Wizard! Chapter 120
As they moved along the streets, avoiding running to refrain from drawing further attention, Dong Xin looked over at William. “Why did you do that?” He wanted to berate William for being an idiot and killing the archmage, but that could come later. However, first, he would listen to the explanation, and see if it in any way made up for the fact that their purpose in coming here was now entirely wasted… and they would probably also have to go on the run as fugitives. However, the yelling could always be done later..
William turned to Dong Xin, and translated exactly what the Archmage had said, unknowingly his final words.
Dong Xin sighed. “That could have been handled better.” He couldn’t even bring himself to yell. He could say that personally, he would have reacted differently upon hearing that information. However, he couldn’t say that he wouldn’t have done the same if his life’s most important work had been almost casually ignored and disregarded as trash. Or, in William’s case, his previous life. Most importantly, Dong Xin wholeheartedly agreed at the killing, and the fact that Cecil Lockridge was an idiot, traitor, or both. He just didn’t agree with the… execution. Then, Dong Xin stopped. “These people are surprisingly efficient. Unfortunate.”
William looked forward, and saw a squad of knights. He heard what was likely more of the same from side alleys, and saw some behind him as well. William cursed. “Can you… escape without me?”
Dong Xin nodded, slowly. “I could.”
“Will you? I’d appreciate if you take care of my sister.”
“I am here to defend you.” He paused, thinking. “Even with your recent actions, you are still quite valuable to have around, ignoring the fact that I like you. That said…” He surveyed the numbers approaching. “It wouldn’t help for me to get captured with you, and I wouldn’t bet on us beating these odds.” He took a deep breath. “Stay alive, will you? It wouldn’t do to lose my pupil.” Then, he ran, and jumped up onto a nearby roof. William wished he was capable of doing that, but these buildings were two stories high, and he wasn’t at that level just yet. Plus, he had exhausted quite a good bit of his ki in the escape… and before that, knocking the Archmage out a window in a room with magical wards, and then his subconscious yell.
Some of the knights noticed Dong Xin’s escape, but there wasn’t much they could do, so they continued their organized advance on William. “Lay down your arms and surrender,” came a somewhat familiar voice.
William turned to see the captain he was becoming all too familiar with. “Will I have a fair trial?”
“Of course!” The captain nodded his head fervently. “I swear it.”
William threw the broken bottom half of the Archmage’s staff to the side. “Very well then. I surrender.” If it had been someone else but that same captain, William might have hesitated more. As it was, he wasn’t sure if a fair trial would do him any good. It depended on many factors. Still, even if he was executed… William thought he would still kill that dirty rotten traitor. Plus, his entire family, if given the chance.
William found himself in a cell. It wasn’t big, by any means, but it had adequate room for an adult, and William was smaller than that. It also couldn’t really be called clean, but at least it was only honest dirt, and the bed and single thin blanket had at least been washed at some point this month. Having nothing better to do, William sat to meditate and train his ki, as well as working on recovering what he had spent earlier. Then, he heard an announcement.
“Knight Commander Tyler Dragonfoe has arrived!” Then, William heard the sound of many boots moving all at once, quite probably the guards standing at attention. William himself stood up from his meditation. The captain came in front of William’s cell, and his vision, followed by the Knight Commander.
The Knight Commander spoke in a commanding voice. “So, you killed the Archmage, did you? Or was it that other one with you?”
William didn’t respond. In fact, the words barely registered. Instead, he stood there and stared. It was only for a few moments. However, he subconsciously said a single name. “Lila?”
The Knight Commander sighed. “Do you not speak Ostanan? I was told you could.”
William’s thoughts raced. This wasn’t Lila. It was only a superficial resemblance, really. For one, the Knight Commander was dressed in armor. Plus, now that he was no longer shocked, he could see many differences. However, he hadn’t been prepared. Perhaps he could have been, if he had known the Vaughn family had renamed itself Dragonfoe. Or if he had realized that the name he thought of as Tyler could be used for women. “What? Oh, sorry. You looked like the portrait I had seen of Lila the dragonslayer.”
The Knight Commander shrugged, moving heavy pauldrons. “I have been told that before, but you did not answer my question. Who was it that killed the Archmage?”
“Oh. Right. Well, it was me who killed that traitor.”
Tyler’s face shifted into a frown. “Really? You so easily admit to murder… perhaps you are covering for someone else. I fail to see how a child like you could have killed the Archmage.”
William shrugged. “I didn’t say it was murder. I am not aware of the exact technicalities… but generally killing a traitor would bring honor, and not imprisonment.”
“A traitor, is it? It is quite easy to cast blame on those who are dead. Explain yourself.”
“Well, quite simply, he unashamedly admitted to burning all of the records on the Demon King possessed by the wizard’s guild, and seemed to have no interest in even considering preparations to fight the Demon King. Who, by the way, will be returning within our lifetimes.”
The Knight Commander frowned, deeply. “Let’s say I believe you on those unsupported statements. That still does not explain how you could have been the one to kill him. I am still waiting for that explanation.”
“Well, wizards aren’t known for their close combat prowess. I just kicked him out the window.”
She raised an eyebrow. “Just kicked him out the window you say. While I do admit that is a possibility, I am aware that there are wards in place in the Archmage’s study. Besides, you don’t look like you have enough muscle to push the chair on which he sat across the ground.”
“You’re right. I don’t. However… I can demonstrate, if you would allow me.”
“Go on then. Show me.”
William simply placed his hands on the two bars in front of him, and pulled to the sides. It wasn’t a quick process, and exhausted about half of the ki he had recovered, but after a dozen seconds the bars were almost touching their neighbors as they bent to the side. “If the recent Archmages had properly sought out information and kept records, perhaps you would know about the other possibilities.”
Interestingly enough, she just nodded, almost ignoring the fact that he could probably just walk out of his cell at the current time. “Right, you’re a warrior.” She stroked her chin in thought, then nodded. “We’re done here for now. I would suggest not trying to escape, as we have quite a number of skilled guards, and unlike the wizards, we actually keep in practice.”
Thus, William was left in his cell, to wait. He didn’t know how long he would have to wait, but it could be a very long time. In fact, perhaps that was better… because a short wait would probably mean his death. That would be terribly unfortunate.