Behemoth asked, sitting on Venna’s head.
Like the question, Venna had a stiff expression probably because of being nervous.
“Yes. I’m a little excited.”
About a month had passed since they left Saint-Dermain.
Han, Azad and Alex said they needed to go to Frontier so they broke up. Braha was the one guiding them through the Ariazad Forest of Valkyries and Behemoth, on Jamie’s request, agreed to stay with Venna until she was settled in.
And Braha said,
“It is going to be the first time in 10 years that you are seeing your cousins, so it is weird if you aren’t nervous.”
“Do you want apples?”
“Hehe thank you.”
Behemoth offered an apple he was eating, saying the best way to relax was to eat apples. Venna took it.
Braha burst into laughter looking at the simple minded people. Venna took a bite and asked,
“How much longer?”
“But, I heard that Ariazad Forest is a dangerous place… can we walk like this with no plan?”
When Venna asked, a bit worried, Braha smiled.
“You really know nothing?”
“Well. You were raised by humans for 10 years and have very few memories of your childhood. This is to be expected.”
“What do you mean?”
“As you said, the Ariazad Great Forest is a dangerous place, but not for us.”
The forest they were walking into was one of the Six Banned places.
A place one cannot go into without permission.
There were many monsters that were powerful and deadly to humans. A place so dangerous that even the expedition with a Sword Master was taken down, leaving just the Sword Master alive.
But it was only for humans.
“For forest races like you and me, this is like home.”
“Have you ever been to a forest?”
“How was it?”
“My body felt refreshed. Like in a good condition.”
“This is the most basic one. Elves and Valkyries aren’t called Forest Fairies for nothing. Because we are the strongest when we are in nature, the kind which nature loves.”
“Yes. You have spent more time growing up in human arms than in the forest, so you will need to get used to it, but it is fine for me. Humans are afraid of great forests, but we don’t need to fear.”
“She is right. Venna. Don’t be afraid. I am here!”
Behemoth jumped down on Venna’s knees and snorted.
After an hour passed, a large forest began to appear. The trees were so densely stacked that the beginning of the forest looked bad.
Venna gulped seeing that sight, it looked like ghosts could pop out.
Aside from that, she could feel her condition recover.
“Yes. That is the start of the forest.”
“Uh. Looks quite dense.”
Behemoth looked at the great forest. The energy felt from the forest was amazing, he thought he could understand why humans were afraid of this.
The place where dangerous creatures were nestled.
Unlike Venna, who was nervous, Braha had a relaxed face. Venna nodded and took Braha’s hand.
A wind spirit appeared and wrapped around them.
As soon as their bodies floated in the air, the surrounding background began to pass at tremendous speed.
“Woooh! This speed!”
“Aren’t you supposed to get used to this? From now, we will move faster.”
They broke in through the entrance of the forest in an instant and rushed to the centre.
Venna was starting to get dizzy.
The wind spirit was carrying her directly, so it was different from her flying.
“Hahaha! Faster! Faster!”
A screaming Venna, a cheering Behemoth and Braha who was a speed freak.
They crossed the vast place and reached the centre.
“A-Are you alright?”
“I am fine… puke!”
Braha patted the back of Venna with a sorry expression. Venna waved her hand to say she was fine, but her stomach was failing her as she ran to puke.
“I thought it would be fine to increase the speed since you knew how to fly…”
You were having too much fun.
They flew at the speed which Braha normally enjoyed, but Venna couldn’t handle it.
“Tch. What are we to do if that is tough for you?”
Behemoth flew around Venna and clicked his tongue.
Venna was squatting and looked at the ground. As time passed her stomach felt alright.
“Drink some water.”
Braha summoned a water spirit and slowly poured it over her lips.
Venna let out a deep breath as if she would live for now.
Braha apologized again.
“Sorry… I wouldn’t have done it if I knew.”
“It is fine. We arrived quickly.”
