Saturday, July 11, 2015

Volume 3 - Chapter 10 - A Light in the Dark / Hope (Up)

Previously on EC…

After successfully breaking into the fort, they confronted the original quest giver. Bell, Rick and Till finally gets to meet the Princess who endured the devastation of an illness to ensure that the Royalists who are ruining the country will die with her with a faux-rebellion. Bell and Till tries to diagnose the illness with no success until Rick mades a guess which strangely made sense. The trio immediately calls upon Kun for a solution.

As a side note, there were so much parts where I wanted to add unnecessary translator notes, but I held back since they needlessly ruin the reading experience. I will have to learn to code the mouse over thing eventually, but I’m lazy as fuck and there’s still the other side project that I was supposed to do… and the help I got, well, he got dragged to Taiwan for a few weeks orz


The attendant jumps a few decimeters into the air as she enters the door, surprised by Kun’s shout. Seeing that everyone else reacts hopefully towards his exclamation, the black-haired young man’s back seems to give her a sense of reliability despite not knowing who he is.

Bell and Till both gather around Kun, waiting for his input.

“Since Till told me she’s weakened, but seems to have a sound mind, then why don’t we…” Kun’s voice drops as he whispers to the two.

Bell’s face goes through a range of emotions as she doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry, chuckling awkwardly. “This is what they call ‘can't see the forest for the trees’, isn’t it?” She shakes her head in self-mockery as well as revealing a bashful smile. “Actually, we can…” She starts whispering back to Kun as they refine the final methodology.

“Thanks~” Till leaves the two as she heads over to the attendant and retrieves the stack of items. She puts the materials and instruments next to the duo as the attendant nods her head awkwardly, moving to stand next to her colleagues.

“Okay! Let’s do this!”
“I’m not sure how well I can draw it though…”
“Don’t worry, we will both do it, one of us is bound to get it right!”

The felinoid brings her left paw up and clenches it in a fist, determined to complete the task - and encourage Kun at the same time. Shortly after, the duo grab a sheet of vellum that has been handed to them by Till and start to carefully draw on them with sticks of charcoal.

“Pardon me, your Lordship, what are they doing?” The elf woman behind Rick asks, unable to contain her curiosity and hopefulness.

“Cut that out already, just call me Rick.” The blond youth scratches his cheek uncomfortably as he lightly stretches his bandaged neck. “And I’m not too sure, but if Bell, eh… the catwoman, called for Kun, eh… that cool looking dude there, then it probably has to do with Magic, Cooking or something.”

*shi shi shi*
*shi shi shi*

Everyone watches the two drawing on the floor, beads of sweat can be seen on the young man’s forehead. Similarly, the felinoid’s fur seems to be matted down as though slightly wet. One sheet of vellum after another get tossed to the side after they inspect their handy work, a fresh piece of vellum placed in front of them soundlessly by the young girl assisting them. On each piece of vellum, there seems to be elegant, swirling lines, written in one stroke save for the awkward breaks toward the end where the lines turn irregular, showing where the drawing failed. It looks like no language nor art any of the non-users have ever seen, but it’s obvious that that single continuous line holds deep, profound meanings as they watch the two draw them with deep concentration.

“Aha! Got it!” The felinoid finally stands up cheerfully, practically leaping onto her feet. “What do you think, Kun?” She presents the piece of vellum with the drawing on it to Kun, who gets up and brushes his knees a little before taking a closer look.

“Hmm…” He closes his eyes and opens them intermittently, staring at the drawing each time. “This looks about right.”

“Alright! You! Come here and read this!” Bell orders the same attendant as the last time, causing her to jump in fright.

“Do it.” The leader of the guards didn’t even wait and follows right after Bell, with a glint in her eyes.

The attendant slowly walks forward, afraid of the consequence as she knows she doesn’t understanding what’s on the vellum. The other attendants look at her with a complicated expression as well.

“Look at this and memorize it, just focus on it in your mind once you do and don’t open your eyes until we tell you.” The felinoid thrusts the stretched open vellum in her hand towards the attendant’s face.

“What… is this?”

“Stop asking questions and just do it!”


The attendant faithfully concentrates on the image until she finally memorizes it, giving Bell a terrified nod before closing her eyes.

One second…
Two seconds…
Three seconds…
Five seconds…
Ten seconds…
Thirty seconds…

A dull circle of light suddenly appears underneath the attendant’s clothing where her bosom is, causing gasps from some of the ones watching.

