The Magnificent Battle Records of A Former Noble Lady - Chapter 37
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“Hey, I’ll be off to somewhere for a bit.”
“Roger. See you later.”
Tedla raised a confused voice, as he slowly waved to Alhart who had disappeared into the crowd as soon as they entered Fiminan.
“Um, where has Alhart-san gone to?”
“I was told we have an old friend in this town, so he went to meet him for a bit.”
“An old friend……”
“He will be meeting us later, so until then, let’s get some shopping done.”
Tedla looks around and tilts his head as he follows Syltina around as she walks through the crowd while looking at the shopping list.
“Doesn’t it seem like there are fewer people compared to yesterday?”
“Well, if you think about the uproar yesterday, then that’s a given.”
“It was a plan that Kuro, Tyr, and I hatched. I had Kuro transform into a demon.”
“Ahh, so, that’s why.”
“It was just supposed to bring the Saintess’ fake composure down a notch, but, as soon as the demon appeared, she looked like she wanted to get out of there fast, didn’t she? We’re the only ones who know that yesterday was a fake though.”
From there, they were silent for a while.
Syltina shops according to the shopping list as Tedla follows her around.
The ice was broken when they were halfway done with the shopping.
“Let’s take a short break.”
An alley slightly removed from the main road. Syltina sat on one of the wooden crates as was her habit. In turn, Tedla also sat down on the nearest crate in the same way after setting down their baggage first.
“……What are you people planning?”
Tedla, who seemed to be thinking about something while looking down, quietly asked.
Oddly enough, it was the same question that Frackt threw at Alhart the previous day.
“…… Why are you asking such a thing?”
Syltina asks, even as her body language reflected that she was not even the least interested.
However, the sharp glint dwelling in her eyes seemed as if she were ready to eliminate an enemy if need be.
“I’ve been thinking about it for a long time. The reason why you took on being the Saintess’ escorts.”
Tedla spoke as he cast his eyes downward once again as if avoiding Syltina’s gaze.
“That’s because a request came.”
“Yes, I understand that…… but…”
He remembers the exchange that took place in the castle several months ago.
“You have not asked for the King’s life.”
A sword-like glint dwells in her narrowed eyes.
“At that time, that place, you swore in front of the King. That’s why I did not become suspicious. However, thinking carefully, you said that ‘a request from the guild came’ when you accepted it. You never asked for ‘the King’s life’.”
“I didn’t notice it at first since you said it was ‘to escort the Saintess’, but what you’re carrying out right now is the guild request, isn’t it? Then, who in the world would make such a request? What was the reward? What were the details? That time when you pledged your oath, who was it actually intended for?”
Syltina abruptly chuckled.
“It seems like you’re apparently less objectionable than the Prince and the Saintess, huh!”
“It means there’s still some hope for you. But,…”
Syltina leans over and brings her face closer to Tedla’s.
She seemed to be smiling, but that smile never reached her eyes.
“By voicing that doubt, have you never considered the impact that it would have on you?”
“Did you actually think I would answer you honestly and not feed you with lies?”
“That’s what we call stupid.”
“……B-but nothing will happen if I don’t ask. No matter how dangerous it might be, even if perhaps you fed me lies, if I didn’t ask in the first place, then it will end just like that.”
I don’t want that, Tedla thought, clenching his fist.
“I’ve had enough of pretending not to know anything, pretending not to understand, stopping my thoughts up to a point, and getting swept away just like that…… and then regretting it later.”
“So, I ask if I have any doubts. Even if the risk is high, I will still ask if you are the only one who knows the answer. Even if I am lied to and led astray, then I will just accept it as it is. So, with that resolution, I am asking you now.”
Tedla declared, looking straight at Syltina’s eyes.
Maintaining eye contact with Tedla for a few seconds, Syltina deeply exhales and returns to sit back in her original place.
“I understand your resolve. Let’s just forget that I called you a fool. But, unfortunately for you, I only have one thing to say about your query.”
One, Syltina smiles again, raising an index finger close to her face.
“You’ll understand eventually.”
Syltina ends the conversation with that and stands up to take the luggage.
“P-please wait! When is ‘eventually’? What exactly are you intending to do at the time when you said that ‘I will understand’?”
“That’s why I said ‘you’ll understand everything eventually’. But, yeah, let’s just say that it will be by the time this journey ends.”
“By the time the journey ends……..?”
“That’s right. And then, you will have to make a choice when that time comes.”
“Make a choice?”
“Yes. At. That. Time. You will have to choose.”
“What kind of choice?”
“Yes. And remember how very lucky you are that you can choose.”
“Some people aren’t even given a choice. ……. Well, it’s about time Al meets up with us, so let’s get some more shopping done while we’re at it.”
Syltina finally ends the conversation by walking again as Tedla follows her in a hurry.
“Oh, right. When you entertained that doubt, was it because you talked to the Saintess and the Prince about it?”
“No. Honestly, even if I talk to them, it’s a little……”
Syltina easily imagined the words following Tedla’s ambiguous comment.
And, because she could easily imagine such a thing, she was truly astonished by the people who never realized how foolish they were even now.
“A wise decision.”
“Ahh, umm, just one more thing! What you’re trying to do, is it to save the country? Or……”
Syltina stopped and turned around at Tedla’s question.
“Me? Save this country?”
Tedla’s breath hitched and immediately shook his head from left to right at Syltina’s blunt response.
“Until the time comes, don’t unnecessarily stick your nose in our business. Otherwise, you won’t be able to make a choice again.”
That was a solid warning.