The Upholder/C3 Chapter 3
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The Upholder/C3 Chapter 3
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C3 Chapter 3

Magnus walked forward, his left arm currently elevated, with a little sigh. His palm flexed slightly, aiming for Xyra, who was still levitating. He rubbed the back of his neck, wishing that everyone would stop gazing at him so strangely. But it's not like he could truly blame them. Even though magic was very prevalent and everyone understood something about it, quite few sorcerers felt compelled to show it in public. These people were staring with astonishment but also with suspicion, which made him concerned. Why are they gazing so intently? Is it that they despise sorcerers or something? Perhaps that's why I haven't seen any around here...

"Who the heck do you think you are?" Jason questioned, his first unbelief fading off. "You shouldn't meddle with other people's lives; this is none of your dang business!"

Pathetic. Magnus just disregarded Jason as he continued to speak. The guy was either extremely arrogant or a total moron. His buddy, on the other hand, had some common sense. He was keeping a safe distance from the minor brawl that had erupted...though such a small confrontation could barely be called a brawl. Magnus had yet to say or do anything to the two brigands, primarily because he didn't want to injure them if it wasn't absolutely necessary. All he wanted was for them to depart in peace. But something told him it wouldn't happen. They hadn't even hinted of leaving, and Jason's continual ranting was getting louder, grating on his nerves and causing him a headache. He needed to take action before the situation worsened. He could manage them with magic. Physically, he wasn't certain. Isn't this man capable of being silent? Maybe a lightning spell will make him see the light.

Magnus didn't spend much time in casting another spell. His right hand was holding a little orb that crackled with electricity. It was white in appearance, and anyone with even a basic understanding of magic could identify what it was. It's likely that any inexperienced sorcerer could cast it. The intensity was inadequate to kill anyone. It's a basic spell, but it should be enough to get him to go.

He hurled the ball into the air without a word of warning. It vanished not long after, and a bolt of lightning flashed down from the sky, striking the ground right before the two guys, causing them both to leap back in surprise. The audience reacted in a similar manner, but most of them appeared to be thrilled with the change of events. They were speaking to one another, shifting their gaze from Magnus to the two goons and back again. Even though Jason and his buddy were residents, they all thought the two of them deserved whatever fate this sorcerer had in store for them because most officials didn't care enough to break up street fights, especially among thieves. The two conceited guys deserved to be taught a lesson. They couldn't just do whatever they wanted.

"Leave," Magnus commanded, his brows narrowing slightly. "I'm not known for my compassion."

Jason was enraged by this point and appeared to be preparing to charge for him. Arrogance and challenged pride could be truly blinding energies, so he summoned up another lightning charm. He extended it out at arm's length, aiming it straight at the bigger man. In no time, the thief had backed down, his arrogance finally fading as he confronted the sphere of crackling energy. Magic was a potent force when used properly, and sorcerers were not to be meddled with, especially when furious. Magnus didn't appear to be the sort to hold back.

"I said go, or I won't miss this time."

Jason began moving away, deciding that it was best not to get electrocuted. He wasn't pleased about it, but he and his buddy both departed quietly, dispersing into the crowd. Most of the spectators had lost interest by this point and had returned to their original activity. Magic was certainly fascinating, and the presence of a sorcerer at this moment was unusual, but they weren't an uncommon breed. Even if the people couldn't perform magic, they understood the concepts. He had stayed with a modest and quite innocuous spell. Certainly, it had the ability to startle someone, but not enough to cause serious harm, as evidenced by the fact that it had taken him no time at all to make.

Because they all lived in a world where magic was more or less widespread, even those who couldn't use it had been taught about it. It was a legal necessity. Even ordinary, lower-class people could tell the difference between a useful and a harmful spell if they took the time to think about it. Jason and his buddy hadn't been as perceptive.

Magnus switched his focus to the reason he had intervened after ensuring that the two guys were indeed gone. Xyra was still suspended in midair, her gaze fastened on her savior, her whole-body shivering. She was looking at him suspiciously, as if she had something to hide. That was, nevertheless, very normal. He had a fairly decent sense of what she was worried about.

Magnus carefully dropped his arm, which lowered her, so as not to make her too uncomfortable. His little levitation spell had worn off, and she was soon seated on the floor. She didn't move at first since she was too focused on him. Her joints had all frozen up and she was trembling like a leaf, but her beautiful eyes were wide and filled with awe. What she had just seen was simply incredible. He'd just driven away two of the town's most frightening men with nothing more than a lightning spell. If Jason and his buddy had been a bit sharper and concentrated on the spell instead of the caster, they would have understood that it wasn't fatal. In the end, that was both her and his saving grace. He couldn't have physically challenged the two of them.

After a brief moment of stillness, Xyra rose to her feet, her gaze fixed on the guy who had just saved her. He was already familiar to her. They hadn't seen each other in a long time, and a traveler as graceful as him was difficult to forget. As something twisted inside her, her stomach began to ache. She had begun to tremble once again. Oh no that's the guy I robbed. As dread and panic began to rise, she swallowed hard, experiencing an unusual sensation of shame. I had no clue he was a sorcerer! What on earth have I gotten myself into? If he discovers I stole him off...

"Miss?" Magnus asked softly, jolting Xyra out of her daze. She hadn't known he was right in front of her. "Are you okay?"

"F-fine," she said, escaping his gaze. The more she stared at him, the more guilty she felt.

"That's great," he said with a sigh and a smile on his face. He didn't say anything else as he turned around and started walking away.

"Um…thanks."

He returned his gaze, catching her stare. He made no movement; he simply stood there watching. He almost seemed to be waiting for her to say anything else. She needed to say something now. She was embarrassed by the circumstance. This man had just spared her from who knows what fate, and he hadn't asked for anything in return. Few people were willing to place their lives at danger for a stranger, especially a poor thief like herself. Guilt was not generally an issue for her, but she owed him her life. If she could simply pay him back, even if it was a small amount, the strange sensation of guilt would fade.

Furthermore, this man was a sorcerer. Magic was a great force, depending on the caster's intention. She was a bit apprehensive being in the presence of someone powerful. She nibbled the corner of her lip as she moved her weight from one foot to the other. She broke eye contact and shifted her gaze to the ground, hoping it would help her relax, but it didn't. The fact that he was still staring at her certainly didn't help.

Despite his earlier demonstration of strength, she felt she had no need to be afraid of him. If he really hurt a person of the town without a good reason, the bounty hunters would be all over him in an instant. Taking that into account, there wasn't anything to be concerned about in terms of his power. Since that was the situation, she'd just treat him normally for the time being—as normal as she could treat someone, she owed a favor to. The fact that he had saved her would not alter, no matter who or what he was. Debts, whatever of their kind, had to be paid.

"If there is anything I can do for you, please let me know," she stated.

Magnus turned around and began heading over with a smile on his face. He could see her getting more apprehensive with each step, shying away from him and crossing her arms over her stomach. He paused briefly before proceeding, perplexed as to why she was acting so strangely. She appeared to be frightened of him. He had no intention of hurting her. He only wanted what she was keeping back.

"There is one thing," he said as he extended his hand to her. She calmed down a little and glanced down at it, perplexed. "You have the opportunity to return the money you stole."

Xyra exclaimed, then clamped her mouth tight. She wasn't sure what to say in response. A part of her was startled, but she was also annoyed. So, he was right all along! Her eyes constricted as she considered his plea. Perhaps her first impression of him wasn't too far off after all. Idiot. He should have stopped me if he had known.

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