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Chapter 120: The Templar

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Author: TypeAxiom Original Source: Scribble Hub

Landing far enough away so that the trace mana they leaked would not give them away, Camilla and Kagriss headed toward the little square at the center of the village where the templar was.

Uncoincidentally, the village square was also where the elected village chief sat. The chief was a regular villager like any other, only more educated, and in his spare time, he took care of administrative duties. Summing up yearly yields, gathering taxes, and mediating disputes—he took care of all these issues and more.

Naturally, the templar on official duty headed straight for the chief, unlike Camilla and Kagriss who simply grabbed someone off the streets for information.

From afar, all Camilla and Kagriss could make out of the armored figure was the heavy contours of the templar and the radiant gold of the templar’s armor. Hidden under all that metal, Camilla couldn’t tell who it was. Not until the figure took off its helmet.

For a moment, Camilla hesitated.

Should she go greet the templar and ask for help? Ignoring the templar wasn’t an option since when facing something as dangerous as a mana beast, Camilla wouldn’t have the attention to spare to hide the signatures that marked her as an undead.

Before, it wouldn’t have been a problem, but now that her relationship with the Church has soured, who knew what the templar would do when a pair of undead suddenly showed up?

In that case, it might be better to be forthcoming with their intentions and try and convince that templar to work together or at least leave them alone and not call reinforcements.

Camilla didn’t want her outing to be ruined by a bunch of faceless fellows in heavy armor barging in on them if she could help it.

After discussing the problem with Kagriss, they decided to approach, and so they did.

Letting out a tiny amount of undead mana, not enough to cause damage or cause anyone discomfort but enough that sensitive people like the templar would notice, they announced their presence as they headed toward the templar.

The templar seemed to have just arrived as well, and they still had the reins of a templar-bred horse in their hand. A horse was faster than a carriage, so to arrive at dusk, the templar probably left the city at around dawn?

In any case, as the templar passed the reins over to a young boy and prepared to follow the village chief into the chief’s house, the templar suddenly stopped in their tracks and whirled around.

The dark gaps in the visors of their helmet faced the two undeads that they had just sensed approaching. Behind the helmet, the templar’s eyes widened. For the undeads to approach so tracelessly, hiding their auras like that, they must be knight-class at least.

A single inexperienced templar like her was nowhere near enough to deal with two knight-class zombies, yet she couldn’t help but think of the pair of undeads that had departed from the city the day before after causing a ruckus at the cathedral.

When she heard the news that they left, she had unexpectedly felt…disappointment.

Now, her eyes widened and she held her breath as she realized that she recognized the two undeads.

Who knew that she’d see them again here? Although the little zombie warrior that she had initially suspected to be a lord-class undead had her appearance changed, the height matched up. The lich’s appearance didn’t change at all.

No doubt about it—the two undeads here that she ran into were the same two that massacred the bunch of thugs at the slums, causing her to go against the teachings of the Order for the first time in her life. The same two that she thought she’d never see again.

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Now that she saw them, for a moment Lucienne didn’t know how to feel. But the feeling wasn’t bad.

But whereas Lucienne recognized Camilla and Kagriss immediately, Camilla and Kagriss were still in the dark thanks to Lucienne’s helmet.

While she still wasn’t sure what kind of character she was dealing with, Camilla plastered an amicable smile on her face. But as a lady, Kagriss had to keep up appearances so she kept her expression impassive.

The village chief turned as well, and seeing them coming, hurried back out.

“Oh, it’s…you.” His voice trailed off as he realized that Camilla and Kagriss never introduced themselves, so he had no idea what either of their names were.

Camilla scanned over him. The village chief was old, and she had never seen him before, including during the previous night when she arrived. However, he wasn’t your average peasant, since he was at least elected to a higher position.

As such, she adjusted her attitude accordingly to fit, acknowledging his presence at least with a nod. Then she looked past him at the tall templar behind the old man.

The village chief continued to flounder for words, trying to recover. He considered asking for their names, but surely it was too late for it. Then should he invite them inside as well?

No, no, he was already entertaining a guest. How could he have two sets of guests at once and split his attention between them.

