Rosetta stared blankly at Cassion’s face.
They were now inside House Valentine’s barracks.
After Cassion had collapsed, she immediately carried him here.
The priest quickly followed behind them.
However, the priest’s treatment did not prove to be effective.
“He lost too much blood.
The wound keeps opening back up, and it’s already started to get inflamed.
Additionally, I had used up a lot of my divine power while dealing with the monsters earlier, so…”
“Are you saying that you can’t treat him”
“Yes, it’s regrettable, but… that is the case.”
The priest’s voice dwindled.
There was a mixture of guilt and regret in his gaze as he looked at Cassion whose eyes were closed.
As though looking at someone who’s about to die.
Rosetta pushed the priest’s back.
There’s no way Cassion’s dying.
Why was he looking at him like that
Like calling misfortune to this place.
Rosetta pushed the priest’s back roughly, then she ran straight out of the barracks.
She came back as soon as she was able to drag back a few other priests.
Nonetheless, their responses were much the same.
They took turns pouring ineffective divine power into him, but other than groaning a few times, Cassion did not move.
Then, the priests shook their heads with sad faces.
The number of priests who went through the barracks exceeded ten.
But, before she knew it, only Cassion and Rosetta were left.
Rosetta could no longer leave Cassion alone to look for other priests.
At the back of her mind, she was still very worried about Alicia who’s somewhere outside, but she couldn’t take her eyes off the unconscious Cassion.
Right now, the worst case was creeping into her mind as well.
Everyone came to the same result.
She couldn’t help but think about it.
As his eyes were still closed, Cassion’s blue lips let out scorching breaths.
His body was like ice, but his breaths were hot.
It’s as if he’s exerting his entire body’s strength on just the singular task of breathing.
Rosetta held Cassion’s hand, leaning down against it.
The unfathomable reality was full of dread.
At this moment, she regretted helping all those people out of the selfish desire to relieve her guilt.
She should have just turned a blind eye on them.
She should have just run straight down the mountain.
And pretended that she didn’t see them…
In the first place, since when had she been so altruistic.
Foolish laughter spilled through her lips.
Strangely, tears would not come out.
Instead, a ferocious wave of anger reared its head through the gap in her rising emotions.
The name was spat out with such malice, however her voice trembled.
‘No, not right now…’
This anger should be set aside for later.
First and foremost, the priority was to save Cassion somehow.
No matter what, he must live.
Rosetta closed her eyes slowly.
As the pale, ashen face of Cassion disappeared from her sight, what appeared in her mind was the image of him as he was his usual self.
Her memories gradually turned back.
To the memory of when she and Cassion were catching the deer.
The memory of showing him the whip sword.
The memory of visiting the sick Cassion.
The memory of going together with him to his own funeral.
Then, more and more and more…
Back to the very first day she met him.
Even the memory of when his heart stopped for a moment.
As she clearly remembered his collapsed body on the ground at that alley, her closed eyelids slowly opened.
Beneath her trembling lashes, her golden irises were firm and did not quiver.
She deliberately straightened her posture.
Just now, she used both hands to hold Cassion’s hand as she buried her face in it, but she carefully put his hand back on the bed.
Her lips, which were without any strength at all, uttered a small voice.
As she looked at Cassion’s face, her gaze was both blank and clear at the same time.
She reached out slowly towards Cassion’s heart.
The very core and source of his mana.
Just as she did back then, when Cassion’s heart stopped.
As his mana began to circulate in his body before, all his wounds were suddenly healed.
Even the heart that once stopped started beating again.
In other words, he died and came back to life.
It could be described as nothing short of a ‘miracle’.
In the original novel, it was described as a ‘miracle that could never be seen twice’.
However, no one truly knows whether it’s actually a miracle.
So, if that miracle was sought after one more time…
Rosetta smiled faintly.
The face that now smiled was strange.
The corners of her lips were evidently turned up, however her eyes looked as if they would burst into tears at any given moment.
Rosetta brought her hand to his chest slowly.
It was cold everywhere she touched.
The mana that was now flowing in Cassion’s body was less than half of what usually circulated within him.
As long as his body could withstand it, she could twist his energy circuits little by little to make his mana flow.
‘Maybe there wouldn’t be any point in twisting his energy circuits.’
But whether there were still a lot of energy circuits that she could twist now or whether there’s only a few, there was no other choice.
In order to save the man who the priests had given up on.
In order to save the minor villain who’s about to die a dog’s death.
In order to finally cut down the fate of death standing in his way.
I’ll bet everything.
With a nervous gulp, Rosetta closed her eyes again.
A few indistinct breaths moved back and forth through her lips.
