Chapter 290: From that Night until Today
…I won’t let you get in the way of Lugis. I’m his comrade.
After saying those words, Filaret saw the saint smiling a little. No, she laughed.
For some reason, her expression showed a benevolent smile, full of a saint-like atmosphere. But her golden eyes were different.
They were not just shining brilliantly, but the gold was wide open to the end. Rather than thinking that those eyes were beautiful, they made Filaret’s skin feel something abnormal. Needle-like pain pierced her cheeks for a moment.
At the very least, even though the Cathedral Knight who made a name for themselves on the continent instantly turned their bodies into sculptures, the saint didn’t emit any fear. She didn’t have a normal sensibility.
Filaret took a half step to the side, feeling a slight cramp in her thigh. The saint didn’t even show a shred of will to retreat from here. Filaret even had enough distance to cast magic upon her. The back of her throat cooled down with just the right amount of tension.
However, Ariene opened her lips as if she did not know what Filaret’s feelings were.
「…Comrade, you say. I wonder if Lugis will say the same thing about you. But if what you say is true, then it’s troublesome.」
The way she spoke was as if she was talking about trivial matters. In a broken tone, Ariene put her hand to her own lips.
From Filaret’s point of view, those words pierced the emptiness in her heart. She couldn’t read what she was saying or what her intentions were. Filaret didn’t even know why it was troublesome for her in the first place.
After all, when Filaret met her during the meeting with Mordeaux in Belfein, she said to the saint that she was the pursuer of the criminal Lugis. If she now implied that were comrades now, the saint would probably be surprised and doubtful.
However, Ariene did not look like that at all. Without asking why, or what happened, she indifferently spilled out those words to the sky.
Filaret’s ears tilted and her black hair danced through the darkness. Suddenly, her eyelashes swayed.
「Every time, yes, every time I get close to him he decides on everything by himself along with undesired accessories. And when I come back readily, he always ends up with a wound. Yes, this is getting dangerous and I can’t bear to watch this any longer.」
It was now Filaret’s turn to raise her black eyes. Her expression stiffened upon hearing the saint’s remark.
However, even though her gaze looked distorted, Ariene casually showed a graceful smile. At first glance, she seemed innocent, but in this situation, it felt way too abnormal. This place was a battlefield. It was not the kind of place that made one smile.
Filaret couldn’t chew the words spoken by Ariene. She distorted her own eyebrows and slowly opened her lips with a sense of discomfort.
The air that sat between them made a faint sound, as if it were shivering.
「…It feels as if you’re talking about someone you’ve known for a long time, Lady Saint. 」
Filaret said while lining up the words in her confused skull. Her dark eyes had a slight hint of turmoil.
“Just a while ago, I have decided not to back down no matter what happens. But what happened? Right now, I feel a strange murmur in the back of my viscera. I have a bad feeling.”
The moment she questioned the saint, Filaret sensed that she had made a mistake.
“I don’t know the exact reason. But my heart is thundering high as if it wants to tell me something. There is certainly a feeling that my blood flow is being pulled from my body.”
Her inner thoughts warned her that she had done something she shouldn’t have done, and had stepped on something she shouldn’t have stepped on.
Without paying any attention to Filaret’s uneasy appearance, Ariene spoke in a strangely theatrical tone while letting her golden hair glitter.
「It’s obvious. Because me and Lugis…we’ve been childhood friends since we were born. 」
The saint’s voice, which tangled one’s ears and even echoed in one’s brain, shook every thread of Filaret’s thoughts.
Staring straight into the strange black eyes, Ariene stamped hard on the stone under her feet. It was hard and she couldn’t feel warmth anywhere.
Filaret La Volgograd. When Ariene saw her in the mercenary city of Belfein, she was in the position of pursuing the great criminal Lugis. And now he was her comrade.
Did she fall in love with him after those events, or had she taken his hand long before that?
A sound leaked from the corners of her lips. Ariene felt a strange heat in her eyes.
“This is unbearable.” Thinking that Lugis might have found salvation elsewhere, Ariene’s internal organs hardened like stones.
