As Calian stepped forward, the man’s gaze turned to him. Calian stared right back at him and asked,
“What does he want?”
“He says he is looking for a child thief,”
“The tail is a little long for him to simply have come looking,” he looked at Yuran with a meaningful gaze and Yuran’s eyes quickly swept past Calian, and quickly realised what he meant.
While he checked the surroundings, Calian asked the stranger,
“What does the person you seek look like?”
“A young elf,”
Calian nodded his head and pointed to Sia,
“Go and check,”
From within the robes, the sound of a sharp breath could be heard. With the road suddenly open before him, the man hesitated, looking at Calian for a moment. [Translation By Tani Andris – taniandris.co.uk]
Calian looked at Yuran, who nodded his his chin sharply,
Calian continued with a smile,
“And once you’ve checked, go back as if it wasn’t the person you were looking for – if you want to live that is.”
The man’s eyes became fierce, Calian ignored that gaze and once again focused on the surrounding energy. From the moment the man had approached their party, he had felt a weak energy in the air – it was hostility and bloodlust.
Some people could hide their hostile energy, so even though he couldn’t tell exactly how many were in the bushes, he could at least gouge how many of them had arrows pointed towards them.
But the direction of the hostility was strange, it wasn’t just directed towards them in general, but specifically towards the stranger and Sia. It meant that the hidden men were waiting to kill both of them as soon as it was confirmed that the one inside the robes was Sia.
So Calian had understood that the man had been abandoned by his colleagues from the beginning and that whatever the elf, Sia, had stolen – it couldn’t be anything good.
Calian opened his mouth again,
“Don’t look away and listen, the ones hidden away are aiming at you and at that kid. As soon as you confirm it’s the child, the arrows will fly. So just go and try to make better friends,”
Of course the man didn’t believe what Calian had said, so his gaze slipped away – Calian made a thud on the ground with his foot,
“I told you not to do that,”
The words became the trigger,
In the same moment that Yuran and the knights pulled out their swords, six arrows flew.
Four of them were aimed at Sia.
Having been standing on guard, Kyrie and the knights were quick to block the remaining arrows and soon a second volley flew towards them.
This time, Calian also moved, he grabbed the man and pulled him down and the arrows that had been aimed at him bounced off a wide shield that had spread around them. It was Arsen.
Calian smiled brightly at Arsen. Soon Yuran shouted orders to the knights,
“Go and check it out, don’t chase them too far,”
The knights’ priority was to guard Calian, there was no need to catch those who shot the arrows since their attack wasn’t directed at Calian – their escort mission came first.
Five Knights darted out towards the forest at his words. Immediately after, another attempt was made at shooting them with the arrows and they once again were bounced back harmlessly – after that no more arrows flew in.
They would have chosen to run away.
Kyrie and two more knights who had protected Sia, approached Calian to take over holding the man Calian still had in his grasp but the man’s hand was already sneaking around his sword handle. Kyrie who saw it first, was started and yelled out,
Perhaps he had forgotten that it was Calian who had saved him, but that man pulled his sword out and drew it up.
Fortunately, Calian’s reaction was a little faster,
As soon as the man had reached towards his sword, Calian had let go of the man’s hand, and turned to the side – he lifted his knife to parry the blow to the opposite direction and at the same time, his low voice spoke,
In an instant, the arrow of wind that materialised without a chant penetrated the shoulder of the man holding the sword and dissipated.
As though it was flying, Kyrie’s sword struck the man’s –
The man’s sword flew out his hand.
The man could barely pay any attention to it – all of his concentration was on the wind that had penetrated his shoulder as he held onto it and shrieked in pain with his head digging into the ground.
Everyone but the man was silent – all of the knight’s eyes were on Calian who was slowly putting away his knife as if nothing had happened.
“I’m sorry, it was my carelessness,” Yuran said, stepping forwards and bowing his head. They were words expressed because despite having 20 guard knights, Calian was still put in some danger. [Translation By Tani Andris – taniandris.co.uk]
Of course it happened because Calian himself had stepped forwards, so he shook his and answered,
“Go and check on him,”
“Yes, your highness,”
Following Yuran’s instructions, two Knights stopped the bleeding and treated him and treated him – since they would have to interrogate him, it would be a bit of a pain if the man died or fainted and they had to wait for him to wake up.
The knights looked at the man’s wounds, then at each other. The same thing was running through their heads at the moment – they were recalling Calian’s sharp movements and magic.
Didn’t Yan mention how he had only learned a little swordsmanship as self-defence and Alan Manasil had professed that he had no magic talent – a prince as delicate as a flower?
In what world would that be considered delicate?
The knights kept glancing back at Calian, who had a serene expression, even as they dragged the man away.
Calian was about to turn to Sia when he paused, this time, it was Yan who was staring at him.
Of course he knew about the magic, and he knew Calian had been practising his swordsmanship with Kyrie so rather than being surprised, he looked more angry.
If Yan had any issues, it was his inability to recognise skill – or specifically, he didn’t seem to be able to see Calian’s skill at all.
“Your highness, it almost became a problem again!”
A storm of nagging began.
Why did he step forward when there were knights all around him, what would he do if he got hurt and saying he was so lucky nothing went wrong – such words continued for a long time.
It was clear that to Yan, the man who had been dragged away by the knights with his shoulder pierced and bleeding might as well have been invisible.
Calian, who had been nagged at for a while, turned his head quietly and caught Yuran’s eye – who then immediately avoided his gaze.
He knew about Yan’s denseness and it was clear he was holding back his laughter. As the nagging that had seemed endless finally came to a close, the knights who had entered the forest chasing after the archers, returned.
