|Author: TypeAxiom||Original Source: Scribble Hub|
For the rest of the journey out of the slums, there were no more people harassing them. Camilla had made sure that there were no witnesses, and most of that was thanks to the hoodlums themselves—they had shooed away everyone unrelated before they set their sights on Kagriss.
They had done that before, and as Camilla expected, they did it again, which made things easier.
Still, the original inhabitants of that area must have returned and discovered the carnage that had taken place. News will soon spread by word of mouth throughout the slums. After a brief pause, it will spread into the surrounding city, where it will stop and be dismissed as yet another overblown from the slums. At least, that’s how it worked the last time Camilla was here.
Rather than how the common people would react, Lucienne’s reaction was of much higher importance. Camilla looked behind her at the listless templar. It seemed wrong for a templar to be so weak and she couldn’t watch anymore.
Stopped suddenly, surprising Kagriss, and turning around to face the templar, she pointed her finger toward Lucienne. “What are you doing?”
Lucienne blinked, the first sign of life in a long time after having spent so long just walking behind her. She had been so off guard that Camilla thought she could decapitate her and she wouldn’t even notice that she died. That’s how out of it the girl was, and now she had the gall to look confused when Camilla called her out?
Lucienne pointed at herself, as if to say “me?”
“Yes, you! Are you a natural airhead? What are you doing? What have you been doing?” Camilla asked, crossing her arms as she glared at the templar.
If Lucienne disagreed with what she did, then she could have at least fought her and Camilla for it. But if she just stood by and let it happen, then she wasn’t allowed to just stand there and pretend she was surprised and blindsided by it all when Camilla clearly explained her reasoning for asking Kagriss to kill all those people.
Seeing how Lucienne was still standing there dumbly, Camilla closed her eyes to check for eyes. For now, they were at the edge of the slums, in a back alley as they tried to avoid other people. No one was around.
Generating a cloud of black mist and undead mana to hide her blood mana, she summoned her newly repaired greatsword. She held out her other hand to hold Kagriss back. She shook her head; they weren’t gearing up for a fight.
She was just going to give the templar a wakeup call.
The sight of the sword seemed to wake Lucienne up, and she barely reacted as Camilla swung the huge greatsword at her. Jumping back out of Camilla’s range, Lucienne reached down for her own sword, only to find that she couldn’t draw it.
A thin black chain was wrapped around the sword, locking the blade in the scabbard. Camilla had just casted it, and since she wasn’t that great with that kind of magic, Lucienne broke the seal with a quick burst of holy mana.
She drew the sword and faced Camilla with her guard up, but sweat that gathered at her forehead betrayed her nervousness.
That moment she couldn’t draw her sword could have been fatal.
Staring down the length of the sword that Camilla pointed at her, she pursed her teeth as she cautiously asked a probing question. “…what are you doing?”
“That’s the question I’m asking you. Do you even realize who you’re been mindlessly following after for the past few minutes? Every step, every second of the way could have easily been your death. What’s wrong with you?” Camilla said.
“What’s wrong with me? Nothing is wrong with me!”
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“Really? Just look at yourself! Can you truly say you’re in top form? Stop mulling over the past and look toward the future, especially when you haven’t done anything to influence the past. These people are already dead and nothing you do will bring them back.”
“I know that! But…but…”
“But what?” Camilla asked, staring at Lucienne who had once again looked away, avoiding her eyes. As Camilla was about to ask again, Kagriss gently pushed her hand down.
“Camilla, let me? I think you’re being too harsh with her,” she said.
A bit surprised at Kagriss’s suddenly action, Camilla nodded and took a step back. It was really rare that Kagriss showed interest in people. She’d thought that after what happened with Leland, Kagriss will just close herself off for a while.
It was good that it didn’t happen.
Kagriss had a look on her face that was a lot gentler compared to how neutral she usually looked, as if she was dealing with a small lost animal. It was like she was facing Anne or Fleur instead of a full-fledged templar like Lucienne.
“You feel uncomfortable that I killed all those people, right?”
Lucienne looked at her warily and nodded hesitantly, unsure what Kagriss was up to. However, despite Kagriss being the one that actually killed the hoodlums, Lucienne looked less on guard against her than Camilla.
“How uncomfortable? Can you describe the feeling?” she asked. There wasn’t just concern in Kagriss’s voice. Beneath that, Kagriss’s words were also laced with subtle curiosity. Even now, Kagriss was trying to learn, doing two things at once. “You can tell me.”
For a moment, Lucienne didn’t know how to answer. She couldn’t figure Kagriss out. Sometimes, Kagriss was callous—acting chillingly similarly to Camilla—and stubbornly tried to kill the people in the slums with no regard to Lucienne’s objections, but now suddenly Kagriss was showing concern?
However, neither side of Kagriss looked faked. She showed that complete lack of concern toward living things, killing dozens without blinking an eye, yet still tried to understand how Lucienne was feeling.
