Mordred raises his severed arms as if reaching towards the light as he runs. Just as he gets close to the exit, I hear a ‘click.’
In a flash, the exit erupts with an explosion of flames. I drop to the ground, as there was nowhere to hide from the wind and impact. Thankfully, I was far enough to not be thrown into the air once again.
I stayed on the ground for some time, keeping my hood down as I waited for the dust to settle. The ringing in my ears finally subsides and I open my eyes and squint. There was still dust floating in the air. I stand up…or try to, but my foot gets caught on something.
I pick it up. It was a sheath. Excalibur’s sheath had been blown towards me in the blast.
“Pretty lucky…glad I wasn’t any closer to it.”
I attached the dusty sheath to my belt. And this time, started to walk forward.
The exit was now hidden in rubble. It would be difficult to open the passage up again without a hole mole. And I saw now that there was blue blood dripping from the cracks between the boulders.
Mordred was dead.
“I’ll have to thank Angelica for this later…”
I muttered as I looked at what remained of him. …I was so tired. I wanted to go back.
I turned on my heels and began to walk. The return trip was an upward slope, which was quite harsh.
On the way, I found Excalibur. It was still connected to Mordred’s severed arms. I crouched slowly and picked it up. The Excalibur was stained with blue and red blood. I had no idea if this was a holy sword, but there was something of an honest, incorruptible air that seemed to come off the otherwise filthy blade. Who knows? Maybe it was the real thing. Well, it was probably just Arthur slapping a name on it. But maybe with that name, it would one day reach the heights of the real sword. It was Arthur’s job to see that it happened. I swore to clean it when I got back, and then I put it in its sheath.
□ □ □ □
When I returned to the orc room, I was greeted by a mass of corpses. The extermination was completed. Even the grey orcs who had given up the fight now lay dead.
I saw that the Adventurers were all resting against the wall, and so I decided to search for Virgil first. I made my way through the corpses, searching desperately until Ness found me and called me over.
“Ah. Ness… Where’s Virgil?”
“You’re horribly wounded! You better rest!”
“No, I’m still fine. I have to tell Virgil…”
I felt like I would no longer be able to move if I stopped, and so I continued to walk while talking with Ness.
“You really are…fine then. He’s over here!”
I apologized, but Ness just scratched his cheek and told me to follow him. I did so on my unstable legs. We came out to the entrance of the orc building. Here the wounded were lined up on the floor. Virgil was there too. But he was talking to some Adventurers, and seemed to be unhurt.
“Ah, Asagi. Glad to see you… you’re not exactly fine. Rest right there.”
“No, I have to tell you…”
“You’re here and alive. I presume that means it’s finished?”
“Well, yeah… Thanks to Angelica.”
I wanted to make a detailed report, but Virgil wouldn’t listen. Damn it, Ness. He must have known this would happen when he brought me up here… I turned around to see him chuckling.
With no other choice, I collapsed on a blanket that had been placed on the floor and then sighed while staring at the ceiling. Suddenly, I turned to my side and saw Daniela sleeping next to me. Thank god. She didn’t appear to have any heavy wounds. Thank Virgil, really…
I think back on this battle, which was the longest I’ve ever experienced.
I never would have thought a mere valley investigation would turn into this… Now that I think of it, it had always just been me and Daniela. And here we had fought alongside so many others. It really was unexpected. Well, I feel as if I thought about this before. Maybe it’s just me. My head doesn’t seem to be functioning right.
Thankfully, while there had been plenty of pain, there were also good things. I think, anyway. No, I can’t think properly right now.
I sigh once again. My eyelids feel heavy. In the end, I was just so very tired. At the same time that I realized this, my consciousness faded into the shadows. I didn’t dream.
Thank you so much to everyone who donated. It’s a massive help and encouragement.
Anyway, hope you all enjoyed the chapter. It’s the end of the long Orc Arc.