Chapter 38 Part 2 – Mother’s willpower is an arrow of lightning and her love is my tears. In the midst of despair, where there is nothing I can do but pray, a flying white horse descends along with the moonlight

 


Ranzan


「…This is where the forest is cut off!! The wind from the pond will become stronger from this point on!! The wind should be able to push back the poisonous air!! …Jump off the cliff!!」

Mother shouted as she rode the horse.
We finally got out of the forest.
A gust of wind blew. The ground was far below us.

「…Please!! I’m going to make you do something unreasonable for a little while! Please give it your all!!」

Just before the jump, I heard mother speak to the horses as if praying.
Our horses jumped out of the forest and into the wind, heading towards the ground located below the cliff.
The wind whistled in our ears as we descended.
The protruding parts of the cliff were coming at us one after the other at a frightening speed.
Mother and the imperial guards zigzagged like lightning, dodging and footholding themselves as they ran down the cliff with their horses. It was an amazing feat that even I, someone who had gone through 108 lives, could not do.
After making a magnificent landing, the horses proudly raised their faces as they had met our expectations .

「…Well done …It was amazing!!」

Mother and the imperial guards smiled happily and thanked the horses.

「It’s exactly like what the duchess said. It seems that the poisonous air can’t fly very far against the wind.」

Bradd sighed in relief as he looked at the top of the cliff while correcting the position of his buttocks.
The forest near the cliff, where a strong wind blows in from the pond, is still safe.
The poisonous air has been blown away by the wind and it was not able to erode the forest.
It will probably take some time for the demon dog Gallam to get past the remaining thorny cedar trees.

「That’s the best news of all. At this time of day, the wind will continue to blow from the pond into the forest. I’m sure of it because I’ve checked it many times when I come here to pick poisonous plants during the new moon. …If the demon dog Gallam can hurl poison, it’ll be dangerous to get on a small boat in the pond where it’s hard to move. While he’s struggling with the thorny cedar trees, let’s get away on horseback.」

Mother wiped the sweat from her forehead as she told the story of how she had made it through the night in the forest without hesitation.
Although she was acting gallantly, she must have been quite nervous inside.

We reached the shore of the pond we were looking for, but considering the poisonous air, we couldn’t use it as a trump card.
The situation was as bad as ever.
However, we were able to overcome the crisis for the time being.
It bought us a little time to escape.
I could see the relief on mother’s face.

However, the god of fate was cruel to no end.
Once again, our feelings were dragged down to the bottom.

「…No way…!! The escape route is submerged…!!」

Mother’s complexion turned pale on top of the horse.
The surface of the pond, which had been calm in the morning, was now roaring and swirling like it was another pond.
Just like a stormy sea, the waves violently splashed the ground near the bottom of the cliff.
A large amount of driftwood and protruding branches were fiercely clashing with each other in the muddy water.
If I had been caught in the middle of that wave, I would have been flattened in a single blow.
We had jumped into an extremely dangerous 15-meter square zone between the cliff and the muddy waters.
It was as if we were on an isolated island with all paths of retreat cut off.

「The water is murky…!! There was a flash flood in the mountain upper stream. At a time like this…!!」

Bradd groaned as he saw the color of the water, which looked like cloudy blood.

This pond is a natural pond that has been modified.
It is connected to a large river by a tributary.
The main current of the river originated from the peaks of far-away mountains.
The red sediment is a product of these mountains.
When it comes in contact with water, it turns to earth color in a few days, but when it is swept downstream by a flood, its red color can be seen for a while.
This is a scene I witnessed many times in my previous 108 lives.

I later found out that, as Brad predicted, a landslide occurred near the source of the main current, after which the naturally created dam broke down, sending the water downstream in a muddy torrent. It flowed through the tributary and into the pond. It had always been calm and sunny around here, so we hadn’t taken any precautions against rain.

「The boat is… over there…!!」

About five meters from the water’s edge, there was a familiar small boat surrounded by driftwood.
The pier was already submerged in water.
The boat was being poked and scraped by the relentless driftwood, creating a screeching noise.
There was no way that the thin hull of the boat could hold out for long.
It was an unpleasant spectacle as if someone had been waiting for us only to remind us of despair.
A small boat without a passenger will soon tilt and be swallowed by the muddy stream.

「Wait a minute!! Rope!? Is this rope connected to the ship?! No way.」

Pushing me against Mary, Bradd picked up the rope from the edge of the waves and pulled it with half-belief, then the boat responded with a bang.

