Chapter 37: This Moment’s Opportunity
「I wonder if we had convinced that woman, Saint Matia, with that kind of answer.」
The sound of hooves marching on the ground echoed in the carriage. Besides that sound, the cracking noise of the wheels was quite predominant as well. Everyone remained silent amidst that noise. Before long, Helot Stanley opened his mouth.
「Most likely. I don’t know much about that Saint woman. But, I’m convinced that she must’ve believed in something at least, or she would’ve killed us by now.」
I didn’t understand much about that woman as well. Or what kind of intentions she had. I twisted my neck in confusion.
It felt as if I were the only one having a conversation with Helot Stanley. Filaret La Volgograd had not regained consciousness yet. Therefore, she wasn’t in a good physical condition to engage in a conversation. And Caria sat by her side with closed eyes. She reluctantly opened her lips and cleared up her throat.
「Still, she freed us. I’m sure she had ill intentions against us. She really was a prideful person. But, she swallowed that pride and managed to send us away in a respectful manner without even harming us.」
Caria’s words were tingling on my chest.
There was no such thing. Yes, unbelievable. It was impossible. I refuse to believe that that woman named Matia was that kind. We only exchanged a few words with one another. But, I understood her character very well.
That was a woman with ulterior motives. That woman was willing to sacrifice us for real by misrepresenting the doctrines of her faith. A woman capable of putting an act to fool other people. She was probably a professional in the art of deceit. A manipulative and oppressor woman. If she wanted to kill us on the spot, she would’ve done that immediately even if she had to rebel against the doctrines that her people believed in.
That’s why we still had our necks. It was all because of her vicious scheming. If we didn’t satisfy her hidden desires, then, we would be transformed “into ashes on a bed of eternal sleep”.
I felt frustration. I bit my lips to contain this frustration.
Yes, I tried to find a new path for my new life. Instead, this path has been overshadowed by conflict and troubles. I felt a heavy burden on my shoulders. Even my light clothes felt like an iron armor. That woman was ridiculous. Matia, a woman of hell. A very disgusting woman.
That woman’s words didn’t leave my mind. Those words still whispered on my ears.
…So, let’s decide the method of transmitting our communications. Ann. Largud Ann will be a suitable person for this role.
It was as if I could hear her whispering voice coming right from my shoulders.
From a normal perspective, that would be the last words someone would say before a farewell was given between both parties. But to me, it felt as if that witch inflicted a curse on my head. I felt a strangely cold sensation on my fingertips every time I remembered her voice.
Worse. This was absolutely the worse. Everything kept going beyond my expectations. I got faced with disappointments each time. I bit my tongue every time I felt an awful feeling. Even meeting with that Saint woman, who gave us such an unwelcoming introduction, was a mistake. All went wrong on these last few days. Besides that, I haven’t even figure how to separate Filaret from Helot. Ah, these troublesome feelings kept swirling inside of my head.
「Whatever… Anyways, we are finally getting back to the city. So, how is my employer’s condition?」
I shook my shoulders casually, and then, I spoke with some light-toned words to appease the frustration of my mind. Helot gently put a blanket on a laying Filaret. He narrowed his eyes and opened his mouth.
「It seems that she exhausted her magical source. Both her mental and physical strength were drained as well. It was as if she ran out of energy. It’s been a while since she invoked this insane amount of sorcery powers. She needs a proper rest for the time being.」
He spoke while taking a deep sigh. This request and this adventure. Everything was interrupted. I didn’t want to give back the advance payment I received prior to this trip. But, to be honest, I wouldn’t be able to get a reward for doing such a poor job on this quest. I had mixed feelings about his though. I had dignity and pride of an adventurer, but a dark soul of a lawless person.
Helot looked somewhat apprehensive. Maybe cautious, or maybe confused. Anyways, I just nodded quietly after he told me about Filaret’s condition.
Ms. Ninz introduced this person to guide us to the city-state of Garoua Maria. She was a girl that looked younger than Caria and me. Her expression and the posture resembled the behavior of little children. However, her talent was unquestionable. No one could deny that she had an extraordinary ability in persuasive and negotiating skills.
