Late at night, after dark, the Monastery of Robelgio was completely turned upside down in commotion.
After belatedly explaining the situation to the children, the priests mobilized the Paladins and searched the forest.
However, nothing was found, and there was not even a trace left to trace the two who had not returned.
Sister Ganesha looked at the paladins gathered in the yard with very complex eyes.
It was a long time ago that a person went missing in the forest.
Rumors circulated that it was the work of a monster lurking in the forest, but she was one of those who did not believe it.
I thought it was just a coincidence caused by misfortune, and I thought it would never happen again.
But again, a person is missing. And this time with children.
She turned her gaze to the two figures standing opposite. It was Elika and Heron.
They were staring at the forest behind the monastery.
Among the children of the monastery, the three of them were the closest, so it must have been especially shocking.
“I’m sorry, Elika.”
Heron muttered with tears in his eyes.
“I should have stopped Tom, but I shouldn’t have left him alone in the woods… I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal and left him unintentionally…”
Elika didn’t respond to that guilty voice.
I thought that I should comfort him, but I couldn’t afford it in my heart, so I couldn’t open my mouth.
A friend, Tom is missing.
Listening to the conversation between the Paladins, nothing seemed to have been discovered yet.
It was the same as the people who had been reported missing before. They couldn’t find even the slightest trace of it, and eventually couldn’t find it.
I never imagined that it would be like this for me.
Elika felt her heart boil and glared at the forest.
The Paladins were in the mood to disband as if they had no intention of continuing the search.
She hurriedly moved closer to them.
I talked to Muton, a paladin I was close with.
“Sir Muton, why don’t you continue the search?”
Muton looked at her with pitying eyes and answered.
“The abbot said to stop until dawn. You don’t know what else will happen if you forcefully search.”
Among those who had gone missing in the forest before were paladins.
That’s why even they, who are excellent warriors, were not safe in the forest. Especially if it’s such a deep night.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t find anything. I will also pray for your friend to return safely. God will surely take care of you.”
Muton said so and scattered along with the other paladins.
Only a few paladins remained to guard the entrance to the forest.
In my heart, I wanted to go into the woods right away and find Tom, but of course the adults wouldn’t allow it.
Elika just stood there, clenching her fists tightly.
There was one person watching the scene from afar.
It was Zerel who came out after hearing the commotion.
Zerel quietly looked at her back, then moved his gaze to the person who came closer. It was Abbot Dihod.
He approached Zer-El with a lamp and spoke with a dark expression.
“I’ve never seen people from the monastery go missing in the woods like this before.”
“I see. Did they find it after all?”
“No, I couldn’t find a single trace. So there were rumors that there was a monster living in the forest, but I never thought that this would happen again…”
Dihod distorted his expression as if he had no regrets.
Zerel stared at his expression and asked.
“Did you ever ask for help from another church?”
“Yes, because there was no clue, and nothing like it has happened since…”
Jeriel nodded and said.
“I will search the forest myself.”
“Yes? But I can’t cause you such trouble…”
“The child isn’t missing. The more time we waste, the harder it will be to find. You don’t have to save face until now, Director.”
The director’s eyes twitched slightly for an instant at the bone-filled words.
However, he soon turned to a shocked face and thanked him.
“Thank you very much, Sir. Then I ask you. Please help the two children return safely.”
The priests and nuns stopped sending the children away and forbade them to come out of the monastery building.
Elika secretly looked around the yard from the window. In one hand she held a lamp wrapped in cloth to hide its light.
Heron, who was standing in the back, said in a nervously trembling voice.
“Elika, it’s only dangerous to go into the woods now. You won’t be able to see properly with the light from the lamp.”
“It is said that Sir Zerel himself went on the search. So just wait calmly…”
“Noisy, Heron. It’s enough for you, so go back to your bedroom.”
Now, Elika was thinking of going into the woods herself to find Tom.
The Paladins said that they would search again as the day was bright, but after the night passed, it was already unknown what would have happened to Tom.
As Heron said, Zer-El went directly into the forest, but she was not the type to wait helplessly no matter what.
Heron looked at Elika, salivating in frustration.
Even after the Paladins came out, they couldn’t find any traces.
Even if she secretly went into the forest alone and searched, there was of course no way she would find anything.
