It was a full moon night, but all the light on the sky, all the stars’ glitters, and the bright moonlight can’t penetrate the thick canopy of the seemingly endless forest. The forest floor was dark, forsaken by any light, save from those that came the rare gaps between the tree. And now between the thick tree roots and bushes, a girl was running. Her pale silvery white hair cast a snow-like shadow, between the gloomy curtain of the trees.
Even though the night was cold and she would be grazed by thorns and branches if she traveled through the forest tonight, she was only dressed in her nightdress, which was now already in shambles, violated by nature’s growth. But, this was far from the girl’s concern. She restively scanning the space between the tree trunk and flee when she saw a patch of light coming from torches and lanterns, the signs that her pursuers are near. The rush of adrenaline couldn’t make the ache from her bleeding bare feet gone, but at least it made it bearable. She didn’t know how much more she has to run. But the other alternatives are unpleasant. She thought of those who make her escape possible. Even though she was hoping that the others are fine, but she knew that by now they would be dead, and so she will if she is caught.
Holding back her tears of pain and despairs, the girl ran for what seemed to be hours, but her pursuers were relentless. Though she wished that they will give up, she knew very well that the Wing Knights from Royal Order of the Ariana will never stop until they fulfilled their duty. A truly magnificent dedication, but for now, she wished that they’re not. She wanted to stop, but she realized that she now held the hopes of the people who sacrificed themselves for her. And even it was just only for a bit, this girl, who only knew the unpleasantness of life, still wished to stay alive nevertheless. Between the steps, between the breaths, she made a what might be her last selfish prayer to the God Dyaus the Lord Sevenfold, Ruler of the Seven Lands, Seven Seas, and Seven Heavens.
“Lord Sevenfold, please save me.”
Her prayers…… didn’t come true. In the darkness of the forest, the break on the terrain was very hard to see, even more by the girl who didn’t carry any light source. She made a misstep and tripped when her right feet was caught between the root. She badly sprained her ankle, she could hardly walk. Even when she tried, the pain was unbearable. In the corner of her eyes, she could see a light between the trees, the barking sound of Chase Hounds sniffing on her scent, and the rowdy yell of armed men. This was it, the end of the road for her. Even if it was painful, even if she cried like a waterfall, even when her mind and body yelled to her to stop, the girl kept moving using the trees as her support. However, she was slow, and her pursuers were fast. Even if she had bought more time, it wasn’t enough. Using her last burst of strength, the girl wended her way through a large growth thornbush, which gleefully drew red lines of blood on her unprotected soft skin.
When she had passed through the thornbush, she fell down, as her feet had reached their limit. And then she froze as a sun-like bright lantern light suddenly shone over her. Having accustomed to seeing in the dark, the bright light was like a scorching flame on her eyes. She could hardly see the surroundings but there was the silhouette of a person holding the light source. Thinking that he pursuer had finally caught up with her, any resistance to her tears was broken and she descended into sobbing, lamenting her fate and luck.
Perhaps seeing her shielding her eyes from the light or her crying, the person’s lantern dimmed down into giving a gentle white light. With the light intensity reduced, the girl could see between her tears that the person – a dark-haired young man in a similarly dark-colored coat – wasn’t a Knight nor her pursuers. She looked around and saw that this was a clearing around a giant fallen tree and there were animal trails towards both sides of the clearing. There was a small campfire shielded by the fallen tree with paraphernalia surrounding it. The man didn’t make any movement and just looking at her with a mixture of curious and surprised expression. The girl wanted to let out a cry for help, but before she realized, her parched throat threw out no words other than the sobs between her tears.
The man who was unmoving at first and unsure of how or what to do, immediately dashed towards her and put his coat over her wounded body. The coat felt warm to her cold skin and her battered heart. Seeing that the girl didn’t move nor speak at all other than intermittent sobbing, The man then started to address the girl. The tone was of concern, something that she really appreciated in the current situation.
“Hey, umm… Can you understand my words?”
Her tone was cracked and unsteady. She felt shivers running through her veins as the kickback of adrenaline rush was over. The man seemed relieved by her answer.
“It’s good that the language passed through well. Anyway, can you walk? Let’s move to the fire where it’s warmer.”
