Chapter 9

 

“Sigh…”

Kalix sat there and pulled out the dagger stuck in the beast’s neck. His injured ankle was causing a fever all over his body. He exhaled a harsh breath, just to keep his eyes open. 

“Kalix!”

Lelia, standing in a daze, came to her senses and rushed to him. Griffith also immediately found Kalix’s wounds. 

“If it’s a real, real beast… You should have told me it was real… You idiot!”

“I told you, you idiot!”

In the meantime, Lelia held Kalix by the collar and held back what she wanted to say. Kalix was on the verge of fainting again.

“Griffith, are you okay with your arm? We have to go back quickly.”

“… It’s fine. But if I blew a whistle earlier, wouldn’t the new recruits be coming?”

“No, they’ll be gathered at the entrance of the mountain. It’s a whistle that means ‘gather at the entrance of a mountain.’”

“…Then why did you blow it?”

“I thought the ones who planned this, who made that beast appear, would be frightened and run away with it…”

At those words, Kalix turned his head and saw the beast’s body.

It was then the beast’s body scattered and disappeared like sand. Kalix’s eyes twitched at the sight.

“Really… it was real. My real uncle wanted to kill me…”

The beast itself was not magically made of sand, but what caused the beast’s body to disappear was magic using sand. 

A magic used only in the land of the desert, the Ascad Empire.

“… Kalix, calm down. Still…”

Your arms are fine…

But I couldn’t say that.

Lelia swallowed the words, and she again knelt in front of Kalix and held out her back.

“I’ll do it.”

“You hurt your arm. No.”

Lelia rejected Griffith’s words and urged Kalix.

“Kalix, get up quickly. There’s no time to wait like before. I’m going to run out of strength.”

“… Damn.”

While shedding hot tears, Kalix gritted his teeth and endured the sobbing.

Yet, he slowly rose up and climbed onto Lelia’s back with his own will.

Lelia felt the pain in her belly, but held her legs tightly.

The three weakly started down the mountain. Kalix cried, groaning for a long time on Lelia’s back.

The sun had risen, and the light of the dawn was shining.

“… But why does the right ankle hurt so much? The wound is on the left side.”

“…”

On the way down the twisted mountain, Kalix had stopped crying.

Lelia was stabbed by her conscience, and she was forced to confess.

“I’m sorry. I made a mistake when I knocked you unconscious and carried you on my back.”

“… This guy.”

“…” Griffith looked at the two strangely and instantly smiled. 

It is normal to feel the pain in the arm, being bitten by a beast, but it didn’t feel painful for some reason.

This moment felt like a dream, a lie for some reason.

[I felt strange.]

And Griffith thought these two seemed more strange.

***

When they were almost down from the mountain, the new recruits, who found the three, ran with stunned faces.

And Lelia, Kalix, Griffith – the three passed out on the spot, side by side, as if they had promised very well.

***

When she woke up, Lelia saw two red eyes in front of her. Tears were dripping down those eyes…

“…Oscar?”

“Phew, oh, are you awake now, Captain?”

“Did you wake up?” 

Lelia heard Romeo’s voice soon. She sat up slowly, with her eyebrows wrinkled. She looked around. It was like a ward inside the temple. However, the beds on her left and right were empty. 

“You are finally awake, Crown Prince.” 

The priest standing on the other side approached. She was a female priest and had a very calm voice. 

“What about the others?”

“The other two were already awake. After being cured, they went out to see a senior priest for a while.”

Lelia looked down at her body. The skin on her stomach seemed torn, but she didn’t feel any pain, perhaps because of healing magic.

“… I’m glad. But… oh?!”

Lelia swallowed her breath and opened her eyes wide. She was wearing a monastic robe.

This meant that someone had changed her clothes. Her underwear must have been covered in mud. 

…Who changed her underwear?

I think I got caught!

I’m going to be killed by the emperor!

Seeing that Lelia’s expression was instantly terrified, the female priest bowed.

She whispered into Lelia’s ear, “I changed the clothes, and only I saw your clothes. No one else was watching while I was changing you, so please calm down.”

“…”  Lelia blinked.

