Crownless: The Fallen World - Chapter 33
In the rich part of the forest, Bonham hid behind a large bush, waiting for the townspeople to leave and then he could enter the inconspicuous cavern. Though the people were picking fruits and shoving them in their baskets, some entered the cavern with torches in their hands.
He waited patiently, even if he had this urge to barge in, for 2 long hours. That was when he saw two huge sacks that the villagers were carrying, the sacks’ structure were preventing whatever the odor was to come out.
The cavern was shut off with a huge stone as it rolled to block the entrance. It took 5 strong villagers to do it and Bonham thought if he could do it without attracting them later.
When the villagers passed by in front of his bush, he tried to move swiftly to hide from their sight. He was too focused on hiding that he bumped his head on a tree. Oh fck!
Then there was a sudden light that invaded his sight, “Aren’t you the one who was with the group earlier?”
He secretly calmed his nerves as he rubbed his aching head, “Yes, I am. I was just walking around and went for a nap here. I didn’t know this is…” he looked at their baskets filled with fruits and his eyes wandered at the two sacks, “your spot to forage and hunt. I’m sorry if I somewhat disturbed you.”
“Does that mean you’re alone?”
“Yes. Do you want to talk to my group?” He made himself oblivious to the situation when his brain was panicking for something to escape into.
But it was already too late when 3 pairs of strong and rough hands restrained him, “How about coming with us? I know you’ve been snooping around us because your leader was suspicious of us.”
“W-where are you taking me?”
The man who first talked to him ordered to open the cavern, “We already took our quota for the day. You’re so lucky to not die today.”
And here he was, tied, with his mouth shut with tape, and sitting on the dirty ground, soiling his prized possessions with germs. It was a very dark cavern but he saw some flames flickering at the other end of the path and there were low rumblings.
Bonham cursed inside his head and crawled like a worm to see whatever was in that end. Wheezing, he rested when he was halfway through there. His eyes started to dart everywhere to find something, just something to no vain.
When he felt that his strength was somewhat regained, he started to crawl again with his dirt-stained face. At the arch of the stone, he stopped then saw a lot of humans, possibly around 10 to 13, tied and sitting weakly on the ground. A cage surprised him and saw a girl with white hair and bandages around her wrists.
He groaned loudly to attract their attention, mostly just the white-haired girl. He received weak glances from the people, fortunately, their mouths weren’t taped or some sort, but he failed to attract the attention of the white-haired girl.
He heard quiet and rough mumbles, “Another one…”
“Although we have hope, people won’t come to save us…”
“I just wanted to die but not in their hands…”
“But his clothes and that badge… isn’t that the logo of the High Order?”
The white-haired girl’s head jolted and snapped her head on Bonham’s direction. Her eyes sparkled with delight and waved happily at him, “Tavis! Hi! How did you get in here?”
“Gal… quiet… My weak ears can’t handle it.”
“Oops. Sorry, sir.” Cielle opened her Holowrist and retrieved a small cylindrical metal, it was a universal key she got from the black market. She inserted the cylindrical metal inside the keyhole as she waited for a good 5 seconds before she felt the material tightened then she twisted it. The cage was opened loudly and she skipped towards Bonham to free him from his restraints.
The people watched her with widened eyes. She was the last person to enter and she caused mayhem the instant she was thrown inside. Like how she cut her restraints with a scalpel and observed the stones like it were her babies. The townspeople had to keep her in a cage to let her stay put but it looks like it was their mistake to keep this girl in a cage.
Cielle pulled the tape from Bonham’s mouth with enthusiasm that made a red, rectangular blotch around his mouth, “I’m so glad to see you here!”
“Ugh… Cielle, why didn’t you escaped earlier?” Bonham groaned and tried to lessen the sting around his mouth. His eyes followed the figure of the albino as she freed the prisoners.
“I tried once but I was too excited to even notice a person just near that stone. That doesn’t matter now! We have to escape from here and then we’ll get the others in the town. But… how… they’re basically everywhere.”
Bonham was eating ice cream and covered his mouth with the cold cream, “I can guarantee that they won’t be back until tomorrow because they have a lot they hunted. It must be dinner.”
“Hunt?” The people inside were confused. The townspeople never hunted wild animals and just forage fruits to feed them then bring back the excess.
Cielle helped the prisoners and made them drink herbal medicines. She also tended their body one by one, “Do you mean those two sacks they brought back?”
Bonham hummed in response, “Yeah. They must’ve hunted big animals like a moose, I smelled blood in the entrance too.”
The albino stopped bandaging one of the injured prisoners as she pathetically looked at the now confused Bonham. The male confusely muttered, “What?”
“Those two sacks were humans. You don’t know the smell difference between human blood and animal blood?”
“This little lass is right. Those were my party companion when we visit this town. 1 year ago, we were 25 but now, I’m the only one left.”
“I have 10 companions too. We’re down to 3,” Someone spoke with remorse and his voice was filled with hatred.
“I don’t even know why we were left alive. Even the Lord was locked up here and then poof, he’s gone.”