The girl closed her eyes tight. Her cheeks flushed red like a tangerine in autumn. Leguna could feel her body shake, but her mind was in a much more complicated state. What surprised him, however, was that she didn't move. At least, she didn't look like she was going to offer up any resistance.
Darn it! His blood rushed to his head. He was no saint or monk. With a young maiden letting him get his way, there was no way he wouldn't have any impure thoughts!
That was why Leguna recalled what Kurdak had said to him. Was he going to become a vile beast that night?
The thought of that caused him to swallow audibly. Was Innilis beautiful? Of course she was! If he were to rank the women in a list according to attractiveness, such a list would no doubt emerge.
The first one on the list was definitely Annelotte. In terms of looks and demeanor, she was the best Leguna had ever seen in the opposite sex. Reality also proved that Leguna's beauty standards were shared by many. Given how obsessed Geoffrey with was with her and her popularity during the tournament, it could be seen how alluring she was.
In second place, strictly speaking, should be Gahrona, at least her human seductive human form. The mere look at her face caused Leguna to involuntarily fantasize. Then again, she was no more than a spirit, so her looks were nothing but a construct. The other reason she was held by Leguna as second was his respect for his teacher.
Innilis held the third place on the list. Even though she was petite and didn't have much of a figure to speak of, her looks alone was a foretelling of the kind of beauty she would become in the future. Even though she merely looked like a cute girl right now, Leguna didn't doubt that she would become a stunning beauty in another three to four years. Naturally, he couldn't be sure whether her figure would become more shapely or not, but that was another matter altogether.
In fourth place would be Lisana. Even though Leguna didn't know her for long, he could tell that she looked far better than the average woman. Though it wasn't at the point where men would be mesmerized at a look of her, Leguna would agree that she was beautiful indeed.
And in the last place was Vera. Though he felt a little terrified at the notion of placing her in last place, Leguna felt that she looked most unappealing out of the five. Vera looked quite average by most standards, maybe she could be considered the better looking one out of average women. That was why she unfortunately lost out to the other contestants in the list.
But that didn't mean she wasn't attractive in her own right. Vera's most alluring point wasn't her face, but her figure. She sported a height of 1.7 meters and a fine build. Coupled with her seemingly perfectly proportioned body, Vera had the best figure out of all women Leguna had seen. Her perfect curves were something even Annelotte would envy, that is, if she was even capable of feeling such an emotion.
As for Eirinn... Leguna didn't include her in that list, he didn't want to for now.
Currently, he was weathering the temptation coming from the girl he ranked third in his list of top beauties. Only a single question rang nonstop in his mind: To be, or not to be. That is the question.
Vile beast... Bestial... Inhumane... Those were the words that popped up in his mind as the polar opposite forces of dark and light fought each other for dominion over his mind.
Just as Leguna was contemplating what could be the most important dilemma he has ever arrived at, Innilis mustered her courage and said, "Don't do this, Big Bro..."
"I... It's not like I don't want to," the girl said, her face so red that it looked like blood was going to burst out, "If you really want to, I won't get angry, but..."
"But what?" Leguna calmed down after seeing her pitiful look.
"But I don't want to do Sis Annie wrong," Innilis whispered, "I only relied on her to be... to become what I am today. So, if you do this tonight, I'll feel like I have wronged her. Your relationship with her is also..."
Leguna kept silent.
Seeing that Leguna wasn't going to speak, she thought that he was angry. She hurriedly said, "But if you really want to... I... I won't be against it..."
Leguna looked at the teary-eyed girl and stroked her head softly. "Stupid girl, how much of a beast do you think I am?"
"Big Bro Leguna..."
"You're still young, and it's not the time. I'm not someone who ignores other people's feelings for a moment of pleasure. I was just joking around with you."
"Really?" Somehow, those words annoyed her somewhat to hear.
"As for Annie... I will deal with that matter properly. Don't worry."
Innilis looked up at Leguna before burrowing her head into his chest. "Then, I'll look forward to it."
"Leave it to me!" Leguna gave her back a few pats.
Just like that, Leguna managed to avoid having the label of vile beast pinned on him that night.
The next morning, Leguna and the rest headed to Galestorm Manor together. He felt that he had to console Annelotte because of how she was feeling last night. He also had to do what Marolyt entrusted him with.
The one that received them at the entrance was the same maidservant from back then, Alaine.
"It's you again?" Alaine furrowed her brows. The energetic girl seemed to remember what happened months ago. Leguna had left quite an impression on her back then. Apart from that, she had another reason she would definitely remember him.
That was why she would never cut him any slack even though she was fine with the others. I heard this man has some complicated relationship with the lady? How could that be? It must be a false rumor!
"We're Miss Annie's friends and we're here to visit her," Leguna said with a smile.
"The lady has said that apart from you, the others may enter," Alaine replied.
"It's the same move again..." Leguna grimaced. The last time, Eirinn helped Leguna see Annelotte. Yet, this time around, he was strictly mentioned by name to not be allowed to enter. What should he do? Then again, Annelotte seemed rather calm yesterday. It looked like she still had some anger left over!
"What move again?" Annelotte rolled her eyes. "You're Leguna, right? The lady said she doesn't want to see you."
"Well..." Leguna looked rather awkward. Kurdak and the others couldn't help but snicker at his embarrassing predicament.
"Umm... Alaine, what's going on?" Marolyt asked as he walked over.
"Master." Alaine greeted him and explained the situation.
"Annie is wrong on that front. They are guests, how can she expressedly forbid any one of them from coming in? Just enter already!" Marolyt looked rather welcoming.
"But the lady..."
"Alaine!" Marolyt's expression changed dramatically. "Ever since I brought her back, you keep going 'the lady' this and 'the lady' that. Do you even hold me in any regard?"
"I wouldn't dare not to..." said the young maidservant unwillingly.
"Then that's fine. That's about it. Welcome our guests, quick." Though Marolyt looked rather serious, his eyes darted to Leguna nonstop. His message was clear. I've done the most I can to help you.
Then, he brought them to the guest hall while Alaine went to call Lisana and Annelotte over. Then, they had a long chat about their experiences at Fort Kesta. Annelotte kept to herself during most of that. Given that both Leguna and Marolyt were there, her mood didn't improve at all.
Thanks to Marolyt's warm welcome, Leguna and the others had lunch at the manor. Eibron was quite surprised for being able to enjoy the galestorm swordsaint's hospitality. It was definitely something worth bragging about.
After lunch, Kurdak and the rest saw that it was about time and prepared to leave.
"Are you going to leave so quickly?" Marolyt said unwillingly. He knew that they were Annelotte's close friends, so he wanted to win some of her approval through them. But it seemed that his plan wasn't working that well.
"I have to go check out my brigade later. They're my subordinates now, so I have to familiarize myself with them," explained Kurdak.
"Boss, I'll go with you," Annelotte offered. Even though she was still angry at Leguna, she was really friendly towards Kurdak and Vera.
"I'll go too." Marolyt insisted on tagging along and turned to his disciple. "Lisana, stay here. Practice what I thought you and I want to check your progress over the years when I get back during the evening."
"Okay, Master." Lisana nodded obediently.
Annelotte looked Marolyt in the eye without saying anything else.
"Annie..." Leguna finally spoke up.
"Can you wait for a moment? I have something to give you."
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