“What… what is happening?”

“Shut up and focus!” Bell reprimands her immediately, forcing the attendant to focus once again on the mental image.

The light gradually increases until specks of light starts floating about in front of her chest, adding to the luminance given off by the braziers.

“Success!” Bell gives Kun a tight hug and gives him a squeeze. At some unknown point, she started caring deeply about actually treating the Princess despite the fact that she knows that this is merely a game.

Kun makes a slightly awkward -but happy- face, giving her a pat on the back, which causes her to let go.


Kun gives off a polite cough before looking at Rick. “Let’s go.”

Rick points at himself with his finger, as though asking if it was really him Kun wants. To which Kun tilts his head to the door before heading out himself. Shrugging his shoulders, he exits the room right behind Kun.

“Alright, now that the boys are out of the room, undress the Princess.”


“To start the treatment~”

The elf woman, who remained quiet the entire time, rolls her eyes at the seemingly useless attendants and walks toward the bed herself. “Pardon me, Your Highness.” She lifts the silk drapes that fell back down and helps the Princess undress.

“Good, keep it up. Don’t worry about the mana rampaging, just keep focusing on forming the condensed mana.” Bell instructs the Princess in a calm, flat tone that sounds almost hypnotic. A dazzling display of light shines out from within the drapes, causing the entire bed to feel like a giant, dancing, and utterly beautiful lantern in the stone chamber.

The attendants are carefully wiping the Princess’ forehead with a cloth to get rid of the beads of sweat. Small gusts of warm winds are continuously being felt by them as Till steadily wraps warm air around all the Princess’ major joints. Specks of light surround the Princess, some moving quickly, some moving slowly, some spiraling while still others move erratically.

“How are you holding up, Till?”

“This is no problem~ I did dump most of my stats into Wisdom after that time in Barghest Dungeon~”

“Eh?!” Bell raises her voice unexpectedly. “Shouldn’t Mage-types focus on Intelligence?” Even though the sharing of vital information is kind of restricted, generally acknowledged trends and theories still dominate the boards, otherwise there’d be few topics to talk about in the forums. It’s widely agreed upon that mage-type users should focus on the Intelligence stat to increase their firepower. For Till to focus on Wisdom would be against general consensus and convention, since a Wind Mage is still infamous for their lack of damage capabilities despite the steadily growing number of them since the clearing of the [Baghest Dungeon]. This was spread as a result of [Dawn’s Moonlight]’s and [Monochrome Blades]’s few remaining members trying to undermine any potential monopoly [Atonement] will have on the dungeon. On the other hand, [Atonement] is singing the praises of an unidentified Wind Mage that was absolutely indispensable in their clearing of the dungeon.

“I can just send them flying to you guys if I can’t kill them~ Focus, focus~”

“Ah, right.” The felinoid turns back toward the struggling Princess, whose complexion is improving rapidly. The stirring specks of light are gradually slowing down, normally, the specks of light would accumulate and simply float in front as the space gets crowded, but they moved vigorously in her case, somewhat giving Rick’s random guess credence.

The guard leader forms a tight smile, lightly biting her lips with some unshed tears. Although none of them are sure if these emissaries can really treat the Princess, they are still the first ones to actually be able to do anything. Others would probably not have noticed, but she can tell the tension within the Princess has faded significantly. Her breathing has become ever so slightly deeper, the occasional pain spasm reduced to nothing more than slight trembling. For easing that suffering, the elf woman is already grateful in her heart, to the point that she vows to serve this unknown god should they survive this ordeal.


The woman frowns as two soft, rapid knocks comes from the door. Knowing its meaning, she bows slightly to the two remaining emissaries and the Princess before giving the attendant a cold glance to remind them to behave themselves before exiting the stone chamber.

After excusing herself, the woman exits the room and nods toward the guard after closing the door. The guard’s eyes widens slightly as the burst of light from within the bed leaks through the gap, making her wonder what’s happening inside with a distant look.


The guard immediately snaps back to reality. “Yes, ma’am! The entrance has been breached, there was one casualty due to blood loss. Since the corridors are narrow, we can still wear down the attackers, but… it seems like we will eventually lose the battle of attrition.”

