Worse Than a Criminal
The appearance of Alan’s group was truly miserable. Their clothes were torn in several parts, and many of them were injured. In fact, even Alan had several traces of injuries around his body.
However, most students focused on the fact that Alan’s group was much smaller than when they departed from this camp yesterday.
Besides Alan and Christine, the only students with him were Cole, Al, Kyle (one of the students that fought in the duels), and another two students I did not know their names.
A bit more than ten students had left with Alan’s yesterday, but including Alan, only seven returned; and the ones that returned were not in the best condition.
Alan walked towards us with a calm expression. His face, however, was very pale, and the fact that he was clenching his fist betrayed his inner feelings.
Dina wrinkled her brows when she heard him and spoke in an ice-cold tone.
“Where are the others, brother?”
“Are you not going to answer me?”
When the students around heard that, their expressions changed.
“I see.” Dina smiled mockingly. “So you are telling me that the students that you took with you died, huh.”
Alan clenched his fists. He was almost unable to endure the humiliation right now, but he knew he needed to keep calm.
If not by the fact that this was his only option if he wanted to survive, he would have gone anywhere but here.
But now that Dina had found an opportunity to put down Alan and kick him while he was down, how could she let it slip away?
“Tell me then, what are you doing here? I thought you decided to act separately from us.”
“Dina, don’t go too far!” Christine growled, but Alan stopped her.
However, he did not answer Dina’s question.
Instead, he looked at her and me with a very chilling look.
It was as though he was warning us to not do something we were going to regret.
When I saw his gaze, though, I smirked.
Then, I walked towards one of the students behind him. A noble girl I did not know her name.
“Miss, can you tell us what happened?” I asked smilingly.
“Shut up, eldest brother,” I said with a voice full of authority that shut Alan up instantly. “I’m not speaking to you.”
Upon saying that, I used my aura to suppress him and stop him and the others around him from speaking.
Then, I looked at the girl again and used a mind manipulation spell stealthily.
“Now, can you tell us what happened?”
Under that spell, the girl started to cry and recounted everything between sobs.
How they were attacked last night by a very powerful daemon (me).
How they escaped but were soon found by more daemons that chased after them restlessly.
How several of their companions were hunted down and caught by the daemons.
How several black-dressed men sacrificed themselves so Alan could escape.
How Alan abandoned several of the injured students and used them as bait to earn time.
How Alan finally decided to come to this camp and ask for our help when he could not endure anymore.
When the girl finished telling her story, all the people around her had fallen silent.
The gazes they used to look at Alan changed completely. Now they were filled with distrust, wariness, mockery, and anger.
Dina closed her eyes briefly before turning to Alan.
“… So you came to seek refuge, huh. Like a defeated dog.”
Alan gritted his teeth in hatred.
“What? Are you angry? Nothing of this would have happened if you would have decided to follow my orders yesterday,” Dina said coldly. “Now not only several students died due to your stupid stubbornness, but you even attracted even more daemons towards our position! How can you be so stupid!?”
Alan closed his eyes and took a deep breath. However, I could feel the boiling anger and hatred inside him.
In fact, several students had stepped back. They probably realized that there was something wrong with this conversation.
However, Dina ignored all of that and continued.
“To be honest, if not by the fact that you are the crown prince, I would have killed you myself.”
When these words sounded, several gasps of fear sounded in the camp.
Many students and teachers looked at each other with pale expressions. This… This was a princess declaring she wanted to kill the crown prince.
Many students were afraid of the situation escalating and Alan or Dina attacking each other. If something like that happened and one of teh died, they like bystanders were in risk of losing their heads.
Fortunately, neither Dina nor Alan were so rash.
After Dina glared at Alan coldly for several seconds, she spoke to Teacher Tear.
“Teacher Tear, send two teachers to keep an eye on Alan and his friends. If they do something untoward, you can use any means to restrain them. Just make sure of keeping them alive.”
“Dina! Do you think we are dirty criminals!?” Christine was the one that bellowed in rage.
But Dina kept her indifferent look.
“Several students died due to your mistakes. To me, even if you are a crown prince, the future empress, or the heir of a famous noble, you all are worse than criminals.”
Then, she turned around and stopped paying Alan attention.
Nicely done, sister.
I stared at Alan with a mocking look and turned around too.
Mm, this is a good way to vent stress.
“Well done, sister.” I whispered to my beloved big sister.
Dina smiled forcedly. I could see she was clenching her fists until they turned white.
Although just now she was humiliating Alan, the truth was that Dina was suppressing her rage and hatred too.
“… How I wish to kill that bastard right now.” Dina growled.
I patted her shoulder and consoled her. “Don’t worry, sister. He will not live for long.”
Dina looked at me. Her pitch-black eyes showing several complicated emotions at the same time.
“I hope so.”
After the intermission with Alan, we resumed our march.
Strangely, things seemed to turn for the better suddenly. The daemons stopped attacking us, and the students were doing their best to advance as quicly as possible. At some point, it seemed like we would be able to leave this forest without more complications.
But the more it was like this, the more the expression of Dina turned grave.
Not just Dina, but Teacher Tear, Katherine, Louise, Rose, and several other students and teachers were also like that. They seemed as though they were about to face the greatest danger of their lives.
And their fears turned into reality.
When we were just one kilometer away from the exit of the forest, a daemon appeared in front of us.
And there were tens of daemons behind him.
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