Chapter 81: The Flowing Blood
「I wonder if the princess will come. 」
A low voice echoed in the darkness. The faint light from a candle shook the ambiance of the room.
As that voice spread to the surroundings, small and whispering voices emerged from all over the darkness. The breath from the living stood around the table. In fact, this breath was weaker than the fire that came out of the small candle on the table.
The place itself was like moving sand. Everyone’s feelings were skeptical, swaying in the dark.
Their hearts were still vacillating, and they were far from being determined. They nervously blinked their eyelids repeatedly. This sudden disturbance caused their body to enter a fight-or-flight* state. Their legs developed tremors as if anxiety took over their minds.
They needed a switch to their hearts. It was time to scrape off their chests with a knife and decide everything. Even in the unknown moment in this era, all of them needed the switch to act as a key in order to move forward.
「Shush…Be quiet. 」
Suddenly, a strong-sounding voice echoed aloud. Who was the owner of this voice? Nobody knew.
The few whispering voices that crawled out of the darkness, quietened immediately. It was not because they were spearheaded by something, but because they were spearheaded by the words of the strong voice.
Then, every single life in the room began to notice the presence of emerging lights. Actually, these lights were different from the candle light. Faint glows that sprang on their own.
The nature’s spirits. It seemed that this force belonged to a high-ranking form. It was no secret that only those who were loved by the spirits were spared and were given the power to use them freely. No one dared to kill anyone who had the blessing of the nature. These spirits projected their own appearance to that said person as if they were their guardians. They could invoke themselves from a completely different place or be extremely far away. It didn’t matter much. The blessing of the spirits transcended time and space. This was what people called a miracle.
Yes, that’s right. Only one woman in Ghazalia had the power to create such a miracle. A blessing that made her special, unique and untouched.
Everyone stopped swallowing their saliva and made no further noise. Every single person was trying to open up their eyes and their ears, in order to grasp the miracle that occurred inside of this room.
In the dark, particles of light accumulated as if they were gathering with one another. Eventually, they formed a familiar shape.
The pale sparkling crystals created themselves a unique shape that resembled a doll. It was unmistakably the shape of an elf.
「…Fearful voices from the shadows. Can you hear me? 」
The miraculous light illuminated the smile that everybody saw in the dark. This smile was even more beautiful than the moonlight. That’s right. A sight that nobody dared to avoid.
On this moment, the hearts of the people in this room were swallowed by a great stream. Every single breath stopped vacillating and their determination increased tremendously. As if their blood erupted from the back of their chest.
The elves on this room were followers of the beautiful elf princess that wanted to bring back Ghazalia to the good old days. Ghazalia was ruled by the old elf, Lagias. He was a villainous elf, which needed to be eradicated fast. She swore to her heart that this was the right thing to do.
「…Thank you. I swear by my name Eldith and the noble blood that flows in me that we shall overcome this. I wish you all happiness.」
My shoulders were going numb. I exhaled lightly, twisted my shoulders, corrected my posture, and finally settled down.
I’ve only hurt my shoulder and hand. But, if I were careless, I could get hurt again. I had to feel sorry for myself too. I was often in miserable situations like this. Yes, situations where my body got hurt constantly.
Still, I had no body of an elf. I just had a weak and mortal body. Besides that, it was hard for me to embrace all of Eldith’s weight. The weight of her fate and the weight of her homeland bear down upon me.
I came to understand that she possessed a great power. She created her own illusion in a remote location without losing all consciousness. This power seemed to be part of the wisdom and energy that Edith borrowed from the spirits. Therefore, that meant that I didn’t see Eldith’s real body when I met her for first time in the woods. Matia’s soldier and I just saw an illusion.
I heard that once in magic, it was almost impossible to create an illusion connected with the invoker’s mind in a place far away from oneself.
And yet, Eldith created an illusion of herself far from this Tower. She managed to transport herself to the woods at the borders of Ghazalia. It almost seemed like supernatural work. However, that description wasn’t exactly correct. That’s right, it made sense now. After all, Eldith was the beloved child of the nature’s spirits.
However, no great power comes without weaknesses.
I noticed that Eldith’s posture remained serene. Her body was light and relaxed. I narrowed my eyes when I saw her performing her illusion skill. It seemed that she was completely defenseless when dealing with illusions. She needed to be protected or held by someone else. I thought that it would be ideal for her to lie down in bed and pretend to asleep so that it wouldn’t raise any suspicious from the outside guards. However, she said that it wouldn’t work that way.
If I looked closely, I noticed that Eldith’s eyes were slightly thin, and her lips quivered. There was no doubt that she was dealing with the power of illusions.
