To ensure the surviving bandits would not attack the trio in their rear, Alice and Entri fired off their own respective attacks to hurt and dissuade them. Alice muttered a chant before releasing a small fireball that scorched a small radius. Entri attacked with his magic pistol, a weapon given to him from Talia for self protection. He, unlike Alice, did not wait before firing. He knew from experience that the weapon was dreadfully inaccurate, and worse, it took a long time to reload. With the information on hand, he fired the weapon as soon as he had a shot. It didn’t matter if he missed, because if he didn’t miss now, he would have undoubtedly missed later.
As expected, the sudden snapshot did miss, but it wasn’t for naught. The magic pistol fired compressed mana, and when the compressed mana curved around his intended target and missed, it landed near the bandit’s foot. The resulting sudden expansion of mana caused an explosion that created shrapnel that if not killed, incapacitated.
“Hmph, a lucky shot,” Alice said.
Indeed, it was a lucky shot, and Entri knew it too. If the energy did not suddenly swerve downward after curving away from the bandit, then it would have been a miss. Since it came out well, he counted his lucky stars and relaxed and prepared another vial of liquid mana to reload the weapon.
“Come on, we’re going on foot!” Talia ordered after stopping the horse arbitrarily.
Entri’s forced his body to tense back up and hopped off the back of the wagon. Alice carefully climbed down since her overly extravagant dress was obstructing when it came to things like jumping off the wagon.
“It is not an issue!” Alice screamed, her face completely red.
“I didn’t say anything,” Entri replied.
“You were speaking within your head.”
Entri shook his head before heading off after Talia.
“Who the hell are you!?” a bandit screams just as he is sent flying by a guided torrent of water. He flies so high that by the time the water dispersed, Talia no longer paid attention to the bandit in motion. Instead, she moved on to the next target.
While she was in mid chant, she heard, “mommy help!” With a quick shift of focus, Talia redirected the gathering mana to the girls location, quickly changing both the targeted area and spell.
Talia watched and prayed that her spell made it in time as she collapsed from the sudden strain. The bandit’s crude blade was high in the air by the time she noticed. As the blade started falling down, the child’s cries grew louder, and then suddenly, it was silenced. The strange torrent of water knocked the blade aside before wrapping around the child. Unwilling to unhand the weapon, the bandit too was swept aside by the raging dome of water. In fact, due to the guidance of magic, the bandit was thrown aside in a violent tumble, each smash against the ground violent enough to be a death sentence. With the spell over, the previously raging water slowed before dropping like a sudden downpour, soaking the child. Talia heaved a sigh of relief before struggling to stand.
“Hey there, little girl. What are you doing all by yourself out here?”
Alice was slowly trudging towards her teacher whilst holding up her skirt when she was approached by bandits. They came from further down their right flank. They initially came running, but slowed upon seeing her expensive attire.
“It is not of your concern, so please depart at once,” Alice said.
“Wha?” the bandit asked, flabbergasted, while his compatriots laughed and snickered from behind. “Do you know where you are at the moment?”
“In front of knaves unaware of their status as ingrates.”
The bandit was red in the face as he was being disrespected by a small child. His subordinates were now hollering in laughter. Unable to stomach any further embarrassment, the bandit attempted to kick Alice. Due to her upbringing with Talia, Alice had seen the bandit’s intentions beforehand and had already casted a spell to protect herself. As the bandit’s foot reached Alice, the ground sizzled and rose into a tornado of fire that expanded instantly. She had ensured that there were no villagers or allies nearby before using this spell due to its destructive radius.
Various screams lept out of the bandits’ mouths as they were faced with a spell without any preparation. Some of them failed to shield their eyes in time, others accidentally breathed in the heated air, the lucky ones in the back just had their surfaces singed and thrown back. The closest bandit, the one that was being ridiculed by a child and attempted to kick said child, had been roasted by the heated flash.
“Now then, who shall be my next opponent?”
So loud. This is why they should develop more incognito spells, Entri thought to himself as he ran towards the village. Whenever they hunted monsters for practice, they would develop a plan as to avoid unneeded injuries and foster strategic planning. Alice being Alice would just want to charge in and singe everything in sight with the most destructive magic possible, and look back at Talia with a wide smile. Entri on the other hand, being unable to use magic for reasons unclear, his only weapon practically unreliable, his physical fitness unimpressive, had to rely on other things. Through his travels with Talia and Alice, he had learned to defend himself empty handed and with various weapons thanks to Talia’s connections, but he showed no proficiency or talents with anything he held. The only interest he showed was the magic pistol, shaped more like a musket pistol than anything else, was due to his belief that it was simple for someone like him to use. Unfortunately, as said before, the weapon was mostly unreliable, but it was better than nothing. What he had over Talia and Alice however, was his deep knowledge of his past life. Everything he had learned and retained was now his weapon.
Once Entri entered the village, he crouched low and moved slow. There were barely anymore villagers running about, so if he made a sound, he would be noticed. Luckily, even some bandits have left the village. Entri spotted them leaving around the same time he heard Talia and Alice cast their magic. Nearing the village center, he overheard a man yelling.
“Where is the oracle!?”