TL: Chapter has been updated 12/05/2017.
Chapter 6 – Freya
Sophie felt like he dreamed for a long time. He was 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, persisting at the beginning and the end of his dream.
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.
“Freya.” The voice belonged to a boy.
“Briedon, have you contacted them?” It was the voice of a young woman, her diction clear and distinct.
“No, there was a bunch of monsters blocking the road. We were not able to find where Ser Marden and the others went, and there’s this person……” The boy said.
His 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, causing him to feel like he was sinking slowly, before he realized it was gravity pulling him.
Sophie finally recognized the fact that he could sense his body but it did not respond to him.
[Am I dead.]
His breathing started to go into a slight disarray.
“He’s one of the wounded, take care of him.” The girl said.
[One of the wounded? Are you talking about me? Ah, that’s right, I’m 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 and gambled his life away to accomplish something. That was certainly not something he would do.
But he succeeded.
“Freya, he’s awake.” The child suddenly said.
“I saw his eyelids move.”
“That’s not possible, his injuries are grave enough for Mackie to…….. Eh!?”
That was true. Brendel’s body was already in a near fatal state when he took it. He then used the talent ‘Unyielding’ to survive multiple stab wounds. 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, crackling sounds made from burning wood, hurried footsteps and metallic clashes, 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 it quickly 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 the girl who was supposedly called Freya, matched the girl in his mind after listening to her voice.
She had light brown hair coupled with bright eyes and her long hair was tied into a ponytail. Her looks brought about a refined heroic elegance to her. She was observing him with a lowered and Sophie did the same thing by looking up to her.
She wore a greyish white leather set which fit snugly to her figure, and wore a thick cotton shirt with the pretty emblem of black pine leaves on her left shoulder below it. He also noticed the sword at her waist; a short rapier with a flame signet on the hilt. He shifted his gaze upwards, and saw the bloody bandage across her left chest and shoulder.
[The uniform of Bucce’s militia. The symbol of the Church of Flames. Did they just experienced a fight?]
Sophie’s eyes captured every detail. The noises in the surroundings were dying quickly when he woke up.
“Where….. is this place? …… Where is Romaine……”
When he spoke, he felt as though molten steel was being poured into his throat, burning him and drying every last drop of moisture, forcing him to cough weakly after his last word. There was a throbbing pain from his chest that traveled throughout his entire body when he coughed.
The only reply he received was a wind coming from the mountainous stretch of pine trees. The wind blew across the black pine needle leaves, causing them to rustle like the sounds from a river.
No one answered him.
“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’s happening here, these people should be Bucce’s militia right? I’m probably saved by them, so where is that merchant girl? Did my plan succeed and Captain Marden understood my 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 dissipating into the night sky.
“You’re awake?” The girl finally came to her senses and quickly rushed to stop him from moving: “Wait, don’t move, this is Bucce, do you remember where you are?”
“Bucce….. Bucce.” Sophie repeated this name. He let out a sigh. He should have died from the wounds he received, no matter how many times he looked at it, regardless of whether it was real life or a game. “Can you tell me what happened to me?”
[The only possibility was Miss Romaine finding a health potion for me.]
“Little Fenris and Mackie found both of you in the forest not far from here.” Freya looked at him curiously. Even though the youth called Brendel came to their village for almost a year, he did not really interact with the village’s young adults.
He was always alone in his gloomy house and only accompanied Romaine occasionally to the nearby town. Even the dumbest people in the nearby area knew the youth was interested in the girl who dreamed 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?” He said.
“I really wonder how Romaine and you managed to escape.” The girl gave an unwilling sigh.
“How is she?”
“She’s fine. Don’t worry, she’s in a better condition compared to you by a 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?”
[This means I didn’t use a health potion, so how did my 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:
Lifeforce (Near death, weakened): 10% (‘Banadaged’ status, 1 HP will be recovered every day)
Sophie’s first reaction was to believe he was still dreaming. No one understood his condition better than he did. He had at least 4 different fatal injuries along with massive hemorrhaging. No matter how he sliced it, he was deader than dead.
[Why do I still have 10% left?]
Sophie shook his head in an effort to clear his mind a little, but he saw the girl’s face beside him turning 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. He was in a ‘Weakened’ and ‘Near death’ state, and understood these conditions were not something easily solved. He could only wait and recuperate slowly.
But since his injuries are in a stable condition there was no danger to his life.