The girl tried to stand, but her strength had been spent, and her sprained heel sent agonizing pain through her while legs, that she soon fell down once more. But before she reached the ground a strong arm came to support her. The girl looked up and saw that the man was looking at her with a reassuring smile.
“Seems that you can’t… Let me help you.”
With the man supported her, she moved limping towards the campfire, and the man lied her down atop of a soft cloth cover, which shielded her from the cold humid forest soil. The warm cloak and the gentle heat from the fire calmed her mind and made her almost forgetting what had transpired tonight. The man then offered her a glass of warm drink which she drunk eagerly. It was sweet and taste like fruit juice, consoling her out of her miserable feeling.
“Are you alright? Just what had happened to you?”
The girl looked at the young man who took a seat on a chair at the opposite side of the campfire. Now in the campfire light, she could see that the man had night sky-like black hair and a foreigner look, who looked not much older than she was. He had already wear another coat, a similarly dark-colored coat that she was wearing now. The man seemed to be observing her with a great interest for some reason, though her mind still petrified and couldn’t think straight. Just when she had regained some of her composure and was going to answer the man’s question, there were noises, barking, and voices coming from the other side of the thornbush.
The terror that she had felt before, returned once more. Her shaking hand dropped the cup which then clattered as it hit the soil. Even with the warm coat and campfire, chills started to creep over all of her body, making her shivering from dread. Perhaps taking cues from this, the man immediately sprung up and took a position between the girl and the bush. A long stringless crossbow-like weapon was held between his hand and was aimed at the bush.
Surely enough, 7 Knights appeared from the bush, with 2 Chase Hounds who was trying to lunge at her, though stopped short by the chains held by their handler. The Knights stopped moving when they saw the man. The air was filled with such tenseness that one could touch it. The Knights were looking at each other as if trying to discuss what they should do until they suddenly unsheathed their sword and pointed it at the man.
“Hand over Princess Aliyah!”
The man looked at the Knights and then at the girl, Princess Aliyah. Aliyah looked at him with imploring eyes and shook her head left and right. That seems to be enough answer for the man as he then spoke.
“She doesn’t seem want to. And I don’t think you are not here to save her either…”
“If you know what the best for you. You will hand her over to us, or else…”
Aliyah grabbed the man’s coat as moved behind him if to hide herself from the Knights, which isn’t working that well since the man was only a bit taller than her.
“I think it’s you people who should leave now, or else…”
The man pointed the stringless crossbow in his hand towards the Knights, who were then looked at each other as their stance became more threatening and began to move towards the man. Their distance was only 8 meters or so, a trivial distance that could be covered by a short stride. The man and Aliyah appropriately moved backward and kept their distance. The man then asked Aliyah while still keeping his focus at the
“Hey, are they bad guy? They don’t come to save you but to do bad things to you, right?”
Aliyah remembered what happened tonight and nodded with a weak, “Yes.” The remembrance of the tragic scene that happened just several hours ago made her eyes swelled with tears again. Even without turning back to look at her, the man could hear her sobbing. The Knights approached in a cautious manner, the man observed the situation carefully. The fact that neither of them carries any ranged weapon was in his favor.
“I warn you. If you don’t want to die, just step backward slowly and leave this place.”
The Knights looked at each other again and began to fan out to flank the man and Aliyah. The number was against the man and the situation grow untenable by the seconds. The man took a long sigh and asked Aliyah.
“Hey, can I kill these people?”
Aliyah was a bit confused by the question but she then gave another weak, “Yes”. The man and Aliyah moved backward until they reached the corner of the fallen tree trunk, and then the man took something from the pocket of his belt and threw it towards the Knights before he took Aliyah and hide behind the fallen tree. There was a loud explosion and after the ringing in her hear subsided, Aliyah could see that the man had gone from his side, and there was a sound of something cracking. She peeked from the tree and saw that it was as if the place was ransacked by a violent storm. Some of the Knights were covered by grave wounds and one of the Chase Hound had huge gaping wound over its head. Then she saw the man did something to the lightly injured Knights with the stringless crossbow-like object in his hand, that gave out a small cracking-like sound. Each time the sound appeared, the stringless crossbow seemed to shot something that then pierced the Knights’ armor and cause a round-like wound to appear on the Knight’s body, drawing out blood. When the last Knight and Chase Hound fell down, the man took a deep look at the surrounding before slinging the stringless crossbow to his shoulder and took out what seemed to be a smaller version of the stringless crossbow out. Then he aimed that smaller stringless crossbow at the fallen Knight’s head and shot. Twice. After confirming that the Knight didn’t move, he then moved to other Knights and shot twice. Even when the injured Knight appealed to him, he was unrelenting. He repeated this until all 7 Knights and the 2 Chase Hounds had two holes in their head.
