A Cascabel mask drops to the floor in front of me. I look up, focusing on his face for several seconds. I drop my jaws and widen my eyes as a cold chill shoots down my back. A face I've seen before. One that seems familiar to me, but I can't pinpoint why. It's one of the strange referees from the Academy's end of year tournament event. I gulp and ask, "Who're you…?"
"Don't tell me you've forgotten already? After your brush with death…"
I raise my eyebrows and respond, "You… You're the one responsible for that…?"
He smiles. "It was a disappointing sight to see how little you've progressed your Void magic..."
I quiver. He knows about that too?! Wait a minute…
I recall my first meeting with Xedeus. "Well, I've overstayed my welcome."
He turns around and walks away. I exclaim, "Wait! What'd you do to Emdos?!"
He stops walking. A second later, he answers, "Ah, that's right. You can't find him, can you? You won't see him for a long, long time… The choice isn't up to me, him, or you. It's up to chance."
He continues walking away. I stand up and run after him. "Wait! What do you mean by that?!"
A gust of wind stops my advance. I put my arms in front of me to shield my eyes. The wind stops. He's no longer in our sights. I knit my eyebrows. Where'd he go…?
"What a mysterious man… He's more powerful than I've ever imagined," Leila says. I sigh.
"Yeah…" I turn around and then kneel next to Luna. I gently stroke her cheek with my fingers.
"Irene! Are you okay?" Leila asks. I look up, finding that Irene's peeking out from the vault. "Come over here. I'll treat your injuries with my magic."
Irene runs over and then replies, "I'm okay for now."
She points her eyes away. I ask, "What's wrong Irene?"
"I-it's nothing. I'm just a little worried about Reid and Aurora."
"What happened to those two?" Leila asks.
"They're in a room nearby," Irene says.
"Let's go," I say while picking up Luna and then standing up. "Lead the way."
Leila and I follow her. I ask, "By the way, how'd you open the vault? Did you remember something?"
"Well... When that man brought me to the vault, he demanded that I open it, but I didn't know how or what he was talking about. He did something to me. Memories I've forgotten flooded into my head. I remembered the last day daddy visited me. He was arguing with my mom about something. I don't know what they were arguing about. When I got closer, daddy turned to face me. He said that he had something really important to give me. He told me to never use it no matter what. This blue stuff came out of his hand and then went into my body. Knowledge flooded into my head. My consciousness faded after that."
I knit my eyebrows. "Blue stuff…? That sounds a lot like Mana…and how knowledge flooded into your head sounds like what a Magic Scroll would do. I've never heard about being able to instantly transfer magic instructions or Mana between people… What about you, Leila?"
"It's a first for me as well."
"It's this room here," Irene says and opens the door. She goes in and we follow. Reid and Aurora are both tied down to chairs next to each other. Aurora's arm next to Reid is not tied down and there's a small metal club tied to her hand. They both make muffled noises through their gag.
"Xedeus… What a sick bastard…" I say. Leila loosens the cloth wrapped around their mouths.
"Thank god you are here! What happened to that masked man?" Reid asks. Leila begins untying them, starting with Reid.
"He's gone," I answer. He sighs.
"Good. We do not have anything to worry about now," he says.
"No, we still have a problem… There's a crowd outside waiting for your announcement, Reid. I mean, Osmir," I inform.
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