Chapter 25 - Chapter 3: Rescue #8
Caitlin wasn’t alone. Behind her, the lycanthropes were breathing harshly. Just like Caitlin, they were completely covered with the blood of the orcs.
"Uh, um, save... No, I came to help you.”
It was an atmosphere where he couldn’t say that he came to save her.
‘Should I have just left?’
The Red Lightning tribe orcs were the ones in trouble due to Caitlin and her troops.
Caitlin wiped away the blood on her face with her hands and approached In-gong. Then she noticed Carack and Felicia behind him and cried out,
No one could deny the pure emotions in her voice.
The cry contained a mixture of worry and joy, causing Felicia to respond with an awkward expression.
“Uh, yes. Caitlin.”
She moved her head and gazed at something else. He couldn’t be sure because he couldn’t see her facial expression, but it seemed like she was ashamed.
Caitlin laughed brightly at the sight of Felicia and turned back to In-gong.
“Amazing. This is a huge merit.”
It was definitely a big merit. Caitlin’s sincere praise was also pleasing but this place wasn’t very ideal. Despite being reduced, the red dots on the mini-map showed that there were still enemies.
“Thank you. That... Noona, let’s escape quickly. Chris hyung can take care of himself.”
The 15 year old Caitlin was strong, but Chris was close to an adult and was more powerful. Moreover, he had more troops under his command, so there shouldn’t be any problems.
Caitlin gazed in the direction where Chris was supposed to be and nodded.
"Yes, Oppa is strong.”
She said with conviction, and after a long breath, she fixed her expression. Her expression was serious and somewhat cold again, just like the first time he saw her.
"Shutra, lead the way. We will take the rear.”
After In-gong’s reply, he immediately started running towards the Jishuka Mountains with Carack and the orcs. Felicia’s lips tightened and she ran towards the rear with the lycanthropes instead of with In-gong. This was to secure their path of retreat by controlling the flames.
‘Isn’t she kind of sincere?’
She snapped whenever he asked her to do something, but grudgingly did it, so it was a little bit cute.
Fortunately, there was no threat on the way back. Part of it was due to Felicia controlling the flames, but the number of orcs in the base also seemed to be greatly reduced.
"Won’t we be going over the mountains at this rate?”
Once they started climbing the mountain, Felicia joined In-gong again and asked. It was a natural question for Felicia to ask since she didn’t know about the existence of the cave.
"There is a secret passage. We just need to go a little further.”
Carack raised his hand and pointed to the middle of the mountain when he answered. Felicia frowned but didn’t ask anymore questions.
After a few minutes. Felicia entered the secret passage and admired the portal.
“Dwarf characters? The cave and portal in the Jishuka Mountains were made by dwarves?”
Her eyes shone as she asked Caitlin. Perhaps her curiosity as a magician was triggered.
Caitlin laughed and replied,
“Shutra is the one who found this cave.”
Felicia looked at In-gong with a frown and Caitlin also stared at him.
It was enjoyable to have two beautiful women staring at him, but Felicia’s gaze was a little burdensome. In-gong shrugged and replied,
"Let’s talk after we go back.”
"Yes, we should return. The operation is a success.”
Naturally, it was Chris who spoke. In-gong, who was surprised by Chris’ sudden appearance, habitually zoomed in on the mini-map. Chris then laughed and hugged In-gong’s shoulders.
"Yes, Caitlin. I’m glad to know that you’re okay.”
Although he had the blood of orcs all over his body, he didn’t seem to care.
Chris looked at the only uncomfortable face over In-gong’s shoulder.
"It has been a while, Felicia noonim.” (more formal version of Noona)
His voice and expression was completely different from when he talked to Caitlin and In-gong.
In-gong swallowed his saliva involuntarily as Felicia looked up. Whether it was a blessing or misfortune, Felicia maintained a calm attitude in front of Chris.
“It has been a while.”
Felicia replied briefly and Chris gave a bloody smile like he found Felicia’s reaction interesting.
In-gong intervened the two people.
"Chris hyung, what about General Vandal?”
In fact, he was quite curious about this. Depending on the result of the battle, the war itself could end.
"It will take a while, so let’s go back and talk. Also, Shutra, can you block the other side of the dwarf portal?”
In-gong stuttered at Chris’ sudden question.
"Uh, it is possible.”
He’d read that there was such a function. It was an emergency function for when the enemy seized a portal.
The conversation flowed naturally, but there was a person who felt goosebumps. Felicia glanced at Caitlin with confusion and Caitlin smiled while replying,
“Shutra can read dwarf characters. He is also the one who figured out how to use the portal.”
Her expression indicated that she wanted to say ‘Amazing!’ afterwards.
Felicia looked even more disturbed as she watched In-gong explain to Chris.
It took more time than he thought for more than 400 troops to pass through the portal. In-gong waited until the last person was through and blocked the portal, then Seira approached.
“We have organized a place to rest. Come this way."
They seemed to have cleaned up all the monsters and taken control of the cave.
Seira showed them to a small room decorated like the tent.
"Thank you, Seira. Please step back.”
At Chris’ command, Seira obediently left the room. In-gong also glanced at Carack who then left.
Once there were only four people left in the room, Chris opened his mouth.
"General Vandal also won. I think Yakuzan gave up the battle once he saw the base burning.”
