Rockwall Lou – V6 Chapter 11

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟏𝟏


“It’s good that the carriage arrived on time.”

Having been on the verge of being scrapped due to years of harsh use, the decision was finally made to replace the old carriage. Although production had been halted due to a shortage of materials, Hamaji persistently persuaded the dealers. To survive, it was necessary for the dismantler to be in perfect condition. And just the other day, the new carriage was delivered.

“There’s no problem with water or food. In the best condition, we can send you guys off. With this, there are no regrets.”

As he was about to say there were no regrets, Hamaji looked down.

“Honestly, it’s frustrating.”

Bekios, Chara, Bon, and Totom, all four shared the sentiments of their colleague. Once a member of the transport team, Hamaji had become in charge of the accounts after injuring his knee.

“Actually, I’d like to throw away this cane, cling to the wheels, and follow you guys.”

“We understand your passion well.”

Bekios patted Hamaji’s shoulder.

“Hey. You had the most guts among us.”

At Chara’s light remark, Hamaji gave a bitter smile.

“Well, you were no good with a sword.”

“But you were serious, gentle, and suited for negotiations.”

Bon encouraged him strongly.

“That’s right.”

Usually vague, Totom unusually spoke seriously.

“The ‘Bone Pickers’ ‘Star Guardian’ could survive till today, thanks to an excellent accounts in-charge.”


Bekios nodded in agreement.

“So, if this journey of trials succeeds, it’s a credit to all of us.”

“Hehe, same if it fails.”

Chara, laughing teasingly, made Bon grimace.

“You, even at this point.”

“Being gloomy doesn’t suit me.”

“You lack spirit!”

With a sigh, Totom interjected.

“You guys really get along well.”

“What did you say? Are you deaf?”

“I won’t let that pass!”

At the usual antics of his colleagues, Hamaji’s face relaxed.

“Well then.”

Slowly, Bekios presented one of the two swords he had on his waist to Hamaji.

“Shall we do it, after a long time?”


Everyone gathered, forming a small circle.

The item handed over, Hamaji stared at it. It was the sword he used to cherish. Since it had been well-maintained, it could be used in actual combat.

Bekios drew his sword, pointing the tip towards the ceiling.

“I am knight Bekios. I swear upon this sword.”

The others followed suit.

“I am knight Chara. I swear upon this sword.”

“I am knight Bon. I swear upon this sword.”

“I am knight Totom. I swear upon this sword.”

The cane fell with a clatter.

Naturally, Hamaji’s body moved.

“I, I am, knight Hamaji. I swear upon this sword.”

The tips of the five swords converged as one.

The oath of swords. A ritual of unity conceived on a whim to not be disheartened by despair, when they were still young.

“Discipline oneself, never be lost in heart, be an unwavering knight!”

Forty years ago, during the conflict known as the “Cult War”, they fled from the royal capital to the city of Arche. Being identified as heretics, they had no choice but to conceal their identities. They had to live as illegal residents.

“Laugh off even humiliation and move forward!”

The chosen profession is that of a dismantler. A clergyman with neither the skills nor the experience. The first few years were a struggle just to survive. Starving, drinking dirty water, enduring the cold stares and heartless words of the residents, they’ve desperately clung to life.

“With unwavering determination, brush aside weakness and laziness!”

They used the name “Star Guardian” as a sign to their surviving comrades. The city of Arche became the base for overcoming trials. If they stay here, they should eventually be able to reunite.

But none of their Mail Cult comrades ever came.

“Simply be there with a quiet heart!”

Trampled on pride, shed tears, and became utterly lost. With time, both their body and spirit aged.

But not a single one of them ever broke our oath with the sword.

It’s been twenty, maybe thirty years since they last said it out loud. They don’t need to search their memories; it’s etched in their heart.

“Together with wonderful comrades, we will surely overcome the trials!”

Feeling something warm running down his cheek, Hamaji declared loudly.

Honestly, Crozet was a bit bewildered.

For her, “Star Guardian” was family and a dismantler. However, ever since the supposedly assassinated princess came to this city, “Star Guardian” had changed. Crozet had been taught about its origins and true purpose, but it felt like a different world in some way.

But this change was real.

After enduring forty years of unimaginable hardship, “Star Guardian” was now trying to return to its true form. While she couldn’t fully share the sentiment, Crozet thought it was a good thing.

The whole family seemed to have rejuvenated. That’s why Crozet planned to send off her father, who looked a bit uncomfortable with her mother helping him get ready, with a good feeling.

“Gangi-san, as the coachman, you’ve been on alert all this time, so you must be more tired than usual. You shouldn’t keep watch at night; please rest.”

“I can’t do that.”

“No. As the representative of ‘Star Guardian,’ I’ve ordered the knights to do so.”

“I see.”

Surprisingly, her mother became the representative of “Star Guardian” with just a few words. And she fulfilled the promise she made with Luo, which she had mentioned sometime before.

A determined mother was terrifying. Now that she had become the representative of “Star Guardian,” there was even a sense of dignity.

“Alright, this is good.”

When they finished getting ready, the two turned to Crozet.

Clad in a clear suit of armor, her father looked quite imposing.

“Come on, Crozet-san.”

When knights go to the battlefield, there seems to be a tradition of their wives and daughters giving them something to wear. Crozet had heard about it from her mother. She didn’t have time to make something, so she had prepared her handkerchief.

But her father might not like this kind of family ritual. After all, he had always told her not to call him “father” since she was the daughter of “Star Guardian.”

Lately, she had been spending more time drinking tea with Luo and her mother, and they had become closer in their conversations. But today was a special day for the “Star Guardian.” Sending him off with a good feeling was crucial.

