The first night had come to Aidenberg since the fall of Myrad. Duwei’s squad was on a two-shift patrol mission, using an abandoned riverside hut as a camp.
Usually, Walm was always with someone, but today he was smoking alone. Although it was an unlikely action amid the battlefield, the security of the city was rapidly recovering due to the thorough suppression during the day.
In addition, it was strictly prohibited to go out at night except for Highserk soldiers. Only those who were reckless or fools dared to go out.
Walm threw salted river fish that he looted not long ago into his mouth. It was extremely salty because it was originally something to put in soup or desalted before eating. He wouldn’t have eaten it unless he was exhausted of physical strength and mana.
To remove the saltiness of his mouth, Walm took out the skittle and brought it to his mouth. Alcohol ran through the oral cavity and fell into the stomach at once. Exhaled lightly, and looked up at the sky.
At night, the twin moons would appear in the sky as if they were chasing after each other. If it was a half-moon or a full moon, it felt brighter than in Walm’s previous world.
But tonight, it was a new moon, so the surroundings were dark.
Every time Walm saw the moon, it made him strongly aware that he was in fact, in a different world. With a cigarette in his mouth, Walm ignited it with fire-attribute magic. After he had learned it, he couldn’t go back to the life of carrying a lighter.
Purple smoke slowly spread to the lungs. As soon as Walm exhaled, the smoke spread into the sky and disappeared.
As if the fierce battle in the daytime was like a lie, the tranquility dominated the night. Walm didn’t hate talking to people, but he liked to spend time alone like this from time to time.
Time to be alone could be said as something precious in military life. Other squad members could sometimes be alone if safety had been ensured.
Scratched the head and weakened the whole body. It was easy to see the exhausted body asking him to go to sleep.
Walm head a noise.
Even though he was in a relaxed state, Walm would never miss a faint noise. The true nature of the sound came from a corner of the dock.
Ferries and fishing boats were used to completely pursue Ferrius remnants. And if someone came, it could be a person who wanted to enjoy his time alone just like Walm, it could be someone trying to escape from the city, or it could be a small animal like a cat ―― but this was unlikely.
Besides soldiers, many citizens were trying to escape from the city. Although the ones who escaped early were tolerated, the Highserk Empire, which didn’t want more population outflow, was now restricting their movement from the city.
No one responded. Perhaps the person was wondering if Walm would let him go, of thinking of what to do. But, if no one was there, Walm would look like a stupid guy.
Walm threw the cigarette to the ground and crushed it with his foot.
Most of the armor and equipment were in the hut. He only wore the hand protector with a longsword on his waist.
“I’ll say it again, only one more time.
When Walm deliberately struck his sword, a figure emerged from the hut used for fishing.
“Doesn’t seem like a Highserk soldier.
You’re not allowed to go out at night.
Didn’t you know it”
It was two humans. Because they were in the dark, Walm could only see the outlines.
The old man and the girl apologized with a quivering voice.
I wonder what’s wrong, if they’re not malicious, is it okay to just give them a warning and turn them back…
―― Walm took a few steps closer and cast magic.
Looking away from the light source, Walm looked at the two. What was there, was a white-haired old man and a blonde girl who opened their eyes with surprise.
It looked like an old man and his granddaughter trying to escape from the city where rape and robbery were occurring.
Clothes were also common for citizens to wear, but something caught Walm’s attention
The old man had wrinkles suitable for his age, but the chest plate and shoulder width were wide, and it could be seen that he was trained when he was young.
The girl’s hair was also dirty with soot, but her body odor was light. Besides, the nails and fingers were beautiful. Normally, if you had engaged in labor, your hands would become rugged and dirty. And there were no signs of sunburn.
“…Why, are you outside”
“Because the city is dangerous, rape and plunder are everywhere.
We were thinking of getting closer to our relatives in the country.”
Walm’s intuition told him that they weren’t citizens.