Having never received any guests of sufficiently high station before thanks to the village being so far from the beaten path and away from anything of interest, the village chief froze, afraid that he might make a mistake and offend someone.

A dark shape stepped into his view then, and the old man with his bent back looked up to see the armor of the templar from up close right in front of him.

As if the templar was shielding him.

But if he guessed correctly, the templar was a woman, was she not?

“What are you here for?” the templar asked.

Camilla stiffened at the templar’s voice. It was familiar, and she soon remembered where she had heard it before. Before she could say anything, Kagriss broke her role, speaking for the first time.

“Isn’t that Lucienne?”

For a moment, the templar didn’t move. But just that was not enough to sway Camilla and Kagriss. Finally, the templar reached up and pulled her helmet off. Freed from the confines of the helmet, the dull blonde hair fell out around the templar’s shoulders, framing a face familiar to both the undeads.

“Seems like it.”

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The templar blew hair out of her face. “Hey there. You don’t look very surprised that I’m here. And you…look different,” she said, peering more closely at Camilla.

Camilla shrugged. “Well, this kind of thing is simple child’s play. As for why we’re not surprised, we got word that someone was coming from the city to deal with matters here that might require violence. It could be you they sent, and it could be anyone else.”

Lucienne nodded. “Well, that’s true.”

Seeing a brief lull in their conversation, the village chief who had worked up his courage and cut in, trying to be more conspicuous and noticeable, as if saying ‘Look! I exist!’

“I—if you know each other, then all the better,” he said. “Please, there are seats inside. No need to stand at the doorway.”

Perhaps he just meant to be hospitable, but Camilla narrowed her eyes, too used to the blatant acts of currying favor exhibited by the other villagers she had interacted with before. Her gaze turned cold, and the village chief took a step back almost instinctively, out of fear.

The fear was so deep rooted that even the chief didn’t know what he was afraid of. The person staring at him was just a girl! It was just a glare! Even if it was from a person of higher station, it shouldn’t be that he was so afraid.

Although he tried to control himself, his body moved by itself.

Another step and suddenly he was pitching back, having tripped over his own feet. The world slowed for him as he reached out for anything that might help him regain his balance, but there was nothing to grab.

He could already feel the pain of his head cracking against the ground.

But instead of that, the old man instead felt his arm being almost wrenched out of his socket and his fall stopped abruptly. Wincing and blinking past the tears of pain that appeared at his eyes, he looked up to see the templar effortlessly holding on to him.

“T—thank you,” he muttered as the templar pulled him upright. He held his arm at the shoulder, trying to keep his face expressionless.

The templar—Lucienne, they called her—took his look of pain in and gathered a bit of magic in her hands and sent it at his arm. The village chief looked at his shoulder in wonder as the pain receded at a visible rate. “Thank you!”

“Don’t mention it. As for heading in, never mind. Thank you for your kindness,” the templar said. Without another word, she headed up, walking over to the highborn lady and her scary servant girl.

As if they planned it all along, the two ladies turned and left toward where they came from, with the templar following close behind.

Staring resentfully at the shortest girl yet unable to get the look of those eyes from his mind, the village chief could only shut his door a little louder than normal.

Hearing the commotion but paying the old man no mind, Camilla smiled at Lucienne. She hadn’t forgotten that they left on rather good terms, and Lucienne didn’t report the incident in the slums either.

Even Kagriss showed a rare smile that she rarely wore for anyone but Camilla and maybe Anne. Speaking of Anne, how was she and Fleur doing? Too bad Camilla couldn’t check up on them anytime soon.

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“I’m surprised you’re still able to see us without trying to kill us.”

“You mean about the thing you did at the cathedral? Well, the higher ups did tell us to apprehend you on sight—ah.” Lucienne covered her mouth.

A small puff of laughter that Kagriss didn’t manage to hide came from beside them. Even Camilla couldn’t help but shake her head.

A blush came over Lucienne’s face.

“C—can you forget what I just said? Please?”

“Well, we won’t tell anyone you told us. But why haven’t you done anything yet?”

