Female Warrior Volume 1: Light and Shadow
Original novel in Chinese by: 御 我 (Yu Wo)
Chapter 7: Intertwined—translated by CesiumBlack
The two sprinted for quite a long period of time. It was only upon seeing that Silvester was gasping for breath as if he was on his deathbed that Red Cloak slowed her steps to a walk.
Silvester let out a sigh of relief. After walking for a section of road and recovering his breath, he immediately blurted out, “Warrior Queen, come with me to find my teacher!”
“No!” Red Cloak growled.
Silvester was startled but did not intend to give up just like that. After going through all that trouble to find the Warrior Queen, he could not give up no matter what!
“It’s not too far from here, only two days’ travel…”
Red Cloak stopped walking, her black pupils boring into Silvester’s face. She said indifferently, “I’m not going with you to see LL. You should give up!”
Hearing this, Silvester hung his head and said slightly sadly, “Even if it is a grave, you are still not willing to go?”
Red Cloak was shocked. She looked toward Silvester, using her eyes to wordlessly ask for confirmation. Her companion nodded his head slightly.
It was only after a lengthy pause that Red Cloak forced out a short sentence. “How did he die?”
“Illness,” Silvester honestly replied. “Two years ago, Teacher came down with a serious cold and passed away after a month of lying in bed. His body was not well in the first place, and he’d often burst out coughing uncontrollably for some reason…”
“It was internal injuries.” Red Cloak calmly explained, “He had previously suffered from extremely serious internal injuries.”
Silvester goggled. He had not known of this, always assuming that his teacher had always been sickly. In addition to that, his teacher had never explained this matter to him.
“Before he died, Teacher wanted me to seek you out. He would only let me inherit his harp and be freed from the duty of singing ’The Ballad of the Warrior Queen’ for three days if I found you and received an answer.” Silvester used a pleading tone of voice to beseech her, “Regardless of whether you’ll give me an answer or not, please at least come with me to visit my teacher!”
Red Cloak was unable to refuse this request for her to pay respects to a departed comrade.
While the two were walking through a forest, Red Cloak was originally content to just stay silent and follow Silvester, but the more they walked the more she thought that something was not quite right. She had initially thought that this forest was just a midway point to their destination, but the two of them had already been walking in this vicinity for quite some time. Don’t tell me this is the destination?
“You didn’t bury LL in a forest, did you?” Red Cloak angrily grabbed Silvester’s collar, growling, “If you buried him here, he’ll be dug up and devoured by wild animals! If LL’s grave is dug up, I’ll put you in a grave as well!”
Silvester hurriedly denied, “No, no, I buried Teacher in a very pretty place overlooking the ocean! It’s only that I need to find God first, before I go find Teacher! I remember that I put Him on a tree in this forest, but why can’t I find that tree…”
Red Cloak’s face was expressionless.
Seeing her blank face, Silvester felt that the situation had taken a turn for the worse, so he quickly yelled, “God! Where are You?! I forgot where I left You! Come out quickly!”
“Even if there really was a gold slime, you really think it would wait for you in a tree for this long?”
“He will!” Silvester confidently nodded his head, saying, “Without me, God won’t even move one bit!”
Damn it, I want to beat you up until you’re the one who can’t even move one bit! Red Cloak was on the verge of losing her temper. She honestly did not know where LL had gotten such a ridiculous student from.
Silvester’s entire body suddenly ended up on the ground. He let out a few grunts of pain, until he heard Red Cloak say, “Still not up yet? Do you need me to give you a kick or two?”
Normally, shouldn’t one ask if he needed some help getting up? Feeling aggrieved, Silvester got to his feet. However, he discovered his head now felt rather strange.
“Oh no, my head feels really heavy! I think I might have a concussion!”
After he had finished yelling worriedly, he noticed that Red Cloak’s stare was somewhat off. In fact, it seemed that her gaze was not directed at him but rather just above his head… He cried out in surprise and delight, “Ah! God, You came back?”
Red Cloak frowned and looked at the thing on top of Silvester’s head. It looked to be about the same as a regular slime— a translucent, gelatinous glob that somewhat resembled a fruit jelly. It was merely that its color was not a slime’s usual green but a golden color instead. She didn’t expect that there really would be a golden slime… Wait, does it have eyes?
Even though they were very small, like two sesame seeds suspended in the body of a fruit jelly, they really did look like eyes. However, slimes should not have eyes. In addition to that, this lump of a thing even had a brightly colored design in its middle, which at first glance looked to be a decorative motif.
