I’ve managed to regain consciousness. But I’m absolutely clueless about my current situation. It’s nighttime already. But earlier, didn’t we all……
I snapped wide awake. That’s right! We were attacked by a pack of Gray Hounds! Everyone else was defeated one by one, and only I and Captain Antes remained fighting.
And even my left arm and my right foot were…… I raised my left arm and found everything below the elbow was missing. I looked at my right foot next… and sure enough, everything below the shin was also gone.
I was on the verge of crying, but I held the tears off.
Did Captain Antes treat me? Strangely, I don’t seem to be in pain at all.
Perhaps Fal managed to survive! But I seem to remember her being brought down by a Gray Hound in the earlier battle.
When I looked around my surroundings, I caught a glimpse of an unfamiliar man walking towards me.
I sighed in relief when I saw the girl wake up, cry out and then finally manage to suppress her urge to panic. She seems to be quite the levelheaded young girl. I gradually approached her.
“Hi there. Good evening. You’re not feeling any pain, are you?”
I casually greeted her. She won’t understand what I’m saying anyway.
The important point was to keep talking. I’ll have to make Nanom compile and analyze the local languages soon.
I didn’t understand the words the man was saying.
His appearance was also quite strange. His clothes were entirely pitch black and some parts were oddly smooth. When I managed to get a closer look, I noticed that his outfit was not separated into a top and bottom piece.
Just how exactly did he put it on, I wonder? Was it directly sewn over him? There were parts of it that shone in a strange luster under the light from the bonfires.
Was he a traveling minstrel? No, that does not seem to be the case. He looked quite young. About 20 years old perhaps.
“Just who are you? What did you say just now?”
“So you’re not in any pain. That’s good.”
“Tonight was definitely a great tragedy. But don’t feel discouraged. There are both good things and bad things in life. Some good things will surely happen to you next after all of this has passed.”
I gave her some appropriate sounding life advice.
I thought I managed to mishear him earlier, but it truly seems that the man was speaking in an entirely different language.
But what does this mean? As far as my knowledge went, no foreign country should be unfamiliar with the language I am speaking.
Did he come from a country that was completely unknown to us?
“Did you come to aid me, good sir? But just where is everyone else?”
“Oh yeah, are you hungry by the way? I have some food and water here.”
I took a pet bottle and some rations out of my backpack and showed them to her.
As I thought. This man seems unable to understand the words I’m saying as well.
He showed me some items which looked like a transparent glass bottle and a square silvery box.
I have never seen such crystal clear glass before. I was honestly quite parched, but now is not the time for quenching my thirst.
“Where is everyone?”
When I scanned the surroundings once more, I managed to see the figures of my companions seemingly asleep on the other side of the clearing.
So everyone really was…
—See them… I want to see them!
Cleria attempted to crawl towards her fallen comrades. But the strange man stood up and made a gesture which seemingly bade her to stop.
Whoa there. Thought this would happen.
I immediately stopped her. If her actions ended up opening her wounds, my hard work from earlier would be for nothing.
Okay then. Let’s try out some charades.
The man began to move strangely.
He slightly stretched out both of his arms, sat up, walked three steps in the direction of my comrades, stopped and turned only his head back towards me.
While I remained petrified due to confusion, he went back to his earlier position and repeated those strange actions. He remained silent all the while.
Was he trying to tell me he’d help carry me over to them? I dislike the thought of being touched by an unknown man, but I truly have no other choice.
I nodded my head in agreement.
Alright! I got through to her. There’s nothing impossible if you just try huh.
But this made me feel like I’m really playing a game of charades, and I did it while staying whisper quiet. There wasn’t any particular rule saying I had to stay silent or anything. It’s a bit embarrassing.
The man approached me and held me up. It’s my first time getting this close to a man not a part of my family. It made me slightly nervous.
We started walking toward my comrades. Oh, everyone…
All of them had their throats mangled badly. It’s just like what I saw during the battle. And even Captain Antes was……
Everyone was laid out on the ground with their arms crossed in front of their chests. It seems that this man had treated all of them with appropriate respect. He proceeded to guide me near each of them.