「I knew it!! The untied end of the rope had washed ashore. Haha, are we lucky or unlucky?」

Bradd’s words made everyone’s expression lit up.
It seems that the god of fate that is watching over us loves to be mischievous.

However, my slightly rising hopes were shattered the next moment.
The forest above us burst open. Withered branches and leaves rained down on us, blurring our vision.
The cliff we had descended with our horses collapsed with a thunderous sound.

「Whoa whoa, that damned dog!! It’s already here…!!」

Cold sweat trickled down Bradd’s forehead.
A huge shadow came in front of us along with rocks and dust.
The ground shook.
I almost screamed as the silhouette of the demon rose up in the moonlight, slowly revealing itself.
Its bristles are entwined with withered branches of the thorny cedar trees and it was all sticking out of its body.
It looked like a bizarre otherworldly creature with insect legs sprouting from all over its body.
Drool dripped down from between its rows of terrifying teeth.
A red glint of insanity flared in its face.
The demon dog Gallam stared at me and bared its fangs.
The fangs were gnawing at nothing as if to prove that they were moving normally.
The ground beneath its feet was smoking.
The weeds under it were quickly withering.
The air around its body swayed creepily.
I immediately understood that its body was surrounded by poisonous air.
In addition, the silhouette of its body blurred into three and separated into three clones.

「That damned Gallam…!! It managed to use the Blood Sakura Butterfly perfectly. I can’t even make three clones…!!」

Bradd grinded his teeth as if to stifle his shudder.
I can no longer consider that as a normal living creature.
I trembled.
Every time it appears, it looks more and more like a monster!!

「…Are you showing that no matter what happens you have no intention of letting us escape? Guess we have no choice but to deal with it here.」

After letting go of the rope he was pulling, Bradd stretched his body.
Contrary to his carefree tone, the atmosphere was grim.

「No, Bradd, please pull the boat ashore, protect Scarlet with Mary, and take the boat to evacuate. We’ll be fine here on our own.」

Mother interrupted Bradd and glanced at the two imperial guards who were on top of the horses.
The knights nodded deeply at each other.

「From this point on, it would be the adults’ turn. This stage is not that bad.」
「Duchess, you’re finally going to use that ‘secret move’ that decorated the finale of His Majesty the King’s coronation ceremony. I can’t believe I’m going to be able to see this legend up close. I’m looking forward to it.」

Our faces turned pale when we realized that we would be the only ones to escape.

「Mrs. Cornelia, that’s reckless!!」「Madam, what are you saying!?」「Owaa!?」

Mother smiled at us as we protested.
It was a cool smile with no hesitation in it at all.

「Currently the wind is blowing towards the demon dog Gallam. The odds are in our favor. In fact, this is a good opportunity. The Melvilles’ arrows will not be defeated by any enemy as long as there is someone they have to protect behind them. The same was true for my mother. So… it’s my turn now. Please take care of my daughter.」

「…I understand. Mrs. Cornelia. Don’t overdo it, okay.」

Brad nodded as if to convince himself of that cool smile of hers.
He turned his back on mother and pulled the rope again.
Even though it was still connected to the ship, there were countless floating objects obstructing it in between.
An unskillful pull would break the rope itself. He had to pull it carefully.
In front of the three clones of the demon dog Gallam who was about to jump towards me,

「I won’t let you through!!」「You can’t attack the child without defeating the adults!!」

The two imperial guards rode the horses and stood in the way.

「The demon dog has three clones. In that case, we’ll reduce the number of targets for you, Duchess!!」
「The two of us will attack it now. After seeing the result, you can determine the main body of the demon dog!!」

The two knights fearlessly rushed forward like a gale.
In the midst of the turmoil, Brad was immersed in the work of pulling the boat in, with his back to the demon dog Gallam.
His lower lip was bitten tightly.
Instead of looking at them, he used his back to show that he truly trusts mother and the imperial guards.

「I guess he properly understands the will of a warrior.」
「How cool of him to turn his back on the demon dog and not look back.」

A knight from the imperial guards smiled, wielded a spear, attacked, and pierced through the demon dog Gallam that was on the right.
At the same time, the other knight also launched his spear at the demon dog Gallam that was on the left, but it also slipped through it.
Both the right and the left were illusions. It quickly disappeared, leaving only the demon dog Gallam that was standing in the center.

「…Too bad, I didn’t manage to guess it!」
「Same here… but we’ve done our job. Haha, the center is the real one!!」

Despite the headwind, the demon dog Gallam is surrounded by a dense poisonous air.
The two knights laughed loudly, but then they coughed up blood and fell off their horses.
Following their masters, the horses also had foams coming out of their mouths and fell over.


 


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