Chapter 288: The Only Title
In the hall of the Great Temple a shadow that moved in the distance shook its outline as if it was blurry.
At the same time, the shadow, which was sitting on the altar, suddenly stood up. It must be because the altar was set several steps higher. It even looked like it was moving through the sky.
There, a human figure slowly took shape. In Helot Stanley’s eye, he could see the figure that even tore the darkness apart. He didn’t even have to ask who it was anymore.
He was the evil that crushed the nation with its jaws, infamous for being called the natural enemy of the human species. He was an immoral man, a treacherous person, a traitor, and the Lord of Vice.
That name was an unmistakable abomination to the people of the Great Holy Church. It was a name that everyone avoided and even refrained from saying.
If one had to call such being, which portrayed every kind of malice, with a burning hatred and terror, his name would be…
…Lugis Vrilligant. The Vice itself.
Hated by everyone, the figure that was feared and despised was now emerging in the Great Temple of Flimslat. In front of the golden eye, that person stood there, immaculately.
Helot opened his mouth, not caring that his lips were slightly trembling.
「It looks like you’ve embarked on a tough journey. Your fame precedes you. I thought I wouldn’t hear of you after our last encounter.」
The white-bladed sword, which was gripped with both of his hands, swayed along with his hair. Helot couldn’t stop his entire body from shaking.
It was not a feeling of fear, but something else, the exact opposite of fear.
What Helot said was true. After that battle in Garoua Maria, they hadn’t crossed swords or even encountered each other. But, meanwhile, Lugis transformed himself into a totally different entity.
He held the honor of being the hero of the Heraldic religion. He had a terrible notoriety in the Great Holy Church. People applauded for him on one side, while the other side spit on him. Lugis now had such weight on his shoulders that no ordinary person could support. The atmosphere surrounding him was completely different from what it used to be.
The figure reflected in Helot’s eye was huge and intimidating compared to when he was once called an adventurer in Garoua Maria. Was it because of his behavior rather than his physical appearance?
However, Helot didn’t feel like being suppressed or being overwhelmed by that atmosphere.
His exhalation was hot and his golden eye was wide open. He could feel that his cheeks had collapsed slightly.
As if responding to Helot’s smile, Lugis descended one step at a time while tilting his beloved sword at his waist. In the dim light, Helot couldn’t read Lugis’ expression completely, but it seemed that he also had a distorted smile on his face.
Lugis’ teeth rang loudly. Then, after opening his lips, he lined up the sounds, wondering if he had professed a big absurdity.
「If you forget that you’re a hero, all the things in this world will disappear from your memory. All fame will be meaningless in front of you.」
It sounded like he was suppressing something. Was it an emotion, or something else intolerable? Even Helot didn’t know the answer.
However, Helot knew well that Lugis’ stern eyes, which even evoked his ferocity, were piercing through his soul.
“Indeed, judging from his behavior and words, it seems that I continue to be his enemy. That’s great. I couldn’t be happier. That’s why I’ve been eager to meet him again.”
After that, there was only one language, the language of battle. No, it might have been that way for the two of them from the beginning. Helot’s white blade stroked the sky slightly.
All the words that were exchanged now became like a dust of wind. Unable to stop the raging passion that dwelled in his body, Helot let out a fierce splash.
Therefore, the only thing that could tell the story now was his physical prowess.
Lugis lowered his body with one more step. Then, he pulled out the sword from his scabbard as if the radiance of purple electricity cut off the space itself. Helot also responded by taking a step closer to the altar.
With just two moves, the space was compressed to the point of suffocation.
「I don’t remember being called a hero. I’m just Helot Stanley. And I am now standing in front of you.」
Without any embellishment, without even showing vanity or arrogance, his words were seen as indifferent. However, that was Helot Stanley’s true intention.
Was he to be a hero, a famous person, or even a general? What use would that be in Lugis’ presence? Those titles were useless. The person named Lugis was the one who devoured all of those titles as he moved forward.
