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Published at 8th of December 2018 01:52:07 PM

Chapter 21

After safely leaving the merpeople island, Chiharu and Maki rode the train through the second great open space in the tunnels . This time, they did their best to ignore any looks coming from out the window, even when they felt it staring at them . And still, the Gazer came .

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“I didn’t look at it this time . I promise!”


Excuses were made, but when their eyes had met for a second, the Gazer looked very happy .

Such small incidents occurred along the way, but they safely reached Noir in the dwarf lands . By this time, they were feeling somewhat affectionate towards the Gazer and prayed that the archer wouldn’t kill it .

It was now in the evening .


As they stepped out of the train, they could see the town and its many lines of short buildings stretch out both inland and towards the sea . There wasn’t much open land near the shore, as small mountains were close by . It was slightly past these mountains that their destination lay .


Maki quickly looked at her surroundings . Where was that place the old ticket seller had told her about? Ah, there it was . And another thing . There . The carriage station .


“Kaider, Nyran, thank you for helping us . Well, goodbye . ”


Maki said to them hurriedly, Chiharu too bowed her head and the two of them tried to rush off to the carriage station .


“Wait, wait . Where’re you going?”

“Where? To the town of Garonce . ”

“It will take an extra hour to get there . And there are not many inns . ”

“But, we already decided . It’s hard to adjust once you change your schedule . ”

“But still…”

“There’s a carriage leaving for Garonce in 5 minutes . ”


Some passerby had overheard them and muttered this before walking away .


“Good . You buy the tickets, Norfe . ”

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“Alright . ”

“Ah, hey!”


The two split up . The younger sister went to buy some deep fried fish . Then she immediately went to the bakery next to it before running back to her brother .


“Oh, I guess I have no choice then . ”

“Are you going too?”

“We can’t just leave those two alone . ”

“But there are no Gazers or merpeople on land . ”

“I just feel like there’ll be something . ”

“…Well, you’re probably right . ”


Kaider looked up at the sky .


“I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seems like there are a lot of bird people up there . Could it…”

“There’s no time . ”

“Ah, yeah . ”


They were just in time . There were carriages with three rows of four-seats . They were on the large side . The floating stones meant that weight was not a problem, but the mountain roads in the dwarf lands were not wide . And so it was necessary to use carriages like these for transportation . The passengers were two children, Kaider and Nyran, and the man who had muttered to them a moment ago . The rest of the carriage was full of other baggage .


“Huh? Kaider, Nyran . ”


The two children with bags looked at them with puzzled expressions .


“Well, we decided that it won’t be too bad to go to the next town . ”

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“Oh . So we’ll sit together again . ”


The older brother seemed quite happy about this, and so the two were glad of their decision . The sister sat next to them and cut open some bread with a knife in order to stuff them with the fried fish . She made two of these and cut one in half and the other into three pieces .


“Here . I was worried because the fish was so big, but it seemed to work out . ”

“You’re giving it to me?”

“Because there’s still quite some time until dinner . ”


The sister also gave the other passenger some bread . While it was slightly cold, the fresh fish was seasoned with vinegar and salt, which went very nicely with the bread . After that, the siblings shared a bottle of fruit juice that they had bought at the station .


The carriage had windows on both sides . As it was going up a mountain, you could occasionally get a good view of the town of Noir . When the sun started to set, lights began to slowly appear throughout the city .


“Hey, Norfe, Chouze . ”



Norfe answered without taking his eyes away from the scenery .


“What are you two going to do in Garonce?”

“It’s only one stop for us . We are headed for Gromble . ”

“Gromble . But that’s the deepest dungeon town . And it is close to the Shadow World . It is no place you ones so young . ”

“But, we think our mother’s cousin is there . ”


“An adventurer . ”

“But adventurers will move from dungeon to dungeon like the wind . Though Gromble is vast, and many end up staying there…”

“We have to go . We have to see it . ”


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Norfe said as he looked on ahead . They decided that it was better to not ask any more questions .


“But where are you going, Kaider and Nyran?”

“We are…”

“Gromble . ”

“Oh, uh, yeah . We are adventurers, after all . We were just thinking of going to Gromble . ”

“Oh, I see . Have you been there before?”

“Of course, we have . It’s practically our home base . We just got a little bored, you know, and were spending some time in the elven dungeons . ”


A little bored? Only a child would fall for that excuse . Nyran thought .


“Oh, and then from the elven territories, you went to Arthur’s kingdom . Did you ride an airship?”

“We did indeed . Airships only fly once a week, you know? It was actually my first time riding one . ”


Hmm . They were falling for it . Airships were expensive . Too expensive for any adventurer to ride . Indeed, Kaider and Nyran had things they wanted to keep hidden as well . They couldn’t talk too much, as their story wouldn’t survive any scrutiny .


“Ah, we have now reached the highest point of the road . The rest of the journey to Garonce will be downhill . ”

“Oh . ”


The children looked forlornly at the sea . The carriage slowly descended the mountain road .


“Agh . ”


Suddenly, the children looked downward and held their faces .


“What is it?”


Kaider asked with concern in his voice .


“My right eye…” “My right eye…”


They said .


“Right eye?” “Right eye?”


What did they mean?


“Ugh, aahh, just, hehe . It’s nothing . We’re just playing . ”

“You should choose one, instead of laughing and acting in pain at the same time . ”


The children said ‘Does it ache? It does, doesn’t it?’ to each other as they giggled while looking down, there hands on their foreheads . Then they seemed to grasp something and put it in their bags .


“The miasma is thicker now . ”

“You can tell?”

“Kind of…”


Indeed, Noir was facing the sea, so the miasma could escape . But the dwarf villages in the mountains were different . Of course, as the dwarves often worked in the mines, they had a higher resistance to miasma . But humans were more likely to be affected by it . There were more adventurers now who were becoming crazed . And that is why he did not want them to go to Gromble .


They were all deep within their own thoughts, as the carriage descended into Garonce .


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