Angelina had a bad feeling when she woke up in the morning. Last night, the wind was blowing like crazy. The entrance of the cave, which was where the moonlight wolf's core had been placed, was blocked by snow. It took her a while to dig it out.
The colour of the core was a lot brighter than when it was taken out yesterday, but her face sank. The core was not as charged as before. She was uncertain if it would be still enough for Locke later.
After digging for a while, she finally managed to dig a small hole leading to the outside. Sure enough, there was heavy snow falling. The clouds in the sky blocked the sun. Today's sunrise showed no sign but a dust-coloured disc, not giving off much warmth if any.
Although the wind stopped last night, the heavy snow made it so that she couldn't hunt. In just a short while, the hole that Angelina dug was covered up by the snow again.
Shrugging off the notion of waking up early to go hunting, Angelina returned to Locke with the core that had been charging overnight. She placed it onto his chest. The core cast a soft glow on Locke's skin, and Angelina knew it was at work.
Since she couldn't go out, she laid down again. Each day was very tiring for her. The last time when snow covered the entire mountain, she took it as a chance to rest for a few days.
The difference this time was that she and Locke didn't have as much food reserves as they did last time. The only thing they had was one third of a snow hare and a few fruits. This was enough for the two for only three days. Yet the heavy snowfall last time lasted for four whole days.
Angelina, who had experienced much hardship, was more hardy then before. If the heavy snow fell for more than three days, either she and Locke would stay in the cave until the snow stopped, or she would go out to find food in the snow. These were the only options, and they risked their lives either way.
Now, she could only resign herself to fate. If Locke were still awake, he would definitely think of a way. She glanced at him, still out cold. This was probably the point about Locke that attracted her the most: his unwavering determination.
Angelina, leaning onto Locke, closed her eyes and fell asleep again. She didn't notice the slight movement of Locke's left ring finger.
Locke himself didn't realise how long he had been wandering in the dark. He only knew the warmth radiating from his chest continued the whole time, keeping him from sinking into the darkness.
He felt like time passed really slowly to a point he couldn't really tell how much time had elapsed; at the same time it also seemed to be a transient dream. He felt as if he woke up within a flash.
Locke had regained consciousness five days ago, but he couldn't move. He could think and perceive everything around him, but he couldn't move even a finger.
Although he couldn't open his eyes these days, Locke also knew what state he was in through his sense of touch. It could be said that it was a miracle that he was able to survive until now, a miracle created by Angelina.
At night, Angelina used her body to warm him up. He was quite conflicted, since a noble princess like her actually went so far for his sake. Of course, he was more touched about it than he was worried about the consequences of their scandalous intimacy.
Every day, Locke could sense Angelina going out for a long time and returning late. After returning, she made delicious food and fed it to him personally. Although this was the most unpalatable meat he had eaten since he was promoted to squad jarl last year, it still tasted like the most delicious food in the world. What's more, Angelina's cooking skills were steadily improving.
Now, what he did every day was circulate impetus throughout his body. He didn't know if he had lost control of his muscles. He really wanted to open his eyes, to get up to hug Angelina, to share some of her burdens, but he couldn't even lift a finger.
Fortunately, he could still feel his impetus weakly. In the battle with the moonlight wolf, he ended up seriously injured. He had been relying on the light core from the moonlight wolf to stay alive. There were countless wounds in his body, and if he only on the core, it would take him forever to be able to wake up.
To repair his injuries, Locke could only rely on the bit of impetus he felt, mobilising it to the most injured parts in his body.
There were three parts where he suffered the most severe injuries. One was his fracturing ribs. He estimated that there were five broken bones. Secondly, his internal organs were damaged. The moonlight wolf's last impact caused several of his organs to be hurt to varying degrees. The last place was the extremely garish bite on his shoulder. Four eye-catching finger-sized holes remained on Locke's shoulder, causing the surrounding flesh to be infected.
Perhaps the injury on his shoulder blade were the most serious. The moonlight wolf's core had been repairing the injuries on his shoulders for the past half month. At this time, apart from the four bite marks, the rest of the wound was almost healed with only scars remaining to show for the trauma before.
After Locke regained consciousness, he mobilised his own impetus to repair the other two places.
