The Distressful First Day – Part 1
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I took what I needed from the belonging of the Dragon Knight, and returned to Carol. It was surprising that there was a short bow and arrows in his luggage that seemed to have dropped from the dragon by itself.
‘Do they have a culture of shooting bows in the sky over there?’
The short bow and arrow didn’t look very good, but the arrow holder was a bit special.
Although it was almost tubular, it had a spring-loaded restraint at the entrance to prevent the arrow from slipping down, probably because of fluctuations and aerial inversion, and the arrow inside the cylinder was pressed to one side.
There were about five arrows in the arrow holder. The length of two of them was outstandingly long. When I pulled it out and examined it, there was no arrowhead at the tip.
Instead of the arrowhead, there was a spindle-shaped object made of wood attached. It was a whistling arrow. When this was shot, air passed through the wooden whistle attached to the tip, and a high-pitched sound could be heard.
‘The usage isn’t much different from the whistle we are using. It’s for airborne communication.’
‘The whistling arrow, which is usually used in Shaalta, often has a simple arrowhead at the tip of the iron, but probably because it’s supposed to be used overhead of a friendly army. So the arrowhead isn’t attached and it remains round.’
‘In addition to the whistle arrows, there are three common arrows. It may be possible to shoot the arrow on the ground to attack.’
“A-are you alright?” (Carol)
Carol asked hesitantly.
“What is it?” (Yuri)
“You look… pale.” (Carol)
‘…Aah, I see. Is my complexion pale?’
“…I’m alright. This is my first time killing people. So, I’m a bit depressed. More importantly, how’s your physical condition?” (Yuri)
“U-uhm… The only thing that hurts is my leg. Others… no problem.” (Carol)
‘That’s good. No, I can’t say it’s good, but if you tell me you have a terrible headache and dizziness, I have to suspect that it’s a brain concussion. If possible, it would be much better if the arm breaks rather than the legs, but I can’t ask for something luxury.’
“I see. For the time being, you don’t have to take off your armor. I will carry you on my back for a while.” (Yuri)
“Is that so?” (Carol)
Carol looked strange.
“I don’t want the pursuit to know that you are royalty. The crest of the royal family is drawn on the armor. Even if you want to throw it away, you’ll do it away from here. Now, I’ll also take off the crest on Mountain Vapor’s saddle.” (Yuri)
We could walk with a saddle for a while, but if there was no saddle, it would be suspicious. So, I wanted to avoid it.
The pursuit side didn’t always know the Shaalta royal family crest, but since it was the royal family crest, it wasn’t strange to know it. My saddle was made without the Hou Household crest because of my previous experience, so even if they checked Stardust, there would be no problem.
I approached Mountain Vapor’s dead body and quickly scraped the crest from the saddle. Incidentally, I pulled out the flight feathers.
Although I did Stardust, it was a traditional custom of the Eagle King rider to preserve the flight feathers of the eagle. It was a remnant, or something like a photograph. Later, it could be decorated and one could immerse himself in memories. Rook also did that.
I removed a part of the safety belt, and made the luggage bag a shoulder bag that could be hung from the shoulder. I hung Carol’s and my bag on both shoulders so that they crossed each other. Originally, metal fittings were attached so that such conversion could be performed, so there was no problem. The amount of items to carry was small and not so heavy, but it felt a bit heavy.
“Keep the bow and quiver on your shoulder. Can I have the spear?” (Yuri)
The bow and arrows stolen from the Dragon Knight were handed over to Carol. Subsequently, she gave me the spear.
Carol passed the bow through her arm without saying anything, and carried the quiver on her back. Then, I held the spear in my hand.
“Let’s go.” (Yuri)
I crouched down in front of Carol.
“…Is it really fine?” (Carol)
Carol asked hesitantly.
“Come quickly.” (Yuri)
When I said that, Carol put her arm around my neck, held the spear over my shoulder with both hands, and lean her body against my back. Since she could only use one leg, this should be difficult.
I put my arm around the back of Carol’s knees and stood up to lift her up.
I felt the weight. Although it was light, she weighed as much as a large backpack. The pain in the lower back and pelvis was a temporary nerve pain, so it was a relief that the pain was slight.
Even though it felt heavy, I didn’t feel like I was going to bend my knees right away.
‘Let’s do this.’
“Let’s do this.” (Yuri)
When I say it, it was rather fine. It felt like I said something.
Since it felt depressing when saying something not good, I thought it was fine to say that. It should be fine.
When I gave a glance to the dragon that was still alive, I left the place.
‘I started walking around 4 PM, so did I walk for about two hours?’
