Chapter 122: Those who are Pillars
…Why was she in this city? No wait. Why was she at this particular place?
I blinked my eyes and shook my shoulders in confusion. I almost lost the balance of my feet.
How strange. A pile of questions covered my brain. Words to answer these questions came up one after another. However, my throat did not make any sound at all.
I tried to make a sound from my throat, but only sighs leaked from my lips. I kicked the ground unintentionally and scattered the sand as I walked.
I could not talk to Matia at the brothel. Therefore, I took her for a walk along the road, which was less crowded with people than before.
「Your face is asking me, “Why is she here?” Okay, I shall tell you the reason why.」
Matia whispered to me in a soothing voice. I couldn’t tell if she was in a good mood or not.
From the sideways, one could say that she was a very beautiful man since she dressed properly as a man. She had long hair, but tied it up to match the men’s clothes. However, she shined regardless of what she wore. Her eyes glowed brightly.
Indeed. When I looked closely at her face, I noticed that her expression was more intense than calm. She did not show fierceness like Caria, but her demeanor was certainly not tasteless.
「One, you are too conspicuous. I heard that you faced the ruler of this city. Foolishness is sometimes valuable, but for most part, it is life threatening.」
I could not deny her statement. I had more memories of myself as a fool rather than of myself as a wise man.
There was no one in this city, Belfein, who opposed the Steel Princess. In that case, it was unsurprising that people knew about it. A confrontation would inevitably remain in people’s memory. Especially if the instigator was someone like me.
Well. Was the life threatening situation that made her visit me? It rather felt as if I became a rope to pull the Saint woman under me.
Anyway. I recognized that I did something stupid. I gritted the teeth at the back of my mouth.
Still, oh well, it couldn’t be helped though. I remembered the time when the Steel Princess looked down on me, but for me, I felt that I done something praise worthy since nobody had ever faced the Steel Princess and come out of it alive.
「And one more thing, I am not someone thoughtless. Hiding underground and collecting information are my strengths. In addition to that, some of my people have already infiltrated this place in advance.」
Her expression was intense but calm at the same time. Yet, the light in Matia’s eyes showed me that she was somewhat proud of herself.
Yeah, sure. Her long, well-groomed hair and her words sometimes deceived me. She was never a damsel in distress. Nothing that happened to her was because of a peaceful life.
Rather, she held the status of Saint of the Heraldic Order. There were countless times when people persecuted her by throwing stones, and other times when she was forced to hide in order to escape danger. In fact, when I met her for the first time, Matia was hiding in the underground temple with her devout soldiers.
I knew that Matia was a very strong person. I did not mean the body itself, but the root of her spirit. Yes, her spirit had unbreakable strength. Even in the face of adversity, she still had a powerful integrity.
I see, absolutely. In fact, it was hard for me to imitate this unbreakable strength. It was definitely Matia’s characteristic.
However, that was not relevant right now.
I understood why she knew where I was. I swallowed it in my stomach. However, what I wanted to ask was not how she found me here. I wanted to know why this Saint was here personally.
「…Have you thrown the government affairs at Ann? That’s a bad call, you know.」
I was wondering why I was seeing her in person, so I spilled those twisted words.
Somehow, I hesitated to ask her straight about why she was here in person. She was a wicked woman after all.
「Ann and my aides are not as incompetent as you might think. Even without me…Anyway, my absence won’t be long.」
In other words, she ignored Ann’s advice because she believed that only she could solve this situation.
Naturally, of course. Looking from the side, there was a devilish stain in Matia’s work. She was not just powerful; she also had a hidden unhuman ability somewhere in her body.
As I understood, Saint Matia was someone who was good at grasping most of the situations just by knowing the end of the story. I did not know if she had this ability because of her accumulated wisdom or because of her innate talent.
However, her special ability was one of the reasons why Matia was able to carry out affairs that were far too difficult for regular human beings.
She was someone that, even if she could not reach a hundred percent success, she would try to reach at least ninety-nine percent. This trait was her greatest strength, and her utmost ability as a ruler.
That’s why Matia shouldn’t be here. No matter what kind of talent her aides had, none of them could compete with a genius. There was no substitute for her. I hoped that this endeavor was really just a temporary stop and nothing more.
Garoua Maria was in a vulnerable state right now because the pillar of the Heraldic organization was not present. How could they stand up without Matia? It would be all over if something happened to her here in Belfein.
Besides, a spy from Belfein was probably already inside Garoua Maria. I did not know what would happen if they knew that Saint Matia was absent.
Ah, it was the worst. Only unpleasant imaginations came up in my head. Why did she come all the way here by herself?
I thought deeply about it while gritting my teeth and touching my chin.
「That’s not what I mean…Why are you here? This is where you shouldn’t be.」
Yes, I finally professed those words. Matia opened her mouth with a nasty smile on her calm-looking face.
「I am the one who needs to ask you that question. Why are you here? You came all the way over here without telling anyone, not even me.」
Ohh, I knew it. I knew that I shouldn’t ask that question because she would ask me back. That’s why I avoided those particular words. I bit my lips as I looked for words. Well, I didn’t want to share my real intentions with her.
How could I say that I was here to prove my strength to myself, without relying on either Caria or Filaret?
I turned my gaze away from her eyes and forced my words to come out of my mouth.
「…I am different from you. You see, our positions are completely different. Even if I die, there will be many alternatives. So…」
Exactly. There was no mistake in my words.
After all, I had a mere existence as a fellow comrade of the Heraldic Order. I was no leader. No one relevant. Whether I was dead or alive, my existence would not affect many people.
On the contrary, Matia was someone special. The Heraldic Order would crumble if her existence disappeared. She was someone cunning and calculating, and yet, here she was. I wondered how she did not understand such a thing despite her devilish intelligence.
「…No, you’re wrong. 」
Matia turned her face to me as she cut off my truthful words on the spot.
I stopped moving involuntarily when I felt her gaze. Yes, it seemed that her eyes pierced my own body. Matia’s deep eyes were pulling me inside. This invisible force was detaining me violently.
While people came and went by on the main street, Matia and I faced each other with overlapping eyes.
「Lugis, I want you to remember this. And don’t you dare forget it again.」
Matia spoke to me with strong-looking eyes. Our distance became closer to the point where our sighs overlapped with one another. Then, she spoke the following words in a whisper so that I could be the only one to hear them.
「If I die, the Gospel War will not end. But, Lugis, if you die, this war will no longer continue.」
I couldn’t swallow those words very well. They were far from being understandable. I felt confused, and surely not convinced by her avowal.
How should I respond to an avowal that seemed to be sincere yet unreasonable? I just could not understand it at all.
Poor Lugis…People are trying to say that he is someone worthy, but he never accepts it (always doubts it). He really has the worst case of low self-esteem because of his traumatic past…
Thank you to the Patrons for the continued support!