Chapter 337: The Talk Exchange at the Outer Wall
The presence of that woman was so dignified and prestigious. I thought that those qualities were what made her look dashing.
Valerie Brightness. The spokesperson for the storm. In the prelude to the catastrophe, she defeated magical beasts 12 times over and became the “Guardian” of the Gharast Kingdom. I heard that her final moment was a noble and spectacular one-on-one combat with a demonic being.
How wonderful. This woman was the brave hero I knew about. She was someone charming, imposing, and full of natural irreverence.
Valerie spoke in a resounding voice, like a ringing bell. My ears felt numb.
「You’re right. Our victory is decided. Are you the one in charge? I pity your soldiers; they will die because of your incompetence.」
Valerie’s entire body was wrapped in a magical armor, and her ferocious eyes lit up as she spoke. She seemed to imply that she had nothing more to say.
The group of soldiers that had solidified their bodies shook them slightly.
Was she saying that she won’t give me time? I didn’t know how far she saw the situation from this side, but she certainly didn’t look very patient.
Here we go again. That was the most troublesome and disliked trait. It was easier to work with someone who decided to negotiate. If she wielded her arms with all her strength, this place would last half a day at most. Everyone would die.
Me, Vestaline, and everyone inside the prison.
I thought that if I spoke loudly, she would show me at least a fragment of her frustration, but that didn’t seem to be the case. What should I do?
From inside my body, I could hear my heart beating wildly. I clearly saw the sight that was about to happen in front of my eyes; the silver-rimmed ultramarine group entering the prison and harvesting our lives as they pleased. The scene of the prison overflowing with the blood of the Heraldic Order appeared before my eyes.
Inescapable death. A clear sight of death. No matter how many times I chew it, that scene would come out naturally.
But I didn’t let it show on my face. A smile appeared on my cheeks as I felt the twitch. By my side, Vestaline called out to me, “Commander”, but I stopped her with my hand.
That’s right, whether I wanted it or not, I was a commander for Vestaline and her mercenaries. If so, why should I show her something like a flustered figure?
Unfortunately, I couldn’t surrender this prison right now. If Valerie set it free, the Gharast Kingdom would regain its vitality again, and would show enough energy to repel the first surge of magical beasts.
That was no good. The Heraldic Order would perish, and so would the Gharast Kingdom. The world would be transformed into a world of demons and monsters. If that happened, my overly reliable comrades and Ariene would not be safe.
At least to the extent that even the Gharast Kingdom would require cooperation with other countries and other forces. I had to take away that extra power.
That’s why I “called” Valerie here. I had to stop those events from happening. After hearing her words, I bounced her words incessantly. I was good at turning my thoughts and tongue to the fullest.
「I don’t know who the incompetent is. By the time you arrived, we’ve already achieved enough results.」
I could only see from a distance, but Valerie’s eyes were completely unshakable. Could I say that she exactly portrayed the will of iron blood?
In fact, I wanted to complete my defensive posture. It was useless. As soon as I moved my gaze away from Valerie, she would march forward without any hesitation.
Only my lips trembled.
「We drove out the soldiers and the old hero in the Sanyo Plains. The Cathedral’s proud knights collapsed in Flimslat, and now the Guardian General Valerie Brightness is stumbling in a place like this.」
I used intonation to hide my impatience as much as possible. I didn’t let anyone know what was in my chest. It invited death without any excuse.
So, I had to keep talking.
「In this situation, who will protect Arche, the royal capital of Gharast, hmm? 」
Of course, as long as there was a national protector, it would not be possible to enter the royal capital so easily. Valerie should know that too.
But right now, if I could shake the enemy soldiers’ hearts even a little, then great. It wasn’t even bad if the surrounding mercenaries and Vestaline were given time to calm down their hearts.
However, contrary to my expectations, Valerie moved her eyes and opened her mouth in a fast manner.
「Let me ask you one thing. What is your name…? 」
It was a hard-sounding voice. Valerie’s eyes were piercing my whole existence. I sensed some kind of intention in her eyes. But I couldn’t clarify that intention.
For a moment my lips waved and then I returned the words.
「…Lugis. Some people add the name Vrilligant, but that’s not part of my name.」
The moment I said my name, I felt like I had been shot through my throat. It was neither from a bow and arrow, nor from any kind of throwing object.
However, Valerie’s gaze burned my throat with enough heat to made me feel a physical shock.
Now, my words clearly touched her wrath. I clearly felt it. The emotions that she hadn’t shown until just now were showing up without hiding anything.
I didn’t know what was going on, but the name Lugis was like a grudge or a corresponding emotion.
「Lugis. That’s right…of course you are Lugis. You are the one who hurt my sworn ally!」
Every time she professed a word, I could feel the pressure. The air suddenly tightened, as if my body was twisted with tension and strain.
A sworn ally. Who? Who was she talking about? If I could find out who, then I would stir it up a little more. Actually, it was not that unpredictable. To be honest, I had done many things to the Great Holy Church. There were many factors that would buy resentment.
I lifted myself up slightly. I decided to say something that didn’t make sense.
「Sorry, but I don’t know whom you’re talking about. I don’t even remember the people I faced in the battlefield before. Did he die? It’s a pity if that’s the case. He was just unlucky. That’s how it works for humans, right?」
Battlefields were just like that. With that in mind, I must have reaped lives under those circumstances.
In an instant, the air creaked. I didn’t think it would be possible for the air to creak, but it certainly made that sound. The sound source came from Valerie herself.
Beside me, I could feel Vestaline twitching her cheeks. What was it? Was there something she wanted to say? If I didn’t do this, I wouldn’t be able to buy time. Besides, if the opponent got angry while losing rationality, even if a little, it could delay a monstrous attack done with calculation and reason.
Valerie spoke in a voice that burst from the bottom of the earth.
「…Come down here, Great Evil Lugis. Since you’re alive, there’s a reason for me to be here and kill you. In my name, Valerie Brightness, I’ll kill you. You will die in despair, bathed in your blood. You will die.」
What unexpected words. It was true that a one-on-one combat was something she didn’t do in the past, and she was probably the kind of person who didn’t enjoy such fight. She was a battlefield person where chaos ensued.
Even so, in a place like this, she requested a one-on-one combat against a human opponent of the Heraldic Order.
Actually, a one-on-one combat was a place of honor for both knights and generals. Still, not every knight or general fought for honor.
In fact, it was either a fight for great honor or a fight to clear your grudge. For example, revenge. Did that mean that I was someone whom Valerie wanted to kill for revenge?
But good. I didn’t care. I was not overconfident to think that I’d be able to compete with Valerie on a one-on-one combat. However, it would be great if I could buy some time.
Vestaline should be able to prepare all the defenses during that time. And there was one more reason. I didn’t know how reliable it was.
In addition to the letter addressed to Matia, I send another letter. I wondered if the messenger could find the address of that other letter.
I let out my sight and spoke while swinging the treasure sword at my waist.
「That’s the worst kind of invitation. I want you to invite me with a little more grace.」