Chapter 128: The Songstress’ Sobbing
“I had a headache. It felt as if a sharp knife stabbed my brain.”
“A dull pain oozed from the core of my head. This pain started inside the carriage. A pain that had not stopped since I saw Lugis.”
Ariene closed her eyes and adjusted her breathing in the guest room given by the Lord of this house. She attempted to relieve her pain. She took a deep breath. She repeated it about three times, and then finally, the pain eased.
Ariene had never had such symptom before. For Ariene, it was the first time to experience such a sudden headache like this, whether in the orphanage or in the Cathedral. She only had minor illnesses so far.
This pain began hurting again. It felt as if her brain was bursting out of her head. “Ah, what is the cause? I couldn’t stand to see that scene, maybe, that’s the reason why I’m feeling this way.”
Unconsciously, and in pain, Ariene’s eyelids draw the scene in her mind.
“…I saw the sight of an unnamed woman hugging Lugis in the streets.”
“Of course, I know that I am not qualified to speak out about Lugis’ way of life.” No matter what kind of person he liked and whom he hated, Ariene had no right to question his choices. She did not have such grand qualification.
Besides, Ariene did not even know her true feelings. It was not yet clear what she thought or felt about Lugis.
At first, he was just a childhood friend. He was always next to Ariene, literally every day. She didn’t have any special feelings towards Lugis. In other words, he was like family.
It was natural to be together. Lugis felt like a stubborn younger brother sometimes, and other times, he behaved like an older brother. “Maybe I was the same for Lugis, I think. Yes, I want to think that way.”
When did it change? The harsh days in the Cathedral? Or the irreplaceable days she spent together with Lugis in the orphanage?
“Oh no, none of them. For me, it was the last day I saw him. The day we made a promise together, that was the day that changed everything.”
Ariene believed that a person could change his or her spirit with just one memory. At least, for Ariene, that day was the turning point for her.
Honestly, Ariene thought that Lugis forgot about her. Lugis left the orphanage to become an adventurer, but he never returned to pick her up. Ariene wondered if Lugis lived a brilliant life as an adventurer to the point of forsaking her.
“I waited for him to come back.” Ariene had conflicting feelings since Lugis left the orphanage.
“I felt lonely when he left me. Lugis said that he would eventually come to pick me up. He promised. I just wanted to see him again. Maybe I am selfish and unrestrained to think this way.” Ariene remembered the words he said to her that day. She was so happy that her chest was full of joy.
How much support did those memories had in Ariene during her days at the Cathedral. His promise healed Ariene’s wounds many times over. The feelings that often came to her mind were very warm. A beacon of hope.
Nonetheless. At the same time, Ariene felt another feeling for Lugis that had settled deep inside of her heart.
A muddy and strangely sticky feeling. Definitely, a dark feeling colored black. A feeling far from being warm. It was cold and dark enough to freeze the heart.
This darkness filled the depths of Ariene’s chest. Rather, it was such a terrifying emotion. Ah, an emotion that almost consumed her essence.
“What should I do? I believed that Lugis would come pick me up. I tried to survive in order to see him again. I even reached out to become a candidate for Saint. I had no hesitation.”
A strong headache engulfed Ariene’s brain. Confusion filled her heart.
“If I had known about this outcome, I would have gotten out of the Cathedral a long time ago. Then I could go to Lugis without any hesitation. Perhaps, there was a way to be with him. I could have been an adventurer together with him.”
When such delusions began to fill Ariene’s head, one doubt suddenly passed through her heart.
“…Assuming that Lugis really belongs to the Heraldic religion, what should I do as the Saint of the Great Holy Church?”
Ariene felt something unpleasant. Something that came up from the back of her throat. Ariene’s lungs cramped and she had difficulty breathing. Her golden eyes narrowed and narrowed until closing up.
“God sent me to this city named Belfein. I think that God is telling me to play some role.” An unpleasant premonition came to her mind.
“…Because of my role, will I have to punish the great sinner Lugis with my own hands?”
