Chapter 278: The Mirror and the Harsh Blessing
Thinking that he had not changed at all, Eldith unintentionally rolled her blue eyes and smiled through her cheeks. Then, she loosely closed her eyes, and a very nostalgic scene danced behind her eyelids.
It was a memory of when she was still in that tower. Her mind was rotting, her knees were crumbling, and she wished that everything would get cursed. It was a time when she hid cowardly.
Then, he came. Yes, Lugis appeared and forcibly took Eldith’s hand, pushing her out of her comfort and cowardliness. He behaved with the same selfishness as it was seen now. Eldith remembered him as someone very unreasonable.
…You are the one who wants to give up, Eldith. So, you are the one who’s making excuses. Not me. You’re trying to give up on your own will.
Those words were still strongly burning in Eldith’s long ears. No matter what she did, those words didn’t disappear. Of course, Eldith herself had no intention of forgetting them.
When she first heard his words, Eldith thought that Lugis was a selfish and arrogant guy.
Even though he didn’t know anything about her, he said whatever he liked. He was a foolish guy, who planned to force her to come out in order to make her whine in front of him in the end.
However, the outcome was completely different. Even if it looked like he didn’t know what he was doing, he yelled out loud words, tore the battlefield apart, and finally saved Eldith from that tower.
Of course, that didn’t change Lugis’ selfish disposition. Rather, one could say that his disposition was now accelerating the current situation. There was no doubt about it.
Lugis arbitrarily entered people’s territory, arbitrarily grabbed their hearts, and then, as if he didn’t know or care, he went somewhere else.
He had a strong degree of selfishness. Yes, what a cruel human being.
However, the elf called Fin Eldith was saved by that selfishness. “There is no way I can deny it. I hate his selfishness and love him for it. It is such a terrible contradiction.” Without knowing it, Eldith began to mock herself.
She let out a sigh while wrapping her two fingers in white gloves.
When Lugis said that he was going to the Northern Mountains of Flimslat, the spirit-driven clothing he wore said he was not deceiving her through false statements.
At the very least, he decided on his destination with his own reasoning and conviction.
“I don’t know if the enemy witch, Ariene, who is the heart of the Great Holy Church, really sits there. However, Lugis said so without falsehood.”
Therefore, for Eldith, there was no reason not to believe him. That was what her knight believed. Even if all kinds of other words became like big waves and tried to deny him, Eldith would follow his words in the end.
Eldith heard that Flimslat was a land of extreme cold. For elves who did not visit places with extreme temperature differences, it would be an unbearable journey.
However, for some reason, Eldith didn’t want to stop. After hearing Lugis’ words, the only thought that ran through her intelligent brain was how to trample Flimslat.
“After all, Lugis taught me how to kill resignation. Just because he’s going to a destination that’s too cold doesn’t mean I should stop my legs from moving.”
“Will I step back just because that place is the Giant’s Bed? After all, the giants were forced to face extinction after being defeated in the past. No matter how much they used to be the elves’ natural enemies, how could I ever turn my back in fear?”
At the end of the preparations for this journey, Eldith’s fierce characteristics shined through. A sigh of emotions rolled through the tent of Ghazalia.
「…Are you really going to the dangerous land of Flimslat, Lady Eldith? 」
It was the voice of Valet, Eldith’s maid.
The tone contained in Valet’s voice could be felt as anger, sorrow and pity. Eldith shook her eyebrows, thinking that it was precious that an elf showed a wonderful way of swinging such emotions.
Not many elves could be sensitive to the feelings of others.
「I’m going. I don’t want to be the same fool I used to be. 」
Yes, Eldith didn’t want to crouch down in fear, searching for a reason to give up on her own, just like in the old days. It would be different if Lugis wanted to see that kind of self, but unless that was the case, Eldith would never expose such an abomination again.
Hearing Eldith’s words, Valet’s fingertips quivered in response. From her mouth, emotions that shouldn’t direct at the Queen were about to spill out. Eldith could see from Valet’s eyes that she was fighting against said emotions.
「You are the Fin of Ghazalia. You are the one who receives the favor of the spirits and guides us elves. Lady Eldith, many of your compatriots are waiting for your voice and your will! 」
For better or worse, the elf named Valet didn’t look like an elf. If she were a normal elf, she would tell the facts indifferently, or would give up with a quick abandonment if one couldn’t do so.
Time for the elves was long. For that reason, this race lost its passion and fever to obsess over things. How many elves were there who wanted to bind themselves to something and still be able to shake their hearts because of it?
