Unlimited Spell World

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Episode 5: The First Mission

Less than twelve hours go by from Ilya's decision as the white-haired beauty lies in a twin-sized bed that resides within a small room while almost completely covered by the white sheets of her bed. While Ilya sleeps, it can be noted that the room itself has plain white walls that are roughly five meters apart from one another with a closet towards the east side of the room, which happens to place the closet near the foot of Ilya's bed since its in the exact middle of the room. Concurrently, the door leading out of the room is located right at the middle of the wall that's in front of Ilya since she's lying on her left side at the moment as a couple of small dressers are behind the hazel-eyed teen while under the only window that's about five meters in size with wooden, white-colored shutters.

Ilya continues to sleep for a while longer until awakening with a drowsy look appearing on her face as she has bed hair in addition to the white-haired teen currently not wearing her gold headband. After that, the hazel-eyed beauty slowly sits up as it's revealed that she's only wearing a white-laced bra, perfectly pressed against her magnificent breasts, and then removes the blanket entirely so she can get up, which results in the showing of Ilya only having panties of the same fabric/color on. Having gotten out of bed, Ilya briefly stretches without putting any thought to the fact that the window's open and anyone could possibly see her as she heads to the closet after putting her hands down. The young lady quickly grabs one of multiple white/beige dresses that look exactly the same as the one she's been wearing, heads over to the dresser to get a new pair of underwear and calmly heads to the bedroom door to exit her room.

Soon enough, Ilya reaches the bathroom door, which is the door roughly three meters to the left from the hazel-eyed girl's room. After doing that, the young lady turns the doorknob with her right hand while holding her clothes in the other as exhaustion still hasn't left Ilya's being. She then opens up the door via pushing it forward and unexpectedly finds herself with Dante residing inside the semi-small bathroom as he's brushing his teeth in front of the mirror before simply peering at Ilya out of the corner of his left eye. At the same time, Dante holds the toothbrush he's using at his mouth via his right hand as he's not wearing either of his gloves and is only wearing red boxers while leaning forward with the assistance of his other hand placed on the bathroom's sink.

They both stare at one another for several seconds until Ilya realizes that she isn't exactly dressed properly for this encounter and screams prior to harshly slamming the bathroom door. In response to that, Dante just watches the door for a moment and then grins while returning his attention to the mirror so he can keep on brushing his teeth as he says to himself, "Good way to start the morning." The green-eyed individual then finishes up in the bathroom prior to exiting while still only wearing his boxers and walks towards the living room that's across from the hall where the bathroom's located.

Meanwhile, Ilya intently observes Dante from the safety of her room through a small crack she made via opening the door until finding the perfect opportunity to rush to the bathroom while Dante's back was turned and shuts the door behind herself. Once she's in the bathroom, the white-haired beauty lets out a huge, depressive sigh with her eyes momentarily closed as she firmly holds her clothes against her person via both of her arms and then pulls her head back to gaze at the ceiling while muttering, "That was awkward... I forgot for a moment that he's now living here. I have to get used to that." She turns her attention to the left, stares at where Dante was standing before while noticing his toothbrush on the sink and happily smirks. "But I can't complain, I asked for this after making my decision yesterday."

With that said, Ilya calmly takes off the bra and underwear she's wearing while a small scar is now visible on the middle of her chest. After that, she enters the shower that's located at the end of the bathroom, turns on the water while being very cold at first, but doesn't seem to bother the hazel-eyed girl much and feels the water get warmer as it goes down her slim figure. While that happens, the white-haired teen tilts her head back with her eyes shut as she's facing towards the shower-head and thinks back on how the previous day's confrontation concluded.

*Start Of Flashback*

Ilya faces Adalia and the others as they're within the Spellcaster Training Ground and sternly says, "Okay. My decision is..." Sincerity suddenly shows itself on her face while a little nervous. "That I wouldn't mind being by Dante's side for missions. After all..." She focuses her attention solely on Dante. "We're friends."

Dante cheerfully smiles at Ilya with his eyes closed and head tilted to the right. "Perfect!" He then opens his eyes to look at Adalia with his head straightened. "Then that settles it. We have ourselves a deal."

Before Adalia had the chance to respond, Cassius cuts in while extremely upset as his eyes are set on Dante. "No, you don't!" He hurriedly shift his gaze to Adalia while trying to maintain some sort of composure. "Please, reconsider this!" The hazel-eyed man then diverts his attention towards Ilya. "And what are you thinking?! Don't you understand the type of danger you'll be in just by being around him!" Cassius points his left thumb at Dante while saying that last part.

