Chapter 01 – Meeting in the Cursed Forest
”Are you sure about your decision, Duke? ” The man with white hair asked Gerald when he informed him that he would enter the Cursed Forest.
” The man nodded,
”You should know the rules of that place. If you
e lucky, you will live. If not, then you might become a sacrifice. Even I cannot help you right now. ”
”Im aware. ”
Gerald shivered when he felt the cold drops of rain on his skin. A visible red liquid trickled from his head and lips, and his breathing turned heavy. He looked up and saw that the fog was covering his surroundings.
The lightning from the sky was his only source of light. Gerald used his sword to support his body as he started to walk with staggering steps.
”So you are here. ”
His hair stood on its end when he heard a voice from behind. He slowly turned his head and was welcomed by the beast the size of a lion they had encountered earlier. A ripped, bloodied arm holding a sword was in its mouth.
He readied himself to fight but knew that this might be his end.
”My wife and daughter, Im sorry. I guess I have to accompany this forest forever, ” he thought as he gathered all his courage and strength to raise his sword.
The Duke saw the beast throwing the hand on the side as it launched toward him, bearing its fangs.
His sword flew from his hand, and Gerald hit the nearby trees while vomiting blood. He looked up with a heavy eye and saw the beast run towards him while laughing maniacally. Gerald closed his eyes as he accepted his fate.
His ears twitched when he heard that sound. Then it was followed by a melodious and lazy female voice.
”So, this is where the smell of blood is coming from. ”
He opened his eyes and saw the back of the female. She had long hair tied in a single french braid and wore a robe. Gerald tried to stretch his neck and saw that the beast was on the ground earlier. It stood up while looking fiercely toward the new intruder.
”Tch! Another useless human. ”
It relaunched its body, but the female casually raised her right hand, and a bluish aura came from it. It rapidly covered the beasts body as it tried to struggle for its life. The moment that it breathed its last, it fell to the ground. Gerald saw some squirming worms appear from the ground and started to cover the beasts body and consume it until its final piece.
”What a spectacular sight. Don you agree? ”
The female turned towards him, and at the same time, the lightning illuminated her beautiful face even for just a second.
”Dear me, should I call you brave or stupid? ”
He coughed another blood, and his other injuries started to bleed again.
The Duke saw a small light coming from her hand that illuminated them. Then, with some difficulty, he tried to look at her face. She was young, a girl around seventeen years old. Her face was so beautiful, just like a gorgeous elf from the legend books—her small lip with the shape of a heart held a faint smile.
The heavy rain was still pouring, but none was hitting the young woman. Instead, its as if there was an invisible umbrella protecting her from the downpour.
”What a stubborn person. You are so weak, yet you have the guts to enter this forest. Guess you are both. ”
Gerald lowered his head. He knew that the girl had helped him out. But should he trust her? This place was still the Mystical man-eating greenwood of their kingdom.
”Are you going to kill me too? ” He asked.
There was a brief silence before he heard the musical laugh of the girl.
”Should I do that? ”
Then a bluish aura covered his whole body. Gerald stiffened and awaited his death. But instead, he felt that his injury was recovering. He raised his head again, and this time the heavy rain stopped.
”Thats a good instinct; it would be best if you do not trust anyone. Especially those who randomly appeared from this place. ”
”Thank you. ”
”Then, Ill be going. ”
She turned and was about to leave when Gerald shouted.
The girl stopped and faced him.
”Are you familiar with this place? ”
”You could say that. ”
The Duke hesitated but still opened his mouth to ask.
”Then, can you help me? ”
She stared at him and crossed her arms.
”You want me to protect you. ”
Gerald knew it might be impossible to ask for another assistance when she had already helped out. But he doesn want to die in this place, so he still gives it a shot.
”Please, can you help me? ”
He saw her smile gently, ”Of course, but are you sure? We just met and trusting your life to a stranger like me, you might regret it. ”
The Duke clenched his fist. He felt some uneasiness, but his survival was more important.
”I will agree with your terms. ”
”Alright. My name is Louise Von Royalle. Please to meet you, ” she stretched her hand.
”Im Duke Gerald Harrington of the Green Kingdom, ” he replied as he shook her hand.
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