Daniela watched as Arthur talked almost gleefully, and she laughed. To think that he was looking towards the future with such optimism. I don’t know if he was just being positive or if he was… Well, it was all up to us now.
“Still, perhaps it is all finished.”
“Yes… the path that leads to the valley floor. Mordred is likely hiding there. There is nowhere else to go.”
“Humans are capable. He will definitely be discovered and hunted down. Even without knowledge of what happened, orcs are orcs.”
It was sad, but that was the reality. I wanted Arthur to live. Without being seen, choosing to live freely and peacefully with his people.
“Now, we should be going soon. Do you have any belongings, Arthur?”
“My sword should be here. No…Mordred has likely taken it. I will probably never see it again.”
Sword…Arthur’s sword, huh?
“So, does this sword have a name by any chance?”
“Hm? Yes, it is the Excalibur.”
So, pretty much everything…
“By the way, Arthur. Were you given that name by anyone in particular?”
“No, I wasn’t. I named myself. When I decided that I would become a king, the name flashed in my brain.”
“Then what about Mordred? Is he an abnormally evolved being as well?”
“He is not. He is just an orc. Well, perhaps he has evolved more than the ordinary orc… His name too had flashed in my brain, just when I learned that he was planning to betray me.”
It was a rather vague explanation, and also quite annoying. But was that all there was to it…? There was some intelligence they had been bestowed with. Could it have been from my world?
“Can we leave now?”
“Ah, forgive me. I have given up on the sword. I do not need it to be myself. Let us go.”
“If I am able to find the Excalibur, I will come and give it to you. If we meet again.”
“Hehe. Thank you, Asagi. But I have no hope of that happening.”
You could have just a little at least!
We carefully ascended the wet staircase until we reached the branching path. Arthur would be free if he went to the right. He could escape from here without the humans seeing him.
“Daniela will cover the hole when we get out of here.”
“Aye, thank you. You have done much for me, Asagi.”
“Don’t worry about it. And be safe.”
“Aye. And you take care as well, Daniela.”
We tightly shook hands. Orcs had very large hands…but he was gentle.
Arthur slowly walked away. He turned around after a moment and waved. I waved back. Eventually, he was far enough that even the magic lamps were not enough to see him.
“…So, we have some things to do now.”
“Aye, Arthur is one thing, but orcs who take up arms against humans are our enemies.”
We started to walk. In the opposite direction as Arthur. We would leave this hole and return to the settlement. There was a tunnel that led to the valley floor that we had to find. Mordred would be at the end of the other side. And we would kill him. There would be other orcs there who followed him. I had killed a number of orcs in the valley already, but not nearly equal to the number that had escaped. There would likely be a base along the way as well.
That would be the place of the last battle with the orcs.
□ □ □ □
I followed after Daniela, my arms full with the magic lanterns. If we were going to bury this place anyway, then it would be a waste to leave them here. That was what I thought as I picked up each one as we walked. Asagi Kamiyashiro was a man who was haunted by the ghost of un-wastefulness.
Finally, I picked up the last one and we came out of the hole. I put them down in the bushes nearby. I would come back with the hollow bag before we left this place… I mean, it would be no trouble with Legs of the Forest Wolf. I was a fast runner.
“Asagi, you are brilliant.”
“What’s that? You’re making me blush.”
“Do not worry, it was sarcasm.”
Alright, now Daniela would bury the hole and we could return to the settlement. Virgil would be there, so we would have to explain the situation to him and search for the tunnel. I could only hope that they hadn’t found it already. I wanted to retrieve Arthur’s sword if I could.