༺ The Childhood Friend Kidnapping Case (2) ༻
Amy Holloway, Ian’s childhood friend and one of the heroines.
She had a passive bloodline ability, the neutral magic, [Heart Color Discernment]. Thanks to this, Amy was able to distinguish the colors of other people’s heart and perceive their true nature.
She could tell whether the other person was lying, what kind of personality the other person had, and what kind of plot the other person was hatching.
In other words, she was the number one contributor who assisted the Holloway family in surviving in an aristocratic society full of intrigue and deception and rising to the ranks of a Count Family.
Count Holloway cherished his daughter dearly. Because of that, Amy was a girl who grew up on a bed of roses.
The person she actually met in her flower garden was the second son of Viscount Fairytale, as well as the main character, Ian Fairytale.
In her eyes, Ian was a boy with a good heart. The two quickly became friends, and after working hard, they entered Märchen Academy as classmates.
Yes, at the beginning of the story, Amy’s role was vital.
❰Magic Knight of Märchen❱ 「Act 2, Chapter 2, Childhood Friend Kidnapping Case」.
At this time, Mateo’s gang had good timing.
On the day of her planned kidnapping, Amy got into a fight with Ian, and Mateo’s men approached her at that time and urged her to follow them.
She figured out that they were trying to kidnap her, but she followed them anyways.
They didn’t seem to have any insidious desires, and she wanted Ian to value her more.
After all, the man she liked would arrive like a Prince on a white stallion and save her, in addition to caring for her more after the event.
In other words, it was just plain stupidity.
Rather, she was able to see through her opponent’s mind, so she easily fell for the tricks of Mateo’s gang.
As a result, Amy was treated unexpectedly harshly until Ian saved her.
She was slapped and kicked and while Amy was resisting, Mateo’s men were in a panic because Ian fought better than they thought he would.
Putting Ian in jeopardy because of her own momentary urges and foolish ideas was not what she wanted.
It was a scene that didn’t sit right with me.
So when the childhood friend kidnapping was over, Amy cried and apologized to Ian. Since then, she became a devoted heroine and stopped trolling.
Anyways, it would be easy to kidnap her because of how psychologically vulnerable she was.
As long as I was here, I wouldn’t allow Amy to be treated roughly.
I remembered the after story of Act 2, Chapter 2.
Amy said that before Mateo’s gang got her, she was mad at Ian and went somewhere. Where was that exactly…?
‘Oh, right. Hydrangea Garden.’
It was a beautifully decorated garden with colorful hydrangeas. Amy would be there on the bench.
I was prepared to wander around for a long time, but luckily enough I was able to easily find Amy sitting on a bench in anguish.
Let’s start with the bangs first, since I’m alone now.
I lowered my curly bangs down and walked over to Amy.
Suddenly, several emotions crossed my mind.
While playing ❰Magic Knight of Märchen❱, I went through Amy’s route quite a few times.
I always liked her bright smile, which seemed to be in full bloom.
That’s why I was fond of her and had many memories of her. One of the characters I wanted to cherish was Amy.
As I stopped in front of Amy, she looked up at me with her beautiful green eyes. She was a white, short-haired woman and had a ribbon shaped like black rabbit ears. She looked like a puppy with her big eyes and had a cute overall appearance.
It was the first time we had officially met each other. As expected, she looked like she had question marks all over her face.
Amy must be seeing through my intentions with [Heart Color Discernment].
There was nothing to hide.
So, let’s make an offer as politely as possible.
“I’m sorry, but I’m trying to kidnap you. Will you cooperate?”
Is he crazy?
Amy was taken aback by what the man in front of her had just said. She didn’t know what to say, so she just stared blankly at him for a while.
Silver hair with a slight blue hue and blood-red eyes that looked at Amy.
She knew who he was. His name was Isaac. In addition to being judged as Grade E in mana, he was ranked last in the class placement evaluation. A man who was at the bottom. He even came from a commoner origin.
He was a man famous for such bad things, so she couldn’t help but know him.
But Amy didn’t look down on him. On the contrary, she couldn’t understand why the students at this academy were so eager to put others down.
Was it because her childhood friend, Ian, who she had a crush on, was also judged with Grade E mana and became the subject of humiliation by the other students?
The fact angered Amy, but there was nothing she could do. Except for being by Ian’s side.
Somehow, unlike the other students, Amy felt sympathy for Isaac.
But what did such a man say all of a sudden…?
Did she hear him wrong?
Isaac answered clearly as if to confirm.