Ah, what a frightening coincidence this turned out to be. In fact, our guide was once part of the heraldic order. Of course, I knew that already based on the description I received from Ms. Ninz’s letter. Even so, I never knew that something unimportant written on a letter actually transformed into something so big that entangled all of us.
One of the shabby alleys of the city was designated as the meeting point. Before long, Largud Ann appeared. She was carrying a large barrel as always.
「I’ve heard that you wanted to meet me, my heroes. Ah, well, great Lugis, is it okay if I call you a hero?」
She cleared her throat, and spoke with a voice that spilled the beans. Yes, a bit rude in fact. But, it was Largud Ann after all.
She walked into the shabby alley. We exchanged some information with her. All of us tried to understand each other’s situations. The ambush, the real intention, the transaction, and everything that followed afterwards.
「I already told you that I’m not that type of person. Heroes are people with burdens, especially because many people rely on them. Too much pressure. But, I must confess that I wouldn’t mind getting some of the fame and riches that comes along with it.」
In other words, to get enough money in order to free Ariene. That would be, not only my adventurer’s goal, but also my personal goal.
Heroes and great people. I was, in fact, none of those. Did I longed to have such a title attached to my name? Maybe. Deep down I knew the answer to that question. Yes, it would be too much pressure. But, my heart would be satisfied with a rewarding life. Still, I had a good understanding of what would happen if an ordinary person like me reached out to such almighty horizon.
Just look at what happened with that request. I would have died if I had made a bigger mistake. No. Actually, I was almost at the verge of death. The talented ones were those that were with me. Only those that save others are the ones that deserve to be called heroes and great people.
It was very difficult to swallow the unfairness of this world. That made it hard to maintain my own soul’s determination.
「Sure…Well, then Lugis. How much do you know about their purpose? And, how did you end up cooperating with them?」
The tone of her words were conveyed in a very politely way. Actually, Largud Ann always spoke graciously with us ever since we met. But, it was different this time. She didn’t speak in a friendly nor familiar manner. It was as if her words were “thrown to the sky” purposely. The light in her eyes and the movement of her body seemed different this time.
Ah, I see. This demeanor was probably Largud Ann’s true face.
「Apparently, your name ended up being brought in the conversation with the Saint. Still, all of us knew that you weren’t deeply involved in the heraldic order because of Lady Ninz’s letter.」
Yeah, a name that wasn’t supposed to be heard in a situation like that. After one of us explained that, Largud Ann loosened her cheeks and made a big smile on her face. It was probably a sarcastic smile. After all, her name was used to barter for our freedom. Still, there wasn’t anything we could do to avoid that now. Although the purpose wasn’t that righteous, Largud Ann was nominated as the trading partner for the negotiations with the Saint woman.
Yes, a very strange and sarcastic smile. Even though she showed us a fake smile, her face said it all. She hardened her face as if her emotions were suppressed.
「I don’t know about everything in detail. But, I do understand the meaning of what you told me so far.」
Largud Ann spoke with a normal but ironic manner that even made my ears hurt. I just nodded as I heard her answer. However, than she opened her mouth again and spoke in a loud tone.
「You are getting involved with a dangerous person that impersonates herself as Saint Maria*. That woman has never forgiven anyone. At least not until now.」
Largud Ann’s atmosphere changed after she finished speaking. Her smile was hollow and gave an ominous feeling. Afterwards, she shook her head slightly. She hesitated to speak for a while, as if she were choosing her words carefully.
「I see. Even if you like it or not… You ended up becoming a hero, Lugis. Okay, you have two options. You take this opportunity to negotiate, or…」
…you’ll end up as “someone else’s food”.
In the corner of a shabby alley, Largud Ann’s strange bright voice melted away.
*Virgin Mary from the Holy Bible.
EN: TL-Sama everyone knows who the virgin Mary is…. It’s a very famous anime, come on!
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