Transmigrated into a Female-Oriented Card Game
Transmigrated into a Female-Oriented Card Game Chapter 35

* * *

After Mamil’s lesson, Cadel took Lumen and Van to Drakium’s night market. He wanted to eat the delicious grilled skewers here one last time before leaving Drakium. When Van realized what was going on, he quickly left to get some, and while waiting for him, Cadel made small talk with Lumen.

“Forest of Enchantment?”

“Uh. Have you heard of it?”

“I’ve heard of it. It’s a notorious forest.”

“You’ve never been there?”

“I don’t really have a hobby of going to those places.”

Lumen glanced over at Cadel, who sighed heavily. Ever since his last lesson with Mamil, Cadel had been uncharacteristically somber. Was it because he was sad to see him go?

Lumen tried to console him with a joke as he tried to figure out why.

“I don’t know why, but don’t be too depressed. Leader has a sense of unfairness from the beginning, so when you make that expression, you look really pitiful.”

“Shut up. Do you want to get hit?”

“So brutal. But what’s with the Forest of Enchantment all of a sudden? Do you have any plans to go there?”

“Yeah.”

Lumen blinked dazedly for a moment, not expecting an immediate affirmation of his question. Cadel turned to face him and smiled grimly.

“You have to go too, my friend.”

“Um…… Nope.”

Lumen sighed, avoiding Cadel’s gaze. He was a native of the Kingdom of Mainue, and had heard the infamy of the Forest of Enchantment since childhood. The Forest of Enchantment had many nicknames, but the most famous were the ‘Forbidden Forest’ and the ‘Forest of Death’. Very few people ever made it out alive.

No matter how interesting Cadel was, he was not yet enough to follow him to death-trap. But just as he was about to express his refusal, Cadel frowned at him and pushed him away.

“Isn’t it only when you accompany to a place like that that you can appreciate the true value of the other person? It’s not like I’m going to die, I’m just picking up a bunch of herbs from there. You can’t even do that? And you’re a swordsman? Since when are you so cowardly and lacking in ambition? I’m disappointed in you, Lumen.”

“Even if you snap at me like that…….”

What can’t be helped is what can’t be helped. The moment Lumen was about to say that, someone’s arm came out from behind as if splitting the two.

“That’s why I said, give up on that guy early, Commander. He’s not gonna help you one bit.”

The owner of the forearm was none other than Van, who stretched out his arm as if to hug Cadel from behind and handed him a skewer, which Cadel meekly accepted after stopping his wheezing. Van, who had been giggling at Cadel and wishing him a good meal, turned a cold shoulder as soon as he saw Lumen standing next to him.

“I could sacrifice my life for Commander. Wouldn’t a trustworthy subordinate be much better than an extra coward?”

Van, who had placed a hand on Cadel’s shoulder, said sarcastically. Meeting his hostile gaze, the corner of Lumen’s mouth twitched upward.

* * *

It took five full days to cross the border of the Mainue Kingdom. Each time they traveled by carriage ― rented with funds from Lumen, who ultimately decided to accompany them.

The good news was that Cadel’s frail body had adapted to the long journey. Aside from the occasional bout of extreme motion sickness that left him leaning on Van’s shoulder for the entire trip, he was able to function fairly independently.

And so the journey entered its sixth day. Lumen, Van, and Cadel had reached a small village near the Forest of Enchantment.

“Everyone get some rest today, because as I’ve said a few times, what we need most tomorrow is stamina and speed, okay?”

“Yes, Commander!”

Cadel patted Van’s head as he answered, then jerked toward Lumen, only breaking eye contact when he saw him nod with a bitter expression.

The village was small, consisting of a few ramshackle houses and restaurants. They decided to stay at the home of an elderly couple who had a spare room. The generous couple refused Cadel’s offer of lodging and even offered him a home-cooked meal. Of course, being a poor village, the food wasn’t the most flavorful or plentiful, but Cadel and his party were able to finish the meal in good spirits.