Liner, Jimon, Arro, Antero, Miese, Mirka, Orvo, Fal and Captain Antes.
They were all people who have served me since I was but a child. Fal was even a childhood friend of mine. My tears finally overflow from my eyes. I think I cried for at least five minutes. The man then brought me back to the spot where a blanket was laid out and laid me back down.
Fu~u. I really have no idea what to do when a girl starts crying like that. Guess she really was quite shook up by the death of her companions. Yeah, I’m quite familiar with that feeling too.
Well then, I should get back to working on their grave. Guess I’ll have to explain it to her somehow as well.
The man brought forth a shovel and started gesturing around once again. He mimicked using the shovel to dig the ground and burying something afterward. He remained completely silent this time as well.
I managed to understand him right away. He surely means to give everyone a proper burial. I nodded in assent. The man went to work straight away.
“Please hold for a few moments, sir. It’s unfortunate that I am unable to offer any help, but I too wish to send them off if possible.”
The man gave me a stern look, seemingly saying not to delay him as he was about to send my companions off.
“Like I said, I also want to bid them a final farewell.”
The man repeatedly pointed back towards me, which seemed to say it was my turn to get my meaning across with gestures. I see, so we would not be able to understand each other without using such motions. This is a bit troublesome.
I proceeded to point towards everyone and then pointed back towards me. And then I repeated such actions.
The man-made an expression that seemed to imply his understanding and nodded to me. I managed to get through to him. He seems to be a fairly smart man.
The man carried me up again and started walking back to where my comrades were. He looked at me, seemingly curious about what exactly I would do. I also gazed back at the man, curious about where exactly he would allow me to send them off. We spent some time in utter silence.
Then the man ended up bringing me back to my previous spot.
It was no good! This man didn’t understand me at all!
Well, come to think of it, expecting to have him understand with just those simple gestures may have been too much. I thought for a moment and pointed to the shovel placed at the side. I then gestured towards the man. He picked the shovel up.
I gestured towards the man once more and imitated the action of digging with the shovel.
It was quite difficult to show it with only one hand. The man began to dig again while still remaining confused.
Afterward, I pointed toward myself and widened my eye with my fingers. How about this? The man’s expression lit up and made a gesture of agreement by forming a circle with his index finger and thumb while nodding. It looks like I did it this time.
After thinking for a moment, the man began to gather up the trunk cases which were formerly loaded on top of the carriage and brought them near the burial spot. He stacked three of them on top of each other and then had me sit on them.
He began digging once more. He’d already managed to dig up about a third of a hole that could fit everyone inside. I solemnly observed the proceedings whilst gazing at everyone’s faces. Tears fell from my eyes once again.
After about an hour, a hole deep and big enough to fit everyone in it was finally done.
The man had actually dug away for close to three hours. I am truly humbled by this. He then carefully lowered everyone inside.
The man seemingly remembered something and went back to get them. What he brought were apparently my severed limbs. The boot has been removed. It feels quite complicated to look at my own severed limbs like this.
The man gestured to put them inside the grave as well. I nodded. Everyone may depart more peacefully if these parts of me were to accompany them.
The man gestured to ask if it was alright to start filling the hole back up. I gestured to indicate that I wished to see the inside of the grave as he did so. I could not properly see it from my current position. The man understood immediately.
He carried me up again and brought me to a spot where I could see inside the grave clearly.
“Everyone has served me well for all this time. Your unwavering loyalty is this Cleria’s lifelong pride. Please rest easy. Farewell.”
I called out to the man afterward, and he nodded back. It took another hour for him to fill the grave back up with soil.
Afterward, the man brought me back on top of the blanket. I truly need to give him my deepest thanks for what he’s done. I sat up and directly faced him.
“I cannot find the words to suitably express the depths of my gratitude for your aid in this occasion. You had saved my life and allowed my comrades to depart with dignity. These are things I treat as truly worthy of recognition.
Thank you. This favor; I shall certainly return to you manifold. I swear upon the holy name of the Goddess Ruminas to reciprocate this grace without fail.”
I brought forth my magic energy and swore in the name of the Goddess Ruminas. My body glowed as a sign of recognition from the Goddess.
Yes. I cannot allow myself to fall just yet.