ughout the air.

People falling.

“Wake up.”

—Suddenly, my vision became dark.
Something covered my eyes, and a beat later I recognized Cabel’s hand.

In an instant, chaos had spread throughout the whole area, even reaching Cabel and surrounding us with noise.
I could hear the Vice Commander, whom I’d always pictured with a cheerful smile, issuing sharp commands in a firm voice….But at this moment, it felt like all the noise around me had been blocked.

I no longer saw people bleeding out in front of my eyes.
In my mind, only Cabel’s hand existed, covering my eyes tightly.

Even my exhalations were trembling, and the more they did, the deeper Cabel pressed into me.

“Immediately turn around.
Run and don’t look back.”


A low, firm voice pressed into my ears.

“Now.”

 

I was out of breath, my throat beginning to tear.

The steps I took were clumsy, stumbling as my legs threatened to collapse.
I had taken off running without any thought, so it was strange that I didn’t fall off the beaten track.

I ran and ran without looking back, until I could no longer hear people’s screams or sharp cries.

I couldn’t recall how I arrived.
The only thing that I could remember after my mind turned white under extreme tension was that I ran out of breath and passed out, although whether it was from fear or lack of oxygen, I didn’t know.

As I was told, there was a large villa at the foot of the mountain.
A surprise attack overtook the rear, so some paladins were dispatched from the front, but the rest had to stay and safely evacuate the priests.

In such a hectic situation, Lily had arrived first.
She was worried about me, so she jumped and ran to me as soon as she saw me staggering down the mountain.

Lily wrapped her arms around me and asked if I was okay.
Looking at her with a blank face, I felt numb, letting my legs cave in from exhaustion.

They felt like they were going to crumble.
Lily gave a short shriek, thinking I had fainted.
Afterwards, she quickly checked my condition and tried to heal me.

In fact, I had fallen over five times while running like a madwoman, and incurred many scratches in the process.
I wasn’t feeling well, but I stopped Lily.
I had witnessed the blood and gore that would soon be arriving.
I couldn’t waste this divine power on me.

“Renée! You’ll collapse any second now.”

“……No, I won’t collapse.”

When I recalled the traumatizing events, my breath choked inside my throat.
But then, I would instantly feel the vivid sensation of that hand covering my eyes and blocking my senses.


While all this was going on in my mind, on the outside I sputtered, touched my face, and eventually formed a hollow smile.
Lily seemed a little distressed since I was sitting on the ground and smiling in a situation like this.
Nevertheless, the wry smile wouldn’t subside easily.

All these moments seem to be part of a dream.
Perhaps a nightmare, that will leave behind heavy consequences.

Considering the fact that I wasn’t in an alley, it seemed unlikely that I would die.
So I roused from my stupor, standing with Lily’s support.
Meanwhile, other paladins also gathered around us, making sure there weren’t any injuries.

Among them was Gardiel, who raised his arm to me, as if saying that he wanted to help Lily with supporting me.
But when he saw my arm trembling, he reached for me without asking for my opinion anymore.

The long wooden chair by the villa was nearly ripped from its place by Gardiel.
In fact, my legs were too sore to walk in the first place.

Lily hurriedly brought a blanket and draped it over my shoulders, and Gardiel even acquired a warm tea and placed it in my hands.

I thanked them in a daze, but Lily kept apologizing.
She was blaming herself for going first without me.
I responded as playfully as possible, saying that it was my fault for being slow in the first place… but I felt my body start shaking again, so had to take a long, slow breath.
Lily’s face was full of concern.

The delayed shock of the arrow flying at me finally hit me.
If Cabel hadn’t been in front of me at the right time, would I have been hit by that arrow? Would it have been an instant death? I had all kinds of thoughts.

Moreover, I thought of the mercenary who stumbled and fell after being hit by an arrow.
I knew him.
He was the one who would cheer me up with a bright face every time I fell behind because I was too slow.

…Was he dead? If I had run over to him right away and healed him, would he have been alright? But even if he could have been healed… Would I have been able to run over there?

I was so shocked by the situation right in front of my eyes that I couldn’t breathe properly again.
I might have died on the spot while keeping my mind running in circles.

However, even with these negative thoughts racing, I could conjure up Cabel, who kept covering my eyes.
The memory of clinging to that little bit of warmth against my darkened vision gave me strength.

His hand was so large that it enveloped my nose along with my eyes, so it goes without saying that he felt my breath shaking.
He held me in such a way that I was able to breathe without passing out, even though he was covering my eyes tightly, not allowing even the smallest ray of light to break through.

These thoughts ran through my mind dozens of times until it blackened into a jumbled mess.
So, I ended up being unable drink the tea that Gardiel had given me.
Instead I just wrapped my hands tightly around the cup.
Only after the feeling of warmth dissipate was I able to raise my eyes that were staring at the ground vacantly.

“……Priestess Renesha.”

I was sure that Gardiel was in front of me just a moment ago, but when I raised my head, I came face-to-face with Elviniraz, who was on his knees before me.

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