“…were being tracked.”
Eventually, what Adelia was worried about happened.
Ivan stopped marching for a moment after hearing a report from Ranger. There’s a total of 14 pursuers. The number of opponents was small.
‘Even if we changed course, they catched up in the end.’
Perhaps there was a wizard on the pursuer’s side. Things became troublesome. As the number of people is small, the speed of movement will be faster.
“If they’re 14, wouldn’t it be okay to fight against them?”
Rowen cautiously commented. At that, Ivan turned his head and looked at Rowen.
“That was the first thing I thought of.”
“But there was something wrong with it.”
Ivan nodded and opened his mouth.
“Yeah, maybe it’s Adelia who they are after. There is a high possibility that not only this destination but also our strength has been leaked. But the fact that they sent only 14……”
Rowen could easily anticipate his backbiting. Rowen’s throat moved slowly when he swallowed.
“I’m confident in my skills……. Are you saying this?”
“We don’t know how strong they are over there. So, the option to fight back will be a choice that requires a lot of damage.”
Rowen’s face was grim. He turned his eyes and looked at the party. His colleagues who believed and followed him and the Knights of the Grand Duke.
Perhaps a fight is unavoidable. After all, there were a limited number of people who could enter the sacred ground.
Rowen has always been ready to sacrifice himself since he vowed to devote his life to the goddess Vishna. But if the target is the life of his colleague, not him…….
‘I’m still weak.’
Rowen’s blue eyes stirred a firm will. On the battlefield, hesitation meant death. They’re here with a light heart.
“Maybe the battle is inevitable.”
“I suppose so.”
“Then why don’t you send the saint to the sacred ground first?”
Ivan agonized. The sacred ground is not that far any more. If they move quickly with a small number of people, they’ll probably be able to reach it in half a day.
But will Adelia accept it?
She might think this situation is just her running away.
“I’ll have to ask first.”
Ivan and Rowen summoned Adelia, who was waiting in the rear row, to the temporary barracks.
“I heard there was a pursuer.”
It was the first word Adelia said as soon as she entered the barracks. Her expression was as stiff as anyone else. But she never showed signs of nervousness. Maybe she expected this to happen.
Ivan calmly expressed his affirmation to Adelia, who had waited patiently.
“There’s a pursuer. We can’t avoid a battle.”
“……how much time do we have left?”
“At least an hour. At most an hour and a half.”
Adelia was pensive at Ivan’s words. They caught up faster than she thought. She already expected them to track them down but she didn’t expect it to be this fast….
‘I can’t believe I’m stuck in this situation where there’s not much left until we reach the sacred land.’
Adelia sighed long and asked Ivan.
“The reason you called me is probably to separate me from the party.”
For a moment, a surprise flashed through Ivan’s face. It was quite a change of emotion for him, who doesn’t really express his emotion.
“Did you expect it?”
“……because that’s the most efficient.”
As soon as she heard that there was a pursuer, Adelia also came up with this strategy. Of course, the first thing that came to her mind was how to deal with the pursuers with her ability.
She didn’t want a life to end because of her, but from the moment she decided to start everything, Adelia was determined to follow her own path even if she dirty her hands.
‘But they worship the unknown power of chaos.’
Ancient power. Long ago, it was powerful enough to match the gods. What would happen if something unexpected happened? If all their plans fail…….
‘That can’t happen.’
So Adelia turned to Ivan and Rowen’s suggestion.
“You’re not turning it down.”
When Ivan asked, Adelia said with a bitter smile.
“Because I don’t want to bother you just because I feel uncomfortable.”
“Well thought out. Please don’t mind us. This is our mission.”
Adelia looked back at Rowen. There was no fear in his face. Adelia’s chest became heavier.
“Thank you, Captain Rowen.”
A neat smile formed around Rowen’s mouth.
“Then we should form a group who will join you.”
“Your Highness…..will you remain here?”
For a moment, silence fell on the barracks.
Ivan couldn’t answer right away. If they were to pick the best player among them, it would definitely be Ivan Hamilton. This was a fact that no one could deny.