Of course, Ariene thought that it was because of her incompetence. Lugis was undoubtedly her salvation during the harsh life in the Cathedral. He was always close to her heart. Rather, long before that, yes, all the way from before those days.
Ariene always faced aristocrats who said that they were noble because of their blood, famous people who misunderstood that they were noble because they graduated from the academy, and ordinary people who thought they were noble by wearing expensive things.
“In this world overflowing with such people, Lugis has always saved me.”
“Even so, I can’t stand it because I haven’t become a person who can help Lugis. Because of that, he was in a predicament, and now he has to make a place for himself by cutting himself.” The sword fight reflected in the edge of Ariene’s vision.
“I’m not worthy. Ah, if I could curse something, I would curse myself.” It was Ariene’s sincerity and a vivid emotion that resided in her heart.
But that’s why. Right now, Ariene’s viscera was roaring with a blazing heat similar to that vivid emotion. One could even call it a kind of contradiction.
“…Comrade? To whom?”
Ariene’s cheeks quivered. Her eyes had numbness. Her heart was beating so hard that it seemed to frighten itself.
“Oh, there’s no mistake.” Ariene realized the truth when she noticed the pale color reflected in the eyes of Filaret La Volgograd and the tone of her voice when she talked about Lugis.
At least, what dwelled in her eyes was not contempt. From around the bottom of her heart, Ariene knew that something unknown was gnawing at her with a groaning voice.
It meant that she was also in the same category as hers.
A cold breath escaped from her mouth. However, the depths of her chest were so hot that she felt like she was choking. Its identity was unmistakable, an emotion named resentment.
“I cannot forgive how easy it is for her to stand next to him.” Ariene couldn’t help but think about it, even if she knew it was a shallow and an unclean feeling.
She, Filaret La Volgograd, was not the only one. To be honest, the humans of the Heraldic Order were by Lugis’ side too. It wouldn’t be surprising to know there were more people by Lugis’ side outside of that sphere.
All of them were nothing but objects of resentment for Ariene.
She desired to curse them all for being clingy, unreasonable and ridiculous. What did they know about her and Lugis? They knew nothing.
“My hands have been empty ever since I was little. There was no dignity, no tomorrow, no money, no wisdom and no way to get them.”
Of course, Ariene knew that such things could not be given to an abandoned child thrown into a well. If there was nothing in her hands, then the only way was to sell her own self eventually.
Ariene thought that was fine, and she never thought she could ask for more. She imagined the future as a rich man’s hobby. She couldn’t dare to dream of a different life as an orphan. Asking for food on a daily basis was a way of life suitable for an orphan.
“…However, in such a situation, Lugis talked about the future in that night, under that starry sky, towards my young self.”
That’s why Ariene believed in it. She lived in order to be in that future, to be with him. She gritted her teeth and vomited blood to survive.
She endured, endured, and endured. She survived with her clenched fists and her bleeding lips.
It was not the behavior of a very clean and pure saint. She was not very noble. She even felt she was the worst.
Nonetheless, Ariene believed she was the one who deserved to be by Lugis’ side. Because of that future, she endured from that night until today.
That’s why Ariene could not tolerate the woman named Filaret. Even though she had only been with him for a few years at most, that woman stood in her way, acting as if she deserved to be by his side.
“How ridiculous. For that reason, in order to exist, how many things have I sacrificed?”
There was no longer any tolerance or understanding in Ariene’s heart. There was just enough heat to burn everything down.
「Childhood friend. You and Lugis? You must be joking. 」
After a moment that seemed like an eternity, Ariene stared at Filaret’s black eyes, and finally let out the following words.
「You can rest assured, Filaret La Volgograd. 」
Ariene spoke indifferently, yet with an atmosphere that seemed to let out a voice full of resentment.
「Whether my words are a joke or not…your future has already been decided. I wish you a wonderful salvation. 」
Oh no…! That last phrase sounds ominous…
Thank you to the Patrons for the continued support!
Yep, her love is extremely heavy…
Thanks for the chapter.