They had no injuries, but no success either. Yuran who hadn’t asked them to catch the archers, didn’t reprimand them for anything, and instead asked,
“How many were there?”
One of the five knights came forward to answer,
“A total of seven people, they scattered right away and left no discernible trace,”
“Alright, I understand,”
All he had done was stop on his journey to get some rest and eat and had met an elf but he got caught up in something unexpected and endured a lot of nagging, so Calian stomped forwards towards Sia and whipped off the robe that he had been using to cover himself.
Before the fight with the man, Calian had regarded Sia with a smile on his face, but now his gaze had become quite fierce. Sia’s eyes were filled with fear and they both spoke at the same time
“Luca did. I don’t know,”
“What did you steal?”
When their words overlapped, Calian stared at Sia, so he spoke again,
“Yeah. I don’t know,”
“You didn’t know?”
“Those guys were saying you’re a -”
Calian stopped talking in the middle of his sentence and held a hand to his temple. He understood the problem now.
Without turning his head, Calian called the best person to deal with the situation,
“Yes, your highness,”
Arsen, as a mage, was the smartest person here. He came straight to Calian upon being called,
“He’s answering me before I even ask my questions,” Calian said, frowning down at Sia.
Only when Arsen thought back to Sia’s words so far, did he realise what Calian meant. He let out a soft ‘Ah!’ sound.
Calian didn’t want to deal with the weirdly speaking elf any longer and said,
“We’ll find out how he’s doing that later. It looks like Lord Rauchel is going to interrogate that man from before so Lord Hertz, I’ll leave sorting out what the elf is saying to you. Between the two of them, we should know what’s going on. Until he departs, you’ll be in charge of conversing with him,”
It was from this moment that Arsen’s thorny path began.
They were back on the road and Arsen was still trying to clear things up with Sia,
“So what you’re saying is, you don’t know anything about it,”
“In addition, you don’t know what the stolen object is?”
“Also, you are a…”
At the sound of the conversation that wasn’t quite a conversation, the knights lowered their heads and from time to time, their shoulders would tremble. They couldn’t laugh to their hearts content so some of them wanted to cry.
The only one who could act however they wanted was Calian, who would occasionally chuckle softly.
[I feel sorry for the mage]
Kiriye, who saw Hina’s sign language, smiled slightly.
A while later, Arsen, who had noted down everything he had learned from Sia, motioned towards Yan, checking it was alright if he could approach Calian with his report. Yan checked with Calian and nodded, before slowing down his horse and falling back to keep pace with Kiriye.
Arsen came to Calian’s side to deliver the story,
“It means the spirit of a crouched horse. My mother’s tree gave it to me,”
“The child’s name is Ciarus Tian Eureha, he is a 12 year old elf,”
Sia, who had been riding with Arsen added. Arsen fell silent for a moment before adding an awkward,
“…is what he says,”
“Carry on,” Calian replied briefly and Arsen continued,
“As you’re aware, the answer seems to come quicker than the question -”
Stopping the horse, Calin turned to look at him and Arsen lowered his head,
“Yes, your highness,”
Calian raised a hand and pointed at Sia,
“Do it in order,”
Arsen stopped talking because he became nervous for a moment, he thought about what it meant to do it in order and realised he should report it in order of what Calian had tasked him to find out from Sia.
Trying to shake off the idea that Calian seemed to be strangely strict with himself, Arsen replied,
“I apologise. First of all, we do not know what the stolen object was. This child wandered around with another elf named Luca and sold wooden sculptures. The other elf, Luca, was chased by a group of people who attacked him saying that they had something unusual – it seems he might have been the one to steal it.”
So he was saying that he didn’t know how or what Luca might have stolen. It was indeed surprising to find out that an elf might have stolen something but Calian simply nodded,
“As they were chased, they ended up getting split up – and that’s when he met us, your highness,”
Kalian’s head nodded once again.
“And as for the reason why he answers first, I was not able to find out the details. It seems his mouth just opens on its own and he cant help it, but it’s difficult to understand the child’s explanation accurately, I apologise,”
After hearing Arsen’s words, Calian looked at Sia. As Calian opened his mouth to ask a question, Xia replied,
“Not to that extent,”
He had wanted to ask if the child had foresight, but since he already had his answer, he just nodded. He looked briefly at the man who was tied to a horse with Yuran and another knight. He had fainted during treatment due to blood loss and had yet to wake up so they hadn’t been able to ask him any questions so far.
“Is there anything else?”
“No, your highness,”
In the end, they hadn’t been able to learn anything. Arsen said his greetings and went back to his place in the formation and Yan returned to his position by Calian’s side.
“Will you be looking into this matter yourself, your highness?”
They still had a long way to go on this journey, so Calian shook his head,
“I don’t think we should get tangled up and stop here – we’ll leave this matter with the Latran territory’s Lord,” [Translation By Tani Andris – taniandris.co.uk]
“Yes, your highness. Then what would you like to do with the little boy? I heard that his home was in Hiriska Forest,”
Calian’s expression became a little awkward. Hiriska Forest was too long of a distance for the Lord of this territory to send his own soldiers to escort the boy – instead, of all things, it was located near the Siegfried estate.
So what was he supposed to do with a child that had gripped the hem of his clothes?
“Even if it’s not to the entrance – we can take him nearby the forest,”
“Yes, since it won’t be dangerous for him now – I’ll make sure to let him know he can be relieved,”
Even if their journey was long and busy, they could still drop off one elf kid on the way.
Calian nodded silently.
Whoo, we’re finally into uncharted territory!
I’m going to try and keep free chapters at once per week but just be aware that advanced chapters won’t be available on patreon for some time for this story. I’m going to try and stockpile because I don’t want to split one raw chapter into several chunks.
Let me know that you think!