With Luke recovering, the party was able to slow their walk home.
With their king unconscious, it was necessary to hurry back home, but it was no longer necessary to do that.
Luke too recovered and Erwin no longer had to focus on treatment, so now they could use teleport magic in a row to return back to Symphonia.
But considering the family of Count Ferrero, it was necessary to acknowledge them.
All this time, they were exhausted from moving because of walking through mountains and forests.
So, the party decided to take a break for 2-3 days in an old castle located in the woods.
Shirley asked Philip while chewing on beef jerky for their late lunch.
“Uncle, there are many fairies and mixed races in Symphonia Kingdom, right?”
Philip frowned at her question and replied.
“Many. But there are no cheap ones like you.”
“What about me? You wouldn’t have been able to get Ferrero all the way here if it wasn’t for a cheap one like me.”
Shirley spoke with a blunt voice.
“And if people like me are following you, shouldn’t you at least be thankful? But, rather than thank you, you are seeing me like some kind of baggage…”
“Because you always call for a fight! Being a Spear Master your legs hurt, you’re always hungry and thirsty… take a look at Vice captain’s kids!”
As Philip said, Count Ferrero’s kids didn’t have any serious struggle on their way there.
Even when they were feeling troubled, they refused to give up and kept walking.
Thanks to that, Philip was able to see how well Count Ferrero and his wife had taught the kids.
“And we have enough, we have enough master class knights. There is no merit in having cheap steaks like you.”
“Huh, so what if you have them? They are duds if they have no experience. For someone like you to be the commander of the 1st army… it seems like Symphonia lacks in talent.”
“What did you say? This monster kid!”
“Huh! Let’s battle if you are dissatisfied! No-fun uncle! I’ll give you a better teaching than the Holy Empire!”
On their way there, Philip and Shirley confirmed that they met each other in the civil war of the Holy Empire.
Philip, who recognized Ferrero during the civil war, asked about the girl too.
“Both of you stop. With just your voice here, the Imperial Army will come running this way.”
Count Ferrero, who bought a hunted deer from the woods, shot back at them.
While he scouted around, he brought food only to see Philip and Shirley snarling at each other.
“Vice-captain, is your body alright?”
“Fine. It is better already. Don’t treat me like I am some old garbage.”
Even when he left Nemesis, Ferrero never mentioned about the torture wounds.
However, after joining Erwin, he took in the potions and received recovery magic.
“And I am more worried about him than myself. I don’t know if it is alright for a person who was asleep to run around so casually like nothing happened.”
“I asked the Court Wizard. And it said nothing wrong with it.”
“Then it is alright. I was worried if I would lose a good battle partner.”
Ferrero, who was concerned, spoke too soon.
“But I have no idea what your master is doing in the forest. Even today too, he was killing time all day.”
“Since he is a wizard, he meditates.”
Luke was an outstanding Rune Knight, and his magic was in the 8th circle.
And to develop as a wizard, one would always have to meditate.
“Meditate? It didn’t seem like that to…”
“Then go and ask him yourself.”
“Well, I should have.”
Shrugging his shoulders, Ferrero began to grunt after putting the deer on the ground.
By the time Ferrero and Philip were having their conversations, Luke was looking into the Aether mass in his body.
‘The black circles and the power vessels aren’t gone. They lost shape with the runaway, and then fused into the Aether.’
When he woke up, he checked, but the Aether mass changed its structure according to the power he wanted to use.
And he just created a while back, it didn’t deform so quickly.
It took time to switch from mana to aura and then back to mana.
Luke continued to train the switch, he powered-up day by day as he wanted to reduce the delay of change.
Fortunately, the achievement was that he managed to reduce the time it took to deform the structure.
“But the problem is the Aether mass… no, Aether Globe…”
Once magic got converted, it seemed to give out a power of 9th circle magic.
That was the same when using magi, and with aura, it was the Sword Master’s best? It was a great level.
Indeed, the crisis was avoided when growth was achieved, but not everything was sure.
It was because Luke hadn’t used a proper 9th circle white magic or black magic with the use of the Aether Globe.