“Yes, Captain, this. Please use it when you sweat.”

Crozet said as she handed over a handkerchief.

In an instant, her father seemed to struggle with his words. Her mother next to him also had a troubled expression, as if she wanted to say something.

Her father intervened in the act.

Wrapping the handkerchief received from Crozet around his wrist, there was already something like a scarf wrapped around it. Probably a gift from her mother.

“Crozet, I’m sorry.”

Her father apologized, showing an unusually timid expression.

“Huh, what?”

The father sighed deeply. It seemed like a gesture to gather courage.

“I never thought about your feelings.”

Crozet widened her eyes.

“You were born to fulfill the mission of the ‘Star Guardian.’ To ensure that knowledge to save people continues. That’s what I decided. But such things are just adults’ convenience for you.”

When she was a child, she wondered. Why, even though she had parents, she wasn’t their real child. There were so many other family members, so she never felt lonely.

“Using words like ‘mission,’ I was running away from the most important thing right in front of me. I realized that.”

Names didn’t matter. Crozet had always thought of Gangi as her father.

But deep in her heart, something had been building up.

“Both you and Maasa have always been waiting.”

One-way hearts were trying to connect.

Crozet felt it on her skin.

“You, you are a bright, kind, and strong child. Th-that.”

Despite stumbling over his words, her father said.

“My proud daughter.”

Her vision blurred.

Her father sighed deeply again.

“It might be too late now. But, if possible. . . . . .”

It’s not too late.

“I just want one chance.”

There was no need for a request.

Unable to contain herself, Crozet burst out.

Because they. . . . . .

“When you return from the journey of trials.”

Her father hugged his daughter tightly.

“Let’s talk as a family.”

When night deepened, Luo returned.

“Teacher Maasa, I brought it.”

“Thank you, Luo-san.”

Maasa received from Luo a transparent blue gem-like object about the size of a fist. Strange characters were engraved on its surface.

“Luo-san, are you okay?”

“Yeah, it was easy.”

Saying that as if it were nothing, Luo rushed over to Tweney, who was worried.

It couldn’t have been easy. The city of Arche was in an uproar. Even at night, the city guards with lights in hand were running around the city. In such a situation, Luo climbed to the top of the ascending tower alone and brought back this stone. The ascending tower is a tower used to climb to the top of the outer wall, and the inside is said to be a spiral staircase.

“Arche has six ascending towers, and inside the roofs of each, stones like this are hidden. These are Rune stones imbued with the ‘Barrier’ spell.”

Maasa explained to Tweney.

“Its effectiveness lies in deceiving the eyes of demon beasts. The city of Arche, adjacent to the ‘wilderness,’ has remained unharmed by large demon beasts thanks to the protection of the runestone.”

Luo brought one of them back.

“The current state involves connecting each other’s barrier stones and creating a wide-ranging barrier. However, if we do this. . . . . .”

Maasa murmured something like a spell and placed her hand on the runestone.

The runestone gleamed, illuminating the room.

“It will become a small spherical barrier to protect your surroundings. Please, never let go of this stone. Now that the seal has been broken, demon beasts will never overlook the scent of the Blood of the Goddess.”

Maasa placed the runestone into the bag Tweney was carrying on her shoulder.

“And don’t worry about this city. While the barrier will disappear, it’s still protected by sturdy outer walls.”

Throughout history, people have devised and executed ruthless strategies to efficiently overcome trials. 

When the malevolent deity awakens, the ‘Crimson Tide’ begins. The ‘Star Princess’ and the ‘Star Guardians’ barricade themselves in the hidden city of Arche with a barrier, waiting out the ‘Crimson Tide.’ Meanwhile, as demon beasts attack other settlements, they set out for the less crowded ‘wilderness.’

“That’s why this city of Arche was created as a base for that purpose.”

All preparations for departure were complete.

In the houses within the walls, there were stables, and two young hippohorses were tethered to a brand-new carriage. In front of it, Crozet and the elderly women in charge of rationing surrounded Luo, hugging him and conveying their farewell words.

“Why is that?”

Maasa, who was standing nearby, asked Tweney briefly. She had requested vehemently not to allow Luo to accompany them, so why did she disregard her wishes?

“Because it’s what Luo-san wished for.”

Faced with that explanation, there was nothing more to be said.

“Star Princess.”

Maasa knelt before Tweney and gazed at her intently.

“You are still a ten-year-old child. You can be selfish, cry if you want.”

Tweney thought that it wasn’t possible to respond to that, but without her consent, Maasa embraced her.

“Children have no sins or responsibilities. If this world should fall apart, it’s the fault of us adults.”

Neither strong nor weak. Just warm, Tweney thought.

“So you can do as you please. Don’t worry about what comes after.”

Even if she became scared and ran away with Luo, it would be okay. Tweney sensed that Maasa might have allowed Luo to accompany her to have that option. 

Tweney and Luo boarded the carriage together. Those left behind traced something with their fingertips in front of their chests. Luo had taught her. That gesture was called a star mark, a blessing for the safe journey and great success of those departing.

“Gangi, this time we must avoid being ‘followers.’ Do you understand?”

Bekios, who was also on the carriage bed, urged Gangi, who served as the coachman.

“Understood. Luo, please open the entrance.”


Luo’s eyes shimmered vaguely red, and an arched entrance formed on the front wall.

“Pii, Mii. That’s right, gently. We’re departing quietly.”

Gangi handled the reins with a gentle touch.


The two hippohorses let out a loud cry. Amidst a billowing sandstorm, with only the moonlight to guide them, the carriage raced down the wilderness road.

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