Ch 6 Freya
Sophie felt like he was in a long dream. He was in a place surrounded by silent shadows, and everything appeared to be distorted and strange. A black moon and a solitary high tower were reflected in a dark body of water.
What did the moon signify? What did the high tower mean? Or was all of this just a nightmare?
Sophie did not know, just like he did not know when he would wake up. He persisted in this state until he overheard a conversation in his disconcerted state.
“Briedon, have you contacted them?” This was a girl’s voice, her diction was clear and distinct.
“No, there was a bunch of monsters blocking the road. We were not able to find where Sir Marden and the others went, and there’s this person……” This voice belonged to a child.
The child’s voice pointed towards Sophie.
Sophie’s heard skipped a beat. He could feel a gaze on his body. It was like a pathway that connected him back to this world, making him feel like his body was gradually sinking before the youth realized it was gravity pulling him.
Sophie finally recognized the fact that he could sense his body, but it did not respond to him.
His breathing started to go into a slight disarray. Was he dead?
“He’s one of the wounded, take care of him.” The girl said.
One of the wounded?
Were they talking about him?
That’s right, he was gravely injured. His mind started to sharpen and his memories played back like scenes from an old movie. He had borrowed the body of a young man called Brendel, then bet on his life to accomplish something. That was certainly not something an otaku would do.
But he succeeded, thank Holy Mother Marsha.
“Freya, he’s awake.” The child suddenly said.
“I saw his eyelids move.”
“That’s not possible, he received grave injuries and Mackie said…….. Eh!?”
That was true. Brendel’s body was already in a fatal state, after which Sophie used the talent ‘Unyielding’ and took another three sword stabs. He clearly remembered that his stomach and right chest were completely pierced through.
Sophie’s mind started to focus, and the surrounding voices became clearer. The noisy din of panicked confusion, with crackling sounds made from burning, along with footsteps and metal colliding that drowned out the conversation between the girl and the child. The temperature around him started to rise, as if to lick him with a gentle warmth, but soon after it started to scald him.
He blinked. The first thing that came into his irides when he struggled to open his eyelids was a surprised girl.
Sophie’s impression of that girl who was supposedly called Freya, matched the one in his mind after listening to that voice.
She had light orange hair coupled with bright eyes, with her long hair tied in a long ponytail, along with a face that brought about a refined heroic elegance. She lowered her head to observe him and Sophie did the same thing.
She wore a greyish white leather set of leather armor that fit snugly to her, and inside the armor was a thick cotton shirt with the pretty emblem of black pine leaves on her left shoulder.
The militia of Bucce.
He also noticed the short sword in her hand, a medieval short rapier and the metal plate that was on the hand-guard was a flame signet.
The symbol of the Church of Flames.
He shifted his gaze upwards, and saw the bloody bandage across her left chest and shoulder.
She experienced a battle earlier?
Sophie’s eyes captured every detail.
Once he woke up, the noises in the surroundings died down quickly.
“Where….. is this place? …… Where is Romaine…… *Cough*!”
When Sophie spoke, he felt like molten steel was poured into his throat, burning him and drying every last drop of moisture. There was a throbbing pain from his chest that traveled throughout his entire body, and he started to cough lightly.
But what answered him was a wind coming from the mountainous stretch of pine trees. The wind that blew across the black pine needle leaves, making it turn into a faint rustle that was like the movement of a river.
No one answered.
“He woke up.”
“I can’t believe this, he actually survived with those injuries.”
“He’s probably just living on borrowed time……”
Then the hushed whispers wormed their way into his ears. Sophie was a little confused. What was happening, these people should be Bucce’s militia right? He was saved by them?
Then where is that merchant girl?
The plan succeeded, Captain Marden understood his intentions?
He turned his head sideways. He first saw a bright bonfire which danced in his eyes, the fire embers following the rising smoke and dissipated into the night sky.
“You’re awake?” The girl finally came to her senses, and quickly rushed to stop him: “Wait, don’t move, this is Bucce, do you remember?”
“Bucce….. Bucce.” Sophie repeated this name.
“Can you tell me what happened to me?” He let out a sigh. Logically he should have died, no matter how you look at it from the experience in real life or a game.
The only possibility was Miss Romaine who really found a health potion.
“Little Fenris and Mackie found both of you in the forest not far from here.” Freya looked at him curiously. Even though this youth called Brendel came to their village for almost a year, but he did not really interact with the village’s young adults.
He was always alone in his gloomy house, and only occasionally accompanied Romaine to the nearby town. Even the dumbest people in the nearby region knew this youth was interested in the girl who dreamt about becoming a merchant, excluding the latter herself.
Freya gave another round of appraisal to him when she thought about this, along with a drop of suspicion.
“All of you are?”
“I really wonder how you and Romaine escaped from here.” The girl gave an unwilling sigh.
“How is she?”
“She’s very well. Don’t worry, she’s better than you at least ten thousand times. You should pay more attention to your own condition,” Freya stroked her forehead, and spoke softly: “But she kept going on about going into the village, do you know anything about that?”
That meant he did not use a health potion, then how did his injuries…?
Almost like an instinctive response, he opened his stats display, and the dark green data appeared in his retina. He stared at it in shock at the words:
Health (Near death, weakened): 10% (‘Banadaged’ status, 1 HP will be recovered every day)
Impossible! Sophie’s first reaction was he was dreaming. No one understood his condition better than he did. He had at least 4 fatal injuries along with massive hemorrhaging. No matter how he sliced, he was deader than dead.