The trembling breaths gradually found their calm.
And soon, her fingertips were covered with qi.
All she could hope was that this dangerous gamble would work.
* * *
The rain started to subside.
Due to the dark, overcast sky, it was difficult to know how much time had passed.
In many ways, this day was perfect for the word, ‘disaster’.
With this terrible weather, with those horrifying monsters.
Dagger in hand, Diana had a grim smile on her lips as she hacked away at what’s in front of her.
Her left shoulder had become injured from dealing with a monster earlier.
It seemed like the only thing she could trust now was this right arm of hers, which too was limp and stiff already.
Even beyond that, because she had been wielding her dagger continuously until now, the skin of her palm was torn and blood continued to trickle out.
Just like the blue mucus that was flowing down the gaping mouth of the monster she was facing now.
Staring at the growling monster that was coming closer and closer, Diana muttered.
“Already persistent as it is, but now they’re somehow evolving.”
Unlike the monsters that first attached her, the monster she was facing now looked different.
Their outer skin had become harder, and their fangs were grotesquely sharper and larger.
Their nails, too.
Even just one look at them and you’d know how much more cumbersome they were to fight against now.
‘What’s with that monster over there’
Diana’s eyes glanced quickly towards the sky over the barracks.
Atop the dense trees protruded the head and tail of a lizard.
It was a few minutes ago when its tremendous roar shook the area.
Perhaps this was the ‘demonic beast’ that Rosetta had mentioned before.
“It’s as tall as a hill, seriously.”
Her tired voice muttered out her lamentations, and her gasps were enough to show just how tired she was.
Then, at that moment.
A blue hand shot up from underground.
She immediately noticed the presence that appeared underground, so Diana reflexively moved to avoid it.
However, her exhausted body would not let her move at will.
Faster than her heavy leg could move, the hand grabbed her right then.
And while she was distracted by her caught ankle, the monster facing her quickly moved closer and grabbed her by the neck.
Held down by a huge hand, Diana struggled.
As if laughing at her, the monster raised its hand up high as it continued to have Diana in its clutches.
Diana’s feet left the ground.
The hand that held her ankle disappeared underground once more.
The higher she was lifted, the worse the pain was in her neck.
‘Don’t… Don’t faint…’
But even as she struggled to keep breathing, Diana readied her dagger-wielding hand.
If she could hit it squarely, she’d be able to get out of this situation right away.
However, her determination was disastrously shattered.
When she swung, the monster easily caught the dagger and threw the weapon behind her.
Her brown eyes moved along the trajectory of the thrown dagger, but her gaze could not continue following it until it reached the ground.
Soon, the dull sound as it fell was heard.
Diana gritted her teeth, her eyelids trembling.
‘It’s a gift… from… Lady Rosetta…’
Rosetta had given it to her as a gift, saying that it was made just for her.
It was the first time Diana received such a gift, so she always cherished it and carried it with her wherever she went.
And she had decided to live her entire life with that dagger in a pocket close to her heart.
‘After everything, is this how I’m going to die… Without even helping Lady Rosetta properly’
Injustice and guilt flooded through her blurring thoughts.
A hot sensation filled her tightened throat.
Cold tears began to pool around her reddened eyes.
‘I desperately wish for Lady Alicia’s safety…’
At the same time, she would have considered her death to be worthwhile if only Alicia was safe.
Just a while ago.
Immediately after the lizard’s roar was heard, and while they were suddenly surrounded with so many presences,
Diana hastily led Daniel and Alicia away, in the opposite direction of the barracks.
The two were flustered by Diana’s abrupt appearance, but they soon ran with her in the lead.
Those presences jumped out and chased after them.
A total of five blue monsters.
Three had human forms, and the other two had animal forms.
Even so, there was a limit to fighting against the seemingly endless monsters, and Diana couldn’t keep this up to protect Alicia and Daniel.
Inevitably, she had no choice but to hide Alicia and Daniel in what looked like the safest place right now.
It was the perfect place to hide because the bushes there were thick, and the spot was surrounded by towering, thorny trees.
Pulling out an extra dagger, Diana handed it over to Alicia and told her,
“Milady, you have to do your best to hide here.
The others will be here soon to rescue you.”
With a strained smile, Alicia held Diana’s wrist as though to calm her down.
t/n: the term ‘energy vein’ is a very very rough and literal translation, sorry about that.
i couldn’t figure out what the proper term for it is, and it’s a different term from ‘qi pathway’, so i can’t use that one here.
(…rofan has me at a chokehold, but i should really start studying other martial arts novel translations by now……)
edit: replaced the term ‘energy vein’ with ‘energy circuit’! ty for the help, CocoPop!