Amy was able to see the color of Isaac’s heart thanks to the ever-active [Heart Color Discernment] magic. She saw a bright blue color with a slight orange tinge. It was a color devoid of impure intentions.
Therefore, when he said ‘kidnapping’, it didn’t seem like it was a real ‘kidnapping.’
It was only natural, who in their right mind would kidnap in such a manner? It would only be a true kidnapping if he exercised force from the beginning, or tried to deceive and entice her before taking her away.
‘This is the first time we’ve talked with each other… Why is he showing affection to me?’
The orange color of the heart meant friendliness, affection, and liking toward Amy. A color usually seen in family or close friends. It was a color that represented goodwill when seen by someone for the first time.
It was a color that could turn pink, signifying love between the opposite sexes at any time.
But this was the first time Amy had seen Isaac.
‘Did he get bewitched without even realizing it?!’
As he passed by, she must have won Isaac’s liking for her pure beauty.
She was embarrassed but the corners of her mouth couldn’t help but twitch. She covered her cheeks and turned her head to the side.
‘You sinful woman… Oh my gosh, what should I do?!’
She didn’t have any special feelings for Isaac, but she felt like her self-esteem went up thanks to him.
Amy was upset at Ian, as he had been neglecting her these days. Even the color of his heart had faded…
This caused her to feel a strong sense of skepticism about the fact that her self-made appearance, which she had worked hard to maintain, was unable to win Ian’s heart.
Of course, rationally, she understood that Ian was focused on his training. But he’s been too neglectful recently…
Is it training, or is it me?
She wanted to ask that, but her pride wouldn’t allow it. In the first place, she and Ian were not even in a romantic relationship. Revealing this desire for exclusivity was a shortcut to disaster.
Yes. She and Ian were just damn childhood friends. She was just his friend, his friend…
‘Stupid Ian. Why don’t you try to be a little jealous?’
Amy wanted to get back at Ian.
“Puhuh. Kidnapping, that’s funny. It’s Isaac, right?”
Amy smiled brightly as she spoke in a curt tone.
“Do you want to talk to me somewhere privately?”
“I wish there were delicious refreshments and black tea. I’m pretty picky.”
“I don’t know about black tea, but there are some handmade chocolates made with special grade A milk, directly imported from Ailo Farm, and cocoa from Doark.”
Amy’s eyes started glowing with curiosity.
Before she knew it, she jumped up and stuck her head out at Isaac.
Isaac, startled, reflexively pulled his upper body back.
Regardless of his reaction, Amy asked in an excited voice.
“Gee, what kind of chocolate is that…? I’ve never heard of it, is it good?”
Her voice trembled with excitement.
If it was Amy who was obsessed with ‘sweets’, she could confidently say that she had eaten all the sweets in this world.
So, the homemade chocolate Isaac mentioned was enough to arouse her curiosity.
“I have one, so try it.”
Isaac pulled a small piece of chocolate the size of a finger from his pocket and handed it to Amy. The chocolate was wrapped in paper.
Amy exclaimed when she saw the pretty packaging design.
Her expression melted as she put the brown chocolate inside her mouth.
“What do you think?”
After swallowing the chocolate, Amy was immersed in the lingering taste for a while.
She soon came to her senses, cleared her throat awkwardly, and nodded.
“Umm, yes, that’s good. It was delicious, do you have any more chocolates?”
“If you follow me, I’ll give you more.”
Amy covered her expression and gave Isaac a lively smile.
“I’ll be kidnapped! Where do you want to go?”
“Wow, there’s a place like this!”
I brought Amy to a small house somewhere in Josena Forest. Initially, it had been an abandoned warehouse, but it was cleaned under the pretext of kidnapping. One of Mateo’s subordinates knew how to handle the wind element, so it was easy to clean off the dust.
In ❰Magic Knight of Märchen❱, there was content related to creating and decorating your own hideout. This abandoned building was one of those places.
I guided Amy to a table with refreshments.
“Sit here, I’ll make you some tea.”
Amy’s mind was already focused on the pile of chocolates on the table.
After settling her down in a chair, I headed for the kitchen. Even though it was called a kitchen, it was just a small space with one partition.
There, I placed a kettle filled with water on top of a scroll engraved with the 1-star fire spell [Fire Generation] magic circle, and started boiling it.
But this situation. It’s kind of… How should I say this…
‘Isn’t it too easy…?’
I thought it would work, but I didn’t think I could lure Amy with just one chocolate…
Oh, of course, the chocolate I used was an effective item limited to Amy.
