Home Post 1386-chapter-103


Suddenly, Enya felt a sharp pain in her lower abdomen. She instinctively clutched at her stomach.


Fiarca approached, calling her name with concern.

Enya lifted her pale face.

The faces of those around her came into sharp focus.

Fiarca and Yaru looked at her with worried eyes. Rigata bent over, looking at her, and Nihitan stood straight against a tree. Ihita looked somber but somewhat calmer. Senu’s group remained silent as well.

Faces of those not present also flashed in her mind.

One by one, Piache and the members of the pharmacy who followed her, the people of Nervana Forest, including Reyhalde, and many subordinates who had long trusted and followed Tarhan.

She wondered to herself.

‘What was I thinking coming all this way?’

At some point, whenever she thought of Tarhan, only his broad, tired back came to mind—memories of desperately struggling not to be consumed by their excessively harsh and burdensome lives.

‘…Ah, yes.’

There was one wish she had. She wanted to brighten his surroundings. To fill his life with good people, with those who truly supported him. She wanted to gather as much as her weak hands could carry and fill it completely.

The weight of life he carried seemed too cruel and heavy. She wanted to help share that burden, even just a little.

It was a shameless wish, she knew, but she still hoped. Sometimes, he looked so perilously fragile. Ever since she realized that Tarhan was as lonely as she was, she felt even more compelled to help. She was still terribly worried about Tarhan.

And at the same time, an overwhelming truth engulfed her.

If she met Tarhan now, from that moment on, they could no longer move forward even an inch.

Nothing would change, everything would just repeat from the beginning to the end. He would try to climb upwards with his weary body again, and she would follow him, sick of her own uselessness and insignificance. How much longer could they endure that?

Enya looked at Senu.

Recalling the image of him wanting to live in the light, which flashed before her eyes like an afterimage.

She, too, wanted to live in that light.

It had always been that way. She had wanted to give him a better life.

A better existence. A better future.

For that would become her own life.


Enya’s dilemma didn’t last long.

Having thought this far, she felt foolish for even considering avoiding what she could actively do right now. She turned to Fiarca, who was discussed as a future leader of the women of Nervana Forest. She decided firmly.

“I’ll go to Nervana Forest.”


* * *


The group split into three.

It was because of Enya’s opinion.

“Someone needs to go back to Grandma Piache and let her know I’m alive.”

Nihitan quickly added,

“The people left behind in Aquilea are a concern, but so are the members of Nervana who might be detained by the allied forces. Their issues need to be resolved, too.”

“I agree with that.”

Rigata nodded. It seemed like the first time the two men’s opinions had aligned.

For Enya, it was a relentless series of agonizing decisions.

‘Is it really okay for us to head to Nervana in just our small group, especially now that we’re splitting into three?’

She felt like tearing her hair out in frustration.

‘What would Tarhan have done?’

He had long acted as the leader of a hunting party and had probably faced countless situations that seemed completely blocked off. A newfound respect and affection for him welled up inside her.

Fiarca then opened her mouth.

“Even if we’re divided into three groups, any warrior of Nervana Forest can take care of and protect you, Enya. They’ve been trained for that.”

Her serious face glanced over at Senu’s group with a hint of disapproval.

“We might not be able to accommodate extra guests, though.”

Silanda stood up in anger.

“What? We can take care of ourselves! What do you think we are?”

“Si, Silanda!”

Jahan tried to grab her arm and pull her back, but Silanda ignored him and shouted back at Fiarca.

“You probably say that because you haven’t seen the power of the weapon we have. If needed, we can smash our enemy’s heads with it, so don’t worry unnecessarily about us!”

“Really? If that weapon is so great, why didn’t you use it earlier?”

Fiarca snorted and asked.

Enya also knew from earlier events that their combat skills were not particularly outstanding, which made her somewhat worried about Silanda’s boisterous claims.

Senu stepped forward, supporting Silanda’s assertion.

“It was just that we had been out of the cave for the first time in a long while and were disoriented. Though our bodies may not be whole, we are not fools. We will find our own way to survive. Please let us accompany you.”

His polite request seemed to move not only Enya but also Fiarca.

“Well, he’d actually be quite a catch if it weren’t for all those white bandages wrapped around him.”

Even Enya heard Fiarca muttering that while elbowing Yaru playfully at her side.

Hearing this, Silanda narrowed her eyes sharply. Now that the cave group, except Senu, had discarded their confining bandages, their expressions were more clearly visible.

‘Does Silanda have feelings for Senu?’

Enya wondered in that fleeting moment.

Of course, it was just a brief thought. There was no time for deep reflections.

“As Nihitan said earlier, we can’t just abandon our allies who are with the allied forces. If we all move together, it would delay us and most importantly, it might draw the enemy’s attention.”

Fiarca stated firmly.

“That means it’s better if we split up.”

Enya nodded in agreement.

