Volume 2 Chapter 10
After Karile fell asleep, Witsen left and went to the rocky platform where Rawls was standing guard for the night. Rawls stood on the platform, looking at the moon hanging high up in the sky, seemingly deep in thought.
“Ugh… Mr. Rawls,” Witsen said as he climbed up the stone platform.
“Oh it’s you, just call me Rawls,” Rawls replied. “Spare the honorifics, here, have a seat.”
“Okay.” Witsen sat down.
“Dealing with an old gramps like me must be tiring for you.”
“Of course not, you’re as strong as ever.”
“Hahaha,” Rawls laughed as he touched his beard. “Lil’ fella, have you been to the north?”
“No, I come from the south.”
“Oh? Is that so? I’m from the south also.”
“Haha, what a coincidence.”
Witsen realised that the atmosphere was getting more awkward by the minute. Men either talked about their country or their lives and aspirations, but Witsen did not want to talk about either subject.
“Ahem,” Rawls cleared his throat before continuing, “That… When you have time, you can join…”
Rawls cut himself short. Even he knew he was spewing nonsense; with the undead legion emerging once again, who would go back to the frontiers just to die? Rawls wanted to chatter with Witsen, but they were not too familiar with one another.
The two quietly sat there, looking up at the moon hanging high in the sky. The sickle-shaped moon reflected light from the sun to become the night’s monarch. It was dimmer when compared to a full moon due to its current shape, allowing the distant stars to show their glory in the sky temporarily.
However, even the night’s monarch was nothing compared to the true ruler of the skies—the sun. When dawn came, the sun would eventually shower the land with its grace and outshine every other star. The distant stars might be hundreds or millions times larger than the sun, but this was not their territory. No matter how large or bright they were, the stars were still millions of light years away. There was no way for them to beat the sun when it was so close to the continent, comparatively speaking.
Many people thought of the undead legion as the distant stars. They believed that as long as they hid in the south, it would take decades for the legion just to reach their location. This thought probably existed in everyone’s mind, the difference being how much the person believed in this overly optimistic thought. It was a representation of one’s mental strength.
When Witsen opened his eyes, the sun was already up. It was probably the most peaceful sleep he had ever since he entered this weird dimension. No dreams, no nightmares, just a night of good sleep. It felt so good that it took him a while to realise that Karile was hugging his arm as though it was a pillow.
Wisten intended to free his arm, but he decided against it on second thought.
It’s fine I guess…
For some reason, Witsen’s mind was at rest, like a drifting raft that had finally reached the shore. It was a confusing feeling, but he felt safe and secure regardless. That was until his arm became sore. He tried to pull his hand out, but Karile held onto it even tighter. His almost paralysed arm then felt a special sensation, and he shook his arm slightly to confirm it.
This soft sensation… That’s…
It was at this moment Plato appeared and greeted him.
“Hey, morning Witsen!”
“Mhm…” Karile mumbled with a sleepy expression as she had just woken up from Plato’s loud greeting. “What’s going on…”
“Karile… Karile? Wake up,” Witsen said softly.
“Mhm… shut up,” Karile responded with a nudge and held his arm even tighter than before. “Five minutes.”
“Hold up… My arm!” Witsen could no longer stand it despite the wonderful sensation. “Ka-Ka-Karile! Just wake up already! My arm’s gonna be wasted!”
All of a sudden, Karile sat up abruptly like a zombie, scaring Witsen.
“Damn, what the hell?”
“Too noisy,” Karile stared daggers at him.
“What, you’re gonna zombie bite me?”
Their banter quickly came to an end as they quickly prepared for the mountain trek to come. Before they set off on their journey, Rawls had called the three over and warned them that the mountain was nothing to be trifled with. Not only were the rocks round and slippery, there were also mountain bandits residing there.
Fortunately, the weather was decent. Climbing a snowy mountain in autumn was no easy feat, let alone in poor weather. Rawls led the group through one of the safest valleys in terms of terrain, but precisely because of the relatively safe terrain, monsters such as goblins sometimes appeared. The hike was already a challenging one, and they now had to be quiet as to not alert the nearby monsters.
The bottom of the valley was a river, but it was currently so shallow that it was almost like a rocky path with puddles. Although the weather was generally cold in autumn, the temperature gradually increased as the sun rose higher up. As Plato was short, he broke off a branch and used it as a cane, which proved to be pretty helpful for him.
“Hah… hah…” They were not even halfway through the valley, but Plato was already gasping crazily for air. “Can… can… hah… we rest a bit?”
“Endure it,” Rawls replied. “The longer we stay here, the more dangerous it gets.”
“Ugh fine,” Plato grumpily said as he kicked a stone in frustration.
The stone quickly rolled down the slope, causing noises as it tumbled its way down. Rawls glared at Plato, but it was already too late—the monsters already knew they were there.
This is bad…