“I think I will have no choice but to do it.” Ariene’s eyes quivered tremendously, and her thin fingers squeezed tight.
The headache did not stop.
However, it covered up her pain. Ariene felt that her black and mushy emotions were dissipating the pain she had. This very dark emotion kept pushing through the depths of her chest without stopping.
“To live means to protect something”, thought Vestaline Gon, the Iron Devotee and Steel Princess.
For this reason, she wielded the battle-axe every day and continued the indescribable training. Vestaline has been reigning as the guardian of Belfein.
Her rule was sometimes violent. Occasionally, the heart of an unheard mercenary was crushed without mercy. Nevertheless, she did all of this in order to protect her beloved father and the glory of Belfein he built.
Vestaline believed that her rule was right. Protecting Belfein was protecting the lives of the inhabitants and the lives of countless of mercenaries. She had no doubts that her actions led to the protection of many human beings.
「Father. Excuse me. 」
After the day was over, Vestaline went to report the day’s achievements to her father Mordeaux.
That was Vestaline’s daily routine. She also expected a reward for herself. Her father praised her capability every time she reported her achievements during the day. Because of her father’s praise, Vestaline was confident about herself. She knew that her path was not wrong.
It was like a ritual that last for years. Today was no different.
「…Oh, Vess. You did very well today. As expected of my daughter! 」
The soft and gentle voice of her father, Mordeaux Gon, echoed in the room. A voice that he never professed to his subordinates. A voice that only he showed to his daughter, Vestaline. Vess was Vestaline’s’ nickname, a word that was only professed by her father.
Vestaline loved hearing this voice above all else. Her exciting heart sang with joy upon hearing her father’s voice say her nickname. She helped her father again. She was so happy at doing so. A comfortable feeling overflew from the depths of her heart.
By the time Vestaline began walking and talking, she was no longer with her mother. Her father told her that her mother died because of an epidemic disease. Therefore, the back that she always remembered was of her father’s back. During the mercenary era, her father made a number of injuries upon himself because of the war, but he always returned to Vestaline.
It was hard to imagine mercenaries with children. Vestaline was sure that her father overcame many hardships in order to provide for her.
That’s why Vestaline wanted to help her father no matter what. She had to become someone great in order to protect not only herself but also her father. Vestaline vowed to do so ever since she was still a child who could not even wield a weapon.
The manifestation of that vow was now present as the form of the Steel Princess of Belfein. The steel she wore was the proof of her protection. Her wielding battle-axe was to defeat the invaders and the lowly enemies.
「Vess…I have one suggestion. I think you should take a break from going out for a while.」
Vestaline’s eyebrows raised up upon hearing the words of her father.
There was a suspicious and sad color in her eyes. Of course, Mordeaux worried about Vestaline’s health and often spoke about it. He was proud of Vestaline but also worried about her well-being. Vestaline knew that clearly.
However, her father never told her to take a break for a while. There was only one time when he asked her to rest. It was when she fell ill quite suddenly.
However, she was not ill right now. In fact, she was in great shape. So why?
When Vestaline asked him that question, her father stiffened his lips. He did not say anything for a moment. He did not know what to say. He seemed to choose his words very carefully.
Vestaline distorted her expression. The inside of her chest became blue. She felt confused and tense. Was she not doing her duty well? She wondered if her father was disappointed in her. Such speculation covered her head in no time.
Tolga, his father’s aide and Vestaline’s overseer, stepped forward and opened his mouth.
「Excuse me for interrupting, Miss Vestaline. Do not fear. Lord Mordeaux is only worried about your well-being, Miss Vestaline. A seed of trouble for Lord Mordeaux have been planted here in Belfein.」
Tolga bowed to Vestaline as he spoke honestly. His straightforward words could not deceive anyone, but often struck people’s hearts. Mordeaux nodded in agreement, and Vestaline listened to Tolga’s words in confusion. She clearly did not know what he was talking about now.
「In other words, Miss Vestaline…the cause of Lord Mordeaux’ worries is the vagrant who stood up against you during the day.」
Vol.6 COMPLETE! Thank you for reading!!!
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