The back of my ears hurt now and there was the trace of the feeling of pressure on my back.
We had jumped out of the manor and were pushed out by the explosive winds that followed.
Bradd had made a good landing and then ran about 10 meters to beat the trainer, and then he stopped.
「Whoa! Finally safe!」
Mother and Mary both relaxed and took a deep breath in.
His whole body was covered in sweat…no…it was all blood…because of that blood mist that was continually erupting from his skin.
The effects of the Blood Redemption disappeared and Bradd’s eyes shifted from red back to black.
「Ah…I can’t move a step. Maybe the allies will come now so I can relax…」
The Blood Redemption consumes one’s power completely, after all. In exchange for the explosive power of physical strength, one suddenly loses all power afterwards.
That said, even Bradd as an adult would only use it if absolutely necessary.
It must have been very hard on him since he was a kid now.
He stretched out his limbs and laid down on the ground…exhausted and totally pale.
But still…he was holding me as he laid down.
「Hey…you still…with me…」
He said, but he was mumbling this time instead of speaking clearly.
「We’ll talk later…about…you…」
And then, finally, Bradd fainted.
Have a good rest. You did what you needed to.
You really were a knight in shining armor.
And there are dead infants and mothers out there that perhaps have found an end to their remorse.
If I was an adult, I’d let you sleep on my knees, but as a baby, this is all I can do. I just slimed onto his chest and kissed his cheek.
He relaxed, and I pulled away…S…Scarlet Speed Scramble!
Ah! This guy wiped away where I kissed him!
I’ll teach you!
So I was about to bite Bradd, but then the ground shook like a giant had slammed the ground with a hammer, and all four of our bodies bounced in the air.
It seems that the Romalia Flame Flower had touched a pool of water in the basement.
When the burning Romalian Flame Flower hits a puddle of water, this causes a second eruption.
It explodes like a volcano and knocks down everything with a shockwave.
The scale of damage is frequently larger than the original flame.
And I’ve seen this over and over in my 108 lives.
Someone approaches and tries to douse the flames with water and get blown away in a following explosion that rips through the air. The Romalian Flame Flower should simply be LEFT ALONE.
So the roof of the residence was blown off…the remaining window frames bent outwards, and the walls collapsed with a roar.
Meanwhile, white steam whooshed out of the manor with the yellow color of flame illuminating the steam over and over.
The Romalian pillars that surrounded the house fell over one by one.
「The manor (of my mother and father-in-law) has collapsed!」
Mom said, clenching her fist tightly.
Did I hear her say something parenthetically to lighten the blow?
That pose seemed to be more of victory than of sorrow…
The old man was screaming behind us as we watched the duke’s manor fall inward into a pile of his demon dog’s remains.
The sound of cracking wood and stones breaking and colliding and then slamming into the ground was deafening. It was as if every joint and nail of the manor had been removed. Further, the explosion had broken the foundation and all pillars, so nothing could support the manor’s weight.
Almost like building a mine into a mountain and then burning down the pillars that held the passages up.
There were underground storage spaces all in the basement and some included water…this was probably blown out by the force of the explosion. And so the manor smoldered and sunk into the ground.
「Madam…Mistress…Bradd…I’m sorry…because of me, you all were in danger.」
「No, Mary, on the contrary, you provided the distraction that allowed us to kill the first two…if we had to confront all three together, we’d all be dead. You saved us all.」
Mother said to Mary, stroking her head. I agreed with mother.
A shiver ran down my spine thinking of facing Gallam from the front and the two others attacking our flanks.
Maybe that’s how they really fought.
It was good fortune that the two were dealt with so quickly.
「Maybe your son Joshua led you out there to save you and help you live longer.」
Mary said, crying.
She was finally freed from that long nightmare. My mother held her shoulders as she comforted her. I’m sure that mother could understand the girl’s feeling well.
And as we stood there, we heard a group of heavy hooves approaching.
Well, I wasn’t standing, and Bradd was spread out on the ground…
「What has happened?! Where is the Duchess?!」
Thirty knights galloped up to us.
I could see their red and blue coated breastplates, embroidered in gold, vivid even at night with the golden rivets that held the plates together. The cloth that lain under their steel plates was also exquisite. They looked almost like equipment from the royal throne, almost sophisticated machines and not works of art.
Some had cuts in their plates so they could move their arms more freely. They also had chainmail on their necks or waists, with coverage down their legs and plates attached. Those with bows had limbs free of plates while others had gauntlets and other equipment.
All of their horses looked sturdy, with hind legs full of power.
All their chests and hips were covered with bright cloth designed with the same red and blue as the knight’s breastplates.
The same as the cloth under their saddles.
If only one or two had come, I would have mistaken them for well accoutred knights attending a jousting ceremony.
The group of horses galloped in together in a crowd, and then slowed down with their noses aligned in a single line, switching from a fast to a normal trot. They then trotted in a stopped all in one line…what excellent skill.
You could also tell by the horses tossing of their heads that they were sensitive to sound and odor.
These knights and horsemen could tell that there was a dreadful smell…the smell of a burning demon dog corpse, and the loud sound of the manor collapsing behind us.
At first glance, I knew exactly who they were.
I had seen them many times in my previous 108 lives.
Bradd possibly had allowed himself to collapse because he had sensed their approach. Even though he didn’t see them, he could understand whether they were friend or foe.
They were the Hydrangea Royal Guard.
The final guard of the royals, they were the most formidable fighters around.
They were slightly lower than the highest knights of the nobles, but they had the latest equipment and strongest horses as they were the strongest troops of the kingdom.
When the previous king of Hydrangea was beaten and had prepared for death in his defeat, they broke through the mass of the enemy army, saved the king’s life in a miracle, retreated, and had a name synonymous with strength and courage as a mixture of knights from lower nobles and commoners.
This is the only road for commoners to become knights, a profession that all commoner boys dream about.
One knight rushes out of the group of horses and advances towards us.
「Because of the fire, I apologize for approaching the madam while still on my mount. We are the Hydrangea Royal Guard! We have been sent to protect the madam at the command of the crown. Where is the Duchess?」
The giant man said as he bounced on the back of his horse, removed his sallet helmet, and bowed.
He had large sideburns, eyebrows, and big eyes.
Though he was built like a rock, he was also charming.
Even being that hot and stuffy in all the armor, he was a strangely polite big man, and I remembered his face.
At this point he was the captain of the Royal Guard.