Chapter 179: The Needle’s Pride
The pillar of light green erased the hideous appearance of the mercenary city of Belfein. The moment when Bruder set foot in the Lord’s House premises.
Bruder’s shoulders moved up and down, and his hard breath exhausted his lungs. Sweat was leaking from his whole body. However, the emotions in Bruder’s chest collided with the scene spreading before his eyes.
His eyes spotted the silver-haired swordswoman. His sister Vestaline became seriously injured because of that woman and was battling against death. That woman also pointed her blade towards his employer.
Of course, Bruder was a mercenary and he clearly understood the implications of a battlefield. In the battlefield, everyone was the target and everyone was the killer. If some people fought in a battle without knowing the reality of that harsh environment, then that people would be first to die.
Without the proper mindset, a warrior would not stand on the battlefield for long. Exchanging one’s life for the battle was one of battlefield’s norms.
Bruder did not intend to blame the silver-haired swordswoman. It was a shame for Vestaline to fight a much worthier opponent. Vestaline should have been better prepared before raising her battle-axe in that fight.
“…But, even so, there are things that I can tolerate and things that I cannot tolerate.”
Bruder’s heart palpitations sounded high as if they were barking. His lips swayed and his white dogteeth showed its appearance. “I cannot accept it. How could I?”
“I once told myself that I had no choice but to accept my father’s execution. I lived while deflecting my gaze from that reality. Even when my mother was captured, and even when that man took my sister away. That’s right. I have been living while deflecting my gaze from everything that was painful. While throwing everything away, and wishing that this life of mine would be over soon.”
“I did not want to recall the past. That’s why my body wanted to decay faster. I often soaked my head with bad rum to forget everything. I didn’t mind pushing myself into the mud.”
However, on this very moment. Bruder closed his fist strongly. The feeling her got from his long needle was strangely cold. Why was this happening now? Bruder tried to understand the reason why. Bruder had abandoned the righteous emotions that emitted fiery heat a long time ago. Only inertia remained in his body.
The cause of this awakening was certainly not because of his parents’ enemy Mordeaux Gon, nor the existence of that silver-haired swordswoman. Bruder realized it was because of that guy. Because of his employer.
Even though he was not someone dear to Bruder, he tried to change his fate without permission. He was an unreasonable and reckless man that behaved like a storm. If that man had not appeared in Belfein, Vestaline would have not stepped into the battlefield like that.
“Really, he’s such a troublesome person, that man. Still, I don’t feel any resentment.” Bruder’s brown hair swayed.
Right before he spotted the silver-haired swordswoman, Bruder searched for a while in the Lord’s House premises. Then, something, a sound that something fell down, grabbed Bruder’s attention. The sound came from an area that resembled a garden.
Bruder’s eyes naturally spotted the garden. His eyes opened wide. His dogteeth emitted such a strong fever that increased the pain.
…The figure of the silver-haired swordswoman who cut down Vestaline came right into Bruder’s eyes. Right next to her stood the bloody employer Lugis and a strange black-haired woman.
The figure of Bruder’s employer looked so bad. He was extremely hurt as if he were almost dead. The silver-haired swordswoman hired by the Lord of Belfein was close to him.
Bruder’s eyes quivered and his eyes turned to Lugis.
A single thought almost crossed his brain instantly. That scene unfolding before his eyes moved Bruder’s spinal cord. His fingertips smoothly held a silver cold needle and threw it with flowing motion.
The needle flew with a clear will in order to pierce and penetrate the target.
「…What are you trying to do, mercenary. 」
The huge needle pierced the ground of the garden just beside Lugis. Bruder did not make a mistake at throwing, as he did exactly what he wanted to do. So a few more large needles pierced the ground right next to Lugis’ body.
Caria’s silver eyes blinked fast. Noticing this impeding threat, she turned her line of sight into the mercenary holding the needles.
「I don’t understand well. This should’ve been a great opportunity for you to kill me.」
Caria’s lips shook and naturally doubted Bruder’s aim. But she clearly understood that the mercenary who appeared came with great hostility. After all, Caria tried to kill the Steel Princess Vestaline. Certainly, that mercenary was Vestaline’s family. If so, then she knew his feelings.
Nonetheless. Caria couldn’t understand the meaning by throwing the needles to the ground. Why was he trying to convey with his existence? Now that Caria noticed his needles, it would be normal for her to be aware of her enemy. Why did he expose himself?
The mercenary’s brown hair swayed in the wind. Bruder had a hat, but Caria could still see his facial expression. She noticed that his eyes were strangely angry but resolute.
「…I didn’t miss my shot. I just gave priority to my employer. Eliminating threats are my specialty as mercenary.」
Caria knew that Bruder had no reason to hide his hostility towards her. Caria, holding the longsword in her hand, looked at the tip of the needles that had suddenly pierced the ground.
Her eyes immediately distorted. Her mouth became muddy upon seeing that creepy, hideous sight. At first glance, it looked like a wriggling insect. But when she stared closely at it, she realized that it was a fragment of that beast made of flesh. It was moving and crawling on the ground.
Lugis killed that monster and its flesh scattered as a result. Most of the meat collapsed in the ground, lifeless. But apparently some pieces were still left alive.
Then, that hostility was not only directed towards her, but also towards that horrible thing. Caria realized that Bruder’s instinct was to protect Lugis first and foremost. If that needle had reached Caria first, she would have been hurt badly or even killed. A strange feeling crawled throughout Caria’s body.
「Hmm, I see. So I must thank you first. 」
Caria shook her silver eyes and continued to speak while holding the silver longsword in one hand. Her posture was straight and clear, and her expression was firm.
「If you came to cut off my life, I will respond with my sword in this very place. What are you going to do, warrior?」
The mercenary in front of Caria’s eyes said that he gave priority to his employer. “Perhaps, his chest would have wanted to kill me first, but he gave priority to keep the threat away from Lugis.”
“I see. So he doesn’t have just arrogance in his heart. It seems that he is not just a mercenary who is greedy, but a warrior with a strong spirit and pride.”
“If so, then I mustn’t let him cut off my life. I doubt words will do any good now. But I must respect a warrior with a strong spirit and pride.”
「I’m sorry that you’ll have to die…since I have no intention of showing you my back. I want you to return my employer now.」
For a moment, Caria’s expression, who tried to show some respect for her enemy, distorted.
“Did this guy say something funny right now?”
「I have no one to return. Lugis is one of us, so I’m not going to hand him over to you. Do you get it?」
In the same way, Filaret, who stood beside her, also distorted her eyebrows upon hearing that unreasonable demand. Anyway, Caria felt that something was not right. It seemed the story was intertwined somehow. It did not make sense.
The mercenary holding the needle also moved his lips while looking at Caria with stern eyes.
「Don’t say stupid things. My employer said that there was no one else whom he could rely on other than me and the young lady who was with us moments ago. How are you two now his sudden companions?」
“I see. So Lugis said those words, huh.”
Caria’s cheeks shuddered as if they were convulsing. Her deep breath became heavier. Apparently, Filaret also felt the same way as Caria. Her eyes moved naturally. Her gaze fell directly on Lugis.
“…After all of this is over, you will explain everything with that mouth of yours, Lugis.”
Ohhh Lugis, you dug your own grave 😀
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