Home Post 1424-chapter-104


The group that had decided to head to Nervana didn’t waste any time. They traveled constantly during the day and stood guard at night, all while following Fiarca’s leadership.

The path gradually shifted from meadows to densely wooded areas.

One morning.

As the group started their journey at the crack of dawn through the dense forest, everyone’s steps were very tired. Amid the grueling march, where everyone seemed to be melting to their bones with exhaustion, except for Fiarca, who seemed to be the only one unaffected.

“How is that woman’s body made?”

Silanda glared at Fiarca breathlessly.

Enya walked past dewy leaves, anxiously watching Silanda and Fiarca. The two, who were similar in temperament, seemed to get along yet constantly bickered.

“It’s the result of rigorous training. Unlike some weaklings here.”

Fiarca flashed a grin and looked back at Silanda with a mocking laugh. Enya was relieved that Silanda was too exhausted to retort.

Enya, who was following closely behind Fiarca, admired her.

Fiarca truly seemed like a fish back in the water. Despite volunteering for the night watch, her steps showed no signs of fatigue. It was as if the forest itself gave her energy.

‘People from Nervana get weaker when they leave the forest, but in this case, being in it seems to rejuvenate her.’

Indeed, since entering the forest, Fiarca’s vitality noticeably improved.

“To find the skull spider, we obviously need to head towards the waterfall.”

Fiarca stated this with confidence.

“Where is this waterfall?”

Enya asked, clearing branches in her path.

“Deep within the forest.”

Fiarca responded succinctly.

“So how much further do we have to go to get to this ‘deep within’?”

Silanda flicked a long vine from her head with one arm and muttered irritably. She had become quite touchy since entering the densely wooded forest, bothered by the green leaves obstructing her view. The other members of the cave group also seemed overwhelmed by the dense forest where they couldn’t even see in front of them.

Senu also chimed in at Silanda’s question.

“It feels like we’ve crossed a significant part of the forest already. Is the waterfall still far off?”

Fiarca scoffed at Senu’s comment.

“What are you talking about? We haven’t even reached the entrance of ‘Nervana Forest’ yet.”


Everyone’s jaws dropped at her words.

‘We’ve walked this much, and we haven’t even reached the entrance yet.’

Enya sighed in despair and wiped the sweat dripping from her chin with the palm of her hand. Finally, Jahan collapsed right where he stood and exclaimed.

“I can’t go on! I’m not moving! Let’s rest!”

His forehead was drenched in sweat as he panted with a red face. He dropped the heavy load he was carrying with a thud and sprawled out on the ground.

“If we keep going, I’ll really die! I’ll become a ghost haunting this forest!”

“Jahan! You shouldn’t throw things like that!”

Senu quickly went over to check on Jahan’s dropped load. Regardless, Jahan continued to lament as he lay down. It was almost to the point of wailing.

“I can’t die without having received a kiss from a beautiful lady on the surface!”

Enya approached Jahan in pity.

“Are you okay, Jahan?”

“No, I’m not okay. I feel like I’m going to throw up.”

Since he was young and strong, Jahan had been carrying two heavy iron weapons, while Senu and Silanda each carried one.

Initially, Enya tried to share their burden, but they strongly refused.

“We insisted on carrying these ourselves, so we want to take full responsibility for them.”

Eventually, she ended up carrying lighter items like clothes and food, excluding the iron weapons.

Enya looked up at Fiarca and asked.

“Fiarca, how about we rest a bit?”

Fiarca looked displeased but accepted Enya’s suggestion.

“…Can’t be helped. I was prepared for this when I agreed to travel with such weaklings…. Just know we can’t rest for long!”

As soon as Fiarca gave her permission, Jahan immediately settled down to lie on the ground.

“Look at that. The trees are so dense, not a single ray of sunlight gets through.”

Jahan grumbled as he looked up.

Enya plopped down next to him, feeling equally tired. As Jahan said, no sky could be seen even when they looked up.

“I thought we’d at least see the sun once we were out in the open…”

She watched Jahan as he murmured his disappointment. Quickly, he waved his hands at Enya as if trying to make an excuse.

“I, I don’t mean I want to go back to the cave!”

Fiarca, who was taking a break nearby, chimed in.

“You might as well forget about seeing the sun from now on. The deeper we go into the forest, the denser it will get.”

Jahan looked almost in despair at her words.

Trying to lift his spirits, Enya offered.

“Want an apple, Jahan? You brought them after all.”

She rummaged through the supplies she was carrying. The apple Jahan had insisted on bringing had proven its worth.

Enya tossed the last remaining apple to him.

“This is the last one.”

Jahan looked at the slightly shriveled part of the apple and muttered.

“Guess I can’t even eat this anymore.”

He split the apple in half with his hands and tossed one half back to her.

Enya offered the apple to Silanda and Senu, but they declined. Fiarca shook her head in refusal, so the remaining half ended up with Enya.

“I’ve never seen so many trees in my life.”

Senu murmured as he was also taking a break.

For him, who had never left Aghilea, the number of trees was overwhelming.

“That’s a lot to you?”

Fiarca opened her eyes in disbelief. As if finding the whole situation absurd.