Adalia gives Cassius a disapproving look. "There is no need to yell at her. Cassius, it's in the best interest of Velkry to have Dante on our side, especially considering our current situation. Ilya made her decision and you must accept it."

Cassius snaps his head to Adalia with astonishment showing after dropping his left hand. "But, Lady Adalia...!"

Ilya gently grabs a hold of her brother's right hand with her left hand after making her way to Cassius while emitting a sad expression. "Please, brother... Trust me. This is for Velkry." She then grabs onto the pendant around her neck with her right hand. "And you know that I'll summon for you if I ever am in real trouble." Ilya grins in a reassuring manner.

Cassius' briefly speechless due to his sister's words until taking a deep breath and lightly tightening his hands grip on his Ilya's hand with a firm demeanor. "Alright." He promptly lifts up the hand that's being held by Ilya and softly caresses her left cheek that's still a little bruised from Cassius hitting it. "And I'm sorry for that."

Ilya nods while trying to restrain tears from leaving her eyes. "I know, big brother."

Concurrently, Dante watches the two siblings make up before switching his focus to Adalia and nonchalantly asks, "So... Deal?"

Adalia giggles and then sharply nods. "Deal." She then deviates her gaze from Dante to Ilya and Cassius. "Now that's decided, since Ilya was the one to bring us Dante, it would only be fitting that you'd give him a place to stay."

Both Ilya and Cassius hastily set their sights on Adalia with shock brimming while asking in unison, "Huh?!"

*End Of Flashback*

Having recalled that experienced, Ilya lowers her head with the shower's water continually traveling throughout her body, slowly opens both eyes while displaying a slight vagueness and softly says to herself, "And that's how Dante's living with me now. Obviously, big brother argued about that with Adalia... He even seemed to dislike that idea much more than me going on missions with Dante." She pulls her head back up, stares at the shower-head with its water hitting her face and faintly smirks. "Either way, I agreed and that's it. There's no backing out now." Ilya then keeps on showering for several more minutes prior to getting out and putting on her clothes.

After that, the hazel-eyed teen heads back to her room so she can grab all of the accessories she normally wears that's located on top of one of her dressers and again exits the bedroom while placing the accessories on her person. Once she does that, Ilya turns her head to her left and finds Dante simply sitting on a twin-sized bed just like the one the hazel-eyed beauty has with his legs crossed. At the same time, Dante's staring out of a small balcony with the same type of shutters that Ilya's room contains while connected to the end of the living room that the blonde-haired young man's bed currently resides in. It was originally in Ilya's room, but clearly moved to the living room since she knew there was no way the two would sleep in the same room.

As Ilya had entered the living room, it can be noted that the room severely lacks other furniture as it and the dining room are joined together without anything separating the two except a small table that can fit four people at most while the only way to leave the apartment is located next to the kitchen, which is towards the same side Ilya's standing right now. Not long after that, Ilya takes into account that Dante's wearing the same torn up clothing that he has been using since they've met and gives him a mildly disgusted look while planting her left hand on her hip. "Don't you think that's unhealthy?"

Dante turns his head to the left so he can make eye contact with Ilya while showing a hint of curiosity. "What do you mean?"

Ilya points at Dante's clothes with her right hand. "That's what I mean. Even if you wash it daily, the clothes are so torn up that it's hard to call that sanitary."

Dante momentarily peers down at his clothes before getting out of bed while facing Ilya as its revealed that there isn't a single tear on the green-eyed individual's clothing. "What are you talking about?"

Ilya's jaw drops out of surprise as she slightly bends forward. "How the...?!"

Dante immediately starts laughing with his eyes shut and gripping onto his stomach via both hands until giving Ilya a smart ass smile. "Didn't expect that, did ya'?"

Ilya regains her composure after taking a deep breath with an upright posture. "Restoration Spell, right?"

Dante happily nods his head. "Yup! Complements of Celty!"

Surprise swiftly resurfaces on Ilya's face as she takes a couple of steps towards Dante. "Celty?! She was here?!"

Dante nods while putting both hands into his pockets. "Mm-hmm. She came over while you were in the shower." He then chuckles a little with his head slanted to the left. "You know, you two are quite alike. You both pretty much had the same reaction to me wearing only boxers."

Ilya turns bright red after lowering her right hand while blurting out, "She saw you too!"

