Chapter 210: The Saint’s Confession
In the tent assigned to me, I sat quietly in a chair and looked up at the sky. Even so, the only thing I could see was a piece of tent cloth.
As soon as I sat down in that chair, I felt some pain in my legs and hips. Probably for the first time in a long time, no, my body felt the results of horse riding at an insane speed. I thought the muscles in my arm were also twisted in a strange direction, causing some pain to reach my brain. However, none of these were fatal injuries.
The wound on my right arm inflicted by the old man, no, by the enemy captain Richard, was also very shallow. Seeing no reaction of poison, it was unlikely that this wound would incapacitate my arm. Filaret wrapped some bandages around my arm very carefully and left.
In the end, although my body had some scratches, I came back safely. If I made just one mistake, I would have been dead for certain.
I took a deep breath and then exhaled the air. I repeated it for several times. The cold air filled my lungs and awakened my uplifted body.
I sensed various emotions in my chest, but only one was floating on the surface. At the very least, it was not something worth celebrating.
…I didn’t kill him, did I?
Those words, which were close to regret, pulsated in my heart enormously.
Of course, I was half-prepared. Richard was not a person with a simple way of life whom I could kill that easily. Rather, I was the lucky one since I wasn’t decapitated by his hands.
There would be no such luck next time. This was the last time that only a few scratches were made while exchanging blows with each other. “The next time our blades touch, it will be a time where a clear conclusion will be drawn”, this was my intuition.
How strange. There was no way to know when and how we were going to die once inside the battlefield. Would I die by his hands? Would he die by my hands? A spear of a soldier could kill me too, or my heart could be taken away by a bow and arrow that was fired from a distance. There was also magic. In fact, those possibilities were much higher than getting killed by the old man Richard.
However, an indescribable sensation swirled deep inside my chest and brain. Somehow, I felt that I’d exchange blows with Richard again. Our fight would be settled then. It was intuition.
This indescribable sensation smothered the pain from my small injuries.
「…I can see that you aren’t sleeping yet, Lugis. 」
A voice reached my ears while sitting in a chair without doing anything at all except looking up at the heavens. The voice belonged to Saint Matia. Her voice was both transparent and memorable.
When I saw her with informal attire, I wondered if she was also ready to go to bed. The impression she gave me seemed quite soft.
「I’m sorry, but I couldn’t behead the enemy’s captain. 」
I was upset with myself by the fact that I couldn’t achieve good results, so I took my eyes off Matia’s gaze and said those words.
Had Richard been decapitated there, the offensive march of his troops would have been prevented. Hopefully that alone could have led the Great Holy Church’s army into confusion. The existence of a captain was powerful. His death would have brought consequences for sure. At least, the number of dead humans on our side could have been reduced.
When I thought of it, I really felt a regrettable feeling.
Matia received my voice and remained silent for a moment, and then she sighed. I noticed from a small glance that her expression became distorted. It felt as if she was wondering how to convey the words to a poorly accomplished partner.
What was she waiting for?
「You really haven’t changed, have you? It’s no use crying over spilt milk. Moreover, you keep forgetting that you are a hero now, Lugis.」
After sighing, Matia sat in a nearby chair, drawing a gentle line on her face. Her voice was strangely dyed by a gentle color. She was neither stiff nor angry as she used to be.
Matia opened her lips and continued to speak.
「It does not matter whether you killed him or not. Actually, you boldly slashed the enemy’s captain without hesitation, and that act alone raised the morale of our soldiers. And not only our soldiers, but Miss Caria and Miss Filaret’s morale as well. You may not know it, but there are many people who are happy to rely on you.」
Matia’s words carried an odd depth. And more than that, Matia spoke with her rippling lips. Her words never stagnated even once, and her gaze strongly pierced my whole being.
「The most important thing right now is not to defeat the enemy’s captain, but to return safely. In that sense, there’s no better result than you being alive.」
While saying those words, Matia’s eyes, which caught me straight, were slightly disturbed. There was always a cold glow in there, but today the light was swaying as if it were blown by the wind.
Matia’s behavior was rare and strange. In a sense, she looked like an average human being, compared to her usual self that only acted with calculation and reason.
I wondered if Matia’s head was full of unnecessary thoughts.
In fact, there was no doubt that I placed a burden on Matia. At any rate, it was my sole intention to agree with the letter from the military envoy. I did not even consult with Matia.
It would not be strange if Matia felt some sort of resentment or anger towards me.
「Well, maybe…but it was still a bad call to decide the meeting at my own discretion.」
「Yes, truly. 」
When I awkwardly threw those words at Matia, her voice pierced my throat without hesitation. Although Matia’s eyes were still swaying somewhere, her voice clearly caught me.
I tried to read her gaze, and noticed that her eyes were strongly displaying the color of discontent rather than the color of anger. It was really bad. She was accumulating a lot of fiery emotions in her heart.
「You will soon disobey the promise that you wouldn’t act recklessly. Lugis, I can’t help but wonder if a promise or a contract is something that you can’t understand.」
Matia bounced her lips and took my hand on the table. She turned her gaze in a serious manner, while rubbing my right hand with both of her hands. Then, she observed me carefully.
Matia’s hands were strangely white and small. They were a few times different in size compared to my hand. When I compared them up close, it seemed as if her hands were of a completely different entity.
Matia stared at my hand and said. She spoke with a slightly emotional feel, which was quite unusual for her.
「Lugis, to be honest, I’m not very calm about this campaign. 」
Matia moved her lips. It was the Saint’s confession that I suddenly heard in my ears.
She was not calm? C’mon, Matia. For a moment, I felt those unexpected words were crawling through my spine. It was a feeling that I thought it not possible to feel originally.
「It happened when we captured Garoua Maria, when we entered the Hanging Gardens of Ghazalia, and even before that. There is no such thing as being calm. I can’t control the buzz in my chest. My head occasionally becomes white.」
Matia’s little fingers squeezed my hand. I couldn’t see her expression with her face down, but her voice, which shook the air, seemed to be frightened by something unknown.
I see. She was not calm. If I thought about it, that reaction was natural.
Moreover, this time the number of soldiers was polar opposite. Tens of thousands of soldiers could die in an instant. In such a chaotic battlefield, only a few people could keep the sanity intact as before. Even though Matia was a Saint, it was not strange to lack some calmness.
While I thought about it, Maria shook her head and continued to speak.
「Of course, the buzz in my chest is also due to those circumstances. However, those are not the number one factor for these current feelings. It’s something entirely different.」
Her voice was so weak that I thought it belonged to someone else. At least, those words were not the words of a Saint.
「For example, Lugis…Have you ever hated something from the bottom of your heart?」
It wasn’t truly the words of a Saint, but the sobbing of young woman named Matia.
Matia is slowly opening her heart to Lugis. She might be a saint and a leader, but she is still a human after all.
Thank you to the Patrons for the continued support!