Home Post 834-chapter-90


As Senu observed Enya’s expression, he asked with a voice tinged with concern.

“Aren’t you… associated with that man?”

Enya hastily responded.

“Yes, that’s right. Tarhan is… very precious to me.”

Precious was hardly the word, but she chose to withhold more.

“That makes things simpler.”

Hearing her words, Senu sighed in relief and began.

“I have been observing the actions of the man named Tarhan.”

Enya listened in astonishment as he recounted Tarhan’s efforts in forging new paths and constructing defense mechanisms during his time as chief. She could sense an odd excitement in Senu’s voice.

After listing Tarhan’s achievements that even Enya was unaware of, Senu confessed with a hint of embarrassment.

“I thought such a man might at least listen to my seemingly absurd story.”

Enya looked at him, dumbfounded, and spoke defensively.

“But you are Servia’s son.”

Servia was a woman known for her intense ambition. She was also very strict about the traditions and disciplines of Aquilea. That Servia had hidden her son, against her own convictions, from the eyes of the tribe.

‘…Can I trust this person?’

As she regarded him with a skeptical look, Senu added, a bit anxiously.

“I’ve prepared to turn against my mother, risking my life to research these weapons.”

Still wary, Enya asked,

“What do you gain by going to such lengths…?”

He seemed momentarily lost for words, and silence lingered until Silanda shifted her legs. Eventually, Senu spoke again, his voice echoing off the tight walls.


He said.

“I want to see the light.”

Seeing Enya blink in the dimness, he emphasized again.

“All of us living in this cave want to see the light and live.”

The faces of Jahan and Silanda behind him twitched slightly.

“I want to prove to Aquilea that even we, the afflicted… have worth. That we too can accomplish something.”

Senu’s voice cracked towards the end.

“I am aware of the opposition between my mother’s influence and that man named Tarhan. And without me, you would seek other means to reach him.”

Enya felt a sting at his words.

Indeed, as he said, she would have found a way to Tarhan by any means necessary. She needed to warn him as soon as possible about Gernan’s army that intended to harm him.

“Then, our interests align.”

Senu finally made his proposal.

“Come with us.”

Enya, slightly opening her mouth, alternately looked at Senu, Silanda, and Jahan standing behind him. Jahan was awkwardly scratching his chin, and Silanda was avoiding gaze, kicking the dirt floor with one foot.


After a long thought, she answered. At her words, Jahan dropped his hand from his chin. Silanda also sharply lifted her head.

“As expected. I knew you would say that!”

Senu responded with a voice that suddenly brightened.

“Let’s pack up and leave immediately! It won’t take long.”

Amidst Senu’s fuss, Jahan and Silanda also stood up from leaning against the wall.

“But there are two conditions.”

Enya quickly added. The situation was progressing so abruptly that her mouth felt parched.

Standing firmly, she faced the three pairs of eyes looking back at her and slowly began to speak. In the half-day that followed, Senu and his group prepared their things. During that time, Enya had the chance to have many conversations with Jahan, one of the three who would accompany her on the journey.

“Where did we get all that iron ore needed for making weapons? Ah, of course, it was Senu.”

Enya couldn’t help but become friends with this mischievous boy, who reminded her somewhat of Reyhald from the Nerban forest.

First of all, he never seemed to stop talking.

“Senu had already established a system to survive independently in the cave when he realized that Servia’s henchman was diverting food meant for the leprosy cave for his own. Like fields and wells, you know.”

Jahan’s expression turned fierce in an instant, and he made a gesture of swinging a fist into the air.

“And then we picked a day to confront that guy together. We told him if he didn’t comply with our demands, we would disclose to Servia all the items he had been stealing up to that point.”

Jahan paused his packing to take a bite of an apple he was holding and added, while chewing.

“Since then, we have been making him procure the items we need. Most of the things we use here were obtained that way. Like this apple, for instance? It’s considered precious in a cave like this.”

Jahan chewed on the dripping apple and then offered another one to Enya, who politely declined.

“Senu is really incredible. Despite looking feeble, he’s incredibly stubborn. And sometimes, terrifyingly meticulous.”

“Seems, seems like you two are really close?”

Jahan looked at Enya with a puzzled expression as if she was speaking nonsense.

“We’re family. Everyone in this cave, we’re all family to each other.”

At his answer, spoken as if it were the most natural thing in the world, Enya couldn’t help but feel a pang in her heart as she thought of Tarhan. Perhaps it was the sight of them relying on each other in such a harsh environment that reminded her of her own childhood with him.

Jahan got back to packing with vigor.

