Chapter 260: A Small-Sized Coffin
In the dark, I opened my eyes as if I was opening them for the first time. I could see every corner of the dungeon dyed in black as if it was night all day long.
I saw a man who fell down while dripping blood from his neck. Then, I saw an instrument that seemed to have been made just to hurt people. Besides him stood Philos Trait, who’s eyes shined with dignity while she was tied to a chain and couldn’t move. Something like an itch emerged on my body. At first glance, I was able to fully understand what happened here, and killing that man was my doing.
「Kill me here. I’m not on your side. 」
Yes, I almost sighed at her figure that opened her lips forcibly. The voice I heard in my ears was completely different from the voice I heard in the Heraldic tent. Only the white eye remained the same, looking at me without much emotion. Did she want me to kill her?
Vestaline Geluah, who was waiting at the corner, took the lantern sitting on the floor and said.
「Lord Lugis, she’s confused by all means. It’s common for those who have been tortured or severely punished.」
Vestaline spoke in a serious tone. Even though I didn’t have much interaction with her, I felt those words truly belonged to Vestaline.
She was good at grasping the situation and made extremely correct decisions on the spot. She was encouraging as the head of the mercenaries. On the other hand, I was thinking about something completely different from Vestaline. I was sure I wouldn’t be the chief of the mercenaries with a thought like this.
…I should have killed Philos Trait in that place at that time.
When I met her on the battlefield, I should have decapitated her. That way, Philos Trait wouldn’t have suffered this pain and wouldn’t have licked the bitter acid. She could have died as the ruler of the proud city of Philos. I felt apologetic.
I spoke then.
「Everything has become irrelevant. 」
It was not in response to Vestaline’s voice. I wiped the blood from the knife that had been pulled from the man’s neck and with my eyes wide open, I only saw Philos Trait in my sight.
She certainly said she wanted me to kill her. Those words no longer seemed to contain a color close to appealing. She didn’t want to live anymore. She wanted to let go of everything.
It couldn’t be helped either. Her dignity and pride as the ruler of the city of Philos were crushed on the ground, and it seemed that no light could be seen beyond that. She was betrayed by the citizens she believed and loved the most. This memory would forever leave a scar in her soul. From this point onward, no matter how she lived, she would never be able to enjoy her life comfortably.
That’s why I questioned it. I wondered if it had become truly irrelevant. She wanted to throw everything away.
If she truly wanted to throw everything away, I would kill her here. That would be the much happier choice.
It was not as if she didn’t care about everything, she just gave up and just repeated breathing. She was no longer “alive”, even though she wished for her death.
While turning the knife, which had completely wiped the blood, I stared at Philos Trait’s white eye. It was quite opaque than when I stared at it in the tent of Heraldic Order. I distorted my lips for a moment before speaking.
「It doesn’t matter. Okay, good then. It can’t be helped. 」
I looked at Philos Trait while turning my eyes around. Then, she took over my words, rippling her lips.
「I don’t care about what happens to me anymore. I don’t know what I’ve done for this city of Philos. I don’t even know how much humiliation I’ve endured in my chest.」
It felt as if a mother was talking about her child. Within her muddy eyes, I could see her emotions shaking.
I see. My words were imprudent. For Philos Trait, the city of Philos was like a child who had been raised by herself. She was betrayed by the child and struck on the ground. It was probably disrespectful to guess her feelings without permission.
I wondered if pain ran to her body when she elevated her voice. Philos Trait breathed heavily, quivering her body. When I released her from the commandments of those chains, Vestaline said in a clear voice, supporting her body.
「If so, then don’t worry. The Heraldic army will eventually surround Philos and take control from Roseau. It will be back in your hands. Please suppress your emotions for now.」
Vestaline’s words clearly came from the place of kindness or compassion. However, Philos Trait probably understood that. Knowing that, she told us to kill her, at her own discretion.
「I am grateful for your kindness. But it doesn’t mean anything to me. Being helped by you, pulled by you, and led by you, as if everything went well. It won’t be over until I settle this with my own life. 」
Vestaline hardened her face, while distorting her lips. She probably didn’t expect her words to have no effect whatsoever.
Well, had Philos Trait of this kind of nature? She was both proud and stubborn. She once seemed to have a little more softness when I saw her at the tent. But I just didn’t capture her true essence.
Nobility and stubbornness, those two were the essence of Philos Trait.
She kept talking. She had a plain, yet emotional voice.
「If I can’t settle it with my own hands, I’d better be killed by you and be labeled as an incompetent ruler. It’s easier to understand and I can finally die.」
The white eye pierced me straight, swaying the muddy, dim lights of the dudgeon. Vestaline looked at me with eyes that said “what are we going to do now”.
Apparently, there was no such thing. I shook my cheeks, moved my shoulders and leaked the following words.
「…At that time in that place, I made a good call by not killing you. It’s fine, if you settle it with your own hands.」
Then, I held Philos Trait on my shoulders, whose body was fragile even if she was freed from the commandment of chains.
There was some shaking, but it was probably due to the pain that covered her whole body. At least, she wouldn’t go wild. She did move on a rampage a little. I wanted her to be quiet at least. All she had to do for now was close her eyes and let me carry her like a lifeless luggage.
I looked at Vestaline and said.
「I’m sorry, Vestaline, I’ve got this luggage to carry, so I’m going on like this. And I’m going through a path that’s darker than ever, with no light. I’ll take the lead, so just follow me.」
In response to my words, Vestaline rounded her eyes and asked if I was sane. Well, sanity was one of the things that I had in my heart, yet at the same time, I didn’t. It was like a paradox.
Was it unavoidable? Each person had his or her own way of setting their own lives. Like I did, Philos Trait was a person who could never move forward unless she settled things herself. If that’s the case, it would be kind of me to arrange the stage, even if I didn’t help much in the end.
「Let go of me, how dare you mock me! 」
Philos Trait spoke to me, who was screaming endlessly on my shoulders, although she was no longer rampaging.
「I’m not mocking you; rather, I only have respect for you. Listen, the coffin of Philos is too small for you to die.」
At the very least, I made my lips rippling, saying that her coffin had to be big enough to swallow the entire Gharast Kingdom.
Ahahah, this was a very funny chapter to me 😀
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