Chapter 22: A Perilous Journey (7)

In this world, there existed bloodlines with special powers.

Among them, the House of Eilencia, alongside the Imperial family, was considered a prime example of such a “special bloodline.”

In some respects, Eilencia’s lineage was even more renowned than that of the Imperial family.

Supreme Purity.

The noblest and purest blood.

While the Imperial family inherited the most distinguished blood, Eilencia received the purest.

In a world where gods and mana existed, pure blood was like a blank canvas.

From the perspective of mana, all humans were tainted. Because of these blemishes, some humans found it difficult to accept divine power, while others had unstable mana flowing through their bodies.

Occasionally, some people manifested peculiar abilities due to these distortions in their mana.

From the moment of birth, everyone had a certain twist in their mana. Just as a river meanders around mountains, everyone’s mana flow had its own unique blemishes.

Even I was no exception to the influence of these blemishes.

I was blessed with mana to the extent that I had the perfect talent to become a knight.

Although I had never tested it, based on the descriptions in the novel, I likely had no shortage of ability to accept divine power.

However, magic was something I could never use, no matter how hard I tried.

It was a disastrously poor match for me.

Despite not being theoretically difficult compared to modern mathematics, I couldn’t cast even the simplest illumination spell.

In Eilencia’s bloodline, there were no such blemishes.

They were like a pure white canvas with no color.

The moment a color was added, Eilencia’s canvas turned into beautiful, clear colored paper.

Had Therion grown up healthy, he would have become a swordsman with the purest, densest aura.

If Sirien had pursued the path of a mage, she would have mastered all elements.

At Rehaim Castle, Sirien studied theology. She hadn’t formally approached the Church for baptism, though.

This was partly because she hadn’t decided to join, but also because she might immediately become a candidate for sainthood.

The priest’s power depended on how well they accepted divine power, and Eilencia’s bloodline was well-suited for this.

In fact, a direct descendant of Eilencia who was formally baptized was guaranteed at least the position of a bishop.

“In that sense, the mana in my body right now is in its purest form.”

Ahem. Sirien puffed out her chest proudly.

Her expression somehow exuded a sense of pride, provoking a mischievous urge.

It was hard to resist the temptation to flick her forehead.

“Healing people’s wounds ultimately comes from the power of mana. My body fluids contain a bit of mana, so doing this helps!”

“Where did you hear that?”

“Huh? I heard it from Mom on my room’s balcony!”

It turned out that the culprit who had instilled this strange knowledge in Sirien was none other than the Duchess.

I remembered her as a strict person, so it was surprising she had shared this with her daughter.

It felt like my understanding of common sense was being shattered.

“And she didn’t say to do this with anyone?”

“She said not to do it for just anyone. But it’s okay for someone precious. You’re my precious friend, Razen. As long as no one sees, anyone would appreciate it. How about you? Do you like it, Razen?”

“Uh... yeah. Thanks.”

“Hehe. This should help you heal a bit faster. Should I blow on it too?”

“No, that won’t be necessary. This is already enough.”

“Got it.”

Was it her final act of kindness?

Sirien’s tongue lightly grazed the wound before withdrawing.

Even though it was just a brief touch, the sensation of her soft, warm tongue lingered.

It was hard to look at Sirien’s smiling face.

My face felt hot.

I stood up, trying to act nonchalant.

“We’ve rested enough. Let’s get going again.”

* * *

As our journey continued, one thought kept circling in my mind.

It seemed like we were heading deeper into the forest.

No, the issue wasn’t that we were heading there; we were already quite deep.

And we were beginning to feel firsthand just how dangerous the deeper parts of this forest were.

Suddenly, the surrounding trees became taller and thicker.

It was unimaginable how long these ancient trees had stood.

Looking up to see their tops made my neck ache.

To make matters worse, fog began to set in.

The more we moved, the more frequently we encountered threats.

