The Gap Between You and Me - Chapter 106
Bernard’s heart pounded with anxiety. It didn’t feel right.
Siorn, who asked with a puzzled look, glanced at the contents of the text written on the letter once again. Then he handed it to Bernard.
“To be honest, it feels like a village I’ve never heard of before.”
“They say it’s a village very close to the western border.”
As soon as he heard Siorn’s words, the name of a familiar village written on top of the letter caught his eye. Bernard held his breath. The feeling was equivalent to the ground he was stepping on had collapsed. Even though it was still clearly a bright day, his eyes went dark as if night had come in an instant.
“Bernard, have you ever heard of it?”
Siorn asked. But Bernard gave no answer.
It was the name of the village written in the letter sent by Jonathan a few days ago, where he had arrived safely with Herietta.
* * *
Inside a damp, dark cave.
Twenty or so people huddled together with frightened faces. It was so deep inside the cave that little light from the outside world could penetrate. Three or four torches were lit, but they were far from enough to illuminate the inside of the cave. They had to narrow their eyes and concentrate, but they could barely see the face of the person next to them.
It was a dangerous situation where they could step on the moss between the wet rocks and slip. Still, no one suggested adding more fire. They only looked at each other, but eventually chose to refrain from moving in the cave as much as possible.
Herietta was sitting in one corner of the cave. Leaning her head against the damp wall, she glanced down at the puddle of black water at her feet. The puddle was formed over a long period of time from the dripping water on the ceiling due to moisture.
Water droplets fell to the floor drop by drop at regular intervals. Each time, the calm surface of the water was rippled and a circular wave occurred.
‘Kustan is attacking Velicia.’
Herietta let out a long sigh as she gazed at the water that shone red from the reflection of the torchlight. Even though she had witnessed it with her own eyes, she still couldn’t believe it.
It was a day like any other. It was night. It was also the night where Herietta had made up her mind to leave Balesnorth as soon as the sun came up and crossed over to Brimdel. It was such an ordinary day, with nothing special or odd signs, except as her symbolic last night in Velicia.
And that very night. After a long day, a large-scale Kustan army suddenly attacked the village of Balesnorth, which was enjoying a peaceful and quiet night. The troops that Kustan had were huge enough to make her wonder if they had brought all of them.
Hearing the sound of the emergency bell ringing from afar, the Velician soldiers rushed out of the fortress, but it was already too late. They were not even given time to properly arm themselves, let alone prepare to face the enemy. In addition, the number of troops differed by dozens of times.
Wouldn’t it be more difficult to break a child’s hand? The Velician soldiers fell like paper dolls in front of the Kustan soldiers who were running with their cavalry soldiers at the fore. The village of Balesnorth, which had been spending a peaceful night, became a mess in an instant.
It happened literally in the blink of an eye.
Herietta’s complexion darkened as she recalled the past.
Deafening roar and tearing screams. The sound of thousands of horses’ hooves, so loud that the ground shook. And the fierce flames that soared high into the sky and engulfed everything around them. Scenes that seemed like a terrible nightmare passed before her eyes.
It seemed that the distant sound of horns still echoed in her ears. A thick and ominous horn that seemed to be calling from the depths beneath the abyss.
It was already late when she got out of bed and checked out the window, wondering what was going on.
Had she left Balesnorth as originally planned.
Had she left Balesnorth a day sooner.
After being semi-forcibly trapped in this cave, Herietta has regretted it countless times. They say that there is a proper order and timing for everything in the world, but unfortunately she missed both of them.
‘No. If so, I might have faced a worse situation.’
Herietta worked hard to turn her negative thoughts into positive ones.
‘No matter what the place is, first of all, it’s important to be alive and well. There must have been several people who died without being able to leave the village. I’m very lucky.’
Herrietta saw Lucas, who was sitting not far from her.
It was by sheer chance that she ran into him in the middle of the village, where the sudden attack had turned the place into a sea of fire. He managed to recognize her in the midst of the chaos, and thanks to that she was able to take refuge here, following his father and some people who knew of the cave’s existence.
It was fortunate indeed. Otherwise, it would have been almost impossible to get out of that hellish scene unscathed, no matter how nimble and brave Jonathan was.
‘Anyway, where is Sir Jonathan by now?’
Herietta suddenly remembered the knight, who left her here two days ago. He politely declined her request to go inside with her.
‘Not far from here is Arrowfield. If I keep going, I’ll probably be able to get there in half a day.’
Then he added:
‘I will inform the Lord of Arrowfield about this and ask him to send troops. If I go there, I will also be able to find a messenger, to get in touch with the capital.’
Although he was ordered by Bernard to escort Herietta safely to the border, he was a Velician knight first and foremost. He could not stand still and watch as his country was mercilessly trampled under the feet of the enemy.
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