He saw her clear brown eyes that turned somewhat transparent when light fell on it. Her facial features melded together perfectly, and her flawless skin only served to accentuate her beauty. He also noticed she would also bite her pink lips whenever she was deep in thought.
His chest was tickling for some reason, his hands were sweaty, and he could hardly take a deep breath.
He pursed his lips.
Adele thought he looked uncomfortable and asked him, “Does it hurt?”
“I wish it did…” he muttered.
“Hm? What was that?”
Adele wiped the blood from his arm this time, oblivious to his troubled mind. After a while, she tied a handkerchief to the boy’s arm and focused on his other injuries. After that, his treatment was over.
“Can we go now?”
She grinned, satisfied of her little handiwork. “Of course!”
“I’ll be leading the front, follow after me.” With his face getting hotter, he quickly trudged forward like a knight that wanted to escape. Unfortunately, his legs were quite short and couldn’t get further away as he would’ve liked.
Just like his face, his strides were quite cute as well.
Minding his own predicament, Adele shortened her steps and slowed down, sometimes even teasing him that he was walking too fast. Much to her amusement, the boy actually believed it and walked even slower.
Adele smiled silently as she looked at his rather dependable little back. “Are you from around here?”
“Then, are you here to practice your swordsmanship?”
The boy didn’t say anything in response, but her guess was correct. He continued cutting thorn vines that blocked their path with his sword, then cleared the debris with his feet. Thanks to this, Adele was able to traverse forward easily.
“Thank you. If I may ask, do you attend an academy? You look like you’re at the perfect age to start training.”
“I’ll be enrolling into one soon.” He answered quickly, not wanting to be seen as child.
“Oh, so you’re twelve years old then?”
He slowly gazed at her and ignored her other question, “What about you?”
“Do you go to an academy?” The boy turned back and glanced at Adele. When their eyes met, he quickly averted his gaze.
Recalling her difficult family circumstances five years ago, Adele shook her head and said in a bittersweet tone, “If I had gone to an academy, I would’ve met you as my junior. What a pity.”
The boy saw the engagement ring on Adele’s finger. He scowled and kicked a stone towards the side of the path.
“Then, are you getting married soon?”
Because of that, she remembered her contemptible fiancée and quickly removed the ring from her finger and threw it away.
It fell into a small pond beyond the bush. With his eyes widened, the boy looked at her skeptically. But Adele only stretched her body, feeling relieved, as if a burden was removed from her delicate shoulders.
“Mm. This feels wonderful!”
“Wasn’t that your engagement ring?” The boy raised an eyebrow when he saw her raise the corners of her lips ever so slightly.
“Well, now it’s not.” She answered gleefully, smiling as she inspected her now ringless finger. In truth, she had long wanted to take it off advance as she knew they were going to break up in one way or another.
“But why train here?” she brought back the previous subject, “It’s more dangerous in the mountains.”
There was a short silence before he replied.
“The masters are already weak, but the monsters remain strong.”
“Hm?” She blinked at his cryptic words.
“If I don’t become strong enough to kill monsters, I… will succumb to my own power.” Then he frowned, “There’s no need for you to know more.”
They continued walking. When they made a turn, Adele spoke without thinking, “This path leads to the Monster Mountain. Are you still going to continue?”
Then she pointed towards the opposite side, “Why don’t you go to the direction of that pond instead? There’s a village there.”
“You knew the way all along?”
The boy frowned and squinted at her judgingly, feeling bitter with himself. Adele just shrugged her shoulders with a crafty smile.
“Let’s go down together.”
“I don’t want to.”
Hearing this, she really wanted to pinch his ears and make him follow obediently. “Receive treatment and rest well while you’re there, okay?”
“I already said I don’t need it.”
The boy walked further into the woods, avoiding Adele’s hand.
He was hurting, but it’ll get better once he has rested for a night. However, if he went to the village, it will definitely take longer and might consume a day or two. He could’ve already hunted monsters during that time to make himself stronger.
Idling away on a hut was such a huge waste of his precious time.
I wasted hours with that girl for nothing. She may look innocent, but in reality, she’s actually a deceitful and conniving girl!
A scream was heard from behind as he grumbled.
He decisively ignored it.
It must be another scheme to trick me.
However, his pace gradually slowed down.
Don’t tell me it’s true?
The boy hurriedly looked back, but what he saw almost made his blood run cold. A huge bear had already opened its maws, preparing to devour Adele into bits and pieces.
He quickly drew his sword and ran towards the monster.