Lying on the south of Perland city was Aakhen, a city that was recovering from a war one month ago. To keep the city safe from criminals or any potential threats, the city lord, named Furious ordered the soldiers and sorcerers to patrol around the city. There was a patrol team which led by a young gunman who had short black hair, wearing a black tank top and a dark green cape, was walking around the city. When he and his team were patrolling, a soldier approached him.
"Sir Pavel, a person wants to meet you," the soldier said.
"Did that person say their name?" the young man asked back.
"Yes, he called himself Al," the soldier answered.
"Al? I'm coming," recognizing the friendly name, Pavel told the patrol team to keep doing their works, while he followed the soldier. Later, he met the Suin from Constella in a small park.
"Yo," sitting on a wooden bench, Al waved his hand to his friend and they started having chat.
"Where have you been?" Pavel seemed worried but relieved at the same time. He then asked, "And how did you know I'm here?"
"I went to Perland City. I thought you were still with the Raiders but when I came there, some guards gave me a chase, before I was helped by a former Raider. He told me I would find you in Aakhen. What happened back there?" Al explained and asked.
"Long story but I can tell you that Perland Raider is now in the past," Pavel responded.
"It seemed like martial-law was put in use, and the citizens were very stressful. Guards and patrols everywhere. A former Raider told me that Perland lost a war a month ago so I quite understood the atmosphere," Al told Pavel the stressful situation back in Perland.
"You're right. Things were rough a month ago and right now, I can say we can have a little peace. Even so, we have to be cautious about any movement from Perland. How are you? I feel a bit strange about you. And what are those things on your head?" Pavel spoke while looking on Al's head.
"Long story. Just know that I'm originally a Suin, not a human being," Al responded.
"What do you mean?" Pavel was surprised and then Al told him what he found out. After hearing the story, Pavel felt sorry when Al lost his parents. "I'm... sorry about your parents," he said.
"Thank you," Al smiled but Pavel could see the sadness in it.
"So… if you are a Suin, then you no longer live in Constella," realizing another problem, Pavel commented.
"Don't bother it. What about you? I can say you have a few changes here," Al looked at Pavel and asked.
"Well…" Pavel struggled and he wondered why Al asked that.
"Sir, the Administrator has come," a guard said to Pavel.
A blue short hair young girl came to Pavel. Her hair had a piece of white hung in front. She was holding a magic staff and Al thought she was a mage. But hearing the word "Administrator" made him thing this girl was more than it. Seeing Pavel was talking with Al, she asked, "Sorry for being late, and who's this might be?"
"Cerise, this is Al, a friend of mine from Constella. Al, this is Cerise," Pavel introduced them to each other.
"Oh, you're from Elena's city. Nice to meet you," Cerise welcomed Al warmly and gave her hand towards him.
"Please to meet you," Al shook her hand and responded politely. But when he heard the name "Elena", he felt a bit sad but he could not let both them saw it.
"Please don't be that polite. If you are Pavel's friend, then you're my friend too," Cerise smiled and was surprised to see his cat ears. "Oh, you are a Suin. It must be tough living in Constella."
"Don't bother with it. Thank you for taking care of Pavel," Al smiled back.
"Hey, I'm not a child needed to be taken care of." hearing that, Pavel opposed him annoyingly.
"Then why did you come to Perland? And when you came here, did she help you to find a place to stay?" Al smirked. Knowing Pavel, he knew there must a reason why Pavel, who always had a huge love for Perland, to come here.
"Oh, right, that's…" Pavel lost the argument within a second.
While Cerise was smiling while looking at Pavel struggled, Al gave to Pavel his broken rifle and said, "Anyway, I need your help. Here."
"What happened?" Pavel asked with Cerise's doubt.
"I supposed you know Constella was attacked recently, right? I sneakily joined a part on it and while I was firing, the barrel of the gun blew off. Fortunately, the Constellan still won," Al told them.
"If I remember correctly, no Suin is allowed to join the Constella's troops. If I meet Elena, I will make sure she will acknowledge your part," Cerise assured him.
"Thank you but no need for that," Al refused the offer. He then made a request, "I would be appreciated if you don't mention anything about me on her. I have a reason behind so please don't ask for the details."
"Well… if you insist..." Cerise was surprised but she had to respect his choice. She looked at Pavel and he went along with Al.
Back to Al's gun, Pavel asked, "It was a prototype and I expected it would be broken at some point. But how was its performance?"
"It was good as we expected. The accuracy was very high even in from a far distance. However, the barrel seemed to heat up easily and the chamber often jammed. I shot around 20-25 bullets before the gun blew off," Al gave the details specifically.
"Alright, leave it to me. I'll make sure to give you the perfect gun. But did you try to cast magic on the bullet when you fired?" Pavel continued.
"No. I was not even sure if it worked so I didn't try it. But it means you succeeded, right?" Al doubted
"Yeah. Want to try?" Pavel suggested.
