TGL Volume 4, Chapter 20 (3)

Durandal’s a monster! He’s using Sophia as a hostage! How can he treat Sophia like that when she looks like me? He’s supposed to love me, and he should definitely have a soft spot for a mini-me, but he doesn’t! I can’t use any of my techniques to kill Durandal because they’re all too strong. Sophia will get caught up in the middle of them, and I can’t use Despairing Blade either because Sophia will start crying. Ilya told me Sophia bawled like crazy when I used it back when I was hunting down those invaders. This is a problem. I just learned I don’t have any precise techniques!

“So, what will it be?” Durandal asked. He was holding Sophia by the back of her robes, letting her limbs dangle. His arm was stretched way out to the side because Sophia kept trying to poke out his eyes. She was still attacking his forearm, but it wasn’t enough. Doesn’t Sophia have a sword in her interspacial ring? She could cut Durandal’s arm off! Mm, I think Softie doesn’t allow Sophia to keep any weapons in there. She says it’s dangerous or something, but clearly, Sophia needs some! I’ll be sure to give her a few sky-realm-ranked weapons once this is all over.

“Lucia?”

Hmm? Ah! Durandal’s trying to threaten me! Should I try to catch him again? But if he uses Sophia to block, even if I don’t make contact with her, she’ll still be tossed and turned around like a piece of lettuce in a salad. What were Durandal’s demands again? “I’m willing to listen.” Mm, at the very least, I should know what he wants before rejecting him.

Durandal took in a deep breath. “I don’t want you to Soul Scour me. That’s all I ask for. You can question me about whatever deepest, darkest secrets you think I have, and I’ll tell you the truth honestly.”

Hmm…. Can I trust Durandal? Of course not! “You say you’ll tell me the truth honestly, but don’t think I’ll be fooled. You love tricking me! There’s no way you’re going to tell me the truth even if you say you will. The only way I’ll know for sure is if I Soul Scour you and learn your deepest, darkest secrets myself.”

“You can’t trust me?” Durandal asked. He frowned. Mm, but he was still on guard. “Hasn’t everything I’ve done helped you? Would you be where you are today without me? I want nothing but the best for you, Lucia.”

“Words are cheap!” I’m not going to fall for Durandal’s sweet, sweet words. If he wanted nothing but the best for me, then he’d let me Soul Scour him instead of threatening me with Sophia. “I’m not going to compromise, Durandal.” Only the weak have to compromise, and right now, I’m stronger than Durandal. He has to yield to me! Ah? This is a very healthy relationship. Totally. Mhm. Yup.

“What do you even want to know?” Durandal’s expression darkened. “Ever since Vera appeared in that Slaughter God’s Tomb, you’ve had this idea stuck in your head about Soul Scouring me. You want to know about the things that’ve occurred between Vera and I? Fine! I’ll tell you.”

Eh? This isn’t where I expected this to go. “Alright, let’s hear it then.” Of course, I’ll listen, but I’m not going to believe what he says. I have to pay extra close attention to make sure he’s not tricking me. The things I have to watch out for are him denying a sexual relationship with Vera and him denying he had any feelings for her. Mhm. If he tries to play his relationship off as purely comrades, I won’t believe it! Mm? Do I want him to have had a relationship with Vera? Of course not! I just really think he did.

“Vera and I … were interested in each other for the briefest of moments,” Durandal said. He looked away and … didn’t drop his guard. Darn. “I was questioning my existence one day, when Roland had stopped using me for a while because he preferred to dabble with magic instead, and Vera noticed I wasn’t myself. We discussed a bit, and then Vera told—”

“No! You have to tell me what you discussed about!” If I Soul Scoured Durandal, I definitely would’ve found out what happened during the discussion. I have to know. He’s trying to gloss over it, so it must be super embarrassing!

“It was so long ago; I barely even remember what was said.” Durandal snorted. His neck turned a bit pink, and he sighed. “Are you really going to make me say it? Fine. Fine, fine, fine.” He sighed again. “I told her I was losing faith in myself as a weapon spirit. I wasn’t needed, so for what purpose did I live on? Roland wasn’t using me anymore; he wasn’t passing me on to anyone either. Was I supposed to sit in a corner and rot away? When I told Vera that, she suggested I look beyond my identity as a weapon spirit.”

Look beyond his identity as a weapon spirit…. I don’t know what that means, but it doesn’t sound too embarrassing. Why’s Durandal getting so pink and stuff? Does he really think this is his deepest, darkest secret? Unless…, what’s coming next is going to be even more embarrassing!

“So,” Durandal said and sighed again, “when I asked Vera what she meant, she climbed on top of me and attempted to seduce me.”

Attempted? Meaning she failed?

“She said I had to be more in touch with my physical body, told me to think of myself as a person, not a mere weapon spirit. Vera told me life would regain meaning if I fell in love, and she asked if I was interested in her at all.”

Hmm? Why’d he stop? “And you said…?”

Durandal exhaled. “I challenged her to a duel.”

…Huh? “Wait. I don’t understand.”

“I didn’t know how to respond, so I said the first thing that came to mind.”

Uh…. “You know what, I think it’ll be better for the both of us if you let me Soul Scour you.”

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