In addition, the structure of the Aether Globe took time to change, so using it in battle couldn’t be easy.
There surely were opponents who could be taken down by force, but not for those who were on the same skill level as Luke.
‘Well, how many skills do I have…?’
Luke, who smiled to himself, glanced over to the side where he felt a sudden power.
It was different from the time when he felt Count Ferrero’s aura.
“Who is it?”
At Luke’s words, with a rustling sound, a small figure showed up.
A silver-haired girl of 4 to 5.
Though it was the first time for him to see her, he felt rather close to the kid.
It wasn’t just that, the moment his eyes met with the kid’s, his Aether Globe in the heart shook. It was resonating with the Aether flow from the child.
‘A child with Aether? So this must be the child Erwin was talking about?’
When he woke up and was moving to this place, he heard the story about the child with Aether.
According to Erwin’s explanation, the child appeared from somewhere and used some technique, and ended up calming the runaway Aether in Luke’s body.
‘How did she?’
When Luke was in doubt, he slowly approached the child.
She lowered his posture and spoke to the kid.
“What is your name?”
“Karen? And where did Karen come from?”
At Luke’s question, the child, well, Karen raised her small hand and pointed to the sky.
Luke smiled unknowingly.
“The sky? Are you an angel?”
Unknowingly, Luke reached out to the child and stroked her head.
However, something strange happened at that moment.
The Aether Globe in his body rotated violently, and the Aether of Karen rose like flames.
And voices rang inside Luke’s ears.
“Karen, you are the only hope.”
“You must be very shameless! To abandon His Majesty and come where…!”
“You can. You can surely do it!”
“Even if all the people in the world die, the princess needs to survive.”
Shocked, Luke pulled back from Karen.
There were a few familiar voices mixed in there, but he wasn’t able to figure out what they meant.
He just felt upset for some reason.
“Is there something that you need to tell me?”
At Luke’s question, Karen only looked with a worried glance instead of answering.
Luke once again stroked Karen’s head.
However, this time, nothing happened.
The Aether Globe was quiet, and the Aether which bloomed from Karen didn’t show up this time.
Instead, Luke noticed another aura and frowned.
“See now, how about coming out instead of watching from the sidelines?”
The opponent hiding in the bushes didn’t respond nor come out to Luke’s questions.
So, Luke decided to act first.
He picked up a broken branch that fell on the ground and rose aura.
As if a heat wave magic was used, the bushes touched by the aura struck.
At the same time, a man jumped out and rushed to Luke.
That too, like a Southerner.
Whether he survived a great battle or not, his face was full of big and small arms, and a steel prosthetic arm on the right.
Luke, who didn’t want Karen to get involved, used blink and moved back and used shield magic.
An intense wave shook the surroundings as the 8th magic circle shield magic was expressed and collided with an old man.
‘He is strong! A Fist Sage?’
Luke didn’t fall into a sense of crisis.
On the other hand, the elderly’s wielding method seemed familiar to his eyes, even though both of them weren’t backing off.
Luke, pulled the sword from his waist and struck the steel hand and then pointed at his neck.
Luke asked the old man who stopped moving.
“Your style is similar to Hwang Bo clan. How are you related?”
The old man, who didn’t open his mouth at Luke’s question, slowly stepped down and raised his hands.
A sign to say that there was no hostility.
Rather, it was like he was impressed to meet Luke.
‘He seems like he knows me, who is he? I never met someone who was so proficient at this…’
Luke was in the Southern Continent for a very short time.
And most of the time he was only in the Zegal clan, and hardly met anyone except for Jo Won-rak and Zegal clan members.
In addition, it didn’t seem like the man just came back from the Southern Continent, it was like he stayed on the Rhodesia Continent for a long time.
Luke, who was puzzled, noticed that someone was pulling his shirt and looked.
It was Karen.
“Someone you know?”
At Luke’s question, Karen nodded.
“Do you know his name?”
Karen, who hesitated for a moment, shook her head.
She didn’t know, or she knew but couldn’t tell anyone.
‘These people are so strange.’
That was the only thing Luke managed to figure out about them.