Chapter 374: Three Heads biting Each Other
The south of the royal capital Arche. A fortress had been built to overlook the royal capital.
This fortress was once used as a training ground and garrison for the national army during peacetime. The formidable engineering with thick, hard walls made the fortress a masterpiece.
Even if you were an amateur, you could tell at first glance that it was a structure that had been generously invested with money and manpower. In a different sense from the royal capital, the fortress was a structure that showed the dignity of the Gharast Kingdom.
However, no one would have imagined that this fortress would become the focus of the upcoming battle.
Everyone assumed that it was impossible for the Gharast Kingdom to be this cornered. In fact, since they built this fortress, it had never been used to ward off enemies.
It was ironic that its first military use was to prepare the protection of the royal capital.
Looking at the distance from the barred window, Saint Matia let out her familiar voice within the walls of this fortress. The stone inner wall, which had completely cooled down, calmly reflected her voice. Her thin fingers gripped the air.
「…Very well. If we both agree with those terms, then I see no objection to join the battle line. Let’s swear under the name of the Heraldic Saint.」
Her quiet words of oath echoed in the room. As it slowly embedded with the inner wall, the temperature in the room changed a little. A small gasp heard.
Right now, this room had a strange atmosphere.
The Heraldic Order, the Hanging Gardens of Ghazalia, and the Gharast Corps. The heads of the three parties and those who followed them looked at each other after this exchange of words.
Actually, they should’ve met on the battlefield, not indoors. The air became slightly disturbed every time they let their voices echo. It was so uncomfortable that the air seemed to hate the very existence of this place.
In response to Matia’s words, the old-looking general blinked his eyes and shook his beard. His expression was strangely difficult to read. Was he happy with the increase in military strength, or was he bitter about cooperating with an existence that was originally hostile?
Matia reflected this tension in her eyes and turned her gaze to Eldith, who stood beside her. This was a tripartite united front. No matter what form it took, it was important to receive Eldith’s approval.
Ahead of Matia’s line of sight, Eldith stroked her lips with her index finger for a moment. She seemed to be thinking about something. Without knowing it, Matia’s heart became nervous.
The elf named Eldith had a personality that allowed her to occasionally say outlandish things. Lugis was the cause of most of this, but it was a fact that Eldith was a difficult existence to deal with.
Perhaps she would say something unexpected here as well. Matia narrowed her big eyes and looked at Eldith’s beautiful lips.
After a moment, Eldith spoke after sighing.
「That’s fine. I don’t mind it either. As the Queen of Ghazalia, let’s work together on the united front…as long as Lugis agrees, I won’t deny this collaboration.」
Eldith’s words had an emotional lump that didn’t disappear. It also made the surrounding air creak.
Since elves didn’t show their emotions to others, they couldn’t throw away the emotions they held in their hearts.
The Gharast Kingdom, and eventually the Great Holy Church, were the remote cause of the death of Eldith’s father. No one thought she had forgotten about those painful events. There was no word for weathering in the emotions of elves.
Even with Eldith’s gaze that seemed to be filled with emotions, the old-looking general Richard Permillis showed his teeth and clapped his hands lightly.
「Very well. Of course, I’ll agree. It’s a dare situation where demon creatures are rampaging in our territory. So our friendship is required.」
Richard said to Eldith with a smile that showed his snobbishness. Eldith also puffed up her cheeks in order to smile. Her blue eyes were sparkling brightly.
「You don’t have to worry about it. Human friendships last ten or twenty years at most. For us, it’s like a blink of an eye.」
They were both smiling at each other, but it seemed as though the air was about to crack.
The reason they were joining hands was just for their own benefit. These people, deep down in their hearts, didn’t trust one another. In some ways, it taught us a lot about what a multi-faction alliance was all about.
The furnace of hatred was not easily cast aside just because it was a dangerous situation. Hatred was something that stuck to the depths of your chest and never left. Human or elf, it didn’t matter.
However, even in such a state, it was almost a miracle that they were able to form a united front. In normal times, no matter what happened, this alliance would’ve been impossible.
Matia’s chest was still throbbing when Lugis let out a deep moan.
「…I’d like you to do this talk a bit more peacefully. You’re just exchanging words. It’s not like you’re going to pull out your swords.」
Near Matia, Lugis took a chewing tobacco to his mouth and shrugged his shoulders as if he was tired of this. He didn’t quite enjoy this stifling air.
Lugis and Richard. There were differences in the verses they spoke, but they were still very similar. Even if Matia didn’t realize it at first, she could feel it now.
It was true that they had a teacher-student relationship years ago. On this moment, Matia sensed something in Lugis’ behavior from Richard. After all, he was the one who created Lugis’ foundation.
Suddenly, Matia felt something in her chest, as if she had swallowed hard thorns.
In response to Lugis’ words, Richard said in a hoarse voice.
「I told you to use your words wisely, didn’t I? Have you forgotten already?」
Matia’s eyes twitched again, causing a reaction. Though she didn’t show it on her face, she felt that emotion crawling through her veins. Then, it gradually added weight to her heart.
It felt like neither Lugis nor Richard were speaking to an enemy.
The old-looking general seemed to act like that because he couldn’t take the initiative. Even so, the exchange of words with Lugis felt like a sense of ease that appeared and disappeared repeatedly.
The fact that the Gharast adjutant was staring at Richard with a hostile expression was proof of that fact.
Originally, Lugis was warned against that attitude, but it was necessary to keep the Gharast side in check.
However, what was in Matia’s heart right now wasn’t that kind of thing. Seeing Lugis and Richard exchanging words, Matia put extra strength into her eyebrows. What she felt was neither hate nor resentment. It wasn’t hatred.
“I’m envious”, Matia thought so. Those feelings strongly hit her heart even though she knew they were improper at this place.
How many other people had Lugis shown such ease? Matia only knew two people, including Richard.
The other person was Ninz, Lugis’ adoptive mother. At first, Matia twisted her cheeks and gritted her teeth when she saw Lugis speaking to Ninz in a tone completely different from when he was speaking to her. No, maybe even now.
Matia wondered if Lugis didn’t really move on with his feelings.
Whether consciously or unconsciously, he was always wary of the people around him. He didn’t know when he was going to be stabbed in his back.
That caution didn’t exist with Richard or Ninz. Accompanied by a comfortable ease, Lugis continued his words. Yet, he didn’t direct those words at Matia. How sad. How miserable. Matia looked up at the ceiling while feeling a slight moisture in her eyes.
“Ah, once again”. Matia felt her heartbeat increase dramatically once more. Her emotions distorted her cheeks, and she lifted them slightly in response.
“…What an envy. How nice and wonderful would it be to educate him.”
She wanted to formulate his thoughts, correct his actions, and tame his mind. Dyeing him in her own color. Education meant big and small steps in between.
If only she could educate him when he was nothing but innocent. If only she had taken each of those educational words to taught him. There would be nothing more exciting.
“Oh really, I feel so much envy.”
Matia’s eyes swelled as she looked at Richard. At this point, Matia felt a peculiar thought in her heart, not as a Saint, but as someone else.
Then, she said with glittering eyes. She spoke calmly as if nothing had happened to her. As if she had already made another move.
「Then, let’s recapture the royal capital Arche…and build a battle line to cut off the heads of the enshrined demons. Commander Richard, can you provide us with information about the current situation?」
Richard nodded slightly at Matia’s words and pointed outside the barred window.
「Alright. We’re a bit distant, but you can see it well from here. No, I guess that just seeing it from here will provide you with all the answers.」
Outside the window, Matia could see the great gate of the royal capital Arche. The gate was opening with an unpleasant noise.
Have a good sunday!