GDoc here. My semester starts in 2 days. We’ll see what happens to updates. Not yet polished, but please enjoy!
Approaching Shadows (2)
“…and that is the situation. I apologize. We will buy you time with all we can. You should evacuate as soon as you can!”
The adventurers gathered in the assembly hall in the center of Torc Village were hurriedly moving around with serious expressions on their faces.
Some of the adventurers rushed out of the village square.
Their faces were haunted by grim looks.
Even though the villagers surrounding the assembly hall did not understand the situation, just by observing the adventurers, they knew that the situation had taken a turn for the worse.
Here and there, anxious voices broke out.
A girl among the villagers was unable to hide her anxiety and hugged her father’s arm.
They had wanted to hear about the situation, but the villagers couldn’t interrupt as the adventurers ran about, yelling angrily.
They could only grind their teeth and watch.
The man who introduced himself as the leader of the adventurers in the assembly hall when they had arrived stepped forward.
Finally able to find out the situation, several villagers simultaneously asked for an explanation, and the man named Riggs started to explain exactly what was happening.
About how the village was targeted by a bandit group.
How the group was on the scale of two hundred men.
About how there seemed to be Petersian soldiers among them.
About how there was already a casualty from the adventurers who had scouted before.
How, given the current battle power, victory was unlikely, so they should flee to the neighboring town, Nest.
“So we’re abandoning our hometown?”
“Didn’t we request for you all to protect us!?”
Upon being told by Riggs to abandon their hard-earned work and beloved birthplace, the villagers drew near, raising their voices.
At Riggs’s roar, the villagers were instantly silenced.
He was still the leader of the adventurer group— even if they were normally different parties, all mixed together.
He was different from the simple villagers.
Scanning the silent villagers, Riggs opened his mouth.
“Don’t you see? You don’t have time to complain, and I don’t have time to listen to the complaints. Frankly, I don’t have the time to persuade you. So I’ll say this clearly. Alone, we cannot win against the bandit group and the Petersian army. If you don’t want to die, evacuate. Risk your lives and make for Nest. If you survive, you can return to your hometown. But if you die, that’s it. That’s all I have to say! It is your choice. Do as you please. That’s all.”
Saying that all in one breath, Riggs turned around and walked back to where the other adventurers were.
The villagers could only stare in surprise.
Nobody was even able to voice their concerns.
Riggs’s back exuded a bloodcurdling presence.
As he left, his words, which were in no way a joke, showed that the urgency of the situation was real.
“H-hey… what do we do?”
“Either way, we had better flee, as he said.”
The villagers slowly and sluggishly started moving.
Their faces were still in disbelief; was it all a lie? The doubt hung in the air, but they still started their preparations to evacuate.
“A-ah, let’s also prepare to flee.”
The girl was pulling at her dumbfounded father’s arm, so he also started walking.
They returned home, and explained the situation to the girl’s mother.
The girl’s mother, frankly, also seemed doubtful, but she helped her husband load and secure their belongings onto the cart.
She also began preparations.
In the first place, the village was in no way plentiful.
So they didn’t really have many important belongings.
They soon finished their preparations.
‘That’s right! The seeds and things that can be sold should…’
Glancing at her parents, who were loading tools for daily life, she headed for the shed where the harvest and wild plants picked from the mountains were stored.
They didn’t know how long they would need to take refuge.
The discussions mentioned a foreign army being involved.
If the the village was captured, then they would not be able to easily return.
In the worst case, they may even have to evacuate Nest Town.
The remaining scraps of medicinal herbs and bark, which were used to make medicinal pills, were also loaded onto the cart.
They could sell them to a general store or apothecary.
Although they wouldn’t be sold for a high price, it was better than nothing.
As she did this, the other villagers were also preparing to evacuate, and started to gather on the road towards Nest Town.
“Several adventurers will go ahead to Nest Town to request the feudal lord for reinforcements from the imperial army.”
The girl’s father was speaking to a villager acquaintance.
Nest Town was a town that expanded around the knight order stationed at a fort there.
Several years before, when a monster horde approached, devastating the surrounding villages and townspeople, the refugees established a small town centered around the fort.
Even the district’s feudal lord, since the city from which he governed was also destroyed, moved to Nest Town.
