With a thud, Klaus stopped moving.
I had a bad feeling something had happened but I didn’t know what. I repeatedly called out to him to shake away my anxiety while rushing out with my heart irritatingly beating as fast as it could.
Klaus was collapsed on the spot as soon as I reached the upper deck. I caught his tense shoulder before his knees hit the floorboards when I noticed an arrow protruding out of his back. Naturally, my eyes went wide in shock.
I could not believe it. I could not believe what I saw. I tried to call out his name but what came out instead was barely audible.
Placing my hand against his chest, I confirmed that it was completely disturbed. Shallow wheezing sounds leaked out from his mouth. I couldn’t see him very well as my tears fell, blurring my vision.
Klaus sat still like a doll that had its strings cut. Both of his hands resting on the deck slightly shook.
At that moment his body leaned towards me. I was standing up straight and tried to prop him up, but in the end couldn’t endure the weight.
I then placed my hands around his back and managed to hold us together somehow, when a warm feeling spread onto the palm of my hands.
The distinct smell of rusted iron told me exactly what it was. Unlike blood from small scratched that was hard and cold, this red liquid was lukewarm, raw and was leaking out of his body. Flowing out of a living being.
I called him with a voice full of doubt and he did not reply. No, he didn’t.
With a pained desperation, I shut my eyes tight. His complexion was becoming pale and started to crumble.
He might not open his eyes ever again. Terrible thoughts invaded my mind and I raised my voice to shut them all out.
Someone strongly shook my shoulder.
I steadily recovered and pulled myself together. A gentle voice whispered to my ear.
"Yes. I’m here."
A small sigh escaped him seeing that I responded. I then gazed at Klaus who was still on his knees.
Wolf’s expression deepened as he observed Klaus. After looking around, he noticed something and ran up to it. It was a bucket with an arrow sticking out on one side.
He pulled out the arrow, sniffed it and licked the arrowhead with the tip of his tongue. Even deeper brows carved themselves on his face.
Wolf immediately spat out his saliva and returned back to us.
"Mary, find something for your brother to bite on."
Even if you used a serious face to tell me that. I couldn’t understand. My head was in a haywire.
"Will this do?"
Miss Bianca answered for me, whose head was still confused. She opened his jaw wide and stuffed it full with cloth.
As I was supporting Kluas' shoulder, Miss Bianca consoled me as if a child, and asked that I leave the rest to her.
Miss Bianca then supported Klaus' body in my stead.
"I’m going to pull it out."
"… His bleeding will get worse. Isn’t it better to leave it in as a plug?"
Wolf handed the arrow to Miss Bianca and answered in a low voice.
The word repeated in my fuzzy head. I heard the word but my brain refused to accept its meaning. Don’t listen. A part of my heart resisted.
Wolf grabbed the arrow and pulled it out in one motion. Fresh blood sprayed onto the floor followed by Klaus' muffled scream.
"Someone bring me my bag from my room! Also get clean water and cloth! Don’t forget to boil the water!"
Wolf shouted to the surroundings. The sailors who could still move ran around carrying out his instructions.
"Hold him down!"
Wolf told Bianca as he started to suck out the poison with his mouth, spitting it out on the deck and repeat.
Prior to this, the pirates all had disappeared from the deck.
A mountain of wordless corpses piled up high in front of the red-stained sky. I thought that dawn had come, but that wasn’t the case at all. In front of us, a ship was burning passionately in the lightless sky.
A galley ship floating in the murky ocean was wrapped in sparkling flame. A beastly scream echoed and a person wrapped in flames jumped into the night sea, all seemed like slow motion. It was fit to say it looked like an incarnation of Hell.
I could only stare at that scene on the verge of screaming. A bird took flight into the night sky illuminated by the flames promptly followed by a flock of black birds, as if the black smoke itself, and disappear into the jet black clouds.
I heard a small groan.
Amongst those who were running around, there were those who sat helplessly like me.
It was Miss Flora that was grasping his body while shedding tears.
"It’s my fault… It was all my…"
A small mumble escaped her lips as I stared at Klaus lying on the floor.
"I’m sor-… I’m sorry…"
Miss Flora casted her eyes my way. However, I didn’t know if her apology was directed at me or him.
She said it was her fault. I could not deny that. I was not so strong that I could forgive her, and I knew it was not fair.
That’s right. I thought. But would condemning her get rid of this painful ache in my chest? If I blame her, would it be easier for me?
My eyes were fixed on Klaus' pale complexion.
My name was called.
But I had no heart to reply. I left my call unanswered and slowly turned my face towards the voice. Wolf stared back with deep worry on his face. I wonder if you’ll be disappointed. I wonder if you’ll get angry. Whatever. Anything is fine… It doesn’t matter anymore.
Wolf's expression was now beyond grim, as if he saw me having lifeless eyes.
Wolf stood up and approached us and kneeled down next to me.
His serious eyes reflected back in mine.
"Even though I promised to protect him. I am sorry that I made a promise I couldn’t keep."
Said Wolf as he lowered his head.
I blinked a few times in bewilderment.
