Many days later, although he was feeling fatigued, Ratoka managed to drag his heavy-feeling body to the training grounds again.
On the short path from the mansion to the training grounds, Bellway had greeted Ratoka with a “you’re going?” and hadn’t said anything else.
All the adults at the mansion are like that. They never chat about anything unnecessary. There’s only terribly businesslike brief exchanges, Ratoka felt no warmth from them at all.
Although he had been lonely in Cyril village, his loneliness had begun fading while in the barracks, so now he’s gotten to the point where he can no longer stand being ignored.
Just like yesterday, Bellway left him behind without saying anything, and Ratoka…… sighed heavily.
He wants to meet Elise so badly, and talk to her about anything at all.
There were too many things he was thinking about spinning inside his head, it’s to the point where he can’t organize his thoughts or figure out what to do.
That’s why, he wants to temporarily forget about everything.
Although that was the wish inside his heart, he knew that it was very unlikely to come true. At the very least, he wants to be able to just make some casual conversation, changing his wish to something smaller.
If nothing had changed about his life, his wishes would have never come true before. However, there’s now one more person around Ratoka than there used to be.
Claudia is still a teenager that’s easy to get along with, it might be okay to make some silly idle chatter with her.
When he thought about that, even though he was still tired from yesterday, some energy returned to him.
Ratoka who was trying to console himself a little bit, suddenly looked around him. That beautiful golden hair was nowhere to be seen in the training grounds.
Well, he’d gotten here a little early. He’ll wait patiently, and Ratoka sat down against the wall.
However, after two hours passed, then another half hour, Claudia still never showed up.
Although Ratoka did figure out that something might have happened, Ratoka still stayed there waiting for her by himself, as he had nothing else to do.
In the end, Claudia never showed up to the training grounds. Since Bellway had told him not to make any trouble, Ratoka didn’t move from the training grounds. He didn’t know what was going on, nor could he do anything about it, all Ratoka could feel was anxiety.
Everything about Ratoka was controlled by the nobles in the mansion, he couldn’t do anything by himself. The nobles have also told Ratoka nothing about anything going on.
This is the first time that Ratoka’s been confronted with nobody telling him what to do. Feeling anxiety together with a strange sensation, at last Ratoka finally stood up, and headed for the exit of the training grounds.
Another thirty minutes had passed without anyone at all coming for Ratoka. He wants to take a look around to see what was going on with the abnormal situation…… hopefully he won’t be scolded.
While furtively walking along the paths, come to think of it, Ratoka realized that Earl Terejia’s personal troops that were usually hanging around here weren’t anywhere to be seen today.
He felt more and more that something must have happened. Ratoka couldn’t help but increase his pace more and more, until he started running.
He opened a door leading to the mansion, then suddenly turned around and flattened himself against the wall, as he heard many people’s voices.
It seems that there’s a lot of people right now in this part of the mansion. While paying careful attention to his surroundings, Ratoka stuck to the shadows and took the path to Elise’s room.
With his back pressed against the wall, Ratoka carefully peeked at the entrance to the mansion. Many of the missing troops from Earl Terejia’s army were gathered there. He also saw Bellway and Earl Terejia among them. This is the first time that he’s seen Earl Terejia in a long time.
What’s going on, Ratoka held his breath as he surreptitiously spied on them. Everyone was looking up at the sky to the east, without any signs that they were going to go anywhere else.
What exactly is going to happen in the sky over there.
Ratoka, in his curiousity, looked at the sky as well. Other than the sunset, there was nothing. Only the reddish color of the sky that Ratoka hates.
It all seemed slightly ridiculous, everyone was staring into the dazzling sunset. Then, finally, a small black speck appeared in the sky.
Ratoka thought that it was a bird of some sort, until it got bigger and bigger as it approached, to the point where he could even see its shadow on the ground. It definitely wasn’t a bird, and he looked away from it, back at the group of people when they started making a commotion.
“Look, isn’t that Rashiok?”
“……Ahh, that’s definitely Rashiok!”
Ratoka tilted his head at what he heard. Rashiok? He seems to recall that name from a bedtime story that his mother used to tell him a long time ago, but can’t remember the details.
Ratoka noticed that the people crowded around the entrance to the mansion were pointing at the black speck in the sky.
Then, they must be pointing to that bird. ……No wait, it’s not a bird. The black figure, although it spread its wings and was flying through the sky like a bird, it was much, much larger than any bird could be.
That strange shape seems to be heading straight for here. As he kept watching it get closer, he noticed that there seemed to be a person riding on top the bird-like creature.
What exactly is that.
As Ratoka kept staring at the approaching creature out of sheer curiousity, as it kept getting closer and he was able to see it more clearly, he became completely lost for words.
He could gradually make out, what appeared to be Claudia riding on top of the creature. And, he also noticed that Claudia was holding onto someone smaller in her arms.
Her black hair was being illuminated by the evening sun, and wasn’t moving in the wind. Her arms were lowered and completely limp, and Ratoka felt himself turning pale reflexively.
She’s carrying Eliza. Something must have happened to her at Fort Jugfena, for her to return like that.
The moment he recognized her, Ratoka felt like his heart was being encased in ice. It was as if he was taking an icy shower in winter, his chest was so painful.
She’s the girl that he once wished would die. But lately, just what exactly does he think of her.
However, if she dies now, he’ll be troubled. Ratoka doesn’t belong anywhere – only that girl has a use for him.
Although it’s really frustrating for him to admit it, he had to face the facts. It was Eliza that spared his life, not Earl Terejia or anyone else.
As Claudia and Eliza landed on the ground, Ratoka could only watch them while frozen over, with his eyes burning.