Regardless of what it was, there was no way that it could be a god, even if Silvester was hugging it and repeating over and over: “God, good thing You didn’t get lost!”, “God, how have you been these past few days?”, “Hahaha, stop wiggling, it tickles!”
If this is a god, then every household would have a god—kept in the doghouse outside!
“God, this is a new friend! Let’s say hi!” Silvester introduced Red Cloak.
“God” wanted to show friendliness, initially looking as if he wanted to jump onto her. However, upon seeing Red Cloak’s eyes fill with a warning of, “If you dare get closer I’ll make mincemeat out of you,” “God” immediately shrank back into Silvester’s embrace, even using a tail he had just pulled out to tightly latch onto his arm, refusing to greet the other party even on pain of death.
“Hehe, God’s just very shy!” Silvester said laughingly.
“You call him God?” Red Cloak said insipidly, “I’ll give it a new name. From here on let’s change its name to Ohmygod!”
“Ohmygod?” Silvester nodded his head and said, “This name is pretty good. God is my little God, after all!”
It’s “Ohmygod” from oh my god what on earth is that!1 Red Cloak did not explain further, as the only reason she gave Ohmygod a name was to prevent Silvester from repeatedly calling a mutant slime “God” in the middle of a city, so as to avoid the trouble that would bring.
Red Cloak flatly reminded, “It’s getting late. We should hurry up.”
“We’re here, we’re here!”
The two reached their destination around evening the next day, much faster than the two days that Silvester had said it would take. This, of course, was due to the two’s traveling styles being vastly different. Silvester usually stopped frequently to look at the flowers or the grass, but Red Cloak, who had just gotten the news of a comrade’s death, did not have the inclination or patience to do such a thing.
After being kicked a few times, Silvester no longer had the inclination to stop frequently either.
They were at a patch of grass close to the edge of a cliff. The view was superb, allowing one to survey the ocean.
Even though Silvester had said it was at this spot, there was no tombstone. Red Cloak fixed an extremely unfriendly stare onto Silvester.
Silvester immediately pointed out a large stone that was not too far into the distance, saying, “Teacher is buried beside that large stone because he didn’t want me to set up a tombstone for him. He also wanted to be directly buried in the dirt, not even wanting to use a coffin. He said that once we die we have to return to the earth, and even if we’re put into a coffin and get a gravestone, won’t we rot just the same? So there’s no point at all.”
Red Cloak looked at the stone that was practically half a man’s height, while the sounds of Silvester’s explanation drifted to her ears. “I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to find his resting place again, so I buried him beside this large stone.”
Red Cloak nodded her head, as being interred directly into the earth truly sounded like something LL would prefer. She walked towards the large rock…
“You’re already stepping on Teacher,” Silvester pointed out.
Red Cloak expressionlessly took two steps back and lowered her head, staring at the ground.
“Um, I think you’re still stepping on his feet,” Silvester affirmed a bit unwillingly.
“Then let him be stepped on!” Red Cloak suddenly yelled angrily, “He deserves it anyways! Not even telling me that he was dying, that bastard!”
Silvester did not dare make a single sound.
After yelling, Red Cloak quieted down and for a long time did not speak a word. So long, in fact, that Silvester was beginning to feel drowsy. He had truly pushed himself too much during their journey yesterday evening and today and was so tired that he could sit on the ground and fall asleep straightaway…
“Lorenzo, you were wrong.”
The muttered sentence jolted Silvester awake. In fact, it was rather amazing how alert he was now, anxiously staring at Red Cloak’s back.
“When you asked me whether I still loved Lancel, I didn’t answer. Maybe I still loved him, but when holding off the onslaught of the demons, certainly the majority of the time I only prayed that the mountain pass would not be breached, that the soldiers beside me would live to see another day. Never mind receiving news of Lancel’s marriage, even if it had been news of his death, I’m afraid that I’d still have only been able to worry about the rear lines not having enough people to provide support or about how to best protect a mountain pass.
“Honestly, I am not suited to talking about love.”
Even though the root of all of this was in fact love, in the end, this initial reason was no longer important… Thinking this, Red Cloak let out a self-deprecating laugh.
“Then, what are you looking at, after all of this?” Silvester asked quietly, deeply afraid of angering Red Cloak who was currently talking with an old friend.
Red Cloak became silent then opened her mouth, “What I am looking at is the sky, freedom; they are my original dreams that I’ve forgotten for too long —the desire to explore every inch of this world.”
Finished speaking, she silently gazed at the large stone, her eyes filled with grief. She could not help but regret that she did not make her intentions clear at that time, causing a misunderstanding that still had not been cleared up. However, they had already been separated by death…
Silvester knelt on the ground and was digging as if he wanted to dig LL up. This forced Red Cloak to have no choice but to set aside her worries, gritting her teeth while asking, “What are you doing?”
