< Evade the Hero and Flee! 168 #19. Life is a continuous escape (9)>
#10 Their circumstances: A certain Elf’s circumstance.
Late at night…
“What’s the matter, Alice?”
Alice, who woke up just now, staggered towards me while rubbing her eyes.
“I feel heavy~.”
“That’s because you haven’t woken up fully from your sleep yet.”
The real reason was her body suddenly growing ‘older’, but I didn’t have a reason to tell her that.
Alice’s eyes remained so narrow that I couldn’t readily tell whether she was awake or not, but the girl still managed to reach where I was.
“I wanna go to the bathroom~.”
“Is that so?”
When the girl hugged me, her chest began pressing against me – the chest that happened to be so much fuller than during the day.
Even her pink hair had grown in length, too – it used to go only slightly past her shoulders, but now it reached well below her waist.
Anyone unprepared would’ve been greatly shocked by such a drastic change. But I had already witnessed this transformation several times during our journey together. And I also heard about her background being the mixed blood of the demon race and a human being, so Alice’s transformation no longer perturbed me.
I still got a nasty surprise at Alice’s gentle but still somewhat weird fondling technique that targeted my chest!
“Y-you need to use the bathroom, don’t you?”
Letting Alice continue on could make things a bit too dangerous (?) for me, so I hurriedly helped her to get to the bathroom. But then…
“Mm? Misha, you also want to use the bathroom?”
The golden-furred cat sauntered over to us, then began climbing up on Alice’s figure. The creature only needed a blink of an eye to reach the top of Alice’s head.
“Misha will go, too~.”
Alice was still wobbling about while muttering that, so I resumed my job of helping her to the bathroom.
“Come outside when you’re done, please.”
“Ng, big sis~.”
I quietly waited in front of the bathroom door for Alice to finish her business.
Initially, this job was about monitoring the girl as per Sir Hero’s instructions. But now, it had morphed into something far closer to protecting her.
Elves and dwarves had almost no contact with other races and as such, they didn’t care much about who belonged to which race.
Actually, there were more of us who hated humans and not the demon race. That’s how weak our hatred towards the demon race was.
But the majority of humans and several members of the clergy were the exact opposite. They acted like the demon race was their irreconcilable enemies and tried to eradicate the latter group. All because the demons believed in a god that was hostile towards their chosen deities…
What a good thing it was that both Sir Hero and Hill belonged to the Order of Nature valuing peace above all else. Imagine if they were from another Order – things wouldn’t have ended so amicably like this.
“Of course, I’m still not sure if other heroes would’ve been able to best that man…”
Honestly speaking, I just couldn’t figure out the exact depths of Naruan’s strength, a man claimed to be Sir Hero’s teacher.
A human who dragged around a dragon while calling it a lovable pet?
Was he even a human, to begin with?
And how do you even explain that silver girl’s attacks? The one claiming to be that man’s daughter?
That girl’s attack was so horrifyingly strong that it defied all attempts to rationally explain it. It even felt like your soul was about to abandon you during her attacks, too!
The moment I recalled that horrible event, goosebumps began breaking out all over my skin.
That pain engraved deep into my flesh, etched into my memories and burned into my soul began to slowly rear its ugly head above the pool of my memories.
“No, stop thinking about it. Stop thinking about it, stop, stop!”
I deliberately exhaled slowly, trying to stabilise my panicked breathing.
My mind gradually calmed down, causing the terror from back then to slowly ebb and eventually dissipate.
It took me quite some time to let go of my fear through that last lengthy exhale.
Indeed. It took quite a while.
Meaning, it had been more than enough time for Alice to finish her business and step outside the bathroom.
Just in case, I lightly knocked on the bathroom door. Alice could’ve fallen asleep in the bathroom since she was sleepy enough to not notice her transformed state.
“Alice? Are you not finished yet?”
However, what could be the reason for this sudden bout of anxiety filling up my heart?
“Alice? I’m coming inside, alright?”
When my continuous pounding on the door produced no response, I directly opened it and entered the bathroom. Alice must’ve been so sleepy that she didn’t even bother to lock the door behind her.
But what greeted me as soon as opening the door wasn’t the odour unique to all bathrooms but the cold wintry winds against my skin.
“The wall?! But who…?!”
The cold wintry winds were blowing through the large hole in the wall, cleaved open quite cleanly as if a treasure sword had gone through it.
I rushed towards the empty bathroom’s open wall to look outside but unsurprisingly, I couldn’t spot any moving figures.
“Did Alice…? No, she couldn’t have. Alice still doesn’t have the necessary power to do this.”
