Chapter 10

 

“Why haven’t you asked anything?”

 

Immediately after returning to Bertrand Castle, O’Connell gently spilled the words he had been holding back to Ethan.

 

Ethan handed his sword to O’Connell and sat down on the hard chair.

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“The girl from the stone tower…”

 

Ethan was neither soft nor compassionate.

 

He did not take anyone’s side, nor did he care for anyone. It was strange that he just let the child who deceived him go.

 

Normally there would be blood shed.

 

“Liote Lacinth?”

 

O’Connell suddenly felt a chill in his spine.

 

Ethan obviously knew that the girl’s name was not Liote.

 

“Yes.”

 

“You said you were the daughter of a handyman.”

 

Ethan remembered the little girl who looked up at him with a blank face.

 

He remembered it so clearly that he could draw her face on the paper at this moment.

 

He also vividly remembered that the other day, when they met at Mount Nordard, she proudly introduced herself as Liote Lacinth.

 

“Yes, that’s right.”

 

Normally Ethan would have charged the girl’s crime right then and there. Whether it was because of fear or whatever, the only thing that mattered was the fact that she deceived him.

 

But strangely, he just let her go.

 

It was because an emotion that was hard to explain sneakily came without warning.

 

“We will meet again. Isn’t it troublesome to question at once?”

 

With that, Ethan closed his eyes.

 

He filed away the unfamiliar emotion as discomfort.

 

O’Connell, who was watching him, touched his mustache once and turned around. He knew very well that he should not say anything else.

 

But Ethan’s strange behavior remained a wonder.

 

‘I can’t quite figure out what he’s thinking.’

 

With Ethan’s personality, he would not have uttered meaningless words.

 

From what Ruelli had done, there was no way Ethan was just going to laugh it off as a child’s prank. But wasn’t Ruelli too young to be punished?

 

O’Connell grabbed the knob of the door and was about to walk out, but stopped and said,

 

“Ah, we’ll have the Grand Service Training soon.”

 

Suddenly, he remembered that Xenon Clark and his assistant were being held captive. He wasn’t sure if Ethan, who looked tired, would do his duties well.

 

As Ethan unbuttoned his jacket, he said lazily.

 

“I haven’t forgotten, so get ready right away.”

 

***

 

Ruelli locked herself in the stone tower for a while, reading until the pages were tattered.

 

It was a way to spend some time without thinking about anything else.

 

Gauner was greatly punished, but somehow Ruelli felt bad. Because all she wanted was to help people.

 

Fadenos had told her countless times that Gauner’s rough behavior was wrong, but he could not fill the wounds on his daughter’s chest.

 

In the end, she wanted some time for herself.

 

But Ruelli did not give time to herself to digest her melancholy.

 

“What should I do?”

 

Ruelli had no idea that she would be going up to the mountain again.

 

It was when the medicinal herbs that filled the basket to the brim had all dried up, and Gauner’s constant cries for bad luck died down, Fadenos collapsed with an unexplained high fever.

 

“I’m sure it’s here somewhere.”

 

Ruelli murmured, going through a pebble mound on a huge rock.

 

In the damp, sunless forest, there was a violaceous tree with a trunk twisted like a vine, even lime mushrooms visible in places. It was the perfect place to find an urban tree.

 

“This is the last time, just once….”

 

The Urban tree barks were effective in reducing heat. In addition, it was said that drinking tea with Belladonna leaves and Moine grass can cure inflammation in the body.

 

“Ruelli, I’m fine, so please don’t waste your time thinking about it.”

 

“Father, your forehead is very hot.”

 

“Don’t worry about it, I’ll be fine…”

 

“I read in a book that it’s very dangerous to have a fever to last this long.”

 

“Don’t worry, Ruelli. I’ll be better after a nap.”

 

As Fadenos’s face pale, lying limp with a high fever for days, Ruelli grew irritated.

 

She knew too well how hard her father worked to make a living. He silently did whatever he could to make money, but it was all for her.

 

Ruelli’s complexion quickly brightened as she stirred a pile of bushes with her bare hands.

 

“Oh my God, I found it.”

 

Ruelli chuckled as she spotted Belladonna, which was as pale green as a new leaf. Belladonna had to be used with caution because it contained narcotic ingredients, but it was very effective at soothing headaches.

 

Gently plucking the leaves, Ruelli looked around with a brighter face than before. As soon as she could find the Urban tree, she would be home soon.

 

Caw. Caw.

 

She paused for a moment at the sound of crows crying in the distance. With an eerie mood, Ruelli shuddered.

 

“It’s illegal to make or sell any medicine that is not authorized.”

 

At that moment, Ethan’s voice, the one she faced the other day on the mountains, flashed through her mind.

 

The wavelength that favoritism caused was bigger than she thought, and it produced terrible results. Ruelli closed her eyes, still reeling from the grief of that day.

 

‘This is the last time.’

 

They were words to herself, but they were also a vow to the mountain.

 

“Today is the last time, so please help me just once.”

 

Thanks to her earnest prayer, she was able to get all the herbs she needed after a while of searching. 

 

“I can go down now, but how deep did I get?”

 

Ruelli wandered deep into the mountains for a long time, talking to herself. She took a large bite of the hard bread she had brought just in case, and looked nervous.

 

“There are no signs. I don’t know where I am.”

 

She tried to sound brave, but she was actually very scared.

 

“No, let’s not worry. All I have to do is keep going down in one direction.”

 

She came out in a hurry and didn’t even bring her compass. Ruelli lifted a large stone that she could see and checked which side the moss was growing.

 

“The one with the most moss is to the north.”

 

After confirming the general direction, Ruelli started walking again, parting the grass. Then she found a tree stump and ran quickly. The more closely the gap between the rings was to the south, and the more densely the gap was to the north.

 

Ruelli’s face lit up as she looked towards the trees with relatively more branches and leaves.

 

“Okay, I can just follow this ridge down.”

 

Finding the path was all something her father had taught her.

 

Before settling down in Lorek, Ruelli lived a rather long and wandering life with Fadenos.

 

Fadenos had never properly explained their situation to his young daughter, but Ruelli had a vague idea.

 

She didn’t have a mother like Simon had, she didn’t live in an ordinary house made of wood, and her father was constantly wary of people.

 

None of these questions could be cleared up, but all Ruelli knew was that her father loved her more than life itself.

 

Of course, there were moments when she missed her mother’s presence. Actually, nostalgic was not an accurate expression.

 

The existence that she had never faced felt like an illusion.

 

But there must be a woman out there who brought her to life.

 

As Ruelli descended the mountain ridge alone, she thought of her father’s weak face and the mother she had never known.

 

The mountain would soon be covered in darkness. Her chest began to tighten as a sense of dread quickened her steps.

 

How long had she been walking? The muddy path that finally revealed itself and the neat bushes made Ruelli sigh, feeling relieved. 

 

“Oh, thank you, thank you, Aramiz. You feel sorry for me, don’t you?”

 

When she rushed forward at a presence in the distance. 

 

Ruelli froze at the sight before her.

 

***

Notes

N/A

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