After Lone had unsummoned Kyuubi with plenty of blankets for safeties sake, his group of three slowly approached the ruins that lay not too far from their previous position. The place was littered with stones and rumble. If Lone were to link the ruins to similar ones on Earth, he would say they looked similar to the remains of a simple Europeon watchtower from the eleventh century.
"Lone... is there even anything to explore here?" Sophie asked hesitantly after she had had a short look around the relatively small site. She knew how excited Lone was, but all she could see was this single tower and it looked like it had already been explored and looted previously, hence her doubts.
"Hmm, you could be right. Well, there's no harm in checking the place out anyway, right?" Lone had asked before he continued walking towards the decrepit watchtower.
"Uuuuu... I don't like it when you ask me rhetorical questions like that..." Sophie quietly grumbled while she trailed after the adamant Foxkin that was leading their little exploration mission. Breena was following closely behind Sophie with ample amounts of caution added to each of her steps.
Normally Lone would have unsummoned Sophie in a situation like this, but he honestly wanted to experience exploring a ruin with her together. Although it wasn't the most romantic of dates, Lone genuinely thought it would be a very fun experience for the both of them.
The trio quickly reached the base of the old tower, and after a brief glance, Lone could determine that this indeed used to be a watchtower of some sort. From how long ago, he couldn't tell, but it was certainly old which was mostly obvious due to the fact that almost all of the stone was covered in a layer of greenery. The tower itself looked like it previously had ten floors but seven had collapsed and were now littering the surrounding areas as no more than rubble.
"This is all so fascinating!" Lone exclaimed before he took Sophie's hand and excitedly entered the amazingly still intact front archway of the tower. Breena followed in very carefully.
"Let's start searching! It looks like someone has already cleared this place out, but who knows, maybe they left something? Even if they didn't, this is still gonna be fun!" Lone's said with joy clear in his voice. It was evident for all present to notice how excited Lone was and this softened Sophie's heart somewhat. She was pleased to see Lone acting so innocent and childish for a change to his usual impassive and aggressive attitude.
"Okay, let's split up and just look around. Here's a sword in case you need it," Lone had said before he threw a short blade to Breena which she clumsily caught. She was rather confused by this, why on Altros was she, a former slave, just given a weapon? "Use it to kill whatever attacks you, that's assuming you get attacked. If you die, oh well, it was nice knowing you. You'll be okay by yourself, right Soph?" Lone asked his lover after he had enveloped the small girl in a barrier and had handed her two exquisite-looking shortswords after he had withdrawn them from his dimension.
These two swords were the ones that Lone had purchased from the auction back in Milindo's capital. One was slightly curved which shined in a crystal blue hue while the other was entirely straight and very thin. This second one was pure white in colour. These two blades were known as Slesh for the curved one and Chaakoo for the straight one.
Sophie had hardly practised with these blades since she was still getting herself accustomed to the weight and movements of regular iron swords, but she happily took the two blades and placed them carefully in the two sheaths that had appeared on her leather belt mere moments ago. Obviously, these were created by lone for convenience.
"H-Hey! W-Why don't I get a barr-barrier and fancy swords?!" Breena asked in a somewhat frantic manner. Sophie merely looked at her with pity while Lone turned to face her. Breena was stunned by lone's expression purely because he now looked like an entirely different person. If Breena didn't know any better, she would think that the owner of the handsome face now staring at her was dead due to how disconnected from her and everything in existence he looked.
"Consider yourself lucky that I even gave you an iron sword. I'm only bringing you along with us to curry more favour with Lossa which I bet I don't even have to do. Don't act like what you're not. You're just a tool to me, not someone I accept," Lone said with a chill in his voice. He truly didn't care for her, not even slightly. If he deemed it to be more of a demerit to bring Breena along with him than a merit, then he would immediately abandon her or just kill her depended on his mood.
'How dare she think she's Sophie's equal. Thankfully, she's a Foxkin, or I might have instantly destroyed her mind just now,' Lone thought. It would seem that it wasn't Breena's request or the way she had asked it that had bothered Lone, but the fact that she had inadvertently compared herself to the most important person in Lone's life which had obviously angered the temperamental man.
Breena froze on the spot immediately. Of course, it made sense. Even if Lone had fed and sheltered her during their travel and was even willing to return her to her clan, it would be unfair to expect him to do so purely out of the goodness of his heart.
After seeing the look of extreme depression on Breena's face, Sophie grabbed the hem of Lone's shirt and gently tugged on it. Lone turned to look at her only to see the requesting look in her eyes.
"Ha-ah. You're too soft, Soph," Lone had sighed before he swiftly waved his hand making the same magic formation appear on Breena that had appeared on Sophie. Seconds later, a dark blue barrier surrounded her just like with Sophie. After doing this, Lone then expended some more mana to cast the magic he had acquired from Emma the Knight, Wind Enchant, on both of the girl's weapons.
"Okay, now that we're ready, let's begin exploring. If anything happens, Soph, contact me telepathically. Breena, you just shout really loudly I suppose," Lone said to which Sophie happily nodded and Breena also nodded, however, her nod lacked any confidence. Breena was certain that she was dead if she happened to meet some life-threatening danger.
Shortly afterwards, Lone began climbing the stairs, presumably to search the third, second or first floors of the tower. Sophie decided to stay on the ground floor and explore there while Breena was left with the stairs heading below ground, presumably leading to the basement.
Lone had quickly reached the first floor of the tower and was enraged by what he saw, but his anger was a different type from his usual which was helpful to Lone since he didn't want to get possessed by the two unknown beings any time soon.
"We're still in Milindo, so I definitely need to know who did this. Hopefully, it was the King's men since they are going to die as soon as I see them regardless," Lone mumbled. What Lone was so upset about was several dozen bookshelves that were dotted about in the first floor's open hall. However, these bookshelves were all a crisp black colour and some had even shattered and lay there on the ground. It would seem that the bookshelves and the books they housed had been burnt in their entirety.
Sophie was carefully inspecting every inch of the ground floor because she didn't want to miss any hidden secrets since Lone was so exciting about this exploration. Sophie couldn't help but feel a bit lonely without Lone by her side, but otherwise, she was also feeling a bit excited.
Meanwhile, Breena was hesitantly descending the spiral staircase with a clear shake in her step. She was exceedingly frightened. Breena was only thirteen years old and she held no battle experience what-so-ever which justified her muddled emotions of fear and depression.
"I-I won't d-die, will I?" Breena mumbled to herself. She was so distracted by her feelings that she never noticed a sign that had several symbols on it. Lone would recognise these symbols as the language of Milindo, however, Breena was illiterate so it wouldn't have really mattered even if she had noticed it.
Support "Lone: The Wanderer"
- The Scottish Slothy Sloth
Bio: Hey there, nice to see you. I'm just an ordinary man who enjoys writing, which is great since it's my full-time job now thanks to the support from you guys over on Patreon! I hope you enjoy my novels if you read them, and if not, I hope you enjoy looking at my profile.