“Whoaa——Ahhh!” A lady, holding a magic wand, let out a scream. In the nick of time, a shadow wearing an armor caught and held her into his arms.
“Aria, you’re the great sorcerer now. Don’t be clumsy like a kid anymore.” The man carried a great affection in his smile as he helped.
“Wh-what! Not everyone is as tall as you! You won’t understand the pain of being short!” Aria stomped and punched his chest playfully.
“You’re such a spoiled girl.” The man pinched her cheek gently. Watching her yelling like a baby, he could not help but burst into laughter; and his handsome bearing had fascinated Aria’s eyes.
Dazzlingly golden hair, regal magnanimity, all these traits made him destined to be the great name of history. He was Uther, the first born and the heir of the Kingdom of Knights.
Despite his royal status, Uther had always been humble and benevolent, which made him respectable and loved by his people.
“Soon I’ll be his wife...Even now it’s hard for me to believe this dream…” Preoccupied, Aria was infatuated with Uther.
“Don’t look at me like this…” Overwhelmed by her passion, he felt shy and turned away when a blush came into his cheeks.
“Em? I-I didn’t...I——” Aria’s face also went red as if it was contagious.
“Hey, are you two done flirting yet?” Unable to bear this public display of affection, the knights on the sidelines cut in with hoots of laughter. Instead feeling irritated, Uther frolicked around with them while holding Aria’s hands.
Although the atmosphere seemed casual, the burden and responsibility of Uther’s chivalric order was unprecedentedly tough and heavy——To fend off the invading demon troops in the northern mountains.
The troops had annihilated quite a few small countries nearby. To Uther, this war was the crucial moment to the fate of his country, whether it would be dead or alive. So he volunteered for the battle. Aria also volunteered for the battle, hoping to contribute to her fiance’s victory with her outstanding mana and powerful magic.
Yet the fact never showed mercy to anyone.
After a rest, Uther led the knights to infiltrate into the enemy’s base. Everyone started getting serious on full alert. Nevertheless, no matter how hard they defended, casualties were inevitable for both sides.
For wars were always ruthless.
Corpses of comrades kept increasing, but the enemies seemed endless.
“...Just as told by our intel, demon’s attack will never end as long as their leader is alive...What should we do now?” The timid Aria held her wand in a panic, trembling with fear. Then she felt warm as someone held her shoulders. It was Uther.
He said in a low voice as he put on a brave face, “fear not. I’m here.”
Uther swung the legendary Excalibur to kill six demons in the blink of an eye. Aria, who was lifted by his perseverance, casted a water magic to freeze a group of demons, but reinforcement came immediately after the defeat.
“Uther, Aria, head to the top! We’ll handle this,” the knights shouted.
“But you guys——” Uther’s hesitation was soon interrupted.
“Take down the demon leader and claim the victory. Don’t let our men die for nothing!” The knights did their best to block the coming demons.
“Promise me! Don’t die!” Uther held Aria’s hands to break through the siege under the cover of his comrades. Both of them were making their way to the top of the mountain, where was the hideout of the demon leader.
In the middle, Uther and Aria successfully crushed the ambush to clear the path, for they knew those demons were treading on the bodies of the knights in order to make it this far.
“Oh! We’ve got two little rats sneaked their way to the top,” the burly demon leader gave a sneer of disdain.
“Don’t look down on the rats. They have sharp teeth.” Uther faked a smile; bloodlust filled his emerald eyes. He raised the blazing Excalibur, which denoted raging emotions in his heart.
“Aria, I’ll deal with the leader. You cover me.”
Aria nodded and raise the wand, consolidating enormous aqua power into elemental arrows.
With a step of his back foot, Uther dashed towards the leader fast as a swallow.
“Ahh!” Several guards of the demon leader rushed towards him but immediately got shot down by Aria’s arrows.
Glimpsing at Aria, a surge of warmth was lingering in Uther’s heart. Then, he returned to the leader with a cold, thrilling gaze. Uther took a leap to dodge its attack, trod on its arm and stabbed into its chest with the dazzling power of Excalibur.
“Urhhhhh——!” The demon leader screamed out as it was cut into half.
“We did it! Uther...Watch out——” However, her voice came a second late. As he jumped down to the ground, he was knocked flying by the leader.
“How-how could it be possible...I just cut it off...Why is it still alive?” Heavily injured, Uther coughed up blood and could not believe his eyes when he knew the demon leader was intact.
“You can’t kill me! I’m indestructible as long as I have that!! My life is immortal! Hahaha!”
“...Is there really nothing I can do? Am I gonna lose here…” When he was in despair, Aria came over with an absolute determination.
“I-I have a plan.”
After her whisper, Uther pulled himself together and held up with his sword. Excalibur shone again as he re-triggered the power.
“You two are asking for death? Alright, I’ll play with you!” The demon leader intentionally avoided giving Uther a lethal attack, but made a fool of him as if a cat messed around with a rat.
