Volume 1 Chapter 5
This time around, I suffered quite the injury. It felt as painful as having my soul sucked away, if not more. With Karile lending me an arm, I limped back to my room and rested on the bed. It took ten whole days for my situation to take a turn for the better. During that period, a rune gradually appeared on my arm without me noticing until the tenth day. After I rested enough, I went to the church to find Karile. When I got there, she was preparing breakfast.
“Karile.” I showed her my arm. “Have you seen this rune before?”
From my knowledge, the rune was what we call Omega【Ω】, the last Greek letter, and was also the symbol for electrical resistance. However, I knew that this symbol must mean a lot more. Karile walked over and pulled up her sleeve, showing a rune of her own.
“So it’s called Alpha? I don’t know much about these runes. I just know that some nation far, far away uses these letters. It looks like you know more about them than I do.”
Why would there be Greek letters here? Was it a mere coincidence?
“You’ve never seen any language that uses these letters?”
“Nope,” Karile casually replied as she took out a small leather notebook from her pocket and flicked to a random page, then showed me the contents. Written on it was an unknown language composed of both cuneiform letters and alphabets. Unsure if it was the language itself or that the person who had written it had great handwriting, it was rather soothing to read it despite not knowing its contents. It was only then that I realised something was off.
“Our languages are different, so how are we conversing right now?”
“This… I don’t know either. Perhaps it’s a coincidence. The language we speak here is separate from our writing language.”
Dong… Dong… Dong…
The bell sounded before I could investigate the new language.
“It’s time, huh,” Karile murmured then turned to look at me. “Eat up. After you finish breakfast, we’re leaving this place.”
Today’s breakfast was something I missed a lot from my original world—rabbit stew. I have to admit Karile is a competent cook. Starting from the first day, she has never repeated a single dish, bringing something new to the table every time we ate. As for the rabbit stew, I asked her to cook it for me last night because I really wanted to taste it.
“Not bad, the taste is on spot.”
“Just ‘not bad’, huh?” Karile placed her hand onto her bow.
“No no no, it’s great, really.”
After finishing breakfast, we headed towards a town named Karl. In order to reach the town, we need to traverse through a dense forest. The thick vegetation prevented sunlight from reaching the ground, thus the forest was just as dark as a cave. Despite that, Karile moved through the forest as if she seemed to know the place inside out. Just like how life gives you light after a period of darkness, the forest was the same. It took us a few hours to reach the exit of the forest, but we could see a lot further as we exited. Straight ahead was Karl, the town Karile spoke of.
Karl was situated on the edge of the continent, and was the most prominent town in the remote border regions. Merchants who came from inland, nearby hunters, and adventurers who seeked treasure in the deserted lands of unknown all gathered in the town. Normally, cities like these were ruled by a lord or someone with equivalent power, but this was apparently not the case here. The ruler here was more of an honorary figure rather than one with actual powers. In fact, this place seemed more like a lordless town. Strangely enough, there were little to no crimes in the town, as though some organisation was controlling everyone behind the scenes.
We went to an inn named Jade Leaf in the main street. From what I’ve heard from Karile, Jade Leaf was different from other inns. The first floor of the inn was a bar, and you could smell the fragrance of ale the moment you entered. The special thing about this place was that it was clean, almost too clean for a bar where many people gathered.
“Boss,” Karile went over to the counter and said, “A room please, a larger one!”
“Yo! Karile, what brings you here?” The boss looked at me, then showed an expression as if he had just understood something. “Ah, sorry, let me see.”
The boss was a brawny man with a long, curly beard, giving him a ferocious look. The blade scar on his left cheek further enhanced this image. After flicking through a notebook, he took out a key and handed it over to Karile.
“Second floor, the fifth room to the left.”
The stairs to the second floor were so clean that they were shining, but it still could not hide that the stairs were quite old. Halfway up the stairs, Karile suddenly turned back and asked, “Hey… Do you think that uncle had a strange look in his eyes just now?”
“What strange look?”
“Stop pretending, he wouldn’t think you’re my boyfriend right…”
Karile you airhead… You just had to say it out loud. There’s no choice but to tease her now.
“You… wouldn’t be hoping that was the case right…”
“Hah?!” Karile immediately flushed red like an apple and stammered. “N… N… No way! I… I was just saying it casually!”
“Heh,” I leaned closer and looked into her eyes. “Really? Why is your face so red then?”
“This this this this! This is… this is… Yes, I just have good skin. You’re just seeing things!”
I stopped teasing her after I noticed her hand holding onto her bow. Better not risk my life for some pointless banter.
The room we were given was not that large, but there were two beds and a fireplace at least. Next to the fireplace were two chairs, and opposite to the fireplace was a window which faced the main street. After taking a short break and unpacking our stuff, we headed down to the bar for a meal. The bar was quite large, and we picked a place near a corner so as to stay inconspicuous. Before our meals arrived, our ales were delivered to us. I drank a mouthful, and man did it feel great.
“Ah, that was great. Right, Karile, why are we here in Karl?”
Karile was deep in thought, her eyes glued to the inn’s entrance. Only after a while did she realise I was talking to her.
“Hm? Oh, we’re looking for someone.”
“Who are you looking for?”
“That I’ll have to begin by explaining a rumour I recently heard of.”