Volume 2 Chapter 4 Part 13

But once she entered the catacombs and turned on the magic light, she could not help it but to scurry along, and just like that, the two of them went back to the castle hall.

「We are done here. We are going to go home now. 」

When Theo spoke boldly, the well-built men standing at the door silently opened it for them.

「Thank you… 」

Siluca said expressionlessly and went through the door. She still did not feel like she was saved, but…

「Wait! 」

As soon as she stepped out into the garden of the Vampire King’s castle, they heard a voice calling out to them, which almost caused Siluca’s heart to stop, but she gathered herself and turned back to see what that sudden happening was all about, and she saw Elmer, the captain of the heavy knights of Waldrind, standing there.

「I want to accompany you. I want to make amends for my mistakes! 」

「Do you know what that means? 」

Theo knew it was unnecessary so say that, but he still wanted to make sure.

「Of course I know! 」
Elmer nodded strongly. All the time, his face had an expression of strong determination, so he definitely knew what he was talking about.

「Then please follow us. 」

Theo returned the bow that Elmer gave him, put Siluca onto the horse first, and then straddled it himself.

The castle’s gardener brought in another horse and silently handed it over to Elmer. Elmer thanked the gardener and mounted his horse proudly. Since no one tried to stop them from leaving until now, it would seem that the Vampire King really intended to just let them go.

「When I found out that the Vampire King is our enemy, I thought I would never see Lord Theo again… 」

Siluca let out a weak sound while feeling Theo’s presence on her back. Even now, her body was still trembling due to everything that has happened.

「I could not help it but worry if something happened to you too. 」

Theo nodded. Then he puts one hand behind him and hugged Siluca.

「However, I think I can somehow understand the feelings of the Vampire King. It is precisely because he values his own eternal life above anything else that he does not want to waste the limited lives of others. 」

「I think so too. It seems to be a contradiction, but if a disaster or a battle occurs, the loss of life is always unavoidable, and there is nothing that can be done about it, and maybe that is exactly why he just wanted to live in peace… 」

Siluca took a deep breath. Theo’s hand wrapped around her own body felt so warm to her now. That warmth of his really made her feel alive as well.

「To be completely honest with you… I do not know if we have the strength necessary to take these guys on right now. 」

「You can say that again. 」

Siluca nodded. The Demon Lord Adele has fallen asleep again, but that does not mean that their troubles are over. They still need to deal with the Vampire King, his kin and the Black Witch who was so powerful that she could summon a legitimate Demon Lord into this world like it was nothing. It was clear that they would have a tough fight ahead of them still.

But even if they know that the battle is going to be tough, they have no choice but to go through with it, since the Vampire King and the Black Witch both proclaimed loudly and clearly that their intention is to bring back the Age of Extreme Chaos.

* * *

Theo and Siluca returned safely to the castle of Baron Eugen Niklae. Elmer, the Captain of the heavy knights of Waldrind that invaded Artuk was also with them, and as soon as they got back he suggested that the Werewolves should kill him so that they could reclaim the Chaos Core that he stole from the Werewolf Queen Clara.
That was too good of an offer for the Werewolves to refuse, so they accepted it, and Elmer got his throat ripped open by Ion, Queen Clara’s eldest son, which caused him to die instantly. Not long after his death, his Crest was shattered and a Chaos Core emerged out of it, and all of Clara’s sons and daughters took rurns ingesting and assimilating it into themselves in a sacred ritual.

Seeing that, Siluca could not stop herself from crying. Clara was a great queen and a strong and kind mother. She loved her tribe, she loved her family, and she fought bravely for both of them and gave her life in order to save them.

When that was all said and done, Siluca used her magic wand to contact Margaret back at Castle Unicorn and inform her that both she and Theo managed to come back from The Forest of Eternal Darkness safe and sound, and she also reported that the Vampire King has joined forces with the organization called Pandora and that he challenged the entirety of Artuk in order to preserve his own eternity and usher the Age of Extreme Chaos once more.

Since the actions of the Vampire King were a clear violation of the pact that he made with the rulers of Artuk, Vilar decided that there was no choice for them but to challenge him. Upon Vilar’s orders, Baron Eugen Niklae was made the commander of the entire military operation against the Vampire King, and Theo was made to be his assistant.

Soon after that, various allies have began gathering at Baron Eugen’s castle, consisting mostly of the Lords from the north of Artuk and their soldiers, as well as the reinforcements dispatched by Vilar himself. Among the Earl of Artuk’s reinforcements was also Milza Kuches, the prince of Dartania.

The Werewolves, with Ion appointed as their new leader, also promised that they would fight together with the people of Artuk, and Priscilla, who was left to fend for herself back at the Werewolf village, also came to the castle with them. The Witch Elder Zelma also brought many White Witches with her.

And from Selvis, Aishela came on horseback.
「Si~lu~ka~~!!! 」

When Aishela saw Siluca’s face, she hugged her while shedding tears of joy and having snot run from her nose.

「I am sorry for worrying you so much. 」

Siluca got her face buried in Aishela’s chest, but she put up with her suffocation for once, and hugged her back. And once Aishela finally released her, she went and picked up Balgary, who staggered over to her with wobbly steps. His Highness was the one who contacted Aishela about the current situation and asked her to come and lend Theo and Siluca a hand, but since he could not enter Aishela’s shadow, he needed to be transported together with Aishela on her horse.

Once all the allies have been gathered, the battle could finally begin.

Theo led a group of about fifty soldiers from Vilar’s reinforcements and volunteered to serve as the vanguard in the attack. Of course, Siluca was going to accompany him, and Aishela, Irvin, and Priscilla also declared that they would be joining them. And for some reason, Prince Milza also forcibly joined the squad.

Under the bright red sky, they proceeded down a narrow road that was twisting and turning. At the same time, each unit kept a certain distance from the others so that they could be prepared for the eventual enemy’s attack.

Before long, as they advanced deeper into the forest, fog began to set in, and the road further suddenly disappeared from their sights.

「Is this the work of the Black Witch? 」

Theo threw a wild guess.

「Maybe the fog. As for the road, the Vampire King may have changed the forest’s layout since he is most likely expecting our arrival. 」

Siluca answered, indicating that they should not be surprised if any more weird occurences like that started happening all around them.

「What do you think will happen if we go through the woods in the fog? 」

「We will most definitely get lost. 」

Siluca sighed.

「Will this fog clear by itself? 」

「If it really is the work of a Witch, then something like that will probably not happen. 」

「Does that mean we have no choice but to move on in such conditions? 」

「Unfortunately, I think that’s the only way for us to go right now. 」

Siluca then tried to see if she could call the wind with magic to dispel the fog. But since the trees in the forest blocked the entry of the wind altogether, it quickly died down before it could even get close to their current location.

Just like she expected, it seemed that the forest itself was their enemy now.

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