A Light Interrogation
“This is… What are you planning on doing?”
In a place full of pure white light, Aria tries to keep her nerve as Veena manipulated the white vines twisting around her hand.
She took a single sharp breath and mentally prepared herself for whatever came next.
The vines seemed soft and limp as they coiled. They almost looked like foxtails.
“Torture is pointless against a knight of the Kingdom. But, something like this should work.”
The eight vines of light hit Aria simultaneously.
In her left and right thighs, ankle, stomach, both arms, small of the back and her neck.
As soon as they touched her, they seemed to crawl under her skin. As soon as they did, Aria’s body began to jolt.
What had she done? It was an uncomfortable feeling that far exceeded being tickled. Her thoughts were blown away, and her consciousness filled with that same white.
If she relaxed for even a moment, she would fall into that white abyss. That was the feeling she had.
If nothing else, she had to keep a grip of her mind.
But that fighting spirit eroded every time the vines moved.
“It’s…. useless… !No matter what you do… I will ne….ver…. talk… I have… no…thing… to say… to… you!”
Aria desperately resisted as she glared at Veena.
But even as she was saying that her will to resist was slowly being eroded.
Even if Aria didn’t know exactly what kind it was, this was indeed some sort of magic.
It was a magic that increased a person’s sensitivity so much that even the brush of a single hair would overwhelm the senses.
She did her best to resist it as she turned her body this way and that. As a knight, she has trained in the arts of resisting mind influencing magic, so extracting information would be hard.
That only makes sense. Since she’s the captain of an intelligence gathering team, any confidential information she held would be leaked if she was captured and subjected to thought control or mind manipulation, if she had no training in how to resist it.
It might not be a perfect resistance, but it’s something she has worked on herself through training both mind and body.
Because she overcame such harsh personal training, she shouldn’t be defeated by any sort of mind interference magic.
But, on the flipside, that means that she isn’t using magic of her own to counter mind interference magic, but concentration and willpower. Then, the answer is to simply introduce enough stimuli to blow away that mental fortitude. She could have used torture or drugs, but Veena didn’t want to resort to that.
“Ha… Ha… S-stop…”
Her voice is being lost in amongst her heavy breathing. Her body jerks and twists, her defiant attitude is being lost as she sobs slightly with tears in her eyes.
Having finally got the reaction she wanted, Veena withdrew those tendrils and cast a new magic.
This was the mind interfering magic.
“Then, please tell me what I wish to know. The reason that you came here was…”
Aria’s body that had become limp after the vines were withdrawn suddenly jerked back to life. Veena had taken control of her mind remotely. There was no light left in her eyes as she began to talk in an almost mechanical tone of voice.
“…We had confirmed damage consistent with a Dragon’s ‘breath’ being used in the Takrath mountain ranges, and later also confirmed the disappearance of its presence, so we were sent to investigate the incident and its aftermath.”
“Investigating the Dragon… I see. You were not specifically sent after us.”
“No. When it comes to pursuing the two of you, the only people working towards such an end are Prince Arnight and his personal retainers, the knights of the Kingdom are completely preoccupied with the Dragon.”
Aria continues to answer indifferently.
“If you confirmed the Dragon’s defeat, what does the Order plan on doing? Continue to pursue its reincarnated form?”
“No. The pursuit of the Dragon’s reincarnation would be left to the appropriate nobles, and we would return to other matters.”
“Other matters. Would that include trying to pursue us?”
“Yes,” Aria responded.
“That would be likely. A huge manhunt might begin. Prince Arnight has already petitioned the King many times to mobilize all the knights to pursue you.”
The worst possible scenario, Veena thought to herself.
As soon as the Order began to pursue her with any real vigour, it wouldn’t take long for them to find her and destroy the current life she had worked hard to preserve.
(Really… Can’t they just leave me alone? Just how much more do they plan on taking from me?)
She had been deprived of her name, her standing, her home, her belongings and her future as a noblewoman. But, alongside Yua, she had finally decided to start a new life.
For her, this was the worst news.
But, at least, she had gotten the information she needed.
“Alright I’ve asked what I wanted to ask, I suppose I should put you back together.”
Veena released the mind-controlling magic she had applied to Aria with a flick of her finger, and she began breathing heavily as the light returned to her eyes.
“Veena Lilyfall… please answer me just one thing.”
Aria understood what had just happened, but still stared at Veena as she fought to regain her senses.
“You aren’t in a position to ask me anything, but okay. Feel free. If it’s something I can answer, I will.”
Aria thought for only a brief moment, then asked.
“…Is Princess Yua okay?”
Veena tilted her head. Such an obvious thing, that’s what she wanted to ask? Considering her priorities, shouldn’t she be asking about the Dragon instead?
Veena answered in a way that only gave the barest of information to Aria.
“Yes, she is. She’s fine. She hasn’t gotten sick at all, and she’s in good spirits.”
Veena talked about Yua’s health and happiness, but that’s not the kind of answer that Aria was expecting.
All Aria knew is that Yua had been kidnapped. The question she asked was to confirm whether or not Yua was still alive at all.
But for Veena, who was aware that Yua was the instigator in their flight from the academy, thought that Aria was simply asking about her health.
With this difference in perspective, Aria was slightly confused.