The event took place less than five minutes, which left Aliyah dumbstruck. The man then approached Aliyah and asked her.
“Are you hurt?”
Aliyah shook her head and gave a weak, “No”. Then he looked at the man’s coat, there was a huge gash on the abdomen’s side. Aliyah face became pale and panicked and she immediately touched the gash as if to check the wound. Perhaps sensing this, the man then opened his coat. Although the coat was damaged, and the shirt below it got sliced too, there was no blood. Aliyah then could see that a thin black-line-patterned shiny mail-like intersected with very minutes black tiles under the cloth. It seemed that the blade couldn’t pierce through it. Aliyah looked up as if to seek an explanation
“A-a-are you hurt?”
“One of them able to slash me, but he wasn’t able to penetrate the final armor. So nothing serious.”
The man looked at the gash on his coat and shirt. He sighed…
“It still hurts…… though… I think it gets bruised underneath. I thought I am a goner back then…”
The man made a relieved expression. Aliyah looked down with a sad expression.
“I am sorry, this is my fault.”
“Don’t worry too much about it. But first, is there anyone else chasing you?”
“I-I think there’s more, there are dozens of Knights attacking the mansion.”
“What happened in the mansion?”
Aliyah shook her head in silence.
“You can tell me about it more after you calmed down. Anyway, since there are more of them. I guess we should change our location. Can you walk?”
Aliyah looked at her sprained heel and the ache suggested that she still couldn’t.
“No, I can’t… Sorry.”
“I see. Please wait a moment.”
The man beckoned Aliyah to sit at the chair he retrieved from the campsite while the man then started to tidy the remains of his campsite items that were damaged in the fight and put it all in a single box. He then looted the dead Knights of their weapons and belongings and threw it inside the box. Then he retrieved something from the box and planted it down on the ground at several places. After this was finished, he turned towards Aliyah and said.
“Hey, do you know if something like a bag or a box or skill or magic to store a lot of items exist in this world?”
Though the question is rather strange, Aliyah did her best to search for the answer in the meager knowledge she already had.
“I-I never heard of something like a bag or a box that can do that, before. But some mages can summon things or give things to the Spirits who will then watch over it.”
“I see. Then, I’ll offer this box into the Spirits’ caretaking then. Oh Spirits, I put this box to thee care.”
The man placed his hand on the box and it disappeared with all of the content. Aliyah was surprised since the magic to ask for an item or to offer an item to the Spirits was actually a large-scale ritual magic that will consume a huge amount of mana and not something that could be done trivially. But before she was able to ask about this, the man returned to his side and asked her to hold a small lantern.
Aliyah examined the small lantern that has a truly peculiar design. Unlike the lanterns that she knew, it gave off a rather strong directed white light. Before she able to study the lantern further, the man already crouched in front of her.
“Quick. Hop on.”
Perhaps because she had gained some resemblance of calmness. Aliyah felt a tinge of embarrassment of being piggy-backed by a man she just met a few moments ago, but since it was not the correct time nor place to fuss on small details like this, she threw her arms around the man’s shoulder and let her thigh be supported by the man’s arms.
“Are you ready?”
“Which way you came from before?”
Aliyah thought for a moment; though she had lost a bit of her sense of direction; after she looked at the location of the moon, she had a general understanding on the direction where she came before. She then pointed with the lantern in her hand.
“Then we’ll go the other way. Illuminate the way please.”
