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Chapter 57: Closure

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Author: TypeAxiom Original Source: ScribbleHub

“Faith. Be faithful. Be faithful to the Gods; be faithful to your family; be faithful to your lover.” According to the teachings of the Church, the Gods were more important than family, and family was more important than lovers. However, the line also preached the importance of faith.

When Fleur heard that line from the scriptures, she had thought that it would be easy to remain faithful. After all, she’ll only ever like one person—she couldn’t possibly love more.

But now, things weren’t so easy. Fleur didn’t know when exactly she started to have such feelings, but she liked Camilla—have loved for what must have been years without realizing. But other than Camilla, Fleur realized that she might have recently—just a day ago—developed feelings for Anne, although she couldn’t be sure.

She felt toward Anne an emotion similar to how she felt toward Camilla—the kind that made her feel short of breath when she’s near her, like she didn’t ever want to part with Anne.

…even though she didn’t have those feelings before, why did they suddenly appear?

It must have something to do with knowing about their past together. Perhaps she felt obliged to take responsibility for what she did to Anne; because she felt sorry for her. Perhaps she wanted Anne to not be hurt anymore.

If Anne knew she liked her for these reasons, how will she feel? Happy that she is reciprocating her love, or frustrated because of how these feelings came about? Perhaps she’d even say something like “I don’t need your pity” because Anne seemed like the strong and prideful type.

What should she do?

By the time she got out of her tent, Anne was already gone along with the pot. With nothing to do, Fleur was just stabbing at the fire with a stick when Camilla returned, holding a cleaned and skinned rabbit in one hand and a furry brown pelt in the other. “You came back really fast,” she said, surprised. It hadn’t been that long since she saw Camilla in Anne’s tent.

“Practice makes perfect. It got easier to aim.”

Fleur nodded, distracted. But when she looked up, she noticed that there were red markings on Camilla’s neck. Not only that, she was wearing that purple armored dress Fleur saw her in that night at Amaranthine Point.

“Did you get hurt?” Fleur asked.

“What do you mean?”

“Your neck looks like there’s scratches…? It’s light, but there your neck and collar. How did you manage to hurt your neck?” There were more marks than she had initially expected. They traveled down in a line, and Fleur was sure there were more, but she couldn’t see them since they disappeared below Camilla’s dress.

She had seen all kinds of wounds thanks to her time as an assistant healer at the Church, but she had never seen something like that before. Red, speckled with deeper dots. Did Camilla run into something in the forest that managed to hurt her?

What in the world could hurt a knight-class undead like Camilla?

For some reason, Camilla’s face turned a shade of light pink that almost matched the color of the markings. Her hand shot up to cover the marks.

“No…it’s nothing,” Camilla said. After a brief burst of black mist, she removed her hands and the marks were gone. Her skin had returned to its normal, unblemished pale color, as if the marks were never there.

Camilla’s actions merely made Fleur more curious, but she didn’t push Camilla to talk since it seemed to be private. Perhaps Camilla was embarrassed that she actually got hurt by something—maybe she was caught off guard while hunting. Still, didn’t that mean there was something dangerous in the forest? Will Anne be okay?

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But since Camilla didn’t say anything, it must not be a big deal, right?

Maybe she should’ve gone with Anne.

“Here, you can have these,” Camilla said after returning from the horses. There were three rabbit pelts in her hands. “They’re soft. Anne’s share is in there too.”

Fleur looked at the stack of pelts of different sizes that appeared in her hands. For her? “Are you sure?” she asked. “They seem really nice…”

Camilla patted her head. “Come on, Fleur, just because my appearance changed doesn’t mean our relationship is any different. You’re still like a niece to me.”

True—Fleur used to be pretty shameless in accepting presents from Carmen. But even if Carmilla didn’t think their relationship changed, what about her? Then again, if she never said anything, how will Camilla know that she liked her. Fleur hadn’t known about Anne’s feelings until Anne came out and said it. It was too easy to misinterpret different types of affection.

“…I’ll be sure to treasure it,” Fleur said. The pelts had been cleaned and when she pressed her face into it, they were scentless—not even the smell of the pelt’s former owner showed through. Somehow, Camilla had managed to get rid of it.

Camilla didn’t smell like anything either, so in a way, perhaps this lack of smell could be considered Camilla’s scent? It was a long shot though.

The thought of receiving a present from Camilla made her pretty happy, though. And since Anne wasn’t here right how, perhaps she should take this time to talk with Camilla.

“Camilla, I was thinking about something. It’s related to Anne, in a way,” she said.

Camilla sat down next to her, temporarily wrapping the rabbit meat in oiled paper to keep it clean. Actually, Fleur would have preferred Camilla be a little further away, since the proximity to Camilla made her nervous and will probably mess up her words.

“So you know that Anne confessed to me, right?”

Camilla nodded, listening intently with all her attention focused on Fleur. The hair on the back of Fleur’s neck prickled.

“Well…I said that I probably won’t be able to accept her feelings, since I like someone else. But now, I found out that I like Anne too…so now I like two people and I’m not sure what I should do.”

