Erna, who had finished conjuring the magical runes, gave a signal to Orpé and stood in the middle of her magic.
Kalion will be contacted soon.
He may not receive it as quickly as the wizards, but he will soon know from a knight from the Grand Castle.
I’ll have to go ahead and wait.
Kalion’s presence was crucial. The Grand Castle needed him, and so did his knights. Most of all…
I need him.
Erna touched the cheap necklace around her neck. Half of the heart with the letter K on it.
“I said I’d go with you.”
Kalion’s face as he spoke those words had never been more sincere. If Erna had said that she would go to the end of the world, he would have followed her silently.
We’ll be together soon.
When they parted, it had been difficult for Kalion. He could hardly let her go. As soon as he hears the news of the invasion of Aether, he will return like the wind.
Erna swallowed her words and cast her space-shifting magic, thinking she would be able to meet Kalion soon if she returned to the Grand Castle.
Kalion hissed as he kicked the corpse of the monster he had cut a while ago. The head of the monster with the size of a watermelon was severed from its neck and rolled over the blood-soaked ground with a rattling sound.
The decapitated monster’s head rolled toward Cedric, who stopped it with his feet. As he looked at it, his features were distorted. But he couldn’t complain to Kalion. If he did… My head will be detached from my body.
Cedric glanced at Kalion, who was exuding a terrifying aura. It has already been a week since Kalion became on edge. In fact, Kalion wasn’t the only one who was tense. In fact, calling them tense would be an understatement.
Cedric turned his body and looked at the knights’ breathing. They, too, were as restless as Kalion. Their eyes, as they wiped off the blood of the monsters off their armor, were all bloodshot.
A few of them were on the verge of losing their composure as they continued to look over the sky towards the Grand Castle. Concern was evident in their gazes.
It should be. Aether’s army had already entered Hesse, but the main pillar of the Hessenguard knights was stuck in the forest and had not been able to move for a week.
A week ago, when Kalion went out to look around the forest, to which he had returned late in the morning, the knights received a call from the Grand Castle that Aether had invaded.
It goes without saying that the knights immediately galloped towards the Grand Castle, but not long after, the knights were hindered by a horde of monsters.
“A monster? From here? On this scale?”
Kalion had looked at the monster, which blocked their way, ridiculously. Cedric and his knights felt the same way.
This valley was a place where no demons had ever appeared before. Even in Hessenguard, he had never seen this type of monster. Moreover, this valley was an unfavorable terrain for the knights to fight.
Cedric kicked the head of the monster to the side. Underneath it, traces of magic characters were visible. These were not naturally occurring monsters—these monsters were deliberately summoned by someone.
It must be Aether.
Who would be the ones who would contain the knights now other than the invading Aether?
Cedric, who had been behaving reservedly during his time in the Grand Castle, eventually came out with the tone of his mercenary days.
“You f*cking bastards. I’m going to pull out the intestines of those bastards and strangle them to death.”
But no one said anything to Cedric. Because everyone was of the same mind. Hearing Cedric’s words, Kalion wiped the monster’s blood from his face.
I’ll take care of it.
A week has passed and Kalion hasn’t been able to get out of this valley. Fortunately, the end was now in sight. The number of monsters summoned by an unknown opponent has significantly decreased. Judging by the number of appearances so far, they would probably be able to get out of the valley this evening.
Kalion fisted his hand.
He should have returned to Erna now.
Kalion wondered what had already happened.
Are they in a confrontation? Or did Aether manage to enter the Grand Duke Castle?
“They wouldn’t have been able to invade easily,” Kalion muttered under his breath.
Perhaps Erna would have returned to the Grand Castle first. With her magic, she could have gone back without encountering the demons.
And if she had indeed returned to the Grand Castle, they must be holding up well. Wasn’t she the one who handled her foreign affairs so well even though she hated doing it? Besides, the spell protecting the Grand Castle castle would still be maintained in her presence.
But I just can’t leave it all alone to her. I must go back as soon as possible.
Kalion patted his chest. He felt a small piece of metal underneath his clothing. He could still vividly feel Erna’s whisper in his ear as she hung it around his neck and hugged him.
He had said he’d be with Erna wherever she was. So he must make haste and return to the Grand Castle.
With that vow, Kalion went to the river to wash the blood of the monster, when suddenly, he felt an ominous presence. It was different—a presence not that of a monster but of a human. At the same time, a sharp arrow quickly flew towards Kalion.
* * *
Erna was reading a letter bearing the seal of Aether in the Grand Castle. While she scanned the content of the letter, she could not help but repeat the words in incredulity.
“Marry Ruben Aether?”