Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
Compared to their journey to the Tower of Eradication, the merchant group’s return journey to Blade Fangs Camp was a lot more peaceful. Apart from a few corpses that lay beside the supply points, they did not bump into another soul, let alone running into orcs and desert bandits. They also saw very few animals.
Everyone knew why it was so. When they thought of this, many of the people’s moods became bad.
The merchants kept a distance from Dante’s Greatsword as usual, and stayed at the rear with their eight empty camels. There was hatred and indignance in their gazes as they stole glances at the mercenaries, easily undetected.
With only a few people left, the mercenaries walked wearily, leading the way at the front with two camels. They did not get to keep any of their war horses. Dean argued strongly on just grounds with the merchants (even threatening them with his sword) and ‘temporarily borrowed’ the two camels from them in the name of safety.
Dean and Mickey walked frontmost, dragging their tired bodies with gloomy hearts as they identified the way home. From time to time, they discussed the position of the next supply point.
Old Hammer had not recovered from his injury yet. He placed half his weight on the camel and advanced laboriously while coughing. He looked like he was about to fall at any time. Louisa walked worriedly behind him, ready to catch him if he fell. Quick Rope walked in a very depressed mood behind her and looked like he was much troubled by something. At the same time, he had lost interest in making jokes and promoting his business.
The atmosphere among the entire troop was quiet and depressing. Death and blood had eaten away the mercenaries’ once relaxed and pleasant mood. After getting ambushed, fighting, losing their members and being extorted, it was as if that happy troop could never return.
The prince could only remain silent in this situation. He tightened the crossbow behind his shoulder and straightened the face scarf he used to shield himself from the sun, walking self-consciously at the end of the group of mercenaries. After fighting side-by-side with them against the orcs, he was a lot closer to this team which had suffered devastating losses.
Fortunately, perhaps because the cavaliers of Constellation had cleared most of the threats, or because their bad luck had finally ended that, apart from the endless yellow sand beneath their feet and the scorching sun, they did not run into any more accidents on their way back. And as they continued on their journey back, Thales sensed a peculiar feeling with every step he took on the sand. The ground beneath his feet seemed to have come alive again, telling him the direction and topographic features of the land after he took each step.
‘So’ Thales had his own speculation as he looked at the vast expanse of yellow sand around him, which remained the same as before.
Finally, one day, as the sun was setting and the team continued to advance quietly, Thales stopped as he climbed a sand dune. The mercenaries in front of him had stopped.
Louisa exhaled. The meaning behind it was complicated. No one said anything.
Thales caught up with the rest and asked carefully, “What’s wrong?”
Dean turned and said, “We’re here.”
Thales paused momentarily. The prince followed Dean’s gaze and, with indescribable emotions in his heart, lifted his head to look down the sand dune at the seemingly endless horizon of the desert.
The teenager was then startled.
It was a fort. A fort that stood on the desert. No, there was not just one fort. There were several forts. There were countless forts of various sizes and styles spread out in his field of vision.
They appeared behind a low wall that was so long that there was no end to it, and they were situated between a few thick and large sand dunes. The distance between them varied greatly.
Some of the forts stood alone in the open field, away from the other forts. Some clustered together, practically squeezing on each other. Some were built in the style of sentry towers and pointed at the sky while standing tall on the ground. Some were square with earth-brown stone staircases that could be vaguely seen connecting different floors of the fort. Some were angular, thick and solid, and were obviously used for defence purposes. Some were broad and low, and looked more like it was mostly inhabited by commoners. Some were ten something meters tall and stood out among the forts between the sand dunes. Some were low and seemed like they could only be used to dry clothes.
Perhaps it was because they were hit by the sand blown by the wind, these forts’ colors were similar to the sand and stone. Some parts even had scorch marks left by smoke and flames. From afar, they looked like a pile of poor-quality blocks on a beach.
If it were not for the vegetation that grew between the forts, the bases that appeared beneath many of the forts, the Double Cross-Shaped Stars Flag that fluttered tall atop the frontmost fort, the wooden chevaux de frise placed everywhere around the low walls, and the people shuttling back and forth between the forts, busy with their daily activities, Thales would swear upon his name that he almost thought these were the ruins of some ancient desert city.
Dean’s gaze was complicated as he stared at the familiar place. “Blade Fangs Dune Blade Fangs Camp.”
‘Blade Fangs Dune?’ Thales turned his head in astonishment to evaluate the man-made buildings that stood starkly in the wilderness.
