Chapter 33: The Genuine and Good Intentions
The underground temple passage was a dark place where only a small light reflected on the wall. The air was heavy and only a small breeze circulated through.
「I’ve decided… He is the person who brought me this far. And I was the one who decided to take his hand. That means that I choose to take his side…because we are comrades after all.」
Only a faint light coming from the torch illuminated the two still figures.
Caria pulled her silver sword from her scabbard and her serious eyes shined in the dim light. Helot looked astonished at her. He immediately pulled out his own sword as well. The atmosphere was tense as if they were ready for an imminent battle.
Caria’s double-edged sword didn’t lose the shining glow even in the dark.
Both of them were facing each other fixedly. There wasn’t any movement, although both swords were pointed towards one another. The silence overruled the darkness.
The fire of the torch moved because of a small wind current passing through. The light bounced back and forth.
Both of their expressions were unreadable. None of them could grasp what was on his/her mind. Yet, the situation was not favorable for the both of them. This was a situation where death was inevitable if anyone of them were to be swayed by trivial emotions.
They tried to hide the uneasiness they felt during, this ordeal. Yet, they couldn’t contain the strong air that crawled out of their lungs. Their heavy breaths expressed their minds and, mostly, their hidden feelings.
Caria’s eyebrows wrinkled and Helot’s hands moved lower.
The sound of the blades vibrated tremendously. The high-pitch was so strong that it probably reached the sky from above the ground. That sound was an obvious sign.
Caria stepped in rapidly and waved her sword. Her silver hair bounced in the air flamboyantly. The movement of her sword was executed at a straight line.
The tip of the sword didn’t even tremble. There wasn’t enough time to feel the reality of the offensive strike. No time for regrets, nor fear. The sword movement was clearly the gift of arduous training combined with natural talent.
On the other side, Helot looked astonishingly bright. He moved his right foot a step to the side from his original position and then moved the tip of his left foot downwards. As opposed to what he felt at the beginning, his eyes didn’t show hesitation or confusion any longer.
His strike was done at the same time as Caria’s attack. The brightness of his counterattack also broke through the air. He used his speed and the weight of his powerful weapon to strike forward. The trajectory was short, but the sharpness was flawless.
The attacks were simultaneous. However, it was not aimed directly at either opponent. Both of the strikes managed to rip the flesh of human beings, hiding among them. Blood spilled everything and sources of life expired on the spot.
The silver talent cut off a neck, while the bright man ripped off the flesh from the upper side of a body.
The sound of falling meat was heard in unison.
「…I guess, you didn’t see this coming. I almost ripped off your neck, you know. 」
After she spoke, Caria pulled out her silver sword from the headless figure that stood behind Helot. The ripped neck spilled great amounts of blood. It confirmed the hidden figure’s death.
「I should be saying the same thing about you, Miss Caria. You are in a position where you can’t see much of your sideline. Anyways, how long have you been aware of the individual’s presence behind my back?」
Caria responded by bouncing her shoulders.
Likewise, Helot cut the left arm of an unseen figure that lurked behind Caria’s back. It wasn’t possible to see the true appearance of this mysterious figure because it had a black fabric covering his face while his eyes were left uncovered. They looked upset, frustrated and willing to die given his wounded state.
Why did this happen?
They probably tried to attack us because we were intruders. They really wanted to get rid of us. Everything was in turmoil. We were confused and the attacker was desperate.
When Caria realized the magnitude of this situation, she spoke aloud.
「You did great. I rushed and killed the other one. I should’ve kept him alive to extract some useful information.」
「Aren’t you rushing with your own words? I’m not sure if these attackers had anything to do with Filaret and Mister Lugis’ disappearance.」
Helot approached the wounded man and tied a cloth on his injured left arm. The man was suffering, but the blood stopped.
Yet, he felt paralyzed because of the severe pain. He almost lost consciousness. But, his brain remained lucid. He was in a dangerous situation just moments ago. If Helot didn’t stop the constant bleeding coming from his arm, then his life would be at risk. But, Helot covered his injury immediately. The man regained his senses and screamed painfully.
「Of course. We shall consider all options. We don’t know if they had something to do with Lugis’ disappearance. That’s right. But, there’s a high chance that they are involved in all of this. We must extract information from this man, even if we have to resort to torture.」
Caria shook her silver hair. Her fierce demeanor was seen through the dim light. She wasn’t swayed by unnecessary emotions. She produced a strange sense of intimidation. That made her an incredible person. It was difficult to put it into words, but, summing up, her attitude expressed an authoritarian and cold-hearted demeanor.
The man squealed in front of us. It looked as if he was having convulsions. He was suffering such terrible pain that felt worse than death itself. However, he strengthened his eyes. He started to behave strangely despite his pain. Yes, that behavior was how thugs or assassins were supposed to behave. He was prepared for his own death in case the enemies captured him. Yet, this felt different from lowly men that ended their lives to protect their secrets. This man was an extremist; his religious beliefs told him that his soul would prevail if he chose his own death. Otherwise, his soul could be compromised if he let the enemies torture his humane body.
The man opened his lips slightly and tried to chew the poisonous medicine that was hidden on the corner of his mouth. He closed his lips and began to chew. We knew what was going on. We couldn’t let him swallow that poison. Something had to be done quickly.
「Don’t die. I don’t wish to witness your death. I want you to live. 」
Helot moved immediately and tried to open his mouth forcibly. Helot used his thumb and forefinger, and managed to remove the sachet of poison that was between that man’s teeth.
The man’s face turned pale. It wasn’t because he was about to die by his own volition. It wasn’t also because torture awaited him.
He was surprised because of Helot’s actions to save him. Not for the sake of extracting information through torture. Helot saved his life with genuine and good intentions. Those intentions were unbelievable and surreal for that man.
He realized that the enemy wanted him to live with good intentions.
Terrifying. That man felt a terrifying feeling run throughout his body. It was something he never felt before. Somehow, it felt like several thorns were cutting his mind. The man started to quiver. A sensation that ran from the tip of his toe to the spine on his back.
「Miss Caria. I did what I had to do in order to save this man’s life. 」
「It’s surprising. Your actions confirmed the kind of human being you really are. 」
Helot nodded with a gentle smile.
「Yes, of course. If you weren’t willing to avoid his death, then I had to be the one to do it. There was enough time to rescue him before he died. If I didn’t move forward, then I’ll be responsible for his death. I didn’t want to be a human engulfed with cowardice.」
Then, Helot bent down on his knees, he put his hands on his chest and told the man.
「I’ll do my very best to help you. Let’s keep your soul flourishing by being alive. 」
No matter how much he begged to end his life and not matter how much he prayed to his God, Helot was not willing to let him die. He would never kill this man. Yes, everything he said was with genuine and good intentions.
Confusion occupied that man’s mind. His heartbeat was accelerated and it didn’t soften. The meaning of that terrifying feeling was real. He couldn’t believe it. He almost collapsed. No enemy treated him like this before. Perhaps, all he knew on his entire life was ill intentions. His God taught him that good intentions always prevailed the ill intentions. Always. Yet, his heart and mind were in turmoil.
His prayer, mixed with fear and confusion, disappeared in the dark.
Week-end of moving between houses… Hopefully my next house wont have fleas… >:/
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