Chapter 23: Behind a closed door.
‘It’s the twenty-first. What the hell? I don’t understand…’
Kenley swung his longsword around, gasping after killing the twenty-first mutated monster in the Greedy forest. He had a serious frown on his eyebrows even after killing those strong mutated monsters as if they were just a joke to be called mutated monsters.
He brought one knight with him, but his knight trembled in fear ever since they came into the Greedy Forest. Moreover, his knight was actually more frightened by his strength after killing those monsters.
Other than that, Kenley was actually feeling complicated after leaving The Presais temple; the temple in the Rayen Kindom, where Kenley got a roll paper that he showed to the Imperial Prince Jaden beforehand.1In chapter 14: the first journey
He gritted his teeth, remembering all information he had read in that ancient text from the Pesais temple.
Anger, confusion, suspicion, disappointment, and… frustration. Those emotions filled him at that moment.
He didn't even reach the end of the first region of the forest, yet he already met lots of strong mutated monsters and poisonous trees that could chase humans.
‘My knights weren’t lying. They said the truth… this forest is so dangerous!’
He let out a sigh as he finished gasping. He then looked at his longsword that covered with a lot of blood. Compare to the day he visited this forest with Selena, his sword had killed thrice amount of monster than before.
[The Erland Clan is the guardian of the Siki mountain, a mountain that surrounded by a forest filled with monsters and poisonous plants.]
[They became the guardian because… monsters in this continent were scared by the Erland Clan]
Kenley thrust his longsword into the ground, biting his lower lip as he had his head down, and a drop of sweat dripped down from his chin onto his sword as he started to ponder.
‘Celine could be from the Erland Clan. Did she feign ignorance about that clan? or she really didn’t know? Who is she?’
“Your highness,” called his knight, breaking his reverie.
“Call Liam now.”
“But y-your highness?” The knight stuttered. He was actually scared of Kenley rather than the forest.
Well, it couldn’t be helped. Because Kenley was like a starving lion ever since he came into this forest.
“What? Just spit it out!” Shouted Kenley, pull out his longsword from the ground.
“I-I just got a message from Sir Liam telling you to come back soon.”
Kenley put back his longsword into the scabbard, looking up to the sky before responding.
“Let’s go back then.”
The next morning, Selena did her daily exercise as usual and even greeted almost all the villagers on the island while she was running around the Gili island.
Although the case regarding her family and Conrad’s were still bothering her, she just let them flow without minding them a lot—because Selena wanted to enjoy it. She wanted to enjoy how her new life flows.
Well, more precisely, she just wanted to enjoy her holidays and give her mind a break. Giving a break for herself before making any decision. Selena wanted her mind at ease for some moment, sorting out everything she had gotten before deciding what she should do in the future.
“You look happy,” said Conrad before chewing his food while observing Selena who was finished her bath after doing her crazy exercise.
“I do? I only think that the food here is so good! Especially the sweet potato!”
“Hmmm, yeah… I never had sweet potato befo—”
Conrad stopped talking as Nessie came into the dining room.
“Miss, Sir Randy is here,” said Nessie before pouring orange juice into Selena’s wine glass.
“Thoold hiiiemm huuu hwaiit,” answered Selena while chewing her food.
Both Nessie and Milo had their heads tilted, confused with Selena’s answer but somehow, they understood the meaning of her words.
“I understood, Miss.”
Selena swallowed her food. “We need to buy lots of sweet potatoes in the capital. I want to eat baked sweet potato when we are home,” muttered Selena casually.
Nessie sighed. “Miss, this food is a low-class food. Sweet potatoes are food for the poor. That’s why our chef never cooked them in the first place.”
After finishing her words, Nessie gulped and broke out in a cold sweat. It was because Selena was glaring at her so fiercely.
“Now, sweet potatoes are food for the Kacper. Noted that, Nessie.” Selena put her cutlery before resuming her words, “for the poor? Heh… I will change that fact and soon, sweet potatoes will be food for high-class noble. Even for the royal families who stuck in that fancy barbie house.”
Although Nessie couldn’t completely understand Selena’s word, she could still tell if Selena was angry. For that reason, she chose to retreat without saying a word.
“The artifact is in the underground?”
Randy nodded. “Yes, Lady Selena. The artifact we protect is literally a stone.”
Selena and Milo blinked simultaneously.
“…Okay… lead the way.”
They were already in the unused temple that actually had a secret passage to where the artifact is.
Old stone walls could be seen everywhere your gaze turn. The smell of a humid and old stone pampered your nose, and oddly, this unused temple was clean despite its oldness.
It took around a minute for them to walk into the farthest part from the entrance, and they were facing a plain and old-looking wall now.
“So… do we need to touch any secret part of this wall or solve a puzzle to open the wall?”
Randy smiled at Selena’s question. “We only need to pass this wall.”
Selena slowly glanced at him from the side. “How? Should I break it for you?”
Randy chuckled, turning to the wall and glanced at her. He smiled before taking a step forward to the wall, and—
He just passed the wall as if it’s a portal into another dimension.
“It’s like in the movie,” Selena gasp.
“It is magic, Selena,” said Conrad softly.
“How could I know if it’s magic? I couldn’t feel magic at all.”
Conrad tilted. “It is weird. from what I know, humans should be able to feel mana or aura. Especially the very visible one. And this magic tool uses a magic stone, which is easy to be felt.”
Selena just blinked. “Stop talking as if I’m the weird one,” she pouted and Conrad had his head and tail down.
