It… it shouldn’t have gone like this!
I thought they would just lose to our ambush right away! If not by the collapsing ice, at the barrage of Cold Blast we sprung on them! To think that the father would be strong enough to deflect all of them like that! He might be a fellow S-rank adventurer, but he’s definitely stronger than me! And now, he’s hunting me down, knowing that I’m the strongest and most dangerous mage around!
The plan was to incapacitate them with our ice spells before offering them to Lady Vera! But now, that option clearly has gone out of the window!
And my Cold Nova… what was that counter spell? I’ve never seen anything like it! If I had been slower by a millisecond to dodge, I would have my head blown off! I thought they wouldn't have their mage with them!
This ain't right! This ain't right at all!
N-no, I can still do this! I have to do this! O-or else Lady Vera would—
His newfound fear for Alan was still unmatched by the deeply rooted fear he had for Vera.
He too had climbed this mountain once, thinking foolishly that he was going to snatch his would-to-be-wife away from her mother, who had forced her to return back home. He did it with a party of ten, with the rest being A-rank adventurers. They called themselves the Miracle Company, as a tongue-in-cheek reference to the fact that they were all hobbits, and how hobbits were usually viewed as a weak race by the world, neither strong physically nor magically. For them to reach that rank as adventurers, it could only be a miracle for sure.
He met Myrtle when she ran away from the Academy, as back then, she still had some spirit inside her to oppose her mother.
She ended up joining their ranks. And it didn’t take long until he started to fancy her.
He thought it would be just like any other quest. A difficult one to be sure but not impossible. They would sneak in, grab Myrtle, and then ran away to the Holy Continent where they would be safe from Vera’s reach.
Only for him to be completely destroyed by her.
She killed his entire party one by one in a sadistic and gruesome way, making their body parts fall one by one from cold as he could only watch in horror, begging for her mercy.
But she didn't’ stop, not until it was only him remaining.
It crushed him completely. Knowing that his inevitable death was near, he begged her for a chance to meet her daughter one last time.
And that pleased Vera—so much that she decided it would be funny to have him work as her guard and even to marry said daughter.
She knew that she had broken him down completely, and that there was not a chance of him turning against her later on.
And even if he did, it was nothing that a mage of her caliber couldn’t handle.
From that tragedy, Vera also broke her own daughter, ensuring that any disobedience against her will would only be met with suffering and death.
"Myrtle! Stop the snowstorm! We don't need it anymore! We have to fight the father together, while he's separated from the mother!" He shouted. Not directly, of course, as he wouldn’t want the information to be relayed to the father as well. He used a special spell that allowed him to send his voice through the snowstorm only to the intended recipient. Of course, it wasn’t him or her who invented said spell. It was Vera, and she graciously decided to teach it to them.
“Got it!” she replied.
His wife was the one responsible for the sudden change in weather. She used her Master-level Ice spell, Snowstorm, to perform such a feat.
We still have an advantage! We are used to moving around on this ice while he isn't! If he loses his balance, then that's an opening we can use! Not to mention that we can see through this snowstorm thanks to our training, while he can't!
He knew however once the snowstorm stopped, him and her would be vulnerable to the father’s ranged attacks. They would have to use that short moment where the snowstorm hadn't quite dissipated yet to launch a surprise two-pronged attack.
There he is! He's over there, running towards me!
He immediately retreated, just in time to dodge his vertical sword swing that left a large gash on the ice where he once stood.
"O spirits of ice! Freeze my enemies to their bones! Cold Blast!"
He didn't intend to really harm him with it. He only wanted to draw him in towards his direction, away from his wife.
His spell never landed, as expected. The brute of a man cut through it like it was nothing. But it was enough to give him his location.
Good! He's heading this way!
Come on, Myrtle! Where's your Cold Nova?
He's waiting for his wife's attack, hoping that the father would be blindsided by it. Then, he could start to chant his own Cold Nova, to finish him off.
He fired off a couple more Cold Blasts, dodging out of his swings as well. He always had pride over his exceptional agility.
And then, it finally happened. Right as the father launched another slashing attack, a wave of cold moved towards him at high speed from the back.
He immediately turned around to repel it, but he wasn't fast enough to perform another swing. Instead, he's only capable of blocking it using his greatsword.
This is it! This is my chance!
"O spirits of ice! Grant me your strength! Envelop my enemies with your cold embrace! Wrap them in ice and snow and deliver to them a freezing grave! Shatter them and break them like the foolish beings they are! Cold Nova!"
He fired off his own spell. And Alan, with half of his body being frozen, and the other half going that way soon enough, could not dodge in the slightest.
We won! We—
He didn't see it coming.
Not in the slightest.
His head disappeared, obliterated into tiny, bloody chunks as Hugo's Boom Cannon crashed into it.
He fell to the icy ground—a gory, yet painless, instantaneous death.
