of the academy was behind him. …….But only the academy.
“You may have pushed the headmaster into a corner, but between the academy and this country, who do you think holds more power?”
“Who the hell do you think I am! I am Claudio Barek, a member of the Barek family who rules this country!”
The men all turned pale at Claudio’s words. They had all come from a foreign country. They surely would have known Claudio’s name, but his face would be a mystery to them. Or maybe they did know his face, but thought that the odds of this kid they were holding actually being the crown prince was far too unlikely to be true.
Their reactions, ‘I didn’t notice’ definitely didn’t provide a sufficient enough excuse for the profane crime of harming a member of the royal family, but it did help irritate Claudio all the more.
Lucy was the only person who could do something like this and get away with it.
“Security, arrest these men.”
“Even inside this academy, I am still Prince Claudio Barek! And even if that were not the case, just these foreign barbarians daring to harm Ortensia of the Rosedot family would be a grievous sin.”
Claudio’s icy words left the security guards puzzled for a moment, but they soon came to their senses and surrounded the men. Normally these people were entrusted with the security of the school, so they would often see Claudio around the campus. They more than any of the students were able to understand Claudio’s frank attitude that did away with his station as a prince.
He would graciously lower his head when thanking someone, he would boisterously laugh whenever he found something funny, and he would always respond, “I’m just like any other student at this school,” whenever someone gave him too proper of a greeting. That’s why these guards knew more than anyone how furious Claudio was to start throwing his position around. The world trembles when a kind man gets angry, and they weren’t about to subject themselves to the quakes.
The security guards got to quick work, and while some left to go get backup, the others drew their weapons and became a protective barrier for Claudio and the others.
“Mi~! Release me you rude buffoon!”
Ortensia started twisting around underneath her detainers grip, throwing out her hatred and contempt at him.
However the man holding her arm didn’t seem to want to disengage, and on the contrary he grabbed her shoulder as if he were preparing to use her as a shield. She was too small compared to the muscular man, so all she could do was shrilly yell, “Mi~!”
At the same time Ortensia started furiously lashing out at him with her magic. The small part of her that had held back until now was gone, but still her spells had no effect on her opponent resulting in nothing more than a crackle of electricity running through the air.
“I thought you were just an annoying little girl, but it turns out your a high class lady…… But unfortunately for you, magic doesn’t work on us. That’s just the way it is.”
Ortensia turned pale at the man’s words. If magic was useless, then Ortensia was just a dainty noble woman–the least powerful person there. The state of her own helplessness began to sink in, and as the fear set, she began to struggle all the more while meekly insisting, “Release me…..!!”
Claudio glowered at the scene in front of him before turning his eyes on the other men and muttering, “So that’s how it is,” to himself.
He didn’t know the reason, but Lucy was able to convert her memories into magic. But he did understand that she probably wasn’t able to do that in the beginning. It was most likely the result of some experiment. And there was that dragon Lucy called out to, but it was previously a cat.
People being able to turn their memories into magic, cats transforming into dragons……it was something right out of a fairy tale.
But if you were to accept that as reality, then ‘a group of men that are unaffected by magic’ wouldn’t be too strange of an addition.
Even though it is something you can understand in your head, it’s something that is almost impossible to accept when you’re put in this kind of position. A man holding Ortensia hostage where nobody can use magic to save her…….
“If magic won’t work, then we can just beat him with our fists!”
Conrad roared as he jumped forward and embedded his fist into the cheek of the man holding Ortensia.
After one blow his grip on Ortensia was completely released, and a sickly *CRACK!* sounded.
The man fell on his back and rolled on the grass, coming to a stop over three meters away, coming to a stop and not getting back up. He probably wasn’t dead after just being punched in the cheek, but there was most likely a concussion in his future.
Although Conrad showed no mercy nor mind for the man he had just socked, he did show the utmost care while helping Ortensia to her feet after she had fallen down.
“Lady Ortensia, are you alright?”
Having finally understood that Conrad had saved her, Ortensia breathed out all her fears in a single breath.
But the situation had not been resolved just because one man had been knocked over. Lucy had still not come back, and there was no sign of the dragon rising to the sky again.
That’s why Claudio left the clean-up of the situation to the security forces while starting to run in the direction Lucy had gone. Of course, he did spend the time to look back over his shoulder and yelled out, “Be as rough with them as you’d like, I’ll bear all the responsibility.”
