IBRV (Novel) Chapter 160


C 160


"If you continue straight on this road, you will reach the Red Mine," said the king of the Swin Kingdom as he led the way into the forest. The dark forest emitted a rather eerie sound when the wind blew.

Richard and I tilted our heads back with our eyes wide open.

It was a forest, and it was quite hot. It felt like very hot energy was flowing from within.

We were speechless for a moment, stopped in our tracks, and looked at the king from a distance.

"If you enter here, will you die?" Richard growled fiercely.

Even so, Richard, who used quite formal language to address the king, was very admirable, so I stroked his head, and his cheeks lit up.

"What, what, what? Eirin..."

I let out a brief sigh as I saw Richard bow his head.

"Is this bad?"

Perhaps it's something that gives him hope.

I looked at Richard and slowly withdrew my hand. It's very cruel to give false hope.

However, I was a little afraid.

When I rejected Richard, I was afraid of how our relationship would change. I'm afraid we won't be able to remain friends.

"Eirin?"

"Ah, yes?"

"What's wrong? Are you sure you can enter here?"

"Yes, I guess I forgot..."

I looked at Richard and smiled.

"I'm a dragon."

To begin with, this kind of heat didn't even faze me.

Actually, I didn't even think it was that hot. Richard frowned, not seeming very relieved by my words.

"Only a few people can enter this forest. It's a very small number of Swins."

"But isn't the snow leopard an animal that lives in cold places, i.e., places where it snows?"

"That's usually the case."

"Normally..."

"That snow leopard is a bit unique."

I nodded at the king's words.

It must be there for some reason. I know that, but it still bothered me in many ways.

"I want you to give this to the snow leopard. Then it will think I sent you."

"This..."

"Food and daily necessities are regularly delivered."

Richard, who saw the large bundle the king was handing to him, lightly touched it, and the bundle floated in the air.

"Are you okay?"

"Of course."

Richard said, putting strength into his shoulders. I smiled faintly and nodded.

"Shall we go in then?"

"Yes, I'll go first."

"I'll be back soon. Thank you, Your Majesty."

"You're welcome. I feel fortunate that we've been given the opportunity to repay our debt in this way."

The king bowed his head again.

"It may be a burden, but I'll say it one last time. I'm very sorry about back then."

The king's apology was sincere. I thought that maybe because this person was the king, the past incident could end in such a complete way.

"It's okay, I really forgot about it and don't hold it against you anymore."

In fact, it wasn't the king's fault at all.

"Eirin, let's go."

Richard called me, standing up awkwardly. There was something about his face that I really didn't like.

"Has something happened? Richard."

"Something happened? Why do you say that?"

"Because you don't look well."

"Ah... No, nothing."

Richard rubbed his face, and his cheeks turned red. He rubbed his face with the back of his hand and then quickly took mine and entered the dark forest.

As soon as I entered the forest, the heat hit me, and I couldn't breathe for a moment.

"Richard, are you okay?"

"Yes, I used magic. I used it on you too."

When I blinked at those words, there was actually a pure white halo fluttering around us.

"It won't block all the heat, but it's better than nothing."

"Yes, thank you."

In reality, I didn't feel that great, but I decided to quietly accept the favor he had done for me.

This must have been one of the opportunities he had asked for.

"It's very deep."

It was so hot in the forest that it was surprising how it was sustained.

After entering the forest, the wind had stopped blowing properly, and it wouldn't be surprising if the stagnant heat killed the plants in an instant.

But the plants were cooler than any tree I had ever seen.

A moment later, Eirin began to feel a little overwhelmed, and sweat ran down her cheeks.

"Eirin, would you like me to carry you?"

"What? No, it's okay."

"If you're struggling, I'll carry you. You must not be okay if your stamina is low."

Richard quickly crouched in front of me and showed his back. Sweat was running down his cheeks too.

"I'm sorry for putting you here."

After thinking for a while, I obediently climbed onto his back. His broad back was comfortable and warm from the heat.

"Eirin."

"Yes?"

"Are you comfortable?"

"Yes, thank you, Richard."

"...yes."

As he carried me on his back, his breath inevitably brushed against the lobes of his ears. Richard's cheeks turned red.

He tilted his head and strode forward quickly. The more I looked at him, the better I felt.

"Thank you, Richard..."

I whispered again.

Richard nodded with a slightly pained expression. Fortunately, it didn't take long before the red cliffs and the open mine were visible below.

It was a very deep mine.

Fortunately, there were stairs on the side, and the wood looked quite old.

"Will it be okay there?"

"I'll cast a strengthening spell, so there shouldn't be any problem."

As Richard chanted a spell, a transparent and colorless film was placed over the wooden stairs.

It's strange that he would carry me even further after doing this.

"I can walk from here."

"Really?"

"Yes."

"Alright, let's go."

Richard, taking the lead, gently lowered me and reached out his hand.

As I took his hand, Richard carefully descended the stairs.

The stairs were so long that they left me breathless.

And the further down we went, the more intense the heat seemed to melt my body. I was breathless.

"How on earth can a snow leopard live here?"

No, it seemed difficult to survive even for humans, let alone a snow leopard.

"Richard, are you okay?"

"Yes... but it's a bit tough."

The heat kept rising from below.

It felt like there was a volcano beneath us.

We walked slowly toward the mine. In fact, there were traces of mining.

There was a large amount of equipment for extracting various minerals, and there were several things that looked like caves on one side.

I thought maybe iron was being extracted there.

"I think my hands would melt if I were to mine iron here."

It didn't seem like it would end up simply burning.

Just stepping on the ground suffocates you, so how hot can the iron be?

"Did the king lead us to the right place? Isn't that king making fun of us?"

Richard kicked an empty-looking mine that didn't seem to have any presence.

"I suppose he informed us correctly. I heard that my dad also wrote a letter."

Although he offered such a sincere apology, I didn't think he had deceived me.

"Of course, but no matter how you look at it, there doesn't seem to be any sign of life. It would be difficult for people, let alone a snow leopard, to live in a place like this."

Richard said something absolutely correct.

I agreed with that thought.

It was then.

Auuuuuuu!

A howl resembling an animal came from somewhere. It wasn't just one side; it was heard from all directions.

Chilling screams came from the holes drilled here and there in the mine, as if they were screams from a cave.

"Did you just hear that?"

When I spoke to Richard with my eyes wide open, Richard quickly nodded.

"I heard it; it should be around here. Eirin."

Richard pointed to a nearby cave. We held hands and jumped directly into the cave.

"Ugh..."

Richard, who entered first, widened his eyes and hugged me.

"It's insane..."

Richard quickly snapped his fingers. The air, which felt suffocating, became a bit more comfortable.

"Thank you, Richard. However..."

Because he was hugging me so tightly, it was hard to breathe. Richard's eyes widened.

"Ah!"

Richard quickly let me go and retreated.

"I'm sorry!!!"

I chuckled softly when I saw him apologizing loudly.

"No, there's nothing to be sorry about. It's just that it was a bit hard to breathe."

Richard nodded at my words.

He quietly extended his hand and cautiously opened his mouth.

"Do you want to hold my hand?"

"Yes."

I held Richard's outstretched hand and entered the cave.

When we reached the end of the cave, we saw something incredible.

In the midst of the scorching heat, there was an area as vast as a barren field.

And there stretched out a snowy field. Snow of pure white...

It was a beautiful snowy field.


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