As they passed by Kanter, they refused Meron’s offer of hospitality and embarked on their journey home. Joaquin had already promised to help Meron with his business as he was of help to them, Bob and Chris in particular. If it weren’t for the myst pearls, they would’ve gone deaf by now.
Billie just needed to say a word to help Meron. Not to mention, grey rough stones were a type of low-investment and low-return business, so it would pose no high risk to Billie’s large family business.
There was still a month and a half left before their classes in the academy started, so they weren’t in a rush to head back, not to mention everyone was injured. So, they journeyed back at a leisurely pace, enjoying the scenery on the way.
During the night, Angelina was about to give Locke a lecture in her carriage.
“Why did you rush forward in such a dangerous situation?” Angelina tapped on his head, and he smirked.
“I don’t know, it’s just instinct.” When he was in Cardoj’s unit, he’d also often helped his subordinates on the battlefield. He’d rescued a lot of soldiers before. Almost all of the young soldiers in Cardoj’s unit admired him for his heroics and they were very grateful for his help.
Though, he was far from reckless. Before he made a move, he would first think twice about whether it was safe or not to do so. When he rescued Billie and Daenie, he made sure to ascertain that he would be able to get to them first before the blast did.
“Don’t take such a big risk in the future!” said Angelina as she pursed her lips. She was almost scared to death when she watched him.
“Yes, Your Highness!” Locke promised immediately. He knew how dangerous it was even if Angelina didn't chew him up about it. If he didn’t have the moon bracelet, he would either be dead or paralysed now instead of just suffering light injuries and chatting with her comfortably.
“Let me apply some ointment on your back,” she said as she grabbed a bottle of ointment.
He endured the pain and turned around, revealing the wounds on his back. Scabs had already formed over his wounds, but she could still see some exposed flesh on his back. It was a terrifying sight.
Fortunately, she had spent a long time with him together, so she’d already seen all sorts of injuries. Previously, when the moonlight wolf bit through his pauldron, she was the one who took care of him. Before applying the ointment, she furrowed her brow and said, “It’ll be a little painful, you have to bear with it for a while.”
“Don’t worry about it!” Locke smiled confidently, but who knows if he actually meant it. He felt that his injuries were fine as they had scabbed up. It was only a matter of time before they were good as new.
But Joaquin, Angelina, and the other casters didn’t think so. Billie had specially prepared some herbal medicine for him with some of her best ingredients. It was extremely pricey to boot. The herbal medicine was fragrant, but it wasn’t ideal as it left a smell when applied to his body.
He almost screamed during the application, but not from the pain; it was too itchy, the kind that clawed at his bones. Luckily, he managed to tolerate it without scratching at his wounds.
Angelina dipped a small brush into the herbal medicine and smeared it on his back. “Did you fall for Billie and Daenie?”
“Huh? What are you talking about? No! Absolutely not!” Locke shook his head frantically. He would never admit to it even if he did.
“That’s good to hear.” Angelina heaved a sigh of relief and continued to apply the ointment on him.
This was quite unlike how she appeared to her friends.
"You don't have to be too grateful for Locke. You all are my friends, so he’s just doing what he was supposed to. If you’re in danger in the future, just hide behind Locke, he’ll protect you. He's strong and tough, so the injuries were nothing to him. You don’t have to worry about that guy." That was what she had said to them back then.
Locke heard it and had to hold back his laughter, causing his face to flush. Billie and Daenie were shocked when they saw his face as they thought that his injuries were making him uncomfortable.
They chose to take a different route on their way home, this time, through more populated areas instead. Most of them were injured; Bob and Chris had minor ear injuries, and the casters got a few minor scratches. Locke was the most severely injured among all of them.
Joaquin was strong. Though she’d suffered the consequences of using all her mental power to cast spells that were beyond her strength, she could still laugh and chat with Locke and the others as if nothing had happened. Nobody could tell that the severity of her injuries was second only to Locke’s.
“The town of Marilyn!” said Bob on horseback.
It’d been two weeks since they left Lipps, and Locke was almost fully recovered. Mid-rank Knechts had great powers of recovery, much like mid-rank major monsters.
“Although Marilyn is just a small town, it has a long history.” Bob seemed to know a lot about this town as he introduced the local customs and practices of the town to Locke enthusiastically. Though, Locke felt that it should be called a city instead, given its population of 30,000 people and the bustling markets near the rivers that flowed through it.
It was said that a long time ago, there was a lady named Marilyn who stood in front of the town day and night to wait for her knight to come take her hand in marriage. Unfortunately, the infatuated lady did not manage to meet her knight. In the end, she just stood there and waited for him until she turned into stone. It was said that the statue at the entrance of the town was that lady, though, only a few people truly believed it far.
Locke, Angelina, and the others weren’t interested in clichéd stories that involved knights, however. They bought some daily necessities before continuing on their journey.
Locke had never experienced this type of travel before, so he was the most enthusiastic one among his friends. When he arrived in a new city or town, he would try out their local delicacies or explore the place and learn something new. Joaquin, Angelina, and the others also had a fun time accompanying him.
When they’d finally reached Princeton, almost all of the carriages were filled. The casters were the ones who bought the most things among all of them.