Chapter 148: The Steel Princess and the Former Loyal Retainer
Tolga, the close aide of Mordeaux Gon, the Lord of Belfein.
He has served Mordeaux since he was an adolescent. Although people described Tolga as someone who had a straightforward personality, he did his best to work honestly. That was why he rose from his position as mere footman to a close aide of the Lord. Tolga understood that he was the aide of Mordeaux because of his straightforward nature.
Mordeaux, Tolga’s Lord, harbored in his chest the desire for status. It was not a matter of human nature, but rather an element that naturally existed as someone who stood above other people. In particular, a man like Mordeaux, who was originally an upstart, never knew how to cope with the seeds of doubt that dwelled in his heart. Mordeaux did not have the skills to remove such stain. He felt this way since childhood. Probably because he was not an aristocrat originally.
That was why Mordeaux made Tolga his close aide. Tolga himself knew very well what he was looking for in the Lord, and he knew no other way of life except to go with the flow. Therefore, Tolga always kept answering the Lord’s requests.
As a result, Tolga had won the trust of his vassals, and they appointed him as the instructor of the Lord’s beloved daughter, the Steel Princess Vestaline.
Then, Tolga received a particular task this time. He knew that Mordeaux gave him this task because of this trust. The task was to escort and monitor the actions of the woman from the Knight class, Caria Burdnick.
It is probably nothing. There is no way that she is going to take any action anytime soon. However, by any chance. In the unlikely event that she has some terrifying plot in her chest, you should monitor her movements. Yes, the Lord told Tolga about his thoughts.
Although it felt somewhat strange, Tolga believed that he just needed to complete the mission. In other words, “move according to the role I was given”.
However, now, it was no exaggeration to say that his heart shook like never before. The cause was a group of mercenaries covering the road while they were in conflict with the private soldiers led by Tolga. The leader of these mercenaries was Vestaline, the unmistakable Steel Princess of Belfein.
「Tolga…You came to the right place. I want to ask you something too. 」
The Steel Princess who usually intersected on the main road with a group of mercenaries. In itself, it was a common sight. Tolga had nothing to worry about at all.
Her eyes were the problem.
Vestaline’s big eyes always showed feelings close to familiarity when she saw Tolga. Now they even had a similar look. Yet, they felt different somehow. Tolga has seen this eye-color lurking there before. It was none other than the color of the eyes of his own Lord Mordeaux. The eye color when you doubted someone from the bottom of your heart.
“The eyes with that uncanny suspicion are now directed at me.” Tolga was vaguely grasping the meaning of this fact. Vestaline said to Tolga that she wanted to ask him something. Her lips slowly moved while muttering the following words.
The private soldiers behind Tolga were mysteriously staring at the interaction between the two.
「My mother…No. I want to hear everything you know about my parents. 」
“The moment I heard those words.” Tolga slightly deepened the wrinkles that began to engrave on his face.
「…Lady Vestaline. When it comes to the Lord’s wife, I can’t give you a desirable answer.」
Tolga bowed deeply when he responded. Vestaline did not say much while she stared at him.
Because, whether he knew everything or not, the answer that spilled out of Tolga’s mouth would still be the same. He was someone who could not betray his master. But, he could not even lie.
Therefore, the previous question was meant to only convey Vestaline’s will. It showed what and why she was here now. The question itself did not mean much at all.
「Then retreat. I will return to the Lord’s House from here. Fulfill your duty.」
It no longer sounded like a question. Vestaline professed farewell words to Tolga, the loyal retainer who supported Vestaline for many years. “I wonder if he knows why I am standing here right now. If he knows, then his chest will be filled with muddy emotions.”
Vestaline spoke farewell words so that he would let her pass through him.
“He dares to be arrogant. He dares to push it. How insolent. Looking at the private army he leads, Mordeaux must have given him some task. Because it wouldn’t make any sense to see him out here with the soldiers.”
“Yes, there is no use to wait here anymore.” When Vestaline was about to take a step forward, a familiar voice that became slightly old recently echoed.
