Kalion pierced headlong through the army of Haband without a single thought. He couldn’t figure out what the hell was going on, but there was only one thing he knew he must do, and that was to be by Erna’s side.
Cedric clenched his teeth as he wielded his sword alongside Kalion, swearing to himself that he ought to resign after this madness. The knights also unhesitatingly bloodied their blades to make path for the grand duke.
Kalion was able to break through the army of Haband and gallop to the Grand Castle faster than anyone else. As he dismounted from his horse, the landscape around him began to distort ominously. Kalion looked up at the sky franticly and cursed, “Bastards!” This was all too familiar; it was the same magic that had trapped him in the Wynfield Valley. He had seen magic letters hovering over Aether’s army, so this was clearly their doing.
“F*cking bastards!” Kalion hissed. He ran towards the Grand Castle, but the space was unintelligible. Even though he knew it was useless, Kalion thrust the sword in front of him, and it pierced the space behind his back. Kalion realized that the magic that entrapped him now restricted his movements more than in the valley. In other words, this magic was more vicious and powerful.
In the Wynfield Valley, nearly half of the valley was within the scope of magic, so it was possible to wander around to some extent. Their movements were not so limited; they could hunt wild animals for food and drink valley water.
But nothing was possible in this space right now.
Kalion hurriedly searched for the magic’s standard, but standards were seldom discovered. He had only managed to locate it back in the valley during the night, as standards emitted a faint light. But there was no time to wait for darkness to fall. Kalion recalled the image of Erna leaning out the window of the castle, reaching out her hands to him. He didn’t want to be late; he wanted to be by her side and hear her voice that he missed so much.
It took him a long time to get out of the Wynfield Valley, but since the magic around him now had a narrower range in comparison, it would take less time. It would be difficult to endure in a space where there was nothing to drink or eat, but Kalion couldn’t care less.
Erna. Would she be able to hold out until he broke free from this trap? Since the moment they parted, Kalion was engulfed with the dread of never seeing her again. What should I do? Kalion thought. He felt as if he had become a lost child. He only wanted to return home, to Erna’s side, but there were so many people in the world who interfered.
Suddenly, the space was distorted even more bizarrely. Instinctively sensing the danger, Kalion withdrew a few steps back. He heard the sound of an enormous rock being crushed, and the horse in front of him turned into chunks of flesh and crushed bones. Kalion didn’t have time to be surprised—he was obviously the next target. Aether seemed to consider him an enemy to kill; otherwise, they wouldn’t use this magic.
Kalion remembered when he had been poisoned. He was certain it was the doing of his older brother. He had sent him to Hessenguard at a young age and helplessly, expecting him to die at the enemy’s hands. Perhaps he didn’t like that he was alive and breathing after all his ploys to put him to death.
Hatred and anger boiled within him, but Kalion couldn’t vent those feelings now. He must escape safely and find Erna, and to be able to do so, he must not allow his ravaging emotions to get the better of him.
At that moment, a ray of light shone above him. He looked up in surprise and saw a portion of the distorted sky in its original appearance where the light emerged. Kalion didn’t budge, as if his instincts were telling him that it wouldn’t harm him. The light seemed to pour over him and then stopped at his chest. Kalion knew what was there.
He felt something tug his necklace, so he reached out his arms unconsciously. There was only chaos around him, but amid the chaos, a familiar warmth engulfed his hand. It was intimate—one he could not possibly forget. It was the same warmth he felt in that one dream not long ago. This time, however, all he could see was light.
As Kalion grasped the familiar touch, Erna’s fingers intertwined with his as if she had been waiting. Kalion pulled her toward him as he felt both of their desperation.
It’s all right. I’m back. I’m here.