Chapter 12: The Color of Blood
「About the fight with the demon beast from the other day. Did I tell you that I was recognized by the Knight’s Order? 」
「Yes, you did. But your behavior is rude no matter how good your results were that day. You keep saying that I’ll be punished if I break or fail at something. You’re completely deplorable. Don’t you think that you’ve got a very bad habit?」
Caria Burdnick bit her lips as if she was irritated with me. However, even though she was reluctant at first, she eventually accepted what I thought about her.
She was the one at fault for being unreasonable and rude. In the end, it ended up as a great deal of self-reflection.
There was no doubt that her deed was a great feat. When it comes to fighting monsters, she always showed remarkable maneuvers. Even then, she kept improving her skills dramatically. No wonder that her actions were met with respect and astonishment.
Talented people like Caria Burdnick are often insensitive and incomprehensible towards other people. She lowered her head and winked her eyes at the letter.
The people from the Order probably wanted to reward this genius by sending her along with me on this quest. They have a habit of rewarding someone’s efforts by giving them more tasks. Failure would mean that a person would no longer be useful, thus becoming an outcast. But to give her this particularly quest is questionable. Maybe she’s here to cause some fear, or avoid any complications, and in some cases, even persecute lawless people. She’s the Order’s trustworthy underling right now and she’ll likely report any anomalies she finds.
After a short while, she looked at me with suspicious eyes, as if she was examining my behavior. She looked like a “monster” with those cunning eyes, truly different from me, different from human beings. I’m sure my face turned pale.
I will not let her distract me. I finished eating the red fruit as the red juice spread on my mouth. I only left the core with the seeds.
「Since we’re on this topic, I must say that your actions were reckless during that time. I’m sure there was another way for you to showcase your skills. 」
I touched a sensitive subject yet she didn’t hesitate to answer me.
「I needed fame. You know that my family name Burdnick has a bad reputation. It was hard to make a living like ordinary people do. So, I did it for my father…no, for my House. That’s what noble Knights would do if they were on my shoes. Well, I guess common people like you won’t understand anything about it. 」
I don’t care about it anyways. Yet, she ended up speaking unpleasant words as always.
To be honest, unlike Caria Burdnick, I grew up as an orphan. Yes, I don’t know anything about her life but I don’t intend to even try to understand her. I never had parents. If I were to have a slight grasp of what a household with a family feels like, then Ms. Ninz and Ariene were the closest relations I always had in the first place.
「For the House and for my father. I will surely… 」
I was looking at Caria Burdnick’s silver hair. I never really paid much attention to it, but her hair had a very interesting color. On that moment, I pondered about her most recent words. For her father’s sake. I wonder what kind of person is her father. Even so, I was a little surprised to find out that she actually had compassionate feelings about other human beings.
Of course, this woman was also in love with our Rescue Party Hero, but other than that, she never displayed much affection. Her emotionless behavior shown in the future still had a strong impact on how I judged her character.
「Well, well, is that so. Then, it’s good for you. I do understand that in the end you want to make your father proud. 」
「Hey, you bastard. What the hell are you talking about? There’s no way you can possibly understand me. Be more respectful ‘kay. You are a commoner, while I am from the Knight Class. Even a child would know who is above who, got it? 」
Caria Burdnick was angry with me, but at the same time, she smiled a little bit. There’s no way this woman would have a graceful expression. Now that I mention it, I do not remember seeing this woman’s decent smile.
Her superior attitude because of her Knight Class was not that irritating to me. Certainly, the Caria Burdnick from the Rescue Party behaved with more cruelty towards me than her past self.
「Dear guests. Please don’t move around inside the carriage or the wheels will oscillate. We are currently crossing a rocky terrain. 」
The coachman turned around as he noticed that we kept moving around in the carriage. Afterwards, Caria Burdnick stopped moving herself as instructed by the coachman. In a second…
We heard a sound that felt like it cut through the wind.
The carriage lost its balance. There was a huge disturbance on its course as we kept hearing cracking sounds. Besides the windy sound, the cracks we heard came from the wheels of the carriage. We noticed that the wheels were broken. We could sense blood in the air as well.
I looked reflexively on the sound’s plausible direction. I was perplexed when I saw the front of the carriage. It was the worst scenario. The coachman was the main target. A single arrow shot him. However, the arrow pierced him so aggressively that blood spilled everywhere. There was blood in the air because of the strong wind. I could sense the smell of iron as the air became red.