They moved on one of the animal trail leaving the corpse-filled campsite behind and heading deep towards the forest. Perhaps luck was on their side, they didn’t encounter any more pursuers. Then after walking for half of an hour and so, the man spotted a secluded dolmen-like rock formation hidden from the road and took a rest. Even if Aliyah was only weight 40 kilograms or so, carrying such undistributed weight would tire anyone, especially since the man wasn’t that taller than Aliyah nor look buffer than the Knights.
“I’ll guess this is far enough…”
After he put Aliyah leaning on one of the larger rock and asked her to turn off the lantern, the man looked at the direction of the campfire. Even though it was rather far and there were trees blocking the sight, Aliyah could still see several figures moved around the campfire light. Most probably the comrade of the dead Knights who came to check for them. The man already put what looked like a farsighting glass on his eyes for a few moments. Then he asked the girl.
“Do you have any friendly people searching for you? Or just bad guys?”
It didn’t take long for Aliyah to give her answer. There was a tinge of sadness in her voice.
“None. There’s no one now… I am now alone.”
“I see. Then this will buy us some more time.”
The man then pressed a device in his hand and suddenly a huge explosion roared in the forest, sending strong wing that makes the branches rattles and sending a huge smoke into the night sky. Aliyah looked at the smoke with an apprehensive expression, while the man just looked at it with a somewhat gloomy expression while peering on his farsighting glass. After several minutes of silence, the man looked at Aliyah.
“They’ve gone. We’re safe for now on. Let’s treat your wound.”
The man reached out his hand into the air and the mysterious box suddenly reappeared, then he seemed to remember something and the box disappeared once more.
“Oh right… Umm… Oh Spirits, prithee return the box that was under thy care.”
The box appeared once more. The man pulled out a white box with a red cross on it, what looked like a soft carpet, several smaller objects and then what looked like very thick tent-like cloth. He carefully covered the rock formation with the cloth forming a makeshift roof and wall, then he put the carpet on the ground, and beckoned Aliyah to lie down. He then put the small lantern to illuminate the interior of the makeshift tent and gave Aliyah another glass of warm drink.
“Can you open your coat? Let me clean the wound.”
Aliyah let the coat slide from her skin, some of the wound hadn’t closed yet and the blood from her body and feet was sticking on the coat and the carpet. At this moment, her body seemed to remember the ache and pain that she couldn’t just ignore. She was covered with scratches from her cheek to her thighs, her feet sole was torn and leaking blood, one of her heels bulged with painful red color, and her frayed nightdress could hide little of the wounds from all the sharp branches and thorns that she encountered on her run.
The man carefully took out a green colored tube from the white box, which then he used to spray on the wounds. The sprayed skin was then covered with a sizzling foam and felt ticklish. The pain she felt before from the wounds gradually lessened. When the foam evaporated she could see that her wound had been filled with a whitish skin-like substance that seals the wound which stopped the blood from leaking out. The man then take out several large square bandage like thing and put it on her swollen feet. Although it felt painful at first, as the bandages settled on her feet, the continuous pain that she kept feeling from the hell gradually decreased. She never encountered something like this before. Even the wound ointment that she would get when wounded sting hard when applied to the wound and she would still feel some pain afterward. But what the man had done, it felt like magic.
“Please wait a moment.”
After putting the tube and excess bandages back into the white box, the man retrieved a whitish board from his coat and moved his finger over it. She couldn’t see anything on the board surface however, then the man went into the box and retrieved a white silk chemise, a white silk short underpants, a linen light-blue dress with long white sleeve, a red suede slippers, a pair of knee-length white woolen socks, and a white-light blue patterned woolen coat with beautiful passementerie and embroidery. The only thing that she didn’t familiar with was two pieces of cloth with several string-like cloth extensions. Of course, Aliyah understood the reason of why the man brought out the clothing. Her current appearance with frayed night dress and disordered looks must be unsightly. After all, she could see that the man seemed to have a hard time looking at her.
“Please change your cloth into this. The night is cold after all.”
Aliyah picked the clothing and examined it, which seemed to make the man remembered something.
“Oh yeah, in case you wondering, this is called a brassiere. You put it under your clothes and used it like this over your breast, then hooked it.”
The man then made an air demonstration of how to wear the mysterious apparel, before he exited the makeshift tent.
