Rockwall Lou – V2 Chapter 10

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟏𝟎

(10)

“Captain. Smoke, spotted.”

As usual, after conveying the color and location of the signal fire, Gangi seemed to ponder for a moment and then said,

“Luo. You don’t have to ride the wagon.”

The signal fire came from a place called “Poison Dew Marsh”, where harmful air emanates from the marshes. The transport team and the horses wear special masks, but there isn’t a size that fits Luo.

“So today, assist Crozet.”

“Okay.”

“Not okay.”

“Yes!”

“And also.”

Uncharacteristically, Gangi hesitated.

“Tomorrow, it’s the end.”

It’s almost a month since Luo started working at “Star Guardian”. Tomorrow, the contract ends.

Luo felt a bit down. Once his job with the “Star Guardian” is over, he’ll have to talk to Knox at the office and get the next job. Luo was not fond of dealing with Knox, who often used complex words.

“So, I’m thinking of taking a day off tomorrow.”

The idea of an entirely unplanned day weighed heavily on Luo.

“Don’t look so worried. You can come to “Star Guardian”.”

As Luo looked puzzled, Gangi averted his eyes.

“It’s lunchtime.”

It’s time for lunch.

“There, I want to hear a little story.”

“A story?”

“Your story.”

“About what?”

“Nothing special. I’ll just ask a few questions, just answer them. Be honest.”

Cutting off the conversation, Gangi ordered Luo to call the seniors.

For a change, he was on the sending off side of the transport team.

“Guidance of the stars. And, good results.”

“PIGYAAAAAAAA!”

Pii and Mii dashed off and were soon out of sight.

According to Crozet, “Poison Dew Marsh” is inhabited by demon beasts with valuable parts. It’s a challenging task, especially for those responsible for dissecting them.

“But “Poison Dew Marsh” is far away, so I think it will take some time. I want to do the housework in the meantime.”

Lately, demon beasts are brought in daily, so chores like cleaning and laundry have piled up.

Crozet, with a changed expression and tone, warned.

“Today, I’ll work you hard. Be prepared.”

“O, Okay.”

Crozet smiled warmly.

First was fetching water. Luo had fetched water alone in the village before, so this was easy for him. But the “Star Guardian” is a large establishment. Together with Crozet, they fetched water several times, storing it in large jars.

Then weeding. There are many seniors with bad knees and backs, so areas not in plain sight tend to get neglected. This, too, was a familiar task for Luo, who had lived alone for so long. He pulled the grass out by the roots, shook off the dirt, and stacked them up.

“Luo, you can go slow.”

Without stopping his work, Luo responded.

“It’s okay. I’m fine.”

Despite saying she’d work him hard, Crozet called it quits soon after.

“Alright, that’s enough. Let’s take a break.”

“Already?”

“It’s much cleaner now. Thank you for helping.”

 ㅤ

After that, Maasa and the others carried the freshly washed laundry. They decided to wash the sheets because of the good weather today. They hung the laundry on a line stretched between two poles, which had good sunlight. Luo, being short, was assigned to hold the basket. Seated on a tall chair, Crozet hung the sheets from the basket one after another.

Suddenly, the rope snapped.

The freshly washed sheets fell to the ground.

“Ah~!”

Maasa scolded Crozet, who let out a distressed cry as if the world had ended.

“Crozet-san. There’s no need for such an outburst. The fallen laundry can simply be washed again.”

“Yes, I’m sorry.”

Seeing the usually imposing Crozet so diminished made Luo realize that mothers do scold their children. Sumi, Nura, and Morin quickly arrived and began picking up the fallen sheets.

Crozet inspected the end of the rope.

“The rope had gotten old. I wonder if there’s another one in the storage.”

Jumping off the chair, she took Luo’s hand.

“Let’s go find it. Can you help, Luo-kun?”

“Sure!”

“Ah, Crozet-san.”

Touching her cheek, Maasa watched them go, looking concerned.

At the far end of the area where the residential tents are lined up, there’s a large black tent. It was the “Star Guardian” storage. It was well-made, with windows.

“It’s designed for good ventilation.”

Inside the storage were many strange items: bones and furs from demon beasts, rusty saws and knives, broken desks and chairs, and mountains of wooden boxes. All seemed like worthless junk.

“Now, where was that rope?”

Luo looked around and felt something odd. The tent seemed to lack depth compared to its size. The back was partitioned with thick curtains.

“Ah, Luo-kun, don’t go there!”

Crozet rushed over and covered Luo’s eyes from behind.

But it was too late.

Beyond the curtains was a peculiar space. Thick carpets were laid, and armors suitable for knights were arranged on both sides. A two-handed greatsword hung on the wall.

“You weren’t supposed to see.”

Crozet sighed and let go of her hand.

At the far end of the space, there was a broken statue. It seemed to be of a woman, but only the lower half remained. Next to the statue was a wooden box.

“It’s broken.”

“Yes, it is.”

There’s a window in this space, so it’s not dark. Crozet opened the box’s lid. Inside, fragments of the statue were wrapped in fine cloth.

It was an arm with a scar on the palm.

“It’s a statue of the Goddess.”

“Goddess?”

“Yes. Now, she’s forgotten.”

There were many believers in the past who offered daily prayers, but now, neither believing in nor even mentioning her name is allowed.

“So please, promise me. Don’t tell anyone else that the Goddess is here.”

“Okay, I understand.”

As Crozet stroked Luo’s head, she suddenly asked,

“By any chance, Luo-kun, can you fix it?”

 ㅤ

Luo has the ability to transform and alter soil and rocks into what he envisions. If he has seen something once, he can reproduce it almost perfectly. The tables, chairs, and tableware in the “Wall House” were copied from those in Luo’s family home.

However, most of this statue was lost, and the surface color had faded.

“Impossible.”

“I thought so.”

The two found a rope and left the warehouse.

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