Claudio ran into the forest, but the prepared road paved for carriages led to a different than where Lucy would have fell which made it useless.
He threw up a reconnaissance bird into the air to scan the area where Lucy could be while still running through the forest himself to get sight on the ground. The trees were so dense that he was unable to use magic to quicken his movements, but thinking logically, he would have wanted to avoid using it anyway. There were beasts in the woods outside of prepared road, and he would need his magic in the event he ran into one of them.
“Lucy, don’t use any magic until I get there…… If you’re going to forget, then forget with me in your eyes……..!”
As soon as he muttered such to himself, Claudio heard someone else yell out Lucy’s name, and he quickly changed his course. A short distance away he found Ortensia and Conrad who had also come looking for Lucy, but there was no indication that they had any clue where she could be creating a feeling of frustration between each of them.
As they continued on, nobody said anything other than Lucy’s name, a strange sense of urgency shared between all of them.
And then *POP* a cat appeared. It didn’t walk through the gaps of the trees…..it came right through.
It was a messenger animal that had come from the direction of a part of the forest filled with particularly densely grown trees. The appearance of the cat caused Claudio’s heart to skip a beat as he silently stared at it for a moment…..”Lucy?” and reached out to touch it.
The cat raised a small cry before calmly walking closer to Claudio. It raised its head towards his arm, and after a small jump, began to climb up to his shoulder. The cat rest itself next to Claudio’s head and began rubbing itself against his cheek.
“Claudio, I love you.”
And then at the moment, a familiar voice whispered into Claudio’s ear.
There was no way he would make a mistake, that was Lucy’s voice. But that voice was coming from a translucent cat rubbing itself against his cheek, a cat that disappeared shortly after the message was delivered. A messenger animal that carried a vocal message….. The words that message delivered continued to echo in Claudio’s ear, and he violently covered them with his hands, hoping that doing so would make them stay there.
It was Lucy’s voice. She told him she loved him. But why would she have to go this far? In order to use magic, she would have forgotten something…. No, this probably wasn’t the only magic she had used.
That was why, with the last dredges that remained, she sent this message.
“Lucy, please……don’t forget me……”
The frustration was wringing Claudio’s heart like a wet dish rag as he breathlessly voiced his deepest prayer.
But there was still a distance to the place where Lucy would have fallen, and even though he and Ortensia were using reconnaissance magic, neither of them could confirm the distance or even the correct direction of where she had landed.
But even if they were to find where she had fallen, there was no guarantee Lucy would still be there.
Maybe she remembered the school and was already there. Or perhaps she had forgotten everything and was currently wandering in a completely different direction. There was also the possibility that the dragon was carrying Lucy across the ground, avoiding another possible attack if her were to fly again. Or maybe there were men from the institute in the forest as well, and they found her…..
Different scenarios continued popping up in Claudio’s mind one after another causing him to clutch his chest. His heart was in pain, and it was getting harder to breathe.
But in the next moment, “Mi~!” a single noise brought him back to his senses.
“Mi~, Mi~! Miiiii~!!! Mi~! Mi~! Mi~!”
Tears came to Ortensia’s eyes as she continued to raise a bunch of nonsensical noises. Conrad was surprised and tried to calm her down, but she wasn’t paying him any mind and continued to yell out “Mi~!”
It was the usual “Mi~”. She continued to repeat it over and over again, sometimes changing the direction she was facing, before repeating a “Mi~”. With tears in her eyes, she was constantly calling out to Lucy.
Come back, you can’t leave by yourself and go somewhere……..
Watching her, listening to her continued “Mi~’s”, doubts suddenly came to Claudio’s mind.
……..Why was Lucy always able to understand what Ortensia was saying with just that single noise?
“………Ortensia, are you using magic”
“Mi~! Mi~! Mi~! Miiiiiiiiiiiiii~!!”
“I see, you’re calling out to Lucy. Ortensia, your voice can reach her!”
Scream more! Claudio grabbed Ortensia’s shoulders and urged her to continued.
Ortensia received her orders and, “MIIIIIIII~!” began shouting even louder than she had before while Conrad scanned the tree line, hoping to spot Lucy.
Ortensia continued to shout and scream “Mi~!” until her voice grew hoarse. So she used even more strength, determined to continue shouting until her throat bled and she would be unable to shout ever again. And then, some nearby branches began to shake……..
“Are you guys the ones making that weird noise?”
and Lucy appeared with a slightly irritated expression on her face.