Author: Dawn

It was evident even without delving into it that the village had been struck by an epidemic.

The somber atmosphere and hastily tied cloths over mouths clearly indicated the intention of the people.

As soon as I saw this, I covered the group with Winds. It was a technique that drew in air from the sky.

Then, I pulled the hood I was wearing up to cover my nose.

Still, considering the number of people wandering around and the fact that they didn’t seem frail, it appeared to be the initial stages of the epidemic.

“…Should we just go?”

Toby asked with a disgusted expression, tugging at his chin. Vasco seemed to share the sentiment.

Toun remained silent, sharp eyes fixed on the village.

Quickly, I searched my memories.

Even upon rechecking, there was no information about an epidemic spreading in the northwestern region at this time.

‘Epidemic… If it had spread widely, I would have heard about it in the game.’

It was possible that it wasn’t highly contagious or hadn’t spread beyond the village in the early stages.

By the book, withdrawing our feet now would be the correct answer.

However, a strange unease crept over me. It wasn’t just because we encountered the ominous eagle.

Something was amiss.

‘What could it be?’

I needed to find the reason for this feeling. The first thing that came to mind was the location.

Bendochi was at the southernmost tip of the northwest and was bordered by the Melain River.

If the epidemic had spread from above, we would have seen it on our way here.

But it was also hard to believe it spread from the southwest by crossing the river. The natives didn’t live near the Melain River.

Of course, this place could be the origin of the epidemic.

“For now, let’s withdraw. We should confirm from a distance…”

Just as I was saying this, a young girl dashed out of the village entrance, followed closely by two men.

They were Western natives. Judging by their skin tone, the girl seemed to be of mixed race, and the men were her escorts.

Following them, villagers wielding clubs came running out. It was clear that they were being chased.

The reason for their actions in a village struck by an epidemic was simple: they were suspected of being the source of the epidemic.

Through my clear vision, I could see the girl and her escorts.

They, too, had their faces covered, but they didn’t appear to be in pain.

“Carlyn.”

Toun urged a decision. Beneath that was the suggestion to turn away for now.

The distance between us was decreasing rapidly. They had already spotted us from over there.

A quick decision was needed. In the rush of thought, my head throbbed slightly.

I couldn’t shake off the uneasy feeling.

“Stay ten paces behind me. I’ll hold the line.”

While I tended to coordinate before a mission, my head’s commands were absolute in any situation.

Toun, Toby, and Vasco retreated without a word.

Normally, I would have had Toun take the lead due to his age, but given the circumstances, it couldn’t be helped.

“Capture the witch!”

The girl running at the forefront was a nun. A presence that divines omens and misfortunes on the path, a figure in the Western native community. (+) [1]

No, considering her age, she might be a candidate to be a nun.

That was why her escorts, even though armed, couldn’t carry her away.

Why did a nun candidate come all the way here? Judging the situation at this point was difficult.

Due to the girl’s speed, the villagers were getting closer.

Her escorts, who were checking behind, bared their teeth in frustration.

“You can’t kill me! Just up to there!”

The perceptive girl shouted. She was quick on the uptake.

What struck me as odd was that the girl’s gaze was fixed squarely on me. The “up to there” meant us.

It didn’t seem like she was merely seeking protection from outsiders.

I stood still and waited. Soon, the girl stopped in front of me, breathing heavily.

Her two escorts turned to face the villagers and became confrontational.

“Surround them so they can’t escape!”

The villagers closed in on us. Everyone’s eyes were unsettling. They could be described with just one word: madness.

One of the people with crazed eyes shouted.

“Hurry and hand over the witch and leave!”

“Witch?”

“That woman brought the epidemic to our village!”

The anger of the defiant crowd seemed like it would explode at any moment.

On the other hand, the composed girl looked into my eyes calmly.

“Please help.”

“….”

Having said that, the girl took a step closer to me. I sensed Toun preparing to move through the Winds.

I raised my hand to stop him. There was something strange about the girl’s gaze, something different from the villagers.

