(WEB NOVEL): Under the Oak Tree - Chapter 151
Translator – LF
Proofreader – Nymeria
Ruth didn’t want to bump into the princess as much as possible; unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Extensive labor was required as the construction for the huge road connecting Anatol and Namhae Port began. The knights were going out several times a day to defeat monsters in the territory whilst protecting the enormous number of people that began to work on the foundations.
Given this situation, Ruth couldn’t keep locking himself in the tower. He was directly placed into the subjugation team and was in a position where he could be easily harassed by Princess Agnes. Rather than feeling sorry for him, Max was envious.
Everyone in Anatol could help with Riftan’s work, but Max seemed to be excluded from that. Even Yulysion and Garrow went out of the territory to defeat monsters or to run errands for the knights, while all Max had to do was quietly plant flowers in the garden inside the impenetrable castle walls.
Of course, managing and supervising the castle was not a leisurely job. However, Max could hardly shake the feeling of being a child left alone in an empty house.
As those kinds of days continued, she even started feeling skeptical about learning magic: no matter how much she polished her skills, she couldn’t even go out of Calypse Castle, so what was the use of defensive magic, magic that creates light, and magic that arouses wind?
When she first learned about magic, she had fantasies of becoming a great adventurer and going on expeditions with Riftan, but that dream had long been broken. There was no way she was going to be involved in any dangerous adventures. Realizing that made her feel lonely and alienated, but she couldn’t honestly tell anyone.
All the servants were kind, but it was not suitable to confess how she was feeling to them. On the other hand, Riftan was very busy and in a sense a partner she couldn’t be honest with the most. In the end, all Max could do to end her suffocating loneliness was to mechanically go through day by day.
“You are not eating well these days. Perhaps you feel uncomfortable somewhere…”
Rudis anxiously asked Max, as she was having a late lunch. She shook her head and smiled forcibly. She waited until late for Riftan to return, causing her to sleep less hours and it noticeably weakened her stamina and made her lose her appetite, although her body wasn’t ill.
“Your under eyes has darkened. How about taking even just a nap?”
“T- Thank you for your concern. H-however… the s-spice vendor will c-come this a-afternoon.”
“Then, would you like to have your dinner in your bedroom tonight so you can rest?”
Max shook her head.
“T-there are guests…I can’t h-have my meals a-alone in the bedroom. I-it’s the mistress’ duty.”
“The guests would understand if you’re feeling unwell…”
“I-I’m really okay!”
Rudis’ persistent suggestions felt a little annoying, so she sharply cut off the conversation and the maid shut her mouth.
Max broke the bread piece by piece in an uncomfortable silence and forced it into her mouth. Surely, her body felt heavy and tired, however lying down in bed in broad daylight and doing nothing seemed to only generate self-destructive thoughts. Thinking that it would do her mental health better to move around busily, she left the food she was eating, got up, and wore a cloak.
Before meeting the vendor, she thought of looking around the kitchen first.
“Madam, here you are!”
As she was leaving the room, an urgent voice was heard from the hallway. Max turned her head and widened her eyes when she saw Rodrigo running.
“W-what’s going on?”
“It looks like there was a problem at the road construction site. Several workers were injured because of monsters, I received word to send guards and relief supplies.”
Max felt the blood drain from her face. Riftan must have been at the construction site and yet, such a problem arose, which meant that it had to be a very terrible monster running wild.
Her fear rushed in for a moment, but she managed to gather her composure.
Didn’t she learn how to deal with a problem like this last winter with Ruth? But in reality she could barely recall the instructions Ruth had given then.
“A-at once, p-please load in the wagon…n-necessities. K-kettles and firewood…bowl and c-clean cloth, needle, thread, medicinal herbs…e-everything you need!”
“P-prepare the wagon, they m-might also need blankets, p-please load it. W-where is the person who came to r-report?”
“He is in the field, preparing with the guards.”
“I need to know e-exactly w-what kind of situation it is. P-please load your luggage in the w-wagon and go in the front of the castle’s gates.”
Rodrigo bowed and immediately ran down the stairs. Max also went out in a hurry. She couldn’t rely on Ruth this time. Thinking she had to respond calmly despite being alone in this… Max rubbed her palms, which were soaked with cold sweat, against the hem of her clothes and crossed the garden. As she passed the gate, she saw several guards loading three wagons and ran straight to them.
