At The Northern Fort / At the Northern Fort Chapter 22
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The blizzard that had been battering them for the past few days without rest had finally ended. The skies had slowly cleared with the warm sun peeking through the clouds, even the temperature had already begun to raise and the hard packed snow began to soften. With Mil’s appearance, Snowlea’s wrath had ended bringing peace back to the region. Grayle even promised a favor from the snow spirit, such a thing was almost a miracle to have a spirit as a friend.
But none of this brightened any of the darkness in the Knights’ hearts. Grayle and Cromwell as well had grim expressions. Mill, the white baby fox that had appeared two weeks ago in the fort was the child of Snowlea. She was an irreplaceable existence to them, someone who brought joy to their cold live, though she was now back up on the mountain with her mother, it was still sad for them who’ve grown used to her presence. That lovely white ball of fur will never be clinging to their feet, or eating jerky from their hand nor will they see her running around in the training yard snow excitedly again.
After today, when Grayle returns back to the room, He’ll be alone again. He began to think of all the things he would have to clean up that was for Mill, these thoughts only made me more depressed. He sighed and reprimanded himself for being depressed about it.
“Wait! So she’s not coming back!?”
Tina cried out hysterically after everyone had made it back safely to the fort, Grayle and Cromwell had to explain what happened at the mountain. The other knights were also suffering from the blow.
“Ah… My healing…”
“I guess I won’t be able to pet that fur anymore, huh?”
In a matter of two weeks, Mill had become that big of a pillar of support to everyone.
“don’t get so down, it’s not like she’s never going to come back. Maybe she’ll visit again if you like.”
Grayle tried to comfort the knights.
“When is that more specifically?
“Well, Spirits have long lives. Their sense of time is possibly different from ours…”
“So probably in the next ten years?”
“It’s also possible that she’d forget about us since she’s back with her mom…”
The atmosphere that had slowly been brightening up suddenly darkened again. Tension overtook the room again. It seemed that all these Knights, who looked like thugs, were absent-minded. All because of one little baby fox-spirit. Even Cromwell, who had been stubbornly hiding his love for animals till now, had spiritless eyes. He ended up returning to his room immediately when they arrived.
Tina Had tears in her eyes. Even though no one had died, the air in the common room was worst than a funeral. Even Knix looked like someone had stolen something precious from him. Tonight, everyone would take their feelings to bed, but hopefully, everyone would be able to train and work. They still were knights. Therefore, Grayle had to organize his feelings today as well.
Though it was impossible to erase the loss of Mill from his heart, he couldn’t show a miserable face to his subordinates. In the end, Grayle ended up leaving the lounge silently…
The next day, the fortress was still as listless as yesterday. Although the sun was bright and lit up the fort. The faces of the knights were still dark. Cromwell knew, but he too was also depressed. The breakfast was tasteless. Grayle couldn’t suppress his feeling and saw the bright sun, shining brightly as if this day was like the ones before. He resent it. He resented that it could shine, even though Mill wasn’t there to watch his training. He resented that he was lonely at breakfast. With these feelings, he couldn’t tell his men any different.
Grayle saw the seen later of Cromwell desperately hugging his beloved horse. It only pained him because Mill wasn’t there, playing with them as usual. Then in his office, Grayle was in his office, dealing with paperwork. He had to send a letter to the Kingdom, reporting what happened but tried to leave out what he could due to Snowlea not wanting to make much public. Mill’s existence still had to be reported though…
He asked Cromwell to write a letter to the king… But he was probably still crying in the stable still…
Grayle sighed lightly while standing up.
He quickly moved his foot and looked down. It was Mill’s snow white fluffy tail that he stepped on. Though most of the tail was made up of fur, there still was the tailbone. He pushed the chair away, making sure not to step on Mill again. He squatted down in a hurry and gently checked her tail.
“I’m sorry Mill, I didn’t mean to step on you!”
Mill’s eyes were a bit watery.
“Are you okay…?”