The middle-aged elf gnashes her teeth, cursing at the attackers for disturbing her princess’s treatment. Of course, she has absolutely no idea that the attacks were instigated by none other than the “emissaries” in the first place. “Open the secondary entrance to the 3rd barracks, fortify its primary entrance and the corridor it’s facing so that we can attack them from two directions and outnumber them at that juncture. Do the same at the 5th barracks as well. I will inform Her Highness and see what should be done.”

“Yes, ma’am!” The guard runs off immediately, back to the absolute line of which no one else may pass. It was for that reason that the messenger’s information had to be relayed by her.

The woman enters the room again, calling upon her vast knowledge of warfare to offer the best options to her Mistress.

* * * * *

Two shadows are resting on some large tree branches, chatting quietly as they keep an eye out on the surroundings as they wait patiently for their allies. They exited from the hole that was bored into the tunnel via a knotted rope Kun used when he was going down.

“So why did we have to leave, Kun? Don’t they still need us? Well, you at least.” Rick asks while nibbling on a strip of jerky, resting his entire body comfortably on his branch.

“We need to keep the escape route secure just in case.” Kun pauses for a moment. “And she needed to be naked.”

“Eh? Makes sense then.” The blond youth agrees nonchalantly, shifting the jerky that’s sticking out of his mouth from one side to another.

“Where did you figure out what that disease was?” Kun heard the entire situation from Till, who was vastly more knowledgeable than Kun in regard to illnesses.

“My uncle had it when I was a kid, I don’t remember all the details, but I do remember that it was from overeating rich food and that people who have it tend to get a big lump around the balls of their feet.”

“How did it go from that to ‘Mana Gout’?”

“Overeating is overeating no matter what it is, right? And didn’t that book that focused on mana mention that someone with plenty of mana couldn’t get sick, that would be impossible since she is well-nourished than any of them. That means that it isn’t a disease that invaded, but something from within her own body.”

Not knowing any better, Kun just nods in agreement as he too remembers the specific part of the book that Rick is referring to. Of course, anyone else with common sense would question further. At the same time, others with their own version of common sense might not have been able to solve the problem at hand in the first place.

“But, argh! I can’t decide if I should be mad at the Princess or pity the Princess. On one hand, she’s the reason we had to go through that shit. On another, she’s in that sort of situation and it’s not like she is the one that dragged us in personally.”

“‘Just being alive is an evil to another’, that being said, just do whatever feels right.”

The youth pauses over those words. “I didn’t take you to be the philosophical sort, Kun.”

“I am not, it’s just that I lived for years by hunting. Every living thing has to kill to survive, be it plants or animals. So the only things you can really control is how you kill and why you kill.”

Rick stays silent at the answer, absentmindedly shifting the jerky in his mouth as he sways with the branch.

“Can I have one too?” A quiet, bodiless voice appears from above, causing the youth to drop the piece of jerky in surprise. Reacting purely on instinct, he grabs it with an outreached hand, causing him to fall off the branch.

“Wah!” *sha sha sha* The youth manages to grip onto another branch at a lower level with his other hand, dangling like a swinging monkey, moving back and forth, up and down with the branch like a bobbing pendulum, causing the foliage to ruffle in the dark night. “How the hell can you even do that, Gui?! There’s silent moving, and then there’s you, were you a fox in your previous life or something? Geez.” He stuffs the jerky back into his mouth, freeing his hand and then proceeds to pull himself up.

The gray fox tilts its head at the youth, before looking at Kun. “I tapped the branches, right?”

The young man just nods in response as he rummages through two small pouches tied to his belt, untying one of them. He reaches into the pouch that’s still on his belt and gives Gui an oval-shaped jerky as the fox stalks over from the higher branch.

*sha sha*

Shortly after, the group of demihumans arrives, rustling the leaves ever so slightly.

“Are you guys alright?”

“No problem, Kun-sensei, everyone is fine. Mr. Gui tracked down another group soon after we left, we ran past them and had them deal with our pursuers.” A demihuman with reflecting, golden eyes replies, acting as the leader of the group.

“Good work, rest a bit, we might have a few more things to deal with tonight.” Kun tosses the untied pouch in his hand toward the leader, who immediately took the hint.

The demihumans make short work of the contents inside the pouch before returning it to Kun. Inside it were carefully crafted thin, flat strips of slightly fermented jerky made with fruit juices and some herbs to act as a sort of sustained source of energy. The fruit juice acts as a short term source of energy while the partially digested meat itself will provide long term energy later on. It is a method used by sustenance hunters when they are on a long, intensive hunt with no time for meals, it can be argued that warfare is just another form of hunting, so Kun prepared it ahead of time at the campsite before hand.