Later, the three of them came to an open place which was set to be a shooting range for the training of the city. Everyone was sent to rebuild the city and the shooting range was empty. Pavel gave Al his weapon. It was a special gun looked like a sword. It had the grip but the barrel was attached to it while a blade was placed below the barrel. A unique weapon Pavel created for himself.
"It is simple as you cast spells on swords, spears, arrows, and else, so it has no difference with bullets. However, when I tried the first time, the bullet blew up along with the barrel. Simply because the gun powder and magic spell were not a good combination. I amplified and adjusted so it has no issue right now," Pavel explained while Al checked his weapon.
"How the heck can you aim with this thing?" Al tried to aim the weapon as he wielded a gun, but the grip did not fit for it. "Honestly, it looks like it is used for close combat rather than long-range."
"I know, but it is my fighting style. Bear with it a little. It is important because I have to do the same with your gun too," Pavel explained.
"Alright, here goes nothing," Al tried to aim the gun again and said.
As Al tried to aim, he cast a red small magic seal on the barrel. He was not satisfied enough and he put two more. He had faith in Pavel and he decided to go all out. Then, a small red orb appeared at the end of the barrel. Pavel and Cerise were holding their breath and waiting for the result, the same as Al.
Suddenly, the weapon exploded, resulting in Al's face was caught in the whole explosion. His face was bleeding and hurt him painfully. Pavel and Cerise quickly aided him. Thanks to Cerise's healing magic, the bleeding was stopped but Al's right face was burned badly. The two of them quickly carried him to the nearest medical stop and had the doctor taking care of him. Thankfully, the wound was not deadly but his face was in very bad shape. The doctor also added it would leave a big scar.
After a while, Al got himself up and had his face bandaged. While helping him, Pavel asked concernedly, "How do you feel?"
"It hurts, but I'll be fine," Al responded. He did not want to worry him.
"Get some rest, okay?" Pavel reminded him.
Before Pavel left, Al spoke to him. "Pavel, don't make her sad."
"I'll do my best," Pavel did not fully understand what he meant. However, he still took it as a reminder.
"How is he?" Cerise asked worriedly when she saw Pavel get out of the medic station.
"He'll be fine. Thanks to you, the wound was not serious. But it will take a while for him to recover and his face... was burnt very bad," Pavel said sadly.
"I see..." Cerise felt sorry for Al. She wondered. "I still don't get it, though. That weapon was customized to use magic without any fault, yet it happened to him."
"True, but it was customized for me, not for him. I can use my full power without a problem." Pavel tried to connect all the clues.
"Wait, doesn't it mean…" Cerise doubted.
"I doubt it, too, and now I have the answer. His magic potential is far surpassed me. My weapon couldn't sustain his power and that was why it blew off." Pavel sighed but he had hope. "The past month must get him the best. He deserves to rest right now. I think I will tell you about what happened to him. Do you want to hear it?"
"I would love to. When I mentioned Elena, he seemed to be sad. I also have never heard she mentioned anything about him. We were all busy dealing with lots of problems and if she suddenly forgot him, I can see why. Regardless, she now takes the responsibility of Constella. She must be even busier." Cerise said.
"According to him, his family was a traditional guardian of the High Priest and Priestess of Constella from each generation. It was why they had to train hard when they were young. Around seven months ago, Al's parents disappeared without a trace. He tried to find them and then he found out that they were killed by the Elders. The reason was that they made a deal. Al is a Suin disguised as a normal human for a long time. If the Constellan found out, he would be killed. His parents sacrificed their lives to save him. In the end, he decided to leave in order to not let the High Priestess get involved in him."
"Oh my…" Cerise was surprised and could not say anything. She felt sad for Al and wondered how much pain for him to bear all it. "It must be tough for him," she commented.
"I know. But it is why I admire him. Different than me, he has the quick thinking and understanding abilities even in the hardest situations. He is mature, calm, focus, and collective than me. Sometimes, I feel jealous of him because of how excellent he is. But then, he said that he admired me too. I have what he doesn't have. When I asked him why and he said that everyone in this world has their own strengths and weaknesses. No one is perfect, and that is why we should support each other for the best result. It was what his parents taught him. If there is a thing I don't like about him, I will say he is too pessimistic. You can see him smile but he barely shows his sadness to anyone else, as he rarely has anyone to talk to," Pavel explained more about Al's background.
"Is there anything we can do for him?" Cerise asked.
"Hm… let's see. He once said he didn't like the crowded and noisy, but I saw him lurking inside a festival, running around the whole place and tried everything he saw," Pavel said.
"Festival? Ah, then it will be easy. In the next couple of weeks, we will hold a cultural exchange with the students from Reingar. Do you remember Ras Elclare and Tamarinne? It is said that he and the Head of Student Council of Reingar will come here," Cerise seemed to be interested in the event.
"The Heir of the Covenant? I know him. I also heard that Reingar has a bunch of weird stuff. The machine things walking on two legs and shot everything we saw back then was just a small piece of the floating ice. But what about the City Lord?" Pavel concerned.
"You know him. "Do what you want", he said," Cerise smiled and replied.
"Then let's do it," Pavel felt relieved and hopeful.