With her short hair tied up, that young adventurer soon equipped her daggers.
She stepped outside with a destination in mind, of course, without forgetting to tell the innkeeper that she would be leaving after breakfast.
And that was the first thing that she noticed after checking over this body that she’s ‘possessing’.
Her body was cold.
Her expression was cold.
However, neither was due to the pitying gazes thrown at her whenever she went.
Despite the robe, she’s not wearing the hoodie. She is not ashamed of the streaks on her head.
A rare disease that freezes someone’s core.
Though, rather than an illness, it’s more like a curse that struck and later would be deeply rooted in a person until their death.
To put it simply, this curse would prevent a mage from controlling mana, a swordsman from having a Mili, and so forth. It’s a curse that’ll hinder someone’s growth no matter what’s the path.
Not only that, but this curse would also consume the life force of the said person until they died in their sleep with a body that’d be as cold and hard as an actual ice statue.
‘A few years ago, my condition would be seen as another mythical disease that no one would really care about.’
However, it’s starting to be widely known since the Queen Regnant of The Amaranth Kingdom collapsed at the New Year’s grand party that was held at the Palace.
Three streaks of platinum hair.
Queen Regnant’s hair is normally light pink, and she’s aging fine despite having a weak body. Therefore, some streak of silverish-white wouldn’t be seen as something out of ordinary for someone who just celebrated her fiftieth birthday last year.
That being said, as mentioned, Stiriacrus was treated as a myth, which is why not even her majesty herself was aware that it was not simply a unique version of grey hair that appeared as she grew old until the pope of Moonlight Temple came to break the news to her.
[“Her life would end soon.”]
The pope declared that the beloved Queen Regnant of The Amaranth Kingdom was in the last stage of the said illness.
Whereas, just like that, the reason behind her sudden wheel-chair-bound situation suddenly became crystal clear, not only to the nobles but also to the neighboring kingdoms and the empire.
It’s been a couple of months after that uproar broke towards the masses, and yet there’s still no other news coming from the palace or any sort of officials as the princess took over her duty, helped by her older brother, the first prince.
People assumed her to be dead despite the fact that there was no clarification whatsoever.
Well, either way–
‘What a cruel punishment towards the innocent.’
That monochromatic-haired young woman regretted ever creating such illness in this forgotten world she had made. The soul inside felt especially bitter as she remembered the reason behind that curse.
[A curse would befall the dearest of those who break the oath of the soul.]
Everyone would be bound to meet others and develop various kinds of relationships. After all, no being can survive with just themselves forever.
Oath of Soul would punish those who break it by striking a curse to the one they loved the most and not themselves.
To see your cherished one dying in such agony and slowly withering away is worse than death itself.
[You’ll be forced to watch them die and the image will haunt you for the rest of your life.]
Stiriacrus was one of the worst ways to die in this world because it was not all that different from being targeted by black magic with such limited ways to slow the process down let alone cure it.
‘Of all characters, I became her.’
The sole daughter of Reynald Rowe, who grew up with a unique single streak of white-silverish hair on her head since he wasn’t any older than a toddler.
The one who’s responsible for it suddenly went missing and left the father-daughter pair in a drought when the poor girl was barely two years old.
It was devastating for Reynald especially. Serein was his only reason to keep going with life after the sudden disappearance of his dearly beloved wife.
In the end, the young Serein grew up following his footsteps and learned swordsmanship when she was only three. Although, by the age of 5, she got intrigued with daggers more than swords, which were now her choice of weapon.
Serein showed great talent and loves learning from her father. And yet, she never seemed to be able to pull out her Mili or learn Magic. It was weird for someone who’s as dedicated and talented as her.
In addition, the guild master couldn’t seem to boost his daughter’s ability no matter what potions or all sorts of magic items he bought for her. There just seemed to be a wall that blocked her from understanding the concept, let alone practicing it.
At first, it was frustrating for her. However, Serein doesn’t give up so easily and learns some other sword arts and even basic archery and spear arts.
Even without Mili or Magic, she’s a formidable opponent that her father and his colleagues acknowledged.
Everything worked out well, and they even said that the future of their Mercenary Guild would be bright with her excellent leadership.
‘The problem is, when she turned sixteen, another streak appeared on her head as she curled on her bed as if suffering from a severe case of fever when in reality she was shivering and felt awfully cold.’
Recollecting the background story of this character, Min Suhyun hummed to herself.
‘It took them six months until Reynald found out that his daughter had been put under a curse and would likely die in the next five years or so.’
Serein, who doesn’t want to be treated like a fragile rose, switched from the cheerful girl she was into a cold and indifferent individual.
The change of course pained Reynald, but he understands the reason. After all, those gazes aimed at her can be suffocating at times.
Pity, sympathy, disdain…
Many types of excessive gazes would be thrown at her, even by those she knows on a personal level.
In the end, Serein asked him for permission to embark on a solo adventure under the pretext of looking for medicine or someone who would be able to help her.
‘It was not easy.’
The soul residing in this cursed body got a flash of its memory 2 years ago.
Serein was sparring against her father.
It was the “test” she must undergo before her father grants his permission.
A shockwave from her father’s blade made the floor of the training grounds cave in.
Serein quickly put distance between them, pieces of stone and gravel tearing at her skin and clothes.
She drew in a sharp breath.
Right after that last attack, the back of her neck tingled.
Without wasting a second, Serein hastily jumped up and grabbed onto a wooden beam.
Just in time, her father swung his sword in a wide arc.
A dust cloud permeated the whole field, but not before she saw the immense damage caused by her father.
She let out a breath of disbelief, cold sweat drenching her back.
‘Dad really doesn’t want me to go, huh?’