「…I have to refuse. Lady Vestaline, I can’t let you go through now.」
Vestaline took some time to chew those words. “A much unexpected answer, and although he gently spoke back at my own words, Tolga had never rejected me once. He was a man who showed extreme loyalty. Therefore, his answer was beyond my expectations.”
Apparently, Vestaline was not the only one who was upset by his words. The private soldiers who served under Tolga’s command were also slightly upset, and turned their eyes to Tolga as if they sought his true intentions.
A momentary blank space. A time when no one could decide the next move.
「Lady Vestaline. What are you going to ask Lord Mordeaux? 」
Tolga carefully released some words as if he chose them prudently beforehand.
「Everything. Everything that concerns me. If nobody can’t answer me then… 」
There was no exaggeration to say that Vestaline’s response was rough. Her words were like thorns, and her eyes showed extreme hostility. Vestaline now admitted that her mind was terribly out of balance.
“Perhaps, the reason why I am still sane is because I have an older sister who supports me by my side.” For a moment, Vestaline’s eyes tilted as if she desired something. Beyond her line of sight stood her sister, who kept staring and smiling at her.
“Ah, when I think of my sister’s circumstances, how can I not be crazy and upset?” These feelings were the only feelings that supported Vestaline.
“When I was told that the person I had longed for and even loved as my own betrayed me, I wanted to disappear.” Vestaline’s brain wanted to obscure everything in her thoughts and throw everything away. She wanted to follow the easiest route. It would be the most joyous choice above all else. Vestaline thought it would be okay. She only had to pursue only the sweet things while avoiding painful things.
“However, the existence of my sister who stands in front of me does not allow me to behave that way.”
“I wonder how much charred has her spirit become until now. In that crazy situation, I wonder how many times did she thought she would lose her mind. I don’t know, but I can only say that it’s something unimaginable.”
“No, actually, I don’t know how my sister is still alive. I would have thrown everything away and died before I thought about anything else.”
“However, my sister is alive. And her spirit is still intact. Then, how can I let go of my mental health problems on my own?” Vestaline’s eyes sparkled with willpower. Vestaline’s strong gaze pierced Tolga’s existence.
「…I will take every possible measure. Even if it goes against all odds.」
A resolute and proud voice that did not even allow anyone to argue. Vestaline spoke with a very beautiful voice, as if the blue sky had oozed out.
Everyone were no longer able to speak after hearing Vestaline’s fierce remarks. In fact, everyone seemed to have a premonition of what was coming after those words.
Tolga muttered while narrowing his eyes and carving wrinkles around his eyes.
「I understand. But, I can’t let you go through this point… Lady Vestaline, I ask of you. Please step aside. Our only task is to capture the great sinner Lugis and give him to the Lord.」
Vestaline thought that it was probably the best assessment that the honest Tolga could make under these circumstances.
“A task, he says.” Tolga did not want to confront Vestaline here, but he did not want to let her go through either. Tolga did not command the soldiers to do anything reckless. In fact, he demanded them to be respectful in the presence of the Princess. Vestaline thought that Tolga’s words and actions were too gentle.
However, stepping aside was not possible anymore. Vestaline knew that if she retreated now, she would no longer be able to proceed.
“That’s right.” When Vestaline tried to push her voice out of her throat, another voice struck her earlobes. The unmistakable voice of her own sister.
Important Note: Dear readers. We would like to apologize for a mistranslation in “A Wish To Grab Happiness”. Vestaline did call Bruder her “sister”, and not her “brother”. Which means Bruder is a woman living as a man (a disguise). Why did we make this error? Because the author actually shows gender ambiguity when referring to Bruder’s gender, which means most people see “her” as a “he”, even Bruder herself. We apologize for this inconvenience and we changed from “brother” to “sister” whenever Vestaline calls Bruder. Since Bruder is referred to as a man throughout the novel, we are going to keep the original writing intact (“he” and not “she”), except when Vestaline speaks with/about Bruder (as she is probably the only one who recognizes Bruder as a woman). Thank you!
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