Enya, watching him pack from a distance, unwittingly had a worried expression. Silanda, who had come to check on Jahan’s packing, also started to scold him upon seeing the contents of his backpack.

“Hey, you idiot! Are we going on a vacation? Why are you taking that dice game? And what’s with all those apples! Didn’t you think they’d all rot by the time we got there?”

As she began to pull useless items out of his backpack, Jahan protested with a tearful shout.

“You never know! Maybe we’ll need them someday!”

Silanda narrowed her eyes and glared at him.

“Are you nervous because it’s your first time leaving the cave?”

“Of, of course not! Ahem!

Jahan, turning red-faced and unable to answer, glanced at Enya and then shouted.

“Because, because we’re meeting new people! Instead of just staring at the ground awkwardly, it’s better to share some food and play games if we have time, right?”

By ‘new people’, he meant the people of Nervana forest. Requesting help from the people of Nervana forest was the first condition Enya had proposed to Senu.

“We, we can’t go just by ourselves. Just as Jahan and Silanda are coming with Senu, I want to go with my companions.”

Enya planned to ask a few of the Nervana forest group left in Aquilea to accompany her.

‘If it’s Fiarca or Reyhald, they might cooperate.’

Of course, since Enya had not yet asked the people of Nervana about their willingness, she quickly added.

“Ah, it’s not confirmed yet.”

Ignoring her words, Silanda growled at Jahan.

“New people?”

Silanda scoffed in disbelief and swept her hair back with her remaining arm.

“Kid! Even if you’re one of the few cured patients of the leper den, who entered at three and has never been outside in your life, do you really think there’ll be someone willing to mingle with you without any reservations?”

Enya was more startled by Silanda’s barbed words than Jahan was. After Silanda stormed off, grumbling to herself, Jahan approached Enya and whispered,

“She’s just worried I’ll be disappointed when I go outside. She really can’t stand seeing anyone get too excited.”

Jahan fiddled with the game board Silanda had discarded on the floor and then sheepishly scratched his chin. Enya felt a twinge of sympathy as she watched him.

Of course, Jahan was not one to get discouraged easily.

“Don’t tell Silanda, okay?”

He whispered, glancing towards the entrance where Silanda had disappeared before shoving the game board back into his backpack.


* * *


That evening, Senu called Enya to his room. The cave space, carved out to be spacious, was faintly illuminated.

“Ah, you came.”

Senu, who had been sketching something on a stone slab, greeted her as she arrived.

He was sitting in a space connected to the wall, seemingly carved out along with the rest of the cave to form a sort of bench. Around him were various items scattered about. Knives, candlesticks, stone slabs, and jars of unknown use. Lit by the dim light, his appearance with freshly wrapped bandages seemed much more comfortable than before.

‘Jahan was said to be cured.’

Enya noticed the cleaner appearance of Senu’s bandages and wondered if there were signs of improvement in his condition.

“I heard you called me. What’s the matter?”

“Oh, it’s nothing much.”

Senu turned his body towards her, still seated.

“I wanted to ask you for a favor before we leave, just in case.”

Despite saying it was nothing much, Senu hesitated for quite some time.

“That is… My mother might send someone to the cave to check if you’re alive or dead.”

Seeing Enya’s puzzled look, Senu hesitated before continuing.

“I was thinking maybe we could leave some evidence that we’ve dealt with you…”


Enya felt a chill run down her spine and swallowed hard. Senu couldn’t continue and just cast a meaningful look at her, who soon realized his gaze was fixed on her hair.


Enya remembered her hair, matted with dirt and mud, when she first fell into the cave. Though Jahan had taken her to a well where she could wash a bit, her hair was still tangled. She remembered Tarhan gently stroking her hair as they lay side by side. But, Enya said to Senu in determination.

“Lend me a knife.”

Considering the long journey ahead, short hair would be more manageable than long, cumbersome locks.

“Are you sure about this?”

Senu seemed a bit taken aback. Without hesitation, Enya gathered her hair and cut it short enough that it barely touched her shoulders.

He caught her cut hair in his hands, looking bewildered.

“I didn’t expect you to make up your mind so quickly.”

“Hair grows back.”

Enya replied, running her hands through her newly shortened locks.

“Your hair color is so light, I thought this would be recognizable to my mother.”

Senu muttered under his breath. Suddenly, Enya remembered something she had wanted to ask him for a long time.

She began cautiously.

“…Is it really okay for you to disappear with me like this?”

This time, Senu seemed not to understand her question at first. Enya carefully asked again.

“Would it be alright for you to leave the cave empty by following me…”

Senu finally caught on and replied casually with an ‘Ah’.