*kan* *kan kan* *pyu pyu pyu*

The sounds of battle drifts toward them after the trees beyond, the scale of the battle intensifying as everyone else is trying to reach the Princess. The first group that breached the staircase was a Republican force. They couldn’t breakthrough the defensive line inside the underground fort in one push, thus causing a battle of endurance. Not long after, a group led by the Royalist faction breached the rearguard of the Republican group, sandwiching them between the fort’s defenders and the now blocked staircase. Before the first group could completely collapse, the groups that were fighting as a result of Gui and the demihumans stumble upon the Royalists, causing a battle royale. Noticing the sudden change, the various other groups that were fighting each other somewhat blindly all rushed the staircase to try and gain advantage in that position.

That’s why fighting in the jungle at night is often viewed as a battle of last resort by those in the Norman kingdom, since no one dares to light flames as that will give away their positions. At the same time, without being able to see, they can only fight the shadows in front of them. It’s not unheard of for soldiers of the same side to fight each other accidentally when they didn’t have an extensive system to identify friend or foe within the dark. They had used this method against outside forces in the past successfully, but this time, they are fighting forces from their own kingdom using similar if not identical methodology in identifying friends or foe, thus it becomes a horrible maelstrom of blades. Even though the respective commanders of the groups gave explicit instructions not to cause needless slaughter, it’s inevitable when the soldier can barely see their outstretched hands in the dark. Thus, the various commanders curse the fool who initiated the first assault in the first place while they try to gain advance toward the princess with minimal casualties.

“Kun! Get Sammy! We have to evacuate the Princess, she has chosen to flee! I’m going to send Till up first.” A sudden message from Bell rings within Kun’s ears, causing him to turn his head toward Rick.

“Let’s clear the hole, looks like we are going to be doing a little kidnapping.” He then turns his head to Gui and the demihumans. “Get Sammy.”

The demihumans stretch lightly, getting ready to climb toward the canopy.

*gourururu gourururu*

Gui unexpectedly starts growling with a gravelly voice, causing everyone to turn their head, their hands on their weapons.

A few moments later…

*keroro kero kero?*

*gouru agu rugu*

*kero kero*

“Did Gui just… You know what, I’m not even surprised anymore.” Rick just shakes his head as he drops down onto the forest floor, causing everyone else to chuckle silently.

Kun and the demihumans drop onto the ground as well, removing the bushes that were used to hide the hole into the corridor within the fort. Bright illumination can be seen, as light rays peek out from below. Shortly after, a gust of wind rushes out from within the hole. Distant sounds of fighting can be faintly heard from within the corridor.

“Watch out~ clear the way, clear the way~”

“Wait, what is happ-aaaaaAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!” A terrified scream can be heard from below, followed quickly by a flying shadow that flies out of the hole and flops unceremoniously onto the forest floor.

“Next one is coming up~!”

“Give me a-eeeeeek!”

“And the last one~”


Two of the attendants landed haphazardly while the last one seemed to be mentally prepared. Save for the filth from the mud and leaf litter, none of them are worse for wear. As they are well aware that they are running for their lives and they are actually being helped by emissaries of an unknown god, they knew to shut their mouth without the middle-aged elf’s presence to remind them.

Seeing that no one else is coming up, Rick sticks his head out to peer into the hole. “What’s the hold up?”

“We are trying to figure how to get the Princess out without jostling her~”

Kun sticks his head over the hole as well. “There’s a knotted rope anchored into the side of the hole, can she reach it?”

“Ah~! I see it, okay, they are coming up~!”

As soon as her voice disappears, a constellation of light shining brightly approaches. The hole is soon filled with a pillar of light, causing the two to pull their heads back, temporarily blinded by the sudden contrast. From down below, Bell is carrying the Princess on her back with sheets and strips of silk and satin securing the Princess, similar to the carrier Kun made for her when she carried Till back to Liliheim while poisoned. The two bodies hover near the bottom of the hole as they slowly rise toward the opening, half a meter above that, the end of a rope nailed -with a wooden pin- into the side of the hole can be seen.

“Damn it, I can’t climb like this, the hole is too small.”

