Until the exhausted-seeming Claudia finally transported the apparently unconscious Eliza into the mansion, Ratoka’s body remained rooted like a stone.
He was filled with chaotic, confused feelings inside him.
Only when Earl Terejia went inside the mansion as well, did Ratoka awkwardly start moving again.
He doesn’t know when Bellway might come looking for him to pick him up. He can’t come up with any good excuses, so it’s best to avoid being scolded for going off on his own.
He left at a quick pace, and returned to the training grounds.
His heart was still beating painfully quickly. Eliza, Claudia, and the creature they were riding on, were all completely covered in blood. There must have been some sort of battle at Fort Jugfena. Even though everything had been completely normal this morning, he had no clue that any of this would happen.
People that he didn’t know, were dying in a place he didn’t know, it was still quite a bad shock to Ratoka.
What’s more, Eliza has returned, which means that the soldiers that went with her to Fort Jugfena should be returning soon within a few days as well.
At thinking so, he lost all his strength in his shoulders. He tried his best to stand back up properly again, and succeeded right as he saw Bellway entering the training grounds.
“I’m sorry, I forgot about you and left you here for several hours……!”
Bellway who walked briskly up to Ratoka, appeared to be a bit unsettled and impatient. He’s so different from his usual terse coldness, that Ratoka went wide-eyed in amazement.
Bellway probably realized his own state as well, he cleared his throat to calm himself down.
“Since Claudia-sama isn’t here right now, I’m terribly sorry that you came all the way out here and waited for nothing. I shall make certain that something like this does not happen again. Then, you can return for today.”
Bellway smoothly explained things away, and quickly turned around and left Ratoka, leaving him feeling terribly despondent for some reason. He just wants to hear something about what’s going on, an explanation rather than an apology.
The feeling of loneliness was casting a shadow over his heart. Ratoka ploddingly followed along after Bellway in a downcast mood.
Then, some time later, the remaining soldiers from the Kaldia army returned as well, led by Gunther.
Ratoka watched them being thanked in the garden for their service, from a window in the mansion, knowing that he would get scolded if he was discovered. In the garden that was paved with bricks of various different colors, he saw what seemed like shadows on the soldiers’ faces, and they barely ate and were quite subdued instead of dancing at the party prepared for their return, drinking alcohol instead.
As expected, with Eliza’s situation, they can’t just celebrate things.
He wondered if she was injured, she’s still shut in her bedroom.
While thinking so, Ratoka stopped looking at all the soldiers, and switched to looking for the people that took care of him in the barracks.
Since Gunther really stood out, he saw him immediately. He was surrounded by a group of soldiers, and even so his rich russet brown hair was rather conspicuous. Something about him seems to be naturally charismatic, attracting others.
For once, Calvin was sitting next to Gunther as well, relaxing.
While the other soldiers had grim expressions, Calvin still had an unruffled, calm expression. Only the soldiers close to him seemed to have somewhat relieved expressions as well.
Next, he found Paulo and stopped to look at him. He’s the shortest among the soldiers, but his fluffy golden hair is really eye-catching.
Ratoka felt relief at seeing his friend healthy, and Ratoka started searching through the soldiers again.
He wondered what happened to Igor. Igor was his roommate, and they got along pretty well, he kept looking for Igor’s face among the crowd – and in the end – he couldn’t find him.
No matter how much he looked, he couldn’t find Igor and his ordinary chestnut-colored hair. He wondered if Igor was injured and was resting in the barracks.
As he kept searching through the soldiers for Igor’s location, Ratoka suddenly furrowed his brows, feeling that something was off. What is it. Something seems weird.
……While he kept looking at the soldiers, he realized what it was that he was feeling, and Ratoka felt goosebumps crawling on his skin.
There are obviously fewer soldiers than before.
There’s quite a few faces familiar to Ratoka that are missing.
And, there were quite a few injured people down there at the party for them.
Sweat soon covered the palms of his hands. He shuddered out of habit.
They had gone to defend the country’s borders. And, their leader Eliza, had returned covered in blood. Meaning, it was probably a battle where people had died.
Why had he thought that the shadows on their faces were related to Eliza’s situation.
No wait, just like he surmised earlier, maybe the rest of them were simply in the barracks. The anxiety within Ratoka, swelled and swirled around inside.
He kept looking at the soldiers from the window.
At any rate, none of the people from the mansion are going to tell Ratoka anything about what went on with the soldiers. Then, he just has to go ask them himself.
He has to learn if the soldiers he couldn’t see in the garden, were still alive.