Alice did possess the demonic energy unique to all demon races but she was a descendent of a Succubus, known to be below par in combat strength compared to her peers.
Even if she was a pure-blood Succubus, it’d still be too much for her to exercise this level of power at her young age. And even if she did have the strength, Alice still didn’t know that she was a descendent of a Succubus.
Did that mean someone was already hiding and waiting inside the bathroom? Someone with enough ability to even fool my senses?
“I need to report this to Sir Hero… No, before that, where’s the dragon?!”
This sudden development and countless thoughts assaulting my head at once made it difficult to set my priorities.
Even so, I was taught to deal with the matters closest to me when stuck in a situation like this!
“I knew it…”
The one thing I could deal with first…
I rushed back inside the room to check up on the dragon since it was staying together with Alice. But the only thing waiting for me back here was another cold wind blowing through the wide-open window.
This was a planned escape.
I didn’t think it’d happen for real, but just like Sir Hero had predicted, the escape really did happen!
I rushed to Sir Hero’s room at my full speed. And the first thing I felt on my skin as soon as entering his room was…
…The cold wintry winds. Again.
The winds were blowing through the open window with Sir Hero standing next to it, smiling brightly in my direction while saying the following words to me.
“Selena, you’re finally here? Come on, let’s bounce already!”
#11 Their circumstances: A certain hero’s circumstance.
I fell into a prolonged bout of dilemma after the instructor rejected my offer to escape together.
Why did he say he wasn’t interested in running away together with me?
Could it be that he had prepared a trap of some kind somewhere?
Wait, could it be that he was thinking of letting the Imperial Princess finally catch him?
After going through all sorts of dilemmas and worries, I finally came to a simple enough conclusion.
I was already done for regardless of what, anyway. As such, I had to escape.
And there was a very, veeeery, good chance of the instructor also escaping later today, too. Since that’s the case, all I had to do was to secretly follow him!
The instructor was free to run away alone while abandoning me here. But I was also free to follow after him in his escape route, too!
After coming to that conclusion, I utilised every trick in the book to monitor the instructor. If he really was thinking of escaping, then tonight would be the best time to do so.
I still clearly remembered what the instructor used to tell the class every chance he got. That ‘I knew it’ was usually made in the night! 
And just as I had predicted, the instructor vanished into thin air without anyone noticing it.
The moment I realised that, I quickly woke up Hill. Since he already knew about my plan, he hurriedly finished getting ready to flee and rushed back to my room.
As for Selena, she was in charge of monitoring Alice so I figured that she’d show up pretty soon on her own.
The moment I thought that, Selena burst through the doorway and entered my room.
“Selena, you’re finally here? Come on, let’s bounce already!”
She was making a flabbergasted face, but we didn’t have time to leisurely shoot the breeze here.
Even if she was known as my comrade, people would still find Selena running around the royal castle in the middle of the night rather suspicious.
The royal family might determine that something had happened and dispatch people to find out what’s what.
“Hurry up and follow me!”
I jumped outside the window and used magic to erase even the sound of my landing.
After landing safely, I gestured with my hand and called for Hill. He lightly jumped out from the window next.
“Sir Hero, I never knew I’d get to experience jumping through a window in my lifetime.”
“Things like this can happen in life, Hill.”
“It seems that this is not your first time?”
“Yup. It happened a lot in the past, you see.”
Mostly when I was still under the tutelage of the instructor, obviously.
If you wanted to survive the magic bombing raid in the middle of the night while you were asleep, you simply had to learn how to jump through a window.
Ah. Even though no one died back then, though.
However, that was an even scarier prospect, alright.
Should I say that I could sense the obsession of not wanting to grant us a comfortable death during the bombing raid? And it felt like that obsession had reached its zenith after the bat’s entrance.
While I was swimming in the reminiscence of the past, a shrill high-pitched voice came from the side to hit me in the face.
“Shh! We need to be quiet here.”
“I need an explanation, please!”
Unless you, too, were an ex-employee of the evil organisation, you’d definitely get flustered when a trusted comrade asked you to jump out of a window without giving you a reason.
That’s why I chose to explain the situation in-depth to her. “We gotta chase after my instructor.”
“Yes, I get that.”
“And while we’re doing that, we also need to get out of this kingdom, too.”
“That’s what I don’t understand. Sir Hero, aren’t you scheduled to tie the knot with this kingdom’s princess?”
“Nope. I’m not.”
Selena seemed to have fallen further into confusion at my speedy denial but, too bad, we really didn’t have enough time to chat like this.
“In any case, we need to hurry up and go after my instructor.”
I quickly summoned a spirit to begin our pursuit.
