Chapter 153: Wise and Foolish
Saint Matia stroke her chest when the Steel Princess Vestaline, who came from the high-class tavern along with the mercenaries who followed her, walked across the road.
Lugis did not follow their backs. Rather, he stood still at the edge of the road, as if his mind was at loss. Seeing that, Matia felt like something pierced her chest.
“Ahhh, Lugis kept his word and didn’t follow the mercenary. Yes, it must be it. How great. There is nothing better than this.”
Lugis no longer desired for rebellion against the Lord after hearing the Steel Princess Vestaline’s words. The Princess was now the one to take the reins of that rebellion, not Lugis. The mercenaries probably understood their Princess’ intentions and headed toward the death zone.
Yes, the death zone. The destination they were heading for must be a place of death. The mercenaries were not supposed to battle the private army of the Lord of Belfein.
Many people who became mercenaries were those who chose that path unavoidably as their last resort. In other words, most of these people were originally farmers and merchants because they could no longer obtain daily food. Some made a living as a farmer, but temporarily. They would turn themselves into mercenaries during the off-season. After all, the vast majority of mercenaries were just amateurs wielding weapons.
However, the private army of the Lord of Belfein was different. The existence of a private soldier was poles apart from the existence of a mercenary. They were trained to fight to the death. They were not the ones who had no choice. They made the battlefield their own livelihood. Most of the mercenaries were people who fought to live. On the other hand, the private soldiers were a group that spent their days training, wielding spears, crushing the enemy’s cerebrospinal fluid, slamming a shield to crush the enemy.
Just because the mercenaries were gearing up to fight, they were not worthy opponents for the private soldiers. The fact that the Steel Princess was a young woman did not mean she was totally incompetent, but her conclusion was still visible. Unless there was something that overturned that clear conclusion, the victory from the Lord’s side would not be overshadowed.
Therefore, Matia felt relieved. Lugis did not jump into a dangerous and troubled death zone. He was wise above all else. Her cheeks swayed involuntarily.
Yes, he must be wise. After all, Belfein’s two running wheels, Mordeaux Gon and Vestaline Gon, father and daughter, were showing their fangs against each other. Matia, as a member of the Heraldic Order, understood there was no need to disturb this place anymore. All she had to do now was slowly watch this land called Belfein break its feet. This situation transformed into a great scenario, as opposed to the dilemma she faced not long ago.
Yes, while having those thoughts, Matia decided to reveal herself from the back of the road, by calling Lugis who had become petrified.
“I should praise him. I must admire him. True, I will praise his wisdom and his deeds for controlling himself. That way, Lugis will surely make the right choice next time as well. Now he will follow me more. Yes, he will accept my words even more than before.”
Matia felt extreme joy that melted in her chest and almost burned down. Her cheeks crumbled with delight upon approaching Lugis, and involuntarily, the voice that burst of out her throat seemed to contain a loose color.
Matia desperately tried to restrain her emotions when she began to open her lips. At the same time, she adjusted her expression and tone as much as possible.
However, Matia’s clear voice did not come out from her throat in an expected way.
「…Ah, Matia. What’s wrong? What are you doing here? Everything went as planned. I twisted every single thing with the palm of my hand. But in the end, my deeds were nothing because everything happened as if it were a pre-determined script.」
Lugis looked back at Matia. Her eyes caught his face, who played with the words lightly as usual.
Matia’s throat clogged on that moment and she did not make a single sound. Matia involuntarily blinked her eyelashes.
Dark color reminiscent of the night dyed Lugis’ face. Of course, his complexion had not actually changed. However, Matia felt that a thick and sticky emotion covered his face.
Yet, both of his eyes continued to shine with a ferocious light. Lugis had a look that was far from a laid-back look.
Matia knew what that look meant. She has seen a similar expression several times before. She swallowed dry, and the toes of her feet quivered as if she was frightened.
Lugis professed her name Matia one more time. But, without waiting for Lugis’ next words after saying her name, Matia opened her lips.
「Lugis, are you…Do you want to throw yourself in danger again? Are you willing to throw a rope to help those reckless people?」
Her voice leaked as if her throat was squeezing. It was not like Matia to ask such answers. However, it seemed that her emotions overflowed from her chest as if they had a voice of their own.