Why was there 10% HP left?
Sophie shook his head in an effort to clear his mind a little, but he saw the girl’s face beside him turned tense: “Don’t move, you’re heavily injured……”
“Don’t worry.” He waved his hand subconsciously.
Sophie was very clear about his current status. Even though he was puzzled over it, he was not in a condition where he was losing blood, and there was no other ‘bad status’ on him. Although he was in a ‘Weakened’, and ‘Near death’, he understood these conditions would not be able to be solved easily and could only recuperate slowly.
But since his injuries are in a stable condition, there was no danger to his life.
This was the part he was most puzzled over, how did his wounds automatically became ‘stable’? The talent ‘Unyielding’ did not have this ability!
“You!” Freya eyes went wild. She had never seen someone who did not want his life.
In the beginning everyone thought this guy was doomed to die, and did not expect him to even wake up. Yet he woke up. Just from that alone, he should probably thank Mother Marsha’s mercy right?
But this damnable bastard did not seem to care at all. One should cherish his life properly, damn it!
“Go and lie back down right now!” The girl drew a deep breath and ordered through gritted teeth.
Sophie became dumbfounded for a while, and could not resist to look at her. What was wrong with this girl’s head?
“Y-you received the Militia’s training right? My name is Freya, Bucce’s third platoon’s leader. Right now I’m ordering you to follow my orders, temporarily,” Freya blushed, as she noticed she made a mistake: “You have no problems right?”
“You’re Freya?” Sophie became shocked and blurted: “Freya Elisson, born during the Year of the Moon Flowers, your father the great knight Ivanton?”
“Huh, how did you?” The girl got confused with the series of questions: “N, no, my father is only a carpenter in the town……”
There was suddenly a riot of laughter in the surroundings.
“Freya, this guy’s pick-up skills are good.”
“You need to be careful, Boss-neesama.”
“Nobody will treat you as dumb if you spoke two sentences less, Mackie, Ike!” Freya turned her back and glared at them sullenly.
During this time Sophie took the time to observe the militia solemnly. This platoon had seven or eight people, which coincided with Aouine’s unit structure, but the leader was actually a female and that’s even a young brat in it…….
He felt disappointed as he watched the girl and child. It might look like it was a special exception, but the truth was Aouine’s frequent battles over the years had weakened it beyond words.
And what happened next would devour the last bit of vitality the kingdom had from its shiny surface.
Sophie gave a sorrowful sigh filled with lament.
He witnessed this passage of history from the beginning, and did not expect to relive it once more in this world.
But perhaps he could change something this time round.
He stared at the girl next to him in a trance.
There was no mistake about it. Freya Elisson. The last general of Aouine, and later called the kingdom’s War Goddess. She was the daughter of Ivanton, ‘The Sceptor of Fire’. She was not noticed early during the beginning of the war, but received the princess regent’s favor to become one of the top rising heroes of this kingdom.
He did not expect her to experience this battle too.
Unfortunately, now was not the time for her to hold the initiative. Sophie understood he had to be responsible for his own life, and also needed to be responsible for the lives in front of him.
“What are you looking at?” Freya turned her head around, and looked back blankly when she saw his gaze.
He was not admiring or enamored with her, but treating her like a strange animal and observing her.
But why was he looking like her like that?
“You have never seen a dead person yet right?” Sophie suddenly asked.
“What I am saying is, are you afraid of people dying?”
“No, I’m just…….” The girl paused for a while, at a loss for words.
“Then the injuries that I received had nothing to do with you either, can I sit up?” Sophie asked earnestly.
Freya did not know what to say. She was indeed scared. She was afraid to see someone die in front of her. Even if she was the future War Goddess covered with countless auras, the current Freya was a naive village girl.
She had never seen the cruelties of a war, and still retained a naive outlook towards the world.
Sophie smiled. He too had not seen a dead person, but his experiences in the ‘The Amber Sword’ were many times more than Freya.
He had at least experienced the pain of loss.
With the cogs turning in his mind, where his memories and events that tormented him played back one by one, he quickly matured and learned to cherish things.
But they also left the seeds of revenge in him.
“So I am saying, you’re just a country bumpkin lass right? What authority do you have that would make me obey your orders, Miss Freya?”
Sophie knew that there was no merit to keep dragging this topic. He took another look at the bandages in front of his chest, and immediately changed the topic: “Did someone here tie my bandages?”
“Boss-neesama was the one who did it, she’s the only one amongst us who know how to do the emergency first-aid.” The brat over at the sides rushed to answer first. He looked curiously at the young man. He appeared to be really experienced.
The militia in Bruglas was indeed different compared to their militia in a small place like this, he thought.
“I barely managed to stop the bleeding. Don’t think of wandering around, I don’t want to tie this for you one more time.” Freya immediately reminded him.
Sophie knew that the recovery effects from bandaging, besides from stopping the bleeding, was only effective a single time.
But he answered politely this time:
“Thank you. Although your skills suck just a little.”
Mother Marsha above, Freya inhaled deeply. At this moment she suddenly had the urge to strangle this grinning bastard to death. What the hell was he trying to do!