Erna woke up with a pounding headache. While blinking a few times she thought of something that had happened before she had blacked out.
It shocked her so much her eyes grew wide. When she had almost finished off the demons, the passage of the ruins had appeared, and as it widened she had fallen through the ground below…
Kalion had also grabbed her hand. The aghast Erna looked around her. It was a strange space she had never seen before. It was obvious that it was the ancient ruins she had fallen into, but where was Kalion?
She lowered her head at the groaning from below. Then she saw him, pinned below the debris. He groaned again, frowning as if he was about to get up. Erna hurriedly broke free from his arms and scurried back. Then, when the cold wall settled on her back she looked around once again after barely pulling herself up.
“This is… the ancient ruins.”
The chunks of light that seemed to be made from magic stuck to the wall, allowing both of them to glimpse at their surroundings. Erna’s eyes hastily scanned the inside of the ruins. She had never expected to end up in the place she had said that she would enter at some point.
It was a space made with stones stacked on top of one another, an architectural style she had never seen before. When she felt the wind blowing to the point where her hair fluttered slightly, it didn’t seem to be an enclosed space. The wind had that wet dirt smell that was native to underground terrains.
A little while later, Kalion was able to lift himself. He hastily scanned the surroundings as soon as he came back to his senses. Then, after discovering Erna staring at him from a few steps away he let out a sigh of relief.
“Hey, are you all right?”
Erna, who was going to say “thank you” because she felt sorry that he had fallen, recalled the fact that the two had been fighting loudly before the collapse. She hurriedly shut her mouth and rolled her eyes as she didn’t know whether she should scold him or thank him. Kalion, on the other hand, sighed again with an air of surrender and stood up, eyeing her up and down.
She doesn’t look injured. Her body didn’t look like it was in its best condition, but for now, she didn’t seem to have any visible injuries. Kalion tilted his head back to get a look at the ceiling of the ruins. What in the hell was that?
He tried to recall all of the ancient ruins passages he had seen up until now. The largest was large enough for a grown adult male to enter. The passage that had sprung up before the couple fell, however, was massive compared to that one. And more than anything, its shape was different. Like the big square gate at the Grand Castle. It wasn’t a hole created by a brief collapse of the ground; it seemed like a proper door had opened.
The strange part was there was only just one. The passageway of the ruins remained in place until it was created and disappeared. But even when Kalion and Erna looked up from the location they’d fallen to, the passage was not seen.
Kalion’s face sunk. To the best of his knowledge, entering and leaving the ruins was only possible through the channels created. There were horror stories about the ruins owing to that fact.
Greedy for the treasures in the ruins, people had explored the inside relentlessly, and the passageway of the ruins had closed on them. Many years later when people entered the passageway in that same place, there had been white valleys embraced with all kinds of gold and silver treasures.
Kalion swept his hair back ruggedly and turned his head. Erna, who was staring at him, said, stuttering,“P-passage… c-c-closed?” Her eyes were in the direction of the empty ceiling.
“It seems so.”
Her eyes trembled at his reply. She also knew about the horror stories of the ruins. If the passage disappeared, one wouldn’t know when it would open next. That meant that the two of them were trapped inside.
Erna staggered and lost her balance. Her frail body and feeble will couldn’t handle the situation she was currently in. Kalion, who looked at her trembling figure pitifully, sucked his breath and approached her to wrap his cloak around her.
“Hey! What is this!?”
“Let’s go out and argue.”
“What?” Erna looked at him, baffled.
“I’m saying let’s stop arguing until we at least get out of the ruins,” Kalion explained.
Erna, who was about to yell out in defiance, grabbed the cloak around her shoulders as she nodded helplessly.
He was scary, so was this strange place; and the fact that she couldn’t go back if she were to make a mistake. She would have cried immediately if she were alone. Even now she was ready to burst into tears. She was able to endure because of Kalion next to her.
“First let’s search around for a bit,” said Kalion as he reached out for Erna.
She grabbed his hand. All she could trust and rely on right now was him. Feeling that grabbing his hand wasn’t enough, Erna grabbed his arm instead, almost as if hugging him. Kalion could feel her trembling, and the warmth of her body as well.
With Erna in his arms, Kalion began to move. After looking around we ought to find some place to have a rest, he thought. Soon after, they were able to reach the huge entrance, which they assumed to be the door of the ruins. The moment Kalion stepped toward it, looking around just in case something dangerous was present, Erna gripped his arm.
Taken aback, he turned to her, who had been still up until now. “What’s wrong?”
He looked in the direction she was pointing. Above the entrance was ancient calligraphy written on a stone with a subtle glow; calligraphy he’d seen before.
“It’s ancient calligraphy.”
Kalion couldn’t care less about it. What he could read, however, was only ‘Hessenguard’ written at the end. What was written before that, he couldn’t make out. The moment he was about to walk past it, not wanting to spend any more time on it, Erna clutched him and said, “There… Our names are written.”