The Tale of the Heroine Chapter 5: Dawn
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- 5th day of the 8th week -
It's been over an hour since the harvest began.
The boys, for some reason, rushed inside, so probably something very bad had happened. I hope it has not been anything too serious with children.
I quickly called the other two who were downstairs tending their surroundings. So I ordered them to stay on watch in the same position we were both.
Then Almaria and I entered the cave, carrying a torch, some water and food caves, if need be.
Soon after entering, after a few curves in that tight place, we noticed that no trap had even activated.
I soon also saw a trail of corpses cut up by demi-humans and several marks on the walls and on the ground indicating recent battles.
Walking a little further, I saw Sigmund standing before two other children and a beast about to attack them.
I quickly pulled my bow and shot that monster.
After that we gathered outside carrying the two children rescued.
We took the children to the infirmary inside the residence.
They are in shock and can not speak very well about what has happened, so it is best to let them rest a little bit.
What they went through in there must have been very difficult and traumatic.
What adds to my distress is the fact that there are still three other children in there and Yalahar still gave no sign.
Sigmund returned inside the cave several times during the day and I can not even tell if he rested some time.
He has always been disciplined and determined, but it is the first time I have seen him act that way.
- 6th day of the 8th week -
One day has passed and we still have not found the three missing children and neither Yalahar. This has made me sleepy.
We're taking turns in turns. A shift of a few hours of rest and one on the search team.
The children are cooking and bringing to us, as well as taking care of the various tasks of the house.
Some of the older boys wanted to help in the quest too, but we denied it. I do not want to increase the number of concerns.
Sigmund is leading the quest. Something I would never have imagined coming from someone as withdrawn and lonely as he was. But sometimes he takes very unusual actions.
But so far I'm pretty sure he has not rested once. He even ate standing up in less than 5 minutes. I'm getting very worried about him.
Sigmund is coming in every time with the search teams.
He says it is necessary for the safety of everyone in that darkness, since he is the only one who sees something beyond what torches and lamps can illuminate.
When it was my turn to go with the search team, I just followed. He was acting in a much more cautious way and it was very strange some way.
Hordes of enemies came from time to time and in quantity between 5 and 10 individuals. It does not appear to be a large number, but it slowly undermines forces and it is not uncommon for experienced adventurers to die for extremely weak enemies using that same tactic.
They did not use a lot of equipment, but what I found strange was that they appeared in a very regular interval, almost timed.
The precision of Sigmund's commands were ridiculously sharp. Much more than in our time as adventurers.
He was telling me where to shoot, and I just shot arrows in the dark. But even so, everyone hit one target, sometimes up to two, before I even noticed their presence.
It was very strange the way he was acting today. He was not like that. He never acted in such a cold way, nor with the most contemptible.
We would walk for about 45 minutes and take 15-minute breaks. We drank one or two sips of water and stood with our backs to each other.
At this pace we were doing about 4 to 6 kilometers per hour.
Even though it's a relatively fast pace for this terrain, it's still going to take a long time to check the entire cave in this rhythm. But I do not even want to calculate how much he's been walking for 1 full day.
But we have no other choice at the moment, except to entrust him with all the hard work.
I'm praying we'll find all the others well. Otherwise I do not know if he'll stand it. I think maybe I can not either.
- 7th day of the 8th week -
It's been two days.
We did not find anything.
The situation unfortunately has not changed much and everyone is already showing signs of physical and mental fatigue.
The children we rescued slept for an entire day
We asked them a little about what happened, but the moment we asked them, their eyes filled with tears and they could not say much. They were crying a lot and they spoke sobbing and in extremely low voices.
They told us about having entered that room without any problem, but that Lucrezia ran out of nowhere and pulled them by the arm.
They were very frightened because of all this and then they said they felt someone following in the darkness.
Some time later they were imprisoned, but the Yalahar saved them, but they could not tell where he was or if he was well.
The last thing they said was that the ground trembled and Lucrecia pushed them away.
After that the light disappeared and you could not see anything else.
They held each other's hands and moved on, guiding themselves along the wall.
Then Sigmund and I appear.
- 2nd day of the 9th week -
It's been four days. My head is aching too much and I have not been able to sleep right since it started.
Sigmund went into the Cave last night and has not returned yet.
He usually came in and was in there for about 6 hours. I would come back, I would eat again.
I'm sure he has not slept in the last 4 days.
