Chapter 352: A Master and its Servant in the Prison
I put on gloves for protection. I felt the extreme cold while passing them through my fingers. I was already out of breath, even though I was still inside the prison’s premises. It seemed that the outside world was in a pretty grim state.
Still, we couldn’t just stay behind walls until the death snow was over. After all, in the past, I couldn’t see the end of the era of death snow.
If things went wrong, the death snow would continue until most of the humans in this world finished making their own coffins.
There was a limit to this absurdity. I had a hunch that cunning divine spirit was involved in this.
A cloak covered with fur fell over my shoulders and covered my military uniform. It was a strangely high-quality cloak. Back in the day, I wouldn’t have worn something like this.
When I thanked Vestaline for the preparations, she lowered her eyelids and spoke.
「You can now return to Philos, Commander. I’ll join you later…if I can obviously.」
Vestaline’s words contained a color that seemed to be chasing something. I could see something in those eyes piercing mine. It was probably meant to accuse me.
Actually, her behavior made sense.
After all, I was the one who brought her and her mercenaries to the edge of such a hostile territory. I was the one who made her risk her life and rendered some mercenaries incapacitated.
Since the person responsible was going to leave them in order to go to the puppet city of Philos, it was only natural for Vestaline to be upset.
Originally, Vestaline and the mercenaries were supposed to withdraw and go back to Philos. They were needed to transport the prisoners and guard them.
But that plan changed. The reason was the information brought by Largud Ann, the Head Administrator of the Heraldic Order.
…A messenger was sent from the Gharast Kingdom to the Heraldic Order.
That was something that was not possible in the first place. This was because the Gharast Kingdom did not originally recognize the Heraldic Order as a power, or as a negotiating partner.
They treated the Heraldics as night thieves or as rebels. The state did not negotiate with such people. They just stared and tried to trample. That was the only option the state could afford.
The state spoke only to powers that were worthy of it. Sending a messenger meant the Gharast Kingdom began to consider the Heraldic Order as a negotiating partner.
Considering the relationship between the Gharast Kingdom and the Great Holy Church, it should have been impossible.
The fact that it happened…meant they were somewhat cornered.
The reason was obvious without thinking too much. After all, neither the Heraldic Order nor the other nations posed a threat to the Gharast Kingdom.
If they were cornered, then there was only one reason. The magical beast disaster that was coming from the northwest was probably that reason. Fort Suzif, the shield of the Gharast Kingdom, had fallen into disrepair in the absence of its defender, Valerie.
Seeing that situation, the people from the Gharast Kingdom began to feel a sense of crisis. Some people thought that perhaps this was not just a small threat.
That’s why they chose the Heraldic Order as one of their negotiating partners.
How amusing. This was the long-awaited result. With this, there was no doubt that the Gharast Kingdom would start to cooperate with other countries.
If that happened, the response to the major disaster would be much quicker than before. It would be much, much, much better than what it was during my past life.
People fought in the death snow for many years. They fought desperately despite knowing that fighting a natural occurrence was a lost cause. But not now. Yes, now I got the true answer.
This catastrophe was not a natural occurrence, but the doing of an evil spirit.
No matter how I struggled, no matter how things would be for me, I’d make sure to move my fingers. I must cut off that evil spirit’s arms.
For that reason, I couldn’t easily let go of Gharast Kingdom’s foothold called Prison Beulah. Of course, I couldn’t predict how things would turn out in the end. If I took my eyes off it, I could be slammed to the bottom of the earth.
That’s why I couldn’t take Vestaline with me.
In response to Vestaline’s bitter words, I said while turning my thoughts around.
「…Sorry. But I need you to stay here for a while, Vestaline. You’re the only one I can ask.」
I continued my words while exchanging glances with Vestaline. I could see her lips getting slightly distorted. Her lips implied that she was dissatisfied.
「Without you, the mercenaries will return to being ordinary people. It’s because of you that they’re mercenaries. They will protect this place because of you.」
That’s what I understood after spending time with her in this prison. The difference between me and her was something that I felt clearly in my skin.
The human named Vestaline Geluah definitely had the talent to be an offensive commander. A talent far greater than mine.
She could make quick decisions, and although she was somewhat stubborn, she could still choose what was necessary. She had the charisma to lead her men and a voice that resonated in their hearts.
And above all, her demeanor. Soldiers showed respect for her resolute attitude. She had the attitude to stand in front of everyone. It made them want to follow in her footsteps, she who wielded the battle flag.
Vestaline had that precious talent.
Then, I had no mistake in having this feeling. After all, I was once an adventurer and a mercenary myself.
If I were a soldier, I’d follow the commander Vestaline. Though she’d most likely refuse.
Vestaline took my words and shook her gaze slightly. She said softly with her lips rippling when I thought she would profess a harsh objection.
「…If the Commander says so, I will obey. Yes, I won’t act selfishly like a certain person.」
She didn’t need to say it like that, I was fully aware of it. I was lacking the depth of thoughts, such as being considerate of others. I knew that I was causing a lot of trouble.
That part would be settled someday. I spoke while moving my mouth lightly. Would you accept it? Vestaline took my hand and knelt down as if she were begging.
That appearance resembled exactly the behavior of a servant in front of its master.
「Well then, Commander. You can go now. Leave me here. If I do exactly as you say, I’d like to think that eventually you’ll pick me up so that I reunite with my sister.」
The Steel Princess had her thin fingers on my palm. Since I was the Commander in a twisted way, this must be the way she could honor me.
No matter where she went, Vestaline was a person who always showed a beautiful demeanor. It even made me jealous. People like me, who were born in a ditch, were far from being graceful.
I was sure I’d never be able to act like her for the rest of my life. After having those thoughts, a dark feeling surged from my chest.
Oh well, at least I could do an imitation.
I said while placing the other hand on Vestaline’s shoulder.
「Of course. I’ll gladly come pick you up. Bruder would love to see you, Vestaline.」
With a smile on her puffed lips, Vestaline replied to my words.
「Then, it’s Vess. Call me that name. I don’t like it when you say my long name.」
Vess. That was her nickname, and as far as I knew, only her sister Bruder called her that way. A nickname meant for those close to her.
Very well. In that case, she at least recognized me. It was an honor to be told that by her whom I once couldn’t even reach her fingertips.
「Then, I’ll leave everything to you while I go to Philos. Do whatever you think is best, Vess. I trust you.」
「…Understood. I’ll do what the Commander wants. 」
I realized that my hand was clenched strangely strong.
Well, Lugis’ harem got bigger huh 😀