She didn’t realize her husband’s death until a few seconds later, where she gave a glance to where he stood.
And when she did, she screamed his name, so loudly that it could pierce through the loudness of the dying snowstorm.
And then, she too received a quick and painless death, as Hugo’s second Boom Cannon pierced her torso.
She fell to the ground, just like her husband did.
I-I did it! I saved Father! I took down the two mages attacking him!
It was truly a gamble. I had to use the bright light produced by their spell to estimate where their location could be.
But I had no other choice. If I hadn’t done that, Father would’ve died for sure, with his inner organs being frozen, especially his heart and his brain.
And I did. I took them both down, each with a single spell.
Mother is now rushing to his place so she can heal his wounds. I’ve no doubt that she will be able to.
But that scream… that came from one of them, didn’t it?
The snowstorm soon disappeared, revealing back the clear blue skies above us.
And then, I could see the true extent of what I had just done.
A man, or a hobbit rather, laid down on the ice on the pool of his own blood, decapitated, with his head nowhere to be found. Gory chunks were spread away from him, with some that I could identify as bits and pieces of hobbit brain.
And then, a woman, a gnomish one, with a large gaping hole on her torso, also laying down on her own blood, with her own gory chunks of her inner organs spread near her.
It didn’t take me long to realize that I might just have killed a pair of lovers, with the female being killed last, thus the scream of anguish she let out.
...W-what have I… what have I done?
My whole body shook again, and this time, I couldn’t stop myself from retching a couple of times before puking my breakfast entirely.
I fell to my knees, tears falling down my face. I curled down like a ball, shaking furiously as if I was having a high fever.
Scorching those people from before was one thing, but this… I could clearly see how they looked before they died, and the gory mess I had created through my spell.
When Mother picked me up and embraced me, I cried like Erika would cry—a loud and absolutely pathetic cry.
I knew this was an unsightly display. I knew that I was breaking my promise to Father and Mother that I could take a life without hesitation.
But I was never a strong person. I flinched at the sight of blood. I had to force myself to hug Sherry when she bathed herself in monster blood that one time.
I wasn’t like her, who could probably kill without hesitation if the enemy threatened those she cared about.
I wasn’t like Marina either, who could most likely keep herself calm in a situation like this, separating her emotions from the battlefield.
I was just myself, a failure from another world who only got this far because he had to force himself to try his best every day.
Mother didn’t say anything. She just rubbed my back gently as she let me wet her robes with my tears.
Slowly, I opened the door to her room.
She was still in the same position from before, looking away from me while her blanket covered her head.
Should I tell her that her family is coming to see her? But Grandmother told me not to…
"Marina, I'm coming in, alright."
There she goes again, yelling at me like that.
Time to use my fake tears again, I suppose.
"M-Marina, why are you so angry at me? D-did I do anything wrong?" I made sure my voice shook, while applying my water magic at my face.
I walked up to her and put my hands on her shoulders.
Only for her to suddenly retaliate by scratching my eyes with her long nails.
"O-owww! W-what was that for?"
"Leave! I don't want to see anyone!" She quickly turned her back at me again.
I thought of leaving, not wanting her to end up scratching me again. But I remembered what Grandmother said, that this was just her being stubborn, and that I should push until she surrendered.
That's it! I should just hug her! Then she shouldn’t be able to resist me any longer!
With a nervous gulp, I approached her once again. But this time, I didn't hesitate. I jumped straight into her bed, wrapping my arms around her, before giving a nice firm grope on her soft, lovely breasts.
"Hehe, don't be so grumpy, Big Si—guwaarghh! Gah!"
She-she hit me in the stomach with her elbow! A-and she pushed off the bed! Uuuu, my face hurts…
"Get your filthy hands off me!"
I slowly stood up, still rubbing my tender face that just hit the hard floor.
D-damn it! My nose is now bleeding!
Why isn't she surrendering? Those girls always said that my groping skills are second to none!
I have no choice! I have to retreat for now!
Uuurghh, this sucks…
After that, I got one of the maids to have a look on my nose, enjoying the close-up view of her large breasts as she bent forward to take a look at it.
“This is no big deal, Young Master. Look, the blood has already stopped leaking.”
“But it hurts so much… Can you make it hurt less?”
“I can’t use healing magic, Young Master.”
Her name was Veronica, and I suppose you could call her my personal maid. She was the one to take care of me when Mother couldn’t in the past, though lately, since I had to go to the Academy, she had stopped being my maid, reassigned by Grandmother to be a general maid instead.
She was in her forties, but she certainly didn’t look like it. She was still as pretty as ever, with black hair that was tied to a bun and a pair of bountiful breasts that any breast-loving men (like me) would die for.
If only she would stop being so cold, she would even be prettier.
She had always been like this as long as I knew her. I used to wish to make her my friend, but every time she would put a distance between us, telling me that she was just a maid while I was an honored member of the Marjoram family.
