While the young Pam gave free live commentary with gleeful chirps, that compromise-sighting adventurer and the disguised princess went in search of the hidden entrance.
‘I thought finding the cave would be easy??’
Well, it would have, had it not been for the fact that they had to evade the incoming fireballs while also trying not to get caught by the hanging flings that were targeting them still. They were feet away from where the main battle was commencing but the aftermath is still threatening their lives regardless.
“Serein-shi, is that it? The nest that you were talking about?”
Cherry asked with a slightly raised voice as the noises around them were loud enough to drown out their voices.
“Princess, unfortunately, I am currently visually impaired right now… still. So no, I don’t know if it was it with you pointing at the place alone.”
That young adventurer sarcastically mentioned though her usual deadpan tone tuned down the disrespectful sense of that sentence she just uttered.
That pink-haired girl let out a sheepish chuckle before then reporting to Serein in a more descriptive way.
“There is this part of the forest where the branches just formed a circular shape? Well, it looks like a shelter enough for me.”
To which, that hatchling then chimed in, done with his live commentary at last.
“It kinda looks like a bird’s nest!!!”
Pam chirped as his sharp reptilian eyes caught on the view better than these two humans.
“It has a bed that’s made of grass… ooh~ there are also some… uh… fluffy monster skins piling up! That looks comfy! I wanna go! I wanna go! Can we go??”
Excited, that young Wyrm shot question after question like a child craving for adventure. Serein turned to her left with a sweatdrop as she imagined how the young wyrm would be staring back at her with his round sparkly eyes.
“Maybe later once Aidou-min is in a lighter mood, we can try and ask him if we’re allowed to visit–?”
“Why should we wait for that old fart’s permission? Ceva-chi will kick his butt! So we can take a peek now! Let’s goooo~!”
Slithering off her shoulder, Pam was about to leave them in favor of his target of interest, when Serein reached out to where his voice was disappearing to. She managed to catch him before he could even jump to the ground or something.
“Now now, Pam-min, Cevahir-min told me to have you around so that we’ll stay safe. And you know, although Cevahir-min is strong and awesome, wouldn’t he get annoyed if we take too long on this trip?”
“Muuu… No fun… You’re bringing up Ceva-chi like Sam always did!”
Serein chuckled softly at that while in her head she thought about how big brother like the other hatchling sounded if what this greenish-blue wyrm said was true.
“Well, fine then. I’ll go there with Ceva-chi later, you won’t get any of the fluffy skin when we will. I won’t share!”
That green-eyed Wyrm sounded like he was pouting as he said so, a second before he climbed back onto Serein’s shoulder.
Humming, Serein then asked Cherry who’s still pretty much shielding them with her magic as the three stopped for a bit.
“Miss Cherry, could you find a cave under that nest or somewhere near?”
The pink-haired mage looked around but failed to find anything relative to a cave as the other just mentioned.
“No, there’s no cave or anything like that, Serein-shi. But if it means anything, the nest was built atop of a big rock? Is it the right nest or is there another place where a cave could be found as you said?”
“Hmm, no. I think that we’re on the right track”
Serein thought back to the middle part of the draft, specifically about what Princess Cerise told Arlia about this location she had accidentally found after fighting Aidou.
[“There was a rock under the huge nest. A Huge one, which is actually a hidden entrance to my Ancestor’s secret base.”
That pink-haired princess told the dark-haired teen in a hushed voice.
“I read these ancient scrolls in the restricted area meant to be read by Queens and Future Queens in our Kingdom– and well, there’s this book, which I think it’d be able to help us find the answers we’re looking for.”]
A colorful mossy rock under Aidou’s nest.
When that pink-haired mage went to this place in the original story, she was depressed and thought that she might as well die despite how she somehow managed to get past Aidou’s judgment.
And in that pitiful state of hers, she began to sing a nursery song that was sung by her grandmother, the previous Queen every night back when she was still alive.
‘A song that would reveal the hidden door created by The Sage that defeated Aidou in ancient times…’
Serein couldn’t possibly ask Cherry to sing something so personal out of blue.
Therefore, rather than that, she decided to take the matter into her own hand once the mage helped her get closer to the said mossy rock.
She could hear the pink-haired royalty asking her, however, that monochromatic-haired adventurer did not respond to the other’s question and instead, the bruised lips were parted as a melody soon floated out.
“When the heavens look grave my dear
As your heart is harrowed like a tear”
As the song began, Cherry froze, her head snapping towards Serein as her eyes contained alarm.
While the tune is way off from the one she knew of, the lyric was precise and it was sung in Amartian Language, a.k.a Amaranth Kingdom’s official language, and not the common language.
‘How did he…?’
Meanwhile, Pam, not paying heed to the pinknette’s surprise, closed his eyes and enjoyed the lullaby despite not being familiar with the language used.
“After a pour, the day will once again shine
As all the dirt was gone, drifted down the lane.
And once the big three are done taking you for a ride.
Shall the winter breeze guide your way home.”
For some odd reason, despite how the Amaranth Kingdom was known as the Kingdom of Spring, that lullaby song that’s passed down through generations ended up with ‘Winter’.