The fracture in his ribs was a serious injury. Before he could reconnect the bones, he didn't dare to repair it too hastily. If his ribs were connected in the wrong position, he couldn't possibly break them again to realign them, could he?
These days, he had been repairing his internal organs instead. The organs had always been the most fragile parts of the human body. They were also sensitive to, so too much impetus could worsen the state of his organs. Fortunately, he could only mobilise a small amount of impetus, just a thin trace. This trace of impetus was just enough to not damage his internal organs.
In addition to that, the core of the moonlight wolf was placed on Locke's chest by Angelina, and part of the light essence also indirectly healed the organs. By now, he had roughly repaired most of them. A lot of the congealed blood from internal bleeding was broken up by impetus. The necrotic organ tissue were also crushed, carried away through the bloodstream, and excreted.
After the internal bleeding in his body had been roughly cleared up, Locke finally felt that he could use a little bit of strength. He no longer laid there like a vegetable, unable to do anything.
When Locke was in a coma previously, he even thought that if he couldn't regain consciousness after a while, he would run the impetus that he could control to his neck and destroy his brain. Angelina had done enough for him, and he no longer wanted to hold her back. As a man, Locke had his own dignity.
Fortunately, it didn't come to that. Locke had successfully moved his little finger. Although he lost strength right after moving it, he knew that this was a sign of physical recovery.
Locke wondered why Angelina didn't go out today. He was able to perceive the situation in the surroundings with his eyes closed, but he didn't have the power to sense what went on outside through the cave and the layer of snow. He still didn't know it was snowing heavily.
Angelina didn't wake up until noon. After seeing the snow still falling, she sighed and started her meditation routine. After going through the many twists and turns, she could feel that her mental power and mana had increased a lot compared to when she first left the palace. 'Adversity can best stimulate human potential,' Angelina thought of something her teacher once said.
The meditation didn't end until evening. When Angelina was practicing back then, her instructor praised her for being a student who could sit still. Now, she could do it without any distractions. If it weren't for the hunger pangs, she could meditate for more than a day. In fact, the meditation time of many powerful casters was calculated in days.
Angelina hesitated for a while before preparing the food. In the end, she chose to eat the remaining hare. No one knew when the snow would stop, so if she could live a day more, she would.
While feeding Locke at night, she noticed something different about him. A caster was no less sensitive to the surrounding environment than an experienced knight. Locke had regained control of his right hand in the afternoon, and his palm was now a half-clenched fist.
Angelina covered her mouth, crying in excitement, "Are you awake, Locke?" She gave him a gentle push.
He remained motionless and didn't answer. He had exhausted all his strength and was unable to even motion a response.
Though he didn't respond, Angelina was not disappointed. Instead, she seemed confident that there was a possibility of him recovering. This lit a shining beacon in the dark night, giving her hope of survival.
This night, Angelina didn't have the uneasy feeling before she sleeping. She hugged him tightly, as if she was trying to press him into her heart.
The next day, Locke still didn't wake up, but he moved his arm again. Angelina watched him raise his right arm with difficulty, trying to put his hand on hers, as if he wanted to comfort her. But his hand eventually fell back down before he could. She caught his falling hand.
On the third day, Locke was able to half-open his eyes. He looked at Angelina gently. She didn't act like a princess, and looked back at him shyly like an ordinary girl. The two had long and messy hair at this time, his face was full of dirt, and there was a peculiar smell on his body. She was also wearing torn and dirty clothes, and there were also some stains on her face. Her shoes were torn, revealing two white toes of hers. Although the two were dressed like savages, it didn't stop them from falling in love with each other.
At night, Angelina took off her clothes while Locke half-opened his eyes, and snuggled into the bed of the two. After wrapping her arms around his body, she whispered softly, "Will you take responsibility?"
Looking at Angelina's delicate face under her messy hair, and her piercing eyes that were staring at him, Locke nodded firmly. With a hoarse voice, he said, "I will!"
Angelina looked at Locke's face, kissed him passionately, and the two hugged and fell asleep.
Four days after the snow started, it finally stopped snowing.
Early in the morning, the sky was clear. With Angelina's support, Locke, who was limping, patted away the snow covering the entrance of the cave with his hands. The snow at the entrance collapsed in an instant, letting a ray of sunlight in to shine onto both their faces.