Chapter 121: Overlapping Paths
The sun was very high when his eyes opened in the morning. It was noon.
Bruder grabbed the pottery with the rum and put it on his lips. He drank with such vigor even though he just woke up. Rum was the right medicine for days where he could not sleep. For Bruder, drinking rum almost became like a daily routine.
He had a very difficult time to find a good night’s sleep. He endured this difficulty for years. That’s why he decided to drink rum all the time. The muddled rum flowed down his throat. The poorer the quality of rum was, the more his head hurt, but this made him fall asleep sooner.
Many people told him repeatedly that he would die prematurely. Some of these people even told him that he would not have a peaceful death. But, it was fine for Bruder. He did not care. He never expected to live long or die peacefully on his bed.
He couldn’t care less about the life he lived. He was only thankful to survive another day. Each day was a hurdle, and each day could be the day of his death. Bruder wondered if he might be the same as him.
Bruder looked at a man sleeping soundly on his cheap bed. There was no sign of him waking up at all. Well, how convenient.
His name was Lugis, a traitor belonging to the Heraldic Order. There were rumors that described him as a great sinner, but that seemed unlikely. Rather, it was probably a mistake. He had a reckless attitude after all.
Belfein’s ruler and guardian, the Steel Princess Vestaline. Swearing at her was no longer just a desire to die. Of course, Bruder did not intend to die straightaway, but his straightforwardness spoke higher than his rational mind.
In addition to that, Bruder thought deeply of the words spilled at the end of that drunken last night.
“…The two wheels running in Belfein. We are going to remove one of them. That’s all.”
The moment Bruder heard those words, the edge of his ears shook slightly. His brown hair even bounced in his sight. How serious was he? Was it close to the bitterness at the end of his inebriation, or was it a word that crawled from the bottom of his heart? Bruder did not know. He wondered if he should ask or not.
Either way, that conversation was something that those who wanted to give up on their lives would say.
Belfein was a very elaborate city, with complicated rules. At most, there was no chance for a mercenary to take advantage of it.
In the end, Bruder thought that this guy named Lugis felt the same about his life. He seemed to have some skill, but there was no way that someone like him would ever manage a city like this. His expression did not show the confidence of a strong man.
Perhaps, he was daydreaming. A comfortable dream that could only happen in our hearts.
Bruder thought it was okay to follow his plan if it was just a dream. You could dream as many dreams as you would like. You could transform a dream whether you wanted it or not. This transformation could make you give up on everything or even give you the will to live.
Perhaps, it was really just a dream. Yes, a dream. Bruder strengthened his expression while washing his face with rum. A big sigh burst from the back of his chest.
Bruder did not have much energy to live in this world. He walked every day without meaning. He ate food without meaning. He drank alcohol without meaning and he slept without any other choice.
That’s it, that was life. Life was inertia itself.
A man whom his father once called his best friend betrayed Bruder. His father lost his life and dignity, and at the same time, he lost his sister and everything else. From that day on, Bruder’s life remained unchanged.
Bruder envied humans who could burn their hearts as he used to. However, Bruder did not have that kind of energy anymore. He only had inertia to live his days in vain.
Bruder’s nose trembled. The room had a different smile. Bruder sighed at the same time. When he looked at the bed, he saw Lugis with his eyelids still closed.
Bruder wondered why he kept such a person stay in his room overnight. He had never stayed with a woman, let alone a man. Rather, he never felt like staying with someone. But why?
It was not surprising to Bruder. After all, he was always by himself ever since a long time ago.
Bruder was no longer in the room when I slowly opened my eyelids. I noticed that I fell asleep when the sun was about to tilt to the west rather than climbing from the east.
I didn’t think I was that tired. However, sleepiness strangely attacked me at times. A yawn came up from my throat and leaked from my lips.
It was difficult to say that I got a good reply from Bruder last night. I muttered while thinking about it. I swallowed my words while I drank some bad rum.
He didn’t say anything. I had no idea what were his thoughts upon hearing my words. Of course, he wouldn’t agree with it immediately. It felt unbelievable. I did understand that overturning the city itself was not a request that could be easily agreed.
My stomach was shaking slowly inside. I heard a creaking sound from the internal organs inside of my body. A strange anxiety danced in my heart. Ah yes, I was worried.
I’ve come to this point now, and yet, here I was. Still stuck. It seemed that I was still relying on Bruder somewhere unconsciously, even if I wasn’t aware of it.
A former friend, companion, and the one who guided me forward once. All I did was rely on him.
How pathetic of me.
I was supposed to have come here alone to show the qualities of a hero. Yes, to show what makes me a hero. My real purpose for coming to Belfein was to take steps with my own feet and achieve something with my own hands.
Yet, I was relying on Bruder without knowing it. Ah, I was still the same lowly one no matter what happened. It was the same as it used to be. This was no different from when I left him to die.
I hated this feeling. After all, it seemed that human beings did not change that quickly. Rather, the fact that I was asking Bruder for help was the proof that nothing would ever change for me.
The corner of my head felt dull and it hurt. I even had a distorted smile on my cheeks. I self-loathed myself so much that I wanted to smash my chest.
No good. It seemed that I got drunk as well. I felt weird today. It seemed there was nothing good about staying in this room.
On this very moment, the door of this cheap hotel rang. Apparently, someone knocked on the door. The sound was so subtle that I almost didn’t hear it.
「Dear guest. Your companion is waiting. You must go now. 」
I heard an old woman’s annoying voice from the other side of the door.
The companion was probably Bruder. How unusual.
He was a man who went forward on his own, rather than waiting for someone. I thought that he wouldn’t wait for me after hearing my request. I believed that he thought of my scheme as a mere dream.
However, I could not afford to wait in vain since someone called me.
I didn’t really know what kind of face I should show him now. At the same time, I wondered why he wanted to go outside when it was dangerous right now. Perhaps, he wanted to drink more. Even so.
Well, it did not matter right now. Therefore, I left the dirty room while stepping on the fragile wooden floor.
Brothels spent their money on their lavish lifestyle, but they didn’t bother themselves fix the old doors, much less the cracking wooden floor. Moreover. At night, the noise coming from the surrounding rooms attacked my ears. Now I understood why vacant rooms were rented out at low prices.
I slightly yawned and my eyes narrowed while I put on my jacket.
The figure standing at the entrance captured my eyes. There was nobody else except this person. The old woman glanced at me and pointed toward that person. Indeed, that person was undoubtedly the one who was waiting for me.
「…You are looking good as always. I thought that you left on your own, but it seems that you’re enjoying yourself in a place like this since you’ve only woke up at noon.」
She had long hair tied up on the back of her head. This person looked at me without hiding her dignified eyes. She even showed a slight smile, though not that evident. No mistake about it. I clearly knew who this person was.
The Leader and Supreme Commander of the Heraldic Order, Saint Matia. She stood right before my eyes.
A place called a brothel did not suit her too much. Still, she didn’t lose her brilliance. Rather, her dignified aura made her presence stand out more.
I see. I realized it the moment I saw her. Apparently, I did something bad, very bad.
Oh!!! Matia really came to get Lugis!!!
Thank you to the Patrons for the continued support!