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Chapter 125: About Loyalty

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Author: TypeAxiom Original Source: Scribble Hub

“Is it really fine to lie like that?”

Lucienne had just released another message spellbird. This time, she reported that she was following the mana beast’s tracks and has yet to find it. No reinforcements needed.

For the whole day, neither Camilla nor Kagriss talked to her. Only Elyss did, occasionally. It was unexpected that Camilla would now.

She paused at Camilla’s words, watching the golden bird shrink into the night sky, turning into a tiny golden speck no brighter than a star, before disappearing altogether.

“I’m only doing what I feel is best, after all,” she finally said, turning to face Camilla. The templar-commander-turned-vampire wore a slight smile as usual and Lucienne couldn’t figure out what she was thinking.

The Order had been Camilla’s old loyalty, so maybe she was dissatisfied? But even so, Lucienne didn’t want to second guess herself.

“I see. But by lying time and time again, it’s a form of betrayal, isn’t it? You know, they say that those who have betrayed once will betray again.”

Lucienne’s expression didn’t change at the implications in Camilla’s words. She had long thought over her reasons for action. “I guess that from an organizational point of view, from the outside, what I’m doing is betrayal. And it is betrayal. However, I think that at least I am not betraying myself.”

It wasn’t justification for the betrayal, or perhaps it was in a sense. She wasn’t denying that she did it, but was giving a reason why. It was justification, after all.

The Order has changed in her opinion. The one that saved her when she was little wasn’t the same one she served right now. Since the campaign, she felt that she lost something—something that she’d never get back—but now, she’d finally found it again. The Order’s ideals remain with Camilla.

Even if Camilla didn’t take her in the end because she was a traitor, at least she regained sight of what she believed in. But, did her new views really align with Camilla’s? She never did confirm that.

“Excuse me…but can I ask, what are your goals?”

“My goals?”

“Like, in the future. What are you trying to do?”

Camilla tapped her chin. “Well, for now, the specifics is a secret, but I’m currently trying to stop a plan that some undeads have. Whatever they’re trying to accomplish, it’s probably something big and stopping it will only be beneficial to humanity and the rest of the living, I suppose?”

Lucienne nodded once. “But what about after?”

“After?” Camilla paused. “After, I’m heading south to my new home, which is with the vampires.”

“You won’t help the humans anymore?” Lucienne asked, a little downcast. Did she misjudge Camilla? Or is it that after becoming a vampire, her mindset and attitude toward humans changed?

“I didn’t say that. I intend on trying to improve the relations that humans have with the vampires and the other ‘demon’ races.”

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That reply had been unexpected, but at the same time Lucienne wasn’t very surprised. It was actually relieving that Camilla still cared about her old race, even after having changed.

“I see…”

After a moment, Camilla left without saying anything more, leaving Lucienne a little befuddled. She wasn’t done asking questions. Although some of her questions had been answered, she still had no idea why Camilla approached her in the first place.

What was Camilla aiming for with that? She couldn’t help but feel a bit of disappointment that Camilla didn’t stay for a little while longer.

She laid down, crushing down the tall grass to make a little cushion under her, and stared up at the stars.

But before she could dawdle too much in her disappointment, Kagriss walked over, her steps so smooth and even it was as if she was gliding over the ground.


“Hi?” Lucienne squeaked. What was going on? First Camilla and now Kagriss after ignoring her for the whole day. She couldn’t help but put up her guard, wary about what might come.

Kagriss sat down next to her and Lucienne stiffened, suddenly nervous. She was even more nervous than she was when talking with Camilla.

First impressions were important. Her first impression of Camilla had been that of a child who was annoying and didn’t know anything. Only later did she learn that she was actually the former templar-commander of the old Cloud Order, but by now Lucienne’s image of her had already solidified.

It was a bit difficult to take her seriously after that.

In contrast, from the get go, Lucienne had pegged Kagriss as a serious and mature woman. Even after finding out that it wasn’t exactly true, it was still the first thought that came to mind whenever she saw Kagriss. It helped that Kagriss seemed to be the only person capable of keeping Camilla in check.

As she made to get up, Kagriss pushed her down, her hand on Lucienne’s chest. Despite there being a plate of armor in the way, the pressure was unmistakable. The suddenness and boldness of the move caught Lucienne off guard again, and like a rabbit stared at by a snake, she didn’t move and let herself be pushed back down without a hint of resistance and pinned her to the ground.



“No…nothing.” She turned away.

Her hand flopped around next to her, feeling for her helmet, but Kagriss’s sharp eyes caught her actions and casually pushed the helmet out of her reach.

“I think it’s rude to wear something like that while talking to people, but I could be wrong.”

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Although her tone was unsure, Lucienne would have to be dumb to not understand what she meant and her hand fell still. “So what did you come over for?” she asked wearily. The sudden reversal in attitude left Lucienne at a loss, unsure how to feel or act.

“Nothing. Well, part of it is to apologize. You see, today was a test, you know?”

“Huh?” A test? What was she being tested over?

“After that incident at the Church, Camilla was a bit wary, so she decided to feel you out for a little before she truly invests in you. She wanted to see if you had any ulterior motives so she decided to ignore you for a day to check your reaction.”

So that’s why…

A bunch of worry in Lucienne disappeared, relieved that she hadn’t done anything wrong.

