Under the Oak Tree - Chapter 101
Chapter 101 – A Knight’s Wife (2)
“Bone is just bone. There is no reason to be reluctant.” Seeing her expression, Ruth clicked his tongue as if she was pathetic. “When you eat meat, don’t you touch the bones?” He continued to jab.
“I-it’s di-different.” Max grumbled in a sullen voice.
Ruth snorted as if it wasn’t worth answering and began to focus on setting up the magical tools. He put it firmly into the stone pillar and fixed it with clay, then went out of the gate. Max also tried to follow him but was intercepted by Riftan who was giving instructions to the guards.
“Where are you going? It is too dangerous outside the gate,” he said, a little worried.
“B-But Ru-Ruth was….”
Even before she could finish her sentence, Riftan interrupted her.
“He’s a high-level wizard, so I’m not worried. Stay calm, or I’ll send you back to the castle.”
Hearing the determined voice, Max nodded gently. He ordered the guards to protect her well, then went up the wall and gave orders to Ruth.
Right then, a huge flame swelled beyond the walls. It flew towards the gate with a tremendous roar.
Max screamed in fright.
As if responding to the heat of the flames, the earth shook slightly, and soon a huge barrier soared above the ground to block the flames. She was fascinated as she took in the majestic scene. Even the locals who came out to watch were awed and sat down on the ground with their mouths agape.
“It’s still noisy.”
The knight standing beside her whistled lightly. When she noticed the calmness of the knights, she realized that this enormous sight was a routine for them. Only did it dawn on her they must have lived through things that she would never even dream of.
“Great! The magical tools are working properly. Open the gates.”
As Riftan shouted, the heavy iron gate opened and Ruth walked in covered with the dust. “Do you have to do it like this?”
“It should be known that Anatol is perfectly safe even if I leave the territory,” Riftan said as he climbed down the wall.
“At this point, no one will attempt to break in.” Ruth surmised and went on, “But well, if this newfound protection would reach the ears of many merchants, I’m sure they’ll be flocking to Anatol… now that’s a good thing.”
Max realized that the scene that had just happened was not only to test the magical tools but also to reassure the onlookers.
Riftan spoke with the knights for a bit before coming to her side. “Maxi, go back to the castle now.”
“I have to take the invaders and to meet the messenger of Libadon. Ruth, Hebaron! Take her to the castle. And get ready to go to the subjugation in advance.”
Before she could say anything, he flung his cloak and led the knights to somewhere. Max sat on Rem, staring after his retreating figure as it slowly disappeared from her sight. Unbeknownst to her, Hebaron, the giant knight with pale, auburn hair, and also Ruth had accompanied her on either side with their horses.
“After getting used to a warm bed, he has to crawl into the mountains again.” Hebaron said, prompting a laugh from Ruth.
“You also complained about the castle being boring,” Ruth reminded him.
“You should sleep in the frost as well,” The miffed knight generously offered.
“I’ll decline. A delicate and fragile wizard like me could die just by hitting the cold of winter.” Ruth insisted shamelessly while the dumbfounded Hebaron only laughed.
“Delicate and fragile? No one amongst the Knights of Remdragon has as thick a nerve as a wizard.”
“That’s only your opinion.”
Max rolled her eyes and watched their tussle. It was a confusing conversation, it was unclear if they had a good relationship or a bad one.
“Oh, wait a minute! Let’s stop by the market for a while before we go to the castle.” When they reached the town square, Ruth halted his horse and spoke.
Hebaron looked back at him with a displeased face. “Hey, come out later for your personal business. Now is….” He glanced at Max, cutting his words halfway.
Ruth sighed lightly. “Can you please stop that attitude? Madam Calypse is not a boil that gets infected when touched.”
“Hey, when I did…” Hebaron was vexed at the other’s cheekiness.
“You’re acting as if she isn’t here even when she is in front of your eyes. Take it easy.”
Hebaron became visibly embarrassed. Ruth turned the horse towards Max without giving him a chance to argue back. “Today is the last market day. There will be no peddler’s visits for a while. Before that, we need to buy something we need. You should also see how the Anatol market is.”
Max hesitated and looked at Hebaron. The knight, who was stiffened with an uncomfortable face, sighed and steered his horse towards the market. She quickly followed them.
“Wha-What are you go-going to b-buy?”
“I’ll buy herbs and mana stones. I’ve used up almost everything I have.”
The market was booming despite the cold weather. Merchants with tents lined up and were selling all sorts of things on the board. The skins and bones of beasts, rough-looking fabrics, and crude ornaments. On the other side, they were selling meat, bread, and potatoes, and some were selling grain and acorns in sacks. Daunted by their resonant voices, Max stuck tight in behind Ruth.
“Hey, wizard! Go slowly. It’s not easy to escort in such a crowded place.” Hebaron complained from behind, but even the loud voice was buried in the clamor of the merchants. She glanced around nervously.
“You don’t have to be nervous like that. It’s very rare that someone suddenly rushes and swings a knife.”
“I-I’m not at all re-relieved.”
“Anatol’s security is quite good. If you act vigilant like you are doing now, you’re only asking attention from hooligans.”