5 Advanced Chapters
Vivian looked at his face for a moment as if possessed. She had another addition, thinking it was disappointing to finish her conditions like that.
“That’s not all!”
She hesitated, not knowing how he would react. Finally, Vivian opened her mouth with difficulty.
“I like people who are only kind to me.”
The other day when she saw him being courteous, not even friendly, to a woman in the village, her stomach twisted with jealousy. She had already experienced it, so the condition of being friendly had to be more detailed.
Roger’s eyes widened as if surprised by her bold remark, but it wasn’t long before he was desperately trying to hold back his laughter. But in the end, the corners of his lips twitched.
He put a comfortable distance between them, and moved out of her path.
“Then, shall we eat together, My Lady?”
He smiled softly with a slightly different tone than usual. Vivian realized that he was playing the ‘friendly man’ that she wanted. Although she had told him her preferences at his request, she was the only one who ended up embarrassed.
The day passed leisurely.
She wasn’t starving because she didn’t do anything strenuous, so she had a light lunch, and after a short swordsmanship lesson, it was already dinnertime. She hadn’t done absolutely nothing all day since she arrived in this foreign land, and the change of pace was nice.
However, a problem occurred during dinner.
At the entrance of the dining room, a desperate atmosphere was felt. When Vivian, who was sitting at the end of the table, turned her head, she saw Chen. He seemed to have sprinted here, as he was doubled over and panting with his hands on his knees.
At his words, the noisy dinner hall immediately went quiet.
“A crack has appeared!”
Chen’s voice cut through the silence and resounded harshly. The knights immediately got up from their seats, swearing, and picked up their swords. Following the crowd, Vivian hurriedly went outside.
Ladders were set up so everyone could quickly climb onto the wall. However, since it was still daytime, Vivian climbed the ladder leisurely, confident that the situation would be better than when the crack showed up at dusk.
As she reached the top, she saw Roger, who had not been at the dinner table, standing with his arms crossed. Chen, who came up behind Vivian, hurriedly ran towards him.
“When did you get here?”
“Five minutes ago.”
As Roger reached out, Chen handed him something. It was a telescope. Roger lifted it to his eye and examined the landscape with it. The look on his face as he slowly lowered the telescope was quite different from that morning.
The raging wind slapped her silver hair over her cheeks and messed it up. Vivian tied her fluttering hair back and stood next to Roger. She could now properly see the situation.
A crack had formed near the wall. The situation was serious, but perhaps because it wasn’t fully night yet, the situation was still better than last time. The demonic beasts pouring out from the vortex-like cracks made bizarre sounds and staggered towards the fortress wall. It was a slower speed than last time, when they approached in large strides as if they were using movement magic.
But they couldn’t let their guard down yet. There was little time left until night. That meant there was not long before the beasts would become ferocious.
Roger handed the telescope to her.
‘Why a telescope?’
Vivian was skeptical but still accepted it. And as if hoping for an answer to her question, she stared at him, not through the telescope. Roger pointed somewhere very far away, which she couldn’t even see from the top of the wall.
Vivian raised the telescope to her eye and looked in the direction he was pointing. Moments later, she realized why he had handed her the telescope. In the distance, far enough away to be invisible to the naked eye, there was another crack.
Vivian lowered the telescope with a bewildered expression.
“Two cracks appeared?”
“That’s right. You don’t have to worry about the one close to the wall. For now, we will go down and fight the beasts, so the Lady must close the rift in the distance.”
Roger briefly summarized the situation before jumping off the wall to help the knights below. Far and near. It was a terrible situation where cracks appeared in two places.
She couldn’t afford to think deeply about why there were now two. Even at that moment, the rift was releasing a steady stream of magical beasts as if it wanted to swallow up the western land.
“Chen, light more torches to make it a little brighter. We can’t let it get dark!”
Vivian raised the telescope to her eye and gestured to Chen. Chen quickly replied, ‘Yep!’, and moved to fulfill her order.