“To be honest, the test officially ends tomorrow morning and she was going to pretend like nothing happened, but it wouldn’t be fair to you to be kept in the dark. So, it falls to me to tell you about this. Can you forgive her?”

Without hesitation, Lucienne nodded. On one hand, no one liked to be tested. On the other hand, it wasn’t like it was unreasonable. For something akin to hazing, it was on the minor side and left her feeling more confused than anything else.

Seeing her nod, Kagriss heaved a sigh of relief that drained the slight tension from her face, leaving her looking even more otherworldly as she relaxed. Lucienne swallowed and averted her gaze just a bit, staring past her.

Luckily, although Kagriss turned and tried to see what Lucienne was staring at, she didn’t ask any questions upon finding nothing. Instead, she took her hand away, letting Lucienne sit up if she wished.

But the ground was feeling quite comfortable at the moment and Lucienne remained where she was.

She half expected for Kagriss to leave her and return to Camilla, but instead, Kagriss stayed beside her, and after a moment, Kagriss struck up a conversation with her again.

“…hey. Did you know that even among undead, there are differences?”

Lucienne turned her head to look up at Kagriss, trying to read her expression but finding nothing. She nodded. “Of course. For upper tier undead, there are warriors and there are mages. The jack-tier mages are called liches and the warriors are called knights, right?”

Kagriss shook her head. “You’re not wrong, but that’s not what I’m talking about. That differential is what’s on the outside, but I speak of the inside. You see, there are two kinds of undead: those who remember the pasts of their bodies, and those who don’t. There’s no official name, but where we come from, those who don’t remember are called Pures, and those who do are called Impures.”

It took a moment for Lucienne to process that information. Her templar curriculum had never mentioned something like this, even though it seemed like a pretty important distinction to make.

Based on her experiences with Kagriss and Camilla, the Impures seem a lot easier to get along with while the Pures seem like your typical undead that seek to wipe out the living. “You and Camilla are both Impures, right?”

To her surprise, Kagriss shook her head again. “Camilla is, but I’m not. I’m a Pure, but since I decided to follow Camilla, I guess they’d call me Corrupted back home? Although my home is wherever Camilla is.” She smiled wryly.

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“…You’re a Pure? Corrupted? Who came up with these names?”

“The undead at Amaranthine Point, as you call the dark fortress, of course. To them, it’s best to remain detached from the living and remain loyal to the fortress. Thus, those that match that definition is Pure, and if a Pure ever turns traitor, they are branded with the label of ‘Corrupted.’”

“Traitor, huh?” Lucienne murmured, thinking back to the words she exchanged with Camilla earlier. “You know, I don’t really mind being thought of as a traitor. I think…that if you care, then that means you are still invested in your old loyalties. If you cross over that line, then you should step over entirely, no matter how hard it is, rather than remain with a foot on each side.”

She looked up, looking for a reaction for Kagriss, perhaps a nod or even a disagreement, but her face reddened when she found Kagriss just looking at her in silence, her face blank.

“Ah…I’m sorry. I said something really lame just now, didn’t I?” Lucienne muttered, looking away. Then, she felt and heard something tapping on her armor.

Kagriss was shaking her head. “No, it’s not lame. Did you come up with that yourself?”

Indignity rose up in Lucienne, overpowering her embarrassment. “O-of course I came up with it! Is there something wrong with that?”

“Nope. It’s just that it sounds really deep and I usually leave those kinds of things to Camilla, so I don’t really have that much experience being a…” Kagriss paused, looking as if she was searching for a word. “A…philosopher!”

“Really? I thought you’d be more of the thinking type,” Lucienne replied, then immediately wanted to slap herself as she realized what a dumb thing she just said. Once again, she let Camilla’s appearance fool her. Camilla wasn’t just some little girl, she was the former templar-commander!

Staring off into the depths of the inky black skys, Lucienne wondered if there was ever a day that she’d manage to automatically equate the image of Camilla with something other than a bratty little girl.

As she was now, she was making way too many slips of her tongue and underestimating Camilla all too often, and that must change.

Lost in her thought, she didn’t notice as Kagriss got up and left her to head back to where Camilla was.

When Camilla saw her, her blank experience morphed into a smile. “How did it go?”

Kagriss sat back down next to Camilla. “Don’t worry too much. She doesn’t seem too upset.”

Camilla’s smile widened and she sighed in relief. “That’s good. Lucienne is a good girl, but I…”

“Shhh!” Before Camilla could say any more, Kagriss put her hand to Camilla’s mouth, shutting her up.

Camilla’s mind went woozy as Kagriss’s scent filled her nose, and she barely registered Kagriss’s next words.

“She knows, and she doesn’t really blame you for it. I think you should get to know her better too,” Kagriss suggested, and then her expression turned a bit scary, like night-time Kagriss but angry. “If you did, you’d know that your worries are entirely unfounded.”

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Thoroughly admonished, Camilla could only nod. “I will…”

“Good.” Only then did Kagriss retract her scowl and pulled Camilla into her arms.

Axiom’s Note

I’m not sure if anyone’s noticed, but today I finally added the word “wry” to my vocabulary! Is this cause for celebration or mourning, the author asked, smiling wryly.

Last night for Halloween (well, two or three nights ago), our family basically put a chair out front and stuck a bin of candy for people to take, because C-chan. It had a mix of chocolate and a bunch of chinese candies. When we took the bin in last night, there was no chocolate left… no one likes chinese candy…

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