After several hours Sigmund returned.
He was carrying something in his arms wrapped in a cloth.
His face was pale and there were cuts and scrapes everywhere. Besides being clearly downcast and gigantic eyes on his face.
Approaching I saw spots of a purple goo that I knew to be blood of a specific species of monster. The Phyrs.
So he was really carrying what I thought he was. A corpse.
That thing had eaten one of the children and Sigmund killed it and pulled it out from inside the monster's stomach.
It was the little Saladin of only nine years old. I could not contain myself and I cried a lot at the time. Why did such a young child have to die?
But Sigmund's expression was something I could not understand.
It was a mixture of hate and frustration, along with a strange, cold aura that left me speechless. Even my tears ceased.
He was always an easy person to read, but this time I could not imagine what I was feeling.
I thought of many things I could say, but no words came out of my mouth. It was as if everything had been sucked out of my mind. There was nothing that could be said ...
- 1st day of the 10th week -
After all these days the hopes are already fading. No one can survive much without food and water.
The kids received some supplies, but that's enough for just one day, so it's certainly over.
A generalized fight began between the groups, since everyone believed that the girls and Yalahar were dead and there was no reason to continue hunting them and if they have been devoured, nor will there be a corpse to find. Also, it's been 10 days that they are out of work and without sleep or eating right because of all this, so it's understandable some exalted moods.
I can no longer rest right and I believe that neither the others. Sigmund is by far the most tired and is refusing to sleep, despite many protests from me and everyone else.
I'm doing everything to keep at least some hope and I pray El that the two girls and Yalahar are still alive. Otherwise I think he'll end up freaking out.
- 5th day of the 10th week -
The rest of the staff returned from the mission at dawn.
Now having their help, maybe it's possible ....
To be honest ... I ... I ...
It's best to avoid thinking about it. There is still hope, though not much. Afff ...
Everyone had already given up and I know that I am one of them.
After a while, all who had arrived learned of the situation, some of them did not even remove their equipment and entered the cave as well.
The Boss appeared to be very concerned and took over the situation quickly.
He tried in vain to stop Sigmund, who ignored him. But he sent the Android, Dajiang and Yohan to help, and the android has night vision.
I joined a team too, along with Brunhilda, Marvin and Gabriel. But we waited a while and took a different direction from the other group.
Almaria stayed with the children, helping to prepare meals. Jhyr and Louis stood guard outside.
I was completely unmotivated and airborne in that place, and could not find in my mind any good reason to be drifting aimlessly into that dark place.
That silence was suffocating, to the point that it was possible to hear clearly the metal sound of the armor as we moved.
And after a few hours walking in the intense darkness, we heard metallic sounds of swords echoing through the interior of the cave.
I was going to run away, but Brunhilda stopped me from running. She told me that I could and would hurt or end up generating a catastrophe with flushed and mindless movements.
We approached quietly, but something hit me in the face. It was hot and smelled of metal, and its color was a very dark red, almost black. It took me a while to realize it was human blood.
When I found myself, Yohan and Dajiang were on the floor in front of me. But the blood probably belonged to Sigmund, who was standing, facing a huge Albin Lycanthrope.
We immediately joined Sigmund and managed to chase the creature away. It was a great luck not to end up dead.
And when I was about to help one of the fallen, I heard a thunderous sound coming from one from which the Lycanthrope had fled. A light shone for only an instant and then dissipated. We all stand guard, waiting for an enemy.
Sigmund was about to faint, so I needed to protect him, and the other two fell as well. But when she was ready to fire at the shadow, Sigmund held my arm tightly, preventing me from launching. Then he fainted.
Then it came out of the darkness, two girls. They really were alive after all. I think I'll have to apologize to Sigmund when he wakes up.
They were weak and thin, but they had no serious injuries. Except Lucrecia's right hand that had a very big burn and she could not move right.
When we left that place, a ray of sunshine hit my body. The girl I carried held me tight and my body became warm. I felt that a ton had left my shoulders. Gradually I felt my back get wet and hot, and when I tried to pull away she squeezed me. I can not even imagine what she went through.
The other girl, Kururu was quiet and distant. She refused to be charged. When she saw the sunlight, a faint smile appeared on her face, which was soon covered by her usual cool, indifferent expression.
What happened in this place was terrible, but it showed me some things about certain people I did not expect. Maybe this is a Dawn I will never forget ...
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