The mountain maiden's face turned pale. She pursed her lips, her mind trying to recall what had happened when the hall collapsed. She watched as the young prince and Medissa fell in front of her and disappeared into the abyss below, then the whole hall fell apart. She seemed to have fallen with the long bridge that broke off, which she then lost all consciousness. She felt as if she was being pierced in the chest right now, she must have broken a few ribs. But the good thing was that she was a mercenary, so this injury wasn't that big of a deal to her. She was grateful that she survived but rather worried about the Lord's well-being.
She shivered in fear every time she thought of this. The mountain maiden looked around, hoping to find Brendel on her left, but at the same time she was afraid that she might see a cold corpse instead. After searching for a while with this ambivalence, Scarlet suddenly found a pair of feet buried under the ice not far away. She nearly stopped breathing at the sight of it. But as she approached it she was relieved because it was just a pair of Kirrlutzian's boots. A Kirrlutzian noble must've died here.
She inhaled gently and began to move along ice and snow that had fallen from above, and soon found that the snowdrifts were strewn with the corpses of Kirrlutzian nobles, some of which had been completely crushed by the accumulated ice, their bodies and limbs in a weird posture. But these things didn't make Scarlet feel anything, she sat expressionlessly between these strange-shaped corpses, looking more and more relieved. As she finally confirmed that none of them were someone she knew, she couldn't help but let out a breath of relief.
However she was suddenly frustrated. So where on earth is the Lord? She had never left Brendel's side ever since he took her in and this was the first time. Without him around, she felt lost. She pressed her hand on her chest as she felt empty, not understanding what she was feeling.
And just as she was moving aimlessly along the ice crevice, she was startled by a weak moan that suddenly came from among the crushed ice. She stopped and listened carefully sideways and realized that the voice was coming from beneath the ice. She hesitated. She was very sensitive to voices, and it was certainly not the Lord's, nor that of anyone she was familiar with. But after some consideration, the mountain maiden dug away the ice and saw that there was indeed a young man buried underneath wearing a Kirrlutzian uniform.
She took a look at the gold line on the other side of the collar and recognized the young man as a viscount. She wouldn't have known this if she didn't stay by Amandina's and Brendel's side all the time. The young viscount was most likely a descendant of a large family, not to mention that anyone who could be by Veronica's side was most likely people who have a strong background in the Kirrlutz Empire. The Empire was martial so large families liked to send their sons to the army to gild the lily, and even the royal family is no exception. All these were told to her by Brendel.
The girl felt better at the thought of Brendel.
The young man was turning purple from the cold. If it was an ordinary person he might have died, but this group of noble officers traveling with Veronica would at least have the strength of Gold or higher, so these people would recover quickly. The young man sat again for a while, took a breath and opened his eyes. His eyes were blue like the sea, typical of the Kirrlutzians. He was of the same bloodline as Faina and was admired in the Empire.
But unfortunately, it meant nothing to Scarlet, who looked at the other man, brewed for a moment, and asked, "Can you walk by yourself?" Scarlet seemed to realize that she hadn't spoken such a long sentence of her own accord in a long time, and even her voice had become a bit raspy; she hadn't been like this before when she was in the Grey Wolf Mercenaries until the incident with Makarov that was too much for her to take.
The young man nodded and replied somewhat gratefully, "I am grateful for the kindness of saving my life." He staggered and barely got up from the ground, expecting this beautiful lady to give him a hand. But not only did she not, but she also stood there like a statue and stared at him emotionlessly. He felt a little embarrassed, but still went on and introduced himself, "My name is Babarn, and I'm--"
Unfortunately, Scarlet had turned away before he could even finish his sentence. He finally realized that the other party didn't seem to want to talk to him much and hurriedly called out to her, "Wait a minute, please."
Only then did Scarlet stop and look back at him with eyes full of wariness. It was as if she was going to leave immediately if he didn't have anything important to say.
Babarn shook his head with a bitter smile, "I'm certainly not the only survivor under the ice, so please, Miss, can you do me a favour and get them out? Or at least help me move the corpses of those fellow survivors out, I can't let them be exposed in the wilderness like this."