“Do not get any closer! Stay back! You’ll catch the epidemic if you get near!”

I turned my head to the shouting man. Giving him a piercing look, he tightly shut his mouth.

The eyes of the girl, who was just a step away, gleamed with a pale green hue. She whispered.

“I’ve been waiting for you.”

“….”

“Dark winds within the shadows.”

* * *

Carlyn struggled to hide his surprise.

Even when he played the game, he didn’t trust the Nuns. There weren’t many instances of getting up close and personal with them…

Blame it on the negative whispers that the continent was going to be ravaged.

As a gamer, it was frustrating to have them not provide any help and keep counting down the seconds.

However, the girl in front of him was different. Even though she didn’t know anything, she knew about the Winds.

It was too subtle to be a mere coincidence. Starting from the ominous omen, the situation was peculiar.

Carlyn made up his mind. They needed to have a conversation.

“We’ll talk about the details later.”

Carlyn passed by the girl and stood before the villagers.

“What’s going on?”

“What’s going on?! That witch brought the epidemic!”

“Do you have any proof?”

“Once the witch came, the epidemic broke out. Don’t you see that only these outsiders are unharmed?”

The villagers, now free to speak, shouted uproariously.

Every time someone spoke, the crowd grew bolder, and their shouts became increasingly deafening.

“It’s already too late! That kid will catch the epidemic too!”

“We need to burn the witch at the stake quickly!”

“Hand her over! That’s the only way to lift the epidemic!”

A few men, their emotions surging, tightened their grips on their clubs.

In that instant, Carlyn saw a blue spot on the back of a villager’s hand. It was the epidemic he knew.

Something he could never forget.

Carlyn could roughly understand how the current situation was unfolding.

‘Were they experimenting here?’

The epidemic before Carlyn’s eyes was the same one devil worshippers in the game had spread across the continent.

The cure was a platinum herb.

For users who had played the game, it was the consensus to hoard it, given how its price had skyrocketed.

It was something Carlyn had intended to mention to the Duke later.

The reason the girl and her escorts weren’t infected was simple.

Platinum herbs grew in the northwestern plains and were the everyday tea leaves of the western natives.

‘Fits the bill perfectly.’

The northwest was currently in disarray due to the overthrow of Prince Rohalak, making it a perfect environment for devil worshippers to rampage.

Below the Melain River, people’s eyes were diverted.

It seemed like an ideal setting for devil worshippers to go on a rampage.

Carlyn extended the winds. This was to locate the devil worshippers outside the village.

Expanding to the maximum distance, he sensed one person through Sense, buried beneath the ground.

One person was too few. They couldn’t be much farther either. That implied something.

The devils were here in this village as well.

‘Since when?’

They couldn’t just be ordinary travelers. To avoid suspicion like now, they had to blend in.

People surveying the situation from inside and going out were probably taken care of by those outside.

The reason the epidemic didn’t spread was probably that they had killed all the villagers at the end of the experiment.

Carlyn was certain they weren’t pushovers. They had come all the way from the north. That meant they were skilled.

‘Hmm.’

Although Carlyn looked closely, there weren’t any noticeably powerful figures. They were concealing their strength.

Considering the current circumstances, there was no way they could just leave the village unscathed.

If they had fled upon seeing the girl, they would likely have been pursued.

Carlyn made a quick decision about their next move and turned around.

“I can handle this epidemic. But still, to avoid any chance of getting infected, please don’t come in until I come out, and keep the outsiders at bay.”

Toun felt puzzled, but since Carlyn’s words were meant for others to hear, he nodded his head.

There was a curious anticipation in the air.

Carlyn’s expression was full of confidence. This time, how would he surprise himself?

Turning around once more, Carlyn approached the villagers.

“It seems like there’s a huge misunderstanding.”

“What misunderstanding?!”

Carlyn raised one palm to quiet down the villagers, who were about to become rowdy again.

It was thanks to the mention of being able to resolve the epidemic.

“I am a disciple of the renowned Zikang, and this girl is not a witch. I assure you that the epidemic you are suffering from is treatable.”