“Ah…that’s difficult. Does the other person know?”

Fleur stiffened, holding her breath. “N—no. She doesn’t…”

“She? Ah, so it’s another girl! That was surprising, but I don’t think anything is bad about it, since Anne likes you too. So why didn’t you tell her?”

“I’m…afraid of rejection, and I’m afraid our relationship will change. Because after Anne confessed to me, things have gotten kind of awkward between us and I don’t want that to happen again,” Fleur admitted. Especially since Camilla saw her as family, and not a friend like Anne did. “I don’t have the courage.”

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Camilla patted her head again. “It’s good that you’re thinking about things like this. I don’t think you should rush things, so don’t feel pressured to confess. Although, I’m curious why you don’t go with Anne? We both know she’s a nice girl…” Camilla paused and looked behind her toward the forest.

Fleur looked with her, but didn’t see anything.

“Camilla?”

“It must have been a rabbit. As I was saying, she’s a nice girl. Since you like two people but you’re too scared to confess to one, then why be all hung up on her when you have someone like Anne who loves you back?”

Camilla’s words made sense, and she knew she was being greedy, but… “I like both of them…I don’t want to lose either one of them…”

“There’s really nothing wrong with having multiple lovers if they all agree. You don’t have to make the choice now, since you’re young,” Camilla said. “I think that you should try courting Anne.”

“But…”

Camilla held a finger to her lips, the sudden touch making Fleur freeze. “Let me finish. In most cases, after being with Anne, you’ll forget the other girl. But if you really can’t forget her, and everything works out with Anne, it might be best to speak with Anne and try to work something out. Since Anne is chasing you despite knowing that you like someone…I’m not sure, but perhaps she has her own considerations.”

Although Camilla’s words had been soft until now, her expression suddenly turned serious. “However, you have to know that just because Anne likes you now doesn’t mean she’ll wait for you forever, no matter what she says. I’ve seen many instances where a person kept another waiting, and in the end, lost that person to another. So…you should take Anne’s feelings into consideration.”

If she didn’t accept Anne’s feelings…then she’ll lose her? The thought of Anne with another person drove a stake through her heart. Was this how Anne felt every day?

She didn’t want Anne to be with anyone else. No one but her. She was so selfish, wanting two people at once, yet only wanted Anne to be her’s.

So in order to not lose Anne, what Camilla was suggesting was that she answer Anne’s feelings…and give up on the other person, which was Camilla herself. In the end, Camilla still didn’t know that she liked her. Would Camilla find her creepy if she found out, for loving someone that was practically family? Ah, there she goes again, thinking about Camilla instead of Anne…even though she already decided to love Anne back as best as she could…

Fleur wanted to knock herself on the head. Faithful, faithful!

But she couldn’t do it…not without getting her question answered. Did she even have a chance with Camilla? If she messes the question up, then things will change between them. She had to pick her questions carefully.

Fleur took a deep breath, and looked at Camilla, who had a satisfied expression on her face for some reason.

“Camilla…”

“Hmm?” she looked over at her.

Here it comes…Fleur hoped she didn’t mess it up, or sound weird. “Camilla is really experienced.”

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Camilla’s reaction was way bigger than she would’ve expected as Camilla’s already straight back seemed to stiffen with such force she almost stood up. “E—experienced…no, not at all experienced! What are you saying? I’m not experienced at all.”

That was such an obvious lie…that Fleur didn’t feel the need to directly refute it. Still, she was actually a bit surprised. Now that she thought about it, Camilla never brought anyone over with her back then, so she didn’t think that Camilla had a lover…to think she kept her so well hidden. Fleur felt a sense of loss, even as she wondered where Camilla’s lover was right now.

After all, Camilla had been gone for almost two years already—no, it couldn’t be. Camilla’s words flashed through her mind: “I’ve seen many instances where a person kept another waiting, and in the end, lost that person to another.”

She bit her lips and looked at Camilla with a pitying expression. She kind of wanted to ask about the details, but she decided to not pry into old wounds.

“Um…so what kind of person do you like?”

“What do I like…?” Camilla’s hand twitched and drifted over to her neck. “I’m not sure. Someone tall…I suppose. Right now, at least…” Her voice trailed off and she blushed then, her whole face turning red, along with her neck and the top part of her body, including her shoulder. Fleur had never seen someone blush that hard before, but before she could ask for any more details, Camilla stood up.

“…excuse me,” she said as she headed off into the forest, leaving the wrapped rabbit behind, and Fleur’s face that was blank from surprise. Fleur was speechless too, and even she could tell that Camilla already had someone in mind.

She didn’t know who it was, or if it was the same person that Camilla was together with before the campaign, but that person existed. And it wasn’t her, since she was anything but tall.

In other words, she never had a chance in the first place.

Although her heart throbbed as it did when she imagined Anne being with someone else, she also felt a kind of release…like she was freed from a burden. In her mind, Carmen and Camilla seemed to become less prominent, while Anne became more so, taking Camilla’s place.

While she was probably never going to forget her feelings for Camilla, at least now she could go ahead and give Anne her long-awaited answer.



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