Pumpkin King

Chapter 51

Jack and the others watched as the cracks appeared in the barrier around the fortress. At the base, they saw Erk jump up, the armor around him in tatters with random bits hanging off him.

Jack smiled slightly as he heard Erk yelling something about wanting to do that again. He shook his head and started his advance. He was glad his seedling had fun, but they weren't here for fun.

"Do you know why I, the guild master, am here to fight instead of just sending you all to fight for me?" He asked Will, who was walking at his right.

Will furrowed his brow. "I do find it odd. I was under the presumption that guild masters were forbidden to fight."

Jack chuckled. "Slightly true. You see, many among the Ten Wizard Saints are Guild Masters themselves. And the devastation a Wizard Saint can wreak upon the world is vast. So yes, to prevent this from happening, Guild Masters as a whole are not allowed to participate in battle. However," Will looked over at him at that, "I am not a Saint. The rules are applied more loosely to Masters like me. So when my guild goes to war, there's nothing to stop me from taking lead."

Will had no response. He…wasn't entirely sure what he had expected when he joined Pumpkin King. As he approached the failing barrier, all he could think about were the differences between Jack and his old Master. When his guild members were hurt, he himself charged into the fray. Had it been Harlas, he would have killed the injured and tried recruiting the ones that beat them. The difference was so vast between them. Where Harlas was darkness, Jack was light.

One by one, the candles on Will flickered to life. "This battle will be difficult." He said simply. "What will happen if we lose, Master? And spare the drama."

Jack was silent. "Valmagus will wake up." He stated. "Our country and countless more will likely fall victim to his Dream."

That steeled Will's resolve. 'For this man and his goals, I will do anything. Even if it means I need to slaughter ever person here.'

But Jack could tell what he was thinking. "No killing." He said with a lighter tone. "If we kill, we are no better than them. Not to mention the oath you gave me when you joined my guild." He looked at him. "Your hands were bloodied enough from your time in the dark guild. We do things my way from now on."

Will listened to his words and smiled to himself. Of course this man wouldn't let him kill. He had to stop thinking like he was still in the dark guild. He was Pumpkin King's S-class now. Plus, he had an image to maintain for those under him. He turned slightly to look at the other trailing behind him. Dante had a determined look on his face as Lorelai held his hand. She didn't look nearly as confident. But that's why the two made a great pair. When her courage flagged, he was there to pick her up.

On the other hand, he could see the boiling rage floating just beneath the surface of Becky's features. Now there was a girl who was ready to bloody her hands. The wounds left by his predecessor Latran were still deep in her. Next to her, Crest was silent giant. His face betrayed no emotion, his features held neither aggression nor pessimism. He could read what was going on in the man's head and that was almost more dangerous than any amount of rage.

Charlotte looked part worried and mostly scared. Her skills as a Celestial wizard would be invaluable in the following battles, but he wasn't sure if she would be able to take the pressure. He had never seen her in action. But from what Crest and Erk had told him, she commanded a powerful assortment of spirits that would be able to give them much needed support.

Then there was Azusa. He seriously questioned why Jack brought her along. She was still young and had almost no control over her magic. It was dangerous to bring her along not only for her safety but their own. He would have rather brought Tamashi or Reese in her stead. He sighed. But he wasn't one to question his Master. All he could do was hope he had a plan.

By that point they had reached Erk in front of the shattered remains of the barrier. And Erk simply looked excited.

"That was awesome!" He shouted, running up to them. "What was that?"

Crest shook his head. "I thought that was your doing, not mine."

Jack laughed. "You're both right. I think what we witnessed was a Unison Raid."

Erk cocked an eyebrow in confusion. "A what now?"

"Unison Raid." Jack repeated. "When two wizards with similar magic synchronize with each other, their magic combines together to make a spell much stronger than either wizards could perform alone. Quite an extraordinary feat." He stepped past him and towards the building. "But we will have time to marvel it later. Since you've rang the doorbell, we might as well go inside."

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