The problem was how to divide the group. This was resolved relatively easily.

“I will take this young lady here and return to Aquilea.”

Yaru volunteered.

While Ihita’s eyes widened in surprise, the other members of Nervana didn’t object. They seemed to take it as a given.

It was Enya who appeared most anxious.

“Are you sure? I know Ihita is a great healer, but she lacks combat experience. If anything happens, Yaru, you’ll have to protect her alone.”

Fiarca rolled her eyes and intervened, clearly exasperated with her concern.

“Enya, aren’t you overdoing it? What do you take us for? Do you really think Yaru can’t handle protecting one young girl?”

“But, Yaru is as small as Ihita…”

Enya inadvertently repeated her mistake, expressing concern for Yaru again. Yaru pressed her lips together and snorted in annoyance.

“It seems I haven’t managed to earn your trust after all this time, Enya. A warrior not recognized by the daughter of the forest needs to reflect on herself.”

Enya quickly extended her hands forward.

“No, no! It’s just that I’m worried…”

“Good grief, Enya! How many times do I have to tell you that Yaru doesn’t need worrying over?”

As Fiarca fervently defended Yaru, someone approached Enya from the front. With the broad, tanned chest that was typical of the men of Nervana forest looming before her, she was slightly startled.

It was Nihitan.

“You can trust Yaru. Both of you will make it back to Aquilea safely. I guarantee it.”

He said, glancing down at Yaru.


Yaru giggled at his comment.

“Oh come on, you. ‘Maybe?’ Be certain.”

“You being overconfident in your abilities is your biggest flaw.”

“And being too cautious like you, always moping around, isn’t any better, is it?”

“You might get hurt.”

“Are you worried about me?”

As another peculiar tension built between the two, Fiarca sighed and hinted to Enya.

“In Nervana Forest, we were apart for most of the year, except for certain periods. It’s just how they show they’re glad to see each other. Try to understand, Enya.”

“Of, of course.”

Enya responded, fully empathetic. If she were to meet Tarhan right now, she’d do anything to stay close to him, although she wasn’t implying she wanted to keep watching the two bicker for long.

Enya finally agreed.

“If Ihita has no objections, then let’s go ahead with it. Yaru’s competence has been proven well enough as she survived the battle alone earlier.”

Surprisingly, it was Ihita who objected.

Enya hesitated, then asked her.

“Ihita, what’s wrong? Are you uncomfortable with this decision?”

Silanda grumbled beside her.

“It must be Yaru she’s uncomfortable with.”

Her flippant attitude seemed to indicate that she didn’t quite appreciate Yaru’s teasing nature.

“What did you say!”

It was Fiarca who reacted to the criticism against Yaru, a fellow Nervana.

“Both of you, stop it. Ihita, what is it?”

Enya ignored them and waited for Ihita’s response. Seeing that, Ihita looked around cautiously, then whispered so only Enya could hear.

“Are you sure it’s okay for me to go? If something happens, wouldn’t it be better if I were here…”

Enya blinked.

Ihita hesitated, then added.

“If, if we get separated and something goes wrong, it might be hard to meet again…”

Ihita, who had been strongly saying she wanted to return, was considering staying to protect her. Enya was suddenly filled with gratitude and affection for Ihita, who had stood by her during difficult times. However, she tried to assess the situation dispassionately.

“I’ve also learned from watching you and Grandmother Piache, so I should be able to manage for a while. And above all, moving quickly in small groups is better right now, so I think it’s right that we split up.”

It seemed Ihita changed her mind after Enya’s words.

After Yaru and Ihita’s return to Aquilea was confirmed, Fiarca thought deeply before making a decision.

“It would be better if the men went to the Allied forces.”

Thus, the decision for Rigata and Nihitan to head to the Allied forces was made quickly. Even after their travel companions were determined, Enya couldn’t help worrying as she observed the two men who seemed indifferent to each other.

“Will they manage to get along?”

However, Yaru seemed to think differently.

“Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen Nihitan this comfortable with someone. Have they already started to get along? I’m almost jealous.”

“What nonsense.”

Nihitan snapped shortly, and Rigata didn’t respond, but Fiarca chimed in.

“Anyway, despite their big and grumpy size, those two surprisingly get along well.”

The rest of the group naturally headed towards the Nervana Forest. It included the warrior Fiarca, Enya, and Senu’s group.

“I’ll say it again, we can’t take care of you guys too.”

Fiarca looked at Senu’s group with displeasure as if they were an unwanted burden.

“We’re not expecting you to.”

Silanda retorted, with Senu and Jahan stepping in to prevent any further growling. Despite the apparent obstacles ahead, Enya decided to focus on the immediate future.

Just before they parted, Ihita gave her a tight hug.

“We will definitely meet again.”

Feeling a warmth rise deep within her chest, Enya nodded, her throat too tight to speak.

The group promised to share any news about each other’s loved ones they might encounter and split into three separate paths.