Despite Lucienne’s embarrassment, she still rolled her eyes. “Isn’t that kind of suicidal? Even putting aside the fact that I’m weaker than either of you alone, it’s also two against one…”

Kagriss laughed again. “Does that mean that hypothetically, if there were two or three more of you, you’ll apprehend us?”

The question caught Lucienne off guard. She hadn’t meant it that way. The reason she didn’t want to face off with Camilla and Kagriss wasn’t only because she couldn’t beat them, but because she felt they weren’t bad people.

Surely they had a good reason for doing what they did, not to mention she didn’t dislike them.

A bit flustered, she peeked at Kagriss, trying to see her reaction, only to find a sly smile on Kagriss’s face. Her embarrassment only grew when she realized that she had been fooled and she stuffed her helmet back on her face.

Watching them, Camilla’s heart was mixed. On one hand, it was great that everyone got along and Lucienne breathed new life into their group. Kagriss still preferred to stay silent when she was with Camilla, and while that was okay at times, it tended to get stifling after a while.

However, Camilla couldn’t help but feel jealous that Kagriss was showing a bit of her devilish side to someone that wasn’t her. Biting her lips, she looked down at the ground as she talked. Soon, they left the perimeters of the village, and they headed toward the barn that Camilla and Kagriss had been staying at.

“So you guys have been living here?” Lucienne asked, looking around with her hand on her hips. Her voice was muffled by her helmet, echoing slightly by the time it came out.

In the day, there were a few villagers milling about nearby, fetching hay from a nearby storage to feed the livestock. However, none of them came close.

“It doesn’t seem very private.”

“Well, the door closes and no one comes around at night,” Camilla said. “If we have to, Kagriss can make a barrier to keep the sounds in.”

The metal plates clacked as Lucienne tilted her head. “Keep sounds in? Why do you need to keep sounds in when you sleep?”

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“No, nothing!”

Camilla felt Lucienne’s gaze linger on her suspiciously and she held her breath before the templar finally shrugged and turned around to look around the interior of the barn again. Behind Lucienne’s back, Camilla managed to let out her breath in relief.

Not that she was ashamed of what she and Kagriss did…it just didn’t seem right to be publicizing it.

Even Kagriss was looking at her with amusement. Camilla wanted to whack her on the head. Shouldn’t she be worried as well? Lucienne finding out wasn’t just Camilla’s problem, but Kagriss’s as well.

But Kagriss didn’t seem to care.

Perhaps Kagriss didn’t mind?

Thinking about how forthcoming and bold Kagriss was most days, Camilla had to admit that it wasn’t that improbable and sighed again.

When Lucienne finally looked around and decided to bed there tonight with no objections from Camilla and Kagriss, they finally got down to business. They made themselves comfortable on a stack of straw, though Lucienne probably wasn’t very comfortable regardless.

“So you’re here for the mana beast too? How did you know about it?” Lucienne asked. “I only found out about it because the messenger from this town arrived last night and they dispatched me as soon as the sun rose.”

Such was the pain of being a subordinate templar. Camilla looked at her with pitying eyes. When the sun rose, she was playing out in the prairie with Kagriss.

A feeling of smugness drowned out her jealousy.

It was Kagriss who answered Lucienne. “We didn’t know about it until we got here. It was pure coincidence and after we knew about it, I convinced Camilla to stay.” As she spoke, she reached over next to her and pulled Camilla’s arm close to her, hugging it. “Thank you, Milla.”

The last word was quiet, and if it wasn’t for Kagriss being right next to her, Camilla might have missed it. She worked hard to not blush at her nickname and nodded. “And then we gathered some information and made a plan. Since we knew a templar was coming, I thought we might have to change our plans a bit, but perhaps that’s not necessary anymore?”

The implications in her words weren’t hidden at all and Lucienne didn’t miss it either.

Her eyes shone as she pulled her sword, scabbard and all, from her belt with one hand and held it out in front of her as if offering it up. “If you don’t mind, can you count me in?”

Camilla stared at the sheathed sword.

How could they refuse when Lucienne went that far to show her sincerity. After exchanging a glance with Kagriss, they both nodded.

“Of course!”


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