|Author: Hayaken||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2421 characters|
|Translator: Mab||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 876 words|
|Editor(s): Hydra, Liomad|
“We’ve got no choice…! Glis, please!”
It was obvious what Rafinha wanted Inglis to do.
“Leave this to me.”
In short, break the door open.
Inglis stepped forward, ready to kick it, when—
The door slowly creaked open from the other side.
Rafinha peeked inside.
And the one who gazed back was not what she had hoped for.
An undead stuck its face towards Rafinha.
It reached out to grab Rafinha.
But Inglis was already on the move.
Her small fist slipped past Rafinha’s cheeks, slamming into the undead.
With a force reminiscent of an arrow, the undead crashed into the wall at the end of the descending staircase.
“I would ask you not to touch Rani.”
Contrasting Inglis’ confident smile, Rafinha was scared out of her life.
“Aah, jeez…! That SCARED me… don’t surprise me like that!”
Rafinha then shot the undead that Inglis had knocked over with her healing arrow.
“…I’m not looking, I see nothing, I don’t see anything…!”
As the undead’s body disintegrated in a grotesque manner, Rafinha turned her eyes away and mumbled to herself.
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“Let’s go, Rani. Leone might be deeper inside.”
Inglis took Rafinha by the hand, and they both descended the staircase.
“Leone! Answer us!”
“It’s us! Rafinha and Glis! We might sound a bit different though!”
As they called out to their friend on their way down—
A small, quivering voice echoed from the depths of the cellar.
“! She’s here…!”
In a corner of the storage-like room, Leone was trembling, holding her black greatsword Artifact in a death grip. Her cheeks were wet with tears that were clearly still flowing. She must have been terrified.
“Leone! Are you okay…?!”
“I’m glad you’re fine. It’s all right now.”
“Eh…? Inglis and Rafinha… right…?”
Leone looked confused, but they wouldn’t blame her. Both Inglis and Rafinha were in the form of six-year-olds, after all.
“Yep! It’s us!”
“There was an accident with an Artifact, so we’re stuck like this…”
“I see… that’s shocking.”
“More importantly, are you okay, Leone?!”
“Are you hurt anywhere?”
Leone’s clothes were stained with blood, or perhaps ‘soaked’ might be the better term. Was she injured, or was that the blood of her enemy? Inglis couldn’t tell.
“I’m fine, I’m fine… but the things I did… to these people…”
Leone’s hands shook, and her tears flowed even more freely.
“It’s okay, you’re okay…! You have us with you…!”
“Yeah, Rani is right. Take it easy.”
Inglis and Rafinha took Leone’s hands and comforted her. Once Leone had collected herself enough to talk, she began to explain her situation.
“…Thanks to you two and Sir Raphael, I could return to this mansion. Thank you very much…”
“Yeah… we read your letter.”
“It’s because of your letter that we came to Arlmen today.”
Considering that Inglis and Rafinha wouldn’t have come if not for the letter, Leone’s earnest nature had become her saving grace. Leone might have been able to fight her way out of the cellar, but she might have been caught off guard by the undead pretending to be dead in the hallway.
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“But then the Knights came to visit, and they said they wanted to talk. I invited them in… but then they started to act strangely, and then…!”
“And you had no choice but to fight them…”
Rafinha interjected, and Leone nodded in agreement.
“They wouldn’t listen, and I tried my best not to hurt them, but they wouldn’t go down, and they moved so fast… So I had to defend myself. They’re Knights; they protected this city, and I… I…”
Reliving the traumatic event was clearly overwhelming for Leone, and her hands trembled as tears streamed down her face.
“You helped me, and I could return home because of it, but I shouldn’t have come back. There’s no way they’ll forgive me for this. It’s all my fault…!”
In Leone’s eyes, she believed the Knights of Arlman hadn’t truly forgiven her, and once they learned she was back, they conspired against her. Now, having felt forced to defend herself, Leone bore the weight of guilt for their deaths.
“That’s not true! You’re not at fault, Leone…!”
Passionately, as if her own reputation was at stake, Rafinha hugged Leone tightly.
“Right, Glis? RIGHT?!”
“Yeah… that’s right.”
Inglis joined Rafinha in comforting Leone.
“Think about it, Leone. Do you recognize any of the Knights who came here? They were all strangers, weren’t they?”
“Eh? Y-, yeah… I didn’t recognize any of them. I’m not too familiar with the Knights…”
“But there are some faces you’d recognize outside the gate, right?”
“They want to apologize to you, Leone. They said they witnessed your bravery in defending the city, and they regret their previous misconceptions.”
“That’s right…! The Knights outside said that! Though I didn’t really recognize them…”
“One of them is the Knight who reprimanded you when we first arrived in Arlman.”
“…Really? But Glis, you have a keen memory, so it must be true! Look, even the one who scolded you before sees you differently now. So, those intruders must be…!”
Rafinha hesitated, searching for the right words7
“Must be—what, Glis?”
Rafinha, with her heartfelt intentions but somewhat muddled thoughts, was endearingly genuine.