Silvester replied in a happy tone of voice, “Digging up the harp! I finally got an answer after a lot of difficulty, so I can finally inherit Teacher’s harp.”
Harp? Red Cloak did not continue to speak, only watching silently as he dug up a wooden box. When he opened it to look inside, there was indeed a harp, the arc of the musical instrument decorated with gold siding and green jewels.
Red Cloak was very familiar with this harp, as this had been Lorenzo’s treasure. It was evident that it had now become someone else’s treasure. Silvester gazed upon it like he would gaze upon a lover, and there was so much awe in his eyes that it looked like it was about to overflow. Even when that “God” reached out a golden gelatinous arm to touch, it received a pat from Silvester, not letting Him mess with it.
“Since you like this harp so much, why didn’t you take it with you right after LL died?”
Silvester naturally replied, “Of course I could not! I had already promised Teacher that I would only take the harp after I’d gotten an answer to the question!”
Red Cloaked smiled and calmly said, “Your teacher was an idiot, but you are an even bigger idiot!”
“Yeah!” Silvester happily said, “My teacher even told me that if I hadn’t been idiotic enough, he would never have taken me as a student. He also said that what the Warrior Queen hates the most are clever people! She once told those clever people, ‘You can continue to use your cleverness in unimportant things; I won’t listen to even a word of your nonsense anyway! Follow my command or experience my blade firsthand, make your own choice!’”
“I’m not the Warrior Queen.” Red Cloak unenthusiastically said, “Not anymore.”
Hearing the first sentence, Silvester was shocked for a moment but after hearing the latter one… Not anymore? Since she isn’t anymore, then that means that she used to be, right?
Silvester started smiling, seizing that chance to ask, “Then if you aren’t the Warrior Queen, what should I call you?”
Red Cloak became unresponsive for a moment, but still replied, “I have a lot of names. Dancingblade Dragon was the one I used the most, in the past, but I don’t want to use it right now. Hmmm…you can just call me Carol.”
“Dancing? A dancing blade, like in a dance? And your family name is Dragon? That’s a very unusual surname.” Silvester was in fact very curious about the name Dancingblade.
Carol shot him a quick look of hidden surprise, saying, “You’re actually the first person to get that right, as Dancingblade is in fact a name that the elves gave me. However, everyone upon hearing it would always assume it refers to a blade wielded for battle, so later on I directly used Warriorblade instead.”2
“You’ve seen elves?” Silvester was envious to the point that his eyes were nearly bugging out of his head. Those elves, beautiful yet existing only in legend, were assuredly the race that all wandering bards most wanted to see.
“A long time ago.” Carol’s brief answer made it clear that she did not want to explain.
“Can you…” Tell me, who was it that gave you the name of Carol?
“No.” Carol cut him off with a single word.
“I didn’t even say anything yet!” Silvester immediately protested.
“I said no.”
“Not even a single thing?”
“Then, can I stop following you?”
“No.” After Carol had reflexively answered, she stared blankly for a while and then frowned at the bard.
Silvester let out a smile that was so sickeningly sweet that it was as cavity-inducing as a piece of cake, saying, “So I can’t stop following you? Then I have no choice but to follow you! Please give me your guidance, Carol. I am called Silvester Uriah Nate, and I want to become the world’s greatest wandering bard!”
After hearing that tongue-twisting name, Carol calmly said, “Oh, so it’s Sun (S.U.N.)? Not bad, this name is very easy to remember.”
“…You can call me Silvester.”
“Sun, it’s getting late. We should go now.”
“If that’s not short enough, you can call me Silvie… Wait! What did you say? We should go now? You mean I can really follow you? Carol, don’t walk that fast, wait for me!”
1 “Ohmygod’s name”: Before being named, he was referred to as God, 神 (Shén). Carol names him小什 (Xiǎo Shén), which literally translates to “Little What,” from what the heck is that? It sounds the same as小神 (Xiǎo Shén), which means “Little God,” so Silvester thought it was a good name. In our attempt to still have his name come across as a pun and to include both the meaning of “god” and “what the heck,” we will be calling him Ohmygod.
2 Dancingblade and Warriorblade: Both Dancingblade and Warriorblade are pronounced the same in Chinese as wǔ dāo but use different written characters. The written character used in Dancingblade means dance while the character used in Warriorblade refers to fighting. When people hear Carol’s name, WuDao, they normally mistake the “Wu” in her name to mean fighting when it means dancing instead. Silvester is the first person who correctly inferred the true meaning behind her name.