Chapter 314: An Encounter between a Vicious Old Man and a Quiet Storm
The royal capital of the Gharast Kingdom.
The Storm was in the Fomor family’s mansion, a little far from the glittering city center. It spoke in a flickering, pleasant voice.
「That’s a terrible state. No, well, maybe I can say that it suits a villain like you? A villain’s sword will eventually return to its master.」
The spokesperson for the Storm, Valerie Brightness, relaxed her muscles as she spoke. She casually put her finger to her own lips and casually called out to the person in front of her. Many of her words spilled out from her throat.
Usually, Valerie Brightness didn’t talk that much, however, she had a strangely smooth tongue today.
「Are you finally getting old, or have you burned your head with alcohol? 」
A lot of harsh words were released from her lips as if they were throwing stones. But strangely enough, there was a kind of familiarity in each of them.
They seemed to show a proof of their affection.
While accepting the shards of Valerie’s words, the villainous Richard Permillis opened his mouth as if chewing them up with his teeth.
「Don’t speak nonsense, Valerie. The only time I grow old is when this body dies.」
With a large bandage wrapped around his stomach, Richard spoke with a smile.
Due to his old age, the scars from the Battle of Sanyo were still visible on the joints of his body, but his cunning expression was still intact.
The ale poured down his throat easily settled into his stomach. Richard narrowed his eyes at his comfort.
It was close to a casual conversation. It was a conversation that couldn’t be said to be about deepening an old friendship, it was rather like flying stones.
But that seemed to be their normal conversation. They seemed to understand that the distance between them was the best.
「…I couldn’t believe my ears. You of all people would kneel on the battlefield.」
Valerie said while pouring ale into her own glass. Normally, she wouldn’t pour ale with her own hands, but at this time today, the servants were told not to go near the room where they were sitting.
After all, both of them were naturally busy. If they didn’t have the chance to make eye contact, they wouldn’t even exchange words.
That’s why when such coincidences overlapped, the two of them enjoyed drinking together. Even so, the ale that went through each other’s throats was completely different.
Richard responded to Valerie’s words while deepening the wrinkles on his face. It was a strangely floating voice.
「What are you saying. At this age, I realized that my fighting spirit has not disappeared yet. Ha, ha, ha.」
Seeing Richard say those words, Valerie almost spilled the ale out of her mouth. A soft sensation hit her tongue.
Contrary to his words, Richard’s expression seemed to be filled with a smile, and he didn’t look like he was very regretful or bitter.
No, he perhaps held those feelings in his heart, but he probably didn’t have the honesty to show it to others yet.
It made Valerie happy.
If that malice had sunk into his sorrow, Valerie would surely not know what to say.
She might have been flustered and even leaked words she shouldn’t have said. Without even realizing it herself, Valerie was stroking her chest.
She opened her mouth as she stared at Richard’s expression.
「If I remember correctly, you lost against an outlaw called Lugis. It seems that he is still going on a rampage quite vigorously.」
Valerie continued, “I won’t be able to return to Suzif for a while because of that.”
Hearing the words and name from Valerie’s mouth, Richard raised his eyebrows slightly. The wrinkles in his expression deepened further.
Richard had already heard what Valerie meant to say. The Heraldic Order, which was supposed to have lost its momentum after entering the dead snow, was now gathering soldiers near the eastern border of the Gharast Kingdom and showing its fangs.
The name of the leader of the army was Lugis, who was given the title of hero by the witch Matia. In the Gharast Kingdom, he was a man who was called Lord of Vice and was greatly loathed by everyone.
It was not clear what Lugis intended to do on the eastern frontier.
Were they just trying to make a show of force with their soldiers, or were they really going to step into the border of the dead snow?
At the very least, it must have been a foolish thing to gather soldiers while dead snow was pouring down. That’s why they couldn’t ignore it.
No matter what the reason was, if the enemy did not gather their forces to defend against it, it meant that they would no longer form a nation. Even if they didn’t really strike a spear and take a life, it was necessary to do something to the extent of glare.
Therefore, Valerie Brightness, who was originally supposed to return to Fort Suzif as soon as she was ready, was still confined to a detached house in the royal capital as a precaution.
Not only that, but sooner or later he was scheduled to receive the task of defending the vicinity of the eastern border.
Richard didn’t know if the national army was purely lacking in human resources, or if the political arena was just in disarray, but Valerie deliberately shrugged her shoulders, saying that it was a good nuisance for those who were being swayed.
Valerie’s appearance unintentionally made him think that it was Richard, and he narrowed his eyes to show his old age. While meeting Richard’s gaze, Valerie quietly rippled her lips.
「…I would like to ask you something, just for reference. What do you think the enemy’s aim is? Do you really think they are going to attack from the eastern border?」
Almost without thinking, Richard replied. The words were even mixed with the sound of ridicule.
「I wouldn’t do it if it was me. Then he won’t do it too. Oh, he’s my former student, you know. This is the move he likes to use.」
Richard said, deepening his wrinkles.
Yes, it was the same when he kidnapped the daughter of the Burdnick family. Lugis proudly used his men as a diversion to achieve his own goals behind the scenes.
He made it look like he was doing something bold and silly and was surprisingly clever with his hands.
When people were blinded by big things, they became too foolish about small things. Richard said that he was well aware of that even before he taught him.
Valerie nodded with a sophisticated gesture, prompting Richard to continue. Valerie’s heart obediently accepted Richard’s words.
Valerie knew very well that Richard was skilled on the battlefield. On the other hand, she also understood well that he was a person who needed help from others in other areas.
That’s why he was confident in what she should do. That’s why she was here today.
There were many things to think about, but Valerie believed that Richard’s words were enough to convince her. Richard closed his lips for a moment and put the bottle of ale on the table.
He lightly tangled his beard with his fingertips and said the following words.
「…I can’t read everything. I understand that you want to turn your eyes to the east, but it doesn’t seem like the Heraldic Order is preparing itself for the west. In that case, the first thing you should focus is people.」
“People” …Valerie said as if to return Richard’s words as they were.
Richard answered while staring at Valerie’s sharp eyes.
「Isn’t that, right? There’s only one place in this country where people from the Heraldic Order are packed like pigs.」
Note: Valerie appeared for the first time in chapter 185 of vol. 8 when she and Richard crossed paths in front of Fomor’s mansion. Back then, Richard was going to war and Valerie was going to the northwestern fort.
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