At this precise moment, Eldith was trying to get to the designated meetinghouse. The elves in that house could be Ghazalia’s valuable supporters for Eldith. They were the ones who had the power to become Eldith’s arms and legs. Without their cooperation, we won’t be able to escape from this Tower.
Therefore, tonight must be successful. For that reason, I held onto to Eldith while checking up the surroundings.
Even so, I felt great anxiety on my chest. After all, these so-called supporters were the elves who didn’t act against the coup d’état, which happened in the old days. They accepted the rule of Fin Lagias without defying him.
If so, then no one would take part in this rebellion even if the leader were Eldith. Besides, the race of elves was very ancient, most probably because of their longevity. A decade or two decades for humans were just a little moment in the lives of the elves.
Therefore, it may not be possible to give the sense of urgently to some elves.
Either way, this wasn’t something that could be decided immediately.
In that case, I had to wait for several minutes while holding onto to the elf princess. And if something bad happened over there, then I would have to wait several hours.
Suddenly, the back of my brain shook for a moment. I blinked my eyes.
Up until now, I had never stared at Eldith’s face so closely. I never had the opportunity to see her clearly. For me, she looked intangible. Far away. As if she never stood there in the first place.
After all, she was terrifying and poisonous to my eyes. This immaculate face portrayed with such beauty was never perceived by my old self. She always had that royalty aura. An unmistakable princess who had grown in a greenhouse.
I sighed unexpectedly. Even though our bodies were touching each other, it felt as if I were someone unworthy in my chest. It was a feeling of inferiority rather than revulsion.
I’ve always felt it. From my time in the Journey of Salvation up until the present.
This person was Eldith, a member of a royal family from birth. Their subjects worshiped these royals. And even if these royals were sent into prison, the soldiers were obliged to honor these prisoners.
This subject was particularly heavy to my heart. Yes, in the past. I always felt unfortunate and someone lowly. Yet, something changed recently.
Why was this happening to me now? What was this? Wasn’t this feeling good? It felt as if I were proud of something inside of my body. As if it were buried in me since the day I was born.
Recently, the anxiety that surged in the chest became quiet. It would be natural for my rage to erupt in this sort of place. But, it didn’t happen. I had no other choice but to wait. In this Tower, even the sound of the wind didn’t echo.
Caria gave me her hand, and I won over Filaret’s heart. Right now, I tried to put this elf princess in the palm of my hand. Ah, this was a huge deal for me. My old self wouldn’t even believe this. I felt as if I was the true villain.
Even that hero, Helot Stanley, was rewarded with my strike. No matter how far back I stood in this era, these occurrences were too good for me.
Yes, for me they were.
I involuntarily bit my lips with my front teeth.
I mustn’t get too self-confident. There was a black stain on my chest that I could never wipe away. It would never disappear no matter how hard I tried.
It was something that couldn’t be overturned in any way. It had been determined since I was given this life. In other words, my birth status. What kind of blood was flowing in this body? It was rather obvious. An irreplaceable point.
Indeed, irreplaceable. No matter how far back I came in the past, this body of mine was insignificant. I was just a lowly rat that was bred in the slums. Yes, I was raised in the slums dirt.
No matter where I went, I never stood at the same level as them. I envied them to the core of my heart. Talent wasn’t the only difference that distinguished them from me. There was also difference in the blood that overflowed through their body. The difference in birth.
The birth and blood flowing in this body. What an irreplaceable difference.
Therefore, I wondered why I felt this good. How could I feel this way? No matter how lucky I may be. In the end, all of them belonged to a different league.
The muddy and tenacious emotions stuck into the depths of my viscera. Forever.
Worthless. Such dull thoughts were confusing me. I couldn’t even describe the current relationship I had with Caria and Filaret. Were they really my comrades right now? I felt a muddle in bottom of my heart.
I understood two things very well. First. Caria and Filaret. Their feelings for me weren’t bad at the moment. After all, I was a non-talented person, and yet, I received their affection. It was unbelievably comfortable now when compared to the past hurdles. It was a delight and a pain at the same time.
Should I enjoy this? Should I accept this? I knew the answer. I was bound to be disappointed in the end. I shouldn’t let my guard down. I shouldn’t let these feelings of comfort cloud my judgement. Eventually, my heart could be deceived and it could be knocked down.
Right now, I was just an imposter. I was just riding along the curve with the knowledge I used for my advantage. I was only an ordinary person. There was no reason why they should favor me.
Still, I just had to scratch my legs. Even if I didn’t know what was in store for me in the future. I just didn’t want to give up now. However, in the depths of my heart, I kept remembering the limits of my non-talented facade.
I clenched my lips with such strength, that blood began to surge and dripped from my mouth. Red, a very red blood.
*The fight-or-flight response (also called hyperarousal or the acute stress response) is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival.
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