I rushed over to Rox-san, doubting my own eyes.
I reach out to him and touch him.
But the feeling that came back to me was the same as that of cold stone.
I turn around and ask Keith for help.
“I know, I know. I know, but ……, let me get this situation straight a little bit.”
Keith walks slowly toward us with his hand on his chin, thinking about something.
“Do you remember Rox’s last words?”
“Um, ……, it was ‘take care of the rest’, right?”
Just before he was completely petrified, Rox-san told us that.
“No, before that. It was ‘skill demerit’, he told us so.”
“Yes, yes ……. I think I remember he saying that. ……”
“The skill that freed your sister from petrification must be the ‘Elixir’. If the price of using that elixir skill is the phenomenon that is happening to him right now, then I have no choice but to accept this situation.”
“Like, for example, ……, where a healed event bounces back on itself.”
I take those words and look at Rox-san and my sister lying on the ground once more.
It’s true that Rox-san’s petrification started after he cured my sister’s petrification.
If the demerits Keith says are true, what a terrible request I’ve made of him…..
“Keith-san! Is there any way we can help Rox-san!”
As if pleading, I crowd Keith-san.
But Keith turned away from me with a bitter look on his face.
“The elixir. You’re really going to have to find it.”
When I heard those words, I felt as if something had left my body and I slumped down on the spot.
It’s my fault …….
It’s my fault that Rox-san…
What should I do ……, what should I do …….
Instantly, I feel a dull pain in both shoulders.
When I looked, Keith was peering at me with a worried look on his face.
“I’m sorry for Rox, but there’s nothing we can do to save him now. Let’s take your sister and get out of here.”
I reply to Keith’s suggestion and stand up.
It’s certainly not a good idea to be doing this here.
For now, let’s regain our stance for a moment and once again find a way to help Rox-san. ……
“You think I’m gonna let that happen?”
Suddenly, a woman’s voice echoes through the cave.
My sister still hasn’t regained consciousness, and it wasn’t from me.
I looked in the direction of the voice and saw a woman standing there.
I’ve seen that look before.
“You are …….”
That long red hair, I’ll never forget it.
She is the one who told us that the Hydra in this crystal cave is the cause of the petrification.
It was the woman who claimed to be a traveling fortune teller.
I believe the name is …….
Before I can say anything else, Keith-san shouts her name.
“I didn’t want to believe it, but I knew you had a hand in this.”
“‘Ah, well, well, well, ……. Look who it is, isn’t it Brother Fourlock, the traitor?”
It’s messing with my head.
Isn’t this man Keith?
“I’m a traitor?”
“Yes, you are. It is said in Lisbet that you betrayed your country and turned over.”
Euryaleis laughs in amusement with a huff.
“Bullshit? Not only did you single-handedly cause the fall of the neighboring town of Wishside, but you also unexpectedly turned your blade on Captain Leon, who had joined you in support, and to top it all off, you even allied yourself with the remnants of Yuresh!”
“No, no, no, no! It’s not!”
“What is not it? You are a dirty blood that was wrong to even be born in this world. By pledging absolute loyalty to the pure Lisbet royalty, you are finally given the meaning of life. But how can you…”
Keith’s hands, and his voice, shake and begin to take on a deadly intensity that even I can feel.
“You can’t be serious, Euryaleis!”
“Isn’t that right, Nii-san? Our mother was a commoner. We brothers and sisters were born with our royal blood was stained by the blood of a lowly commoner.”
“Don’t be a fool! Commoners, nobles, and royalty are all human beings. There’s no such thing as clean or dirty blood!”
“If that’s what you think, why don’t you shout it out loud before the throne of Lisbet instead of to me, Nii-san? Because it is neither you nor I who decided that.”
Keith-san remained silent and clenched his fists.
I can’t see his expression from behind, but I can feel his emotion, which is hard to put into words.
“Since when did you have such thoughts…..”
Keith’s words were tinged with a quiet sadness.
“You used to be a kinder kid. Ever since you became the captain of the Seven Star Squadron, it’s as if your entire personality has changed.”
“Since when you said…. huh?… I’m, Euryaleis Alexandrite, the third captain of the Lisbet Seventh Star Squadron, I’ve always been myself. Can you please stop piling up an illusion that doesn’t exist on me? It’s disgusting.”
Whether or not she knows about Keith’s feelings, Euryaleis treats him coldly.
“You just have to be quiet and give the child to me, Nii-san. It’s not you who has business with me, it’s the child.”
Surprised that the contradiction was suddenly directed at me, I turned my attention to Euryaleis and she noticed me and gave me a cold smile.
That cold smile, which words cannot describe, gives me chills.
“Well, ……. I guess there’s nothing I can say to you anymore.”
Keith-san muttered and took out a large sword from the item box and held it up towards Euryaleis.
I couldn’t help but feel my body tense up at the sound of the voice that I couldn’t believe was coming from the calm Keith-san.
“Euryaleis’ skills are tricky. Only I, who knows her weaknesses, can compete with her. You’ll have to stay out of it.”
I responded to Keith’s words, who didn’t turn around and just stared blankly ahead as he spoke.
“What? You think you can compete with me on a one-on-one basis as an equal, Nii-san? You’ve become quite arrogant in the short time I’ve not seen you. I’m sure you can’t even touch that boy in first place.”
With that, she absently snapped her fingers.
What ……do you mean by he can’t touch that boy?
The moment such a question popped into my mind, the earth shook inside the cave.
The thud, thud, thud of the earth grew louder and louder, and pieces of crystal began to fall from the ceiling to the ground.
Eventually, from a hole behind Euryaleis in the depths of the cave, a large monster several meters tall appeared.
Its entire body was covered in jet-black scales, and its multiple heads swayed as it headed towards us.
There’s no mistaking it.
It was the abominable monster that petrified my sister that day.
Euryaleis moves closer and slowly strokes one of the monster’s necks, as if she is taming it.
“Because he’s the one who’s going to be dealing with you.”