Chapter 131: In My Hands
A number of silvery lights shined in my field of vision. At the same time, a unique sound burst when the iron clashed.
A dark flash threw a long needle with such prowess.
Should I call it a battle axe with a sharpened black tip, or should I call it a spear-axe instead? The Steel Princess Vestaline’s axe was not an ordinary axe. It looked like a distorted weapon, where the axe attached to the tip of a spear. As far as I could see, she swung the weapon by the center of gravity from the tip. Ordinary people would not be able to handle such weapon with ease.
However, that distorted weapon was also a sturdy and heavy weapon. I believed that Bruder’s long needles could reach the Steel Princess without any problem.
Nonetheless, that expectation was only the dream of a poor lowly man.
「…Will you surrender? Give up. You won’t stand a chance against me. You can’t beat me. There is a tremendous difference between our capabilities. The sooner you surrender, the wiser it will be.」
Bruder, who wore light clothes, was breathing heavily. On the other hand, the Steel Princess, who wore a heavy armor, looked unyielding without even showing a slight oscillation from her breath. Her voice was clear as transparency.
The silvery lights illuminated the hollow. Bruder’s fingers adjusted the long needles while moving between breaths.
Bruder had limited options for opponents who had their entire body wrapped in armor. His long needles could not penetrate armor refined with fine iron. The only places where he could aim were the exposed parts of the body, such as the knee or elbow joints, or even the mouth.
Bruder did not want to do any reckless moves. In the first place, it was already insane to confront an opponent covered with heavy armor. Besides, even though his opponent was on a horseback, it was impossible to aim at the horse since steel shielded its skin too.
Therefore. Why was he confronting such opponent without running away?
Once again, Vestaline wielded her spear-axe against Bruder. At the same time, Bruder shoot his long needles against Vestaline. However, she twisted her wrist and intercepted the long needles that went toward her joints. Her strong self-esteem seemed impenetrable even amidst the raid. The fragile assailant’s long needles bounced back after the Steel Princess hit them with her distorted weapon. The movement of her arms when she bounced her weapon made it seem as if the black hue of the tip danced in the air.
Even the space was torn.
The vibration of the Steel Princess’ spear-axe shook Bruder’s viscera. A fierce blow that defeated him on the spot. Her weapon was extremely heavy. Much heavier than a mere spear, a sword, or even a regular battle axe. Despite heavier, the movements of her distorted axe were sharp.
「I will ask you one more time. 」
Her horse’s hooves took a few steps further. Vestaline’s cold voice reverberated. Her strangely distorted tone echoed from inside her armor. A voice that even reached my ears.
Vestaline lifted her spear-axe with just one hand and ascended directly above Bruder’s head.
「Will you surrender? Or are you going to refuse?」
Extremely bad. That guy fell in such a dire situation.
I gritted my teeth while I listened to the situation from the back of the alley way.
By the time the morning sun had shown its sights, the drunkenness had finally subsided. Bruder did not speak since then. In fact, his last words had an extreme heavy weight.
“…Okay, I will follow your plan. Ohh, actually, let me do it. I’ll crush their wheels and the bond between parent and children directly.”
I had no objection to the fact that Bruder used a gimmicky tone of voice. Rather, it seemed like a better option to use Bruder in that part of my strategy.
In order to mislead a person, one had to act as an intermediary tool in order to crush that person’s soul. Yes, like a sharp nail. A nail that would be irremovable once pierced in the skin.
Indeed. Considering the relationship between Bruder and Vestaline, there was no better “nail” than Bruder himself. I could venture through various options if he were the one to step forward. If it went well, it would be much more effective than if I were to become the “nail” myself.
However, there was one thing that worried me.
…Was it possible for Bruder to face Vestaline with seriousness?
I was not talking about him being drunk all the time.
Humans could become flippant at any time, even without the power of alcohol or medicine. There was no way that this option would be effective if he had no resolve.
Sometimes the motive to lose focus was the battlefield, the money, sometimes the lover, and sometimes the family. And for Bruder, it was way more complicated.
I could not help but think deeply about this matter last night.
After all, Belfein was like a chaotic cauldron for Bruder. It was the city where his parents, sibling and relatives died. Yet, he kept living in this place despite all the things that happened to him.
I wondered how he could suppress the boiling emotions within his chest. I did not know how many times he lamented himself and drank in other to appease the ongoing suffering of his heart.
Bruder was like water. The water surface was turbulent sometimes, but it maintained certain tranquility despite the storms. This metaphor was the real problem in dealing with Bruder.
When I thought about the previous timeline, I realized that Bruder was probably not serious during that raid.
True, he was not serious back then. He showed his teeth and laughed while saying that he would join hands with me and cut off the roots of Belfein. At that time, I was too immature to notice his particular personality.
However, for me, who had no support, no power, no skill, and no messengers, I felt so grateful for the existence of a friend named Bruder who agreed to cooperate with me.
Ah, that’s right. I expected that if I were with Bruder, I would be able to do something great. I had a ridiculous delusion when I was young. It infuriates me to know that I was that foolish.
Bruder ended up dying once because of me. “Once”, it was a strange way of saying it. Because people died only once.
The sun was shining through the wooden windows. It was too bright. Unintentionally, my eyelids blinked and my eyes narrowed. The chewing tobacco rolled over my teeth, giving me a strange sensation.
I felt my heart torn between two emotions. On one side, my heart screamed to me to retaliate against those who humiliated me, and relieve the resentment of having seen my friend being killed. On the other side, the anxiety in my heart told me that if I did such a thing, I would follow the same despicable path of my past.
「What’s wrong with your face, Lugis? 」
My forehead was sweating. I did not even realize that. Matia’s words reached my ears as if they tried to wake me up from a dream. When I looked at the color of Matia’s eyes, I noticed that she really cared about my wellbeing.
What was I doing? It seemed that I worried more about others than myself. I answered her, “It’s nothing”, while siting slowly on the bed. I felt like my sighs leaked from the bottom of my lungs.
Ah, no good. I felt like shit.
「Why are you looking like that? I’m sure it will work. Don’t forget I’m here by your side.」
Matia spoke with a voice full of benevolence. She might even shed some emotional tears if I told her about my anxieties.
Nevertheless, for me, I was too unfamiliar with such a voice. Therefore, I looked at Matia while raising eyebrows. My face was probably full of doubts.
Looking at my expression, Matia cleared her throat and moved her cheeks.
「Don’t worry. I will help you when your thoughts don’t meet your expectations. So rest assured. Even if you are about to fall, I will grab you with my hands.」
I thanked her for such kind words. It seemed that I received the support of the Heraldic Saint. Was it good or bad to feel relieved? At least, she did not say that I would fail.
I thanked her while moving my shoulders. I felt that my heart calmed down a little.
That’s right. My hands always failed to grab something relevant. How many times did I fail? I lost count. I never accomplished anything with my hands in the past. I never gained dignity as a person, I lost my honor several times over, and I ended up losing my irreplaceable friend. I even failed to gain the affection of Ariene.
So this time. Yes, this time I felt determined to grab it all.
Yes, Lugis, go grab it all!!! Have pride and confidence! …Btw, Matia changed a lot, didn’t she? She used to dislike Lugis before, but now, she is willing to be by his side, quite a dramatic change in her heart…
Thank you to the Patrons for the continued support!