The chocolates I had prepared in advance were bought with the kidnapping money I received from Mateo. I bought it from the secret shop since it was cheap.
The chocolate was originally one of the gift items to increase the favorability of the heroine. The effect was most noticeable for Amy Holloway, who has a sweet tooth. It was a must-buy item if you wanted to see Amy’s lover’s ending.
That was why I knew that Amy would like it.
Of course, it was her [Heart Color Discernment] skill that played the major part.
‘What are you doing, Amy?’
I peered through the partition and looked at Amy.
She tried to keep her composure while reaching out for the chocolates, but she was stopping herself with her other hand.
“Isn’t it too much? We’ve been together for so many years, but he always ignores me saying ‘I have to train’…”
Amy and I had a simple tea party with chocolate and tea.
Because I had been playing the game so much, I apparently had a lot to say to Amy. When I started talking, stories came to mind and words just started flowing out.
Thanks to that, the atmosphere was never awkward from beginning to end.
As if relieved by the chocolate and black tea, Amy kept complaining to me. Of course, it was about Ian.
“I’ve been so good to him, that ungrateful bastard…”
“You like Ian, don’t you?”
I blurted out what I already knew. Amy had left a plethora of clues behind, enough to warrant this much thought.
Amy, feeling embarrassed, blushed as expected.
“Ah, me, he, no? Not really?”
“Really? Just by looking at it, you like Ian a lot, right?”
“It’s not, that’s not… true…”
It was cute to see her try to deny it.
In Ian’s position, I had been playing <Marchen’s Magic Knight> for a long time.
I didn’t know how many times I’d seen her.
Should I have called this affection like that of one towards a daughter? Even though I’ve never been married.
“There’s no more chocolate.”
“Oh, yes! Chocolate! Chocolate… I ate it all, sorry…”
I deliberately changed the topic and Amy replied to it, feeling somewhat guilty.
“Would you like some more chocolate?”
“Ah oh? Ah, I’m not the type to eat that much, but, well, if you were to give me more, wouldn’t it be hard to refuse, even out of sincerity?”
What are you talking about…?
“Just wait a little bit. I’ll be right back.”
“Huh? Where are you going?”
I stood up and headed towards the door.
“I put it somewhere else. I made something like a mini-fridge and stored it there since I’m an ice element user. But it’s a bit far away.”
“Why? Wouldn’t it be nice to just install a mini-refrigerator here or in front?”
“I’m still not good at controlling it. It could cause harm to this house for no reason, so I deliberately kept it far away.”
She didn’t seem entirely convinced. But Amy did not ask any further questions.
If she asked, ‘Can’t you use an ice magic scroll?’ I was going to reply that I don’t have any gel.
If she asked why I didn’t have gel, I was going to say I was robbed.
If she asked me, ‘Who robbed you?’ I was going to say I don’t know because it was at night…
Well, that was fortunate.
It seemed that she wanted to eat more chocolate as soon as possible.
“Oh, do you want me to go with you? I will follow you.”
“You’re kidnapped. You should wait here.”
“Pufu, that’s right~ that’s right, I was supposed to be kidnapped by this evening, right?”
Amy laughed, she seemed to think of this as a joke. She probably thought that she was a ‘guest’ and that being ‘kidnapped’ was my joke.
I would have thought the same. After all, I said the kidnapping was due this evening.
It was easier for me if she took it as a joke, since I wanted to make Amy feel comfortable.
“Ah, today was fun~, let’s be friends when we get back, Isaac.”
Friends, huh… I don’t know. Now, Ian, whom you like, will be hurt by Mateo and the demon.
I smiled and said, “I’ll be back,” then left the hideout.
Before I knew it, the sky was dyed the color of the sunset.
On my way to bring Amy, I placed a sharpened stone at a marked spot in front of a tree in the Josena Forest. It was a signal that meant ‘I succeeded in kidnapping Amy’.
Following that, Ian would receive a letter informing him that Amy had been kidnapped.
He’d storm into the abandoned warehouse and begin fighting Mateo’s gang.
‘Isn’t it still a long time before the demon appears?’
When the demon appeared, the sky would begin to darken.
It would awaken and remain beneath the abandoned warehouse before emerging when it sensed Mateo’s dense magic power.
So, it was still a long way off. There would be plenty of time to observe the situation in front of the warehouse.
All I had to do was kill the demon to prevent a bad ending.