“Take your time. I’ll wait outside.”
Aliyah was a bit confused about how the event turned, but even so, she was grateful for the kindness that the man had shown to her.
It took some time to wear the clothing, but when she finished, she walked out outside the tent to inform the man that she had finished and found him leaning on a nearby tree trunk. The moonlight that peered between trees, fell on his face who wore a conflicted expression. Perhaps hearing the sound of her approaching steps he turned his head back and put a big smile as he expressed his approval.
“You looks great.”
She made an awkward reply. Only several people in her life had complimented her before so she didn’t know how to reply when a stranger suddenly compliment her. With the awkward situation in place, they entered the makeshift camp. Under the gentle light from the lantern and the sweet smell of the warm drink on the cups, the man then started to question Aliyah.
“I think an explanation is necessary. First, who are you?”
“I am Aliyah Shitisada Ariana, the Third Princess of the Kingdom of Ariana. I am forever in your debt for saving my life. May I know the name of my savior so that I can thank you properly?”
As befitting of her position, Aliyah acted in a regal manner, worthy of someone who called herself a Princess of a nation. The man, however, put a nonplussed face, which a bit confused her.
“A question first. What race do you think I belong to?”
The question was a bit strange, but Aliyah couldn’t just ignore her savior. She turned her brain gears, although black hair is not uncommon, his facial features weren’t something that Arianan or Fanirasian people had. And since she never encountered any people from other continents, she actually didn’t know the answer.
“I’m sorry, but perhaps you came from another continent?”
“I see, then Princess Aliyah can you please confer me with a name?”
“Confer you with a name?”
“Yes, if it’s possible, a normal name in this region or continent, please.”
Giving him a name? Aliyah couldn’t make heads or tails of the man’s question. Then, a name crossed her mind…
The name of a mythical Knight who served the legendary Soothsayer Princess Kahina who was exiled by the corrupt King Hordus in the Knight of Knights tales. Perhaps the similar situation Aliyah found herself in, made her remembered this story.
“Princess Aliyah, does the commoner in this region or continent usually possess a surname?”
“N-no… Only the nobles possess a Clan name.”
“Then does the commoner on other region or continent possess a surname?”
“I-I don’t really know…”
“I see, then my name is Yesid, just a humble travelling bibliothécaire. Nice to meet you, Princess Aliyah of the Kingdom of Ariana.”
The man, Yesid, kneeled in front of Aliyah and bowed his head. Truthfully Aliyah still couldn’t understand the flow of the current conversation. Why does he didn’t give her his real name?
“L-lift up your head. Can I know your real name?”
“Real name? My name is Yesid.”
“B-but that’s the name I gave to you.”
“That’s correct. That’s why my name is Yesid.”
“Then what’s your old name?”
“Old name? I’m Yesid, though.”
Certainly, the conversation didn’t go anywhere, so Princess Aliyah made a pout.
“Fine. If you don’t want to tell me…”
“Leaving that aside, how old are you Princess?”
“I’m 16. And you, Sir?”
“Can you guess my age?”
“Then my age is 24, Princess Aliyah.”
“Are making fun of me?”
Aliyah became sulking a bit at Yesid who keep avoiding her question.
“Of course not, Princess.”
“Then why do you keep avoiding answering my question?”
“I’m not avoiding your question. However, not every question have the answer you seek.”
“Like your name and age?”
“Yes. Also, I am just a humble traveling bibliothécaire, who come from another continent. There’s nothing more than this.”
Aliyah could understand that this means that he wouldn’t answer any question about his background.
“Then how can I trust you? Are you a spy from another country?”
“Well, didn’t I just killed lots of people who have no grudge with me just to save you? Also, I am not a spy from any country. You can trust this answer.”
“T-then why did you save me?”
Yesid made a conflicted expression.
“Well… Honestly, I am surprised too… Perhaps, I just can’t leave you alone in that situation, I guess.”
“A-are you not scared of me?”