“It was a mistake to think he was wise. Ah, it was just my misunderstanding.”
“I’m sure Lugis is about to throw himself into the battle of those mercenaries. I don’t know his reason or intention. However, the expression, yes, the emotion stuck on his face was not the face of someone who gave up on something.”
“Even though everything should be over now, Lugis’ eyes still shined with a dull color, eloquently telling me that his extreme will is still intact inside his viscera.”
Lugis’ lips shook, as if he were confused somehow.
「Hey, hey, give me a break. I have the habit of helping other people. I told you before, didn’t I? I do that in my spare time.」
With that slight extreme expression on his face, Lugis continued his words. Matia stared at Lugis’ face in silent while distorting her eyes.
「I am just going to pick up the seeds I have sown. It’s easy, isn’t it? I will bring back one or two lives from the battlefield, that’s all.」
“What is easy? Where is it easy? The path he chose is far from being wise. It is hard to say that he is choosing the right path. Rather, it’s a foolish act by not understanding the fate of that battle. He lost his reason by exchanging it with such unreasonable emotions.”
Lugis’ way of life and the way of thinking was completely incompatible with Matia’s beliefs.
For Matia, who had lived her life by accumulating reason and calculation, Lugis’ way of doing things was something that Matia avoided completely. His decisions were not easy to swallow. Right now, Matia desired to deny his ideals, shatter them into pieces, and beat him down.
“Ahh, not good. I have not tamed him. Not yet.”
Even if she tried to keep Lugis here and now, he would go to the battlefield anyway. Matia understood it well. He was that kind of person. He always spoke, but he never listened. Matia swallowed dry again when she realized that Lugis was an unbendable sword.
Matia began to think deeply again. She recalled Lugis’ deeds at the walled city of Garoua Maria. Back then, it was his way of saving and protecting his own life. A way of life for Lugis that was neither wise nor right. Matia could not seem to deny it all right away.
She wondered. Matia did not feel like cursing, even though the words of repulsion had reached her throat. Instead, she pointed her fingertips to the back alley.
「…If you go down the same path as them, you will be swallowed by the whirlpool of the battlefield. I will be here with an agent of the Heraldic Order. Go through the back of the road to reach the battlefield.」
Surprisingly, Matia felt a little comfort when Lugis blinked his eyes with satisfaction. Then, she sighed loudly while telling herself that she really could not help but swallow this thing.
「Do you understand, Lugis? My compromise is to respect your decision. It can’t be helped…So make a promise with me.」
Be sure to come back alive. Then…Matia swallowed her words. Upon hearing her, Lugis moved up his shoulders lightly and accepted Matia’s request, saying that he was both sorry and thankful. Somehow, Matia accepted it.
Matia felt that her eyes were about to shake violently. She swallowed her sigh, desperately forcing her composure to remain intact, as her facial expressions unknowingly collapsed because of her unstable emotions.
“This is fine for now. If I didn’t allow him to go, he would have pressed hard against my decision. Slowly and surely. I will teach him the right path. So, it doesn’t matter if I said “yes” just one more time. For that reason, I will do my best so that he can return alive.”
Before disappearing into the back alley, Lugis and Matia had a short conversation. The outlook after this. A conversation that ended after their decisions settled.
Matia opened her mouth one last time. Whom are you going to help this time?
Lugis turned his gaze to her for a moment and answered.
「My best friend is over there. 」
Lugis moved his lips while narrowing his eyes. In that expression, Matia could see something irregular on the surface of his face. It looked like he was worried and full of resolve.
「That guy, too, is foolish. For the sake of his relative, he threw away his name, his gender, and even his happiness. Such a fool. All he wished for was the happiness of others except his own.」
That was all Lugis told Matia. He did not say anything anymore, and Matia sighed again and did not listen any further.
“Really, there are people who cannot be helped. How helpless”. Matia ended the conversation while blinking her eyes as she saw Lugis’ back disappearing into the back alley.
It seems Matia is finally understanding Lugis’ behavior. She might not like it, but she is gradually accepting it. And…Lugis is finally going to the battlefield! His encounter with Caria will be veryyy interesting!!! 😀
Thank you to the Patrons for the continued support!