Although the instructor and the metal bat were outside the influence of the spirits’ powers, that story didn’t apply to Alice or the two pet creatures.
Not only Alice, but even the two pets boasted even better potential than me, so it turned out to be rather easy to stick spirits to their sides.
With this, it should be quite easy to catch up to my instructor…
“…Obviously, I never thought that way.”
Indeed, my opponent was none other than my instructor.
Mirua told me that Professor Nicerwin, a man who was thought to have reached the pinnacle of the summoning magic, and my instructor were one and the same person.
And on top of that, he was a part of the best academy on the whole continent.
Yugrasia was famed for helping you surpass your limits and become a powerful expert if you managed to get accepted by them. And he was responsible for bringing great upheavals to such an institution!
An institution that produced the youngest swordmaster, the youngest grand magician, the youngest god-level summoner, the youngest summoner of a great demon, and even the youngest summoner of the Spirit King in history!
They all sounded like utter bollocks on the surface, but knowing that my instructor was behind those events… they sure sounded plausible to me.
Well, I, too, was subjected to a similar education regime under a similar environment, after all.
My instructor was responsible for creating a monstrous academy like that, so would he really be unaware of the spirits’ existence, a type of summoned creature?
I’d say, hell no.
He probably had cottoned onto the fact that I had employed spirits and used them against me to dig a trap.
Soooo, I better use that against him and determine his escape path but, with the instructor being who he was, he probably had predicted this turn of events, too…
While worrying, predicting, and calculating, I found myself back to the starting point somehow.
“Hill, any oracles?”
“Nothing so far, Sir Hero.”
The most accurate thing to rely on was the powers of the gods, but my instructor was someone ‘rejected’ by the world itself, so not even the gods had any ways of tracking him down.
“Which means he’s already met up with Alice…”
According to Hill, the influence of the gods didn’t work in the vicinity of the individuals seen as the ‘singularity.’
The Goddess of Nature even said that she’d need a medium belonging to her Order like the hero or the saint in order to exercise her powers in the surroundings of this singularity.
And since the Goddess couldn’t locate Alice anywhere, it could mean that the girl was not moving separately from my instructor.
“In that case, we need to go after them.”
We followed the trail left behind by the power of the spirits stuck onto the other beings in my instructor’s group, eventually reaching a remote corner of the castle walls.
“Wow. Even though he is my teacher, this is still seriously impressive.”
“I think I now understand why you say that, Sir Hero.”
“Judging by the traces left behind, this must’ve been created not too long ago.”
What made us, a group made up of the hero chosen by a goddess and his comrades, was none other than a doghole on the wall.
The hole itself was so small that one person would barely fit. However, the impressiveness of this feat was on another scale when the hole itself had been burrowed in the wall protecting a kingdom’s royal castle.
Not only did the soldiers regularly patrol this area, but the walls themselves were reinforced with several different magic spells, too. So to think that he managed to dig out a hole like this…!
And knowing that we hadn’t been staying in this castle for that long, our collective shock became even bigger.
“Fine. Looks like we can also exit through this hole, then.”
Well, the path was already laid out. And it was a far simpler method than jumping over the castle walls or slipping past the castle gates, too!
“Hill, you go first. Selena will go next. I’ll keep an eye out for any pursuers, then be the last to escape.”
To counter any potential emergency, I chose to remain behind and watch the surroundings. If I was the only one here, it’d be simpler to use force to extricate myself from the worst potential situation.
“If something happens to me, return to the Order of Nature first without me. We’ll meet up there at a later time.”
“But in that case, what should we do about your teacher, Sir Hero? Are we going to give up on the oracle?”
“We can only carry out the oracle when we are not under house arrest, wouldn’t you agree? Besides, don’t you think other Orders will make their moves sooner or later?”
Of course, other religious orders would never catch up to my instructor even after mobilising all of their personnel. But right now, my escape took precedence above all else!
Only after making a safe getaway could I go after my instructor later.
“The most ideal event is for us to escape from here unscathed and go after my instructor straight away!”
Thankfully, no soldiers or knights charged into this spot while Hill and Selena were making their ungainly escape.
A bit later, both of them managed to crawl through the doghole in the castle wall and emerge on the other side.
“Welcome back, Sir Hero!”
The very first thing (or things) I saw after crawling outside was the awkward, cramped smiles etched on the faces of Hill and Selena.
And the next person to enter my view was Princess Vera making a truly pleased smile which contrasted so much with the expressions of Hill and Selena.
: Although I translated the line as ‘I knew it’, the word the author used there could also be translated on the sly as ‘history’ as it’s a regional Korean dialect. Or he could’ve just made a typo, instead. Who knows…