Chapter 279: Something that Captures the Spirit
My gloves were thicker than usual. With that alone, I felt that a gap was born when it came to touching other things. It felt rather uncomfortable.
However, it would be no laughing matter if I wore light clothing and ended up having my fingers injured due to frostbite. The freezing cold had enough power to freeze a person and eat the flesh, even with a chilly wind.
In order to drink one bottle of water, I had to immediately put the bottle in my belongings. If I held it in my arms, it would freeze up and become useless. Or at least, it used to be like that. If so, then there was no need to keep doing the same mistakes.
I lightly soaked my mouth with ale and felt its liquid with my tongue. I felt that the peculiar pungent taste of Belfein’s ale would naturally warm my body.
I opened my mouth after moistening my throat. I was worried about my dry lips.
「So, why don’t you do your usual sermon, Lady Saint? 」
I always tried to choose my words wisely around Saint Matia. I thought about it a lot, but no matter what words I used, a sharp spear often came out of Saint Matia’s lips, so I ended up using mediocre words.
When I went to her tent, she turned her back and just stared at the parchment. It seemed that her rage had spread from the top of her head to her toes. It felt horrible.
I was prepared to hear a heated voice from her lips. Nevertheless, Matia’s next voice was much gentler and thinner than I had imagined.
Unwittingly, I opened my eyelids wide.
「Oh my, did you do something that deserves my sermon? 」
Even so, Matia seemed to be in a very good mood. Her voice contained an awfully bright tone.
I wondered if her tone was real or if she was enduring the thick air that was stuck in her lungs.
To be honest, I thought that I would receive a sermon with her sharp voice. Indeed, I really thought she would complain that I did something selfish again. It seemed that she was not in such a mood today. No, it was fine. If so, I wanted her to be in a good mood all the time.
「No, it’s not like that. I’ve always been grateful for your words. I thought it’d be better to take them now rather than having them later.」
I said so, but of course, I was fine without them. I pulled my cloak over my shoulders. Matia was not my master, but it would be nice if she was always in a good mood. Then, she wouldn’t complain about my actions. With that, I would swing my arms freely and act the way I see fit.
As usual, Matia still showed me her back, while speaking softly, yet with a somewhat trembling voice. Unsettled by the cold around me, I tightly grasped my fingertips.
「The only time I spoke angrily to you was when you broke your oath with me. Isn’t it different this time?」
I narrowed my eyes as I swallowed Matia’s words. That oath probably referred to the one exchanged in Belfein.
It was an oath I made with Matia to have pride and never jump into danger without permission.
No, from my point of view, I didn’t think I did something so grand. Even so, if this was Matia’s way of being considerate, I couldn’t refuse her feelings.
Besides, in the past, there were almost no people who cared about me. However, now, the Saint of the Heraldic Order was worried about my destination, so I should accept this level of concern.
I thought it was a silly feeling. It also made me feel foolish. However, it was indeed a certain pleasure to have someone whom could direct such emotions to.
Matia continued to speak with the parchment in her hands.
「Yes, but if I can put it in words, I’d prefer you do it yourself this time around. This time…you have come to ask for my forgiveness, Lugis. 」
Did I come to ask for forgiveness? I heard those words and unwittingly twisted my eyebrows.
To be honest, it was somewhat true, but something that seemed to be uncomfortable slid through my chest. I couldn’t tell exactly what it was, but it seemed that something like an invisible thread was wrapped around my neck without knowing it. I had a strange shortness of breath.
I closed my eyelids for a moment wondering how I should respond to those words. My lips naturally searched for words, but none of them seemed to fit my current state of mind.
「I think so…Then, may I ask for your permission to go on an expedition to Flimslat, Lady Saint?」
In any case, I said those words with a face that didn’t suit me. After all, I felt that a sense of incongruity was licking my neck.
For Saint Matia, the experience of not being able to hide the emotions swelling up in her chest was not something she experienced very often.
The Heraldic Saint was the personification of wisdom and reason. As long as the people sought her image, it would be an abomination to be swayed by volatile emotions. She couldn’t allow such thing to happen.
Matia, who had wanted to live as a Saint since childhood, had only exposed such disgraceful behavior a few times at most. At least, she had never shown anything but calculated emotions in front of her people.
“Yes, emotions created from the bottom of my heart are unnecessary for a Heraldic Saint. All actions should be done with calculation and intelligence.”
“That’s why I think my current self is in a state that can hardly be called a Saint.” Matia desperately suppressed her trembling voice and squeezed her fingers tightly to keep her calm. The parchment got some wrinkles because of her strong grip.
However, no matter how much she tried to be normal, her cheeks were unconsciously tinged with a faint heat and her eyes showed an inexplicable turmoil.
“What an odd thing, it can’t be and it shouldn’t be.” Matia frantically stared at the parchment in front of her, but couldn’t remember even one of the letters. On the contrary, she felt that her head was boiling unnecessarily.
“I know why. How could I have reached such state? Just because of what Lugis did before. He just came to ask for forgiveness. That alone loosened the emotional ties and made it impossible to close them.”
“Thinking about it, my heart is beating faster, and I am filled with feelings of shame. But at the same time, I also feel joyous emotions that are tightening my chest.”
“How pathetic I am.” Matia involuntarily blamed herself. She even thought she was a joke.
“Even so, my cheeks are hot and my mouth is drawing a strange line. It’s not a face that can be shown to people. In particular, how can I show such a state in front of him?”
“…Ah, but the joy that resounds in my heart is so hard to hide.”
Until now, Matia had allowed Lugis to move whenever he pleased. He often stepped into danger as if he wanted to.
However, he now listened to Matia’s words. How wonderful and how joyous it was.
Lugis probably didn’t notice it. It was something he would never have done in the past. He shouldn’t even be conscious of the fact that his neck was loosely wrapped in a thread that entangled his mind.
Even if he noticed it, what could he do? Matia’s lips swelled up as if drawing a semicircle.
Promises became oaths and oaths became contracts. Despite changing appearances, they were surely entwined with Lugis’ spirit as a thread. It was by no means easily removed. Rather, the more words he said, the more deeply they became entwined.
That’s why Matia urged Lugis to say more. Let him beg for forgiveness. Engrave in his mind that being controlled was not what Matia wanted, but something he wanted.
Lugis’ voice echoed in the tent.
…May I ask for your permission to go on an expedition to Flimslat, Lady Saint?
Matia accepted the words that were offered to her. She closed her lips at once. Then, she squeezed her face so hard that every sign of expression vanished away, and turned around.
She looked straight into Lugis’ face and said the following words.
「Yes, I will allow it…I’m very pleased to know that you’re working for the Heraldic Order and for me, Lugis.」
Matia slowly spewed the words so that Lugis could bite every single one of them.
In particular, Matia thought that his true intentions were for his own sake and not for the Heraldics’ sake.
Judging from the sudden decision to go to Flimslat, it would be natural to guess there was some kind of speculation beyond normal thoughts. At least, Matia understood that.
“But that’s why I have to say it. More than anything else, I’m happy that he is working for himself, and thus, gaining confidence in himself.”
However, that would make him feel a little guilty towards her. Then, naturally, the consciousness would turn to oneself. It would blur the original intentions. In fact, Lugis had an embarrassing expression on his face.
Matia couldn’t stop from smiling. That smile was originally a smile that she, a Saint, never showed to anyone before.
Hers was a smile that drew beautiful lines on her cheeks and made her eyes feverish.
Even Lugis was confused at his own actions ahahah 😀
Thank you to the Patrons for the continued support!