6 Years Old – Q of Hearts (Part 2)
The second guard fell to the ground without a sound. Protruding from his back was a large knife.
A red stain was spreading across his clothing.
Royce-sama flusteredly took some distance from the first guard. I stepped out in front of Royce-sama in a panic.
“It’ll be okay, the other guards should be here any minute…”
“Unfortunately for you… help won’t be coming.”
While suppressing the terror that rose up in my body, I tried to soothe the prince, but the first guard cut in.
In that instant, I recognised this man as an enemy.
Grasped in his hand was a knife just like the one protruding from the second guard’s back.
This guy isn’t a guard; he’s a villain aiming for Royce-sama!
“All of them are probably already dead, you know.”
The villain smiled inappropriately.
“Royce-sama! Please es…”
Once again, the villain cut off my words. This time not with words, but with an attack.
I immediately blocked the swing of his blade with defensive magic. If there’s only one of them, then we might be able to get away somehow.
However, that faint hope of mine easily disappeared with the appearance of the villain’s comrades, coming one after another out of hiding.
In total there were five of them, and including the guy with the blade, there were six.
Probably because they had defeated the guards in hiding, a number of them were covered in blood spray.
These villains might have been mixed in amongst the guards as well.
Three six year old children, versus a total of six of these villains.
We were at an overwhelming disadvantage. For some reason I recalled the time I was cornered by the gyaru group in the world outside this dream. Is this my life flashing before my eyes?
If I die here, would I wake up from this dream…? Would it be fine if I got stabbed just a little?
…As if, right?…
I laughed dryly at my stubbornness in still supporting myself with the idea that this is a dream after all this time.
If I’m killed here, I’ll probably die for real. Probably, dying without being able to return to being a high schooler… Without having protected Royce-sama…
I’ve been averting my eyes all this time, but somewhere in my heart, I actually knew.
…I’ve been running away.
This world… and my circumstances… I’ve been putting off actually thinking about them properly.
I mean… if I didn’t think of this world as a dream, it was just filled with things that I couldn’t accept, after all…
I want to see my parents, I want to see my friends, I want to pass on being a villain… I want to go home…
If it was a dream, then I could just enjoy things however I wanted, but if it was a real then I couldn’t just have fun without thinking, right?
…I …don’t want that…
At Achille’s voice, my consciousness kicked back in. And at the same time, I felt a pain in my left arm.
The villain’s blade had cut apart my skin. They had broken through my defensive wall using magic.
Being immersed in my thoughts in this situation was stupid of me.
Right now I had to let Royce-sama, and while I was at it, Achille, escape safely… Of course, I planned on returning alive as well.
“Get away from us!”
I immediately let out a wind attack from my hand, and sent the villain flying. A few companions of his who were dragged into it tumbled about.
Right now the magic I could use were limited. Because I was six, they hadn’t taught me any offensive magic that might have been dangerous.
With a magic of this level, I couldn’t expect anything more than putting some distance between us.
I immediately put a barrier back up, and used magic that called for aid.
Countless butterflies flew out from my hand, and headed towards the castle at the speed of light. It’s the most common communication spell.
With this, I should be able to get into contact with my father immediately. Father[/Otousama]… Please hurry!
Even while I did that, I continued firing magic at the villains without rest.
“Camilla, can you use any offensive magic besides the one just now?”
Achille’s quiet voice reached my ear.
“Fire, water, lightning, wood, …I can use a bunch, but their power is only the same as that one, so… Ah!”
I see. It wasn’t working because I was sticking to attacking. I can just buy time or escape.
“The air! If I thin the air, I might be able to buy time… If I reduce the oxygen concentration…”
I focused my mind.
After changing the barrier into a dome, I reduced the oxygen in the area around the villains. Magic to manipulate the atmosphere was difficult so concentration was required.
The villains had probably noticed that the oxygen had thinned, because unrest ran through them.
But it wasn’t perfect. If they went out of the area that I designated, then they could breathe in as much oxygen as they wanted.
We were still at the end of the market, so I couldn’t apply the magic over a large area without getting bystanders involved.
“It’s alright, I’ll help.”
Suddenly, I felt the flow of mana from Achille.
“I learned a little from father… It seems that I have some talent for magic, after all.”
