As Lavender looked around for volunteers, she nodded toward the pair of volunteers. She was pleased to see Michail's class, for the most part, stayed back--it comforted her to know that they weren't nearly as foolhardy as their professor was. The first two volunteers seemed to know what they were doing, or at the very least, wary of what they were signing up for. Auberon seemed more sure than the Jorah, but she wouldn't question it. She caught sight of Aileas' hand raising as well.
Derec watched Auberon for a moment, though it then occurred to him that Auberon would likely expect at least one of the rest of the Lions to volunteer. He first thought to stay back; he had already made a fool of himself once with the leader of the last pack of bandits they dealt with. However, out of the corner of his eye, he saw a dainty hand raise. His eyes widened as he realized it was Isolde of all people that had volunteered. But why? She had been as unlucky as he was. Maybe felt the need to redeem herself? She didn't really look nervous (for once), either. If anything, she looked determined.
His lips parted to call out to her, but he stopped himself. Instead, he turned back to the Professor, raising his hand as well.
Lavender nodded in his direction before turning to the board, writing down their names in quick succession. "Very well, then. I'll assume you have riding experience as we'll be riding ahead of the pack in order to secure the front. We leave in ten minutes," She stated as she finished writing one last name under theirs--'Celeste Gloucester'. "I've instructed Celeste to inform the stables to lend us horses, so I expect them to be ready by the time we gather."
She then looked at Tomai expectantly. The other professor continued to read his book in silence. She narrowed her eyes at him, though when he remained indifferent, she let out a sigh. "As for the rest of you, Professor Michail will be waiting for you at the carriages. They're usually meant for soldiers, so they may not be very comfortable. However, I will emphasize that the main goal is the safety of the villagers. After the attack on Luin, more innocents getting hurt would bring a panic across all of Fódlan. As future leaders, I am sure I needn't explain why this is so important."
Snapping his book shut, Tomai rose from his seat. "I'm going on ahead," He stated as he walked past Lavender.
Lavender let out a sigh, though she supposed she was warned how difficult Tomai could be. "Right...I'll go over a brief summary of the formation I'm expecting from you all, then we'll be on our way."
The Advance Team rode ahead of the rest of their classmates on horses as Lavender had indicated. Their trip was one focused on getting to Magdred as quickly as possible, with little talk other than instruction. It seemed that Mikhail was taking his role seriously, his previous promise to Lavender forgotten. The weather cooled a touch as they went on the path, though not so much to affect them. What was curious, however, was a fog that seemed to build as they carried on.
"Think the fog will affect the mission?" Euphemia asked Michail.
"No, but I think it'll slow down Tomai and the rest," He admitted, lightly pulling on the reins of his horse to slow down its running. "It's strange, it seems to be getting thicker the more we go along, doesn't it?"
Lavender frowned as she looked around. "Moreso than normal fog, anyway."
Michail didn't like it, but they didn't have much of a choice. He had to trust Tomai and Kaira would handle the situation when they crossed it. He ushered everyone to continue onwards. Fortunately, the rest of the ride was uneventful, and they left the fog behind them--it seemed to contain itself in the Magdred Way. Magdred itself was in view, still as a lake's surface that had been untouched. On a closer look, however, it was easy to see how devoid of life the place seemed to be. Where people should have been out and about there were none, the streets eerily empty.
Euphemia glanced at a few houses they passed--she could see some signs of life. "I assume everyone is being confined to their homes," She guessed out loud.
"And that's why we're charging in and making noise," Michail stated as he came to a halt before an empty stable. He hopped off his horse, hastily tying its reins to a post. "We're heading deeper into the city. Be on your guard, once they spot us, we'll likely be welcomed in with open arms."
Lavender raised an eyebrow at him as she dismounted. "And by that you mean attacked," She clarified. "Honestly..."
Michail grinned, brandishing his lance. "I'm taking point. I expect you to fall back and cover our rear." Lavender grumbled, albeit she made sure to be behind the students. "Alright, everyone, tread carefully."
As Michail had predicted, the fog thickened considerably by the time the rest of the Unit approached Magdred. Tomai narrowed his eyes, befuddled by the phenomenon. What was strange was not its nature--he would bet his research this was a spell of some sort--but that the fog hid nothing living. There was no one around them, and if a fog was going to be cast, why would it be there in the first place? He ignored it for the moment, though he made sure his Crest ability was fully active. If there was anyone around, they were out of his mile-long range. Probably for the better as he was fairly confident the bulk of the enemy was waiting for Michail and his ilk. Besides, they were on a rescue mission, anyway.
They continued towards the town, and would soon notice it in its splendor. Magdred was known to be a stop of sorts whenever people traveled into Faerghus, often bustling with merchants and happy to receive visitors. Unfortunately, its typically warm spirit was cooled down considerably.
"Why is it cold?" Tomai muttered to himself, looking around. He couldn't ignore just how strange the situation was, and it was putting him on edge. As the carriages came to a halt, he leapt down from the driver's seat and immediately approached the town's entrance. Something was amiss here. He spotted the stable full of horses--good, Michail and the rest arrived in one piece.
"There are fifteen or so homes on the East Side that we'll be heading towards," Tomai stated as he turned back towards the students. "There will be a few Knights waiting for us on the outskirts to receive the civilians. We don't know who we're dealing with, so I suggest taking caution."