“M…my silver hair…”
Aliyah showed Yesid, her silver-colored hair. Usually, it would be neatly combed, but right now it had been greatly disordered, even after Aliyah had tried combing her hair with her hand. The silver hair, the sign that the person is haunted and cursed by the Divs, the malevolent spirit. They will bring disaster and misery on the people and the land around them. That’s why they were hated and would be cast out or even killed when found, just like the fate Aliyah had when her hair turned silver on her 14th birthday.
“So it had that kind of setting? Ah, I mean, o-oh yeah… U-ummm…. yup, I am scared alright……”
Even though Yesid said that he was scared, he was more like confused. This was the first time Princess Aliyah see someone who wasn’t afraid after seeing her silver hair. Even her close maid and attendants, was shocked the first time they saw her like this.
“Princess Aliyah, does having a black hair is something bad? Oh wait, some of the Knight have black hair so it’s normal, I guess.”
“Yes. Black hair is normal. My old hair color is also black.”
“That’s good to hear. So, the reason why they are trying to capture you is related to your hair color?”
“…I …I don’t know…”
Aliyah couldn’t form an answer. Even right now, she still couldn’t comprehend the situation.
“Can you tell me what had happened back then? Why did there are somebody out there tried to kidnap the Third Princess of a nation? Are you involved in some kind of succession dispute?”
Seeing that Aliah stammered, Yesid seemed to realized something.
“Ah, sorry. I don’t want to push you. But, I need to understand the situation to formulate in what way I could help you.”
Aliyah weakly nodded.
She then narrated what’s happened that night.
Aliyah had been living in the Royal Family’s vacation mansion ever since her hair turned silver two years ago. Usually, a Silver Hair would either be chased out or even killed when they were found, but perhaps because of familial love, Aliyah was only asked to live in the mansion away from prying eyes. In the public eye, she was just recuperating from a chronic disease. It may be called as a house arrest, but for Aliyah, her life didn’t change much. Until one night, a sudden commotion awakened her from her slumber. Dreadful screams and angry shouts could be heard from beyond her sleep chamber’s door. When she opened the door and walked down the corridor she saw a grim scene. There were people drenched in blood. The maids and the servants who worked in the mansion. It wasn’t just that, she could recognize their murderer from the emblem on their armor, a Wing Knight, the Royal Knight Order directly under the King’s control.
The Knight noticed Aliyah arrival and began to approach her with a bloodied sword. However, Aliyah only stood frozen as the knight approached, until one of the dying maids, grasped the Knight’s leg, and said with her last breath, “R-run… Prin-ces-……” before the Knight thrust his sword once more into the maid. This was enough to shock Aliyah who then began to run back into her chamber, locked the door, and activated the secret underground escape route. It runs alongside the mansion’s floor and would take her outside the mansion. She could hear the scream of slaughter and the shout of the battle above her. The mansion personnel was trying to fight the Knight but from how it was going it was clear that the mansion’s staff was losing. Holding back her tears and confusion, she finally exited the underground passage into the forest only to find that the mansion had started to burn. She didn’t know how long she stood watching the mansion slowly burned down waiting for the other survivor from the passageway. Rather than a survivor, it was a Wing Knight instead who exited the secret passage. That Knight was handling a Chase Hound and was followed by more Knights. It was this moment that Aliyah decided to run further into the forest until she was found by Yesid.
“I see. So it’s attempting killing or kidnapping and then burning the evidence. Quite a devious strategy.”
Yesid seemed to form a picture of what had happened.
“Do you know why they want to kill you? Is it related to your silver hair?”
Aliyah looked down and shook her head. It was also something that she wanted to know. The Father – the King – that she knows is a man who greatly cherished and treasured his family, she couldn’t just imagine that he wanted her, his most cherished daughter, dead.
“So, what’s your next plan? Got any place in mind?”
Aliyah shook her head once more, no one would gladly accept a Silver Hair. She really got no clue on what to do next… Is there even a reason to run away in the first place if, in the end, she didn’t have anywhere to go?
“………… Sir Yesid, where do you intend to go? Can I come with you?”
“………… You want to tag along? Sure… But where to go, huh? Good question.”
Yesid took out what seemed to be a paper and something that seemed to be a writing implement.
“Princess Aliyah, can you draw a map of the surrounding location? Let’s make the center of the map to be our location. Let me mark it down.”
