The time when Ardis was away from home to escort Minerva. One person was walking from the capital into the Corsas Forest. It is Kyrill.
On off days of the academy, Kyrill had accepted the job of teaching the twins common sense and words as a home tutor.
That had continued for the year even when Ardis went missing, so it’s the third year since he started. The travel to the forest that he feared of at the beginning became commonplace now.
「The melody that severs thine mind and the beckon to Mahoroba―― Molte ・ Orne ・ Sheep」(Sleeping Haze)
He released it towards the beast stalking him from behind the bushes with a dangerous glint. The neurotoxin manifested from the magic covered the area, and forcefully put the creature into sleep.
The horn on the beast that was peeking at him stopped moving. Without resisting against the sleeping magic that Kyrill released, the targeted beast’s consciousness flew away.
However, Kyrill could never let his tension down. It is the most dangerous when one thinks it is over.
It is what Ardis taught him many times when Kyrill was being thrown around like a rag in his training. Kyrill heard the rustle of leaves while his focus never dropped.
Just as he turned to the woods on the right, there was the figure of another beast of the same type that he just put to sleep. It is a six-footed beast with a hard skin.
That’s what the mercenaries refer as 『Twin Swords』. The two chins on its head curved inwards, having the sharpness to tear its prey into pieces.
Was it trying to intimidate, it grinded the two chins together as it drew closer to Kyrill.
「The penetrating pebble of――」
Although Kyrill immediately tried to attack, the Twin Swords moved faster. No matter how Kyrill is known for his speed casting in the academy, the Twin Swords within ten meters would surely reach first.
While continuing his chant, Kyrill kicked up the bunch of dried sticks on the ground towards the Twin Swords.
True to his aim, the sticks that were kicked towards the mouth of the Twin Swords were snipped by the two chins.
It can be said a Twin Swords’s instinct is to snip anything that comes in between of their chin.
Although it was only a short moment he was able to buy, managing to delay the movement of the threatening chins would be more than enough for the current Kyrill.
「The unwavering heroism of the knight ――― Dessel! 」(Earth)
While holding down the Twin Swords with the staff in his hands, his chant finished. Even for the Twin Swords that has tough skin, its abdomen is vulnerable.
The sharp spear of stone stabbed from the ground easily penetrated its weak spot. Although the Twin Swords’s legs struggled in the air after being pierced in the abdomen, anyone can tell that it’s a meaningless struggle.
Its movement dulled by the minute. It would probably turn into a corpse soon.
Kyrill sighed grandly with cold sweat down his back. He was reflecting that although he was able to deal with the first Twin Swords quickly, he was ambushed by another.
Kyrill fears surprise attacks the most as he did not have the ability to detect enemies with magic like Ardis.
Even though Ardis had taught him martial arts, Kyrill is not at the level to be able to fight in close quarters with a wild beast.
Dying if he let his guard down didn’t change even after going through the forest for two years.
The moment he finished his sigh after fending off the Twin Swords. Suddenly he heard rustling from the bushes on his left. And then the sound of something slithering on the ground.
「A Ractor――? 」
Something slithering in the forest would make him think of a Ractor first. Ractor is a huge snake that can easily swallow a whole human.
Although it’s considered weak among demonic beings, it’s still a strong foe compared to the other beasts in the forest.
However, it’s not something Kyrill cannot handle after having two years of experience in this forest.
Despite so, it’s not like Kyrill came here to subjugate it.
Taking on a meaningless fight would be foolish, and on top of that, he might still encounter other beast on his road.
Fights that can be avoided should be avoided. Luckily, in the surroundings, there’s a fresh Twin Swords corpse, and another one fast asleep.
If the Ractor is looking for preys, then it would probably go for the two Twin Swords rather than Kyrill who is running away.
「Time to get away. 」
Kyrill quickly made a decision and sprinted out of there. Facing forward in the forest, he kept his focus in getting out of there as soon as possible.
After eventually getting enough distance, Kyrill slowed down his pace.
「It’s not following, right……」
While calming his breathing, he focused all his senses into his ears. He felt the sound of his ragged breathing was more annoying than usual.
There was no sound of a Ractor slithering on the ground. What he can hear is only the leaves rustling in the wind and distant bird chirps.
It’s the usual forest.
The noise that indicated the Ractor chasing him nor a Twin Swords in a bush wasn’t heard.