Yakuzan was the leader of the Red Lightning tribe.
In-gong asked Chris,
"Did Yakuzan surrender?”
"No, they just scattered in different directions. If he gathers all the scattered Red Lightning tribe members and allies, the battle can still drag on.”
Beyond the mountain where In-gong’s group was located, there was still Kairam who was Kaichin’s brother. If the split-up troops gathered where Kairam was, their numbers would be significant.
This time, it was Caitlin who asked,
"Oppa, is General Vandal tracking Yakuzan?”
“Perhaps. Well, it was just mere chance that he hadn’t caught Yakuzan straight away.”
Chris had been fighting at the base of the Red Lightning tribe the whole time. Therefore, he wouldn’t have been able to see the battle between General Vandal and Yakuzan’s army but he seemed pretty convinced the enemy was cornered.
"Anyway, the Red Lightning tribe was hit hard by this operation. Yakuzan’s authority has cracked and you managed to rescue Felicia noonim... No matter what anyone else says, the one with the highest achievements in this mission is you, Shutra.”
Chris tapped In-gong’s shoulders while Caitlin stared at him with shining eyes.
In-gong worried about how to answer for a moment before finally laughing.
"Thank you, it is also thanks to both of you.”
He didn’t know if it was due to the atmosphere, but the temperature of the room seemed quite warm.
As always, Chris laughed and knocked against In-gong’s shoulder before his expression changed. His cold gaze was directed at Felicia, not In-gong.
"Okay, now it is Noonim’s turn.”
Felicia frowned while Caitlin stared into her eyes.
Chris asked with a smile,
“Why did you come here?”
“Don’t you already know?”
"I want to hear it."
Chris was smiling but his eyes were completely different. In-gong swallowed his saliva.
‘Yes, this is the real Chris.’
The beast, the beast - a predator hunting his prey.
Felicia bit her lip and sighed. She shrugged slightly and said,
"I heard news of the battle while studying relics nearby. I came to help but went down the wrong path and ran into them. Do you need any further explanation?”
Her words were just as expected. Perhaps, Chris also knew he wouldn’t hear anything else.
‘Is it just a quarrel? Or does he want to kill her?’
Either option wasn’t good for his mentality. Moreover, the person was Felicia, not Zephyr.
He would prefer drawing her to his side, rather than hurting her feelings.
“Hey, isn’t it time to get some rest? Isn’t everybody tired?”
In-gong interrupted naturally and Chris nodded.
"Yes, that’s right. Noonim can have this room. People will soon arrive with things to allow you to wash up.”
Felicia snorted but didn’t express any dissatisfaction. No, it seemed like she wanted to wash up as quickly as possible.
"Then we will leave. Have a good night’s sleep, Noona.”
In-gong hastily said goodbye to Felicia and tried to leave the room with Chris and Caitlin. It was at that moment...
He turned back at the call and saw Felicia who was looking away. She looked down and said in a very small voice,
"I want to thank all three of you. I'm alive thanks to you."
Chris turned back. Caitlin blinked and smiled brightly while In-gong also laughed.
Felicia squinted at all three of them before turning away.
"I don't know, I'm going to rest. Leave now!”
Her back didn’t show anything, but he could see her embarrassment from how red her ears turned.
In-gong refrained from laughing and followed Chris and Caitlin out.
"She is still cute. She is fine even when making a mistake.”
Chris said with a laugh as soon as they left the room. Caitlin smiled again and turned to In-gong.
"It is a good thing. Thank you, Shutra. It is all thanks to you.”
Their actions towards Felicia seemed to tell a story.
What was the relationship between Chris, Caitlin and Felicia?
'It seems pretty good just looking at Caitlin and Felicia... Is the problem with Chris?’
He didn’t have an answer right now. Instead of worrying about it, In-gong scratched his cheek and responded to Caitlin.
“It is the result of fighting together. All the merits are ours.”
It might have seemed like flattery, but Caitlin nodded instead of laughing.
Chris placed an arm over In-gong’s shoulder.
"Come, let’s wash and take a break before going to sleep. Tomorrow is likely to be quite busy.”
Chris glanced at In-gong. It was a gaze that seemed to be testing In-gong.
‘He isn’t talking about Yakuzan.’
If they were taking care of Yakuzan, there would be no reason to travel back through the portal.
Then there was only one reason remaining.
“Are you talking about Kairam?”
"Yes, what reason do we have for allowing them to join Yakuzan?”
Kaichin’s older brother, Kairam - it was his troops that were beyond the mountains and they were likely unaware of what had happened to the Red Lightning tribe’s base.
The reason they weren’t attacking now was because the soldiers were exhausted from today’s fight.
"I am looking forward to your actions, Shutra.”
Chris tapped In-gong before going his own way and it was the same for Caitlin.
In-gong was left alone with Carack.
"Prince’s room is over there. I will prepare a bath.”
Carack was always the same. In-gong couldn’t help laughing.
"What is it?”
“No, it’s just. I am strangely relieved.”
In-gong replied and started stretching. It had been a hard day.
He had gained a level, built up his merits and learnt magic.
‘I also found a new alliance candidate.’
In-gong glanced at the room Felicia was in and nodded. Then, he followed Carack’s footsteps.