Therefore, only Helot’s name fit him, yes his only title.
Holding his great sword, Helot moved half of his body and took a stance. His breath slid down his throat.
「You and I have no choice but to become enemies, Lugis Vrilligant. 」
As if to recreate the words that had fallen from Lugis’ mouth that night, Helot said so aloud. Helot Stanley was a rare human for smiling in front of his enemy. There was even a sarcastic atmosphere floating on his cheeks.
After receiving Helot’s words, Lugis took a step further and opened his mouth while shining the purple light from his blade. His eyes were blazing as he pierced the golden person. The distance between the two was now close enough to initiate a fight.
「Very well, Helot Stanley. You see… 」
While nodding exaggeratedly at Helot’s words, Lugis also took off his large coat and prepared to wield his treasure sword. His eyes had a more sinister air to them than before, and in spite of his light tone, there were glimpses of something dark at the edge of his words.
Even so, Helot wondered if it was just his imagination that his words sounded somewhat spirited. Lugis’ lips jumped.
「…There are no differences between enemies, even if I’m an abandoned child and humble and you are noble and talented. Even if my single finger could not reach you, much less cling to your back.」
“The words spoken by Lugis are sometimes hard to decipher. Ever since Garoua Maria, he talked and acted as if he was an old acquaintance of mine.”
“But I don’t think it’s that bad. Yeah, it seems to me that this moment feels right. I feel that it was definitely not a mistake to wield my sword against him.”
Before Helot’s eye, Lugis’ presence grew stronger and more vivid. Both swords were sharpened so much that they could even cut the sky.
「But now, the age of sunshine has come to an end, because the nightfall has arrived for me. Don’t worry, Helot Stanley. I won’t let you go home alive today.」
The moment Lugis finished speaking, the white and purple lights meshed in the dim darkness. Neither came first nor came later.
Both of them swung their swords at the same time, as if they had waited impatiently for this moment, as if they had been alive until now just for the sake of this moment.
No voice was heard by either of them anymore.
A confrontation between her childhood friend, Lugis, and her personal guard, Helot Stanley. At the sight unfolding in front of her golden eyes, Ariene tried to fight against the emotions that were about to burst from her heart. She felt like her fingertips were freezing, as they got colder and colder.
But what was in Ariene’s heart was something completely different.
Her golden eyes blinked as they flared up.
“…Ah, I knew it. What I feel is not really hostility or resentment.”
Ariene felt her conviction turning into reality, and her eyes narrowed in response.
There was only one thing floating in her chest.
Helot Stanley, what he had for Lugis was probably the kind of feelings one had for a worthy rival or a friend. Ariene could see it even now, when their swords engaged.
Therefore, that thought was strong and pure. The way he behaved showed that he was a sincere person.
Yet, it felt disgusting. That was not the way Helot Stanley should behave. Worse, Ariene’s childhood friend, Lugis, responded positively to those earnest feelings. Ariene knew that something came up in her heart that made her viscera itself feel cold.
The next thing that came to Ariene’s heart was not jealousy or envy.
It was another feeling. All she thought about was how she could strip away what was around Lugis. Her golden eyes already possessed a brilliance that surpassed human understanding.
Because he only had one hand to take, and just one hand was fine.
That’s why Helot Stanley’s behavior was abominable. Whatever form it took, accepting him would mean letting him take Lugis’ hand. That alone was unacceptable to Ariene.
In her eyes, a sign of magic gathered furiously. The air in the temple trembled, as if praising the golden eyes of Ariene, as if it was in awe of its existence. Something happened the moment when Ariene’s heart showed fierce determination.
…That’s right; you’re not the type to be easily quiet.
It was around that time when Ariene’s ears heard that voice, black eyes that could be called vivid appeared at the edge of her vision.
Great talk between Lugis and Helot! Please look forward to next week! Things will get pretty interesting…Btw, it seems Altius doesn’t leave Ariene alone.
Thank you to the Patrons for the continued support!
Did Lugis have a family name?
Thanks for the translation.