“Are you not coming, Lady Celine?” Randy’s voice could be heard beyond the wall.
“Right behind you.”
“Welcome, Lady Celine,” greeted a light brown-haired man, holding a spear, topless, and showed some scars on his body.
Selena didn’t mind the young and handsome men who greeted her as she stepped her legs on the room beyond the magic wall.
Because both Selena and Milo were still mesmerizing by the view in front of them.
There was a waterfall, that wasn't too high, right at the end of the cave, colorful and glowing plants surrounding the waterfall looked so magical. Even though the cave was quite dark, both the waterfall and the plants as well as the glowing flowers were illuminating the cave.
“Wow… can I swim in that waterfall?” Selena asked as her eyes couldn’t stop mesmerizing the view.
“Well, there’s no one ever swim in there but there’s no rule to not swim in there as well. So, I guess it’s fine,” answered the man who guarded that place.
“Anyway, Lady Celine, this is Naell. He is the guardian of this place,” Randy introduced Naell.
Naell smiled, fixing his straight and soft hair before taking out his hand to handshake. Well, this was the first time he met Selena, and he felt kind of nervous because Selena was prettier than the description he got from the villagers.
Selena glanced at Naell. ‘Another handsome man, huh.’
“I’m Celine just like what you’ve heard.” Selena gave a short smile before looking away, avoiding to do handshaking with him.
Naell pulled back his hand as he knew that Selena refused to do handshaking. Feeling awkward, he rubbed his hair before taking a step back.
“So, lead me to the artifact,” Selena ordered, turning to Randy.
She only wanted to see it as soon as possible because she eagerly wanted to go swimming in that fresh waterfall.
“Actually, if this artifact is a secret, why did you tell me in the first place? I’m surprised that you believe me that much even after I introduced my true identity.”
“Well, it’s true that I didn’t believe you since the first time we met. But I asked accidentally last time.”
‘Liar.’ Selena glanced at Randy who walked beside her, smirking as their eyes met.
Randy already knew that Selena found out that he lied, and he was sure that Selena knew the real answer. Then, both of them snorted while looking away from each other before a similar smile formed on both of their faces.
Milo who walked behind them could only wag his tail. He realized that Randy and Selena looked alike in some ways.
And after they went down the stairs beside the waterfall, there is another secret room. It is a small room that looked more like an old office. Ancient office to be precise.
“There was a person staying in this room?” Asked Selena, looking around before focusing her gaze on a sharp rock about 30 cm long.
It looked oval like a spearhead.
“Yes. He was the first head of our clan.”
“He? Wow.” Selena got closer to the spearhead-looking rock that was on the stone table. “It looks like a spearhead.”
“Indeed. He was a spear user,” said Randy and tried to lift the rock spearhead. “Well, it’s heavy too, and we can’t use it anymore.”
“Why? And why did you even keep this useless spearhead as a secret?” Asked Selena repeatedly, she seemed to be irritated a bit somehow.
Randy chuckled. “The dumb fact is, your question is make sense. We don’t know why we need to keep this spearhead a secret and even protect it. There is no actual reason because our first lord just told us ‘Protect this no matter what. don’t let this thing fall into the hands of darkness’”
Selena frowned her eyebrow as soon as she heard ‘darkness’.
“Who is this darkness you mean?” She asked with a serious gaze focusing on him.
“I’m not sure.” Randy glanced at Selena. “You have a clue?” he asked because Selena’s face turned very serious.
“Darkness being…” she muttered but could be heard by everyone.
Both Milo and Randy flinched, but Randy was the first to respond.
“No way. Darkness beings live in a different world. There’s no way they could step their foot in our world,” said Randy, shaking his head.
Both Selena and Milo glanced at each other for a moment. She then let out a sigh and turned away.
“Then, is there any important thing other than this? If not, I want to swim in the waterfall.”
“Well, actually there is a book that our first lord left us. But it’s pretty much useless because we can’t even read the language,” said Randy which made Selena turn to him.
“May I see it?”
Selena was curious about that book. She just had a strange feeling, because Conrad also had told her about a book given by his brother that was in a language that he couldn't recognize. She wondered if that book had the same language as the book Randy would show her.
“Let me search for it. I think it’s in the drawer,” said Randy, walking into the old drawer in the corner of the room.
Selena turned to Conrad again, and Conrad just blinked and tilted his head a bit after seeing Selena’s face seemed to be more serious than usual that actually gave him a chill.
“Ah, here you go.”
Randy’s voice invited Selena to turn to him. She didn’t focus on Randy but the book he was holding in his hands.
“It’s dusty because we never touched it,” said Randy, cleaning the book from dust by his hands, but Selena’s hands stopped him; asking to hand her the book.
“It’s fine,” Selena said, giving a short smile before blowing the rest of the dust that stuck to the book. She then read the first word of the book title. “Diary?” She muttered in a low voice.
“You could read it?” Randy asked, even though he couldn’t listen to her mutter properly.
Selena didn’t answer and only gave him a quick glimpse before shifting her gaze down and open the book.
She immediately closed the book, having her head down before slowly letting out a giggle.
Both Randy and Milo stunned and went silent. They both feel either weird and scared because Selena’s laughter was pretty vicious.
“Bastard…” said Selena, before looking into Randy’s eyes. “I’ll take this book with me.”
Randy gulped. “Sure,” he said and nodded, feeling iffy.
To be continued...