It was 6 PM when I felt that I reached my limit, so I decided to camp.
“Let’s stay here.” (Yuri)
I chose a suitable open place, put Carol down and started to prepare an open air camping.
“Wait here for a bit. I’m going to pick up branches.” (Yuri)
Leaving Carol, who seemed a bit uneasy, I headed out to find branches. With my body that felt lighter, I collected dead branches. Then, I climbed a tree, chose the one that was as straight as possible, and broke some raw branches.
When I returned to Carol, she looked relieved to see me.
“What? Do you think I wouldn’t come back?” (Yuri)
“No… that’s not it.” (Carol)
‘I got it wrong, huh? Did you think that you would be attacked by a beast?’
The branches were easily gathered, and I lit them up to make a bonfire. It was great to have a lighter. It was really helpful in survival that the ignition procedure could be completely omitted.
“Put your foot out. I’ll make it easier for you.” (Yuri)
Carol put her foot out obediently. I took off the footgear she was wearing. The ankle of the right food was red and was considerably swollen. However, it wasn’t a flashy swelling to the point that I wouldn’t know the position of the ankle.
Carol screamed, perhaps because she felt pain. Even while I was walking, she felt pain every time the right foot hit a tree.
‘It probably hurt so much.’
‘Hmm, the ankle, is it… Unlike shoes like riding boots, the eagle-riding footwear has more freedom on the ankles due to the riding posture. If the angles were completely fixed to the boot, it wouldn’t have been like this…’
I scraped the skin of the raw wood, arranged it side by side, tied it with a strong thread to turn it into a board, and matched it with the heel of the footwear. Carol’s shoes were made of thing wood bent at a right angle from the sole to the Achilles tendon, and were made to bend.
‘It could be used as a part of the batten as it is.’
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I untied the shoelace and put Carol’s foot in the shoes again. Then I tied the shoelaces tightly. I tore the clothes I got from the Dragon Knight’s luggage, made a short bandage, and tied the L-shaped part of the angle tightly. I continued to fix the thigh.
“It should be like this. How is it, does it hurt anywhere?” (Yuri)
I held Carol’s toe, and tried to draw a circle. The batten seemed to work and the ankle didn’t move.
“No, it doesn’t hurt. That’s amazing.” (Carol)
For some reason, Carol was amazed. This treatment was so easy that it didn’t make sense to be amazed.
“I’ll make some meals.” (Yuri)
“They had bread. For the time being, it will be the evening meal today.” (Yuri)
I handed the bread I got from the Dragon Knight’s luggage to Carol.
I was afraid to bring bread to fly in the sky, but I was glad this was helpful.
‘For the time being, there are times when Eagle Knights bring dried meat and roasted beans with high calories, but no one brings bulky bread.’
I handed over the bread, but she didn’t seem to start eating.
“What’s wrong? Why don’t you eat?” (Yuri)
“Uh… uhm.” (Carol)
Carol had a slightly embarrassed face.
‘Aah… I can understand somehow. Are you refraining from me?’
“Don’t worry about me. I have a little appetite.” (Yuri)
“…What happened? Are you worried about the future?” (Carol)
‘…?? Aah, I see. Is she worried that I can’t eat?’
“No, it’s pathetic, but I don’t feel like eating because I killed a person.” (Yuri)
I was surprised myself, but it seemed that I was shocked by the killing.
While walking, I didn’t make any plan for the future. I didn’t think about the actions of the group, the weight of the rock when killing the unknown man, his face after being crushed and the feeling of cutting his ears. That feeling kept on coming.
It was because of that my stomach felt heavy and it didn’t move as if it was silent.
“Is that so? Sorry, it’s my fault.” (Carol)
‘…? It’s your fault?’
“Why is that?” (Yuri)
“Well, why is it your fault?” (Yuri)
‘I don’t understand the feeling of wanting to think so, considering her personality. However, that’s a complete mistake.’
“That’s because… I crashed down, and… broke my leg.” (Carol)
“I’m the same, I also crashed down, you know.” (Yuri)
“But, I broke my leg and became a hindrance.” (Carol)
“Your leg is broken because of an accident. I also didn’t do anything when I crashed down. Just crashed down, and then fainted for a while. I was just lucky that I didn’t get hurt like you.” (Yuri)
For a moment, I remembered Stardust. My chest was throbbing, and… pain ran.
‘Is it too sentimental to think that she adjusted it to be an underlay in order to protect me? As the time goes on, that imagination assaults me. However, I can’t confirm it now.’
