A bright smile spread across Cahill’s face.
“Who made it?”
Holly asked, looking back at Adam and Badin. Seeing her back, Cahill pursed his lips.
“Badin does some cooking.”
Adam swallowed the food in his mouth and replied. As if the delicious food had melted his heart, the thorns were missing from his voice as he spoke to her.
Holly smiled and turned her head away. While she didn’t know how long this would take, it was better than having bad relationships with people who would be traveling together for a long time.
“Someone is coming.”
As they were in the middle of eating, Adam opened his mouth in a tense voice as he put down the skewer with meat remaining. His hardened expression made Holly anxious as well. She glanced at him as she tossed the firewood she was carrying into the fire.
“Aren’t the elves coming to meet you?”
With her voice full of worry, Cahill held her hand from her side. Holly gazed back at him, shivering at the coldness that reached her head.
As their eyes met, Cahill curled the corners of his eyes.
‘Because Cahill is very strong…’
His defenseless smile put her heart at ease.
‘Besides, I now have Shiver.’
Holly raised her hand and touched the forehead where Shiver’s stem had touched. She felt that she was connected to the spirit.
A small smile appeared on her lips.
Cahill, who had been watching that from the side, gave her a disgruntled look. Seeing that she touched her forehead, he pulled her hand and pressed his lips against the back of her hand.
“What are you doing?”
Holly asked, opening her slightly closed eyes and looking alternately between the back of her hand and Cahill.
Cahill replied with a proud expression, showing that he was proud of what he had done.
“If you call my name, I will come and fight for you.”
Holly couldn’t shut her mouth that was wide open in absurdity. It was clear that Cahill was copying Shiver. She pursed her lips as the corners of her mouth twitched.
Though she thought it was childish, laughter escaped from her lips.
“You’re really jealous of everything.”
A sudden voice interrupted her laughter. Adam was staring at Cahill with his wide eyes as if surprised. Half was being sarcastic, half was genuinely surprised.
“You can rename me if you want.”
On the contrary, Cahill stared at her as if he couldn’t hear Adam’s voice. Holly turned her head back to Cahill, and belatedly, she understood his words and smiled awkwardly.
“No, that’s a bit…”
Hearing her refusal, he drooped his shoulders, looking as if his world had fallen apart.
Seeing his downcast face made her feel weak enough to give him anything he wanted. Still, no matter how much the parents see their son as an heir, they would be saddened if the name they gave him was changed.
Seeing Holly’s determined gaze, Cahill clicked his tongue and contorted his face. And as if he had never whined before, he looked calm and ripped open the meat with his teeth.
Then, Adam turned his head, recalling a fact they had forgotten.
‘Oh, he said someone was approaching.’
She followed him, holding her breath. But Holly, with her normal abilities, couldn’t hear anything, although she put her hands over her ears and focused on the sound. As her eyebrows gathered, it wasn’t long before she heard the rustling of leaves.
“They’re getting closer!”
Startled, Holly pulled herself up.
“Don’t worry, you can keep eating.”
When Cahill said in a friendly voice, holding her wrist, Holly slumped as her body fell onto the floor again. Then, he smiled happily as he held her hand.
“Yes! I will deal with it, Your Highness.”
Adam stood up with a proud face, thinking that accepting Cahill’s order was a great honor. Then, just as he had said, five people jumped from the trees.
Holly glanced at the pointy ears of the one in front of her.
‘It’s an elf!’
The people who came to the party were elves. Compared to the people of Centuria, while their skin was pale and beautiful, she didn’t think they were particularly more beautiful.
‘Is it because of Cahill…’
Holly glanced up, and Cahill met her gaze with puzzled eyes. He couldn’t help but smile as if he was happy just looking at her.
Holly turned her head back to the elves.
‘I don’t think it’s a good atmosphere, is it?’
The elf’s gaze at the party was sharp. Holly put down the skewer she was holding, as this didn’t seem to be a place to continue eating.
“Why stop eating? Are you full already?”
Cahill asked with a puzzled look. Enchanted by the lively voice that cut through the cold atmosphere, she raised her head and looked at the elves.
“How did humans get here?”
The elf who stood at the front opened his mouth as a representative. The cold gaze passed one person after another and reached the bonfire. Holly winced and hid the twig she had been using to sift through the fire behind her back.
“If you start a fire in the forest, you will face the death penalty.”
Hearing those words, she let out a low groan, haunted by the memories that came to her. As an elf, Layla ate only food that didn’t touch fire, such as fruit and salad, while staying at Halidem.
‘…The spirit wasn’t the only thing to be careful of.’
Her eyes rolled around incessantly at the atmosphere that was worse than she thought. Badin, who was heating up the meat that was too cold, was thinking of putting out the fire under the pressure of the elves.
“There is a difference between making a fire and lighting a fire. Unlike the elves who lived on the highlands, humans cannot survive the night in the mountains without fire.”
Hearing Adam’s protest against the elves, Holly’s heart was heavy. She was the only one in the party who couldn’t stand cold.
“I am not interested in human characteristics. If you set foot on our soil, you deserve to follow our rules.”
The elf responded without even moving. It seemed that even if stabbed, not a single drop of blood would come out of the expressionless face. After his words, the elf glanced back, and the elves who received the signal tried to catch Holly and the others.
“Wait a minute!”
Adom hurriedly raised one hand to stop them, and with the other, he rummaged through his pocket and pulled out a box containing the token.
The elf’s eyebrows twitched at the frenzied action.
“This is a token the elder of the elves gave to our king as a sign of friendship.”
As he opened the lid of the box and showed the token, the elf tried to take the whole box and check it, although Adam did not loosen his grip on her box. In the end, the elf had to lower his eyes to check the box’s contents.
“Even so, it does not mean that you have not committed serious sins.”
After examining the evidence, the elf raised his head again and said, staring straight at Adam. He still had a cold gaze, unwavering.
“I think we should talk to the elder.”
Looking back at Cahill, Adam said with a face that was sorry. Seeing Holly’s worried face, Cahill nodded reluctantly.
The elves moved forward without hesitation, even in the dark forest. Holly and the party also moved around, surrounded by them.
“It’s rather good that we don’t have to wander in the woods.”
When Badin whistled softly in front of the stone wall, she looked at him admiringly. Of the close to ten people, Badin and Cahill were the only two not caught in the atmosphere.
“Tell the elder that the criminals have been arrested.”
With the representative elf’s words, one of the elves guarding the door glanced at the party and ran inside.
“What shall we do now?”
Holly snuggled close to Cahill and whispered. The sense of crisis that had been forgotten while walking slowly rose again. The next moment, he hugged her, who approached him as if telling her not to worry about the future.
“Adam will take care of it.”
“He’s the one who was assigned to do such a thing, right?”
Saying so, Cahill fiddled with her waist and looked around. His nonchalant attitude forced Holly to relax.
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