Venna smiled and looked around. Unlike the entrance, which was full of trees, the centre wasn’t full of trees.
However, there were a lot of rare trees which couldn’t be seen on the outside. Among them was a flower with a faint white glow, which Venna wanted to pick.
Braha grabbed her wrist.
“It’s poisonous. No matter how close to forest we are, the skin melts the moment it touches it.”
“Yes. There are many plants here that attract their prey with their beautiful appearance and scent. The deeper we go, the more careful we need to be.”
“… but why is he fine?”
Venna pointed to the one behind them.
When she looked there, Behemoth was chewing on something. The poisonous plant that Braha warned them of.
“Behemoth is fine?”
A small beast which chews on poisonous plants which melts the skin.
Braha rubbed her forehead and said,
“That one is an exception so ignore that.”
“Still, it is absurd. He can eat that one too?”
Braha mumbled and took the lead.
After walking for a while, an open field appeared.
Basically, it was an heterogeneous space in the forest, which was huge.
“Only you can enter from here.”
“Can’t I go too?”
“You will have to wait with me here. From now, it is the realm of Valkyrie.”
The empty fields were a place of Valkyrie.
Venna heard that the Valkyrie lived in a place called “Fountain through which time flows”.
But there was no fountain here.
“You will find out everything once you go. Everyone is waiting for you.”
Braha was listening to something with her eyes closed.
“… I am going.”
With a tensed face Venna stepped ahead and Behemoth cheered for her.
“Don’t worry! I am here so don’t be afraid and run ahead!”
Hearing the cheers gave her little strength. Venna took a deep breath and moved ahead.
At that moment, she wondered if the space was moving and the pastel colors, like those from a book, began to flow over.
White trees grew in a dreamy background, and the grass on the floor was swaying softly as if welcoming her.
A small fountain in the distance could be seen.
There were little birds of various colors sitting and singing on a slender branch in the centre.
Venna walked towards the fountain like a bewitched person.
Her pink hair turned red, and fairy wings slowly spread out from her back.
[It’s been a really long time since I was here.]
Philion, who was silent, spoke as if he was up from a long sleep.
A loud laugh too.
Venna closed her eyes and listened to the voice.
-You are back.
-The princess is back.
-Let the queen know.
-Let’s hurry and tell the queen!
When she opened her eyes, beautiful women like elves were flying around with flapping wings.
It was her first time meeting them, but someone there seemed gave her a sense of familiarity.
-Follow me princess.
One of them held out their hand.
Venna held the hand without hesitation.
-The queen is waiting.
The place where she was led and followed to was a place where there was a huge tree which soared to the sky. There was a hole at the bottom of the tree with flowers decorating it.
The moment she saw it, Venna felt tears run down her cheeks.
The forgotten memories began to come back.
-Venna. My cute daughter.
-Your mother made a wreath for you.
-My daughter. Come into your mother’s arms.
-Even if you one day succeed your mother and become a queen, you will always be my daughter.
-My dear daughter, sleep well.
The face was blurry so she couldn’t remember it that well, but she remembered sleeping in someone’s hands.
At that time, the warm hand made her feel comfortable.
The one who loved her more than anyone.
All of a sudden, tears were running down her cheeks.
Venna covered her mouth and her shoulders shook.
The moment she heard the voice, the blurry face became clear.
Venna called out to the beautiful Valkyrie with red hair who was descending from the sky.
“Venna. My lovely daughter!”
Venna ran for her.
How could she forget such precious memories?
Unable to hold back the tears, she embraced the queen, Hippen.
Hippen gently stroked her daughter’s hair.
“To meet… like this again…”
She shed a single tear as she hugged her daughter.
The mother and daughter who were forcibly separated for 10 years hugged each other for a while, as if they would never separate again.
“My daughter has grown a lot?”
Hippen said, wiping Venna’s puffy eyes.
Venna exhaled and said,
“Yes… I grew a lot.”