Dante closes his eyes and nods again. "Yup. It was really funny considering she used that hood of hers to cover her face and turned her back to me really fast. Then I told her that I was about to put on the same clothes I wore yesterday and she volunteered to fix them up with the Restoration Spell. She actually said something similar to what you said as well about me wearing torn clothes and I should think of getting more than one outfit."

Ilya's face starts to go back to its original color as she clears her throat to help her calm down with her right hand now clenched in front of her mouth and eyes shut. "Well, Celty is well-versed in using the Restoration Spell, so you made a wise choice in having her do it..." She then lowers her right hand again while looking at Dante with dullness in her eyes. "And she's right."

Dante sits back down on the bed after pulling both hands out of his pockets to use as leverage since he's leaning backwards quite a bit and stares at the ceiling. "Yeah, yeah... I'll think about it."

Ilya softly sighs out of aggravation with her head down until locking her eyes onto Dante again. "So... Why did Celty come over? Did she want to discuss with me about my decision?"

Dante shifts his gaze towards Ilya without moving his head. "You're asking me that knowing fully well that I heard her thoughts 'cause she clearly wouldn't have told me otherwise."

Ilya sheepishly diverts her attention from Dante while attempting to not seem so obvious of her intentions. "Maybe..."

Dante lightly chuckles. "Although that was what she was thinking, that's not why she was here. Apparently, we've been summoned by the Royal Council to finalize the agreement between me and them. We need to head over there as soon as possible."

Ilya returns her sights to Dante. "Oh, was that it? That explains why she would be here so early and not be at one of the city's four entrances."

Dante gets back on his feet and walks towards the kitchen. "Well that and she wants to talk to you before you're sent out on another mission." The blonde young man soon reaches the refrigerator that's positioned on the other side of the kitchen and scans its confines. "So let's have something quick to eat and be on our way." He then veers his attention to Ilya with a cool grin.

Ilya pauses for a moment until nodding with a kind smile. "Right."

*Scene Change*

Following the two companions eating what would be breakfast, they both shortly progressed from Ilya's apartment that's located on the top of a three-floor building, which is approximately thirty meters long while at the north-west side of Velkry, to the Royal Council's mansion. Afterwards, the duo find themselves in the same room they first met the Royal Council as they face all three members, Cassius, who still seems not too pleased about the green-eyed young man staying with his sister and Celty, who stands to Cassius' left while emanating a serious composition without her hood on.

Dante soon sees Celty from where he's standing, which is to Ilya's right while at the center of the Royal Council's Chambers, and contentedly waves at her via his right hand with his eyes shut. This action momentarily caught Celty off guard before the red-head returns the gesture with a somewhat shy demeanor while holding her halberd in her left hand. After that, the two Class S Spellcasters, Ilya and Dante veer their attention to the Royal Council as Adalia speaks while comfortably sitting at her throne with her right leg over the other. "I am glad you two were able to join us so quickly. How was your first night with Ilya, Dante?" She then winks at Dante as if hinting towards something while letting out a giggle.

Hearing those words from Adalia causes Ilya to become very flustered as she retorts in a frantic tone, "Why are you saying it like that?! What are you implying, Milady?!"

Adalia softly laughs with both eyes closed. "Oh, nothing."

Slate injects into the conversation after quickly clearing his throat and sternly says while looking towards his left, "We don't have time to be fooling around, Adalia. We have to let them know why they've been brought forth."

Ilya shows mild confusion on her person. "I thought it was to finalize your agreement with Dante."

Slate shifts his focus to Ilya with a calm attitude. "In a way, yes. However, to fully solidify the agreement of him joining us, he must complete a trial mission with a successful result."

Cassius comments while folding his arms together as he directs his attention to Ilya. "It's true. The same thing was done concerning all of the Class S Spellcasters that allied themselves with Velkry for the past several years after the start of the war. Both Carlile, Kinu and Dreka went through that very process before we accepted them."

Dante glances at Cassius while thinking with a small amount of curiosity taking form, "Dreka...?"

Ilya makes an expression of realization while peering upward. "That's right!" She then reverts her gaze to the Royal Council. "So, what exactly will the mission be?"

Miro answers Ilya's question as he holds up his head with his right hand while seeming quite annoyed. "Why don't you ask Dante? He can protrude into our minds as much as he wants and their isn't a thing we can do about it.""

