Little Mage 
A lone horse returned safely back to the mansion. Carrying the little girl on its back.
The mansion's maidservants and soldiers have been notified about Marth and Lin Yue outing, and some of them had seen them off. Because of that, they noticed this horse.
"That horse ..., it's the one that Lin-sama and Marth wakadanna-sama rode this morning, right?"
"Huh, but where are Marth-sama and the swordswoman?"
"Did they met with some trouble?"
"And what is that, a little girl? What is this, why a little girl is in that horse?"
The maids in charge of cleaning the front yard talked while gazing at the horse that constantly moving. Suddenly, a person stood behind them.
"Did ..., something happen?" muttered the person who just arrived.
It was Marth's personal caretaker/maid, Rosetta. Noticing her presence, the maids greeted Rosetta whilst feeling ..., fearful.
It was because of the intimidating aura exuded from Rosetta. Or rather, her haggard expression that devoid of tidiness and grace.
It was the first time in a while this beautiful young maid in this kind of appearance. Her ever lustrous and shinning blonde hair was in a mess, there were dark spots beneath her eyes as if having sleep deprivation, and her movement seems sluggish. The usual cool beauty image of hers completely gone.
The two maids didn't know about her situation these past few days. But they have a general idea about it, and it was about Young Master Marth.
There were no problems with him. He looked just fine, in good health and energetic, but that's the problem.
Somehow or another, this week was a hectic day. Young Master Marth suddenly wanted to make this Winter Mansion his residents. And then ordered his newly bought slaves and the mansion's maids to do something for him.
Refurbished the servant's house on the west wing, then changed it into a home industry. It was used to manufacture something called sabun, some butter-like thing that was very good to clean the body or object.
It indeed helped the maid to clean something, and they not only use it when they bathed. This soap, or rather toilet soap, also used to wash the dirty platter and the laundry, it could be done quickly and left a pleasant fragrance.
Marth already said it was not good if it was used to clean the platter and the laundry, but they keep using it, nonetheless. It was a convenient tool(thing) to use, after all.
He also told them to gather flowers and many things with a good fragrance. The maids immediately completed this task because they know what'd those flowers used for.
It wasn't just this sabun thingies, Marth also ordered the maids to gather broken tools or objects made from glass, metal, or wood.
They never knew what would he do with those things. However, there'll be something new object of wonder in his study room every time the maids brought him those broken things. And it was made from the same materials as the one the maids' brought.
Another worrying thing that happened with the Young Master was that three days ago, his bedroom was like attacked by monsters. It was in terrible condition without any existing windows or doors left on it. The maids cleaned the room, but it couldn't be used before getting new windows and other furniture.
And there was also the matter of his sudden change of habit. He that usually very lazy and spoiled boy suddenly changed.
Lately, he was indeed changing to be more diligent. He trained in the way of swords, learned magic, and somehow ..., taught the slaves arithmetic and some other stuff.
Before that, it was impossible to think of this habit on him. He was the epitome of a lazy and spoiled brat. Never want to study or serious on his training. Even if Head Master scolded him and punished him as he was unruly, he didn't stop from being a slothful boy.
This sudden change on him brought a new wind to the whole Winter Mansion. The usually listless guards and soldiers, after seeing the Young Master trained really hard started to follow his example. The servants and maids also tend to work faster than before.
Perhaps the first person who was able to follow this sudden change was Rosetta. As she was the one closest with Marth. But, the truth was apparently different. Not only her complexion turned sapped, but her temper also becomes more ..., anomalous. As if she was frustrated about something.
"Grnghnnn ...," Rosetta let out a subtle grumble. Her eyes narrowed into a small slit, and her mouth curved down.
"A-are you okay, Rosetta-san? You look not fine ..., how about rest for today?"
"I'm fine. Just a bit tired ...," she answered the maid's question.
Actually, the source for her frustration was Marth. Since three days ago when she received her 'punishment' from him, there was no further erotic business between them.
At night, she wanted to demand the promise he made this morning. Perhaps it was finally the time for her to graduated as being a virgin maiden. Thus, she sneaked her way to his new bedroom, as the main bedroom still in a mess and unsuitable for usage.
But the thing was, her long-awaited sex didn't happen. Most of all, Marth was already sleeping peacefully and soundly. That day was a hard day for him, and she heard that Marth was collapsed in the middle of his training. Perhaps he just too tired from the training and all.
She didn't have the courage to wake him up, thus she only lied down beside him after relieving herself secretly indulging in his scent. She waited for the next day, perhaps in the morning, his little guy will have accumulated virility and ready to pierce the deep of hers.
But that also didn't happen, Marth's master, Lin Yue dragged him at the first light in the morning and then started the training right away. Not giving the maid a chance to sed--enjoy the stiff and energetic young manhood.
This continued for the next day, and this morning also. Sexually aroused but never got a hold of the real thing was a torment for her. This explained why she was listless and looked really drained from her energy. She was unable to contain her frustration anymore.
Rosetta shook her head in rough movement, she walked to the horse and then took the little girl in a pale green cloak.
"Oy, wake up ...! Oy ..." even knowing that the girl was unconscious, Rosetta shook her body roughly.
"It's no use, Rosetta-san! She's fainted. Let's bring her back and waited until she awakened."
"... grhnnn" Rosetta let out another small grumble before nodding her head.
