The light she was emitting turned into an aura that quickly became a blue mist that covered everyones lower half.

This continued for about a minute until finally, she opened her eyes. The cold mist suddenly became ice, freezing the lower half of everyone except for me and Alicia.

[Glacial Epoch]

The bandits tried to move but they all failed due to their lower half being frozen. The archer above the trees wasn affected though.

Following after that, Alicia raised both of her hands up, creating a crystal with spike like ice ball above her hands.

[Icicle Shot]

Next, the spike from the ice ball dispatched from a high speed, hitting the chest of the bandit archers.

After that, the archers that got hit started to fall due to the impact of the spike. And then, after they
e body came in contact on the ground, they immediately froze like the others.

Their leader tried to looked around to see if some of his men escaped from being frozen but, what came next shocked him.

The ball above Alicias hand exploded, letting its smoke out to prevent the bandits leader to come after them.

Alicia started swaying left to right, trying her best to remain standing. Luckily, before she lost her balance, I came forward to catch her onto my back.

”Good work. ”

I murmured to her ear.

”Hmm… ”

After replying with a small hum, she immediately fell asleep.

Next, while carrying her on my back, I run back to the direction east from where we originally came from.

After for about an hour of running, It was night so I decided to rest up for a bit.

Placing her body below the tree, I then decided to looked around for branches that Ill be using to make fire.

Then, readying a campfire in her front, I also rested myself near her. Picking up a blanket that I got from one of the bandits bag, I placed them on to Alicia to keep her away from being cold.

Looking at her sleeping, I smiled gently.

”This should do it. ”

Not long after I rested my back to the tree, I also fell asleep.

***

Somewhere within the forest, the bandit leader hopped through the trees.

Ring, ring! Ring, ring!

Stopping, he took out a watch from his pocket.

Clicking its side, a blue screen suddenly appeared in front of him.

[Sir, where are you right now? The king wants to see you at once.]

The screen started to make a portrait of a person.

[Bah, say that Ill be back after a couple of days.]

[But, sir-]

Cutting him off, the bandit leader spoke again.

[No ”buts ”. Ill comeback whenever I wanted. The king can control me. And also, go on and inform them that Ill give my report after a couple of days.]

Sighing in defeat, the man on the screen replied.

[Yes, sir…]

After that, the blue screen disappeared, as he placed the watch back on to his pocket.

Letting out a long sighed, the bandit leader spoke to himself.

”I guess playing bandits is over. I should continue what I first came here for. Besides, I already found some interesting children that I could watch in the near future. ”

Even though he can track down both Athan and Alicia in the forest, he chose not to thanks to his mission.

Turning his head up to look at the bright moon, he continued.

”Don fail me child… The future will be more interesting thanks to you. ”

Suddenly, the bandit leader disappeared without leaving a trace on his surroundings.

***

At morning…

”Haa… ”

Stretching my arms up, I slowly opened my eyes to take a look on where Alicia was sleeping.

”Hmm…? ”

Noticing that she wasn there, I immediately got up to look for her. And just then, I heard a loud screeching sound deep-within the forest.

Climbing and hopping through the trees, I made my way to where the noice was coming from.

While hopping through the trees, I noticed a white haired girl walking towards the direction of the sound first came from.

”Alicia! ”

I called out.

Turning her head to look around, she quickly noticed my presence up on the tree.

”Athan… ”

She said in a low tone.

Hopping down from the tree, I slowly walked towards Alicias direction.

”Alicia, didn I just warned you that you shouldn go off like that… What if you got kidnapped again? It isn easy to track down someone you know? ”

Lowering her head to avoid my gaze, she murmured.

”Im sorry… ”

Slightly raising my hands, I placed it on her head to pat it.

”I forgive you… Now, why don we go to where the large noise came from. ”

Nodding slightly in reply, we continued walking down the forest.

Rustle-!

A rustling sound of trees was heard on our surroundings.

”Hmm… ”

While we were walking through the deep forest, a thought suddenly came inside my head.

Turning my head to look at Alicia, I saw that her mood was still slightly down.

Maybe, I should ask another time.

….

…..

After a few minutes of walking, we finally arrived to where the sound came from.

Turning my head all around to check the surroundings, I gestured Alicia to stay on alert.

In front of us was an old cabin that looks abandoned not long ago.

The door in front of us was broken so getting in is quite easy.

Just what the hell happened here?… Did a monster attack this cabins owner?

I couldn understand how the monster found this place because when I was outside, I noticed that there was a barrier that is used to hide this place.

Now that I think about it, I remembered hearing about the overgrowth of population and the abnormally evolving of some monster from my mother and miss Valentine. So, getting inside the barrier mightve been easy for an evolved one to get in.

I slowly walked inside the broken door of the cabin to see whats inside, but what I saw next made me more confused.

”Uwaa! Uwaa! ”

It was a baby…?

The hell? How did it get here?

After observing the surroundings of the place for awhile, I finally found out why.

Looking at the huge scratches and the blood that was on outside, this babys father mustve been trying to protect his family away from who knows what kind of monster. But after failing, the mother tried lure the monster away within the forest.

I guess we
e both lucky that we didn encounter the monster from the forest… But, if Im not wrong, we both should get going before ”that ” monster come back and make us its third meal.

”What happened here? ”

Returning my full attention back to Alicia, I spoke up.

”I don have much time to explain, just get the baby before we become a meal for some unknown monster. ”

”But w- ”

Cutting her mid-sentence, I raised my voice.

”Just do it! ”

Immediately, Alicia came to picked the baby up and so, we both ran away far from the cabin.

Thus, after running for sometime, I then decided to take a minute break to explain Alicia what just happened earlier.

”Do you get it now? If so, we better start running more far away before the monster catches us here. ”

Nodding her head in agreement, we continued running for at least an hour before we again took a short break on running.

At first, after Alicia heard my explanation her face turned grim because by thinking about it, if we didn decided to leave early, the monster wouldve have caught us not long ago.

This should be far enough, no? Wait, theres still a problem, its about our scent… Because we came inside the cabin, the monster mightve picked up our scent.

Before I could fully turned my head to face Alicia, I noticed something moving that was not far away from us.

Oh no…

Without waiting for Alicias reaction, I immediately picked her up in a princess carry position while she was still holding on to the baby.

Finally, understanding why Im in such hurry, she didn try to resist, and only paid attention to the sleeping baby over her arm.

Dammit. How could that monster caught up to us so easily when we just ran for an whole hour?

Greeting my teeth tightly, I tried to think of a solution to this current problem that I was currently taking on. But, no matter how much I think, I couldn find any proper solution to this problem.

And just then, my body started getting weaker as if its turning back to my usual weak body.

What kind of timing is this!?

I cursed internally.

Turning my head to face my back, I noticed that the noice around us suddenly disappeared.

I didn know if I should celebrate or not but before I could even say something to Alicia, I noticed that her face never left what was in front of us…

And thats when I found out the answer on how it easily caught up to us.

Why is this ”thing ” following us?

I couldn understand why, but. All I know that this humanoid creature has its own reason. Either it was trying to attack us or… was it only following us. Because this creature was called…

”Onyx… ”

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