The two sides were difficult to reconcile. Lucienne considered not bothering to reply, but in the end to desire to share her feelings won out. There was no one else she could talk to, after all, since she didn’t have any close friends in the Order stationed in the city, not to mention she still didn’t know how she was going to report this incident.
A sharp pain broke her out of her daze as she realized that she had been chewing on her lip until the skin finally broke and blood seeped from the puncture into her mouth.
The salty, metallic taste of blood filled her mouth, reminding her of the bloody scene in the slums behind them, sending a shiver down her spine. She had never seen such a…serene…slaughter before, with no signs of struggling. There were only bodies lying neatly on the ground as if they were sleeping, only with their eyes wide open, their mouths warped in a silent scream, and their bodies riddled with wounds.
Her hand that held her sword shook, and the tip dipped down. “I…I was fine with them dying. It was my duty as a templar to protect them, even at the cost of my life, but in the end I didn’t do anything…”
“You couldn’t do anything.” Kagriss corrected her, but Lucienne just shook her head.
“No, it’s that I didn’t. I could have fought with you and tried to stall until backup came, but I didn’t. I even had my sword out, but instead I just stood by and did nothing. I’m a failure of a templar.”
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Having heard Lucienne’s true thoughts for the first time, Kagriss turned to look at Camilla’s expression to find that the impatient scowl on her face had softened slightly, remaining nonetheless.
What was Camilla displeased about?
Kagriss sighed, slowly making her way over to Lucienne’s side. Although Lucienne tensed slightly, the templar didn’t turn her blade toward Kagriss.
If that was how Lucienne felt, if she felt guilty that she betrayed her own principles, then there wasn’t really anything Kagriss could do to help her, since Kagriss’s words would only be empty assurances in Lucienne’s ears.
Kagriss wasn’t a templar after all, so she knew nothing of the templar’s mission. Other than magic, Camilla didn’t talk much about her past either, since Camilla put a focus on the future rather than the past.
After spending more and more time with Camilla, Kagriss had adopted that mindset as well, since the future was the only thing that could be changed.
You could react to the past, but that was it. From what Kagriss knew of Camilla, Camilla didn’t really care about reacting to past grudges, but it was still better than simply idly mulling over it like Lucienne was doing.
Taking that into account, Camilla’s displeasure began to make a bit more sense. However, poor Lucienne didn’t know how Camilla thought, so all she could do was suffer Camilla’s glares in silence without realizing what Camilla was angry about.
“So what will you do now?” Kagriss asked, trying to push the templar toward a course of action. Anything was better than just feeling sorry for herself.
Although she wasn’t sure herself why she was trying to help the templar after all this, Kagriss felt it was ultimately because Camilla seemed to want to build a good relationship with Lucienne, at least before she lost patience.
“I don’t know…”
“Really? Even if you don’t know what you want to do, you still have a duty as a templar, right?” Kagriss asked, her patience and serenity practically oozing from her. I don’t really know much about it, but shouldn’t they have guidelines for scenarios similar to this?”
Lucienne froze. “Yes…but…”
But unfortunately, for Lucienne, those actions involved opposing Camilla and Kagriss. Something she was reluctant to do. Yes, she didn’t want to die, and that was a core reason for why she didn’t want to do it, but at the same time, the reason wasn’t as simple as that.
Since Lucienne had grown up surrounded by the martial customs of the templars, she wasn’t afraid to die for her mission. It was something ingrained in almost every templar’s minds. However, that didn’t mean she was also willing to die for something she didn’t believe in.
She…didn’t truly believe that Kagriss and Camilla did wrong.
No, she did. She condemned them for how they simply killed these people who simply wished to survive, but at the same time her distaste for these robbers’ actions practically canceled out her condemnation.
The sick satisfaction from having these people erased warred with her duty as a templar, and it made her stomach turn like little else had before.
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Now, she had a choice. She could return, follow her orders, and report what Camilla and Kagriss had done to the Church and Order detachment. She’d be letting whatever happens happen.
Or, she could keep silent and continue to do nothing, silently showing her support for these two undeads’ actions.
Her sword hit the ground as a droplet of sweat that had gathered at her chin finally fell, her mind finally made up.
Although Lucienne thought she might come to regret this in the future, even be exiled from the Order for her silence, she felt she would rather listen to her heart.
Such thugs would likely never be brought to justice with Moltrost as it was now, filled with deep-rooted corruption as almost all prosperous cities were. Had she not been bound by her templar’s oath, she might have killed those people herself the first time.
Her heart of a vigilante flared.
She’d stay silent about this. Some things were worth bothering with, and some things weren’t. The ultimate gruesome fate that befell those thugs belonged in the latter category.
Taking a deep breath, she sheathed her sword, standing up straighter and staring straight ahead.
“…sorry. Please continue what you were doing.”
The adventure continues with Camilla and Kagriss corrupting young people into doing things they normally wouldn’t. Also, someone called Deku made this. I think it’s quite appropriate.
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