The Sword and The Dress (Volume 4) – Chapter 8
Tess hesitated and looked back at the others.
“What? Speak up.”
“…We tried to stop him but he left alone to look for you.”
“You should’ve tried some more!”
“But he didn’t even listen!”
“Then you should’ve forced him to stay!”
“Heck no, I’m scared of him!”
“Why would you be afraid of him?”
“He’s only shy in front of you, do you know that?”
“Don’t make me laugh! Where did my fiance go? Which way did he go?!”
This place isn’t a park! Why would you let people wander around the Black Desert?! Yeah, I was the one who wandered around first, but it wasn’t without reason! I continued to interrogate Tess as if I was going to eat him, but then Iner intervened.
“Please calm down, Sir Roel.”
“If it was the other way around, you would’ve done the same, wouldn’t you?”
The heat that had been rising to my head subsided a little at her words. She’s right. I would do the same thing. Damn it.
“Right now, you’re seriously injured, aren’t you? It would be dangerous to look for him in your current state.”
Damn it. Damn it all! I can’t even say a thing because I know she’s right. I want to stop the restlessness and anxiety in my heart, but I also feel bad when my head cooled down. Though I have become a noble woman, I am still the leader of the Holy Knights. I have to listen to the advice of others for the good of my group. I can’t let my emotions sway me.
“…Then what do you suggest we do?”
“We will all search for Sir Rizar.”
“Other horses may not be able to keep up with my Snowy.”
“I know you’re feeling uneasy, but you have to keep your pace with us. Besides, I’ll be able to look for him faster since right at this moment, I’m looking for the traces of demonic beasts that I believe Sir Rizar has killed. Although Snowy is a holy horse, it’s impossible for him to look for someone he has never met. Sir Roel will have a hard time looking for him alone.”
Ugh, she’s right. I trusted Snowy too much. I let out a deep sigh, trying to calm my anxious heart.
“…Then, I’ll be counting on you.”
“Yes, Sir Roel. Please stay near us. It’s dangerous.”
…I’m afraid I can’t be bothered with Av for now. Things aren’t as good as I thought it was. Damn it! This time, Ortzen came to my side as I was grinding my teeth in frustration.
“Is this the demon king?”
“Yeah. You can take him.”
He stretched out his right arm towards Av and dragged him towards one of the horses. He couldn’t climb up by himself so he’s probably whining by now. Av muttered as he sat behind the noncombatant Ortzen.
“She’s so nervous just because her fiance is missing. Excuse me—”
“Did she date that fiance of hers after her body changed or before that?”
“Why do you ask?”
“Honestly, she didn’t look like a woman before—ack!”
I reached out and smacked the back of the head of this dumbass.
“Shut your damn mouth.”
With Ortzen and the demon king in the middle, Tess and Iner went to the front while Clauen, Cain and I settled at the back. Then, we started looking for Captain Jullius. Clauen and I were obviously very nervous, but the others didn’t seem too worried. I can understand Iner, Tess and Cain being indifferent to the situation, but how can Ortzen stay calm? It kind of makes me angry for no reason.
With Iner leading the way, we looked around for some time. Soon, we saw an area within the desert that was filled with corpses of demonic beasts. Among them was a medium-sized beast whose body was smashed into a bloody mess.
“Mm, I think this is work done by the Captain of the Special Task Squad.”
Clauen nodded at Tess’s words.
“Yes, I think so too. I have seen it a few times.”
“How the heck did he—”
“That doesn’t matter now!”
I know it’s amazing how he did this with just a sword and not with a blunt weapon, but we have to look for him first! Find him and ask him yourself how he did this!
At my urging, Iner kicked the horse to move again.
We saw corpses of beasts of all sizes as we moved. Though the Black Desert was indeed home to many beasts, I think this number is a bit too much.
“…Why are there so many of them?”
“A demon came shortly after Sir Roel arrived at the site of the attack of the large demonic beast,” Cain answered.
“Demon? Like a demon king?”
“No, not to that extent. They brought a bunch of demonic beasts.”
“Did the Captain follow that demon?”
“But that’s dangerous!”
Well, assuming that I was caught, it was right to chase that demon who controls demonic beasts—but to chase after that demon all by himself?! But, it’s not like that demon is a demon king so it’s unlikely that he’ll lose…
I tried to suppress my nervousness and continued to follow the trail of corpses. Soon, the figure of a man—not dead but alive—covered completely in blood and looking like he was lost came into view. Captain Jullius stood amidst the corpses of beasts.
I spurred Snowy to move forward as I looked at this scene. I instantly felt a hint of a murderous aura, but I approached him regardless.
He slowly turned his head and stared at me blankly. Though he reacted, his pale gray eyes were vacant. Why does he look blank like that?!
As I tried to approach closer, Snowy suddenly stopped. Then, he began to move slowly as if he was wary.
“Hey! Snowy! He’s not an enemy!”
What’s wrong with him? Just then, Captain Jullius blinked once.
“Captain, are you okay?”
He didn’t answer and walked towards me. Snowy flinched and tried to avoid him, but Captain quickly grabbed the reins. Aigoo, look at him. He’s covered in blood. I think he’s completely covered with it but—
“Are you hurt?”
He didn’t answer again. Instead, he mounted Snowy, sat behind me, and guided him towards the opposite direction. Eh? Eh?
“Jullius?” I called in bewilderment. However, the only response that I got from him was his right arm encircling me tightly. It was hard to turn my head and check his condition as he held me close to his chest. All I could feel was the beating of his heart against my back.
What happened to him? I even wondered if a large beast had appeared and was following me, but I couldn’t confirm that. It was too quiet for there to be one. I could only hear the sound of Snowy’s hooves clicking against the ground.
“Hey, at least say something, please?”
Why aren’t you saying anything?
Unable to bear the current situation, I tapped Snowy with my foot. At my signal, Snowy abruptly stopped, bent down, and jumped. Since there was no saddle, it was difficult to hold on to the horse. Because Captain didn’t know that Snowy would jump like that, he embraced me and jumped off as if we were falling off the back of the horse.
Snowy shook as if displeased and stared at Captain. However, he didn’t seem confident that he’d be able to take him on. What a quick-witted fellow.
Anyway, since we have already dismounted from the horse, I hope this guy right here can let me go now. My feet didn’t even touch the ground because he was hugging me so tightly.
“Jullius, let me go.”
Look at me and tell me what’s wrong. However, instead of letting me go, Captain held me even more tightly. Ugh, it hurts a little.
“…I don’t want to.”
“…I don’t want to let go.”
O-okay. I still don’t know why you’re acting like this but at least now, you’ve opened your mouth.
“But we can’t stay like this forever, right?”
We should go back now and join the group. However, Captain didn’t move. I heard the sound of loud breathing above my head and felt another sensation through my back. Not the beating of his heart, but a slight tremor of his body.
Then I also saw the arms wrapped around my body trembling. Why is he…
“…Were you scared?”
There’s no way he was scared of the demon or beasts that he smashed.
“Scared that something bad had happened to me?”
Instead of his answer, I heard a small sound of sobbing. He stood, hugging me and trembling like a little kitten soaked in cold water. His actions made me feel something I couldn’t describe. I felt like I needed to comfort him. I was also worried but at the same time, it made me feel good. Was he so scared thinking that he almost lost me?
My Captain right now is kind of pitiful and sweet. Anyway, that feeling that I couldn’t describe was wriggling inside my chest.
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