A scowl instantly appears on Adalia's face as she glares at Miro. "Please, don't talk like that. It makes you sound like a child and you are the farthest from all of us who should act that way." The brown-haired woman promptly deviates her sights from Miro to Ilya and Dante while displaying a caring demeanor. "Anyhow, at the moment, there's only one mission that we have yet to decide who should go. We normally send any new additions to Velkry on a mission by themselves, but the circumstance of this particular mission is too much to send only one or two people."

Ilya becomes extremely worried prior to turning her head to Dante and thinks, "Why do I have the feeling that Dante will-"

Just when Ilya was about to finish that thought, Dante swiftly raises his left hand up and excitedly yells out, "Count me in!"

Shock immediately overtakes Ilya's being as she thinks, "I knew it!"

Adalia laughs at Dante's abrupt response as the displeasure that was on Cassius' person earlier returns while Celty's fairly baffled by what she just witnessed and softly says, "I can't believe he accepted when he most likely knows what the mission is."

Cassius looks at Celty out of the corner of his eyes and whispers to her in a disgruntled voice, "Not just that, he accepted knowing Ilya has no choice but to go with him AND he most certainly knows the danger that will come."

Then, Slate asks Dante with some concern shown, "Are you sure? Consider what you will be getting yourself and Miss Henseka in."

Ilya intervenes before Dante had the chance to reply with worry resurfacing as she does a quick double-take between her new friend and Slate. "Wait a second. Can someone at least first tell me what the mission is?"

Miro folds his arms together while staring at Ilya with a severe lack of emotion displayed. "The mission involves Icela's king and princess. You know how they're in relation with a member of the Einsburn Family, correct?"

Ilya rebuttals in an unsure manner. "I just know a little bit about Tundra and its capital's financial status. Plus, how they are one of the few countries where humans and Spellcasters peacefully support each other and live together. Their relations with Spellcasters outside of Velkry isn't something many people speak about here." She shifts her gaze to Cassius. "My brother has spoken ill of the country's condition as a whole since the beginning of the war."

Dante somberly includes himself into the subject with both hands behind his back while watching the floor in front of him. "That means you don't know that it's my aunt who has a deep relationship with Icela's king and princess."

Ilya hurriedly faces Dante with immense surprise. "Your aunt?!"

Dante lifts his head to make eye contact with Miro. "Although, she broke those ties with them and left without caring, right? That leaves Icela practically defenseless from invasion since the entire country is low on Spellcasters right now."

Adalia nods with sadness brimming. "Indeed. Tundra had sent the majority of their Spellcasters to fight in the battle between the faction under the Einsburn Family's Commanding Officer of War and the Saints Organization."

Having listened to Adalia's explanation, Dante's eyes narrow while some anger can be noted on his face as Ilya clearly sees the difference in her companion's personality after the mentioning of his family and is overrun with concern. In the meantime, Miro adds to what Adalia had said while fairly annoyed with his head turned to the opposite way from his fellow members, "Humph! It's ridiculous how Tundra allowed themselves to be put in such circumstances. Letting the Einsburns use their Spellcasters, even though the king and his so called WIFE haven't spoken, let alone SEEN each other in years!"

Slate calmly retorts to Miro's rant while staring at him out of the corner of his eyes. "For one, it was still believed that the marriage between them continued to hold enough value to solidify both Icela and the entire country's safety from other Spellcasters. Other than that, the king had fully accepted the actuality of his wife not caring for him and his daughter anymore."

A depressed look hastily overcomes Ilya's being after dropping her head. "Can a mother really be so heartless?"

Cassius diverts his attention to his sister while thinking with a slight amount of worry, "Ilya..."

Dante answers Ilya's question with sincerity suddenly establishing itself, leans towards her a little and says in an assuring voice, "She isn't a real mother, anyway. So, don't put too much thought into it, okay?"

Ilya's stunned by Dante's words for a few seconds until cheerfully grinning and nods. "Okay."

Adalia's delighted by what she's seeing as she thinks, "Another quality he got from his father. It doesn't take him much to cheer someone up either."

Slate cuts in as he resumes the main topic with a serious composition while looking towards Ilya and Dante. "Anyway, the mission is to insure the safety of the king and his daughter, because if they aren't protected, then Tundra will fall due to not having a legitimate leader. This wouldn't be good since there are many Spellcasters who will jump at the opportunity in gaining territory to further their goals. The main objective is protect them so well, and defeat all those who attack, to make any possible threats give up on their conquest, or at least until they get word of the return of their Spellcasters." He then places his attention onto his fellow council members. "So, it's decided. Dante and Ilya will be sent to Icela. Who else can we send?"