Perhaps, the ancestors of the elves chose not to disturb their emotions, and by doing so, they began to live their life leisurely like a plant. In that sense, Valet was definitely a heretic.
Valet said with a strong emotion in her eyes, as her tone was getting rough.
「Please accept my apologies. Lady Eldith’s thoughts are… 」
She was not a heretic.
Eldith loosened her eyes as she looked at Valet, who was at a loss for words without knowing what to say.
Eldith slowly opened her lips as she approached her. Her lingering voice echoed through the tent.
「…I’m happy that you’re honest with yourself, Valet. If I were not honest with myself, I would be living in that tower up to these days, enjoying life as long as I’m not dead. 」
“Even so, thinking about it now, since that time, when Lugis took my hand in the tower and I accepted it. I’m no longer serious as an elf. I strayed from a path that should have been straight.”
“But it never occurred to me that it was unfortunate. Not even once.”
“Ah, what a joy it is to feel the emotion that makes my heart melt every time I think of him. How glorious it is! Even gold is no match for this happiness. Thinking about it, how unfortunate it is to be serious.”
“That’s why.” Eldith continued her words as she looked straight into Valet’s eyes. Her eyes were moist as if tears had spilled, and its luster reminded her of a wet mirror.
Eldith’s figure was clearly reflected in her eyes. Eldith hugged Valet as if she were a friend.
「Seven days are enough. Give me that time, Valet. I want to use my privilege as Fin just for this time.」
As soon as Eldith said so, the spell of the spirit that resided in Valet’s body slowly began to transform.
It was an anomaly of sorts. Originally, the spirit’s technique was not to be altered, but was exercised as such. The state of its transformation could be rephrased as the spirit’s rampage.
However, even after seeing the transformation that should be impossible, Eldith did not move even the slightest bit, because she understood Valet’s essence.
The scales of light bounced around in the air, transforming the formula that made Valet’s body, and thus, her appearance.
It was hard to call it the spirited arts. Moreover, it was not enough to even call it a miracle. Therefore, the elves called this technique the Child Spirit’s Change.
Eldith’s eyelids twinkled. It was all over in the blink of an eye.
When Eldith relaxed her body and reluctantly pulled herself away, there was no longer Valet in front of her, but herself.
She had transparent blue eyes and hair of the same color. She had white skin and a beautiful appearance as if she were staring at herself. She looked just like a mirror.
That was the end result of Valet’s flesh transformation.
「You’re going to have a hard time, Valet. 」
The person who had the same appearance as Eldith bowed her head respectfully.
「No, this is my role…but Lady Eldith. Even if I borrowed the power of your spirit, I don’t know if it will last for seven days. Please return as soon as possible. 」
Her voice and gestures were just like Eldith’s. Valet, who was originally good at putting others on top of her, would have behaved exactly like her own self, but she was so similar with Eldith that the real Eldith laughed a little.
Eldith looked at the result of her spirited arts on Valet once again, nodded in admiration, and put her hat back on.
Originally, it was thought that the shadow master was the one who used such method when danger approached. Eldith knew that she used Valet for her selfish reasons.
“When I return, I shall join her on her favorite game board. Even if we have to spend the night like before, I’ll accept it for just one time.” Eldith’s blue eyes softened at this moment. In any case, Eldith was soft when it came to Valet, and Valet was soft when it came to Eldith.
Eldith left the tent with Valet disguised as her. Even the soldiers didn’t notice that Eldith was Valet, and that the one with the hat covering her face was Eldith herself.
When it finally was time to leave the Ghazalia camp, Eldith suddenly thought. “I wonder what Lugis will say when he sees what I’m trying to do; after all, I’m trying to be by his side even though I have to wear man’s clothing again.”
“Will he be happy, dismayed or angry? It’s hard to imagine.”
“But, he said that he is counting on me. In that case, it should be natural for me to be by his side in order to live up to that expectation.”
Besides, Eldith had one more thing to worry about. It was about the spirit clothing worn by Lugis.
It continued to give him the protection of the spirits, but at the same time, it left its mark deep in his soul. Maybe it was about time for him to feel heavy, so it was better to have someone like Eldith by his side.
Eldith distorted the blue eyes she hid under her hat, and a charming smile appeared naturally on her cheeks.
“…Lugis. I will give you every blessing as my wish. And for that, you won’t be able to survive if you lose it.”
Valet is so loyal to Eldith. I wouldn’t want to bear that responsability…Now comes the next adventure! Please look forward to it!
Thank you to the Patrons for the continued support!