[How did my wounds automatically became ‘stable’? The ‘Unyielding’ talent doesn’t have this ability!]
He was greatly puzzled.
“You cr—!” Freya eyes went wide. She had never seen someone as crazy as he was.
Everyone thought he was doomed from the start and no one expected him to survive. Yet he woke up. Just from that fact, he should thank Mother Marsha’s for her mercy.
But the damned bastard did not seem to care at all.
[One should cherish his life properly, damn it!]
“Get back and rest right this instant!” The girl drew a deep breath and ordered through gritted teeth.
Sophie paused blankly and looked at her with dumbfounded eyes.
[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 realized she lost her temper much too easily: “You have no problems with my orders, yes?”
“You’re Freya?” Sophie became shocked and blurted: “Freya Elisson, born during the Year of the Moon Flowers, your father the Great Knight Everton?”
“What, 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 a sudden riot of laughter in the surroundings.
“Freya, this man’s pick-up lines are good.”
“You should be careful around him, Captain Freya.”
“Nobody will treat you as mutes if you speak 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 with solemn gazes.
[This platoon has seven or eight people. It coincides with Aouine’s unit structure, but the leader is a female and that’s even a young brat in it…… This girl’s name must be a coincidence. It might look like it was a special exception, but the truth is Aouine’s frequent battles over the years have weakened it beyond words, to the point where they needed women and children to fill up the ranks.]
He felt disappointed as he watched the girl and boy squabble.
[What happens next will devour the last bit of vitality the kingdom has from its shiny surface.]
Sophie gave a sorrowful sigh filled with lament.
He witnessed this passage of history from the beginning of the game, and did not expect to relive it once more in this parallel world.
He stared at the girl leader next to him in a trance.
[No…… I’m not mistaken about her. Freya Elisson. The last general of Aouine and later called the kingdom’s Goddess of War. The daughter of the Great Knight Everton who’s also known as ‘The Sceptor of Fire’. She isn’t noticed early in the beginning of the war, but ultimately received the Princess Regent’s favor to become one of the top rising heroes of this kingdom. I didn’t expect her to experience Madara’s first invasion.]
“What are you looking at?” Freya turned her head around, and looked back blankly when she saw his gaze.
[…… The situation is urgent. How much time did I lose by being unconscious? Now is not the time for her to hold the initiative or to act like the old Brendel. Since they rescued me our lives are tied together. I have to save myself, and the militia before me.]
He was not admiring or enamored with her, but was treating and observing her like a strange animal.
“You have not seen anyone dying before you yet right?” Sophie suddenly asked.
“No, I should rephrase my words. Are you afraid of people dying?”
“What, I…….” The girl was at a loss for words.
“The injuries I received is none of your concern, so may I sit up?” Sophie said in a grave voice.
Freya was speechless. 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 nothing more but a naive village girl.
She had never seen the cruelties of a war and still retained a naive outlook towards the world.
Sophie raised the corners of his lips a little. He too had not seen a dying person before him, but his experiences in the ‘The Amber Sword’ were many times more than Freya.
He had at least experienced the pain of loss.
He was even more naive and younger than the girl in front of him when he started playing the realistic game in his past life. The horrifying events in it quickly made him mature and he learned many things.
He cherished the nurtured feelings and memories but they also left the seeds of revenge in him.
“Therefore, you’re just a naive little girl. What authority or ability do you have that would make me obey your orders, Miss Freya?”
He knew there was no merit to argue with her. He took another look at the bandages in front of his chest, and immediately changed the subject: “Who tied my bandages?”
“Captain Freya was the one who did it, she’s the only one amongst us who know how to do the emergency first-aid.” The bratty little boy rushed to give his answer. He looked curiously at the young man who seemed like an experienced leader.
He thought the militia in Bruglas was indeed different, at least compared to their militia in a small place like Bucce.
“I barely managed to stop your bleeding. Don’t think of wandering around, I don’t want to tie your bandages again.” Freya immediately warned him.
[This game-like system is crazy enough for me to survive the attacks earlier. If I follow the game rules in my previous world, the bandage’s effect instantly recovers 1 HP upon application per day…..]
So he answered politely: “Thank you for bandaging me. Although you are terrible at it.”
“……” Freya inhaled deeply.
[Mother Marsha above, please forgive me for my rage—]
She was strangling the grinning bastard to his death in her mind.