Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
According to Quentina, the cottage was located downstream and would be seen as they continued walking. She said it in a relaxed tone as if ‘the pizzeria is just a block away.’ But this was far from the case.
The fact was — Augusta and Kyfayar went down the river. The topography on both sides gradually became gentle, and the forest extended, but they had walked all day until night fell, and still didn’t see even half of this ‘vacation home’!
Augusta was tired and hungry. In his sophomore year, because of Cavaldien’s wrong navigation, everyone was trapped during the study trip to the mountain. He had never been in such a mess again.
At noon, they wanted to stop to eat, but there was no food to eat! No food, no cooking utensils, no fish in that damned river, and they couldn’t live on the earth! So Augusta had to starve and move on, imagining how to make delicious roasted unicorn when he arrived.
Even after night fell and the stars rose in the East, they still did not see any vacation home. They did not know whether the cottage was far away or Quentina pointed in the wrong direction. Looking hopelessly at the silvery river, Augusta felt that he might die here.
Kyfayar was still full of energy. It did not matter for him if he ate less or walked ten kilometers more. He noticed that Augusta was slowing down. “Are you tired, my Lord?” He asked with concern.
“No, I’m fine!” Augusta replied angrily, “It’s just cold. Don’t you think it’s too cold now?”
Kyfayar touched his neck, “It’s colder at night than during the day, but it’s not unbearable. If you can’t stand it, you can put on my coat…” He made a gesture to unbutton.
“No! I don’t want to wear it even if I’m dead!”
“Can you teleport us to the vacation home?”
“No, I have to know the location of the place before I can.”
Kyfayar grabbed his head.
“Otherwise, you can take a short rest and light a campfire to keep warm. I can quickly run ahead and find the way. I will come back to pick you up when I find the cabin.”
Augusta looked around. The dark, ancient and dense branches of the forest covered the night sky, and only a few stars and the moon peeked through the cracks. The rippling river, reflecting the starlight, was their only source of light. There were many wild animals in the dark, from birds on the branches to insects in the soil, and perhaps dangerous wild animals lurking behind certain bushes.
If Kyfayar was sent ahead to explore, he would have to stay alone in this dark place, facing the unknown and terrible nature. He didn’t want that!
“Don’t bother!” Augusta said, “It’s a waste of time. Let’s keep going.”
When he stepped forward, he stumbled over a tree root, staggered and nearly fell. Kyfayar held him from behind. “Is it that… Are you afraid?” There was a smile in the voice of the werewolf youth.
Augusta’s face turned red. Fortunately, the shade of red on his face was hidden in the night. “Blind idiot, nonsense! Would I be scared? I, the mage, Augusta? Ha ha, it’s a great way to smooth the world! You only care about yourself! It’s dangerous everywhere at night, especially in the wild. What will you do if you run into danger alone?”
“Are you worried about me?” Kyfayar asked cheerfully.
“No!” Augusta was so misinterpreted that he turned furious, but now he was so exhausted that he didn’t even have the strength to be angry. “Shut up and walk!”
They went on in the dark, and soon Kyfayar stopped and sniffed twice.
“My Lord, I smell barbecue. There should be no one else in the forest but Miss Quentina.”
“Oh, maybe it’s some unknown monster. It especially attracts tourists who don’t know the truth with the aroma of barbecue, and then turns them into a new barbecue…”
“There seems to be a fire ahead.”
“Maybe it was the monster who lit the fire to attract travelers.”
“No, it must be Miss Quentina!”
“How can you be 100% sure?”
Kyfayar looked at Augusta in silence. The magician gulped nervously. “Why are you looking at me like this? What I said is very reasonable!”
“Because Miss Quentina is behind you.”
Augusta suddenly turned around and saw a woman in black, with long hair and bright red eyes, hanging upside down on a tree. She was facing Augusta with a smile that showed her blood sucking fangs.
Augusta sat on the ground in horror. Quentina chuckled and fell off the branch, landing softly on the ground without making a sound.
“I heard you talking to Kyfayar, so I came here to have a look.” She said, “You’re too slow! Unicorn and I arrived long ago, and we had plenty of time to explore the surrounding environment and caught two rabbits. Unicorn just grazed, and I had some blood from the rabbit.” With that, she licked her lips. Augusta and Kyfayar shivered at the same time. “You’re just in time. The rabbit is almost ready.”