“After you go past this campwhich is large enough to sustain the lives of a few thousand peoplehead east for a day and you won’t be stepping on yellow sand anymore.” Dean tapped Thales’ shoulder. “Congratulations, Wya, the Great Desert ends here.”
‘It ends here…’ Thales stared at the fluttering flag of Constellation in the distance, felt his sense of direction return to his heart, and sighed slowly.
The merchants caught up. When they saw the familiar scene before their eyes, many of them wept tears of joy.
“I knew it.” Tormorden heaved a sigh of relief. His face was then full of sorrow. “But our goods”
His expression quickly changed. “Hey, Big Dean, we’re very grateful that you escorted us along the way. Honestly speaking, you are the greatest guide and bodyguard I have ever seen. Really, if it were someone else But you saw too that we were out of luck for this trip. We lost everything we owned. There will be some problems with cash-flow, so you might have to wait for a while for the final payment we promised”
Dean’s expression darkened and he stared at Tormorden coldly. The mercenaries’ gazes also grew cold altogether.
“Wait for a while?” Mickey said softly. “Then why don’t you ‘wait for a while’ in the desert, too? We’ll send you back after your money arrives.”
Tormorden’s smile immediately froze on his face
…but he reacted quickly and turned. He avoided the eyes of the bald mercenary and the Barren Bone man, and looked at Louisa. “I’m not repudiating my debt And I swear in the name of the Tormorden Family that we built up our fortune by being lenders. In those days, even the Jadestar Royal Family borrowed money from us. We’re the most trustworthy”
Thales arched an eyebrow.
Tormorden’s gaze flickered around. He gripped the camel’s reins tightly, as if he wanted to jump on it the next moment and flee. “I’m just saying that you have to understand us My dear Louisa, think about how good a person your father Old Dante is. He helped the poor and was always glad to donate to charities. And I’ve been friends with him for so many years, surely I won’t go back on my word for this little bit of money?”
With a sorrowful and reminiscent expression, he looked hopefully at the female captain.
Louisa fixed her gaze on him. In the end, she sighed in resignation.
“Forget it. Don’t use the ‘I know your father’ tactic anymore. I never expected you to pay anyway,” Louisa grumbled and shook her head. “You had better think about how to go through the guards The blockade order is still in force, but we’re entering the camp at this time”
The moment Tormorden heard her say to forget it, his face lit up.
“I knew that you’re a good person.” The big-bellied merchant was elated. He seemed like he wanted to tap Louisa’s shoulder, but his arm was shoved away by Mickey when he was halfway there. “Don’t worry, we have already bribed Duro, that insatiably greedy freak… He said that no one will make things difficult for us”
They soon found out whether Duro’s words were effective.
“Duro?” The guard keeping an eye on Blade Fangs Camp stood before Tormorden and looked suspiciously at the merchant group which had nothing left other than ten camels. “He said that?”
Tormorden nodded submissively, grinning from ear to ear and looking like he was in his homeground. “Yes, yes, yes, I’m very close to brother Duro, you just have to ask him when he comes back We didn’t know about the blockade order ”
The guard sized every single one of them up with furrowed eyebrows. “Is that so? You are very close to Duro?”
Tormorden waved his large hand and laughed. “Of course, we met each other on the way. We even drank together. Before leaving, I gave him a lot of good stuff. He even insisted on dispatching soldiers of the Stardust Unit to escort me back, but I refused”
Quick Rope widened his eyes and turned to look at Thales with an astonished gaze that said, “What in the world is he doing?!”
The guard nodded with a poker face. He then turned and whispered into the ear of a military officer who was of higher rank.
“Ah, I feel that things are not going to be good,” Old Hammer said in a soft voice.
Louisa furrowed her eyebrows a little. “Why?”
Old Hammer shook his head and pointed at the soldiers who stood guard in front of the chevaux de frise with unpleasant expressions. “Because I think I recognize them, they’re not”
Before he could finish, he saw the military officer nod. The officer took large strides forward and gave a stern order to the soldiers of Constellation present.
Tormorden’s face immediately paled!
The military officer coldly placed his hand on the weapon at his waist. “Going against the blockade order, heading out without permission, and even bribing the army How dare you.”
The mercenaries stared at one another, extremely shocked.
Tormorden waved his hands worriedly as he looked at the ten or so soldiers who placed their hands on their weapons and came forward to surround the mercenaries. “But Captain Duro said”
“I don’t care what that freak said!” the military officer said sternly. He pointed at the flag of Constellation above his crown. “This is Constellation soil and we are a sacred army. Before the law, no one can bend the rules for their own benefit!”