Due to that, there were two groups of imperial troops stationed at Nest Town, the feudal lord’s army, and the knight order.
If both the feudal lord’s army and the knight order hastened to reinforce the adventurers, they might be able to return to their homes sooner than they thought.
Compared to when Riggs spoke, the villagers felt more optimistic.
Meanwhile, the adventurers were gathered on the other side of the village, near the mountain trail.
After being able to somehow persuade the reluctant villagers, they demolished some of the cabins to build a barricade, in order to intercept the bandits that would emerge from the mountain trail.
The girl sat beside her mother, watching the scene.
She watched as the desolate landscape changed before her eyes and committed it to memory.
Suddenly, she saw a young adventurer boy set off on horseback in a different direction than Nest.
He was about the same age as her.
Since he was riding on horseback, she soon lost sight of him between the trees. However, it seemed like he was crying for some reason.
It was probably her imagination.
There was no way she would be able to see the face of a person riding away on horseback.
“That way is the capital.”
Her father murmured to her, who gazed at the direction the horse went..
“For them to head to both the feudal lord and the capital, it seems that it will be a few years before we’ll be able to return home. Why does this have to happen right now, at this moment?”
Nobody knew how the feudal lord’s army and the knights stationed at Nest Town would move.
They received news that reinforcements were sent for, so the villagers’ mood improved, but the villagers still remained anxious, walking in silence.
Although there were women and children carrying luggage all the way to Nest Town, if they didn’t rest and forced themselves to march all the way there, they could arrive by the afternoon.
For that, the adventurers who went before them would both report the information, and help prepare their refuge beside the town.
There were some townspeople who would refuse to give shelter to them, but the district’s feudal lord was generous towards his people, and would protect them.
But there was still worry that the situation would deteriorate.
He didn’t know how much time it had been since he left the village.
“Those are knights… from Nest Town!”
When the sun was high in the sky, those with low stamina, the children and the elderly, took turns riding the cart as the villagers moved.
Among them the girl walked, her head hanging, just staring at the ground, when one of the villagers walking near the front raised his voice.
They could certainly see people riding horses in front of them.
There were quite a few people.
“We-we’re saved. They’re from Nest.”
Relief washed over them.
She also felt all the strength leave her body, feeling relieved.
Her father was leading them to Nest Town, but she had also gone there many times.
Her main purpose was to sell their produce, and use the money to buy goods.
They were largely self-sufficient, and could buy goods from the peddlers that periodically visited, but there were some things that couldn’t be bought outside the town.
Therefore, they had to go to the town several times a year.
Since it was a newly-developed town, it was much smaller than other cities in the empire, but since it was a developing town, it had a vibrant nature.
Moreover, she was also familiar with the old Nest Town that was destroyed by monsters.
That was why, even though Nest was a small town to non-locals, it was a place that the girl yearned for.
When they needed to take some time shopping, they stayed at the usual inn.
To her, going shopping in the city rivalled the village’s harvest festival as one of the most enjoyable events of the year.
She had many strong memories about Nest Town.
That day, four years ago— this region was attacked by a horde of monsters.
Just like now, her parents, with the other villagers, fled to Nest Town.
They fled from the the monsters flooding from the mountain and the forest, barely reaching the fort with their lives
However, it was miserable within the fort.
All over the place, there were seriously injured people lying on the ground, groaning.
Among them, there were also those who had already died.
At that time, deaths were not uncommon, but that many deaths was unprecedented.
There was terror of the approaching death.
Outside the fort, the shrieks of people who were late to flee and the howls of monsters could be heard.
Within the fort, there were screams of half-crazed people, and also weak moans and cries.
There were also people who rebuked the surviving knights.
They cried for the knights to help fight, to help extend their lives.
Held in her parents arms, she could only watch as it happened.
She was only a child, powerless, and could only shiver in fear.
However, a single girl appeared before her eyes.
The people called this girl—”The Brave”.
- Nest City or Nest Village sound okay, but Nest Town doesn’t… Is it because people were so lazy that all of the “Nest Towns” turned into “Nesttons”? Apparently I forgot that it wasn’t only Muricans do it… —back
- If this were in spanish, I would use “conocer” —back
Against all odds, I posted another chapter. My semester starts in 2 days, so updates may slow down.
Not much else to say though…