Grayle felt bad about it as Mill came closer to him with large round eyes and said in a murky tone
“Yes, you big goof…”
“Okay… I’m glad… Mill can speak…”
While caught up in the moment, it finally clicked in his head. His eyes looked over her body before he stretched his hand out and touched the hair on her head. There was a physical body. His mouth was open in surprise as he confirmed she was real.
“… Why… Are you here…?”
It was an amazing feeling he had, but he came out sounding angry. The pretty fox-child who stole the hearts of every Knight in the fortress, including him, should have been up the mountain with her mother. For the time being… Or eternity. He was ready for either. That was what happened yesterday, yet she was here right now.
“I came back.. I’m sorry… Are you mad…?”
He was embarrassed by the sudden events that even the spot between his brows wrinkled unintentionally. Mill trembled a little as she was looking at him. Sighing, Grayle tried to make a soft expression as he stroked her head to reassure her.
“Never, I would never. I was just a little surprised. It’s nice to see you again, but how did you get here?”
It worked as Mill’s listless tail began to sway happily side to side.
I used a movement skill! It’s the same one I used yesterday to get to you guys on the mountain!”
“Oh? That’s amazing.”
Because of the moment of complimenting her, Grayle stroked Mill’s cheeks with both hands. It was soft and fluffy, like her tail. I kept stroking her fur while complimenting her. Though in the end, he ended up making a troubled expression.
“What happened with your mother? Did she forgive me and say you could come here?”
“You know, I’d like to go “Rogue” for a while, so I only play for a while, so I will come and play just for a bit every day now!”
After saying that, Mill’s tail swayed at high-speed while laughing. Grayle had a feeling, probably similar to a feeling a divorced father’s kid comes to visit?
“Well, if that’s the case. You better let the others know that you’ve come to play. While you’re at it, do something about the rotten air. Especially the Chief.
” Oh my god, what happened?”
Mill didn’t understand what was happening.
“Well, go see it for yourself.”
Grayle had a large grin on his face as he gently picked her up and headed out the office door. Mill looked up at him with confusion and uncertainty, also amazement at being carried by him.
“I changed the educational policy…”
Grayle said while laughing.
Mill wasn’t a wild animal anymore, but a Spirit’s child! An ordinary fox would have had to deal with the harsh reality of the outside and have to hunt its own prey. That’s why he refused to pick her up on the premise that she’d have to return to the wild when she was old enough, but not anymore. He had long been suppressing the urge to hold her for a long time. He had even planned to try to teach her to hunt.
Now that though, he didn’t have to be concerned if she became too dependant on them. Starting at that moment, they didn’t need to do that anymore and just pamper her. Mill being a spirit was a relief to all of them, because they didn’t have to give her up like they thought before. This was his honest feelings about it while carrying her on his shoulder with her facing backward, her swaying tail hitting his cheeks.
“Why are you laughing?”
Mill looked over her shoulder at Grayle willing saying that, as they walked into the hallway. In the hallway, a few Knights were there.
“Oh, Deputy Chief. Thanks for all- … what?”
” Fuf~! Deputy Chief!! Mill! Why are you here?!”
The famous Northern Fortress in the snowy mountains and the Knights of the Kingdom. From now on, would also be joined by a small child fox-spirit who… Comes to play for “Just a bit” every day.
Author After notes:
This is complete with this.
It was nice to have finished before summer came ….
I also want to finish with the fourth edition (Mill’s father, spirit of fire, humanization of mill, etc.) and finish.
Thank you for reading so far.
I have not been able to reply, but I am happy to read comments. Thank you very much.
Then, in the extra edition.
MTL A s h e s notes: With this, the first novel is complete <3~! I hope it healed your hearts as I won’t be finishing up the rest of the novels, so I bid you all goodbye and thank you for walking with me on this journey of fluff~!
Baahh!!!! I’m just pulling your tails! muahahaha!!! Like I said before! There are no brakes on this Fluff Train! We’re all going till we crash!
See you all next sunday!
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