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The journey from there was not comfortable for Shinji and Fujimoto by any means. They had been blind-folded and were tied on horse’s back by their abdomen.
Whenever the horse galloped or stepped on a rock, Shinji thought the impact was about to break his lower rib cage. He found himself wondering for many occasions whether Wernh’An’s armies were still with them or not. The silence was horrifying than sounds of thousand swords hitting against each other.
He was not allowed to speak unless spoken to. And those men never seemed to have questions. Only in the time of meal, he was able to hear Fujimoto. Despite of it, both of them had never got a chance to exchange words
They ate what they were fed. What it was didn’t matter to them.
It seemed like Shinji was offered the food which was left by the soldiers because the food was never filling. Shinji and Fujimoto were lucky to not have starved. It was rare for soldiers to care about stomach of captives.
As time passed, Shinji realized he was slipping from the horse’s back. Since complaining was a way to heave his death closer, he decided for the guards to notice it by themselves. He was alright with taking some bruises over his body.
The time came when he fell behind the horse’s hind limbs.
We are going uphill. Shinji realized it as soon as he tasted mud.
A saddle was put on the horse’s back which made things more uncomfortable for Shinji. Sole thing the saddle did was prevent him from falling.
A day later, Shinji found himself shivering. Wind around them had got chilling and the soldiers were stopping more to light fire in order to keep themselves warm. In the same time, they hunted animals. Shinji now no more worried about hunger. He was concerned with the freezing wind around him.
The next day, he heard wind rustling louder. Even leaves or twigs were not audible anymore. Cotton like thing fell on Shinji’s cheek.
Soon the soldiers decided to cover their captives with blankets. With blanket over him, they rode for over a day till wind got so strong that it blew off blanket from Shinji.
Shinji heard Commander Eiga’s voice after a long time, “Drink it.”
Soldiers began taking out the bile from their armors. Shinji then listened to them gulping, perplexed what they were having. His curiosity came to a sudden halt when Commander Eiga drank half of the bile and jammed the remaining inside Shinji’s mouth.
As the liquid dripped down his throat, it brought sensation of warmth in his body. He could feel blood rushing towards his limbs and ears.
“Don’t think you are immune to these mountains.” Eiga said, covering him with blanket again, “This will keep us warm for few days.”
From there their journey became somewhat endurable. The soldiers who were quiet in forests were now loud while in snow. They sang songs, jokes and told the tales about Wutke.
Not even two days had passed when Shinji began feeling cold once more. The half bile which he was given was to be blamed. Or perhaps the man who had given it to him.
“Where are we?” Shinji asked.
Someone removed blanket from his body and unbuckled the strap which tied him to the horse. He fell on soft snow by his face. Though his nose was fine, the snow was all over his face. Shinji spat some of those and when he tried to turn himself around, someone told him to stay how he was.
The man who was talking to him loosened the knot of his blindfold.
Synopsis: Somewhere in the universe, there was an altar. On it, laid a bloody eye as big as the sun itself. It burst with light and bathed the entire star system in red.
"The aura of an ancestral artifact!" Someone's voice rose in surprise.
The Great Galactic Era had begun.