‘It wasn’t random’
There was a reason for it as well. However, Serein couldn’t quite remember the in-depth part of such details.
… it’s been 7 years since the draft was abandoned after all.
At the same time as she had that thought, the rocky part of the red moss cracked. It soon could be seen crumbling down to the ground.
“Woah!!! The rocky rock turned into sand! How weird! So weird!!”
That young adventurer opened her mouth once more, though it wasn’t to respond to Pam’s enthusiastic chirp. This time, it was to give an answer to the gaping mage that’s admittedly staring at her in disbelief at the moment.
“I read quite a lot as a child.”
Serein cut in as she stepped forward, urging the princess in disguise to go in quickly before Aidou can catch on to what they’re doing and stop them.
Eyes sharpened in accusation, that pink-haired royalty called out one more time.
“I would love some further chat regarding this matter.”
However, that pair of magenta soon filled with confusion instead as her guide’s lips curled upward in reply.
“Sure,” Serein easily responded to her with a lighter tone, “I wouldn’t mind some talk along with a hearty meal, a cup of hot drink, and of course, my awaited reward~”
In summary, once they were safely out of this place and successful in the ‘guiding’ task she has at the moment. Cherry couldn’t help her own smile as she realized what this hazel-eyed person meant.
“That sounds nice actually. You’re right, let’s do that instead.”
There’s no point in getting agitated at this place and now. Whatever the truth that may come forth from this discovery shall not bring additional harm in any way to their already dangerous tri–
Not expecting them to fall down to something akin to a water slide, both of the young women screamed for dear life while that baby wyrm giggled happily upon the fun ride. Soon enough, they found themselves falling into a pool, nearly drowning from how unprepared they were.
-blub blub blub blub
Cold water enveloped their bodies, the rushing waves nearly tearing the three apart.
Adrenaline came rushing in once more. Serein snapped her eyes open by reflex, the concern of this water being contaminated being pushed at the back of her mind as she looked at the way where the bubbles were heading. Her priority is to get them away from this thread of death by drowning.
She could feel it with her heightened senses from the drug she took.
There was a drain that’s sucking down all of this water and so, getting away from this place would be ideal unless they wanted to find out what would happen as they reached the bottom of this seemingly endless pit.
Thankfully, the current wasn’t that strong and Cherry didn’t get washed away too far from her while Pam was still pretty much wrapped around her arm.
That was all she could think of as she tried her best to dive up to the surface while linking hands with another person, though it seems like this time, she was the one being pulled up by the princess. Both of them were coughing for air as they finally reached the surface.
“Well, that was fun!!”
Pam giggled happily as the end of his tail wiggled back and forth in enthusiasm while the two young ladies heaved a sigh upon the comment.
“Just… What is this place? Where are we? Where is this water coming from?”
Cherry questioned as she used a luminous spell again and made a light orb float above them to make the dimmed room a bit brighter.
“Well, I don’t know much about the water, but it seemed to have a healing attribute since my eyes cleared up and my body isn’t aching as bad anymore, but anyway let’s get to the edge first?”
Serein said as they then got out of the waterfall.
“Whoaaa, this cave looks nicer than ours!”
The hatchling gasped in awe as the light orb lit up the place further, allowing them to see a bit more of this place they were stranded in. Those hazel pairs scanned the scene before her as well while the sound of splashing water could be heard from behind her.
The place isn’t grand.
On the contrary, after falling down the slide like that, their only way to traverse looked cramped and seems to only be able to fit one adult at a time.
Well, on the bright side, it seems like, even without Cherry’s light orb, they wouldn’t be walking in total darkness after all.
Glowing crystals on the walls.
Each of them was either pink or purple shades in color as they glowed steadily like a lamp.
All the while, their paths were still flooded, the water continuing to move wildly downstream.
‘The water is flowing somewhere else though…’
Serein noticed that the water that overflowed and escaped the drain was heading somewhere else, which only meant the path was likely to take them deeper underground.
It was then that the young adventurer heard her client’s voice, “Serein-shi, when are you going to tell us what in the world is this shortcut you’re leading us to?”
The female adventurer turned to that pink-haired mage before staring her right in the eyes.
“Princess Cerise, I know that you already have a decent idea of what this place might be. And let me tell you now that, yes. What you have in mind is completely correct.”
Those magenta eyes rounded in surprise as shock became evident on her face.
Cherry was in deep disbelief because she would have never thought that her guess would turn out to be correct.
The princess trailed off, as Serein did not pay much attention to her, too busy pointing out the only path available for them.
The light from the orb bounced off the female adventurer’s figure, the side of her face hidden within the shadows. It made her appear ethereal, in a way, eliciting a prolonged stare from the pink-haired mage.
“This shortcut was made by your ancestor. And this place doesn’t just serve as a safe pathway to Ervenyl Mountain. No.”
“Princess Cerise, this is the location of The first Queen of Amaranth Kingdom, The Great Sage’s long lost sacred grave.”
Silence enveloped the young royalty as her eyes shook upon that sudden revelation.
“…What did you just say…?”
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~!