Chapter 28: A Sincere Person
Was she just buried in the wall or was she swallowed inside? Caria Burdnick tried to trace any abnormalities on the wall by touching the wall surface with her tiny white fingers. She looked extremely focused. She wrinkled her eyebrows while she stared fixedly at the wall with a strange expression. There were no signs that indicated that the wall trap would be activated again.
Caria twisted her mouth, as she looked upset. She was clearly dismayed because a dumb device tricked all of them. Besides, Lugis got separated with that Sorceress woman named Filaret.
「Let’s determine the course of action. First, the situation is quite bad. The party was divided and there is no prospect of merging again. Second, our best option is to return to the city-state and ask for help.」
This man, Helot Stanley, stated the facts correctly. His judgment was not clouded.
A trap had divided the party. It would be dangerous if they were to fall for a second trap without asking for help. The best way to avoid that possible outcome was to escape from the underground temple and search for help. The situation was clear and the number of missing people was certain. Therefore, asking for proper aid would be the best solution for this problem.
Caria Burdnick squeezed her silver eyes. She thought carefully for a brief moment. Soon, she decided what she wanted to do and declared the following.
「No, I’m moving forward. There are no guarantees that falling back will fix this situation. If I want results, the best option is to continue.」
「Quite surprising, isn’t it? I actually agree with you. The safest option to take would be to return and ask for help. That would be the normal thing to do. But, time does not rewind. If we delay this, then it’s less likely they’ll be rescued.」
Helot nodded in agreement, while Caria shook her silver hair away from her forehead.
Both of them chose the unlikely measure. Even though their decision was the result of a rational calculation, in the end, it was more inclined to be an emotional decision.
They didn’t bring enough provisions to be able to last several days. Each member of the party had at least enough food and water to last a day at best. From Garoua Maria to the location of the underground temple would take a long day by horse-carriage. Even if they rushed, it would take a minimum of two full days to come back with help.
It wouldn’t be a problem if the missing members rationed their food and water. People won’t die that easily by starving for a day. If they saved enough of their provisions, it would last them two full days.
However, if they fell into a trap, there was a high possibility that everything went wrong. They could be hurt, have serious injuries, broken limbs, or excessive bleeding. If that happened, they wouldn’t last even one day. If that was the case, then we must go ahead. It was a worrisome situation. Therefore, the best way to deal with this was to do things quickly.
「Besides, I’m sure that man was the first one to step into that trap. Yeah, he’s that kind of human being.」
Caria spoke with a sarcastic tone while walking through the stone hallway. The surroundings were dark. They lit the area with a torch, and they finally managed to see something of this strange place. It was the remains of the underground temple. However, it was only the outer structures. The main hall could be hidden beneath all this structures. It was unusual to build a symbolic temple underground. It was mysterious. If the heraldic people were persecuted, then that would explain why they built the temple this way. The stone configuration was completely unfamiliar to Caria.
But, in spite of this daunting area, Caria remembered the figure of Lugis involuntarily. She cleared her throat and laughed.
「…Even though we’re in the middle of a crisis, I can see that Miss Caria isn’t easily persuaded by panic or fear. Are you, Miss Caria, perhaps, of noble birth?」
Helot walked in front of Caria with a light when he heard her laugh. When Caria asked why he thought that way, Helot responded with a soft voice.
He explained that her skin condition, the tone of the voice, and her way of speaking were characteristics that could naturally differ between commoners and aristocratic people. Common people didn’t have the need to use sophisticated words. If the body was subjected to harsh physical labor, the skin would be burnt and bruised. The common people’s lifestyle would be reflected on the body’s shape and motion.
Helot continued to explain that he felt something different about Caria since the beginning. She had a strange premonition when they first met in the Guild.
That’s right. Caria was gazing at her tiny white fingers. She realized that her hands and skin were probably one of the reasons why he felt different about her. Her hands held swords, but she never did agricultural work before. She didn’t know how to pick wheat as well. Neither how to grip the tools with her hands nor how to squeeze the rag. Her hands showed that she never did hard labor. Yes, her hands would indeed be strange for common folks. That’s why she was far from being one of them.
「Well, I have one more question. How is Miss Caria and Mister Lugis related?」
Strangely, he sounded as if he selected those words beforehand. However, that question could be made of either sincerity, curiosity or innocence that existed in Helot’s heart.