Perhaps the man was a high-ranking soldier, or a wealthy merchant, or… an aristocrat.
“Are you a soldier”
“No, I’m not anymore.
Sure, I’ve been involved in battles decades ago.
But now, I can’t even have a sword.”
The old man made an excuse to Walm in a frightened manner.
“For someone who had retired a long time ago, you still look quite trained.
For someone about your age, it’s more natural to have a bent waist.
And the lady there has pretty hands.
Is she a sheltered girl or something “
“Health was the only thing I had, my granddaughter is still too young when the parents died, so I took care of her so that she wouldn’t have a hard time.”
Without denying or affirming, Walm silently looked at them. The color of the old man’s eyes changed as he took a step closer. Seeing that reaction, he was sure that the old man was quite skillful in his prime.
Weapons weren’t found in what they brought, but they may be taken out from a magic bag, or they might be hidden somewhere. There were even warriors who could surpass weapons with their bare hands. You couldn’t let your guard down.
Walm hadn’t decided that they were aristocrats yet. And even if they were aristocrats, the main targets had been arrested or killed across the board. What would come out if Walm interfered with the one that wasn’t on the target list, who was trying to escape hard.
The ability of the old man was also unknown. Showed the wisdom of pretending to be an amateur and looked like he didn’t mind pretending to be. If Walm dealt with him badly, there was a risk that he would just stir up trouble for himself.
Should I buy time while waiting for support
―― Walm kept glaring for a few seconds, and there was an out-of-place sound. The source of the sound was the girl. To be exact, her stomach.
She was hungry. You could say her stomach was very bold.
“Sorry, this is…”
The girl who turned her white face and blushed was so cute.
“Ku, Kuku, Ahaha!!”
When the two saw Walm laughing, they opened their eyes.
“Sorry, sorry, my bad.
You’re so cute.
If you’re too cute, and well-groomed like that, you’ll be kidnapped by a poorly behaved soldier you know.
“If your house is safe”, go home.
I’ll let it go this time.”
After they bowed to Walm and tried to disappear into the back alley,
The two were momentarily readied themselves. When Walm returned to where he was smoking, he offered two bottles.
“I’m sorry I’ve eaten some of it, but you’re hungry, right Take this to ease your hunger.”
Walm handed over salted river fish in a jar and dried beans in a pouch.
“T-thank you very much”
The girl received it in a confused manner. The old man looked at Walm because he couldn’t grasp the situation.
“It was a terrible day.
I may sound like a hypocrite, but this is to diminish some of my guilt.
Feel free to accept it, there’s no poison in it.”
When Walm offered the bottle and pouch, the girl reached out and received them. It was hidden in the hood, but the hair was tied up in the hood so that it could move easily, and it had a supple golden color like a wheat field. The pupil was reflected by the 《Torch》, it was the same gold as the hair.
Walm stared at the soft smile that everyone would receive. Although it was a short word and action, each one was pretty and he could see the high level of education she had received.
“Yeah… you’re welcome”
Walm left the place as he ignited another cigarette. On the way back to where the squad was, Walm watched the river. It was extremely difficult to see to the opposite bank because of the poor light source at night. Still, in the dark night, he could see a boat crossing the river without using torches or magic.
“As expected, they can’t go home that easily huh”
It might sound ridiculous that Walm, the invader, sympathized with the victims. He was the one who might have killed his family and his neighbors. After all, it was a legal murder with an excuse called “war”. Moreover, his patriotism and love for his homeland were weak.
He was someone who had devoted himself to the war while being swept away by the situation.
He had no cause, pride, or any ** for his homeland.
“You think you’ll be forgiven huh You damn hypocrite.”
The destinations of those who had lost their livelihoods could be terribly harsh.
And, Walm was still trying to get used to this world in both, good and bad ways.
But now, Walm was no longer confident that he wouldn’t lose the humanity and morals he had cultivated in the previous world.