Yesid doodled stick figures which seemed to be the representation of him and Aliyah. The rather sloppy drawing made Aliyah drew a smile, either was this a deliberate action or not, the gloomy air around Aliyah's mind had decreased slightly. Aliyah then started to make a simplified map of the surrounding area.
Currently, they were in the Southern Reach of the Forest of Gan’Edden, a gigantic forest that covered the central Harborz Mountains, on a continent called Faniras. The continent was then furthermore divided into 4 regions based on the 4 mountain spurs that grow from the Harborz Mountains. Coincidentally these regions corresponded to cardinal directions: South Region is called Eryavai, the North Region is called Chorasam, the East Region is called Manisa, and the West Region is called Setra. Each region had a great river flowing in them that originated from the foot of Harborz Mountains, Pishon River on the south, Chiyon River on the north, Sidekel River on the east, and Firas River on the west. Ariana Kingdom is a large Kingdom that controlled most of the Eryavai with minor client states located on the border with other regions. There were similarly great states on each region which then form what the colloquially called the Four Great Powers. Other than Faniras there were 6 other continents, but other than their name Aliyah only knew basic information about them.
“Princess Aliyah, where’s the closest foreign country from here?”
“Gaufa Kingdom to the east?”
“Do they have a city that serves as a trade center?”
“I don’t really know, but the city of Kandesamar is famous as a place where you can buy gems.”
“……*cough*…… Oh, what a coincidence, Princess. I am in the journey to the city of Kandesamar to collect some books. I would be an honor if you want to accompany me in my travel to the city.”
“You collect books?”
“W-well, I am a bibliothecary, after all, of some sort…”
“What kind of books you want to collect there?”
“Umm…… what kind of books they have in there?”
“…… Sir Yesid…… Can I put my trust in you?”
“I am the same. Can I put my trust in you? Especially after what you have seen tonight?”
Yesid tone at the end became serious and somber. Aliyah understood what he means, during this night, she had seen several inexplicable thing, like what’s with the stringless crossbow, what’s with the mysterious box, what’s with his under armor, what’s with the explosion, what’s with the lantern, why he didn’t know anything about the surrounding area, why he kept avoiding answering truthfully about his identity and instead inventing answer from her words. Can he trust her to not reveal his mysterious background and tools to others, was what he implied. Then again, he shouldn’t worry about it. No one will listen to a Silver Hair, after all.
Aliyah then kneeled on both of her knees and bowed down until her forehead touched the carpet.
“With my honor as the Third Princess of the Kingdom of Ariana, I swear in Lord Sevenfold’s name, Dyaus, that I will not transgress the trust that Sir Yesid put into me. If I do then may my soul be devoured by the Khrafstras in the Duzakh (Land of No Return).”
When she lifted her head, she saw that Yesid also did the same thing.
“I, Yesid, promise that I will be trustworthy to Princess Aliyah, never cause her any harm in every situation, with good intention and without deceit, thereto I pledge myself. If I didn’t then may the wrath of the eight million gods fell upon me.”
Yesid then lifted his head and smiled at her, which she replied back.
“Then, I am in your care. Please treat me well. Sir Yesid.”
“It’s my pleasure, Princess Aliyah.”
Thus Aliyah met the man who called himself Yesid, a man who answered her questions with farcical replies. Just who is this man’s real identity? Then again, as a Silver Hair, Aliyah had no other place she could go. Perhaps, Yesid could lead her to an answer.
