Chapter 53: An Emotion of the Rainy Season
A few days later after Largud Ann received the report, a messenger finally arrived at the gates of Garoua Maria.
At first, the gagging law* prevented the chaos within the city-state. But, it was impossible to prevent the leakage of the information in the streets. Therefore, the news spread throughout the entire city.
…According to the reports, the fleeing feudal lord got caught and got slaughtered in the name of the Heraldic Order. Other feudal lords were killed in the meantime and their heads were displayed at the gates of the wall surrounding the Gharast Kingdom.
These facts were terrifying, and the citizens of Garoua Maria, who were accustomed to peace, were greatly affected by this news. There was some fear and turmoil in the streets.
However, these events happened on the other side of the territory.
These terrifying events were no more than just news of the outside world. No matter how far this threat spread, it was highly unlikely that it could reach this sanctuary.
After all, this place was the famous walled city-state of Garoua Maria. This sacred city had never suffered from an invasion throughout the long history of humankind.
The fact that Caria was an accomplished swordswoman, made her quite famous among the guards.
Although she was a knight of the Gharast Kingdom, the guardsmen of Garoua Maria now treated her as an honorable guest. Her neat and elegant appearance was the reminiscent of a sharpened sword. Regarding her skills, her sword technique was so flawless that it was hard to believe that such a talent came out of a woman’s thin arms.
She was the knight that everyone yearned to be.
Even though she was just a guest, her demeanor and skills didn’t go unnoticed. Every squad wanted to practice with her and gain her favor. She was the main topic of each day. Actually, she wasn’t famous because they loved her. It wasn’t for her popularity that Caria became this special. In fact, she became famous because everyone envied her.
Yes, she became a hot topic since she started to hang out with the guards. That fact remained unchanged. Today was no exception.
「Good morning…You’re in a good mood today, Miss Caria. 」
Caria turned her eyes away from the window when she heard a man’s voice. The private room, which was given to her as a guest, had a large window that showed the beautiful scenery from the outside.
As rumored, Caria’s mood wasn’t bad, or so it seemed. Actually, she was delicate like a flower in everybody’s eyes. However, they didn’t know her real personality. Anyways, her rosy cheeks loosened a little bit and the sharpness of her eyes softened as well.
In fact, Caria was so cheerful that she made hearts flutter with joy. The sparkle of the eyes was like the eyes of a young child. No wonder that, in a small part, the color of her beautiful eyes were expressed in her cheerful and kind attitude towards others around her.
「I’m just a guest here. There’s no need for me to have such honors. 」
Caria responded with a calm tone, as if she tried to be polite to the man who visited in the morning.
「I can’t change the way I speak with you. I apologize…but, it’s impossible for a man like me to address you differently.」
Caria shrugged her shoulders lightly. Then, she leaned against the window while shaking her stunning silvery hair with her hands.
This man spoke to Caria with respect. It seemed that this demeanor was his true self. This man was no authoritarian. He respected etiquette and customs about formality with honorable guests. Caria didn’t know if it was due to this man’s influence, but the other guardsman addressed him with utmost respect.
After exhaling a small breath, Caria continued to exchange words with this man. Although he wasn’t authoritarian with her, he had some sort of power among the other guards. This man was, in fact, someone of high regard, despite his gouged out eyes that looked like a reptile.
「More importantly, what happened to your chin, Vice Commander? It seems that you went on a short trip this morning right? Because I can see that you’ve put yourself in some kind of troubling situation…」
This man’s appearance was a bit odd, he had distinctive lizard-like eyes. Although his eyes stood out by itself, now he held an ugly scarf around his mouth to support his broken jaw. Moreover, it was even weirder when he spoke, because he had to support his jaw with his hands.
If he didn’t hold his jaw, then he wouldn’t speak the words properly.
The air in the room became heavier after Caria mentioned his broken chin.
The room was engulfed with an ugly aura. It was as if it came straight from that man. His hateful odor was so strong that it seemed like he had a murderous intent. It wasn’t coming from his words or his attitude. But from his inner feelings. Yet, those feelings blew out in the air. A heavy atmosphere swallowed the entire room. It was only for a brief moment, but it was intense.
Caria’s long eyelashes blinked when that man paused for a brief moment before answering her.
「…You don’t need to worry. This is nothing much. 」
His short answer. Unexpectedly, Caria took a deep sigh from her chest.
Of course, it was worrisome. After all, the Vice Commander of the Guards came back to the headquarters from his inspection with a broken chin. This was unheard of.
However, neither his Captain Helot Stanley, nor his fellow guards who were supposed to accompany him on his inspection, spoke about what happened for real. It was as if nothing happened at all. Nobody knew the events that led to his broken chin. No other guards gossiped about it.
To avoid such gossip, the Vice Commander had already gone on a small business trip as soon as his chin was broken. But, not much time has passed since then.
The first inspection. It wasn’t clear if the mission was a success or not. Actually, Caria was supposed to go with them as an assigned escort to act as a surveillance guard. But, things changed, because Helot Stanley ended up going instead…
This man stubbornly tried to avoid the topic of this conversation by speaking just a few words. He pressed his lips. Then, after being silent for a moment, he held his hands on his jaw once again as he tried to spit some words at Caria.
「Miss Caria…Something good happened to you lately, right? 」
Apparently, this man tried to change the topic to a very different one. Caria raised her eyebrows upon hearing his question. It looked like she didn’t want to talk much about herself.
However, Caria didn’t dismiss his question entirely. She didn’t even get angry at him nor cursed him with hateful words. It provoked her heart, but she didn’t lose her tranquil attitude.