Just when the other members were about to speak, Dante intervenes while planting both hands on his waist. "No need to worry about that! The two of us will be more than enough!" The green-eyed individual closes his eyes with a smile as he faintly tilts his head to the left.

Disbelief instantly overwhelms everyone while all letting out a gasp. Afterwards, Cassius takes a step forward and yells out while very upset, "Are you crazy?! You must know who will likely be the first to attack Icela! Do you fully understand what they're capable of?"

Dante shifts his gaze to Cassius and replies in a carefree way. "I do. Enshin's Disciples."

Ilya lowers her head as she contemplates to herself in her mind, "Why does that sound familiar?" She soon remembers the four men the white-haired girl and Dante fought before returning her focus to the young man next to her while saying with astonishment, "Hold on! Aren't they-?!"

Dante nods after locking eyes with Ilya. "Yeah. It's the same group of those guys we beat on the day we met."

Surprise overruns Miro's face as he includes himself into the conversation after leaning forward with both hands placed on his throne's arm rest. "You mean the two of you have once dealt with Enshin's Disciples?"

Both Dante and Ilya turn their attention to Miro before simultaneously nodding in agreement. This causes the three council members, Cassius and Celty to become shocked for several seconds until Ilya interrupts the silence in the room with a bit of skepticism. "So, what's the big deal about those guys? Aside from them using some weird machine to increase their magical power, they don't really seem much of a threat."

The Royal Council's eyes widen prior to Slate asking with a concerned tone, "A weird machine?"

Dante gently taps Ilya's side with the back of his left hand, which forces the hazel-eyed teen to direct her eyes to him as he lightly shakes his head. After that, Ilya reverts her attention to the Royal Council and nervously says with her eyes closed while waving her right hand at them, "Oh, it's nothing. Forget it." She opens her eyes while putting her hand down as curiosity surfaces. "But seriously, they didn't seem like much if you ask me."

Adalia answers Ilya's curiosity with a firm voice after briefly analyzing the teen since she's clearly hiding something, but decides to trust her. "To an extent, you're right. Enshin would be the only real threat because of a mysterious power he is rumored to wield, however what his disciples lack in strength, they make up in their fairly large quantity. At first, the number was so low that many Spellcaster groups belittled them and didn't even care to take them seriously. Just as you are doing right now."

Slate joins in with an emotionless demeanor while putting his right hand's palm underneath his chin to hold his head up. "Indeed, although after gradually gaining support from a few strong Spellcaster groups, and raising their numbers, they are quite feared now."

Ilya lowers her head without taking her eyes off the Royal Council and thinks, "I'll admit those four who me and Dante fought were a pain, but without that machine the big guy used to raise his magic to a Class B, I can probably take on a dozen of them without breaking much of a sweat." She then lifts her head up to properly speak to the council. "I'm going to go with Dante about the two of us being enough." Ilya veers her attention to Dante. "After all, this guy right here was able to hold his own with a few of our city's great Class S Spellcasters." The white-haired beauty then reverts her focus to the three council members and confidently says while pointing at herself with her right thumb. "Plus, if they're on the same level as the guys we took on, I'll wipe the floor with them! No problem at all!"

Dante and Adalia simultaneously laugh a little as they both liked that show of confidence from Ilya. Unfortunately, Cassius didn't care too much about Ilya's display as he faces towards the Royal Council with seriousness brimming. "I, for one, don't think sending those two alone will be enough to protect Icela's king and princess!" He plants his right hand above the middle of his chest. "Allow myself to accompany them!"

Miro shakes his head while crossing his arms again. "That won't do. You're still in the midst of an important mission. Just as many of the Spellcasters that would've been good to send on this mission are busy with their own mission. That even includes Faulch, who's out on another recognizance mission, despite still having some of the injuries he suffered yesterday." He glares at Dante due to the young man being the one responsible for Faulch's condition.

Slate nods with his eyes on Celty. "Yes, and we can't send any of Velkry's Gate Guardians like you, Celty. You need to be on your way now, anyway."

Celty responds in a hesitant way. "C-Correct... B-But may I please have a moment with Ilya before I leave?"

Adalia wholeheartedly smirks with her eyes glistening. "Alright." She changes her attention to Ilya. "You both can go to the upper level to talk. We'll wrap this up quick."

