Although the evening sun was still out, it was already beginning to get dark. If night time comes, the ones at a disadvantage in the battle would be humans. If it comes down to that, it’ll be even more dangerous.
(It has been a while since I heard the demon’s howl, I have to hurry…!)
As Ruth ran through the mountains, his body felt significantly lighter than usual. But at this rate, it would probably be completely dark by the time he arrived at the village.
However, while his mind was filled with worries as he ran, he felt something approaching him at an incredible high-speed from behind. Ruth thought that abnormal speed was from a demon, but when he turned around, he saw a horse running vigorously.
The person riding on the horse raised their face.
“Ruth, don’t you dare try to act cool!”
While Daniel was controlling the horse, he ran alongside Ruth. Even though Ruth was running on a trackless path, Daniel was handling the horse with such ease that Ruth sincerely admired him for it. However, he still thought that the way he said things were too harsh.
“What in the world makes you think that I'm acting cool! I’m going to the village where the baal is!”
“That’s what I’m talking about! A weakling like you should just quietly stay in the back and be protected!”
“A weakling…you-- didn’t you hear what Jio said!”
“How am I supposed to believe that senile old man saying stuff that you’re more skilled than I am! Anyway, just go back! What use will you be even if you do go! You’ll just get eaten!”
When Daniel said that, he moved his horse closer to block Ruth from going any further. Ruth skillfully avoided him, but this kind of hindrance would undoubtedly slow him down even more.
(Even at this time he still…)
As always, Ruth had a headache from Daniel’s constant mockery. And so all he had to do was to ignore him as usual. Even though he knew that--this time he was filled with anxiety over the baal and the pressure of the darkening sky, so Ruth lost his cool.
“ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, DANIEL!”
Daniel, who was about to approach and block him again, pulled back with the horse when he heard Ruth’s shout of anger.
“It doesn’t matter if you hate me. Go ahead and look down on me all you want. None of that will bother me the slightest, I don’t care about you!”
“But right now I have to go protect the village so if you care about it too then stop being a complete nuisance at least this time! Or else I really will despise you.”
After Ruth raised his voice, Daniel’s horse gradually slowed down and he began to disappear from Ruth’s sight. Ruth continued to run without looking back.
(Crap, I’m getting out of breath from yelling…)
No matter how much magic Jio cast on Ruth, raising his voice while running at full speed would still take a toll on his body and so his pace slowed down by a little. Even though he wanted to reach the village as quickly as possible, those feelings only led to impatience.
Just when Ruth wondered if he heard a loud shout, Daniel, who should’ve been gone from his sight, ran up next to Ruth on his horse. He slightly sped up before turning towards Ruth and shouted out to him.
“Ruth, get on!”
“Riding my horse is faster than running on foot! If you want to get to the village faster then hurry up and get on!”
Ruth didn’t know what kind of change of heart Daniel had, but he was surprised that he would give him a ride to the village. At first, he thought that it was a joke or Daniel was up to something again, but Daniel only looked slightly irritated and didn’t say anything strange to Ruth other than that.
“But, the horse won’t be as fast if both of us ride on it!”
“The old man cast some weird magic on me and my horse to chase after you, so it shouldn’t matter whether one or two people are on it now!”
“Hah!? Eh, then does that mean you were planning to give me a ride from the start!? Why did you say all those things then!”
When Ruth said that, Daniel mumbled, “I wanted to see how serious you were.” That reason made Ruth a bit annoyed and he surreptitiously glared at him, kicking Daniel’s leg. After that, he heard a legitimate “Sorry…” from him. He was so honest that Ruth found it to be a bit strange, but he decided not to say it out loud.
(Still, he purposely brought his horse along to help me out...)
Judging from Daniel’s pale face when he arrived at the shrine, Ruth knew that he was quite frightened by the situation. That’s why he didn't expect him to fight, but seeing Daniel suppressing his fear and volunteered to carry him made Ruth genuinely happy.
Even Ruth thought he was simple-minded, but when it came to that sort of thing, usually all his anger from earlier would dissipate once he understood the reasons behind it. Being on a horse was faster than running by foot and there’s no one else who excels in handling horses while running through these mountainous paths other than Daniel.
“I’m going to slow down, so take that chance to hop onto the back.”
“It’s fine as is, give me your hand!”
“Huh, like this? Whoa!”
Ruth grabbed onto Daniel’s extended hand and pulled his body a bit closer as he jumped. While he saw Daniel’s surprised face, he danced in midair and immediately used Daniel’s arm to draw closer before plopping down on the back of the horse’s back. He put his hand on Daniel’s shoulder and calmed his disordered breathing.
“Daniel, look forward! Look forward!”
When Daniel looked back in surprise, Ruth shouted at him to face forward. It seemed like Daniel said something, but Ruth made sure he was properly seated before gripping onto the horse reins again.
“Ah, damnit! Ruth!”
“After this is all over, let's talk!”
“Huh, ah, okay. As long as you don’t mock me.”
“Alright, let’s speed up! Don’t fall off now!”
As Daniel declared that, he pressed his feet against the horse’s stomach and they began to speed up. It wasn’t a lie that Jio cast his magic on them by the way the horse was running through the mountainous terrain at an unbelievable speed despite two people riding on it. The speed and distance they covered wasn’t something that Ruth’s legs could compare to as the horse would slide down the cliffs, leap through the valleys, and cross through rivers as if it was dancing in the air.
Because of that incredible speed, the village soon quickly came into sight. Ruth rested his knee onto Daniel’s back to balance himself as he stood up to look at the state of the village.
“There’s some smoke coming from there!”
“Shit, were we suppressed after all...”
From afar, they saw the ruined buildings in the village as the brutal aftermath of the fight. Even if they drove them out with weaponry such as the catapult, not all of the men in the village were proficient in battle. Some villagers couldn’t even hold a sword. Because of that, the outlook wasn't good.
“Daniel, look over there!”
“Isn’t that that Paria’s old man?”
Ruth noticed a man who had collapsed right outside the village. Daniel stopped his horse for a moment and quickly ran to him.
Paria’s father didn’t have any injuries or seemed to have been attacked by the demons, but he had lost consciousness and didn’t reply to them calling out for him. Despite that, his heart was still beating and his breathing was steady.
“Maybe it’s because of the Demon’s Howl. I heard it shortly after I left the village. If that’s the case, there might be people who fainted elsewhere too.”
Just like what Daniel said, there were a ton of men, who were like Paria’s father and didn’t usually use a sword, and young boys who fainted nearby. However, the ones who collapsed outside of the village were luckily not attacked by any demons and their unconscious bodies were safe.
Ruth and Daniel first hid the villagers in a place where the demons won’t find them and once they temporarily secured them somewhere safe, both of them mounted back onto the horse to hurry inside the village.
“Why were these guys outside of the village? The demons enter from the other side.”
“Maybe they were running away from something…”
“...Ah right, there’s that too huh.”
Daniel seemed slightly awkward as he agreed with Ruth. Even though Daniel had to go to the shrine as a messenger, he seemed to be feeling a bit guilty for running away.
“Daniel, let’s go in!”
The horse jumped over the wrecked fence outside the village. The inside of the village was in shambles with debris everywhere. However, despite the smoke, the fire was already put out as they couldn’t see any houses that were burned down. There wasn't anyone who collapsed either. While they slowed down, they looked around the barren area with not a single person in sight until Daniel spoke up.
“Ruth, over there!”
“The village chief!”
MARY: Please support the author by buying the novels here and let me know if you see any mistakes! Ahhhh Ruth!!! GO GO GO GO!!