"But I will never let him die. I swear by the name of Wolf K. Lucca."
"Yes. This time I will surely keep my promise!"
When I gave a small reply, Wolf answered with a hearty laugh.
Never letting him die. Don’t die. Klaus is not going to die. When I told myself so, the senses in my body gradually returned.
I looked down at Klaus once more.
I extended my fingertips towards his hand.
The hand that I had grasped will not clasp back.
But the warmth was still there, as blood circulated through his veins.
"Hey man! Is this the luggage you wanted?!"
"Yeah! Thank you!"
Wolf received his luggage from the sailor and started spreading it on the deck.
"Anyone has a light?"
"Oi! Bring a torch over here!"
Wolf's luggage contained many smaller things. A small knife and various different metals that I didn’t know what they were used for. Small bottles filled with liquid and a vessel. This looked similar to a pestle and mortar set.
"The poison used by the pirates in this area was probably made from fish and plants. Judging by the smell and taste…"
Wolf focused on his task with amazing concentration all while murmuring something to himself. He took out a parcel, emptied its contents and picked a few things without hesitation.
There were dried leaves and roots of some plants inside the parcel. What was it? The combination, kneading and grinding. I understood that it was familiar to me.
"I’ve got the boiling water!"
Paul declared and handed me the can.
He had blood-stained bandages wrapped all over his body. He was desperately trying to not show the pain on his face.
Why are you trying so hard?
I was at a loss for words and realised that I only looked up. Paul leaned forward until his eyes were on the same level as mine and stroked my head thoroughly.
"Lil' Miss. Don’t ya cry. Everybody's helping your brother get back on his feet."
"Why are you helping me?"
Paul’s eyes were surprised at my question.
While still puzzled, he told me it was 'only natural'.
"You’ve helped us out countless times. Now it’s our turn to return your kindness."
"On top of that, your brother fought while helping me. Even in this unpleasant situation. I’ll have you know that all the people on this ship owe you brother sister pair a lot of gratitude."
'Look, see?' Following where he pointed, I saw Mia rushing up the stairs to help us.
"Umm! I’ve brought an unused cloth that you wanted!"
"Miss, you look pale. Are you sure you’re alright? Can someone please bring me a blanket over here!"
Mr. Yang, who brought some more boiling water, surveyed my face and grazed my eyebrows.
Looking carefully, everyone who could move was busy running around treating others. A number of people that cared for me and Klaus gathered here anxiously. An encouraging voice could be heard every now and then.
My breathing muffled and the back of my eyes became slightly hot. As my nose clogged up, tears started rolling down. Even though I had been crying all this time, I was amazed more tears could come out.
But, they were different.
Because these were not tears of sorrow.
I wiped away these emerging tears with my shaking hands.
This was no time to cry. It was also not a time to be blaming others.
Throwing away things that you should do and cry won’t make things better.
Don’t stop! Start moving!
Keep on going on. That’s my motto.
"I’ll help you, Wolf."
"I’m alright now."
Wolf was taken aback and looked at me.
However, that only lasted for a few seconds. He quickly recovered and gave me instructions.
"Then I’d like you to cool down the water and start washing his wounds."
I did as I was asked to do. I poured the water onto the cloth and spread it out to cool it down and then I washed Klaus' wounds with it. Since Klaus was still unconscious, he didn’t respond.
I worried about the ever flowing blood but I was sure it was the poison at work. Also, wouldn’t using hot water make the poison less effective instead of normal water?
I followed his instructions to the letter and proceeded with the treatment.
I slit his clothes apart, removed them and wiped off the blood. Blood dyed a fresh new cloth red again and again. I shook my head to escape from the fear and kept on working.
After applying Wolf's medicine I moved on to the hemostatic treatment.
I pressed down on the bandages I applied after treatment. Ideally I wanted to take him somewhere else but before I could ask Miss Bianca, I had to swallow my words because of the figure that stood behind her.
"… Miss Flora."
Like a lost child, her loose eyes turned towards me.
Miss Flora who was sitting far away, trembling, met my eyes with eyes full of tears.
"Can you please hand me that bandage over there?"
"Yes. Please help."
I kept staring at her as I uttered those words.
"I want to save Klaus no matter what. Please."
"!!… I-I understand."
With tears still flowing, Miss Flora reached for the bandages and walked to us.
I’m sorry for what happened earlier. I silently mulled over in my mind.
I am weak and I tried to blame you for everything. In order to protect myself, I was willing to conveniently assert false accusations.
I was also at fault.
It was spineless of me to cry victim when it was me that dragged him along as an escort to a foreign country.
"Once the wound is closed, please make sure to keep his body warm."
While applying medicine, Wolf observed us with great care and gave instructions at precise timing after our last task had completed.
I soaked the cloth towels in hot water and spread it over Klaus. I rigorously continued my work, wiping sweat that formed on my forehead with the back off my hand.
Red dark liquid stuck to my fingers. At first I thought it was blood, but the smell was different this time. However, I could not afford to think about it and put the question at the back of my mind.
TN: I told you Flora a qt. I did this on my phone, if a format goes bonkers then blame me.