In an instant, it was as though Tormorden had become a helpless little kitten. He was rooted to the spot and looked like he had been wronged. “But Duro Aren’t you colleagues?”
The military officer scowled. “Which motherf*cker told you that we’re working together with those freaks?”
He took down the shield behind his back and tapped the pattern on it forcefully. Thales narrowed his eyes and saw in surprise that there was a large and frightening skull with four dark eye sockets on it.
“Can you see this clearly? This is the Four-Eyed Skull!” the military officer said arrogantly and complacently. “We’re from the Ruins and are the Fakenhaz Family’s soldiers!
“We’re dif-fe-rent from those b*stards of Williams’!”
Tormorden was utterly baffled. He stared at the unfamiliar skull and muttered, “Four-Eyed Skull”
Dean sighed softly. Meanwhile, Thales’ thoughts went deeper.
‘The recruits directly under the Fakenhaz Family are the ones guarding Blade Fangs Camp… This means that their commander is at least’
“All of you have two choices,” the military officer said arrogantly. “Pay the fine, or I’ll send you to the Prison of Bones”
As the merchants wailed in panic, the soldiers of Constellation inched towards them. The mercenaries gritted their teeth.
Thales, however, clenched his fists and wondered which one was the highest-ranking commander among these soldiers.
At that moment…
“Colin!” Old Hammer’s voice echoed, “Colin the Little Nose!”
The stern and just military officer was somewhat startled.
“Who?” The military officer with the small nose looked around, puzzled. “Who’s talking?”
“It’s me.” Old Hammer sighed and walked out of the crowd. “I served Lord Mahn together with you, and we were even ambushed while doing our business”
He did not have to continue.
Colin the Little Nose widened his eyes. Old Hammer chuckled in embarrassment. The mercenaries looked at one another and heaved a sigh of relief again.
A few minutes later, the merchants entered Blade Fangs Camp, dejected and despondent while being escorted by the soldiers. Their camels were led away by the soldiers of the Fakenhaz Family as a fine. Dante’s Greatsword stood on the other side and quietly waited for the result of Old Hammer’s negotiation.
“Oh my Sunset Goddess” While watching the ten camels being led away, Colin tapped Old Hammer’s shoulder with a smile and spoke in the Western Desert accent he was familiar with. “Hammer, how did you become a ‘sellsword’?”
Old Hammer sighed. “It’s a long story Has there been a big operation lately? Why are the soldiers of the Ruins and Wing Fort drafted here at the same time, and they even entered the desert with the regular troops?”
Thales’ interest was piqued by these words. He listened to them with his hell’s senses.
Colin rubbed his hands together. “That’s also a long story In the end, it’s not just them. This past one or two months, Blade Fangs Camp has been filled with recruits from all parts of the Western Desert including Brave Souls Fort, Wing Fort, Lykenan, and even the New Offering Land. Many of them are nobles who brought their own horses with them, or aristocrat soldiers. Even the Skull Guards, and the Raven Whistle Light Cavaliers are here, they take turns entering the desert”
Old Hammer furrowed his eyebrows. “What in the world happened? I saw them pursuing and attacking orcs in the desert.”
Colin shook his head. “I’m not sure, but I reckon that it’s because the Barren Bone people or gray mixed breeds are migrating east again. And since everyone who enters are basically cavaliers, for those walking on two legs like us”
“You’re forced to collect a road toll here?” Old Hammer looked from afar at the ten camels and Tormorden who was almost in tears.
Colin spread his arms out and did not answer.
Old Hammer sighed in resignation. “But these ten camels are all this bunch of people have”
“Don’t, Hammer, don’t plead for mercy on their behalf. You pity them, but who is there to take pity on us? Those from the regular army get wages from the king, but what about our rewards? It’s not even enough for us to buy a ball of yarn!” Colin sniffed in dissatisfaction. “You know, it’s September now, and my family’s mill is going into operation soon. My service period this time is long over, but I don’t know when my brothers and I can go home. One of the brothers in my team will be a father soon”
“But all of you are much too greedy, and the merchants will object to it. Are the nobles in the camp fine with this?”
Colin pouted. He was obviously in a bad mood. “Listen up, Hammer. It’s been a long time since you were in the army things are different from when we fought in the Desert War. The Fakenhaz Family is not in charge of Blade Fangs Camp anymore.” Small Nose waved his hand.