The priest put her index finger on her lips for a while and let go. It was a tacit signal that she would not say anything.

“…”

Lelia gulped down her saliva.

“What’s wrong with you, Captain?”

“She doesn’t seem to have recovered yet.”

“No, I’m fine…”

“Oh, by the way…”

Then the door swung open.

“Are you awake?”

“…”

It was Kalix and Griffith who opened the door. Perhaps because they were both under a healing spell, they seemed completely fine. In particular, Lelia paid attention to Kalix’s arms.

I’m so glad…

It is impossible to recover even with healing magic, if one’s arm is cut as badly as it was mentioned in the novel. It was fortunate that his ankle was barely injured.

“… It looks all right.” Lelia murmured with relief, and the two approached with grave expressions.

Griffith said, “You should meet a senior priest, too. We are going to formally protest this matter.”

“…What?”

Lelia looked up at Griffith.

“Are you not gonna do it? You are the Crown Prince of Auraria. He and I are both royals.”

“…” Lelia hesitated.

The new recruits would have gone berserk over a meeting talking about countermeasures. Such a big incident was inevitably going to be reported to the home country, but Lelia knew what the result would be. She turned to Kalix.

“…”

Kalix had a slightly grumpy look on his face, but he wasn’t going to show it. Kalix knew it too – what would be the result of publicizing this matter? Each empire would go berserk.

“Of course, the Emperor of Auraria doesn’t care.”

In the original, Kalix’s arm was cut off.

The children of each country who learned of this notified their home country, the riots began, and the temple began to intervene. However, the victim, Kalix’s home country, the Ascard Empire, tried to cover up this fact. Emperor Ascard announced, even though his nephew had lost an arm, “Now our five empires are working together with the temple to nurture our warriors. Of course, heartbreaking anger and sadness precede my nephew’s wounds, but this is not the time for this. We’re not here to point our swords at each other.”

 

Since the emperor of the country where the victim came from spoke out like this, the rest of the empires could not take much action. Of course, there were some empires who asked for the children to be returned because they couldn’t entrust them anymore, but it was a success in the end.

 

The Holy Father apologized directly to the emperors of each country for this incident and vowed to pay more attention in the future.

 

Since everything was resolved, everyone had no choice but to be careful.

 

Indeed, since then, the temple had worked very hard on the safety of the children in a very intense manner. 

What about Kalix, who lost one arm in that situation?

It should never be publicized.

It wasn’t obvious, but Kalix would have been devastated. To the point where he would have never healed. Like his severed arm.

Kalix was undaunted though. After returning to his homeland, he renounced the authority of the imperial family and became a mercenary. In his capacity as a mercenary king, he joined the Dragon Slayer Group and made a greater contribution than anyone else.

Kalix was such a man. A man of strong will and conviction beyond Lelia’s imagination.

But now…

He’s a ten-year-old kid.

It’s terrible to think of the pain the 10-year-old would have suffered. He didn’t lose his arm this time, but he will be scarred with a similar wound for the rest of his life. No, he’s not seriously hurt this time, so Emperor Ascard might come out more brazenly.

 

Lelia wanted to prevent it somehow.

“…”

Lelia looked into Kalix’s eyes, looking somewhat uneasy, and asked, “Do the other kids know about this?”

“…No, not yet.”

It was a good thing.

“Then let’s not let them know. I don’t want them to know.”

“Are you crazy?”

“Are you crazy?”

“Captain, are you crazy?”

“Oh, you must be crazy, Captain…”

Four people said the same thing, but Lelia was adamant.

“I beg of you. Keep this a secret.”

“Why on earth…?”

“It’s… it’s gonna be a big deal if my father finds out.”

“…”

“My father cares about me a lot. How much do you care? I kissed, hugged, and slept with him every day! But if he comes to know that I’m hurt, he’ll make a fuss.”

“…You are crazy. Kissing your dad? You’re a papa’s boy.”

Kalix was sarcastic, but Lelia went on to say.

“Yeah, so please keep it a secret. Oh, my dad might cry. Then I’m going to cry! My heart will be broken!”

“…”