41. To the West and West

Two days later, early in the morning.

「…Well then.」

Mello carried a small baggage on her shoulders through the morning mist. There were no ropes or shackles to bind her hands. The path she stood on led to the edge of the village and into the mountains.

The wolf’s hidden village is deep in the mountains. It’s not easy to get in or out, but… that she is trained as a soldier. Even if she loses her skills, it wouldn’t be too much of a handicap.

「Mello-san.」

「Oh my!! You surprised me.」

A girl with silver hair and white skin that seemed to blend into the morning mist. Koe-san silently stood behind Mello with a small package in her hand.

「So you are leaving, right?」

「Perhaps it’s more appropriate to say I’m being kicked out. Were you the one who unlocked the door for me, Koe-san?」

「I wonder what you are talking about〜」

The healing skill [Seraph’s Grace] can even revive someone shortly after death, but in doing so it eats away at the user’s lifespan. No one knows how much lifespan Mello has left, having revived four people in total. She could even die tomorrow.

Even so, considering the secrecy of the village, she shouldn’t be allowed to escape.

It shouldn’t be allowed to happen, but–

「I have to get far away before anyone notices.」

Werewolves have a keener sense of hearing and smell than the average human. And obviously, prisoners of war would be kept strictly under guard with rotating schedules. There’s no way the guards didn’t know about Mello’s escape.

Yet no one came to look for her. And Mello wasn’t the kind of person where she couldn’t understand their intentions and continued to stay in the village.

「This is a gift from my master.」

「From Marge-san? What is this material?」

When she opened the small package handed to her, there was something that looked like a thorn inside. It seems to be a piece cut from something larger.

Looking through the light, she saw that the inside was filled with yellow liquid.

「Please handle it carefully. It’s part of a poison fang.」

「…I should use this if I can no longer bear the fear?」

Mello wondered if it’s for suicide, but Koe shook her head.

「The name of the owner of this fang is Vritra. Also known as “The Undying Dragon”.」

「Undying…?」

「This is not only a deadly poison, but also the body fluids of an immortal dragon. If it is processed into a medicine, it might be able to compensate for some of your lost lifespan. In a country far west of here, there is a city of students. Please go there and find someone with the knowledge and skills to handle this.」

「Far to the west… Ahahaha, as expected of Marge-san.」

Koe-san tilted her neck to the side as Mello laughed quietly.

「As expected?」

「This is the western countryside of Abik territory. If you go west from here, you’re outside the territory, or more specifically, outside the country. If you don’t want to die, leave the country, and then you won’t have anyone to tell the location of the village about…」

「That is……」

「It’s honestly amazing. If I had led a more proper life, I might have been able to come up with something like that as well.」

She looked up at the fog-covered sky with admiration. The blue sky was still hidden.

「But isn’t it a little too much of a service to give me the ingredients for a medicine?」

「About that, I have a message from master. “Indeed, the Divine Silver Sword was third-rate”.」

「……What does that mean?」

Marge, similar to Mello, spent six years fighting alongside his friends, and was almost killed by them. Mello doesn’t know anything about it.

Mello put the package away carefully, thinking it might be something for the future.

「It’s time for me to go.」

「Yes. I wish you good luck on your journey.」

「Thank you. Please tell Marge-san that if we ever meet again, I will definitely repay him for this.」

Under the sky that was beginning to turn blue, Mello’s back disappeared into the mountains.

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