“This is the territory of the regular soldiers of the royal family now. Usually, those bastards under Williams are the ones who get the bribes. It isn’t often that we get to make some other source of income. If it weren’t for the fact that the regular troops left for an expedition and there isn’t enough manpower, do you think we’ll be able to stand here?
“So, who cares if they object? We take whatever we can. In any case, if something happens, it would be Williams’ problem”
Thales seemed to be deep in thought as he listened to these words.
“Listen up.” Colin put a hand around Old Hammer’s shoulder. “For old times’ sake, I won’t make things difficult for you guys, I won’t collect mercenary tax either. But when you go back, remember to send word to my father to guard my wife well, and not let that cripple from the next village f*ck her”
Finally, due to Old Hammer’s friendship with his former comrade, Dante’s Greatsword managed to enter the city without a hair on their heads damaged, despite the initial threat that was posed to them. Or rather, they entered this considerably huge oasis campsite in the desert.
After walking past the demarcation line formed by the low walls and the chevaux de frise, they saw a huge crowd.
Thales had not seen crowds for a long time. The people in the crowd jostled one another, and their faces could not be properly discerned due to how quickly they were moving.
Dean coldly pushed away a man who looked drunk, and gave his stomach a hard kick as he crumpled to the ground.
“You’re new, right? Go and steal from someone else. We’re not piggy banks! We’re Dante’s Greatsword. Haven’t you heard of us?”
Thales watched as the man got up from the ground and walked into another alley, cursing. There, a group of fierce men glared maliciously at them.
“I thought you died out there, Baldy.” One of the men rubbed his fists and said with a smile, “Oh, there’s also my beautiful little thorned flower, Louisa! When are you going to spend a night on my bed? I guarantee that it’s more comfortable than Big Dean’s bed!”
“Go f*ck yourself!” Louisa nonchalantly flipped him the bird and continued walking forward.
The man laughed loudly. “I’ll throw a piece of information into the bargain for free, Baldy.” He dug his nose. “It’s been very chaotic here lately! Don’t offend the soldiers! They might be some noble’s personal guards!”
When he heard this, the bald mercenary frowned. Dean turned and said to Thales,
“Follow us closely, don’t get lost. You won’t want to be left alone in Blade Fangs Camp; these people are scarier than the orcs.”
Behind them, Quick Rope nodded vigorously. Thales looked around in astonishment and anxiety as he walked on the ‘streets’ between the forts. He soon had a taste of Blade Fangs Camp’s ‘specialties’.
The architectural style here was even less orderly than a normal little village in Constellation. It was even more chaotic than Dragon Clouds City’s Shield District, and Eternal Star City’s Lower City District.
People came and went in great numbers over the yellow sand and dirt. The roads between the forts were uneven and of varying widths, making the place seem even more chaotic and disorderly. The clothes the people on the street wore were completely different from the Northlanders and the Constellatiates Thales had seen; their clothes were light and shielded them from the sun. Many of them had their heads and faces covered.
If you add the voices into the picture
“Velvet from the Dragon-Kissed Land that not even the king gets to enjoy, selling for only two silver coins for a bundle!”
“Do you want to know the story of your life? An authentic descendant of the Barren Bone people, the Desert God’s chosen people, will tell your future. Six copper coins for each time”
“Hey, little handsome, don’t you feel lonely sleeping alone at night? Do you want to see my face? Why don’t you take a look at my thighs? Yes, I’m a man Haih, how rude. If you don’t believe it, come and touch me, which part of my body is inferior to a woman’s? Hey, you already touched me and you’re leaving just like that? Come, look at my pecs, my fists, and the brothers behind me. Say it one more time, are you paying up, are you paying up, or are you paying up?”
“Do you really want to get rid of someone? Do you really hate someone? Do you really want to f*ck someone else’s wife? The experienced Malak the mercenary has seen a lot of blood and will kill someone for you for ten gold coins! I guarantee that the murder won’t be carried out in the city, the method will be clean, and the corpse will be neatly disposed of. My methods are absolutely not against the law and I enjoy a great reputation among the people! You can pay a deposit first and make the final payment after the task is complete!”
“What? You’re saying that I stole your wallet? Motherf*cker, do I look like someone who would steal your stuff? Take a look again if this is your wallet Yes, it is! I never steal. This is an open robbery! Go f*ck your mother!”