“What?”

In the face of madness, the truth didn’t matter. Calming the madness was the key. Carlyn maintained a composed face.

While doing so, he quickly scanned the people. Among them could be devil worshippers.

Zikang was a famous figure in the western region, so the villagers began to stand at attention.

“A disciple of Zikang at such a young age?”

It wasn’t a probing question but rather someone’s muttered thoughts. Carlyn smiled warmly.

“I have had enough talent to become Zikang’s disciple. The people behind me are here to receive treatment from me and protect me.”

“That’s right! Even though another doctor said it was incurable, he cured us!”

Toun, Vasco, and Toby quickly understood the situation and nodded fervently.

With a slight smirk amid the somewhat withered madness, Carlyn spread out two fingers.

“Two days. If there’s no improvement within two days, then go ahead and kill me or take this child away.”

The effect of the platinum herb would show in a day. But the reason he set it for two days was because of the devil worshippers.

Though there might not be an abundance of platinum herbs in the village near the northwestern region, adjacent to the west, devil worshippers might have eradicated them.

One day would be the time to secure platinum herbs.

“Wha-What exactly do you mean by treatment?”

The tone with which they addressed Carlyn changed at the mention of the possibility of treatment. Carlyn chuckled inwardly.

“By any chance, do you have any platinum herbs?”

“We might have a little bit at home…”

“I have a vial in my bag!”

Carlyn felt a slight sense of surprise. In truth, he expected all the platinum herbs to be gone.

Could it be that the devil worshippers left some of their healing agents?

Suddenly, it occurred to him that even the devil worshippers might not have found a cure yet.

They were still in the experimental stage.

‘Or maybe…’

Carlyn recalled the people who had shouted, ‘The devil has cured the incurable!’

Perhaps they had intended to turn these people into devil worshippers with those platinum herbs.

“Well, that’s fortunate. Let’s go.”

After speaking to the villagers, Carlyn quickly whispered to the girl’s escorts.

“There might be someone targeting us. Stay alert.”

Despite clearly hearing the words, the escorts didn’t flinch. They were well-trained individuals.

The ordeal they had been through wasn’t just endured because of the girl; rather, she was remarkable.

‘If the escorts had drawn their swords, they would have been killed by the devil worshippers.’

While gauging their reactions through Winds, Carlyn had assessed a few. People exchanged glances amidst the surprised atmosphere.

There were three who understood accurately, and one who seemed slightly suspicious.

There might be more within the village, but Carlyn judged that they wouldn’t be many.

It wasn’t a large village. Anything beyond that would be overkill.

Still, he decided to observe the situation for now. As he walked with the people into the village, Carlyn manipulated the winds.

Far away, a paper and pen emerged from Toun’s bag, and he began jotting down Carlyn’s message.

Toun’s eyes widened as he cautiously examined the paper, his gaze alert to his surroundings.

It wasn’t specifically about devil worshippers, but the message was clear that there was a force behind this epidemic.

The situation was more dangerous than Toun had thought. And even more surprising.

‘How did he figure this out in such a short time?’

If Carlyn was certain, he was certain. He had never been wrong before.

Clearly, he had thrown the bait of being a disciple of a famous figure, hooking the big fish. It was unbelievable even for Toun.

Even though he had seen those mad people, he hadn’t sensed anything strange, that’s why.

Remarkable, truly remarkable.

In an instant, Toun was reassured. Carlyn was exceptional, more so than any mind he had encountered so far.

  • 1. TLN: Should I call it Nun or Priestess? Or even Shaman? Since it’s kind of fitting since the Western part of the continent is kind of like Viking themed. Need you guys thoughts on this. Thanks!
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Dawn

Hello! If you any questions and if you found any errors on my translations, please do @ me on our discord server (@_dawn24) since I might miss your comment here. And also, I really appriciate your support by buying the advanced chapters or just giving me some donation, thank you!

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Comments (4)

  1. Shaman sounds better and more paganistic considering the Viking culture

    1. yep, in the future chapter I changed it to shaman. Thanks for your feedback though!