If he was doing his best, then it was only right to return the favor.
Serein put the momentum to her advantage and swung her body forward, the speed of her drop adding more power to her attack.
‘Serein was having a hard time, but she eventually won against her father who’s a swordmaster and the head of the Mercenary Guild.’
She has once again proved her worth and earned his trust in one condition…
“Serein must return when she turns 20.”
Mumbling that to herself, Min Suhyun glanced at the palm of her body as she remembered the face that she’s wearing right now.
‘I’m at Kiraan Kingdom’
And the only time this young adventurer has been reportedly lurking at the said kingdom is to accept an escorting job that failed miserably, causing her to lose money instead.
‘The doctor told her father that her time might be limited to 5 years ever since the second stage. And Reynald wants to be with her if it was indeed going to be her last moment, so she needs to return before she turns 20, whether she likes it or not.’
…However, what neither of them would know was the fact that Serein was fated to die earlier than that.
[12th day of the 3rd month in the 789th year of the Felix Calendar.]
That is when she meets her doom at the unforgiving sea. Killed by a sea monster, 3 days after meeting the main character, Arlia Whitlock, and his growing group.
‘In less than a week.’
For some odd reason, Min Suhyun– the soul that currently resides in Serein– felt goosebumps all over her body despite knowing that it’ll be just fine since it’s merely a dream for her.
‘Either way, I feel sorry for Serein.’
Hence why she is now heading to Ervenyl Mountain after buying all the stuff she needed with her limited money. The only place where the Adelweirn Flower, the main ingredient for the medicine for Stiriacrus, would grow.
Someone should be aiming for that flower this time around though. Which is why she made her move and fastened her pace before that certain character could take the flower back to the Palace just for The Queen Regnant to die from another cause.
‘I feel bad, for the Queen, but it’s not like surviving 2 months would change something so drastic for the kingdom or anyone else’
Either way, if that plan fails and she has to wait for another 4 years as it grows there’s also a hidden item she needs to pick up there that would hopefully be useful to avoid Serein’s death.
…Every so often, Min Suhyun would write down a line in her notebook. That way she will remember all the details and changes she made to be written when she wakes up from this place.
“This is weird.”
After a long while of walking, she realized something unusual.
‘My… how fascinating.’
Staring at the cloudy sky above as she felt the droplets fall to her face for a bit before she put on her hoodie and began to make a dash for it.
The wet feeling felt a bit too realistic to her other dreams. Yet she shrugged away the thoughts as she pulled her raincoat closer.
Making her way into the woods, Serein tried to remember as many details regarding this world and the storyline.
‘It seems like I’m not even at the beginning of the story yet.’
In short, she arrived at a timeline that was never really mentioned in the draft. She’s currently living up in a background story.
‘There’s not much happening at this time around.’
Serein wasn’t supposed to be here as well, actually. She was supposedly back at the inn and fought with some drunkards who wanted some taste of her body– only to get beaten to a pulp by her.
It was not even a proper fight; it was a one-sided beating that got those drunkards thrown into jail while people feared her despite what she did being nothing but self-defense.
Perhaps, it was due to her cold demeanor that the people were afraid to reach out to her.
Those were not the important details she should have recalled.
Serein hummed a little as the gear in her head turned again as she reminisced about what more has been written about her destination.
[To reach the Ervenyl Mountain, one must go through Blasphemos Woodland, a rainforest that’s forever raining.]
Although it was one of the infamous treacherous regions, Serein doesn’t hesitate to enter the dark and gloomy land for she knows the path that’s safe.
[There are two paths that could be seen from the main entrance of Blasphemos Woodland. There’s a red path that would be wide enough for two horses side by side and the rocky path that’d fit a carriage.]
Min Suhyun remembers these particular lines due to how much effort she put into the creation of this particular place.
[Two then branched into four. Four branched again into Eight. Those who don’t know the way would surely get lost and becomes the next feed for the vicious land and its tenants]
By tenants, it means mutants of monsters that have been living there since The Forgotten Era.
Unlike how things normally go in Fantasy Novels, these mutants are active in daylight, while when the night comes… the forest itself is the main problem.
Entering the deep part of the forest, she picked the third path, the true path, and the only safe path to get through.
[The Moss will lead you the way]
A slim smile decorated the pale face as Serein climbed onto an odd big boulder that was covered with slippery moss.
‘This would be the starting point.’
This boulder would mark the start of her journey.
From then on, she wouldn’t be traveling from the ground, but rather, she needs to make her way by jumping from tree branches whilst following the moss that only grows in specific places which would lead her to the checkpoint, a cave in the middle of this rain forest.
It was at that moment…
A strong breeze passed her and it intensified the freezing sensation that she’s been trying to hold back all this time.
Serein clenched her jaw to stop her teeth from chattering, these three hours under the rain only worsened the freezing all over her body that she could practically see her fingers turning white.
‘Ideally, I’ll get to the oasis before the sun sets.’
It was that moment…
Loud screams were heard from the South.
It’s not a monster’s screech.
“They’re here already?”
Serein knows the identity of these people.
The group that’s aiming for the Adelweirn Flower just like her, she remembered that there’s only one person who survived that fate. And even then, a mark would be left behind as if the forest itself branded its targets.
–The sun is setting and she must head to West Asap if she wants to survive this first night. Yet her conscience wouldn’t let her advance after what she heard.
Serein let out a sigh.
“This is so brain-damaging…”
She grumbled under her breath as she took a detour and jumped from the branches as she already did, all the way to the source of painful screamings.
Author Note: Heyya folks! Anemic Bunnicula here~! I’m back now with the recovered chapters and updates. Hope you all would enjoy it, and I’ll see you again in the next chapter, Chao~!