“Believers! Innocent lambs! The calamities are coming back soon, Dark Night will return in the end and only those who believe gets to live! Head to the Dark Night Temple and watch the newest play, ‘The Story Between the Dark Night God and the King of Renaissance’s Queen that Must be Told’. There’s a chance that you’ll get an unexpected reward Ah? This isn’t allowed to be shown? Haih, you heard wrongly. I was talking about the newest play, ‘The Story Between the Dark Night God and the Queen of a Certain Kingdom’s Founding King that Must be Told’… Haih, what are all of you doing let me go Mmh-all of you can’t-all of you can’t interfere with artistic freedom the Dark Night will return in the-help!”
“Collecting weapons, collecting weapons! Knives, spears, swords, axes, crossbows, shields, pikes, and hammers. It doesn’t matter if they’re used or new, if they’re for military use or your private collection! Priority to those with a large number of weapons, the price we offer is reasonable!”
“What’re you going to do when the campsite is sealed off? Billy the pedlar will lend you a hand! We’ll make a detour ’round east and bypass the desert! We’ll help you avoid the patrols, and we guarantee your safety! A comfortable camel group straight to Sera Dukedom, one gold coin each seat!”
Merchants peddling in the streets, armed mercenaries, adventurers in a hurry, prostitutes who flashed almost every body part they could, and, of course, simple-minded soldiers who gathered together in groups. Wherever they went, the place would be bustling with activity and was very lively.
Dante’s Greatsword squeezed past the strange crowd made of different groups of people. They would occasionally use fierce glares and crude actions to scare off many of those who were eager to cause trouble. According to Mickey, it was Thales”piggy bank-like demeanor’ that attracted many of the people’s attention, and that they would have gotten into even more trouble if they were not fully equipped.
They finally walked past a fort with windows on it and reached a clearing that was not too narrow or inaccessible.
Dean stopped walking and said solemnly, “I need to go to the garrison to find Frank. He needs to know what happened this time.”
“I’ll go with you.” Louisa’s expression was downcast. “I’m the captain, after all.”
Dean nodded. Mickey looked at Dean, then at Louisa. He sighed and said, “Then I’ll take care of the extra equipment.”
Old Hammer took over. “Then we’ll go to My Home and meet up with Simon. We can also ask about Wya’s family while we’re there.”
Thales was shocked, but before he could say anything, the mercenaries spread out in a show of great cooperation and he was led by Quick Rope to follow behind Old Hammer. They went into another, remote road.
“I’m telling you,” Quick Rope said with a sigh, “Do you have any idea how frightening that place is? The first time I went there, I ran into a pretty girl, but in the end Ah, life is filled with unexpected things, Wya, you have to treasure your life. Such as”
Thales grimaced, then looked to Old Hammer for help. When Old Hammer heard Quick Rope’s words, he smiled and without hesitation, he put a stop to Quick Rope’s intent to conduct business.
“It’s said that, at the beginning, there were only sand dunes in Blade Fangs Dune; there were no camps around. Then, a long time ago, a merchant group built a fortress so that they could use it to rest. As more people entered the desert, more fortresses were built. When the number was so great that it could rival the size of a small town, some King of Constellation or some duke of the Western Desert took it as their territory.
“Clearly, this place was too important Blade Fangs Dune might have been divided between many families, but most of these families perished due to war or to the desert’s ambush.
“After the Bloody Year, this placed turned into Baron Williams’ territory. He defends the desert with Western Destern Hill, but he isn’t Fakenhaz Family’s vassal; he’s a direct vassal of the king. I once wondered whether he could collect enough tax from this place where there’s not even a single place that he could use to farm crops, but clearly, based on what we’re seeing now”
Old Hammer stared at the strange and foreign people on the streets and shrugged. Thales nodded.
“Blade Fangs Dune is an infamous place known for being filled with chaos. There are plenty of opportunities here, but also plenty more danger.” Old Hammer sighed. Then, with a voice filled with nostalgia and sentimentality, he said to Thales,
“There are plenty of criminals from the kingdom who were banished here. Some of them are sent to the Prison of Bones, some form their own suicide squad, and those who survived become citizens of this city, though I’m uncertain whether I should call it a city. The farmers and artisans who can’t survive at the borders as capably as the simple-minded soldiers have nowhere to go and become like this.
“There are more bad people than there are good ones here, more criminals than good citizens, more weapons than food. When war breaks out, this place will become even more chaotic.”
Thales walked up a hill. The noise around him suddenly grew much quieter. Soon afterwards, he saw an incredibly tall tower behind a dome-shaped fort.
It was about a hundred feet in height, and was narrow and tall. It seemed to stand on an empty spot in the center of the camp, among many fortresses.
