Chapter 183: The Infamous First Cry
At the training ground in the fort of Garoua Maria, several targets were set for the drill of bow and arrow. The smell of soil, which the soldiers’ feet trampled but dried completely, ran through my nose.
No one tried to approach this place around noon. Rather, the soldiers who were supposed to come and go preferred to wander far from the training ground in search of food.
Therefore, this place was now a good spot to have a slow and undisturbed talk.
「Huh, I see. So that silver-haired woman is your comrade, employer.」
The lips that professed that voice distorted in a very complicated manner. His fingers were also stroking his cheeks. I felt awkward by witnessing such appearance from Bruder, and although I didn’t divert my gaze, I narrowed my eyes.
After a moment, I nodded to affirm Bruder’s words.
It was an unmistakable truth that the silver-haired woman, Caria, was my comrade. And it was true that Caria tore the shoulder of Bruder’s sister, Vestaline. It was natural for Bruder to feel mixed emotions. I could roughly examine the identity of what was now distorting Bruder’s expression.
Bruder held something close to a grudge against Caria, but on the other hand, he also felt like he owned me too. That was why his expression looked both complicated and irritated.
If I said that it was inevitable for people to slash each other on a battlefield, then it would make sense. How could you hold a grudge when stepping into a death zone yourself? Such explanation would be easy to understand.
However, in theory.
People’s emotions were neither wise nor quiet enough to reason with a clever explanation. Above all, Bruder was clearly distorting his expression right in front of me. He was my best friend in the past timeline. I didn’t want give him a stupid reasoning.
Of course, I fully understood that the one in front of me was not the friend who once held my hand. The former Bruder did not call me an employer, and his expression had a more broken smile somewhere. Still, I just didn’t feel like throwing random words at Bruder just for the sake of ignorance.
Bruder put his index finger on his lower lip while his brown hair swayed in the wind.
「I didn’t want to believe in that harsh reality, you know. Well, the young Lady…Actually, the Lady Saint was the one who first explained it to me.」
Apparently, Matia explained some of the circumstances to Bruder. Bruder accepted my words without much reaction. However, on his face, I saw an expression that seemed to be worried about something. It felt as if he hid his sorrow away.
I sat down on the hay and waited for Bruder’s words.
「…For example. I mean, it’s just an example. How about you, employer? If I told you that, I would point my needle at that silver-haired woman, would you stop me?」
Bruder threw a complicated question with a casual voice. I felt Bruder’s gaze on me, but I could see that his eyes were actually somewhere far away.
I took the chewing tobacco out of my pocket and put it in my mouth. Thoughts went around in my head without stopping.
「No, I wouldn’t stop you. If that’s the only way, then you are the only one who has to choose it for yourself…A friend taught me about that a long time ago.」
I lifted my lips with the chewing tobacco on my teeth, and distorted my cheeks.
If Bruder told me from the bottom of his heart that his emotions were screaming, did I deserve to stop him? No way. After all, I understood the pain of having to strangle my emotions with my own hands. It was not something pleasant to do. Something I did not want to taste anymore.
So I wouldn’t stop him. I could never stop Bruder from walking his own path. Even if I didn’t agree with his actions.
Bruder listened to my words and moved up his shoulders unexpectedly. He sat down in a bunch of hay just like me. Then, he reached out me. What was the meaning of his reaching hand?
「Tobacco. I mean the tobacco. Give me one too. 」
I wanted to refuse him from the bottom of my heart. In the first place, his specialty was alcohol, not tobacco. A person shouldn’t step into another person’s territory, Bruder.
However, Bruder refused to withdraw his hand. Rather, he stuck out his hand further.
I threw the chewing tobacco while letting out a big sigh from the back of my viscera. I noticed that Bruder took the chewing tobacco with a smile.
「What happened to alcohol, the thing that you’re good at?」
I distorted my eyes while watching Bruder trying to chew tobacco with an unfamiliar gesture.
Even in the past, I saw no signs that Bruder was interested in tobacco. What kind of wind was blowing? Even in these sort of discussions, Bruder would always carry a bottle of ale with him.
Bruder opened his lips as if nothing had happened.
「…I quit. There’s no reason to drink anymore. So from now on, I’ll try something a little bit different.」
Bruder relaxed his cheeks and pointed to the chewing tobacco that he had in his lips. Oh, c’mon. He should at least try something different other than chewing tobacco. He didn’t need to try something like this.
Looking at my distorted expression, Bruder laughed with his mouth open. The facial expression that he had before, yes a broken expression, no longer appeared in his face. He smiled and laughed. Well, while I felt that, his choice for chewing tobacco was dubious; I also felt that the current Bruder was not bad either.
Bruder spoke with his raised cheeks.
「Hey, employer. This is also an example, you see. Just an example. I wish Vess’ treatment was over, so that we can live in the countryside somewhere.」
His words were strangely full of real feelings. A way of speaking that seemed to be unusual for Bruder, as if he carefully chose his words one by one.
That future was certainly possible now.
Bruder continued to be a mercenary because he pursued his sister, Vestaline. Now Bruder, who grabbed Vestaline in his hands, no longer felt the need to continue with his mercenary business. It did not make sense to go back to that city again. Rather, he would be much happier to live in the countryside with his sister.
For some reason, that peaceful scene easily emerged behind my eyelids. I nodded without speaking any word and urged him to continue. The peculiar and pleasant smell of chewing tobacco passed through my nostrils.
「How about you, employer? Would you like to come with me? I’m sure it will be fun too. Or do you want to stay here?」
Those words stopped my lips from moving. I narrowed my gaze while taking the chewing tobacco from my mouth with my own fingertips. That peaceful scene in my eyelids was too strange and realistic.
Spending my days in the countryside where noisy carriages did not cross, while exchanging silly stories with Bruder. Vestaline seemed to have a serious personality, but I was sure that she would happily hear those stories from us.
Just by thinking about it, I could see that those days in the countryside would be relaxing days. As Bruder said, living in the countryside with him would be fun. Not bad at all.
「It seems you don’t know what you want to do. At this rate, you won’t be able to go anywhere because there won’t be a place for you to go.」
After saying those words, Bruder took a rolled parchment out of his pocket and threw it straight at me. As soon as I released the parchment from the binding, the content revealed in itself.
At the same time as the huge prize money appeared, I saw large letters displayed at the center of the parchment. Those large letters said the following.
…Give eternal rest to the Lord of Vice, Lugis.
I muttered those words with my mouth, feeling that I had spoken something terrible.
Lugis’ reputation has reached new heights 😀 Now every single person, except those by his side, wants him dead…
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