「Ah. Well, I’m not a little girl whose mood changes according to the weather. But, yesterday I received a letter from my father. It hasn’t been long since I unsealed the wax on the letter in order to read the contents. Since I’m far away from home, I get this joyful feeling every time I receive a letter from a close family member or friend.」
After professing those words, Caria approached the wall once again and stared at the window.
She gave that man a good answer. And then, she silenced herself because she didn’t have any more to say to him.
That man didn’t seem to pursue that topic anymore. Rather, it seemed that he wanted to avoid losing his footing and ruin Caria’s good spirits, who had not been in a good mood lately.
…Actually, Caria’s mood oscillated quite a bit lately. In fact, she felt irritated with something until yesterday.
In particular, her behavior was noticeable after she heard the news of the heraldic peasants’ rebellion. There was a rumor circulating among the guardsmen that said that this rebellion hurt Caria’s feelings because it happened in her homeland. Still, the meaning was entirely different.
Actually, it were feelings of frustration and anger that swirled around her chest.
Actually, the “curtain” was already open and the “main actors” were on the “stage”. It meant that others like Filaret were given far more important roles to fulfill. Nevertheless, Caria felt as if she were on the edge. As if her efforts weren’t recognized. She didn’t land a main role like the others. So, she was pretty dissatisfied with it.
Deeply in her heart, Caria felt like giving up on this particularly task. She thought about revolting herself and trying to get a main job to do.
During that time, a letter arrived for her.
It was a letter sealed with a special wax. It tried to duplicate Caria’s family crest, the Burdnick House, but it was rather ugly and clumsy-looking. The intent was obvious.
“…This letter is undoubtedly from Lugis.”, Caria thought to herself.
This sloppy-looking letter was far from being a masterpiece. The shape of the crafted wax was something out of this world. An extremely bad replica of Caria’s family crest. If so, only one person in the world would send such a thing.
Caria could barely express the joy of seeing that letter. She picked it up immediately. It was as if her blood boiled through her veins.
Her heart became full of mixed feelings, from high expectations to huge anxiety. Even Caria’s fingertips, which didn’t shiver when she fought against the large demon beast, were slightly shaking.
The content itself was rather simple.
Lugis probably wanted to convey the current situation and future plans. Perhaps, he was afraid that someone else could read the contents of the letter. That’s why he tried his best to craft a legit wax mark, so that nobody would open it. Caria opened the letter slowly and read the hidden truth written in Lugis’ letter.
It was written in the letter that the Heraldic Order commanded some peasants’ to rebel, and that the riot was successful. Consequently, the National Guards were called to another country to attend an urgent political meeting because of the rise of the Heraldic people and its menace. A beacon was set on to start the preparation of their main plan. More information would come around in the next few days.
Caria swallowed dry while she read the contents of Lugis’ letter. Anyway, it ended up just being a regular letter to notify about the current situation. It was just a rough plan. No specific details. Nothing at all.
Something foolish or rather mockery. At first, a gentle smile crossed through Caria’s face when she began to read the letter. Her chest even moved rapidly because of her heart’s palpitations.
Then, when she finished reading the letter, that gentle smile and that calm behavior soon transformed into something icy cold. Her smile was rough and sharp.
Angels and demons were depicted with emotions that transformed rapidly into one and another. Her gentle smile instantly transformed into a sarcastic and piercing smile.
“…How stupid. Did he think that such a small success could change the world?”, she thought.
Caria’s blood became cold like ice and her smirk hardened instantaneously.
Yes, this world couldn’t be changed. Those who were born as knights were knights, those who were born as nobles belonged to the nobility. Those who were born as common people were always commoners. Even those who were born poor were just poor for the rest of their lives.
That aspect of society has never changed. It will not change. It was because the higher up members of society never allowed for such a change. The Kings and Aristocracy were the ones who ruled the nations. The ones who made the “dream of changing the ways of the world” impossible to achieve.
Caria understood that reality extremely well. After all, she belonged to the high society that ruled the world. She perfectly knew that men like Lugis would never get proper recognition even if they worked really hard.
How much could one earn as an adventurer in the end? Adventurers didn’t even get land or physical properties, unless they were a poor noble or had a higher status.
Ah, how awful. It was extremely annoying to know it all. That man, Lugis, was never going to reach glory after all the anguish and longing he went through. There won’t be anybody in this world to acknowledge his efforts.
“…C’mon, so be it. Lugis. You don’t have a choice but to swallow the rottenness of this world and dramatically move the vortex of change.”, Caria thought so.
Because she was deeply immersed on her thoughts, Caria didn’t realize the expression she made on her face that reflected through the window glass.
This world was so petty for disapproving someone like Lugis. Some people would just snap their fingers to get glory, while others would need to chase it their entire lives just to live poorly in the end.
Caria thought to herself the following words.
“But, don’t worry. You can rest assured Lugis. Yes, my words come from the bottom of my heart”.
“However, I’ll be the one to pave that path for you. I will take you to the highest place above our heads”.
“That’s right. I’m not a black-haired sorceress, nor am I the woman who calls herself a childhood friend. This is me. Yes, I am myself and no one else”.
The expression on her face was beautiful. Every men’s heart would be swayed immediately if they saw her gorgeous complexion. Caria’s silvery eyes glowed brightly through the reflection of the window glass. Her eyes showed absolute resolve for the upcoming future.
*Gagging law is a law forbidding the public disclosure of information on a particular matter. In other words, is a ruling prohibiting free debate or expression of opinion (as in a deliberative body).
Thank you to the Patrons for the continued support!