Furthermore, if I defeated the demon this time, I would receive the ‘Abyssal Ring’ as a reward. An item that could read an opponent’s mind. In <Marchen’s Magic Knight>, I used it to read a number of opponents’ minds during battle.
In other words, the Abyssal Ring would be of great help in dealing with all kinds of variables in the future.
‘There’s no issue with the kidnapping, and nothing particularly unusual comes to mind.’
I took my time walking toward the abandoned warehouse.
The only variable that came to mind, would be if the demon appeared early. An example of this would be if Mateo went ahead and used mana before his subordinates.
It would be a dangerous situation that hastened the bad ending, but I hoped that wouldn’t happen…
When playing ❰Magic Knight of Märchen❱, Mateo attacked Ian only after all his men were defeated.
Well, this one should be easy.
There’s no contact with someone meddlesome like Kaya, so there would be no one to interfere.
Two hours ago.
Kaya Astrea was wandering around the academy grounds.
‘Where did Isaac go?’
She couldn’t find Isaac.
At best, she found Mateo’s gang, but everyone was there except for Isaac.
In addition, the actions of Mateo’s gang today were somehow suspicious.
Thanks to Kaya’s recent tailing of Isaac, she discovered that they were using an abandoned warehouse in the Josena Forest as a hideout.
They entered Josena forest and proceeded to the abandoned warehouse as usual, but then they began to carefully look at a tree.
Afterward, all but one of Mateo’s men headed to the abandoned warehouse.
The remaining one turned and left Josena Forest and headed for the Magic Department building, Orphin Hall. Kaya followed him.
The man looked around, then he secretly slipped a letter into Ian’s locker, and quickly ran away.
What is that? Hopefully, it’s not a love letter.
After Kaya confirmed that the man had left, she took out the letter from Ian’s locker and read it.
[We have Amy Holloway with us.]
[Come to the abandoned warehouse in Josena Forest.]
Kaya’s hands trembled.
‘They’ve gone too far…!’
Mateo’s gang was notorious. The letter must have been aimed at harassing an aristocrat named Ian Fairytale.
But she still couldn’t believe they took a hostage…!
Just in time, Ian appeared at the locker.
Puzzled, he spoke to Kaya, who was standing in front of his locker.
“That’s my locker.”
“Are you Ian Fairytale? Look at this.”
Ian’s expression darkened as he read the letter Kaya gave him.
“Amy…! Mateo, that bastard…”
Kaya then made a suggestion to the enraged Ian.
She said she would help.
The sky was dyed the color of the sunset.
After searching Josena forest, Ian arrived at an abandoned warehouse.
Mateo’s gang greeted him with giggles.
“Where is Amy?”
Ian asked in a raspy voice.
He had a training wooden sword in his right hand, but it only seemed ridiculous to Mateo’s gang.
“Tell me right now. This is a warning.”
Behind Ian’s back, a barrier formed at the door. It was neutral magic from one of Mateo’s gang.
Despite being a basic barrier, it specialized in physical defense. No matter how strong he was among his peers, Ian would be unable to easily break through that barrier.
“Who’s talking, you?”
Mateo’s voice weighed down.
“A Grade E, giving a warning? A warning?”
“No, it’s more interesting when you have that kind of backbone.”
Mateo’s men approached Ian, but he showed no signs of fear. On the contrary, he appeared disappointed.
“…It was a real warning.”
It was then.
Suddenly, a wall of the abandoned warehouse crumbled and a violent wind rushed toward Mateo’s gang.
Before the wind magic hit the abandoned warehouse, a rock wall rose around Mateo to protect him. He quickly deployed the rock defense magic [Rock Wall]. His reflexes were like those of a wild animal.
However, all of Mateo’s gang were unprepared for wind magic and were swept away by 「Gust」.
They slammed against the wall on the other side, fell to the floor, and then passed out.
As the storm subsided,
A fierce wind began to encircle the abandoned warehouse at a female student’s command.
After Mateo dispelled the [Rock Wall], his eyes widened as he looked at the source of the wind magic.
The walls of the abandoned warehouse were breached by the [Gust]. A female student with light green pigtails stood nearby, holding a wand with a small green mana stone embedded inside of it. Her hair and skirt fluttering in the wind.
Weapons similar to wands increased the power of magic being released, but the complexity of the magic operation made them difficult to handle at a student’s level. Only a few first-year students were currently capable of handling such weapons.
And a female student of that caliber appeared on the scene.
“Did my warning sound like a joke?”
She was the first year second seat of the Magic Department, with more power than anyone else here—