You, Who's Kind Only To Me - Chapter 9
“Given the situation, there’s no other choice. To avoid being overtaken again, we must deal with it as quickly as possible.”
He said, exerting force in his hand, causing the darkness to dissipate entirely. The crimson gleam in the man’s eyes, reminiscent of a young boy’s smile, shone chillingly.
With a solemn tone, Gillian with his lips tightly sealed, spoke,
“…..I will take the lead.”
A brief flash of crimson light gathered around the Duke. Each time, the blue jewel pendant around the man’s neck emitted a subtle radiance within the darkness.
* * *
The chimney, which used to emit white smoke daily, now lay silent. Narrow alleyways that children used to run through were overgrown with bushes, and the small village appeared weathered and corroded in various places.
The walls were spotted with a white mold-like rocksalts, as if water had seeped in and then receded.
Lucas removed one of his gloves and peeled off a piece of the white rock salt clinging to the wall. The crimson radiance silently permeated the salt deposits.
“What do you mean?”
“The age is unknown. It’s been around for so long that we can’t determine when it was created… If this wasn’t originally here, then it definitely has to do with the influence of the Altar.”
“Do you believe the Altar has been completed?”
He said, putting down the rock salt and wearing his gloves back on.
“When the Altar is completed, the flow of mana changes fundamentally. Reversals, backflows, and retrogressions occur. All the laws governing the material world are disrupted. The sun may set, water may flow from below to above, and time can either pass too quickly or too slowly.”
“Of course, these are all events that happen within the barrier, so even if the Altar is completed, there’s no need to worry too much. It doesn’t mean the Altar’s intent is directly reaching the ‘Nightmare.’ However, what we should be concerned about is when this flow persists for an extended period.”
The Duke chuckled.
“As the phenomenon continues, the Nightmare’s influence will gradually strengthen. That’s what we should worry about.”
He then turned his back.
“The fog has thickened.”
Gillian’s gaze followed the Duke as they looked outside of the village.
“You probably felt it too, but when the arrow was shot, the barrier surrounding the island strengthened.”.
“That means there’s a significant chance that the sacrificial offering still supplies power to the core. Perhaps we should consider that reinforcements coming from the outside are unlikely to come.”
The Knight Commander, gripping the hilt of his sword, tightened his grasp.
“It means if they can’t come in from the outside, we can’t go out from the inside.”
Tension spread across the faces of the knights.
“Don’t worry too much. After all, the core of the barrier is the magic core, so all we need to do is destroy the core. Having a clear target is a good thing.”
His words eased the tense atmosphere among the knights. In the Empire, there was a saying: the higher the lord’s status, the more radiance gleams on the knights’ armor and swords. The more the lord’s pride swells, the less blood stains the knights’ swords.
And as long as they can offer their loyalty to their lord, the knights have nothing to fear.’
“Let’s begin the search. Move in pairs of two. If you notice any suspicious movements or encounter any strange creatures, do not engage and retreat immediately.”
In a village where even the slightest everyday noises were absent during this time of day, the busy footsteps of the knights echoed in the silence.
Lucas turned his gaze once again towards the fog-covered village outskirts. As Gillian approached, the Duke spoke.
“It’s best to keep the worst-case scenario in mind.”
“…What kind of situation are you referring to?”
He added in a calm tone.
“The altar is inherently a one-way passage, so its power doesn’t increase over time. Even if you offer other sacrifices to an already activated altar, it’s the same.
“However, there’s one thing. The power can escalate gradually.”
His gaze turned toward the seaside where the sound of waves could be heard.
Even though it was a small island village, the distance between the beach and the village was considerable, so normally, these sounds wouldn’t reach here. He closed his eyes. Perhaps the boundary with the nightmare was already becoming blurred.
The sound of crashing waves, splash, splash… the sound of sand breaking. Something was being disturbed, broken, and submerged.
A world vanishing. What concerned him most was the incomprehensible singing voice whispering in his ear.
Someone called him. It was a beautifully enchanting voice.
“A living sacrifice.”
“It’s the favorite snack of nightmares.”
The duke let out a heavy sigh.
“Your Excellency, you should come and see this.”
Lucas, who had been searching the houses covered in mold and moss, got up at the sound of the voice looking for him.
Exiting the search area, Gillian handed Lucas something wrapped in cloth. Lucas glanced at it and unwrapped the cloth. It was a white skull.
“Where was this found?”
“They found it in that barn over there.”
“Let’s go take a look.”
As they followed Gillian, who was carrying what appeared to be human leg bones, two knights were waiting for them. Lucas asked.
“Have you found anything else?”
“Yes, Your Excellency. Over here.
One of the knights used the sheath of his sword to lift a cloth that had been laid in a corner.
“Is it… a family?”
The bones ranged from large skulls to small ones. Lucas examined the jawbones and confirmed that two of them belonged to children, causing him to let out a heavy sigh.
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