But even so, the reason why I didn’t actively stop him was because I knew very well that I wasn’t the type to listen to him anyway.
“…Okay, then I’ll go with you.”
And he felt guilty that Tom had gone missing because of him.
It was the same that Heron was also frustrated with the current situation and wanted to go into the forest and find a friend right now.
“You’re done. I’m going alone.”
“Do as you like. If you keep insisting like that, I’ll run to tell the other priests right away.”
Eventually, the two decided to go into the woods together.
The two sneaked out of the building through the window and hid themselves in the building, looking toward the forest.
There were several paladins standing at the entrance to the forest, but then it was enough to go in the other direction. Just because there is no road doesn’t mean you can’t enter the forest.
So the two secretly turned outside and entered the forest.
After some distance into the woods, Elika unwrapped the cloth wrapped around the lamp.
The interior of the forest was so dark that it was impossible to see an inch ahead without the lamp.
Moonlight was of little help. Even now, with the lamp, all I could do was see only a few steps ahead.
“It’s much darker than I thought…”
Of course, neither Heron nor Elika had ever entered the forest on such a dark night.
Feeling like walking in the mouth of a monster, I relied on my dim vision to find my way and move forward.
Heron swallowed and asked.
“What are you going to do now?”
It was asking where to start looking for traces of Tom.
“I’m going to find it along the road in the forest.”
It was the best because there was no other way.
Without hesitation, she continued on into the forest.
Heron followed him and hoped to run into Zer-El, who was now somewhere in the forest.
Quite a while has passed.
Footprints or whatever, Elika wandered through the woods with her eyes wide open to find any trace of Tom.
But, of course, nothing was found.
In the first place, there was no way she could find something that the Holy Knights of the monastery couldn’t find even if they came together as a group.
In the end, exhausted Elika sat down. She and she let out a sigh of relief.
Heron also sighed and said.
“Let’s go back. We can’t walk around the forest until dawn. People might be worried because we’ve already been caught.”
Elika looked across the forest without answering.
Heron thought she was angry and said no more.
But it wasn’t like that.
Heron noticed her voice tremble.
Only then did he notice the strangeness, and looked back at the place she was looking at.
And I could perceive something faintly visible beyond the darkness.
“What is that?”
Even Heron couldn’t answer that question. I just stared blankly for a moment.
It was a tentacle that came close to me before I knew it.
Like a snake, a clump of tentacles wriggling with tiny jaws at the tip was approaching.
Elika and Heron’s complexions turned pale. The two of them thought they were having nightmares at the same time.
Elika came to her senses first and jumped up from her seat.
I brought a wooden sword as a weapon, but of course I couldn’t think of fighting a monster like that.
The moment he turned around and tried to run away, tentacles stretched out like rays of light and wrapped around Heron’s leg.
Heron, who fell to the floor, screamed and struggled.
Elika hurriedly swung her wooden sword and hit the tentacles holding Heron.
However, the tentacles, which were as hard as steel, did not budge.
Another tentacle reached out again, this time wrapping around her wooden sword. And she took it and broke it and threw it away.
As if the tentacles had no interest in Elika, they only held on to Heron and did not let go.
“I-it’s enough for me, run away! Elika…!”
Heron shouted with a face full of fear.
Elika ignored that and picked up the broken wooden sword again. She frantically slashed her tentacles with her jagged wooden sword.
This time, there must have been some damage, and black blood spurted out on the surface of the extremely hard tentacle.
The tentacle that let out a scream once pushed Elika away.
Hit by the tentacles, she floated in the air for an instant, then rolled across the floor.
The tentacles that started rampaging more ferociously mobilized all the rest of the tentacles and wrapped around Heron’s limbs.
Elika, barely able to hold herself, turned white at the sight.
The tentacles seemed to tear Heron’s body apart, and the distance was gradually widening.
“Ha, don’t…! No way!”
Just like that, it was just before a terrible catastrophe happened.
A sudden flash of white light illuminated the forest for an instant.
When sight returned, the tentacles were completely mangled and strewn about the floor. And Heron was unharmed.
“I almost got into trouble. Are you okay?”
Elika stared blankly at the scene, then turned her gaze towards the sound.
A man with a sword was approaching this way. It was Zerel.