Scarlet shook her head without thinking twice.
Babarn swallowed, feeling that it was a little too difficult to deal with this lady. But somehow, he instead felt that the mountain maiden was sincere. He was the son of a large family, and had seen many 'high-class' ladies, but they were really nothing more than that. On the contrary, he felt his heart skip a few beats at the sight of Scarlet. He scratched his head and thought to himself. I'm not a brat anymore, what's wrong with me today?
Babarn hesitated for only a moment before pausing and replying immediately, "This lady, you are also looking for companions, right? Forgive me for saying this, but I mean in case they are also sealed under the ice like me, they would be in need of your help at this moment."
Scarlet paused at what Babarn had just said but finally nodded.
She wasn't afraid that Brendel might be sealed underneath, as such a thin layer of broken ice couldn't trap the lord. It was the little prince that she was worried about. Brendel had entrusted Haruz to her and Medissa's care, and now that the little prince had disappeared, the responsibility was hers.
So the two began to search and rescue along the ice crevice. Within twenty minutes, seven or eight people were rescued one after another, but more were corpses, and the bodies of the Kirrluzians were laid out in a long line at the bottom of the valley. At first, Babarn was still in the mood to be attentive around Scarlet, but later, he gradually became silent. Most of these people were noblemen, how could almost all of them die here? Furthermore, Veronica couldn't be blamed for this one, because they were the military observation group of the empire, and frankly, they were here to supervise Veronica. If the Knights of the Folded Sword were lost here, most of them would gloat. But it wasn't until Babarn dug the last Kirrlutzian corpse out from under the ice that he looked at the surviving leader with a pale face, who was emotionless.
Inside the pile of corpses, everyone else was fine, but there were two people who were the heirs of House Cecil, and that was a bit of a problem. House Cecil and House Ashric were dead rivals in the empire, and these two people had come with the thing Veronica had done at the Loop of Trade Winds against her, thinking that this would be a pleasant trip. The empire's military observer group would never go to the front line, and so, they would not encounter any danger under normal circumstances. Who knew that this time Veronica was determined to enter the Holy Cathedral of the Sleep. Of course, they could have stayed outside, but these two guys were also obsessed and had to encourage the others to follow them, to see what Veronica was up to.
Of course, they suspected some kind of collusion between Veronica and Count Trentheim, which was a known secret within the observation group. People like Babarn weren't willing to get involved in the mess between House Cecil and House Ashric, but weren't willing to offend the heirs of the two great families as well. With the acquiescence of the head, they all followed the two in. The main point was that even Prince Lenarette didn't object, which hinted at approval.
But now the problem was that they didn't know what was going on in Veronica's mind and both of the two heirs of House Ashric were dead. It would've still been okay if only one had died, but now it was impossible to explain anything.
Thinking clearly about this, including Babarn, all of them sat next to the pile of corpses with their heads hung low, unable to find a solution. If nothing unexpected happened, they were sure to be retaliated by House Cecil as these large families weren't reasonable nor easy to deal with. Babarn would be fine because his family was enough to keep him out of this whirlpool, but the others weren't as lucky.
But there was an exception among these people.
The mountain maiden didn't know about the rivalry between these noblemen. It could be said she was neither lucky nor unlucky, none who she had dug out were people she knew. The young prince, Medissa, and Aloz had all seemed to vanish, which made her feel empty yet relieved at the same time. She felt empty because she felt helpless alone, but relieved because she didn't see their cold, dead bodies.
As for the Kirrluzian nobles in despair, what did they have to do with her? She didn't even look at them, and walked away with her Azure Lance in her arms. Knowing that Brendel didn't like the Kirrluzians, she instinctively turned away from these arrogant Kirrluzian nobles.
The Lord must have his reasons anyway.
The mountain maiden's mind was simple and straightforward.
What she didn't know was that as soon as she walked away, she attracted the attention of those Kirrlutzians.
"Who’s that little girl?" someone among those desperate nobles asked.