|Author: Tensei Mikami||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2269 characters|
|Translator: Jiro||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: Unknown words|
No pursuers came after the group.
Seletina looked back to check just in case as she rocked on her horse.
Gradually, little by little, with the sound of hooves pounding the earth, the lights of the city of Leverence could be seen fading into the distance. Cutting through the dark night with a single lantern was a very dangerous act, but that was how it had to be.
The city of Ulbdor which was on the verge of destruction and Imitia Belbed had no time left. Seletina and the others couldn’t delay. Shivering in her robe in the chill of the night, Seletina spoke to Eupho, who held the reins.
“No pursuers are coming. Is this too thanks to Lady Younashi?”
“I don’t know. But probably yes.”
“What did she do?”
“I don’t know.”
Eupho answered, shaking his head, and Seletina let out a small sigh. At that moment, Lichter’s horse with Yopha on the back arrived beside them, lining up next to Eupho’s and Seletina’s horse.
“Sup! I wanted to ask, what’s our plan once we get there?”
Seletina couldn’t help but look at Lichter, who was riding alongside her, with a bitter expression on her face.
She wondered if he was unaware of the dangers of running horses side by side in the unreliable light of a lantern, which was barely enough to light the way for only one horse.
Lichter, however, seemed aloof and continued to speak.
“There must be a lot of Demons swarming around Ulbdor. How are we going to get inside?”
“As I said before, you don’t need to worry about that. I have a card up my sleeve. More importantly, keep your eyes on the road. It’s dangerous to look away.”
“Sure, sure. I’m sorry. So? Can we really trust that card of yours?”
“Probably. We’ll arrive in Ulbdor tomorrow morning, so look forward to it then. That aside, please look ahead!”
Seletina said, urging him to pay attention to the path ahead.
When she shooed him away, Lichter’s horse moved away reluctantly. Yopha, who was riding in the back, had his usual expressionless face, but no one could tell that shivers were running down his spine from Lichter’s perilous maneuvering.
◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆
They had been riding the horses for about four hours, with breaks in between. The sky had turned white. The leaves of the trees were covered with morning dew, and the small chirps of birds were carried by the wind from the greenery of the forest.
“It’s finally morning.”
Lichter murmured in the clear morning silence. No one responded to his mutterings. Nor did Lichter himself want any kind of response. Only the sound of horses kicking dirt on the ground continued unabated.
They had traveled alone for four hours, without sleep. Although they had taken a light meal break along the way, it was still hard on the bodies of the four seasoned warriors.
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This was even more so the case for Seletina. Her fragile body displayed a particularly pronounced color of fatigue. Despite using asthma suppressants to reach this point, her body felt like lead.
Seletina managed to pry open her eyelids, which were heavier than rocks, while keeping back her yawns. Not opening her mouth widely in public was an important rule for any lady. That is what Melia had taught her.
She rode behind Eupho, repeatedly struggling not to loosen her grip around his waist and not to fall off her horse, but Lichter came to her aid, urging his horse to go right up to her.
“Easy there sleeping princess.”
“I’m not asleep. What is it, Lichter?”
Seletina asked, while Lichter opened his mouth wide as he yawned freely. Seeing how comfortable Lichter looked while doing that Seletina felt somewhat annoyed.
“We should be arriving soon, no?”
“Hm, you’re right. Give me a second, I’ll check the map.”
Seletina said as she spread out the map she had twisted in her pochette to keep it from blowing away in the wind. She began deciphering the map with her tired brain and eyes.
Indeed, Lichter was right. They would come up on the streets of Ulbdor in no time at all.
“You’re right. We’re almost there… Whoa!”
Seletina was about to look up when the horse suddenly stopped. Inertia caused her face to be crushed against Eupho’s small back, interrupting her sentence.
“Hey… If you’re going to stop, at least say something!”
“What is that?!” Eupho muttered with a tinge of something in his voice. Whether it was hopelessness, resignation, or shock, Eupho was not able to convey his delirious muttering, but the feeling certainly reached Seletina.
“What happened?!” Seletina tilted her upper body and looked over Eupho’s back. As she did, she too became speechless.
The Fortified City of Ulbdor. It looked just as the map had shown—a small town, seemingly floating in the middle of a black sea, formed by a vast number of Demonic hordes.
Despite its size, the city seemed fragile, as if it could be swallowed by the darkness vortex at any moment.
“To think that the Demon horde would be so enormous as to even surround the whole of Ulbdor…” Lichter’s voice trailed off with a mysterious expression on his face.
Everyone was surely taken aback by the scene before them. Seletina bit her lip as she stared at the great sea of black with her deep-blue eyes. Then she muttered,
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“The Elugor Disaster…”
The memory of her last battlefield, the last time she’d fought as Orthus, resurfaced in her mind, causing her fingers to tremble slightly. It was also at this time that the sun finally climbed over the horizon.