Ilya smiles before fixing her posture so she can politely bow down. "Thank you, Milady." She then straightens herself before glancing at Dante and whispers, "I'll see you up there."

Dante sharply nods as he witnesses Ilya and Celty gradually heading to the platform-like circle that brings people into the Royal Council's Chamber. Once the two are out of sight, Cassius stands to Dante's right while staring at the three individuals in front of them. Meanwhile, Dante simplistically looks at Cassius out of the corner of his eyes as a small grin appears on his face before deviating his eyes to the council members. Not long after that, Slate starts talking to the two after removing his right hand from underneath his chin with an upright posture while specifically focused on Dante. "This is what's going to happen. Considering how far Icela is from here, Cassius will send you and Ilya with the Teleportation Spell." He sets his sights on Cassius. "Understand?"

Cassius firmly replies. "Yes, sir."

Slate accepts Cassius' answer and establishes his gaze on Dante again. "Now, we've already told you and Ilya what is needed to complete the mission. More precisely, just fend off against Enshin's Disciples and make it seem as though that any attempts at them would be like issuing a challenge to us. Something numerous groups, both Spellcaster and not, would prefer to avoid... If they know what's best for them."

Dante suddenly extends his arms above his head with his head cocked back and stretches his body. "Okay. I got you."

Adalia adds in with a beautiful smile. "If you and Ilya are successful, then you'll be officially a part of Velkry."

Dante stops stretching with his arms lowered while emanating a content attitude. "I look forward to it."

Miro coldly interjects himself as his eyes become dull. "One more thing."

Dante gives Miro a confused look before returning the same cold expression at the grey-haired man. "I already know. You've been meaning to explain that and something else irrelevant ever since we arrived." The blonde-haired gentlemen smiles in a taunting manner. "You have nothing to worry about, alright?"

Miro grits his teeth out of anger while thinking, "Curse him and his mind reading!"

While ignoring Miro's current demeanor, Adalia continues to smile at Dante. "You can go now. And tell Ilya that I wish her good luck. You too, of course." She giggles.

Dante happily grins with his eyes shut. "Thanks! I'll be sure to pass the message!" He then turns away from the Royal Council and starts walking with Cassius following the green-eyed individual after giving a swift bow to his superiors. Right after that, Dante opens his eyes to look where he's going with a hint of annoyance taking form and thinks, "Like I would really do either one of those things." He softly chuckles out of amusement without stopping.

*Scene Change*

Not much after reaching the upper level, Ilya and Celty had walked out of the mansion for them to talk a couple of minutes before Dante finished up with the Royal Council. The two then used this time to hurriedly catch up on what's happened in their lives. This lead to the white-haired girl having to go through a fast summary of her meeting Dante, which greatly amazed Celty and rapidly came to understand why her dear friend was so trusting of him.

Celty promptly asks Ilya while holding her halberd behind herself via both hands as she's radiating with immense interest, "So, how exactly do you feel about Dante?!"

Ilya stumbles backwards a bit due to not expecting that question and then turns a light shade of red as she retorts in a defensive voice. "What do you mean?! It's not as if I like him or anything!"

Celty gives Ilya a menacing smirk while getting closer. "It's funny. All I asked was how you felt. You could have just calmly said you like him as a friend, but that reaction..." She stomps her left foot onto the ground before pointing at Ilya with her left hand at an angle. "Makes me suspect that you-!"

Ilya frantically cuts Celty off with both hands clenched while leaning towards the red-head. "No! Dante's just my friend and that's it! Sure, he saved me from those guys that day we met, and I appreciate that he did that after how I had treated him, but..." She trails off while looking away from Celty and then mumbles, "I don't like him anymore than just a friend."

A skeptical look takes shape on Celty's expression as she stands to Ilya's left, which has both girls' backs to the mansion now. "Really?"

Ilya snaps her head to Celty since she had it turned to the opposite direction from where the red-head's currently standing as some of the hazel-eyed girl's original color returns to her face. "Yes, really!" The white-haired teen then decides to turn the tables on Celty with a sinister grin as she completely faces her. "What about you and how you feel about my brother? Are you still-"

Celty hurriedly places both hands over Ilya's mouth after a huge amount of stress arose while mildly blushing. "Don't say it!"

Before Ilya had a chance to torture Celty more, Dante walks out of the mansion with Cassius not too far behind him while having both hands in his pockets and speaks in a cheerful tone. "You two look like you're having fun!" He briefly laughs.