Augusta said to Quentina, “I’m a human being. Of course, my feet are not as good as vampires and unicorns.”
“But you had a werewolf with you. Why didn’t you let Kyfayar carry you on his back? I’m sure, even with you, he would walk much faster than you walking on your own.”
Convinced that he was now safe, Augusta had some strength to become angry. “Rude! How rude! I’m Augusta Hollich, a man with a healthy body and sound limbs. How could I let myself be carried on someone’s back? You are insulting my dignity!”
“If you don’t want to be carried, let Kyfayar hold you.”
“Do you still want to eat roasted rabbit?” She asked sharply.
Augusta Hollich, known as the great mage, once again succumbed to the influence of the vampire Quentina.
Led by Quentina, they advanced about half a kilometer to the resort house. As the advertisement said, the house was built on the bank of the river and only had one floor. It was difficult to identify the specific shape of the house at night, but it looked very large, and there should be enough rooms. There was a yellow light shining from the window of the cottage, and a bonfire was built in front of the door. The unicorn stood by the fire and chewed a handful of hay. There was a simple grill over the bonfire with two roasted rabbits on it. The attractive aroma was diffused around with the wind.
Kyfayar cheered and ran to the bonfire. Augusta followed. He was so tired once he finally got a chance to relax, and he felt dizzy. He sat cross legged by the fire, slightly warm, but still cold. Kyfayar took the two roasted rabbits from the fire and handed him the larger one. Augusta took it gratefully and had a big bite without thinking.
The unicorn beside bim ‘vomited’ in a disdainful way, “Savage! Bloody!”
“Like you’re civilized and noble!” Augusta retorted.
“Nonsense! Of course I’m much more civilized than you barbarians! If I eat with you, I will lower my sensibilities! You should be grateful! You are not qualified to dine at the same table with me at ordinary times!”
Augusta was too lazy to argue with him. He felt his throat was dry. It might have been because he had choked when he fell into the river, and his throat was aching ever since. He put the roasted rabbit to the side, “Is there any water? I’m thirsty.”
Quentina replied, “The house doesn’t have running water, but I got water from the river and the water tank is at the back of the house.”
“Is this really a vacation home?! How come I feel like it is a place where monks in the middle ages were put to practice?”
“At least we have electricity! Although it’s a diesel generator…”
Augusta thought he was going to faint. This was not a holiday, it was simply them being exiled outside the civilized world and forced to accept punishment!
He got up and staggered towards the back of the house, looking for the water tank. Quentina put her hands around her chest and said, “What are you complaining about? Wasn’t that a good time? Have you experienced the Middle Ages? Do you know what it means to live without zippers and toilets?”
Kyfayar grinned, “We need to look forward, Miss Quentina…”
“Hum, young man, do you understand what it means to recall bitterness and think sweetly?! You know how to pick and choose all day long. Be content!”
They chatted for about ten minutes, but Augusta had still not come back.
“He needs to drink for that long?” Kyfayar muttered, “I’ll go to him.”
“He may be lightening his body. Don’t disturb him,” said the unicorn.
Kyfayar left the bonfire and headed for the back of the house.
“Hey! If Augusta starts chasing you, I won’t plead for you!” The unicorn yelled.
“Ah!” A scream came from behind the house. The unicorn and Quentina looked at each other and rushed to the source of the sound.
Augusta, of course, didn’t go after Kyfayar. Instead, the young werewolf was half-kneeling by the water tank behind the house, while Augusta was face down on the ground, with no one knowing whether he was dead or alive.
Seeing this, the unicorn stepped back in horror and said, “Quentina, have you poisoned the water? You deceived us into the mountains and forest, and you really have ulterior motives!”
“Damn it, didn’t you poison it? You’ve finally killed Mr. Augusta! I thought you were suspicious for a long time!” Quentina, regardless of her image, swore.
Kyfayar turned Augusta over and put him over his knees. Quentina squatted down and touched the magician’s pulse, “His heartbeat is fast… Why is his body so hot? No, I’m a vampire. It’s hot to touch anyone…”
Kyfayar immediately put his palm on Augusta’s forehead. The skin under his palm was so hot, it felt like there was a fire burning in the magician’s body.
“He has a fever. No wonder he felt cold the whole time. Lord Augusta must be ill! Sob, it must be because we fell into the water…” The young werewolf was crying.
“Carry him into the house!”