Chapter 189: A girl named Ann
Largud Ann felt that her internal organs were twisting themselves, causing a dull pain. Her body was stiff and her legs were heavy. She felt like sighing aloud, but she suppressed her lips to avoid doing such action.
“Of course, I have to go to the chamber. Yes, to the chamber where the joint meeting of the Heraldic Order and Ghazalia is going to be held.”
Ann knew that it was not easy for two powers to hold a joint meeting for the purpose of an upcoming war. She knew things were different this time. Yes, different from the time when the Heraldic Order and Ghazalia formed an alliance.
Back then, the meeting had a strong ceremonial meaning. None of them planned a battle and none of them met with the purpose of going against another nation. Forming an alliance was rather peaceful.
However, this time was different. The Heraldic Order and Ghazalia must show each other’s fangs in front of a large sword named Great Holy Church. This entity was about to swung down a sword at their throats.
Then, in order to prepare for it, a crucial meeting was going to be held. It was not the moment to waste time. Ann put some make-up before attending the joint meeting, but her deep dark circles under her eyes were still quite visible.
Ann collected information that fluctuated daily for the attendees, and she formulated elaborate strategies as well. Furthermore, she even had some ideas about the operational weaponry and other similar things. It was hard for Ann to say that everything was prepared perfectly. She felt the anxiety increasing with time.
Nonetheless, those things were not the things that entangled Ann’s heart. None of them became like a heavy chain around her legs. Rather, if that preparation was the subject of her anxiety, then she would welcome it with open arms.
What Ann was most afraid of? If someone talked about the hero…Lugis, in that chamber.
After all, the Ghazalia’s Lady Fin Eldith wanted him to be handed over. A real problem since Ann’s ladyship, Saint Matia would want Lugis to remain in Garoua Maria.
In fact, that did not mean that Ann was disobeying or failing to fulfill her responsibilities. After all, Fin Eldith’s words were unofficial. Her statement back then was more like a chat, not a real command.
Besides, Ann was in charge of coordinating with Ghazalia until they held the joint meeting. It was possible for Ann to deal with the events at her own discretion. Ann was given that much authority by Matia.
Therefore, Ann took Fin Eldith’s words as a lighted chat, even if she meant every single word she said with the depths of her heart.
Still. Ann knew that it could bring problems later on. She felt that she had to report it to Saint Matia.
Why could it bring problems? Well, it was just a chat, but it was the Queen of the allies that asked for Lugis’ return, who was now one of the leading figures of the Heraldic Order. Ann perfectly knew that this issue had to be cleared up if the two powers were going to join forces for the upcoming war.
Despite knowing what to do, Ann could not open her mouth in the end. The reason was the change in Saint Matia’s behavior. An unforeseeable change.
What would happen if Fin Eldith’s request was given to the present Saint directly, who had now embraced Lugis with feelings that were clearly far from her calculation, and even far from profits and losses?
Every time she imagined it, a horrifying feeling engulfed Ann’s mind. She felt as if the devil’s fingertips were trying to make this alliance fall.
Ann foresaw two different endings.
One ending was Saint Matia handing over Lugis to Ghazalia without any regrets, by doing it with some calculation in mind.
Ann thought that such ending was the path the Heraldic Order should take. Lugis’ existence would not be entirely lost, and the alliance between Heraldic Order and Ghazalia would be stronger. Rather, it would be possible to speak to Ghazalia through Lugis. He would end up being a mediator between the two.
It was still profitable to consider the possibility of losing both Caria and Filaret to Ghazalia. Why profitable? Because whenever the Heraldic Order asked for manpower to Ghazalia, they would send important forces such as Caria and Filaret. Working as a whole institution would bring profits rather than losses. However, relying on individuals alone could bring unstable force. The original, the former Matia would definitely have chosen this path.
However, Ann foresaw another ending now. The other path showed clearly in her eyes.
The other ending was Saint Matia rejecting Fin Eldith’s demands by following her emotions, rather than following calculation or reason. That could bring unnecessary rage, like when she learned that Lugis was heading to Belfein alone.
“I want to deny this ending. I want to think that such a thing is impossible to happen. I do not want to believe that my beloved Saint is capable of choosing such a path.”
But every time Ann tried to talk about Fin Eldith’s intentions, that possibility inevitably came to her mind.
“If that ending happens, what will happen to the alliance between the Heraldic Order and Ghazalia? It’s easy to imagine that even if the alliance doesn’t fall apart, it will be in a state that is not very good. In that situation, how can we face the mighty army of the Great Holy Church?”
The fact the alliance with Ghazalia was too important for the survival of the Heraldic Order proved that such ending was unacceptable.
That was why Ann approached Matia and put Lugis in a confinement. Ann hoped that somehow she would come up with an idea of contributing to the power of Heraldic Order herself. For Fin Eldith, if Lugis was not present, she would not have a grudge against the Heraldic Order. Even if some kind of crack happened, it should be settled with minimal effect.
However, Lugis’ existence as a hero was not the conventional one. At least, he did not behave like she wished him to behave. Just remembering that, Ann felt cramps at the back of her viscera. She found her eyes distorting and producing something that resembled heat.
“…Ahh. Why is everything revolving around him? It’s inexplicable.”
The emotions that swirled around in Ann’s chest were irritation, anger, and a bit of opposition.
The girl named Largud Ann did not have talent for clerical processing power. Much of her talents were devoted to her interpersonal abilities, such as her speaking, persuasive and bargaining abilities. Therefore, these skills gained her a position as a coordinator and negotiator in the Heraldic Order.
She did not have prominent talents like Caria or Filaret, nor did she have a talent to lead people like Matia. Ann had a role that often went behind the scenes, but she understood that it was in line with her own nature. She even felt joy about it.
Coordinators and negotiators interacted with people more than anyone else did. It meant Ann had a standing position that could influence people more than others.
“With my influence, people move as I expect, and the organization works normally. It is an act that can be called the traction and operation of an organization in a form different from that of Saint Matia.” For a girl named Largud Ann, it was a secret pleasure.
“Then, what’s up with that man?” Ann’s white teeth clenched, causing her a slight pain.
To be honest, Ann was the opposite of Lugis. He was free-spirited, selfish, and sometimes acted as man without principles or reason.
Even more, he always tried to reach out to the outside, beyond his own expectations as if it was something natural. Ann was nothing like Lugis.
Finally, this time, while Ann was in the position of coordinator and negotiator, she exposed all of inner thoughts to him and asked him to do what she said. However, Lugis never gave her an answer.
“…How frustrating, humiliating and disgraceful.”
Even tears were about to appear on the edge of her eyes. That’s right. If she could, she would like to hand him over to Ghazalia as soon as possible.
This time, Ann felt determined to keep Lugis in confinement. He wouldn’t be able to attend the joint meeting as long as he stayed there. After that, all she had to do was make the proper adjustments so that the topic would not come out.
Ann managed to rebuild her mind while dragging her heavy legs.
Just before entering the chamber, she took a deep breath for two consecutive times. Ann told herself for many times over that it would be okay. She could do it herself. Ann felt that her heart gradually regained her composure.
…C’mon, you should’ve come early, Lugis. Will you not be disqualified as my knight for not coming to pick me up?
Ann regained her composure until she heard an unpleasant and tickling voice ringing inside her ears.
It seems Ann’s plans have failed…
Thank you to the Patrons for the continued support!