Enya had never truly seen a proper forest before, so she felt drained when she heard Fiarca’s words that they hadn’t even reached the entrance to Nervana yet.

At the same time, she understood why Fiarca insisted that such a small group was sufficient to handle formidable creatures like the skull spiders. Due to the weight of their legs and the burden of their load, they were unable to move quickly, and with numbers like before, it was likely that some of the group would lag behind.

‘It’s a forest without any trails made by people.’

In this regard, Fiarca’s method of navigation was admirable.

She seemed to see invisible paths before her and stepped forward without hesitation. She observed the direction of branches and the growth of the grass, then led the group without hesitation.

‘Truly, being a native of Nervana makes a difference.’

Enya glanced at Fiarca, who was taking a rest, and thought so to herself.

A sense of unease began to take over her. It was because she could not do the same.

The forest was still unfamiliar to Enya.

‘Even if the people of Nervana recognize me as the Daughter of the Forest, would the skull spiders recognize someone who hasn’t been born in the forest?’

Suddenly, a wave of fear washed over her, and her body grew cold as if they had chills.

Without realizing it, Enya curled up her body.


At that moment, Jahan’s voice reached her.

Turning her head, she saw Jahan looking at her with concern.

“What’s wrong?”

“Ah, it’s nothing.”

Enya quickly replied.

Jahan, who was glancing at her, hesitated before asking.

“Were you thinking about him? About Tarhan?”

Jahan and the other cave dwellers knew more about the outside world than she did. They even remembered more public news about Tarhan than she, who had lived with him, did.

Hearing Tarhan’s name, Enya felt a lump in her throat and remained silent.

Though she had decided to move to Nervana first to try and win over the skull spiders, she wasn’t entirely sure it was the right choice.

That didn’t mean she wasn’t worried about Tarhan.

Of course, she was worried. She wanted to see him. She missed him so desperately. She wanted to check him for any injuries right away. And then she never wanted to be apart from him again. But in this situation, there was only one thing she could be sure of.

If she met him again, he would insist on never separating again. If she were to meet him in this state, he would surely suggest they abandon everything and flee together. And she knew she couldn’t refuse him.

That couldn’t happen.

Jahan didn’t ask any more questions with Enya, who couldn’t find the words to respond.

“Don’t be so down. He’s not the type to die easily. He was even famous for that back in the cave.”

Jahan tried to uplift her spirits.

Having already made her decision, she couldn’t waver anymore. Wasn’t the decision made because she wanted to be a strength to Tarhan? Just as he had done for her, she wanted to pave the way for him.

At the very least, she didn’t want to be his burden.

“Come on, everyone, lift those heavy butts. Let’s get moving.”

Fiarca decided that the rest was enough and urged the group to continue.

Enya stood up first and prepared to move again.


* * *


As Fiarca said, the deeper they ventured into the forest, the more it became thicker with dark green grass and dense trees.

As they walked, trees of enormous stature appeared.

Some ancient trees seemed to be hundreds of times taller than a person and intricately intertwined as they grew. The leaves, too large to grow any bigger, were already large enough to cover a full-grown man entirely. Due to the dense canopy, sunlight couldn’t even reach the ground where they walked.

The longer the journey, the greater the group’s suffering became.

Their supplies had long been depleted. Fortunately, the forest was abundant with food, although it was unfamiliar to the cave group and Enya.

Enya watched Fiarca chew on bark that she claimed tasted like sugarcane and struggled not to make a face. While Fiarca did most of the hunting, preparing the game and making fire was the responsibility of the cave group and Enya.

As they continued through the forest, the group gathered various fruits and berries they found, submitting each to Fiarca for inspection.

“Are you insane? Did you really think that could be edible?”

Fiarca muttered as she spotted a poisonous mushroom Jahan had picked.

Jahan’s optimistic nature seemed to extend to flora and fauna, though it wasn’t particularly helpful for the hungry group.

“How could you think a mushroom that is brightly colored would be tasty?”

Fiarca muttered incredulously, yet she discreetly tucked the mushroom into her small pack. After the collection of food Jahan had gathered for half a day was rejected, he grumbled in frustration.

“I just brought it, just in case!”

Fiarca seemed too exhausted to be angry anymore.

“It’s really my fault for agreeing to go through the forest with these mole-like people!”

To manage the group, which lacked any significant survival knowledge to move through the forest, seemed to be taking a toll on Fiarca as if each day was a major life challenge.

“What? Moles? You’re one to talk, you forest monkeys!”

Silanda snapped back immediately as she returned from hunting a few empty nest eggs and small birds.

As they ventured deeper, the tension between the cave group and Fiarca only worsened. The arguments were often about the heavy iron weapons they carried.

“Please, just ditch those weights and let’s move!”

To Fiarca, who was more accustomed to the primal ways of the Nervana forest, the cave group’s cumbersome and seemingly useless weapons seemed utterly pointless.

On the other hand, Senu repeatedly tried almost desperately to convince Fiarca of their use.

“Please, Fiarca! They will be useful. Let us keep them!”

Senu’s submissive stance only encouraged Silanda to be more aggressive toward Fiarca.

It was a continuous cycle of conflict.