Chapter 42: Obsession
「You have three sins, did you know about that? 」
She held up her thin finger to my throat to express her bursting feelings. I narrowed my eyes and I swallowed dry. My brain twisted in a confusing manner after I heard Caria’s questioning. I tried to find an answer for her question, but I became even more confused.
Only a tiny air circulated through my throat. It wasn’t enough to supply my lungs with oxygen. My lungs ached with pain because of the lack of air. My body lost strength and my limbs became dormant. I didn’t feel that great and I was about to lose my consciousness.
What was this feeling? It was true that Caria was a woman capable of behaving rashly and cold-hearted like this. But, there was always some sort of distance between her and me. I always knew what to expect of her nasty words.
Yet, a sin. I didn’t have any memory of it. I tried to recall my memories of the past timeline. Then, I tried to remember what happened so far on the present timeline. Still, I didn’t remember having any guilty feelings towards Caria.
The sight of my eyes’ pupils was slightly blurred. The confusion spread further on my body. My brain became dull as if blood stopped circulating through my veins.
I was unable to understand the meaning of her words. Her piercing talk managed to make me feel bad with myself even though I didn’t know the reason why. It looked as if her hand was choking my throat. This feeling was unmistakably true. This was not a joke or fluke. Seriously, this woman was trying to make me go mad.
「You’re not sure? I’ll tell you…The first one…my “comrade” didn’t care about me and acted on his own without asking for my advice. Twice now.」
Caria added that she forgave me once. It was as if she wanted to show me her generous side. However, her smile was rather cold. Bittersweet in fact.
I rounded my eyes when I received her words by nodding slightly.
I understood to some extent. I considered her my comrade and I changed things as I pleased. Most probably, the first time was when I accepted Filaret’s request. After that, the second time was with the negotiations between the Heraldic people without considering them with Caria.
Her chin quivered and her hard expression said it all. I understood why she nominated my sin for those reasons alone. Still, this situation made me feel quite uncomfortable. Even if I tried to speak, I could only make a strange hoarse sound that echoed from my dry and constricted throat.
Then, Caria loosened her expression when she became convinced of my reaction.
「Then, your second sin. This time you’re putting that Sorceress at the center of your plan. You gave her a chance to participate directly on this scheme while you put me behind the scenes. What do you have to say about his, huh?」
Finally, the power behind her thin finger pointed into my throat weakened.
New air went inside of my throat. My esophagus felt a quivering feeling of fresh air coming through. Then, my lungs began to act fervently as they took the new air.
On this moment, I felt a swirl of confusing feelings running on my mind. I wondered if I remained sane or not. I questioned whether my thoughts were intact. Everything that happened here felt like torture. This was nostalgic. Yes, a state of fear and horror that I was familiar with from the past timeline.
Nonetheless, her finger still touched my throat. But, her touch was relaxed now. If I made a mistake, this could cost me dearly. Everything I might say, could damage Caria’s mood.
At this time, I felt something strange about all of this on my heart.
What? Something felt off. Why was she so full of rage and hatred? This situation was too different when compared to the former Caria during the salvation journey. Of course, her behavior changed as she aged, but even so, something was clearly off this time.
Obsession. Yes, her past fixation. I would never forget it anymore. I remember clearly how obsessed she was with Helot Stanley. Still, her current tantrum made her behavior a lot worse than what it was in the past.
I slowly opened my mouth to speak some words without hurting my throat too much.
「Ugh…Ah. You’re wrong. As far as I can see, Filaret is someone with a fragile heart. If I let her go without paying much attention, she’s likely to “collapse” unless I take care of her.」
Actually, not quite so.
In fact, that girl was a polar opposite of her future self. Filaret La Volgograd from the journey of salvation was different from the one of this timeline.
She was a fierce girl no matter what happened. She always stood by herself and always showed to others what she was capable of doing. She had the aura that made people feel small against her. She had cunning eyes that were able to see through the inner self of other people.
However, if you looked closely at the present day Filaret, she behaved like a young tree that needed something to lean on. She wouldn’t be able to even imagine standing by herself. It made me feel that I had to watch over her back because she felt hopeless.
I was sure that Filaret was brilliant. A great talented person. Still, this Filaret was still a diamond in rough. It would be irresponsible of me to leave someone like her alone.
Ah, or maybe I was wrong about it. In fact, it could’ve been otherwise. Perhaps, Filaret leaned on that man’s back during the journey of salvation without me realizing it. I wondered if her attitude remained the same after all.
「But, Caria. You’re different from her. You’re a strong woman. That’s what I really think of you. You are a reliable woman that can even slice the devil’s neck on your own. Besides…」
When I professed those words, I got a weird feeling on my body. I felt that the power of my hands disappeared temporarily. Of course, it wasn’t anything too serious. Caria said, 「Besides what? 」 She questioned my reasons while I tried to explain to her why I put her behind the scenes and not that girl Filaret.
「You’re a very proud person. Even if you dislike me, once you’ve made a promise with me, you’ll never betray me. I know you too well.」
Yes, that’s the only thing I knew and truly believed.
During my days of the rescue party, she was arrogant, unreasonable and violent with me. But, those days were my past and her future. That’s why she didn’t remember it.
However, I did remember those days myself. I remember that a woman named Caria was a very proud woman that carried her will earnestly. Despite all of her big flaws, she was a great woman on that regard.
For a brief moment, her silvery eyes became wide open. She quivered her lips as well. She wasn’t prepared to hear such words coming from my mouth. She was oblivious of how much I knew about her.
「I see. You speak as if you know me personally. But, I doubt that you gained this wisdom so soon. So, tell me. Why do you believe that I won’t betray you? Why do you think I’m that reliable to being with? Why do you think that deeply about my persona?」
「I already told you before. 」
Caria’s reaction. She stared at me with suspicious eyes. But, it couldn’t be helped though. I just had to do my part in other to appease her unsettled feelings.
「Because you are Caria Burdnick…No. Because it’s you, Caria. 」
Caria thought deeply about what I’ve just said to her. Then, she narrowed her eyes and smiled a little as if she were satisfied with my answer.
「I accept that…I might not be a knight anymore, but I still have the respect and loyalty of a noble. Therefore, if I make a promise with someone, I’ll give them my trust and allegiance.」
At last, my throat became clear and I was able to breathe normally again. I was finally released from the claws of the devil. I thought that I was living on hell. My strength returned and I felt a relief coming of my shoulders.
I didn’t know if my reasoning was enough. But, at least, it looked like I convinced her somehow.
When I stared at Caria’s face…I noticed that her silvery eyes were too close to my face. We were so close to each other, that I could feel our breaths. Our foreheads almost collided with one another. My throat throbbed spontaneously.
「Well, I hope you haven’t forgotten. But, you have three sins…Third. You seem to be hiding something from me. Your actions and words are weird and unusual sometimes. Even if you have a hidden purpose, you act somewhat suspiciously sometimes. If you want to work alongside me as a fellow comrade, don’t you think it’s necessary to break the walls between us? Why don’t you speak now whatever you’re hiding from me, huh?」
Caria’s expression was daunting. No wonder that our faces were so close to one another. She made this move so that I wouldn’t move my gaze away from hers. She grinned with that demonic expression on her face as if she intentionally pushed her comrade into a corner of hell.
Next chap is an interesting one. (I smirked a little bit)
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