Indulged in playing the trick, the leader was unaware of Aria, who was quietly hiding in a dark corner. When it found that it had made a mistake, Aria was ready for a payback.
“Uther, stay back!” Aria’s shout drew the leader’s attention——A giant and complicated magic circle appeared above Aria. While it was spinning slowly, a large amount of water elements began to condense, sending a shivering chill in the air. With a swing of her wand, the cold wave was casted over the demon leader instantly.
“This...this is ice magic! You’re planning to freeze me up...I won’t let it happen!” The leader breathed out ominous yet deadly miasma against her——
“Aria!” Uther covered her with his body in the nick of time. Enduring the demonic miasma, he let out a painful scream.
“Uther! You——” Startled, Aria started weeping, quivering with fear.
“I’m...alright. Keep pushing...don’t stop...my great sorcerer…” Uther spat blood with his forehead covered in sweat. In spite of the agony, he still put on a smile to comfort Aria.
“Dang it! You’re such an idiot!” Aria burst into tears, but she kept holding the wand tight and put all the power into the spell, which then gave out an azure glitter——
“Everything. Freeze. NOW!”
“No, NOOOO——” The demon leader was eventually sealed in the ice.
“Wheeze…” As the magic used up her power, Aria knelt on the ground; and Uther, affected by the miasma, also fell on her weakly.
“Uther!” It was not until now that Aria realised the armor in his back was already shattered. Black spots started emerging and spreading out in his body.
“This...is the curse of the demon...He’ll die if it’s not removed…”
Aria could not stop weeping in the face of this misery. “No...Don’t leave me alone...I can’t do anything without you…,” she sobbed.
Uther reached out to touch her face and responded feebly, “Such a crybaby...How can I rest assured that you can take care of yourself without me…”
Uther fell into a faint before he could finish his words. When Aria was at a loss, a voice came into her ears.
“Do you want to save him?”
“Who is there!” Holding Uther into her arms, she looked around nervously and saw a soft blue light emits out of a cave nearby. Aria put him down and walked over there carefully. There was a shiny gold glass inside.
Miraculously, limpid liquid was overflowing from the glass non-stop, creating a puddle of water. The refreshing scent of which had relaxed her tensed nerves.
“Is that you...who talked to me?”
“Human, please accept my gratitude for your triumph over the sinister demon.” The glass flashed. “I’m Sant Calze, the ancient relic. That demon trapped me with its witchcraft and used my power in an evil practice.”
“Your power? So the immortality of that demon is…”
“Yes, it’s mine.” The holy grail casted the light over Uther lying outside the cave. Bathing in the warm glow, his soreness seemed to wear off.
Witnessing this miracle, Aria stepped into the puddle and grabbed the grail regardless of everything. “Can you save him?”
“I can, as long as we’re in one. Your magic power is strong. Only us together can remove the curse of your love.”
“Sure! I’m willing to do anything for him!”
“Are you willing to accept it, even if you’ll no longer be you?”
“What do you mean?”
“The blend of our power will completely alter the nature of yourself. It means people will no longer recognize you as Aria. To maintain the holy power, you must reserve your virginity in order to make your body clean and pure.”
“This…” Aria paused. But her hesitation soon faded away. “Uther can’t die…He’s the hope of this country...and my hope…”
Her hands stopped shaking anymore at this moment. Although Aria was panic-stricken and wimpy in the face of troubles, she was braver than anyone when she was mired in difficulties. This was the reason why Uther loved her.
“I can’t let him die. Even if no one recognizes me or I’ll be losing myself, I have to save him!”
“Human, your determination is absolute.” The grail flashed, “let’s begin——”
“I have one more favour.”
Looking at Uther with love, Aria made her last request. “Please erase his memory of me, as if he has never met me before.”
“...Are you sure about it?”
“Uther is an affectionate man. If he wakes up and knows that I’m gone, he’ll try to find me at all cost, even abandoning the throne. I can’t be that selfish...I’ll bring him blessings and happiness with my magic.”
“Very well.” The grail flashed again; and Aria was coated with the azure light…
“Ouch...My body is aching all over…” Uther touched his back screaming with pain. “Didn’t I defeat the demon leader alone…? Em...do I know you?”
Uther looked at the girl in front of him, but somehow her appearance gave him an unspoken intimacy.
“Looks like he really forgot me...Great...but why am I feeling this heartbreaking ache…” Aria grabbed the wand very tight.
“Why...are you crying?” His gentleness and warmth roused Aria up from her thinking——Uther came over unnoticed and wiped out her tears gently. His eyes were filled with sympathy.
For a moment, Aria wished to throw herself into Uther’s embrace, but the magic power within alerted her. Aria got rid of his hands, suppressed her affections and said in an indifferent tone, “I’m the follower of the holy grail.”