Chapter 43: Shaky Emotions
There was no trace of Caria’s finger on my throat. The tightness was gone.
I was supposed to feel relieved. Still, something else bothered my throat. I poured some ale on my mouth to soften my throat. I tried to “swallow” my anxiety and frustration.
Caria narrowed her eyes and bit her tiny lips. She stared fixedly at me as she waited for some sort of meaningful reply.
Please, give me a break. This situation felt so awkward and uncomfortable that I almost couldn’t breathe.
「I see. For the sake of your childhood friend. That makes sense. That’s why you’re willing to walk on “burning iron”.」
Caria nodded a few times after she heard my explanation. After a short moment, she looked somewhat convinced at my story. She grinned from the corner of her mouth. It would be great if I really persuaded her with my words.
There was no way that I would explain everything to her. If I were to tell her that in fact, an unknown shadowy figure visited me or that I came from the future, she would suspect that sanity was gone.
But, I told her about everything else except those supernatural phenomena. I explained her that my childhood friend Ariene was the focus of my journey. In order to save her, I had to become an accomplish adventurer. Therefore, I planned to make use of the upcoming turmoil between the Heraldic people and Garoua Maria to achieve that status. I mentioned all of that except for my feelings of hatred towards Helot Stanley. I didn’t want to mention that by any means.
This was the maximum sincerity that I could show to Caria. She trusted me as her comrade, and she was willing to follow my path. Yes, in the past she would’ve looked down on me and make me feel as if my life were worthless. Of course, this Caria was different from the one back then. This Caria became my companion. My trusted comrade.
If my assumption was correct, then her attitude towards me would be different from her other self. Of course, I only showed her a little bit of my sincerity. So, let’s hope she’ll buy that and respond to my feelings of comradeship.
I didn’t have any etiquette nor education. I was just a mere rat. But, she was different. She had the duty of a noble. Etiquette wasn’t always necessary. But duty yes. She wouldn’t toss me away after she vowed to become my fellow comrade. It would go against her principles if she were to breech the link she created with me. Unless, I dishonored that unbreakable vow. Therefore, this talk was the best I could do in order to preserve my relationship with her.
After thinking for a while, Caria spoke while touching her face with her tiny finger.
「Your childhood friend from the Cathedral, huh…Ariene, you say. I see. That’s why your impeding deal with the Heraldic people could be advantageous for you. Still, just your hands aren’t enough to achieve that purpose. You’ll need more “hands” in order to succeed it.」
Strangely enough, it seemed that I convinced her immediately. After all, her expression didn’t change that much and she kept grinning from the corner of her mouth.
After adjusting the long sword at her waist, Caria bent over to the table and grabbed the bottle of alcohol. She took a large sip of ale while staring at me.
This sight was flamboyant. Her eyes were gleaming like silvery jewels. I took a long deep breath involuntarily. A moment of silence lasted for a long while.
「…I understand. I will come into contact with the ministry of self-defense. I’ll try to do what I can do in order to help you. I can’t guarantee anything. But, based on the story of their social standing, I should be able to join them without much hassle.」
Caria spoke in a lighter tone. She moved her lips and continued to speak.
「I’m going to accept your plan. But, that’s it. From now on, I’ll move under my judgement and reason…You don’t have any complaints, do you?」
Of course, I nodded positively in response.
There was no problem whatsoever. What I wanted was not a doll that impersonated Caria. I wanted the human being named Caria. I wanted her to demonstrate rationality, to make judgements on the spot, and to seek the best solution. I wanted Caria, the proud knight. That’s why I considered her a reliable person and comrade.
That’s right. Before long, I noticed that Caria’s cheeks were slightly red. I didn’t know if they became red because of the ale or because of her swirling emotions.
「This was a meaningful talk. However, don’t you dare mess everything up or I’ll have my hands chopped up as well. You…No. I should say it differently….Let’s do our best.」
Our conversation was finished. Her gaze did not seek my eyes anymore. Caria looked the other way and got up from the table. She walked away and trampled on the local Guild’s wooden broad. She opened the door and went out.
Well then, I should go too. I had to get ready. I mustn’t rely on Caria for everything. I had to do something myself in order to stand as her equal. I wasn’t a worthless human being after all.
Just like Caria, I drank the remaining ale in one gulp. While I drank, some words spun from the back of my mind. Ah, what a pain. This really felt like an excruciating pain.
I put the bottle of alcohol on the table abruptly. Unwanted emotions spurred on my brain without warning.
I slowly put my hand in my mouth to suppress the emotions that appeared against my will. I didn’t feel such emotions before Caria became my comrade. That’s right. I never felt like this.
The behavior that Caria showed me today. That emotion. No doubt about it. It was obsession. Caria was showing a strong attachment to my persona that didn’t go unnoticed. She didn’t show this emotion to anyone else. Not to Helot Stanley nor other men. She only showed this to me.
On this precise moment, I felt shaky emotions from the depths of my heart.
Stop. I mustn’t get happy. I mustn’t be fooled by such emotions. That person was Caria after all. Yes, Caria Burdnick. She was the woman that humiliated me before. She treated me like garbage. A worthless living being. I could count the times she trampled on me and used her tyranny to oppress me. She was a cold and harsh woman that didn’t feel empathy. She never hid her resentment and prejudice towards weaklings like myself.
Ah, but. But.
…How could I make these shaky emotions disappear from the bottom of my heart? How could I suppress the surge of joy?
It was not an exaggeration to say that Caria’s cheeks became red because she did her best to suppress her emotions. She walked away and trampled on the wooden board on the floor, and left through the local Guild’s door.
Caria’s chest felt rough and unwanted emotions began to shake her own eyes. After all, her eyes became slightly watery. Hot blood circulated vigorously throughout her body. Tension and nervousness made her body boiling hot from the tip of her toe to the tip of her hair.
She felt this uncomfortable sensation. Yes, a sensation that made her heart beat too fast. It became “so big” that she felt that her chest was going to burst out at any moment.
It may be the first time that Caria felt this spur of shaky emotions. Caria gritted her back teeth in frustration. The pressure was so strong that all of her teeth smashed with one and another as if they were about to self-destruct.
“His face. Yes, the face he made back then. Lugis’ expression was different from his usual self when he mentioned the name of that woman called Ariene.” Caria thought.
She kept thinking. “That was an expression I’ve never seen on him before. He had such a warm expression all over his face.”
Vexing. Cats and mice trembled in fear and ran immediately from Caria’s path as if they felt her dark mood and bitter feelings. The same happened with people. No obstacles appeared in front of the silver-haired girl’s walking path.
Many words were stuck on her throat as if they were about to explode. While gritting her teeth, Caria’s lips were pressed tightly as well. She tried to suppress these shaky emotions. Yet, the emotional storm didn’t go away.
「…Okay, Lugis. If you need me now, fine. Because I’ll follow you wherever you’ll go.」
Even so. However. Caria whispered as she walked away. Her voice trembled incessantly because of her unwanted emotions. Her feelings were so overpowering that even her voice sounded different. It was as if another person spoke for her. At the same time, her tone sounded like a magical tune.
Somehow, her frightening smile was strangely beautiful.
This chap was quite amusing. Don’t you agree?
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