|Author: TypeAxiom||Original Source: Scribble Hub|
In the increasingly busy streets, with people jostling her even without meaning to despite her armor marking her as a templar, Lucienne felt her patience wearing thin.
Did the little zombie girl even know where she was going? She seemed to have just picked a random direction after moving around. Meanwhile, Lucienne was itching on her back but she couldn’t scratch at it thanks to her armor. Or rather, the gambeson and the armor itself was causing the itch. She was miserable and she wanted nothing more than to end this mission and go back to base to shower and go to sleep.
She didn’t even want to go anywhere to have fun anymore. She just wanted to rest.
After turning another seemingly random corner, the zombie girl finally came to a stop. Lucienne around to see where they were. After looping through the city, she had completely lost track of where she was, and she discovered that she was in a place that she had never been before.
There were a lot less people here now, and even less to see. Instead of stalls and goods, there were only plain looking houses arranged in neat rows down both sides of the surprisingly empty street.
Considering that Camilla had been showing Kagriss everything, a boring place like this was probably not where she wanted to go.
As she had thought, the little girl had been running around randomly.
Biting back a complaint, Lucienne quickly surveyed her surroundings, trying to grasp her situation. Her eyes widened. This was…the outer part of a residential district, where many inns were concentrated. It was quiet and on a hill within the city, offering a rather impressive view over the lower parts of Moltrost. Best of all, it was near the consecration zone, which meant the inns and houses here were high quality and expensive.
It certainly fit Camilla and Kagriss’s noblewomen image to stay here.
Could it be? Was she finally going to be free? Lucienne quickly studied the inn that they were standing in front of, trying to memorize the sign graphic and name.
However, before she could even get a close look at the sign swinging lightly in the breeze, Camilla’s next words crushed her hope. “Don’t be mistaken, Lucienne, this isn’t where we’re staying.”
“Huh? Wait, it’s not? Then why are we here?” Lucienne asked, her jaw dropping. The little zombie girl was definitely doing this on purpose, dangling hope in front of her eyes and then yanking it away. An intense feeling of being wronged rose up in her heart along with her anger, and she felt like she was going to cry.
Camilla stepped up to her.
When Lucienne paid no attention to her, Camilla patted her on the shoulder. “I’m just going to put our luggage here for the day. Since we won’t pick a place until night, we want to leave our belongings somewhere safe,” she said, pointing at the big sack of…books? that Kagriss carried.
“What does that have to do with me?” Lucienne asked. “Why can’t you just stay here?”
“I have my reasons. However, since you’re going to be with us for a while, you might as well change out of that armor,” Camilla said, shooting her a look of sympathy.
Lucienne blinked. “But I can’t. I just told you that I can’t leave until I find out where you’re staying for the night!” She sniffed. Although she managed to force down her tears, the sour feeling in the upper part of her nose remained.
Hopefully the little zombie girl didn’t find out…
“Fine. We’re staying here tonight.”
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“No…” Camilla said, and trailed off.
Lucienne wanted to draw her sword and decapitate this girl in front of her right now and wipe that smile off her face right now. However, her self control that she trained for almost a decade of her life kicked in just in time. She managed to stop herself from reaching for her weapon.
However, that merely left her hands feeling uncomfortably empty. If she strangled this little undead, can she still talk? Did undead need to breathe to speak? Should she find out right here? Lucienne hissed.
After that little pause, the little zombie girl continued, as if she had never stopped. “…but you don’t know that. The point is, you have no idea where I’m going to really stay, and until then you can’t leave. So why don’t you just go back and change into something more comfortable before you come back?”
“And take my eyes off you and let you escape?” Did that girl think she was born yesterday?
Camilla shook her head. “I’ll stay right here. And since we’re at the edge of the consecration zone anywhere, it’s not that far from here to the Church. I promise I won’t go anywhere.”
Lucienne narrowed her eyes, looking into the zombie girl’s wide, innocent eyes, unable to see even a hint of deception in those pure, golden eyes. But it must be a trick.
As she was about to snark back, unleashing the bottled up anger she felt, the pretty undead suddenly stepped forward, grabbing her attention.
“Lucienne, Camilla always keeps her words. We’ll really stay right here. We need to register for a room and then put our luggage away, after all.”
The swears that had been on Lucienne’s words died away as Kagriss joined the conversation. Lucienne found it harder to hate Kagriss.
Although Kagriss was an undead just like Camilla, she was a lot more likeable. She didn’t talk much, unlike the annoying little zombie girl, and when she did speak, it was with a gentle, melodious voice that calmed Lucienne’s heart.
For that reason, she felt so much more reasonable that Lucienne found herself trusting Kagriss’s words despite her better judgement. However, she still shook her head. “I can’t take the risk.”
They were at an impasse. Although Lucienne knew that if she just did what the other party said, she’d have a much easier day, she couldn’t bring herself to take the risk.
Finally, Camilla sighed. “Then just cast a tracking spell on us. Then you’ll know if we moved, and if you sense us dispel the magic, you can send the whole Order that’s stationed here after us. How’s that sound?”
Actually, that idea sounded excellent. It was the perfect compromise. But there was just one problem. Lucienne blushed under her helmet, glad for the first time all day that she was wearing this bucket, for it meant Camilla couldn’t see her face right now. “I—I don’t know any support spells like that…”
“What did you just say?!”
She winced as she thought something snapped in Camilla just now. The little zombie girl seemed to swell ten times larger in size, and just a hint of the undead aura that she had been suppressing showed through.
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Despite herself, Lucienne quailed under Camilla’s sudden anger.
“I—I said that I don’t know any tracking spell…”
“How can you not know any tracking spells? They’re part of the basic magic curriculum!”
Instead of an stupid undead, Lucienne felt she was facing one of the scary instructors back at the stronghold. Memories flooded back to her, suffocating her, and she couldn’t help but look away in shame.
Somewhere in a tiny corner of her mind, she questioned why a little zombie girl would know about the curriculum, but with the person in question standing right in front of her with such a terrifying presence, Lucienne didn’t have the courage to ask.
All she could do was lower her head and squeeze out an answer. “The…curriculum changed…two years ago…”
And this time, it was the zombie girl’s turn to deflate as the intimidating pressure that Lucienne felt crushing her disappeared. The zombie girl was staring at the ground, mumbling to herself. Lucienne could catch some of her words.
“…two years ago…so that’s why…”
What Lucienne could hear was confusing. But before she could think about anything else, the intimidating pressure was back, but not as strong as before. The little zombie girl was staring up at her again.
“Just go. We won’t go anywhere.”
Lucienne shivered, her armor clacking. She hesitated, opening and closing her mouth as she considered whether she should reply or not, before finally her shoulders sagged. She didn’t know if it was in defeat or relief, or even both, but she turned the center of the consecration zone while memorizing the path she’d need to take to return.
“Then…I’ll be right back,” she muttered, half to herself. “Don’t go anywhere, okay?”
And then she was gone, running as fast as she could, even going so far as to use mana to reinforce her limbs. Was she running away from Camilla?
No way. This was just so she could be back sooner, so she could continue her mission and not let these undead leave her sight.
As Lucienne tried to convince herself of those words, she couldn’t help but think back to the atmosphere that the zombie girl took on that was exactly like the instructors back at the stronghold.
However, why exactly did that girl give off a feel like that, enough to scare a templar like her? Could Camilla actually be a lord class, and Father Pavlor’s report had been mistaken?
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If she was right, then she was in danger, but if she told someone and it turned out she was wrong, then she’d be the laughing stock of the whole Order…
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