Chapter 90: Dishonesty and Loyalty
Valianne’s eyes flickered and she rushed forward towards the battlefield. The barbaric voices of the enemies were intertwined with the voices of her soldiers. Amidst this chaos, the silver light of her sword clashed directly with the purple hue of the enemy’s blade. The clash of weapons made a strong roaring sound. Unexpectedly, the pressure held upon her arms was rather strong.
This wasn’t the first time that Valianne had faced the hero of the green clothes called Lugis. However, this was the first time she exchanged swords with him. For Valianne, he was a man that expressed conflicting yet mysterious emotions.
Valianne knew that he was the only one who understood the Princess’ hatred. Valianne thanked him deeply for opening the Princess’ heart and giving her courage. She felt this sincerely. However, when she thought carefully about it, Valianne realized that she never expressed this gratitude through the formal exchange of words.
Valianne wielded her silver sword with both hands in order to regain space and strike Lugis’ flank. Yet, the purple sword blocked her attack. She quickly returned to her position by moving her wrist to slash Lugis with a different angle. None of her attacks were tremendously successful, since the purple sword always managed to deflect her movements. However, it was just a matter of time before she would strike him down.
Valianne could see the quivers on Lugis’ shoulders. She knew what was going on after noticing the irregular movement of his knees. Lugis didn’t have enough physical strength to keep on fighting. At best, he could only achieve a few more movements before collapsing.
Depending on the attacks, this fight was about to end shortly. Valianne’s intuition as a warrior told her this much.
Every time she exchanged swords with Lugis, she could see the core of his eyes. The eyes of a human being. In other words, the gaze of a human who was driven by emotions.
For Valianne, it was difficult to understand other people’s emotions except her own. She faced many battles before, and she saw many eyes of the people she fought with. But, she never really understood what her adversaries felt through their eyes. Could they feel intimated, disrespected, or even feel hatred? She didn’t know exactly. Yet, with Lugis, it was different. The eyes of the human being in front of her were different. That was, the color of eyes that saw a traitor.
Even so, it was natural for her to be regarded as a traitor. She didn’t care much about what others thought of her. She was someone who had the power to change a story with just a movement of her pen. For her, she could write as many evil lines as she wanted. Yes, it was all right. Valianne sharpened her lips, as if she accepted the real enigma of her role.
Furthermore, one more step to go. Despite the slight quivers on Lugis’ shoulders, he forced himself to a sideways attack to knock out the opponent’s weapon. Valianne saw how his knees flattered, while he stared at her with eyes wide opened…
…Valianne’s forces were initially ordered to stand by in case of an emergency. However, the information about the battlefield was unknown, and the messengers didn’t return back. That’s why she was called to the front lines.
Only two scenarios could have happened on the battlefield. Lagias’ side was about to collapse, or the Princess’ flag had lost its color and was falling down. The stigma of defeat was not the only result that came from war. Lives were equally lost in the process.
Valianne was not very smart to a whole aspect of a war. However, she clearly understood what her role was. She knew what part of the battlefield she could “transform”. Her knowledge about her own capacities allowed her to see further and better than regular soldiers. That’s why she began to meditate about what she could do in this situation.
“How effective would it be if my troops and I betrayed “them”? How would they feel if we thrust our fangs into their internal organs?” Valianne began to debate about what to do. Her decision was relevant. If she chose a disadvantageous situation, it would lose all the meaning. A bad decision would be the worst of all. Something that would be irreversible. That was the worst situation she could possibly imagine.
“Even so. I had to find a better option. This indecision won’t change anything. Am I worthy of saving the Princess? But, at the same time, I have to behave as a loyal retainer, even if my limbs get ripen apart.”
Valianne began to lose her balance. On this very moment, a voice of help descended from the heavens and whispered on Valianne’s ears.
This voice belonged to “that” person. The person who hunted down the Princess.
「Valianne…I know that you have a great amount of loyalty in the depths of your heart.」
Those words were directed towards Valianne, and no one else.