“Maybe if I stay, it will be a great help to the power.”
“……I suppose so.”
Adelia affirmed. Actually, she wanted to tell him to go with her.
Rowen, who silently watched Adelia and Ivan’s conversation, intervened cautiously.
“Your presence will be of great help.”
Rowen wasn’t ignorant. He had already noticed that Adelia wanted to move with the Grand Duke.
‘But the saint knows she shouldn’t do that, so she probably didn’t say it out loud.’
Rowen decided to play the villain at this moment.
“……if that’s the way more people can live, then so be it.”
Adelia murmured in a sighing voice. Ivan clasped Adelia’s hand tightly.
“Trust me, I’ll be sure to follow you after everything is done. It won’t be long.”
“You must keep that word.”
When Adelia spoke as if ordering, Ivan replied, raising the corners of his mouth.
Adelia smiled after him. But she couldn’t put her sincerity into that smile. She just prayed earnestly.
I hope he’s safe. I hope everyone is safe.
“Everyone’s gone. I hope you arrive safely and achieve what you want to achieve.”
Rowen murmured, following the back of Adelia’s group, who was no longer visible.
Ivan, on the other hand, was looking in the opposite direction of Adelia’s departure. To Rowen, it seemed as if it were intentional.
‘I was stupid. I’m sure you’re more worried than anyone else.’
Rowen sighed and looked at the battle line with fierce energy. They were now blocking the path that must be passed to head to the sacred ground.
If they stay there, they will inevitably face the pursuers. And he thinks there’s not much left until then.
“Let’s finish this quickly and follow the party ahead.”
At Ivan’s calm and indifferent words, Rowen turned his head and looked at him. Ivan’s face was no different than usual. There was nothing special, and it was not even more solemn than usual.
He meant it. Seriously, after dealing with the pursuers quickly, he was going to join the advance team.
Rowen realized that unlike Ivan, he had the possibility of failure in his mind.
He thought he had to change his attitude in order to win. Rowen said with a downright smile.
“We should. We can’t waste our time dealing with pursuers.”
It was then. In the distance, a number of blurry but distinctly black shadows came into their sight. It was the pursuers.
Ivan pulled out the black sword Markina without hesitation. Soon after, a light voice reverberated over the desert.
“I knew it’d be like this. This won’t make any difference.”
Kale clicked his tongue and threw off the robe. Then Ivan’s pupils dilated significantly.
The rough sandstorm shook the white robe frantically. Those who wore white robes could not stop walking even in the strong wind. Moreover, they had no choice but to walk forward because those who were left behind pushed their backs.
“I can see it now.”
Demalo broke the silence. He continued to measure their distance from the sacred ground with Berg.
Adelia drew her attention to what Demalo said. There was something in the distance, blurred, like a mirage.
“We’re almost there. We just have to go a little further, Saint.”
At the words of Bishop Berg and Demalo, Adelia tilted her head. Because it seemed to her that there was still a long way to go.
‘Do you two have better eyesight because you’re using swords?’
Adelia sighed and gave up measuring the distance. It’s no use worrying more here. She turned her head and looked at those who were moving with her. A total of five people, including Adelia, Berg, Demalo, Melinda, and Lensley, were moving toward the sacred ground.
“Adelia-nim. Isn’t it hard?”
“Not at all. Never mind me. I’m not tired thanks to Jeongjin’s blessing.”
Berg was surprised by Adelia’s words.
“Jeongjin’s blessing. As far as I know, there are only three knights who have been blessed by Jeongjin over the past hundred years, including General Rowen. You’re amazing.”
“It’s an undeserved blessing for me who can’t use a sword. But thanks to it, marching has become easier. Now, let’s move on.”
Adelia hurried her steps quickly. Perhaps it was because of the constant movement of physical strength and mental strength, but the sacred ground, which was only far away, finally appeared clearly.
“This place is…”
Adelia couldn’t help but laugh as she looked at the sacred ground.
Two huge columns. That was all.