Both of them made their way outside the castle and to the walls without problem. The next destination to the north: Celestial Tower. Bruno had been outside the walls in the immediate forest area, but never had he been to another province of Sero Silva.
Both of them climbed to the top of the wall and looked to the horizon for direction.
“Do you see that peak over there?” Eveline pointed at a distant mountain range. Bruno couldn’t quite see. He didn’t have the best vision, but Eveline could see it crisply and clearly.
“Not really. It’s all fuzzy.”
Eveline leaned closer towards Bruno, gently grabbing his arm and pointed for him. “Right over there. There’s a tiny dot on it. That’s the tower.”
Bruno’s face slightly reddened. “It’ll take forever!”
“It’s only a day’s travel away. Just follow me.”
Bruno jumped down the wall, landing on his knees. Before he turned around, Eveline gracefully leaped down herself.
“This way!” the girl called out, already starting a light jog. “We have to hurry!”
“Wait for me!” He also started a jog trying to keep up. She led him through a small dirt trail, one that he never knew about. It took them near numerous rocky outcroppings, the slightly sloping terrain that grew steeper and steeper.
After a short while, Bruno found himself leaning over, panting, trying to catch his breath. But Eveline kept jogging.
“Can’t we walk or at least slow down a bit?” The boy took a deep breath and a swig from his canteen.
“But we must hurry! We have no time to lose!”
Bruno took another breath. “You’ll attract-” A bellowing roar from the forest interrupted him. “Attention.” The thumping of giant footsteps drew closer. And then there was another roar. It was not quite like the hissing of a shadow creature. This was something else. Like the rocks sliding against one another.
Then, the mysterious entity emerged. A large beast like a man made of many floating stones. A golem. Bruno was about to make a run for it, but Eveline grasped his shoulder. He could feel her slightly shaking. Nervous. Afraid.
“I’ve never seen a beast like this!”
“Eveline, can’t you ward it off?”
“That’s not a shadow creature! My warding spell won’t work on it!” The golem leaned forward, raised its arms about to strike. She hid behind Bruno. It was peculiar for him. This girl who had rescued him, chased away shadow creatures, suddenly cowering in the golem’s presence? Not to mention there were much larger shadow creatures than the golem.
“We have to fight it!” Bruno shouted. The girl backed up, giving Bruno space. Then, he swung the sword, striking bluntly at the stone comprising one of its arms. He struck again and again, but as bits of the golem’s body broke off, it continued approaching.
“I don’t think it’s working!” Eveline exclaimed. But Bruno continued hacking away anyway, bludgeoning his way through not stopping. And with one last strike, the golem fell apart, its corpse looking like a part of the scenery.
Bruno crouched over to catch his breath then took another swig of water. His time playing with that wooden sword payed off, but real combat was far more exhausting than he expected it to be.
“Are you okay?” Bruno firmly said, turning to Eveline. “You just froze!”
She paused and did not say anything right away. Then, she took a breath. “I don’t fight. I’m a pacifist, remember? ”
The boy turned and smirked. “You’re afraid of monsters, aren’t you?”
“What!” She exclaimed in denial. “No! I can take on shadow creatures anytime!”
“But not something like that?”
Eveline lowered her head. “I’d rather not talk about it.”
Bruno nodded his head. “How about from now on? I fight the regular monsters. You fight the shadow creatures. Seems fair?” The girl nodded back.