Chapter 70: Suspicion and Trust
A loud sound echoed in my ears and quivered my brain.
It was exactly that monkey’s scream.
The surrounding beasts fled long ago, and those who couldn’t escape had already died.
The sound resembled the high-pitched growl of a stomach. The sound was so piercing that seemed as if a chicken was strangled. That beast resembling a large monkey, screamed aloud from the large cavity at the belly. It was hard to say, but that monkey was no longer a living thing. Therefore, it was categorized as a demon beast.
However, now, we were faced with two irreversible options. Whether to escape or whether to confront it.
That loud growl was daunting. It felt like an obvious threat. That demon beast clearly had a murderous intent. It looked at its prey to see if it would escape or not. Actually, it didn’t matter much if the prey fled or not. It made no difference to the demon beast. In fact, I knew that its habit was to enjoy the thrills of a hunt.
That said, there was probably no other choice but to go through the demon beast’s territory.
「…So, Lugis. Can we shoot that thing down? How much of a threat is it? I feel like that beast is a menace to us. It might try to eat us if it feels hungry.」
Filaret muttered while condensing the magic power at the tip of her finger.
Seeing the wrinkles in her forehead, her nervous reaction was probably caused by the loud sound of the demon beast monkey. She was probably startled. She was in a very bad mood when she woke up. It was as if she had lived a cave dweller’s life.
The black sharpened eyes looked fixedly at the demon beast monkey as she tried to invoke a whirlpool of magic in order to kill it. Her bad mood made her act rashly without a clear head.
「Hey you, wait a second. A poor Sorceress like you will only make things worse. I think that one with experience shall be the one to do it. I confronted a similar type in the past, so can you step aside and let me do it instead, huh?」
“In the past”, she said. Was she referring to that demon beast that resembled a large boar? She spoke as if she was the only one involved in that fight.
Caria told Filaret to stay away from this situation. She spoke as if she was proud of herself. As if, she was the one capable of killing that beast. A mass of magic erupted from Filaret’s finger. I felt that Filaret’s aim turned towards Caria.
She won’t listen to Caria’s words no matter what, and Caria just looked intensively at Filaret after demanding her to back off. I felt that my heart beat a little faster.
Just recently, I began to notice that this situation was somehow strange. With Caria, of course, but also with Filaret.
There was an obvious friction between those two. There was some meaning behind their actions but they dared not to talk about it. I could guess what that hatred was all about. I felt that my pathos was starting to sprout.
Caria had a burning obsession. While Filaret had an unyielding dependence. I thought that these were the reasons behind such friction.
There was no doubt that their feelings of hatred were due to my existence. Should I feel joy knowing that those feelings were poured into this body? No, I mustn’t rejoice at this. I clearly understood that I shouldn’t be swayed by this illusion. I had to force my cheeks to remain calm so that they won’t be distorted. Both of them were witches who once trampled and committed great violence against me.
I felt like a shameful fool. I tried to ignore the current feelings of the people who despised me before, and yet, those feelings swayed at the core of my heart.
Ah, even so. My body rejoiced at this even though my mind didn’t.
I did understand that this was absurd. In the past, Caria spitted on me, while Filaret completely ignored my existence.
However. Yes, an ordinary man like me felt joy upon receiving the favor of these two women. I couldn’t help, but feel pleasure from this. Yet, it couldn’t be possible. I was just the same old me. I was just an ordinary man.
…Ah, but, even so. Recently, I felt something strange about this turn of events.
Did I ever see Caria’s burning obsession and Filaret La Volgograd’s unyielding dependence on the same person that made them try to ruin each other?
I didn’t. At least, I had never seen this occurrence on my previous journey.
Then, I suddenly realized. I had been thinking wrongly. My head was elsewhere. We were facing an obstacle that could be dangerous for us all. This was not the time to think of useless things.
How idiotic of me. All I had to do was take the next step. Summing up, bring myself to the front in order to gain recognition. After I shook my thoughts away, I spoke with Matia as I stood up. What I wanted to convey was a way to shake off the demon monkey from our way.
「Saint. How if we give it a bottle of wine? It might feel pleased and leave amicably.」
That’s right. I spoke those unlikely words with a carefree tone while pointing at the wine in the back of the carriage.
That wine from Garoua Maria was originally brought to be presented to the elven King. The wine inside the unopened barrel was a fine wine with no sour taste. There was no doubt that such a wine could do wonders and be our savior.
Nonetheless, Matia’s serene expression disappeared upon hearing my words. She wrinkled her eyebrows, her cheeks began to tremble, and her face became slightly red. For a moment, her hidden emotions emerged from the bottom of her petrified heart.