I believed it was just an excuse though. I felt she always just disliked me, for some reason.
“Veronica, how should a man win over a girl that doesn’t like him?”
There. I asked her. Maybe she could give me some advice on how to deal with Marina.
“Are you talking about that guest, Young Master?”
“Yes, I am,” I replied with a sigh. “Even with Grandmother’s love potion, I still can’t make her accept me.”
“I see.” She pursed her lips for a moment before answering. “What did Lady Vera say?”
“Grandmother said that I should just push forward with her. But when I did, I got this bloody nose instead…”
"Hmm…" She put a finger on her lips. "Have you tried kissing her?"
"Yes. It's the best way to convey your feelings to her."
"Really? Ooh, why didn't I think of that? Of course a kiss would be the best way! Just like in those stories where the hero forcefully kisses the stubborn heroine! Thank you, Veronica!" I gave her a hug. Unfortunately, I could only reach up to her waist, so no burying my face on her soft chest. Although, I could only give her butt a firm squeeze.
"Then, since I am no longer needed, I shall return to my other duties."
She released herself from my grip before walking off.
Tch, how boring. She's always like that! Never reacts to my touch whatsoever!
After washing and cleaning up my nose, I went back to Marina. This time, I'm going to just go straight for the kiss!
I decided not to alert her of my entrance, sneaking in as silently as I could. I'm a hobbit after all, so I should be good at this kind of stuff.
Wait, what is she doing?
Those lewd moans… and those movements under her sheet...
"H-Hugo… Hugo! Aahnnnn, Hugo!"
S-she's not doing it to me. But rather, to her little brother?
W-why? B-But the potion… the potion should—"
"Aaahh, I-I'm coming, Hugo!"
And then, a long relieved sigh escaped her lips.
I slammed the door shut, unable to accept what I just saw. I ran straight upstairs to tell what I just saw to her.
W-why him? Why wasn't it me she masturbates to? T-this doesn't make any sense!
I-it's not fair. Why can't it be me instead?!
Before I could reach the throne room however, I found her walking down the great hall with her staff in hand.
"Oh, good timing." She smiled. "Tell the servants to evacuate the premises. You too. Go with them to Mau Uvarsa.”
“W-wait, what do you mean, Grandmother?”
“Your father and mother failed. Our little Marina’s family is still coming over here to get her.”
“F-failed? You mean they—”
“Yes, they unfortunately perished in combat. I thought they would be stronger than that, but apparently not. So now I have to be the one to do the dirty work.”
“P-perished?” A look of horror crept into my face. “Y-you mean, they’re—”
“Stop stuttering, boy! You’re starting to annoy me!” She slapped me with her staff, sending me to the ground. “Yes, they’re dead. And you’ll suffer the same fate if you don’t do as I say! I’m going to go all out with my magic. You know what that means, right?”
“D-dead? Father and Mo—ugaahhh!”
She slapped me again with her staff.
“And Marina, I’ll take care of her, don’t worry. I’ll freeze her in my special ice so she wouldn’t be hurt even if I went on a rampage with my spells.”
“A-alright then, Grandmother. “ I stood up. “I-I’ll tell Veronica and the others to leave the mountain at once. But my Father and Mother, can you tell me what hap— Gwahh!”
I fell over once again, clutching the spot at my stomach she just stabbed with the bottom of her staff.
“Stupid, useless boy. You’re just as worthless as the corpses of your father and mother.”
I could only watch as she walked past me, treating me like I wasn’t even there.
There was not a single tear on her face, even though her own daughter had just been killed. In fact, once her conversation with me was over, she was smiling.
S-she never… she never really loves me or my mother and father, does she?
My tears started to fall again. But I quickly collected myself, wiping them with my sleeves.
We had to leave. I never saw Grandmother actually fighting with all her power, but I had heard enough from my father.
She really could kill us without her intending to do it.
Aah, what a mess this turns out to be…
Those two aren’t good enough for the job after all. Now I have to be the one to do it myself.
I’m glad I decided to send off that fairy to look at the situation, even though she arrived when the fighting was already over. Too bad. I would certainly love a more detailed description on how those two fought. Not that I’ll need it of course. I already know the father is the offensive swordsman type while the mother is the defensive cleric type. That just leaves the son.
Yep, from what Alyssum told me, they actually had another person with them. And it’s their ten year old kid! Ha, I imagine no adventurer is insane enough to accept their request to fight against me, so they have to settle with their dear little boy.
Most likely, he’s covering for their missing mage member.. Even if I assume that he’s just as a genius as his dear big sister is, at best, he might have a single Master-level spell under his belt.
Hmm, if he really does, then I will like to get my hands on him as well. I’ll need to break his will first though. Maybe by killing off his parents? Oh, I can do it in front of Marina as well! Two birds with one stone!
Oh, it’s been a long time since I’m having this much fun.