The coachman’s body became like a wooden puppet and fell down from the carriage. We headed directly to some trees.
「Get down! 」
Caria Burdnick shouted aloud to lie down on the floor. The horses became uncontrolled because they lost their rider. The carriage was more unbalanced as the horses gained speed.
*repeated blowing sounds*
The same sound echoed several times at this time. Our faces became pale and our knees began shivering.
Bow and arrow. A ruthless weapon that could kill from far away. It was beyond our reach. However, if it was a sword or a spear, we could manage ourselves. But with a bow and arrow, we cannot defeat it unless we kill the user. We can’t protect ourselves with the carriage going randomly like this.
For now, we need to lie down and hide our appearances. We covered ourselves with the luggage.
After that, we had to wait patiently. Just endure.
There are no other options available to counterattack the arrows. Even if Caria Burdnick is with me, both of us are swordsmen. We can’t see the opponent. Nonetheless, our enemy’s arrows will eventually run out. I won’t let them take my life.
We have to hide and wait.
The arrows cut off through the strong wind and pierced mercilessly on the damaged carriage. The floorboards were ruined. The carriage was destroyed in the process. The cargo was destroyed as well and the horse fell to the ground.
The carriage finally stopped moving. Five horses were approaching us from the distance. I noticed five armed men riding those horses.
「…Is he alive? 」
「Apparently. I think he survived through the brink of death. 」
I looked inside the remains of the broken carriage and I saw red everywhere. Although the branches of the trees created a shadow over the blood, the reddish color was clearly visible.
Our horse was still attached to the carriage. However, it couldn’t move because it was hurt and exhausted. It ended up dying on the spot. It was far from being a pleasant sight. I heard many people say before that we sacrifice these animals for our greater causes. I’m not sure if I should agree with those remarks.
The five cavalrymen that attacked our carriage surrounded me with small-sized spears. I was cornered and outnumbered.
A man wearing a helmet spoke before me. He looked like he was their leader.
「Three of you must keep vigilant of our surroundings. I need just one of you to search through the carriage remnants and bring any documents you could find. Leave this one to me.」
Three of his subordinates started to search through that wreckage.
I was trying to get up, but my legs were too numb.
Every piece of wood was painted in red. This horrifying scene would even shock those who are familiar with terrible battles. The coachman was dead. Surprisingly, the silver-haired woman was covered in blood too. I was so shocked. I only saw lifeless bodies.
「But…These people were just decoys. They were too defenseless for people who were supposed to carry crucial documents. There was any resistance. 」
He was observing me while his subordinates kept searching around.
His words made perfectly sense. Yet, they still attacked a defenseless carriage. In fact, even before the attack, the possibility of this scenario happening was extremely high.
However, we tried to decrease the possibility of them finding out about our real purpose by dressing up like to look like ordinary people, but now it seems it was all for nothing, I’ll need to put up a fight. I must protect the letter and deliver it on time. However, not everything was going according to plan.
「I think this is it. This letter was standing next to that man. 」
「Okay…Does it has wax sealing? It seems it really has. But I don’t know if it’s real or false. 」
Someone like him mustn’t read the real contents of the letter. As I muttered, the man with a helmet raised the opened red letter towards the sun. The bright light illuminated through the letter and a light watermark appeared.
I thought it was a strange color. It was pale red even if it was blood. Maybe the person who had that blood had low pressure. That would explain the fainted red. The letter was heavily stained. The contents were hard to read even in the sun light.
I came to realize the imminent situation.
I can’t let him examine that letter. I must stop him at any cost. I thought of going behind his back and strangle him like a snake. But I was outnumbered to accomplish such feat. My breath was disturbed. I have to kill the enemy. When? How? I have to take him down or it will be too late. I need some urgent backup!
All of my worrying thoughts ended up in vain. I had no time to think of a solution as I saw one of the men’s throat being cut with a blade. Another of his subordinate’s throat was sliced by the silver aired-woman. She was supposed to be dead as her body was covered in blood. She had faked her death. Her blood was pale just like the blood in the letter. Wait. That’s not blood. That’s some kind of juice.
However, the blood was real this time, she had cut those man’s throats. There was spilled blood on the ground. It was a vivid and darkish colored-blood. Yes, now that’s a familiar blood color.
Hope you all have a great weekend!
See you next week! 😉