But she didn't follow the two maids back to the mansion, she walked to the stable to fetch a new horse. She couldn't hold back her desire to see her master anymore. And with his whereabouts unknown, it only justifies her reasoning.
"Where are you going, Rosetta?" there was already someone waiting in the stable.
"Nagi-sama ..., it's about Marth wakadanna-sama and Lin-sama, they haven't yet returned but their horse is already here. I want to look after them."
Kassandra Nagi pointed her lovely shaped chin and said.
"I think you shouldn't worry about them, you know~ ... Lin is with Marth-kun, and I know the crisis is already gone. You don't need to worry about it anymore, you know ..."
"And, how does Nagi-sama know about this?"
"You know, I just know ..., you know?"
With Nagi's cheerful and carefree answer, Rosetta could only tilt her head on one side.
"It's like this, I have a dozen or more familiars spread around this mansion ..., and inside ..., but more importantly, I know what happened with them and they are fine without injury, you know."
"Is it true, can I trust your word, Nagi-sama?"
"True, true ..., Dark Mage didn't lie, we can't, you know." Nagi nodded her head in merry.
"Still, I wanted to see them for myself. And if somehow they met with another accident, I will be able to help them." Rosetta insisted in going to fetch up Marth.
"Aiyahhh ..., that's probably unnecessary, you know ..., they returned already, after all." Nagi pointed at the gate with a wry smile.
Rosetta couldn't see anyone, but what Nagi pointed wasn't the gate itself, it's the forest around 500 meters from the gate.
There was the swordswoman walked while carrying the young boy on her back. She walked in a fast pace but still keeping her breath in order.
Rosetta hastily ran to them.
"Wakadanna-sama!" and shouted as if there was a burst on her lung.
◊ ◊ ◊
The Hermit Sage, Neimi was on her usual business.
Gathering roots, herbs, and mushroom that could be used as a medicine. Then, securing the dinner ingredient for this evening. Today dinner would be spicy horned rabbit stew with nutmeg, cinnamon, and lots of cayenne.
When she was about to return to her treehouse, she heard some disrupting noise.
GRRAHHHGNNN!!! GORRYEAHHH!!! SERRYAHHH!!
It was close to a savage shout rather than a bestial roar.
Neimi creased her thin-long eyebrow hidden beneath her hood, she walked to the noise source in haste.
The tree around her was moving as if opening a path only for her. It was a bizarre spectacle in which the numerous tree roots were moving.
She walked through hundreds of meters with only three to four steps. And before long, she finally arrived in the area around the hidden valley.
There was a trace of magic used in the surrounding air. There was also scorched Rock-a-dillo there. Some of them still alive, but more were already dead.
The folds on her forehead increased by a few layers. She stretched her hand up and said.
A lance made of some sort of compressed air was materialized as her magic. It was floating like a cloudy white stick while constantly rotating at slow speed.
She gestured with her hand and the lance moved according to her will. Attacking the Rock-a-dillos that were still alive in the vicinity.
Finished with this easy task, she walked to the Treerock Valley entrance.
There was only one possible explanation why those dillos that should be sealed on the valley managed to get out and infested this region. Her traps were neutralized or dismantled.
But that should be an impossible task, as Neimi put high pride on her magic trap. And there shouldn't be other [Mage] or even [Sage] that could topple her proficiency on [Magic Trap].
Or, perhaps her disciple, Rei made some kind of mistake and activated the trap on her own. But this also impossible, as she also made a [Barrier] that contained everything within that valley to never be able to come out.
"It's broken! It's all ruined! The trap that I've developed this last hundred years ... all wrecked with nothing left." she muttered in resignation.
Who was it the one who did this?
While asking that question on her mind, she observed the surroundings and analyzed the type of magic used to dismantle her traps. Soon, she found out the answer.
"Dark Mage ...," she muttered once again.
Her complexion paled slightly. If there was a Dark Mage who is able to dismantle her fruits of research for the past hundred years easily just like this, then what a mighty personage is him/her? Which circle has this person achieved?
"Right, ..., Rei-chan also ..." she remembered about her disciple.
This morning, just like usual she would check on the traps on the Treerock Valley, Caldera on top of the Flatter Mountain, and Lake of Seanc.
It was her routine activity every morning. But looking at the state of the traps in this place, Neimi would be worried about her. If this Dark Mage targeting her, or have a grudge with her, there's a possibility that he/she would kidnap her disciple.
It wasn't that strange. Throughout her life, and living as a mage, she met with numerous kind of people. And indeed, she also accumulated a lot of enemies. Though, she was one of the rare people who never care about her enemies.
Even if they tried to harm her, they couldn't. And without any loved one, relatives, or family member there was never be a chance when she met with a scenario of kidnapped closest one.
But, now ..., with her raising a disciple, this scenario could be done by her enemies.
This alarmed her greatly. She looked around to see other traces of magic. And true, there was a trace of earth [Elemental] magic that her disciple used. She ran to that place.
There was a red trail of blood on the ground, and at the tall cliffs' foot, there was a wooden staff crafted from a mahogany branch. It was the magic staves her disciple used, and it was broken into two-pieces.
She took the staves and gasped in bewilderment.
"Rei-chan ..., those fuckers ..." her muttering was akin to a growl of a beast.
She didn't know the true identity of this 'enemy', but her head shifted into the direction of Korperkorb city. With eyes that shone like a raging blaze, she dashed in that direction.