“Don’t worry about it Bell, just hold onto the rope. Hold tight. Till, make sure they don’t fall!” Kun fiddles with something on the floor, as though he’s untying something. “Give me a hand here.” He indicates to the demihumans whom reaches down, where upon feeling the rope, holds onto it tightly.


Kun cuts the end of the rope that was tied to a sturdy underbrush, causing the demihumans to nearly faceplant themselves into the ground. One of them managed to stay on his hands and knees, stabilizing the rope. The two down below had a sudden jerk and a sense of weightless before something from below pushes them back up, causing a slack in the line. Moments later, the two are being slowly dragged up through the hole.

The dazzling light shines, with rays of it peeking through the canopy. Although it didn’t get to spread far, the brightness and intensity manages to draw the attention of everyone else outside of the fort. The different forces on the surface slow down their battles as each of them sends out a reconnaissance team to investigate. The intensity of the light within close proximity can only be described as a miniature sun.


“No, you idiot, she isn’t using Holy, now help us up.” Bell grumbles at Rick as the rest of the demihumans continue to step back with the rope in hand, careful not to have sudden movements.

“You know what I mean you fat ass! This wouldn’t be so hard if you would stop scarfing down all the food all the time!” The youth reluctantly drags the felinoid’s arm with his eyes closed, finally bringing the two ladies onto the forest floor.

*DAN DAN DAN* *rururururu*

Dull explosions and rumblings can be heard and felt from below.

“Eh?! What’s going on?!” Rick falls onto the ground from the sudden impacts, the demihumans likewise are on the floor.

“And where the hell is Kun and Gui?!” Bell, who is on all fours, asks, while absorbing as much shock as possible for the girl on her back.

“Clear the way, clear the way~” Till’s voice carries out from within the hole. While Bell and the Princess were going up the shaft, she had ran off to assist the guards. After hearing the two arguing, Till figured that they must be in the clear. At that point, she commands the guards to retreat before blasting the walls and ceiling with her magic, causing a cave-in. With the only entrance now limited to the hole in the corridor, she starts to safely evacuate everyone.




Unlike the attendants, the guards all land on their feet, twisting their bodies midway to ensure a firm landing. Each of the guards would help the next one, making the process very quick and efficient. It has obviously been planned out below, as the landing site rotates methodically between two spots. The demihumans and the attendants join in the effort until everyone’s out. The Princess is quiet the entire time, as she focuses on that one flowing script fervently as the number of light speckles continues to increase.

“Is everyone accounted for?!” The elven woman asks with a low, quiet voice.

The guards immediately line up into 3 rows, in their own individual spot. Through taps and light touches, the verification is done within five breaths.

“Everyone is accounted for, ma’am!”


A weird gasp squeaks out as one guard notices the pairs of eyes staring at them, causing other guards to look as well, with some reaching for their weapons. They were too focused on the ones that were following them such that they didn’t notice that they were helped by demihumans. The brilliant light given off by their Mistress already confused them to a certain degree, but they didn’t expect help from demihumans as well.

“Za’hion?! Is that you?!” One of the guards stares at the demihuman with the golden eyes like she’s staring at a ghost. The demihuman in question snaps his head toward the voice, as though hearing something astounding.

“Zelara?!” He breathes out the name softly, causing his comrades to turn as well. Their eyes constricting even further as they spot her face, lit up by the mass of light off of Bell’s back.

“Wait, you know them?!” The elven woman asks in shock.

“Talk later, we have to get going.” Rick interrupts them as he points toward the groups of people within the trees, running away from serpents of flames that appeared from nowhere, now flying at them. “Now you know where they are, Bell.” He can only look on with a wry smirk on his face, he wasn’t joking when he said he couldn’t be surprised anymore.


  1. The book they (Kun and Rick) are referring is the one mentioned in volume 1 for the 4 states of mana. Since most people don't remember, one of the claims within the book is that the movement of mana is exponentially tied to the amount of mana being moved. Since the Princess' illness also causes her mana to rampage (hence the uncontrolled movements of the speckles of light), it's using the nature of the illness to safely alleviate the excess mana within her body (safe being a relative term, I'm surprised no one got blinded yet since she's a giant ass lightbulb atm).

    1. And I'm guessing the swirling line is a kind of hypnotism/meditation technique to focus and subconsciously manipulate the mind?

  2. I love this one!!! It's awesome!!!

  3. Thanks for the chapter, I can't help but check back daily, hoping for another dose :)
    your work is appreciated


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