「…I was wrong to give you a little recognition! You are a fool that tries to abuse the mere position that was given to you! This is not the right time to say stupid things…!」
She opened the palm of her hands widely and pushed her emotions out of her mouth. A little sweat flowed from her forehead.
After all, I was a stranger that became part of the Heraldic Order quite suddenly. She stared furiously at me. Actually, I thought that I was going to receive a cold-hearted response from her. Contrary to her calculations, she seemed to be the type to expose her raging emotions.
「I understand, and I’m sorry for expressing an absurd idea. But, it was not a joke. You must give it that wine. That’s the best option now.」
I noticed that Matia’s expression calmed down a little when she pulled back her hand. I tried to explain my idea with word by word.
「That demon monkey is a strangely greedy type of monster. When they attack humans, they follow them and try to imitate our hunting. Moreover, this monster-type seems to enjoy the favorite items of their preys, including those of humans. That’s why that monster will gladly accept it because that’s what humans drink with delight…」
「…Accept wine, you say? 」
Filaret replied with those words when she heard me talk. Her expression seemed to be filled with questions, including the one that “how does he know such a thing”.
「But, that’s an undiscovered monster. How do you know about it? Hmm?」
Filaret questioned my knowledge. It was understandable, since I had the knowledge about something unknown. Caria also questioned me once. I couldn’t let nor afford them to keep doubting me. This could turn into a mountain of questions and doubts. Matia also had the color of doubt in her eyes.
This was bad. I was stuck. I didn’t find any words to answer. If I didn’t convince them now, one of us could be a sacrifice for that demon monkey. Be it either one of the escort knights or me.
They were all intelligent women. I couldn’t just roll my tongue and spit some nonsense out just for them to believe in me. I won’t be able to trick them with just a lowly reasoning.
What should I say? Then, before I could answer to that question, someone else’s voice echoed on my earlobes.
「I don’t care what everyone thinks…You know, Lugis. I believe you. I think you’re right.」
Today, she seemed to be in a very good mood. Caria spoke with a confident tone while she shook her silvery hair divided into two ponytails.
「I don’t have any basis, nor do I know the reason why. But, he knew the characteristics of a new-type of demon beast that I confronted a while ago. So, I don’t doubt his words. How about you, Sorceress?」
I could see that Caria’s silver eyes narrowed down and stared attentively at Filaret. I thought that that was a nasty question. A strange feeling stroked my chest again.
Filaret sharpened her lips and opened her large eyes. First, she stared at Caria’s gaze and looked at me afterwards.
What did I do to deserve this? I didn’t do anything wrong. Neither of them gave me room for excuses. Then, Filaret slowly opened her mouth to respond to Caria’s question. An oozing emotion was colored in her voice.
「…Yeah, all right. I fully understand it. It’s not that I don’t believe him…Anyway, you can explain it to me later on, Lugis!」
Filaret spoke hastily as she suppressed the obvious liquid from the corner of her eyes.
Unexpectedly, I opened my eyes astonishingly and nodded immediately as if this weird momentum pushed me through it. My shoulders even shuddered upon witnessing such a scene. I was extremely overwhelmed. It was unfamiliar to me to see the woman named Filaret acting desperate and showing nervous emotions like this. I was shocked because I knew her previous behavior from my the past journey. That’s why I was extra shocked.
But, for better or worse, Filaret agreed with my plan.
Then, only the Saint remained. When I looked up, I saw the Saint’s gaze. Her expression was still stunned, yet enraged. I didn’t want to admit it, but I could suggest why she looked at me with such eyes.
She clearly hated me that much. I confirmed that from last night’s words. Her tone was too explicit, as if she were forcibly sucking something out of my chest. I knew those feelings very well from my past journey.
Still, regardless of hate or like, we had to make a decision soon. The pressure and threat of that demon monkey had gradually increased. That menace was the signal that it had the preys in its hand. Its instinct was disappearing and beginning to replace with the habit of enjoying hunting.
The sound of hooves rattled around.
「…Lady Saint. I didn’t find another option for us to go with the carriage. There’s no other way but to push from here!」
The words of the escort knight, who searched for a different path, echoed aloud. That was probably the last push.
「…Okay. Hero…no, actually, Lugis. I accept your plan. Get ready now. 」
Matia’s crystal-clear voice was quietly heard from inside the carriage.
Just give the monkey some of dat nice wine, everybody like nice wine.
Thank you to the Patrons for the continued support!