There was only one room. It was cramped for three adult men, but they were in no position to complain. If it weren’t for the goodwill of the elderly couple, Cadel’s party would have been homeless by now.

“Commander, are you comfortable in the center?”

“Any place is fine.”

“If you’re comfortable with walls…… No, the walls are chilly, so you’re probably better off sleeping in the center.”

Since the original purpose of the only room was a utility room rather than a bedroom, they had to lie down on sleeping bags. Van unfolded the sleeping bag himself despite Cadel’s disapproval and put his own sleeping bag right next to it. Lumen, who was holding his share of the sleeping bag and watching him, frowned.

“If you lean towards the center like that, the space left will be narrow. Stuck at the end”

It was a valid point, but Van didn’t even give him a second glance as he crumpled into his sleeping bag.

“If it’s narrow, stand up and sleep.”

“What?”

“Stand up and sleep.”

Lumen spat out a laugh at the absurdity of the response.

‘Why are they like that again…….’

Realizing that if he left it at this, it would lead to the kind of pointless bickering that had been plaguing him the entire trip, Cadel stepped in to mediate between the two.

“Both of you, don’t strain yourself, Lumen, come here. If you sleep right next to me, it will be less cramped.”

“Commander, I’ll just go to the side.”

“Thank you, Leader. It was still cold, but I can sleep very warmly.”

Lumen quickly clung to Cadel’s side and unfurled his sleeping bag before Van could slip out of it and move away. It was a quick move, almost as quick as his attack.

Maybe they should all just sleep a little further apart. Sighing, Cadel flopped down on his sleeping bag. Disgruntling at Lumen, Van turned off the bedside lamp.

Falling asleep while being pinned down on either side by two tall men was quite an ordeal. Unable to turn over or even turn his head, Cadel lay stiffly, feeling like a toothpick stuck in a fruit, staring at the black ceiling.

‘Tomorrow, I’ll do well……?’

Cadel had faced a variety of enemies, but he had never fought against a knight candidate before. Furthermore, all of the fairy knights were obtained through gacha, so he was pretty much ignorant of the Forest of Enchantment’s storyline.

Poor images and extremely low amount of information. It was natural to be worried.

‘It’s even called the Forbidden Forest, and it’s full of dangers. Our best bet is to find some herbs and get out of there in the shortest amount of time…….’

He had to be prepared for that if that wasn’t the case. And then there was the battle with the fairies. His head was already pounding. He couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that he was using his men for personal gain. Still, he couldn’t go into the forest alone.

The thought spiraled out of control and grew more and more negative.

Cadel pressed hard against his burning temples and swallowed back the sigh that rose in his throat. As if sensing his frustration, something came out of nowhere to his right and enveloped his hand that was holding his head.

He turned his head, startled, and locked eyes with Van. Van gently grasped Cadel’s hand in his own, larger one, and slowly pulled him closer.

“Van……?”

“Don’t worry, Commander. I’ll protect you no matter what.”

The whispered voice carried on the cool breeze in the room, tickling my ears. The warmth of his hands was as clear as the distance between them. Cadel stared into Van’s golden eyes for a moment, then slowly took his hand in his.

“I’m good on my own, so you take care of your body. And don’t jump in like a moth to fire to protect me. Got it?”

Van’s gaze fell to their joined hands. His thumb reached out to brush the back of Cadel’s soft hand, and he smiled wryly and nodded.

“……Good.”

Seeing his face soften, the tightness in his chest dissipated a bit.

‘Yeah. We’ve got a long way to go, but we can’t hesitate here. We’re going to do it, we’re going to be strong, and that’s all that matters.’

With a resolve, he gently withdrew his clasped hands. In the silence of the room, Cadel slept for tomorrow.

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1 comment
  1. why so quiet has spoken 12 months ago

    theyre so cute /(^ v ^)/

    Reply

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