“Right. 10 years. It’s been 10 years.”
Once the memory came back, she thought the flying ones around her were familiar ones too.
“Are you hurt anywhere? Sick? Totally fine, right?”
Although Valkyrie were famous for being warlike, they were a race warmer than anyone to their own blood.
Venna had a terrible past, but she didn’t want to talk about it.
“Not hurt. Everything was fine.”
“I am glad. I really am. To find you…”
Hippen clenched her teeth as she recalls the past.
Not wanting to show it to her daughter, she bowed her head and Venna wrapped her arms around her mother.
“Everything is fine. I am back.”
“Yes… let’s not separate again.”
“There are more people I should introduce to you.”
“You mean the children out there?”
The report must have been given.
An elf and a bull-like beast who came with Venna. She didn’t pretend to not see the people who guided her precious daughter all the way here.
-Yes, my queen.
One Valkyrie went to pick up Braha and Behemoth at her orders. After a while, the two who were guided saw Hippen and bowed their heads.
“I greet the queen of Valkyrie.”
“Elf of which forest?”
“I am Braha of Sepid Forest.”
“Sepid… then Mulan’s child.”
Mulan was the high elf from Sepid Forest.
“Thanks to you I got to see my daughter again.”
“It had to be done. It is the providence of nature that forest fairies stay in the forest.”
“Right. But that one?”
Unlike Braha, who was polite, Behemoth introduced himself normally.
As he spoke like that, the other Valkyries glared at him but Hippen raised her hand and stopped them.
“My daughter’s benefactor.”
The ones around took a step back at that.
The queen had absolute power, and the other Valkyries were her marionettes.
“You are a strange being.”
“You look exactly like Netis.”
All the Valkyries including Hippen looked surprised at the word Netis.
“… how do you know Miss Netis?”
“Who is Miss Netis?”
At Venna’s question, the Valkyries were a bit surprised and Hippen frowned as she replied.
“… the first queen. Our ancestor.”
Braha was surprised at this.
The history of Valkyrie is as long as elves, and if the first queen, then it had to be the forgotten history of Valkyrie.
She knew Behemoth was an old beast but not old enough to know the first queen.
Hippen looked at Behemoth with watchful eyes and asked.
“What are you??”
“I have no intention of telling you that. However, I will only say the thing that my Master has asked me to relay.”
Behemoth spoke in an unusually serious voice.
“Queen. The time will come when we will fight again. Then will you be brave like Netis or hide behind the trees like cowards? The choice is yours.”
Hippen couldn’t say anything in reply.
Behemoth shrugged and said to Venna,
“Stay healthy. And don’t neglect your training. You are born with a mission to protect his back someday.”
“Then I need to go.”
Behemoth blinked and began to leave without looking back.
Venna called for Behemoth who was leaving.
“A-Are you just going to go? Behemoth! Behemoth!”
But Behemoth left.
Braha too bowed and spoke to Venna.
“Venna. Be happy.”
“If we meet each other again, let’s get to know each other.”
And Braha disappeared.
Venna ran as hard as she could but she couldn’t catch up to them.
She cried and mumbled.
“What is this lackluster parting….”
Hippen came over and rubbed her back.
“You will meet them again, do not feel disheartened.”
Behemoth and Braha had plans. But they could have stayed a little longer.
Holding back the tears, she shouted.
“Next time, next time we meet, I will be stronger than now! I promise!”
“Is it alright if we just leave?”
“Is there anything to think of? Where there is a meeting there is also a parting waiting. And it isn’t like we will never meet again.”
Braha saw the bull walking in front of her, swaying its ass.
Even if he did say that, the walking form seemed sad, but he didn’t seem to be regretting it.
She felt sorry to break away from Venna whom she had been close with for a month… It was unfortunate.
“Come on. To the Frontier or whatever.”
“Yes. Let’s go quickly.”
Braha smiled and summoned the wind spirit.
The two disappeared with the wind.
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