Chapter 318: The One who Smiles and the One who Doubts
…In the future, I would like you to never exchange words with my sister again…or take my sister’s hand and withdraw from the battlefield. *
Vestaline Geluah remembered the words she professed when confronting Lugis.
At that time, Vestaline was drinking ale and eventually became too inebriated, but she did not forget making that question.
Vestaline was convinced that an answer would help her sister, be it one or another related to that question. Otherwise, her sister would be unhappy. Vestaline couldn’t let that happen no matter what.
Besides, Vestaline still had great doubts about the human nature of the person named Lugis.
After all, his actions and intentions were at the extreme of recklessness. How could someone call him serious? He may not be a bad person, but even so, he was the kind of person whom Vestaline could not rely, and much less leave her sister in his care.
Rather, why was her sister falling in love with such a person? Vestaline did not understand. If he had been a little more serious, she could have welcomed him herself.
That’s why Vestaline willingly responded to Lugis’ request this time. Because her sister couldn’t move, while she could. Vestaline drove the shoes of Belfein’s mercenaries through the dead snow.
Of course, Vestaline had second intentions. It was important to maintain a good relationship with the Heraldic Order, but this was an undeniable good opportunity. An opportunity to determine the true worth of the human Lugis.
At any rate, this time around, neither Caria Burdnick, who seemed to be chained to him, nor Filaret La Volgograd, who followed him like a shadow, followed him. Even the presence of the Elf Queen had disappeared somewhere.
Was it not a wonderful stage to see his character and value alone?
If he was a man who could only wield reckless courage, then it would be fine.
“…If he is truly like that, I will follow the customs of the battlefield and have him tamed. It would be nice if he lost one of his legs.”
Vestaline was sure God would allow it. Because it was an action for the sake of familial love, which was deeper than anything else. Vestaline shined her big, majestic eyes and looked at Lugis, who stood by her side.
He looked over at the mercenaries while chewing tobacco, and his face seemed to be weighing something. It was hard to tell what kind of words and schemes he was laying out in his mind.
Vestaline spoke to him while distorting her lips a little.
「The messenger has returned. Prison Beulah has about three or four hundred soldiers. The quality of the equipment is also not bad.」
The information could be correct in nine cases out of ten. After all, it was the result of following his request and sending multiple messengers to the prison.
However, regardless of the authenticity of the information, it was certain that it was not a very pleasant information.
The number of enemy soldiers was the same as here, or slightly higher. If Vestaline and the others used spears and swords in a frontal attack, even if they didn’t lose, there would definitely be casualties. The mercenaries’ morale would easily drop if she was wounded in a silly battle.
After all, Lugis was aiming to destroy Prison Beulah.
Vestaline looked at Lugis from his profile, opening her eyes wide as if to provoke him.
To be honest, she expected that scenario. She smiled from within after seeing him showing his shy side and giving off an air of impatience.
Vestaline didn’t have the disposition to rejoice in other people’s misfortunes, but it seemed that a rare kind of animosity had sprung up against a person who had stolen her sister’s love.
That was probably why, in the next moment, Vestaline blinked her eyelashes as if she couldn’t control it.
「It’s fine, isn’t it? Then, let’s make this short. There are only two things I want you to do, Vestaline. First, I want you to put on a good play…Then, I’ll take over.」
That indescribably relaxed voice hit Vestaline’s earlobes. It was a voice that seemed to have been made up.
“I dislike it.”
Lugis’ voice irritated Vestaline’s chest. She was almost showing impatience. She knew that it was an ugly feeling, but it was still uncontrollable.
Vestaline’s eyes narrowed involuntarily.
The Burial Prison Beulah. Palome Bashar, the prison’s Lord, slapped the desk with his palm, showing a bitter look on his face. Rather than showing his irritating expression, it seemed that impatience was his bad habit.
His mustache was greatly distorted. Palome leaked his words as he clenched his teeth.
「What about the soldiers…have they returned? Or are they not coming? Huh? 」
A voice that clearly showed great turmoil. Perhaps, he was not accustomed to such unexpected situations, given by the tone of his voice.
He was not a bad person. He was a little skeptical, but he’d be a fine Lord. However, such people became terribly timid when it came to emergencies, especially when it came to sending out soldiers. At least, that was the case with his father, the predecessor of House Bashar.
Precisely because he knew about such tendencies, the chief guard nodded slowly and spoke in a low voice.
「Please don’t worry. We sent out as many soldiers as you ordered. There’s no need to be afraid of thieves.」
It was an undeniable fact. Originally, it would have been enough to send out about a hundred soldiers, but in consideration of Palome’s cautious nature, four hundred soldiers including the guards were dispatched to patrol the area. It was a form of using the personnel while leaving the minimum security.
It was not a high number of soldiers, but it was not a number that night thieves, who were wandering around here, could deal with. In the first place, the area around Prison Beulah was not an area with many villages or cities, so to speak, it was an area where poverty was the norm.
Large groups of night thieves usually based themselves in more affluent lands. They wouldn’t show their faces in a place like this. The scale was known because of the ambushed merchants who were able to escape.
When the chief guard had finished answering Palome’s timid questions, the door was slammed a little hard. Palome was unknowingly bouncing his shoulders.
However, the way they knocked on the door was unique. The sound belonged to a messenger soldier. Soon the door would open, and the messenger would come to announce something.
「My Lord, chief guard. The soldiers have returned! Damage is minor! 」
The tone of the messenger who said those words was somewhat high and cheerful. If it was a sad story, it wouldn’t be like this. Rather, it would have been detailed.
The Lord, curling his wrinkles, asked what happened to the supplies.
Perhaps, he was waiting impatiently for that question. The messenger raised his eyebrows and said that most of it was brought safely into the wagon storage.
After hearing that far and thinking for a while, Palome finally opened his mouth.
「…How was with the night thieves? Did they run away, or did you subjugate them? 」
Rather than being relieved by the return of the soldiers, Palome pierced the messenger’s eyes while stroking his mustache. His gaze was too strong, and if it were a light-hearted messenger, he would have fled immediately. The messenger said they ran away, leaving the goods behind.
Palome’s long, well-honed brows fluttered upward in a sign of suspicion. Then, after carefully forming the words in his mouth, Palome continued his words.
「I wonder if there is such a thing, messenger. Based on your words, the night thieves snatched the prey and didn’t stow it in their bellies. Do you think they would run away without taking the goods with them?」
Hearing Palome’s words, the chief guard and the messenger’s faces involuntarily turned white. They didn’t think Palome had the nature to say such things one by one. This was a property that at least did not exist in the previous generation’s mind.
Palome was doubtful.
In the past, once things were resolved, the rest of the process was left up to the chief guard. The previous Lord wasn’t interested in the prison from the beginning.
Palome, the current head of the family, was supposed to be the same in terms of not being interested in it. But he seemed to have planted seeds of skepticism in his skull. Before he went to bed at night, when the wind blew strongly against the window, he involuntarily had a delusion that something suspicious had approached him.
The chief guard caressed his wrinkles with his fingers and spoke to his Lord.
「Don’t worry, Lord Palome. That’s what night thieves are. They don’t have thoughts or rationality. Therefore, their actions don’t follow common sense.」
The chief guard said the night thieves ran away because the number of soldiers was substantial. While swallowing the chief guard’s words, Palome repeated the following.
「…Examine all the carriages you brought in. See if there’s anything strange in them. Check everything.」
It was a harsh, cold voice.
*This phrase was found in chapter 273 of volume 11.
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