Both Ilya and Celty turn their heads to Dante as the red-head keeps her hands covering her friend's mouth for a few seconds. Afterwards, Ilya swiftly removes Celty's hands so she can speak with slight embarrassment overtaking her expression. "You could say that."

Dante chuckles out of amusement. "Well, it's time to go. Your brother will be sending us to Icela by teleportation."

Cassius firmly nods in agreement after standing to Dante's right. "Although, it will be a bit complicated for the two of you to return. I'll likely be back on the important mission I've been dealing with for the past couple of months, so I would like you to refrain from summoning me, unless it's an emergency. Alright, Ilya?"

Ilya gives Cassius a thumbs up with her right hand. "Understood, big brother."

Cassius nods again while calmly saying, "Good. Now, say your goodbyes, you two."

After receiving those instructions from Cassius, Ilya turns her attention back to Celty as the two shared a fairly long embrace. As Ilya and Celty did that, Cassius looks at Dante out of the corner of his eyes while talking in a low volume with disdain radiating. "You already know what I'll do to you if anything were to happen to her."

Dante moves his gaze to Cassius without any change to his attitude. "I know... And you should already know that anyone who hurts her, won't get off easily."

Irritation quickly arises on Cassius' face before him and Dante divert their focus to the two ladies in front of them. At that same moment, Ilya had just let go of Celty, makes eye contact with Cassius and politely states, "We're done. Let's go, Dante."

With that said, Dante and Celty exchange places for the sake of Cassius needing the blonde-haired young man to be beside his sister. After that, the hazel-eyed man lifts up both of his arms at the duo with seriousness taking form. "One last thing. I won't be able to send you directly to the king's castle since I've never personally been there. I just know the placement of Icela because I've memorized the world's map. I can at least get you to its border."

Dante replies without really caring. "That's fine." He shifts his focus to Ilya. "Right?"

Ilya nods at Dante before returning her attention to Cassius. "Yeah."

Cassius accepts their answer while lowering his head with his eyes closed and begins to concentrate. Several seconds pass without anything happening until Cassius promptly pulled up his head as an intense look appears on his person and sternly states, "Teleport!"

Following that, both Dante and Ilya suddenly disappear from in front of the two Class S Spellcasters with a little bit of the ground's dirt having been kicked up into the air as a side-effect. Then, as Cassius lowered his arms, the white-haired individual abruptly recalls something and slaps his forehead out of small frustration. "Damn it!"

Celty gives Cassius a confused stare. "What is it?"

Cassius sighs before responding to Celty. "I forgot to advise Ilya to wear something to keep her warm."

Realization swiftly takes over Celty's being. "Oh...! Because it's..."

*Scene Change*

Ilya's teeth uncontrollably chatter as she tightly holds herself via both hands in the attempt to stay warm and stutters without looking at Dante, "I-I-It's s-s-so... F-Freaking... C-C-Cold!" It's then revealed that the two of them arm right outside of Icela, which happens to be a large city, quite like Velkry, with the exception of the fierce snowfall that's occurring while the entire area's floor is covered by about two feet of snow. This had forced every single type of business and housing located in Icela to be completely closed off as it's hard to say what time it is since neither sun or moon can be seen through the continuous snowfall. What can be seen though by the duo is a castle made out of stone with a single, cylinder-shaped tower extended to the sky as the rest can't be seen too well due to being stationed on top of what looks like to be a four-kilometer-tall, snow-covered mountain while at the other side of the city.

Meanwhile, Dante contentedly points at the castle while facing Ilya with his left hand as his clothes ferociously flutter because of the loud, strong wind in addition to the snow falling and shouts so that Ilya can hear him, "That has to be it, huh?!"

Ilya snaps at Dante with annoyance in her voice as her entire body desperately tries not to shake, but kind of can't help it due to both the intense cold and the fact that her bare legs are submerged up to her knees. "Yes, Dante! It's the only castle in sight, so of course that has to be it!" The white-haired girl points at the castle with her right hand while keeping her left hand clenching onto her right arm for warmth. "All the way up that HUGE mountain!"

Dante slants his head to the left while putting his head down and asks in a concerned way without paying mind to the almost snow storm that's transpiring, "What's wrong?"

Ilya's filled with disbelief as she hurriedly closes in on Dante to have their faces a couple of inches apart. "Are you serious?! It's freezing out here! How in God's name are you even dealing with it?!"