However, Kyrill tilted his head at the mysterious discomfort he felt. As he felt something was different from the usual forest in his hairs, he looked around.
「What is it? 」
Not getting an answer even if he asked, Kyrill felt an indescribable sense of discomfort wrapping around him.
He focused more with his eyes, strained his ears, and felt the vibrations from the ground with his feet.
Kyrill continued surveying around for the unexplainable discomfort but, all he could see is the tall trees that covered the sunlight, and lushy green bushes everywhere.
What he could only hear were the cries of animals that wouldn’t be a threat, and also the wind.
「Am I overthinking……? 」
Although Kyrill still felt the discomfort, it’s not like he can find out why even if he waited around.
If he stayed around, it would be more dangerous for him. Although outskirts, the Corsas Forest is still known as a hellscape.
After calming his breath, Kyrill tightened his shoelaces and turned back for once. It is the usual scenery.
While not able to answer the discomfort he had, Kyrill continued on his path towards the house with the owner absent.
Outskirts of the Corsas Forest. There was Ardis’s house situated in a place where only few mercenaries or explorers ever set foot in.
In the familiar garden, Kyrill saw two girls a little younger than him crouching near a flowerbed.
It is the two students that Kyrill has, Fillia and Riana.
「Ah, it’s Kyrill――! 」
The twins who had noticed Kyrill approaching waved their hands wide.
The two that would be fourteen this year grew more feminine than the first time Kyrill met them when they’re still twelve.
Although their behavior still seemed a little younger than their age, it’s still within tolerable zone of being deemed a little more 『Childish』 than other fourteen-year-olds.
With an adolescent appearance still retaining its adorableness, the energetic feeling of a wild flower decorated their faces.
Honestly speaking, Kyrill always thought they’re both considered to be really beautiful.
Although they were treated unlike human in the past and were thin, they could properly grow up under Ardis’s protection, and have grown to have a good proportion.
Even their bosom developed femininely, the fact that Kyrill helping them buy clothing in the capital is actually a mentally stressing task was something Ardis nor Nere knew.
However, Kyrill had gotten close to the twins to willingly help them. Although his students, they’re also like his younger sister at the same time. The twins waved as usual towards Kyrill as he approached.
「Where’s Nere-san? In the kitchen? 」
Kyrill asked for the whereabouts of Nere from the two.
It is because he needed to hand over the consumables such as spices that he’d bought in the capital to her.
「Nere is not around now. 」
「She went out to hunt for lunch. 」
The twins replied Kyrill’s question with the absence of Nere.
「Is that so. Well, she’ll return soon huh. 」
Although when Kyrill first started as a home tutor, there wasn’t a case where Nere left the twins on their own in the house but, that wasn’t possible when Ardis went missing a year ago.
And that’s why whenever Kyrill visited once a week, he bought the minimum necessities for them. However, their daily food couldn’t be carried over by Kyrill alone.
Naturally, Nere had to hunt in the forest, and as a result, the twins would be left alone at the house sometimes.
The fact that Nere could do that is probably because that the twins would be fine on their own to a certain degree.
On top of the fact that she had put barriers in the surroundings of the house so that beasts wouldn’t approach, the twins had also learnt enough magic to protect themselves.
The words that Fillia suddenly blurted out formed a question mark above Kyrill’s head.
「Who……, is there someone? 」
He realized that not only Fillia but Riana as well was looking behind him, towards a certain spot in the dense woods.
Prompted by the two peeking behind him with him in between, Kyrill turned around as well.
However, it is the silent forest as usual. There was not even a single animal.
「Fillia-chan. Did you see someone? 」
Not glancing back towards Kyrill who asked, Fillia’s gaze was locked at the forest.
「What about Riana-chan? Did you see someone too? 」
Riana who was similarly staring in the forest shook her head and replied without her gaze moving.
「But it felt like someone was there, they’re not here anymore though. 」
「Someone…… was there? In a place like this? 」
Kyrill couldn’t tell if what Riana said was the truth. However, if there’s someone else other than himself here, there’s nothing guaranteeing that it wouldn’t be an enemy.
Kyrill understood that it will be his responsibility to protect the twins as Ardis and Nere both aren’t around currently.
「Let’s get inside. And make sure to not leave the house until Nere-san returns. 」
Kyrill pushed on the two’s back towards the house and entered the house together, before shutting the door while keeping an eye out.