On the first night, we faced a pack of gigantic wolves while keeping watch, and once, we fought against a self-destructive monster.

We also occasionally came across fierce beasts and colossal monsters that we had never seen or heard of before.

We couldn’t fight all of them.

My body wouldn’t last.

Even now, I was covered in wounds.

I didn’t hesitate to engage in unavoidable battles, but I tried to avoid fighting whenever possible.

Fortunately, it seemed the larger creatures were less aggressive.

Did they only hunt when necessary?

Due to their size, we could sometimes spot them first and hide. Most of our battles occurred with creatures that saw us as small prey.

However, there was one exception.

In the foggy forest.

Thud. Thud.

A heavy sound shook the ground like an earthquake.

The branches of ancient trees snapped with a loud crack, falling and shattering under tremendous force.


“Shh. It’ll be okay.”

Sirien and I held our breaths simultaneously.

Sirien was so frightened that I tucked her into my arms, covering her mouth gently.

I didn’t hold her too tightly, just enough to let her know I was protecting her.

That was enough to keep her from screaming.

We hid between rocks and trees, looking upward.

What we saw had the form of a human.

A dark shadow moved slowly through the white mist.

It didn’t have the massive upper body or sharp claws of the previous monster.

Its skin, with visible veins glowing red, resembled that of a human.

But it was excessively large. I couldn’t gauge its height. It looked to be over 10 meters tall.

I used my finger to trace words onto Sirien’s palm, communicating my thoughts slowly and carefully to avoid any misunderstanding. Sirien focused intently on my message.

- Its vision seems poor.

A few birds flew near the giant. It should have seen them, but it didn’t react.

- The problem is its hearing. We need to be cautious about sound.

Yes, the issue was that the giant had keen hearing. Its head turned at the slightest sound of the wind.

There was a beast nearby, prowling as if it were nervous.

It resembled a bear. Like me, it seemed to have noticed the giant and was trying to retreat but wasn’t cautious enough.


Something broke under the beast’s foot.

I couldn’t tell what made the noise.

The only clear thing was that the giant reacted to it and became extremely aggressive.


Thud! Thud!

The giant charged straight at the beast that had made the noise.

Despite its heavy movements, it was fast.

Its sheer size allowed it to cover ground quickly with each stride.

In no time, the giant closed the distance and seized the beast in its grasp.

I made sure Sirien didn’t see what happened next.

Watching a living creature being devoured wasn’t something she needed to see.

We had to hold our breath for a long time until the giant completely disappeared from view.

The thick fog made it hard to trust our eyes, so we waited even longer.

When we finally decided to move again, neither of us looked happy.

“Do you think there are more of those things in this forest?”

“We’ll have to find out.”

“I never want to see one again… I just want to get out of this forest quickly.”

“Yeah. We can’t fight monsters like that.”

Sirien’s reaction was cold. She seemed to think my statement was obvious.

“If we could fight, would we?”

“If we get spotted, we have no choice. In that case, you should at least try to escape.”

“Don’t say that again. I’ll get mad.”

“Then what should we do?”

“We run away together.”

She was essentially saying that if escape wasn’t possible, she would draw her sword.

There was no point in arguing over something that hadn’t happened, so I just nodded.

Only then did Sirien smile in satisfaction.

“Oh, it’s starting again. That scent. Razen, can’t you really smell it?”

“I told you, I don’t smell anything. My nose isn’t bad, you must be imagining it.”

“That’s strange. It seems to be getting stronger.”

“Does it bother you a lot?”

“Not really. It’s just like the scent we smelled when we visited the mausoleum.”

Come to think of it, when we first entered this forest, Sirien occasionally mentioned smelling a scent.

I had never smelled it, and it didn’t seem to fit this forest, more appropriate for a funeral.

Maybe she was picking up on some plant scent I couldn’t detect?

After all, funeral incense is made from certain plants.

Despite our confusion, we kept moving forward.

And the next day, we reached the border.

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