Dante smiles while shutting his eyes and rebuttals in a carefree manner. "I've experienced worse."

Ilya's jaw drops after turning her head away from Dante and thinks with shock showing, "There's no way!"

Then, Dante unexpectedly grabs a hold of Ilya's left wrist and begins walking while pulling the hazel-eyed teen behind him. "Let's go. It'll probably take us a few hours at best to get up there. I don't want you to freeze to death before we get there." He softly laughs as the two start making a trail in the snow while advancing into the city.

Concurrently, an agitated scowl replaces Ilya's shock as she restrains herself from glaring at Dante and keeps staring off to the side while thinking, "He says that like I'm the only one who'll freeze to death."

*Scene Change*

Elsewhere, deep within the darkness of what seems to be a type of dungeon, three people are being held captive in a medieval-styled cell with iron bars making up the sole source of exiting since the other three sides of the cell are cement walls. Not long after that, the hall leading to the cell lights up and barely displays that one of the individuals is a dark-skinned man with a shaved-head as he's lying on his face. In the meantime, a Caucasian man, who wears a long-sleeved, light green shirt with dark green jeans and pitch black shoes walks up as a rattling sound is heard throughout. Soon enough, the man confronts the three that are locked in the cell and says with a somewhat stuck-up tone, "Ya' understand how things are gonna' go down, don't ya'?" He snickers a little while cracking his neck by cocking his head to the right before fixing it. "Y'all get to say wha' ya' wanna say... And if the boss finds wha' y'all sayin' good enough ta' give y'all a second chance, then everythin' will be gravy."

The dark-skinned man painstakingly lifts his head up as it's shown that the man is one of the three men Ilya dealt with several days earlier when she met Dante. At the same time, the man reaches out towards the Caucasian man while still suffering from some severe burns, compliments of Ilya's magical ability, and groans with lifeless eyes, "Please... Be merciful..."

The Caucasian man instantly starts laughing with his head tilted back while placing his left hand over his face. Because of him doing that, it can now be noted that the man's hair is black like his shoes while parted in the center to be symmetrical on both sides of his head as this allows his forehead to be seen with what appears to be a long chain almost completely wrapped around each arm. Afterwards, the Caucasian man removes his hand to look down on the man before him with his almost black eyes and arrogantly speaks while raising his right arm in a gesture, "Ya' gotta be kiddin'! Have ya' eva' heard of our marvelous boss give pitiful weak-asses any mercy?!" He lowers his right arm while leaning towards the dark-skinned man as his expression now shows disgust. "If he did, I wouldn't be followin' 'im and killed his ass a long time ago."

Horror rapidly takes form on the dark-skinned man's person as he thinks, "This man... He really is like what everyone who's met him says! A psychotic rogue, who does whatever he wants, despite not being a Spellcaster!" He gulps out of nervousness before he continues thinking. "Someone so terrifying and strong that he's our boss' No. 2! This man... Is known as Nash... The Surging Chain!"

A few seconds later, the cell's four meter doorway opens before Nash enters while an intimidating aura emanates from him, squats down to meet the dark-skinned man's gaze and says in a menacing way, "So, I dare ya'... Ask for mercy again..."

The dark-skinned man briefly hesitates. "I... I'm sorry."

Nash's eyes narrow with coldness resounding in them prior to suddenly swipe his right hand across the dark-skinned man's face while a rattling sound was made behind that action. Not even a moment afterwards, a grand amount of blood abruptly spurts out all over from a horizontal cut that's exactly on the center of the dark-skinned man's head as Nash utters without any emotion, even though some blood splattered on his face, "I hate apologies even more than hearin' a fool ask for mercy."

Right after that, the upper part of the dark-skinned man's head falls to the floor before his body slumps down while making a type of gushing sound as some blood begins to spread from the wound. Then, Nash rises to his feet while directing his attention to the other two individuals within the cell, who are the other two dark-skinned men that Ilya defeated as they lean against opposing stone walls from each out, and says with a cunning grin, "Ya' two ready? There's always the alternative, ya' know." He snickers again.

Both dark-skinned men simply nod due to not wanting to say anything that may end up killing them while intently watching their fallen comrade's corpse and remain sitting on the floor. Once he sees their reaction, Nash turns away from the two men and cracks his neck again, but this time by cocking his head to the left. "Come on, then. I'm not gonna' carry y'all or anythin'." He then exits the cell and turns left to walk the way he came while arrogantly smirking.

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