Volume 7, Chapter 141: Face-to-Face with the Past
「Everything you two know about my father Mordeaux Gon. Tell me everything, including what you saw and heard.」
Vestaline slowly moved her pale lips after taking some time to respond.
A secret meeting with the Steel Princess Vestaline at a high-class tavern. This meeting was no regular meeting. Vestaline looked attentively at us while her fierce mercenaries surrounded us. My chest felt anxious.
Well, how should I answer? I involuntarily bit my lips with my teeth as I looked for words.
She had the trouble to call us here in order ask us that question. The reason must be the seeds of doubts planted in Vestaline’s chest. These seeds nurtured her suspicions and curiosity to such an extent that she could not control it anymore.
She probably thought it was just a slight misunderstanding at first. Nonetheless, now the girl named Vestaline seemed to want to know more about what we said in the alley. Her suspicions grew tremendously in her chest to the point of calling us here. This meant that she kept nourishing her doubts more and more in her heart as time went on.
Then, we had to act accordingly. We must make these suspicions seeds grow in order to transform them into the truth. Ah, this was not my day to die yet. We had to incite this girl and use her well for our own purposes.
In order to do so, it would be not enough to tell her everything word by word. If we did so, Vestaline would only deny reality. I just had to put a little fog on her eyes.
If I chose my words unwisely, the weapons reflected with a dull light would gladly thrust into my and Bruder’s flesh.
I had to do it well.
「…I am surprised. You are willing to listen to the words of lowly mercenaries like us. Is that also your duty as a guardian of the city?」
My words echoed while I sat comfortably on the luxurious sofa. I kept my eyes on Vestaline without blinking. After all, she was the one I should persuade. She slowly swallowed my words, pouring all her nerves into her gestures.
Vestaline’s eyebrows raised as if she were in a bad mood. She was a straightforward woman after all. Yes, an honest woman.
「Didn’t I just say, “Please refrain from saying unnecessary things”? Giving answers to my questions was the reason for calling you guys here. You should obey me and respond.」
She spoke with dignity while including some irritability in her voice. Originally, I thought about other answers. People of this nature thought that the more they pursued something, the more valuable would be what they grabbed, because they were people who had pride in themselves.
It was better for me to avoid rushing this conversation. I thought so. However.
「If so, then I shall tell you as much as you like. Is that fine? 」
I heard Bruder’s voice right next to me. I never heard such a low tone from him before. Bruder looked so tense that he would burst if I touched him.
Bad. Not good at all. Bruder looked terribly emotional today. He seemed quite shaken. He looked too unstable to have this type of conversation. Would it be wise to transmit words filled with those feelings to the Steel Princess? Would the suspicion in her heart dissipate?
Unknowingly, I opened my lips to suppress Bruder. However…
…Bruder’s line of sight pierced my eyes as if he were shooting through. Such sharpness.
I saw this sharpness once before. It resembled his former eyes when he saved me. I just closed my lips without saying anything. I did not give up, but I felt amazed by his fierce attitude.
It seemed that I was not lacking in decency since I received the serious gaze of my best friend and was able to suppress myself instead.
I nodded and sat deep down on the sofa to respond to his gaze. Why was I always like this? To be honest, I felt a little annoyed with myself.
For Bruder, each word was like spitting out a curse that had accumulated inside him. For a long time, no, he never told anyone about his inner demons. He lived by accumulating everything in his heart and believing that it was okay as long as he kept everything to himself.
Nobody knew how much he suffered all these years. He literally spit everything out of his mouth.
Vestaline looked still like a rock. It may be because she was the Steel Princess, or maybe because of the influence of the mercenaries who sat next to her. Bruder wondered if she was shaken or unmoved by his words.
When Bruder tried to speak some words, his brain rang a noise with a momentum. A heat that dwelled from the brain to his whole body. Bruder’s words became like waves and approached his mouth one after another.
The smell of rum pierced his nostrils, but no problem at all. Bruder awaked from his drunkenness a long time ago.
「It’s a simple and common story. My father…Bruder Geluah was a mercenary as well. He was a weirdo but he was a great mercenary.」
“Yes, a weirdo.” Bruder instinctively blinked his eyes.
Mercenaries were not gentle people. They robbed and trampled on others as they pleased. Unlike regular scavengers and thieves, mercenaries had a status. But there was no such thing as a sincere fellowship between those with statuses.
In particular, before a mercenary city like Belfein was created and its organizational structure became clear, it was natural for mercenaries to deceive and betray each other while in the same group. As soon as they received the reward, each mercenary was willing to stab other mercenaries, even if they were comrades.
“I remember the cruelty of those days. However, my father wanted to believe in love.”
“My father, who was a devout of the Great Holy Church, became a mercenary to eat, but still believed in the good of other people and in salvation.”
“If I believed in such a thing, I would have had a better profession. Believing in love and salvation was not suited for mercenaries.”
“I don’t know if my foolish father’s wish came from God or was drawn to by the Devil, but he had a credible best friend, and a beloved woman.”
Up to that point, Bruder spoke to everyone around him, not just Vestaline. His speech was not very good at times. Some of his words overlapped, and some parts that did not make sense. The way Bruder spoke was not that fluent.
However, strangely, his words were heart wrenching. Everyone listened to his story without saying a single word.
「The name of my father’s best friend is…Mordeaux…Mordeaux Gon. I, too, have met him when I was little. I don’t remember much, but he was not a bad person.」
At that time, after Bruder spoke those words, the air around him became tense. Everyone was looking at Vestaline’s expression. Both Lugis and the mercenaries around them.
Everybody wondered if her intestines would boil after this lowly mercenary divulged the name of Mordeaux, the father whom she admired greatly.
However, Vestaline uttered a short word while showing a strange gaze despite the expectations and tensions of the surroundings.
A word that was neither a counterargument nor a denial. Vestaline entwined the fingers from both of her hands in front of her own lips, prompting Bruder to continue speaking.
Bruder nodded upon hearing her word and slowly took a deep breath. Bruder’s voice filled the dimly lit high-class tavern.
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