Chapter 22: Impending Failure
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“What in the world is going on.” She thought hard for a second. She thought about her strange demeanor, her silence, the people she was associated with, the price of this mission, the interceptors that had tried to abduct her, the mercenaries guiding her, and much more importantly, her healing ability.

Given the entire circumstances, she was able to get a clearer picture of the nature of this mission. She could see the pain of others. She can heal them. However, if she could heal them, she would have immediately touched Lusha instead of fear even looking at her. This meant that she wasn’t healing them…. Lusha frowned. Her initial hypothesis was correct. This was human trafficking. 

She walked over to the young girl who was breathing heavily and uncontrollably. She did not particularly like children, but she despised hurting them. What she must be experiencing right now was probably almost as foul as the infinite despair technique. This was enough to have mentally broken the mind of the old mage, Valkyrie. Imagine what it would do to a little girl? 

“Is something wrong with her?” Soka asked. He seemed to have lost all desire for fighting. He walked over to the young girl. Elim also appeared from the void and accompanied him. 

"We may need to continue this farce another time. Or at least place it on hold." 

"Not necessary. We've already surmised what we needed from you. We'll of course be asking more questions later, but we'd hate to cause your mission to fail."

Lusha observed the young girl, who was sweating profusely and trembling. This isn't good. As the time was progressing, she was getting worse and worse. She thought for a moment. She needed to make this quick in order to save her and make sure she does not spiral and eventually die from the tremendous pressure she was feeling.

"Illusion Magic [Eternal Sleep]." This was the technique that her previous student had cast on her. It put her in a dreamless sleep, a state similar to death. No thoughts would occur and she'd remain like that until either the timed technique is up, or released by an outside force. She had created this ability herself to simulate the feeling of death.

This should buy her enough time to perform some techniques later to heal her. For now, she was safe. Elim and Soka looked shocked watching this unfold. They were convinced she was a warrior class, but just now, they had observed an illusion magic that they had never seen before. The level of it seemed on the higher end as well. This could only mean one thing...

We have greatly underestimated our opponent... This woman was on an entirely different level than we first surmised. She could easily reach the ranks of platinum or hero.

Elim gave a polite cough, grabbing Lusha's attention. "Excuse me, Miss..."

"Lusha."

"You seem to be quite the skilled warrior so I'm certain of it now. Were you there during the fall of Carthage? When the demon had attacked."

Demon? Ah, that's right. They had mistakenly categorized her as a demon. She sighed. How should one proceed in this case? she'd hate to be thrown out of the adventurers guild and have to utilize a different means of finding her death. Of course, should she really wish for it, she could turn into a villain and white away country after country until they realize she is a threat that requires all forces. This however, would not do. The end results of that can be multiple different things. If all 64 hero ranked adventurers had appeared to face her, she'd most-probably kill them all. This was because she would be torn between the polarities of incapacitation without death, or victory in order to continue seeking real death.

If she were ever to be sealed, or unable to move, that would be the worst outcome. In a state like that, she would never be able to find death. Besides, she'd find it hard to justify the mass killings of every country she came across. After-all, she wasn't like that peaceful witch, Aias, who's ideas of peace transgress that of common logic. That man would massacre billions just for the sake of peace. 

Contrary to his name, he was the epitome of violence. Violence for the sake of "peace". That kind of nonsense was something she couldn't fathom. Aias, the Peaceful Witch of Love, was his moniker. This erroneously led people to believe he loved everyone and was kind. However, Aias was even more impulsive than any of the other witches. He loves silence and peace of mind. His only love and care was for the earth itself. To preserve his peace of mind, and his love for the earth, he would happily slay thousands.

Surmising everything, and thinking about all endpoints, she decided on one answer. "I was." 

The duo looked at each other. "Very well. Can you describe anything regarding the demon?"

"It had an ability to jump through people's bodies and continued to control others into causing a massacre. Nuon Grizzly, Myself, and Valkyrie all had to face the entire group. After confining it into a barrier, it hopped into Valkyrie's body and had him kill himself before turning back on us."

Elim nodded, placing a hand to his chin. "I see." 