“I-I heard there was a problem. T-he news…w-who brought the news?”
“That’s me. I received instructions from Sir Uslin Rikaido to come here and get the supplies needed.”
A middle-aged soldier wearing a helmet came forward. Max, swallowing dryly, asked.
“I-is the situation serious? H-how many were injured?”
“About 20 workers were injured, and around 15 guards who were doing rounds were seriously injured. The wizard administered first aid to those who were seriously injured, but since there are still remaining monsters to be defeated at the forefront, about half of the injured are being neglected in order to conserve magic…”
Hearing that there was still a battle going on made Max’s fingertips cold.
“T-the lord…i-is he safe?”
“It’s hard to give a sure answer since the subjugation isn’t over yet, but he is Lord Calypse. He will be fine.”
Max was able to calm down a bit with the soldier’s confident words.
“G-good. Hurry…p-please prepare.”
The soldier nodded and went back to the wagon. Max resolutely gleamed as she watched weapons, tents, and food being loaded on top of the wagon. As the soldier said, Riftan was the best knight on the continent, there was nothing to be worried about. All she needed to do was to focus on doing her part. Max clasped her hands together and prayed silently in her heart.
Shortly after, as soon as everything was ready, they rode the wagons and made their exit through the city gate. The guards were embarrassed that Max was following them, but they couldn’t object to the doing of the lord’s wife, so they just quietly led the carriage.
Max silently gazed at the rapidly passing landscape with a breathtaking tension. The carriage descended from the hill and swiftly passed through the town square, reaching the southern gate. In front of the gate there were bricks, sandbags, and two carts carrying patients entering the half-open door. Max leaped off the carriage and ran to them at once.
She was examining a pale-faced worker who had a splint tightly wrapped around his broken leg when she heard a new voice coming from behind. Max found Yulysion running towards her in an armor and her eyes widened. However, he was a hundred times more surprised than her.
“W-what are you doing here?”
“T-there was an accident…so I c-came along with the s-soldiers. The injured…d-did you bring them?”
“There was not enough transportation to bring all of them, so we only brought a few patients.”
She glanced at the three men laying on the cart. They weren’t suffering from a fatal injury but all of them seemed to be seriously bleeding. She unwrapped the tight cloth around the man’s thigh sitting at the far end and inspected it to see if there were any foreign objects in the wound. Fortunately, the wound appeared to contain no sand or dirt. She then proceeded to tear the man’s pants longer to make sure that there weren’t any misaligned bones, and applied healing magic.
As the accumulated mana in her body rapidly decreased, she suddenly felt dizzy: she had never healed such a big wound before.
Does it really take this much mana?
She felt a large amount of mana being expelled from her body and her arms trembled.
“M‘lady, are you alright?”
Yulysion gazed down anxiously at her pale face. Max casually smiled and administered healing to the other two workers. Although her mana rapidly decreased, causing a cold sweat to form on her back, she quickly recovered from it. She asked the guards to bring the injured to the treatment center and got on the wagon again.
Yulysion urgently chased after her.
“M‘lady! It’s dangerous out there. There’s no need for you to go, just go back to castle…”
“W-what are you talking about! I-I am the lord’s wife. When t-there is a p-problem in the territory…o-of course I must help. Look. These people, I h-healed them.”
“But m‘lady hasn’t practiced magic for a while, and outside the territory, monsters might appear…”
“I-I can also do my part! Didn’t you say the o-other day? E-even when I encountered a w-werewolf, I didn’t e-even blink. T-there’s nothing to worry about.”
Max spat out in a cold tone. Her pride was hurt since she was being treated like an incompetent child by a 16-year-old boy. She wouldn’t have learned magic in the first place if she thought of being stuck in the castle, she learned magic diligently to be able to offer help.
Max ordered the coachman to drive, and her carriage began to roll strenuously out the gates. Yulysion swiftly climbed onto his horse to follow alongside her. She pretended not to notice that he was shooting anxious glances from the exterior windows of the carriage and focused on restoring her mana as much as possible.
It wasn’t long before the road leveled out and Max saw the bricks stacked at the end of the road. A simple bell was installed, surrounded by soil, sand and bricks. She jumped out of the wagon and saw a huge monster lying on the open road, surrounded by broken oaks. She instinctively stepped back.
Yulysion jumped off her horse and quickly ran to help her.
“It’s a dead wyvern. This is the one responsible for this whole mess. “