Today’s BOX content:
- BOOK (1+E78) (Invulnerable - User Restricted)
- ᚠᚨᛖᚡᛟᛚᚲ Interdimensional Storage System (1km2) (Invulnerable - User Restricted)
- White Brief (medium - cotton) (resold)
- Adventurer Shirt (medium - cotton) (resold)
- Adventurer Pants (medium - cotton) (resold)
- Adventurer Coat (medium - cotton) (resold)
- Travelling Bag (resold)
- Pemiccan Rations (15/15 – resold)
- Medicinal Herbs (5/5 – resold)
- 2L Water skin (resold)
- Common Iron Sword (resold)
- Black Long Coat (medium - nanocomposite linen) (dirtied by blood – resold)
- Black Shirt (medium - nanocomposite cotton) (damaged – resold)
- Black Trouser (medium - nanocomposite cotton)
- Black Underwear (medium - nanocomposite cotton)
- Outdoor Camping Set (damaged – resold)
- Generic 5L Rucksack (damaged – resold)
- CosmoGeneralArms 3mm Gauss Compact Rifle (85% battery left, 60/60 ammo)
- CGA Rifle Enhanced Electronic Target Assistance and IFF System
- CGA Rifle Gyrostabilized Recoil Compensator
- CGA Rifle User Control Access
- Box of CGA Gun Battery (2/4 units)
- Box of CGA 3x20mm WC flechete ammunition (692/1200 ammo)
- Heckler & Koch CSP9 semi-automatic pistol (15/15 ammo)
- Box of 9×15mm Reaper WC caseless ammunition (486/600 ammo)
- Crate of CGA Anti-Personnel Hand Grenade (5/12)
- Chrome-Vanadium-Steel Katana (99% Sharpness)
- Nanocrystal-diamondoid STF Cloth Armor (99.5% endurance left)
- Unknown plant leaf and stem (edible) x 47
- Chrome-Vanadium-Steel Field Knife (94% Sharpness)
- Unknown plant leaf and stem (edible) x 23
- Unknown flowers and stem (medicinal) x 12
- Unknown plant leaf and stem (medicinal) x 6
- Unknown fruits (edible) x 7
- Unknown fungi (edible) x 13
- Unknown grasses (medicinal) x 55
- Unknown fruits (edible) x 26
- Unknown flowers and stem (medicinal) x 10
- Unknown plant leaf and stem (medicinal) x 49
- Unknown plant leaf and stem (medicinal) x 9
- Unknown flower and stem (medicinal)
- Unknown fungi (medicinal) x 15
- Unknown fruits (medicinal) x 12
- Unknown quadruped mammalian corpse x 5 (sold)
- Unknown quadruped mammalian corpse x 7 (sold)
- Unknown quadruped mammalian corpses x 2 (sold)
- Unknown large avian corpses x 1 (sold)
- Unknown large quadruped mammalian corpses x 9 (sold)
- Unknown large quadruped mammalian corpses x 12 (sold)
- Unknown quadruped reptilian corpses x 9 (sold)
- CGA 60mm Man-Portable HEMP Missile Launcher (0/4 ammo)
- Unknown large quadruped flying reptilian corpse
- 12L Water Canteen (8/12 Liter)
- Box of Generic Brand Instant Chocolate Milk Powder (35/40 packages)
- CosmoGeneralAppliances Portable 1L Electric Kettle (95% Battery Left)
- 2L Vacuum Flask (Chocolate Milk 0.5/2 liter left)
- Box of Generic Drinking Cups (ceramic) (11/12 cups)
- Box of Ready to Eat Meals – Eastern Earth Cuisine (57/60 pouches)
- Box of Generic Eating Utensils (silver) (12/12 sets)
- Portable CGA LED Lantern (36 hours of usage left)
- Floor Cover (wool) (5 meter square) (damaged – resold)
- Black Long Coat (medium – nanocomposite linen) (damaged – resold)
- Unknown Iron Sword x 7
- Unknown Metal Coins x 63
- Unknown Metal Emblems x 7
- Crate of HRP Plastic Explosive (5/25 1kg mold)
- Box of Wireless Detonator and Switch Set (5/6)
- Black Long Coat (medium – nanocomposite linen)
- Chameleon Canvas Cover (20 square meters)
- Plain Carpet (cotton) (5 meter square)
- First Aid Supply Box
- White brassiere (small – cotton)
- White chemise (medium – cave spider silk)
- White underpants (medium – cave spider silk)
- Light-Blue dress (medium – linen)
- Red slippers (medium – bovine suede)
- White knee-socks (medium – alpaca wool)
- White-light blue coat (medium – alpaca wool)
- High-Altitude Aerial Drone x 4 (99%, 99%, 99%, 99% Battery left.)
- Box of Writeable Paper (499/500 pages)
- Box of Ballpoints (20/20 pens)
- Low Detail Hand-Drawn Map (author: Aliyah