"After Valkyrie had died, we ended up facing off against the demon before it had inhabited Nuon. That was when the rest of the city died. After a while, I finally managed to stop Nuon's rampage."

"Do you mean y-"

"Yes. I killed Nuon."

"What happened to the body then? He seems to be nonexistent among the dead." When they recalled the investigation, they couldn't find any piece of Nuon, nor Nuon's armor. If she were to be the one to defeat Nuon, it would mean she had to utilize magic of an extremely high caliber and wiped the man off the face of the earth. There are many techniques that exist like that, but wielders of it are far and few in-between.

 

"It's a special technique of mine. If it's alright, I'd prefer not to reveal it, since it is the Ace up my sleeve."

"Understood. Then you are a magician correct? You're quite the powerful adversary."

To make her story more believable, Lusha stood up and casted a single fireball. "Elemental Magic [Ember's Rage] This flame called whispering embers, was a small fireball about the size of a finger tip. She sent this small orb flying several hundred meters away. It trailed off completely unimpressively, until...

BOOM! This wild, blinding flash of light emanated from the flame once it had amassed enough momentum, a hot flashing ray of light emanated from its destruction point, utterly destroying anything and everything in the immediate vicinity. A dome of white that had grown to 30 meters erupted from the spell. Then, followed the raging torrent of winds and uprooted trees.

She may have miscalculated the strength behind it, so when the impact occurred, debris and rock, stone, even whole trees flew right towards the group. She was prepared to block everything, but Elim immediately placed everyone within his shroud, and all the shrapnel simply flew right through them.

"Don't worry, I made sure there were no signs of intelligent life in the immediate vicinity. "

Their faces were completely shocked. To be truthful, they were mystified. "Was that the technique you used on Nuon?"

"No. It had to be much much stronger to have taken him out."

"I see... it seems we were mistaken. We were toying with you when Soka went up against you earlier. We were impressed by your physical capability... but it seems we were greatly mistaken. If you were really a magic caster going up against us, the ones who were truly being toyed with, was us."

Soka nodded. "I concur. I believe we'd have trouble, even if we both went up against you. It was a good thing you were there during the invasion of Carthage. Though everyone fell, if you hadn't been there, perhaps the demon may have gone to different cities and continued its onslaught."

"That is all we need from you as of the moment. You may be called to the guild hall for more information, but as of now, you may resume your mission."

 

 

They turned their backs to her before they turned ethereal, yet they remained visible. "Wait. Before you leave..."

 

Elim looked over his shoulder. "Hm?"

"... what should I do with this situation. I'm new to the adventurer's guild so I'm not sure how to proceed."

"What do you mean, Lusha Viscirilis?"

She picked the girl up by her shirt as if she was a piece of luggage. "This whole mission... I'm quite certain it is human trafficking. If that is the case, I do not wish to continue further with the mission.... but wouldn't that mean I'd fail it altogether?"

"Ah yes..." Elim nodded before turning his head back around and they continued walking. "In this world, you will find many such immoral missions, disguised under acceptable pretexts. Whether you wish to complete the mission or not, is up to you. However, you will fail the mission regardless of its nature."

"I see..." Lusha sighed. I guess this is back to square one.

"However... We Hero ranked adventurers have some pull within the system. We will put in a word with our superiors. You are toying around in a rank far too weak for one of your caliber. As with Nuon though, our pull is fairly weak."

"I see..." Lusha smirk was very sinister. Had they been turned around, they probably would have immediately thought she was a demon. "Thank you, Elim and Soka."

With their response, they had pretty much guaranteed her at least an advancement, regardless of if she completed the mission correctly or not. In this case.... there was a price to be paid for having tried to pull the wool over her eyes. There was a price to be paid for being so cowardly that you burden your own pain upon others. And most of all, there was a price to be paid for wasting her time.

Yes, truthfully, by submitting this mission, they did not waste any of her time. She was going to advance within the adventurer's guild in rank by completing the mission. However, with what Elim and Soka had just told her, this mission no longer had any relevance. Both the people who put this contract out, the participants of the contract, and the one who hired it are guilty of wasting her time.

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