When did he…? He’s never mentioned this even once before, right? Or more like, Achille wasn’t a character who could just easily fire off magic like that, right?
The Achille in the game acted as the prince’s brain, and while he was in the magic academy, I never got the impression that he was that good with magic.
Rather than learning magic properly, he was the type who was better with creating magic tools or magic medicines, and he kept his position as J by compensating almost completely through studies.
Was it because this was a situation he didn’t expect?
Achille placed a barrier around the villains. With this, they wouldn’t be able to escape from the low oxygen area. The fact that my inability prevented me from removing all oxygen completely made the situation harsh for us.
The villains who had underestimated some six year olds fell into chaos, and gasped at the lack of oxygen.
Three of them collapsed unconscious due to trouble breathing. …I’m grateful that some weaklings were mixed in with them.
However, amongst the villains was one who lightly waved his hand, and the moment he did, the flow of the air changed. My magic was cancelled.
It seems that there was a magician in their group. He spoke in a displeased voice.
“What a conceited brat.”
While Achille’s barrier magic still held, I took out a paintbrush from my pocket and quickly turned it huge with magic.
My simply made pseudo-broom was complete. Because it was a magic I came up with just recently, the feeling of riding it was inferior to a normal broom, but it was still fast.
I filled the pseudo-broom with my mana and set a location for it to automatically head to.
“Royce-sama, this seats one, but please get on. It will take you directly to the castle!”
At least he who was the prince needed to get away.
However, Royce-sama refused in a loud voice that he had never used before.
“No! Are you telling me to abandon you two?”
“Their target is you. Hurry and get on!”
Following that, Achille’s magic barrier was also dispelled.
Because of my wind magic they couldn’t easily come near us, but the villains were free to move now.
Because of that, one of the knives they threw bounced off my barrier, and another person’s arrow stuck into it.
From behind, the magician was working to dispel my barrier. We were done for.
By now, I was shrieking at him.
Achille changed to attack magic, and fired off some ice.
However, because it was as small as a pebble, it only had the might of a hailball. While I maintained my barrier, I fired off the same magic.
With Royce-sama in the middle, I was in front, Achille was behind, and the two of us fired off magic.
Finally, the enemy magician’s magic dispelled my barrier.
I lost myself in firing off ice to the limits of my mana. I increased the force of the ice with wind magic.
By now I was just a mess, and firing off magic without worrying about how I looked.
It felt like there was rock, or wood, or metal or something mixed in with the ice, but it wasn’t the time to be worrying about that. At any rate, I just fired stuff off at them.
Thankfully, the magic tattoo was useful in preventing me from running out of mana.
A villain’s knife grazed my cheek. Achille had countless wounds on his arms and legs too.
…But despite that, Royce-sama still wouldn’t fly away for us.
The magician let off some purple smoke… It was probably poison.
I’m already super at my limits, so please stop! I let out a scream in my mind.
I changed from ice to fire and desperately burnt the gas. I wonder if this gas is inflammable…
Even though I said I would protect Royce-sama, would I be unable to do a thing in the end? Everything I do is half-baked.
I could feel Achille manipulating the air from behind me.
At that moment, something exploded near us, and an unmanned stall flew into two of them and blew them away.
But taking that moment to act, a man holding a knife leapt towards us.
I turned a ball of flame his way, but the guy’s knife passed through the flames, drew near us… and a shock ran through my stomach.
My vision turned white from the pain――――
For some reason the man that stabbed me let out a scream…
Why the hell are you screaming, the one who got stabbed was me…
My consciousness went out just like that.
So annoyingg. Let me sleep a bit more.
“…Cut it out… Get up.”
I don’t wanna. My body is kinda heavy.
“If you don’t get up, I’ll kiss you, you know?”
Even though you’re just a kid, what a joke to make!
I sat up with a start. A sharp pain ran through my abdomen.
“Like I thought… It felt like your sleep was getting shallow.”
At my bedside was Achille.
“Ach…ille… Huh? Why? I’m… alive?”
I was sleeping on a plain bed.
Is this, inside the castle? I’m…
I remembered the horrible memory from just before, and checked my abdomen, but the deep wound stab wound that should have been there was gone.