「I don’t understand what are you implying. Do you possible mean, why I was accompanied by a person with a totally different upbringing?」
「Yes, that’s right. It’s unusual for people of different backgrounds and classes to be traveling with each other.」
What he said was, of course, a natural thing to say about Caria and Lugis. There was no way that people would say that they belonged to same origin. Their characteristics were too different from one and another. The words and atmosphere surrounding Caria were of noble origins. While Lugis behaved exactly like common people.
Caria stroke her chin. She was immersed on her thoughts after Helot questioned her relationship with Lugis. For example, if their different origins were correct, Caria would be the master and Lugis will be the servant. It was an obvious order of relationship between classes. However, their interactions in the Guild clouded that judgment towards their relationship as master and servant. It became confusing. After all, even Caria didn’t fully understand what kind of relationship she had with Lugis.
「About what you said. It’s a bit difficult to explain the relationship I have with him…」
「Yes, that’s why I felt it was strange. But, I could see that Miss Caria trusts Mister Lugis very much. Yes, it’s a relationship based on trust. If you two were in love, then that would explain everything.」
When those words were professed, Caria’s mind became frozen. It was as if her brain was trying to grasp the understanding of something unknown.
Love. When someone had affection for another person, and when those feelings were reciprocated by that same person, a relationship would be built on love. A link that united two individuals. Caria and him. No, that wasn’t true. That thing didn’t exist. It’s not been that long since they met each other. They had different backgrounds and different ways of life. How could two very different people fall in love with each other? Well, they didn’t.
No, wait. Caria held her thoughts once more. She remembered that love was a feeling that made the heart throb. If that was the case, then that means that her feelings for him could be love?
However, while repeating these two distinct thoughts on her mind, Caria finally reached to a conclusion and answered.
「Comrade. Yes, he is my comrade. That’s how I describe our relationship.」
That’s it. Caria remembered what Lugis said to her before. This description was more appropriate. Of course, that didn’t erase the fact that it was odd that people of different backgrounds were comrades. But, that explanation was fine for now.
Still, Helot had some doubts but, even so, he accepted her reasoning. He continued the conversation with Caria.
「This is a good opportunity, so I will tell you how I sincerely feel about him…To be honest, that person didn’t leave a very good impression on me. I even consider him dangerous.」
His tone was a bit darker than normal. His topic of conversation changed right from the stage of a regular conversation to a serious one. When Caria heard his words, she said it was absurd.
Caria thought that Helot was overthinking too much about Lugis’ character. But, he spoke his sincere thoughts to a person like Caria. She didn’t understand love, or companionship. She was sometimes unreasonable and sometimes rude. That’s why Helot wanted to know about the relationship she had with Lugis. Upon analyzing her words, Helot decided to tell her more about his impression of Lugis.
Heliot was sincere and serious with that line of reasoning. Caria put her hand on her head in a way that looked like she was puzzled by hearing the words of a seemingly sincere person.
「It’s true that I’m not familiar with him in a way that you are. But, he is definitely not a good person. Miss Caria. Why are you with a person like him?」
I see. So, that was the opinion Helot Stanley had of Lugis. Caria understood what he tried to say with “not a good person”. She looked the other way and kept walking further ahead.
He was a person who couldn’t leave what was incorrect without saying it was incorrect. He wouldn’t let injustice prevail. He would rather face evil with justice up front. He was a person who was straight to the point. He was that type of person.
「I’m extremely worried about Filaret at this precise moment. I’m so worried that I feel like my chest is ripping apart. There’s no way that I can calm down in a situation like this. So, I’d like to tell you this. If by any chance he does something bad to Filaret…I’m going to make him my enemy.」
During this time, he said what he was going to do. He was serious. Caria understood what it meant without fussing about it.
Although it was too sudden, he was ready to oppose a member of this newly formed party. It was just an assumption. But, it was something he firmly believed in. That’s why he felt it was unfair not to explain everything that he felt to Caria. That’s what he thought. His sincere feelings.
Caria winked her silver eyes. She slowly pressed her lips, her words started to build up inside of her.
This heat wave is killing me right now… Please winter come faster.
Thank you to the Patrons for the continued support!