“I see, so he sees everything and understands everything about me. My body dances in the palms of Lagias’ hands”. Valianne felt bitter that she almost bit her own tongue. How refreshing it would have been if she could cut the throat of this Fin right now.
However, she couldn’t do it at the moment. She was in the middle of a battlefield. The clashing sound of swords falling backwards and forwards echoed in her ears. If she moved away from this spot, her neck would fly from her torso quite instantly.
「Being loyal is very important. But, the road to honor and fame is narrow.」
Initially, Valianne couldn’t grasp the meaning of these words, which the old elf spilled from his mouth. What did he want to convey? If he wanted to dispose of Valianne as a traitor, then he should have done it immediately.
Valianne hardened her cheeks upon hearing his words.
「I know what you are capable of, Valianne. How about you sell one your traits to me? In fact, is your soul even available?」
Words that suggested betrayal. To put it simply, these words undervalued Valianne’s loyalty.
However, Valianne remained calm after hearing this conversation. Her lips opened, and she spoke without hesitation.
「Fin Lagias. Words have the power to persuade non-talented people. However, I’m not weak. My loyalty to the Princess remains the same even with or without the blessing of the spirits. I’ll give you my life if you desire that much. But, I won’t give you my traits nor my soul.」
Valianne spoke without kneeling. Her eyes showed determination. “I don’t mind if these were the last words of my life. Loyalty, yes, my loyalty.”
It was unthinkable for Valianne to lose this loyalty. “I’ve lived my entire life with just loyalty in my heart. Ever since, I remember. Ever since my childhood. That’s the only thing that I owed with my body. I didn’t know anything else in life except loyalty.”
Nonetheless, Lagias’ reaction to her words was quite different from what Valianne had thought. He was neither furious nor discouraged. In fact, he accepted her resolution quietly and told her the following words.
「It doesn’t matter to me. That’s what I truly think. But you see, loyalty is not the only way to save the life of the one you swore to protect.」
Valianne felt the sound of her heart bouncing fast in her chest. She felt as if she finally understood what the old elf was trying to impose on her.
「As I said, the road to honor and fame is narrow, and deep. Sometimes you have to cover yourself with mud in order to protect the one you swore your allegiance. Come on now, Valianne. If you play an active part in the front lines, I promise you that I’ll spare the Princess’ life.」
These words were like icicles that pierced Valianne’s soul. They were like thorns that hurt her and damaged her inner self…
…Furthermore, one more step to go. Did he have some strength left? Lugis’ body swayed as if he was a broken piece, but he grasped the purple light tightly in order to protect his body.
However, no matter what he did to protect himself, this was the end for him.
Valianne believed that hesitation would be the key to her downfall. She had to finish off the enemy standing in front of her. And yet, this man called Lugis wielded his sword from the top to prevent a fatal blow from Valianne’s silver sword. He continued to protect his life from being cut off. Valianne repeated her assaults with the silvery sword.
“People may call me a traitor. Others may call me dishonest. Still, I have no other choice but to show my loyalty now.” Valianne’s eyes glittered and twinkled for a moment.
*strong metallic sound*
The purple blade, which had been blocking Valianne’s sword as a shield, could not withstand the powerful strike. Lugis’ sword was thrown away as a result. Nothing could protect this man now.
If Valianne’s troops carried out the entire assault, that meant that the enemy’s soldiers on the narrowly passageway wouldn’t be able to withstand the additional force. If Lugis died here and now, the front-line soldiers of the enemy’s battalion would fall apart, and the battle would be finally over.
“What will the Princess say about my actions?” That was the only thing that preoccupied Valianne in her heart. However, on this very moment, Valianne heard a loud voice in her ears. And for a short moment, her reaction got delayed.
It was right when Valianne’s sword glittered in the sky that she heard a voice that cut through the wind from the rear of the battlefield.
Ohhh so Valianne sided with Lagias just to protect the princess…
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