Chapter 160: The Sorceress’ Scheme
The sunset illuminated the corridor of the Lord of Belfein’s mansion through the windows. A servant carrying a water bottle lowered his head reverently upon seeing the black hair reflected in the window.
「…Excuse me, Lady Filaret.」
Filaret’s black hair slowly passed in front of the servant who moved his lips and shook his void-looking eyes.
Filaret only said “Thank you” to the servant, and proudly crossed the hallway of the Lord’s House. As if her presence was a natural occurrence. Indeed, as if nothing happened. A sweet and floral scent came out from the tip of her finger.
She slowly walked through the hallway, while coming across several servants. These servants stood in line for Filaret to pass by. Ah, Filaret sighed with relief.
“…Good. Apparently, it worked.”
Then, after walking for a moment, she stopped. While leaning against the wall, she stared at her fingertips. Her black eyes shuddered.
Thought-inducing magic. It was convenient, but it was far from being a strong magic. In a sense, Filaret wasn’t sure if this power was even magic at all.
All she did was induce people’s thoughts to misunderstand the facts. If it were too incongruous, the effect would weaken. What Filaret could do now was to imprint on the other person’s brain that she was not a stranger, but a guest. A guest who just took a stroll in the hallway.
With this power, Filaret seemed to incite a large number of people, though she wasn’t sure how long it would last. She remembered that Lugis often said to rely on her power more. Yet, Filaret believed that she still had a long way to go before becoming a proficient Sorceress.
Filaret’s black eyes blinked unintentionally. She knew it would take a long time before she could show it to Lugis. Filaret felt angry with herself. Anyway, she tried to immediately infuse Lugis’ words into her ears and hear his voice resonating inside her head.
Filaret wished for patience. Too much impatience could cause a great disaster. Yes, it could cause all her prowess to disappear from her fingers. She had to be prepared. There was no room for a drop of water or be distracted by a single insect.
Besides, Filaret had to rely on thought-inducing magic for now. All she needed was a little freedom, and that was enough. So she did not have to rush.
However, Filaret understood that there was a feeling of deviation in her chest. She tried to keep her footsteps silent so that no one would notice her, but her body moved faster without knowing it. “Pathetic. Am I not like a child who can’t control emotions?”
“But soon, Lugis will be here. I can feel a premonition because I can assume his movements. Oh, I’m sure he will come. He has to seize this city of Belfein. Lugis is that kind of person.”
“Then I want to have everything in place for him. I need to make a path, prepare a stage for him, and wait. Will he be pleased by then? Will he compliment me?” Filaret’s eyes wobbled incessantly. Something warm grew inside Filaret’s chest when such imagination went through the edge of her brain. She just could not hold it back.
“Lugis hasn’t seen the real me yet.” Filaret did not understand everything about either Lugis or herself, but she could not take her eyes away from that fact alone.
Because looking away was equivalent to accepting Lugis’ actions. Filaret would have accepted it if Lugis did not look at her. She was okay with it.
Filaret would have easily accepted him if he did so. Even if she desperately reached out for his hand even if he showed his back. Filaret would have surely accepted that she couldn’t reach him at all. She would have accepted it for sure.
However, strangely enough, such feelings did not appear in her heart right now. Rather, it seemed that the choice of accepting and giving up did not even exist in the first place.
Perhaps, Lugis inspired Filaret to behave this way. Perhaps, such manners were already embedded in the depths of her spirit.
Then, that spirit spoke with her. This was the moment to accomplish something relevant in Belfein. Filaret was determined to create a turning point for Lugis.
“Yes, here and now. To create a turning point for him that will allow him to rely on me. To reach out to me.” Filaret’s dark eyes blinked.
“It will be a problem if I waver now. Certainly, I may have accomplished less with these hands when compared with the battlefield hero Caria and the Heraldic Saint Matia. God may have given condescension on this body. That’s why I haven’t achieved proper glory yet.”
“Originally, I wasn’t any genius because I couldn’t accomplish everything easily. I had to wet my eyes many times, clench my fists and endure continuous humiliation. I saw the wall of resignation many times over. People despised me many times. And I began to despise myself too. I tried to do my best to no avail. I tried to reach a far-fetched perfect version of myself. I felt blood oozing from my nails every single time.”
Filaret saw the wall of resignation continuously while being surrounded by talented people. Those around her saw her as a fool who lowered her head every time. That’s why for her, now…
“…You’re the only one whom I will never forsake. Lugis, don’t you dare think that you can get away from me so easily.”
Even if Filaret’s nails were scraped off and her fingers were about to bleed, the light of her will would never be lost from her eyes. Receiving severe pain from a maimed body was better than forsaking Lugis.
Filaret’s cheeks relaxed and her feet began to move down the hallway of the Lord’s House. She already decided on the destination.
She knew that Lords and fellow aristocrats always had that “special room”. Filaret went toward the place where the knowledge and wisdom of the land assembled. In other words, the library. Her legs slowly took larger steps. Her eyes had a clear will and purpose.
The shadow of her figure slowly went down the hallway.
The golden eyes quivered as if something frightened them.
Ariene felt her lips strangely dry. She even felt an odd suffocation within her lungs. Her viscera complained to her that something changed the air from which she breathed.
“What. What happened?” Ariene blinked her eyelids for a few times, while swaying her head to dissipate the strange feeling that consumed her body. Something really changed the air. Somehow, nothing seemed strange to the eye, but Ariene sensed something in the air.
“I see. It is magical power.” The flow of magical power distorted the space for a moment. This change alerted Ariene’s body by saying that the air had changed. Ariene held her mouth with her hand as if she felt nausea.
Perhaps, it was just a sense of inconsistency. A mere human would end up with a slight tilt in its head by inhaling this air. Even a person with a deep knowledge of magic may fall for this unnoticeable trick.
However, as the Saint, she felt a clear abnormality when the magical power poured into her body. The magical power itself shook her foundations. She felt like vomiting. In other words, it seemed the blood that went around her whole body had forgotten where to go and arrived at a completely misplaced place.
“…This is no good. Something…Something is wrong. Something big is happening.”
The golden hair swayed in the air. Ariene’s cheeks became slightly pale. She stood up without realizing. The twist, turbulence, and torrent of magical power, which she felt for a moment. Her swaying legs jumped out of her private room and headed toward the hallway, searching for the source of this disruption.
The sunset entered through the window, gently caressing Ariene’s eyes. It was almost time for the sun to disappear in the horizon. Her long eyelashes wavered.
Ariene’s lips quavered slightly, as if the scenery of twilight had shaken her own heart. The faint voice that leaked from her mouth disappeared into the sky without reaching anyone.
Dear readers, the editor and I wish you a very nice summer 😉 (and also a nice winter for those on the Southern Hemisphere).
Thank you to the Patrons for the continued support!