It seems somebody used healing magic, but even then, a little pain remains.
Ahh, as expected it’s not at the level of ‘a little’… I can feel a level of pain impossible for a dream, throbbing through my body. It seems that completely recovering will take a little.
“You were saved.”
“…He’s safe. He made it into the marquis’ care uninjured. Since he had just gone through something dangerous, right now he’s locked up in his room.”
It looks like the thin wounds that Achille suffered are healed as well.
It seems that my father and Soleil are busy dealing with the aftermath.
“Hey, what happened after that? After that, I collapsed and don’t remember a thing…”
“…You don’t remember? Anything?”
“Mn, I don’t remember anything from after I got stabbed…”
Achille looked at me in wonder.
“The guy who stabbed you… got burned, you see…”
Burned… he says?
“Like I was saying, the moment you got stabbed, the man burned. The knife he was holding melted in an instant too… Wasn’t it something you did, Camille?”
“…Could it be, that it was unconscious?”
According to Achille, I emitted a flame that burnt the man who stabbed me into a crisp, and the blade he was holding literally melted in an instant.
I don’t remember this at all… Maybe I made a mistake in the moderation of my magic because of the pain.
Maybe only the temperature rose to an abnormal level… Or maybe the moment I used flame magic, my mana poured into his knife and turned into heat… The latter sounds like it might be possible…
It seems that immediately after that, my father and the magicians of the Magic Building came running. All of the criminals except for the blackened man were caught.
The ones that attacked us were small fry of the lowest among the lowest ranks.
However, because they blended in skilfully with the real guards, the real guards didn’t notice the villains either. They had been hiding as guard soldiers over the span of years.
The result was that negligence was born amongst the guards.
But, even though they were the prince’s guards… weren’t they too weak? Even though they’re the guards for the next king, this was really too shabby an outcome.
It looked like the villains were probably employed by the Royal Prince Faction, but they were skilfully untraceable, so it was difficult to determine who the culprit was.
Because the attackers themselves were too far down, they couldn’t teach us anything either. It seems like it’ll take time to determine the culprit.
To be done in by such small fry… I’m still too inexperienced. How pathetic…
At this point, the trembling came.
I steeled my nerves because I had to protect Royce-sama, but it was actually very scary.
I’ve never had a knife turned towards me before, to say nothing of being stabbed…
When we faced off against the attackers, I was anxiously wondering if we would just end up being killed there, so it can’t be helped.
“Camille… It’s okay now. The rest of them were caught as well, after all.”
Even though Achille looks like he doesn’t care about the feelings of people he has no vested interests in, he’s been watching me properly.
He’s probably noticed that my feelings of terror have returned too.
Even though he should be scared too, he tried his best to sooth me.
“I… burned somebody… and killed them?”
A different feeling of terror began to well up.
After turning into a black lump, no human would survive.
Unconsciously burning a person to cinders… is too terrifying.
“You protected His Highness and I, Camille. If that guy lived, all of us would have been killed.”
Guarding somebody meant… becoming a magician that would protect Royce-sama meant… this kind of thing.
It wasn’t just something you just declared on a whim. To be realising it only now, what an incredible idiot I am.
Tears were dropping onto the back of my clenched hands.
Crap, am I, crying? You’re kidding, what do I do? It won’t stop…
The more impatient I got, the more tears began to overflow, dropping again and again.
Ah, Achille is visibly shaken. To be troubling a six year old like this, I’m really too miserable…
No matter how bad things have gotten, hasn’t my mental age regressed too much?
Aahh, Achille… Could you perhaps pretend you didn’t see this, and leave the room?
“It’s okay now… You haven’t done anything wrong, Camille.”
Far from leaving, he instead closed the distance. He softly and soothingly stroked me on the head.
The movements were clumsy, but was he trying to comfort me? …Even though he’s Achile, for him to be treating me kindly.
Isn’t it because I’m overcome with emotion that I ended up crying this much? My mind is in chaos.
“For someone who’s going to ruin me… Don’t treat me so kindly… hic…”
“…I don’t really understand what you’re saying.”
After that, Achille continued to stay with me until my tears stopped.
Surprisingly, he can take action even without it being calculated, and it seems that he has some kind parts to him too.