“I have no way to attack the enemy with an eagle if I keep staying at the safety altitude. I decided to split up from the main unit because I thought that it would be absolutely fine since there was no way the enemy can attack us. Then, it’s not a bad idea to try new things and report them if the results are good. That’s what I thought.” (Yuri)
‘For some reason, the Eagle King and the Galloping Bird aren’t fond of the Kuran, and they can’t train them.’
‘Neither species can be trained by the Shanti slaves. Since it’s faster than a horse, you can escape as it is.’
‘It may be possible to prevent escape by using hostages, but using slaves is risky, and they can’t be used as important messengers and reconnaissance that holds the fate of the army. There is a possibility of false reports. So, if you can’t expect a decent job, you can’t be trusted with the information.’
‘Therefore, even though these creatures are useful battlefield weapons, there is no record that the Kuran have used them in the battlefield since the recorded history. There may have been so few precedents that couldn’t be recorded, but it’s probably too silly in terms of cost-effectiveness.’
‘In other words, I was convinced that we would be alright because the enemy didn’t use the Eagle Kings.’
“This situation is the result of my incompetence. I’ve been busy lately, so I lost track. It’s me who underestimates the battlefield.” (Yuri)
‘As for the Molotov cocktail bombing, I think it’s a tactic with tremendous potential, so I was rushing to try it out in the actual combat. If there was a merit in the war, its usefulness would be recognized. It could be adopted by each General household on a large scale. They will see that it would be possible to turn the war situation around in the next war.’
‘However, at least, that measure shouldn’t be carried out during the operation with a key figure named Carol.’
“That’s not it. The dragon would have attacked us if you didn’t make a move. Besides, no one could think what was going to happen if you were away for a few minutes more.” (Carol)
‘If I were them, I would probably split the unit into two and attack the dragon.’
‘Even if that didn’t happen, we would have been attacked sooner or later. Then, Carol would be chased and stabbed by him. So, there’s no difference in that.’
“I was entrusted with the command by you… However, when I was attacked, I was so busy handling Mountain Vapor that I couldn’t handle it properly.” (Carol)
Carol seemed to feel some responsibility.
“No, if you’re being targeted by a dragon like that, no one can command well.” (Yuri)
‘I also can’t do it. If I were doing complicated aerial maneuvers, I wouldn’t be able to command with all your hands, and the comrades wouldn’t know what to do either.’
“Well, I wonder if we should have escaped at a glance and at your own discretion, but then, it wouldn’t be strange if we were attacked.” (Yuri)
“But… I think you could have managed to do it even if you were attacked.” (Carol)
‘Why is that?’
“I managed to do something with the dragon because I was at the higher altitude. If I were attacked when I was slowing down while ascending after dropping a Molotov cocktail, I couldn’t do anything. Your judgment isn’t bad either. Thanks to that, there are no deaths as a result.” (Yuri)
‘Although the situation is worse, there’s no death. I mean for the time being.’
‘Speaking of responsibility, it’s supposed to be me first. I should have done my role before Mountain Vapor was exhausted, and the next person that should take the responsibility is Her Majesty the Queen. If Carol didn’t handle the situation well, she wouldn’t be able to escape immediately and there would be a possibility where her hair characteristics would be exposed. Perhaps, the Dragon Knight saw it, and decided to aim relentlessly at Carol.’
‘When it comes to blonde hair, it can’t be helped to raise the moral to capture her, so I can’t blame her anyway.’
“If you’re protecting me, you will…” (Carol)
‘Protect, is it?’
“You’ve just hurt your leg, and you’re worried about it. Even if you look for the reason why it happened by chance, you will only make yourself stressed out.” (Yuri)
“More importantly, eat quickly. If not, the injury won’t heal.” (Yuri)
Carol hadn’t put bread in her mouth since a while ago.
“…Aren’t you going to eat, Yuri? It can’t be helped if you’re about to vomit…” (Carol)
“No, I don’t think I’ll vomit when I eat.” (Yuri)
“If so, I think… you should eat a bit.” (Carol)
She said it anxiously.
“Then, how about you eat first?” (Yuri)
Carol tore the bread in half and offered it to me.
‘You didn’t have to give it to me. I have no appetite, but she would probably be hungry if she only ate half a bread.’
“That’s your part.” (Carol)
“It’s fine. I’m not too hungry either.” (Yuri)
‘That’s probably not it. Do I feel like not eating because I moved a lot?’
“Alright, I’ll have it.” (Yuri)
When I received the bread, I whispered.
- The picture isn’t mine. Special thanks to the creator.
- You can watch the whistle arrow in action in this video. Again, special thanks to the video creator.
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