From below, she could hear the noises of a fierce battle, and on either side she could hear the footsteps of busily moving soldiers. Vivian was trying to capture the spirit of the ground from under the knight’s feet. Even in this difficult situation, she was focused.
The fruits of her efforts were not in vain, for as she looked through the telescope, she saw huge tree roots on either side of the far crack. She grew branches from the roots to close the gaping hole. When the entrance was blocked, the beasts could not come out, and their gloomy howls shook the West.
Vivian frowned at the rift’s attempt to suppress her elemental skills. She could feel the evil energy seep into the roots that came into contact with the rift. It was a dirty feeling, like dozens of disgusting bugs were crawling all over her body. The rift flinched and bulged as if demanding release. Vivian added strength to her hands, never taking her eyes off the crack for a moment.
‘Can it be filled?’
Blocking the entrance was only a temporary solution that didn’t get rid of the rift at all. Vivian frowned.
‘Then…… What if I stretch it out?’
The branches that had blocked the crack’s entrance disappeared in an instant, like mist. The beasts began to pour out again, but Vivian focused on the roots next to the crack. If she could get rid of the cracks in this way, they could bear with a few demonic beasts.
An urgent cry could be heard under her feet.
If they weren’t calling for her, then they must be calling for Roger. Vivian’s concentration almost collapsed like a sandcastle being hit by a wave. All her senses except her vision were directed at her feet.
‘Could it be that a knight is injured?’
Her mind pictured Roger, seriously wounded. She felt like an unnatural force was trying to drag her eyes downwards.
-”Above all, Lady doesn’t seem to believe us at all?”
Just as she was about to look down, the words of Tainy came to mind.
– “No matter how chaotic it is, our knights are worth using.”
He was always playful, but he spoke with a rather serious face.
-”So, trust me.”
Those powerful words cleared her head in an instant.
Vivian made up her mind and focused again through the telescope. When she was distracted, the roots had lost their way. It was a reflection of her emotional state. After Vivian made up her mind, the roots stood straight again.
The root of the tree gripped both sides of the crack, and widened the fissure infested with evil spirits.
The circular crack* began to stretch, bit by bit. A blue electrical current flashed through the gap. It seemed that stretching rather than blocking was the right choice.
[*E/N: this entire time I’ve been under the impression that these cracks were similar to deep mudcracks. However, they’re actually circular, similar to a bottomless pit.]
Vivian continued to stretch the rift more and more. When the entrance was stretched to resemble a straight line, the flow of beasts was slowed, then stopped completely. The moment Vivian put more force into her roots to pull more tightly, another burst of blue light poured out. Vivian closed her eyes tightly, blinded by the light. When she opened them again, she realized.
“…… Magic circle?”
Something materialized between the earth and sky. A magic circle, the same color blue as the flash of light, formed over the crack. No, ‘blue’ was not accurate. It felt dark, wet, and cold.
Everyone was busy, so only Vivian, who was standing on the high wall and holding a telescope, could see it.
Vivian stared through the telescope, stunned. She knew this wasn’t the time for hesitation, but a creeping feeling of deja vu swept over her body. She was clueless when it came to magic, but she was certain.
‘I think I’ve seen that pattern before.’
A shock came over her suddenly, as if she had been hit on the back of the head. While her mind was racing, the magic circle began to shrink. Vivian hurriedly came to her senses and moved her roots to puncture and break the magic circle. It shattered like glass.
The crack shrank in an instant and disappeared. There were no traces of it left.
‘Magic circles are the cause of the cracks.’
Vivian realized that the magic circle she saw a moment ago had created the rift.* She had no regrets about getting rid of it, even if she couldn’t draw the pattern. Fortunately or unfortunately, there were two cracks that appeared today, and there was still one left.
[*E/N: Now we know why they’re circular :)]
Vivian called for Chen before turning to the crack near the wall. Chen, who was busily working a short distance away, rushed to her side.
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