It was far away from the other buildings, causing it to look incredibly isolated. Thales could not help but notice that there were very few people around the tower. The various people who were originally chatting up a storm would strangely fall silent when they passed by it. They would turn their heads and look towards other places as they swiftly left the area.
It was as if they were afraid of something.
Thales squinted his eyes. He saw that the window at the top of the tower had been sealed shut by wooden planks.
‘A tower with very few people around it’ A thought appeared in Thales’ heart.
“That tower sure is tall. Is there someone important staying there?” the teenager asked curiously.
Old Hammer followed his gaze and looked over at it, his expression then darkened immediately.
“No. The nobles would never stay there. I believe Baron Williams, too, would not stay there That tower is known as the Ghost Prince. Over the years, no one has dared to stay there.”
A light crease appeared between Thales’ brow. “What prince now?”
“I know, I know!” Quick Rope was practically beaming. “This is a rumor in Blade Fangs Camp that tower is filled with bad luck”
But Old Hammer cut him off sternly.
“Hush!… Eighteen years ago, during the Bloody Year, the Barren Bone tribes and orcs occupied Blade Fangs Camp. I was serving the army there at the time.”
The veteran’s expression was tense as he pointed at the tower. “Before the camp fell into enemy hands, a noble princeand by that I mean a prince’s sona true blood of the royal family, not a prince from those fairy tales Anyway, he came to the Western Frontlines, to Blade Fangs Camp, and took command of the army as well as rewarded them.
“…He lived in there, the tallest tower in Blade Fangs Camp.”
Thales felt his heart tense up. He stared at the lonely tower and an ominous feeling rose in his heart.
“One night, that prince was pushed down the tallest window in the tower.”
Thales was stunned. He stared at the small window sealed shut with wooden plankslocated at the very end of his field of visionand then shifted his gaze slowly down to the empty ground at the bottom of the tower.
The prince instantly felt a chill through his body.
“I only heard the stories of what happened later from other people, after I was released from service.” Old Hammer exhaled slowly. “Apparently, King Kessel caught the murderer after the war.
“Aspunishment, he locked the murderer and his accomplices in the highest room, then lit a fire at the first level. The flames went up the tower.”
Quick Rope let out a breath. He pursed his lips.
“Quite a number of people jumped down the window because they couldn’t handle being burned, and they paid the price for the prince’s death.
“Regardless of whether they were burned to death or whether they fell to their deaths, the criminals’ screams and wails disappeared within the very first hour yet the fire burned for an entire day.” Old Hammer’s voice turned cold and wretched.
“Strangely though, even though the flames burned all day, the tower still stood tall and never collapsedthis is the most mysterious part. Once the flames were extinguished, be it the outer walls or the inner walls, the tower did not show even a single hint of having ever been burned. The walls were clear, as if they were brand new.”
Quick Rope pouted. As Old Hammer told the story, he nodded, appearing very serious, and with a grim gaze.
Thales stared at the tower, and when he saw how perfect its walls were and how completely undamaged it was, he felt his skin crawl.
“From that day on, all sorts of strange things happened there: Songs at midnight, phantoms at the window, faint screams and wails, the sound of something being burned They even happened during the day, and the baron was forced to bar that window.
“There were some nobles dispatched here who did not believe in ghosts and wanted to stay there but”Old Hammer shook his head quietly”all who have stayed there died in the Great Desert and never returned. They did not manage to even move their luggage and all the things they left behind. So everyone said that the tower was cursed by the prince’s death.”
Old Hammer subconsciously drew closer to Thales and pulled him back a little. His expression was dark. “From then on, the locals called the tower Ghost Prince.”
Quick Rope shook his head and clicked his tongue. Thales stared dazedly at the incredibly ghastly, miserable, and lonely tower.
“Who is it?” the boy asked absent-mindedly. “Which prince died there…?”
Old Hammer shook his head. “I forgot. I only saw him from a distance when he entered the camp.” The veteran pulled a long face. “The prince was very handsome. I might go as far as to say he was very pretty. He’s even more attractive than a girl.”
‘Very handsome…’ Thales gulped. A name he heard a long time ago rose in his heart. ‘…Ghost Prince.’
“But what’s the use of being handsome?” Old Hammer snorted softly and stared at the empty spot beneath Ghost Prince. His gaze was unfocused.
“On that night, I was among the first group of patrolmen who rushed to this place, and I remember very clearly that the beautiful prince” He sighed slowly.
“…plunged to the ground face down.”