Leguna the Lecher
Leguna was crestfallen the entire way back. Annelotte kept a surreptitious eye on him. She had half a mind of consoling him, but she abandoned any such inclination when she remembered what he'd done the previous night.
Alaine, on the other hand, had something caught her tongue. She had imagined Dark Requiem would be a mature, calm, reliable, middle-aged man. But then she heard Dark Requiem was a barely more than a kid. She'd at least hoped he'd be along the lines of Alissanda then. But now she knew he was just a boy. An average boy that just so happened to have more power than most.
Her disappointment was overshadowed by her curiosity at how he managed what he did despite being so average in most respects.
"Umm... Leguna..." she finally murmured.
She didn't try to be polite. She was grateful for his taking revenge on her behalf, despite not intending to, but she was Annelotte's personal maid. She could not be friendly with strange men, especially not a youth that was pestering her mistress despite her protestations.
"What is it?" Leguna asked absentmindedly.
"Are you really Dark Requiem? The one who wiped out Bloodhand?"
"Anything wrong with that?--" He scratched his head. "--Most of the people are surprized when they learn it was me."
"Because you don't look or act the part!" Alaine spat, "Are you sure you're not just using his name? But that can't be, mistress also said you were--"
"--He is Dark Requiem," Annelotte interrupted, glancing at Alaine for a moment, "Why are you so concerned about Dark Requiem and Bloodhand?"
"Yes..." Alaine forced a smile.
Annelotte dropped the matter again. She'd heard bits and bobs from the other manor servants. She didn't know the details, but she had the outline. She noticed Leguna on the edge of asking about it, and shot him a frozen glare.
"What do you mean I don't look the part?" Leguna asked instead after a few minutes.
He'd taken care of Haden, too. Didn't that qualify him for the name?
"Because..." Alaine murmured again, "Don't get mad--"
"--He won't, or, more accurately, he won't dare," said, her frigid eyes boring into the boy's skull.
"I won't!" Leguna quickly surrendered to the queen.
"You just don't look like he should!" Alaine said, blushing.
"What part doesn't?"
"Just look!--" Alaine raised her hands at him. "--You're always joking around, you can't take things serious, and you're always getting in trouble. And then there're those perverted expressions of yours. There's no way anyone could accept that you would be Dark Requiem. How could a perverted airhead like you take down Bloodhand?"
"Do you really think that about me?" Leguna asked, his jaw twitching.
He was nowhere near Alissanda's image as a prince in shining armor, but he at least thought he looked like a harmless pretty-boy. Why was she describing him like a young Marolyt?
"You said you wouldn't get mad!"
"I won't..." he surrendered again, "Think of me what you want, but I am Dark Requiem, and I did take down Bloodhand."
"Alaine is spot on with her description though," Annelotte added, a suffering smile on her face.
"That's why I don't get it," Alaine shrugged.
"There's one thing you don't know though," her mistress added.
"What?" Alaine asked politely.
Her mistress glanced at the boy before convening with her maid through a conference spell.
[He can be a real wastrel, yes, but he does get serious when something concern someone close to him. He wiped out Bloodhand because they hurt his… fiancee.]
The last word was difficult to say.
Fiancee?! Alain almost jumped. The bastard was already trying to court her mistress, and now he was involved with Innilis as well, but he already had a fiancee?! Perverted couldn't even begin to cover what he was, lecher was more apt, but even that was a pale description.
"What did Annie tell you? Why are you looking at me like a thug?" Leguna asked, scratching that empty head of his again.
"Don't overrate yourself!" Alaine spat, "I wouldn't insult the world's thugs like that! You're a damned lecher!"
Leguna's eyes widened in disbelief. He thought about it for a moment, though, and couldn't help but admit that she was justified in calling him a lecher. He felt she was going too far in calling him a 'damned' lecher though.
He opened his mouth to argue, but thought better of it when both women stared icicles into his skull.
"Hmph! You have nothing to say about it?" Alaine pressed.
Annelotte gazed at his suffering expression and had to suppress a chuckle, her shoulder shook lightly for a few moments though.
Leguna smiled when he noticed her shoulder bobbing. If being a lecher made her happy, he didn't mind.
Alaine, on the other hand, stared questions at her mistress. She only recently became her personal maid, but she'd spent a lot of time with her even before that. Despite that, she'd never seen this kind of reaction from her even once.
"By the way, Annie, about that favor..." Leguna murmured.
Annelotte's slight smile vanished immediately, and her face became cold again.
"Things are looking good so far. What actually comes of it in the end depends on Innie."
What did his request have to do with that little girl?
"Yes. I can't dictate a wishing spell. Only the court's chairman can, but even with him the risks are immense.. It's a very unpredictable spell, and when it goes bad, it's always catastrophic. And the materials needed just to try make it impossibly expensive."
"What does Innie have to do with this though?"
"The chairman will never take that kind of risk, but he offered a few bits of advice. He thinks the weaker version of the spell, limited wishing, can achieve the same effect. It's a level-seven spell I've long mastered."
"But... even high-order priests can't heal Eirinn's scars easily. Can a level-seven spell really do it?" Leguna asked, frowning.
"I'm not too sure," Annelotte said, shaking her head, "I thought about bringing Innie in to help out and increase the odds."
"How can she do that?"
"Innie just started her studies, and can't dictate any spells, but she has an incredible talent for magic theory, it may even be better than mine. I put her to work figuring out how to make the spell better, and how to use various herbs to supplement the spell."
"You're saying… You're saying you're going to use herbs to make a potion to help out?"
"You can say that. So far, Innie and I and a few other members of the herbalist association are researching the recipe and the potion's effects. We need at least another half a year to come up with a safe, working prototype potion."
"Half a year..." Leguna couldn't be happier.
Eirinn's had her scars for well over a decade; another six months was nothing.
"I'm counting on you. Thanks you."
"Don't thank me," Annelotte almost-spat, "I'm doing this to help Eirinn. I couldn't care less whether you want me to or not. If you just have to thank someone, then thank Innie. She's spent most of her time since you left working on that potion."
Speaking of her, where was she?
Innilis sat in a nearby carriage, glaring at Marolyt.
"Lass, you've been staring holes in me for half an hour now. Is there a flower on my face or something?" Marolyt half-growled at her.
"How did I offend you?"
"Oh, it must be because of that brat, yes?"
"Hmph! You dragged me into this carriage to split me and Big Bro up! Hmph!"
"I guess you're not completely brainless," Marolyt half-chuckled, "What's going on between you and that brat?"
"Not telling you!"
"I'll buy you some candy~"
"Don't treat me like a child!" Innilis roared, "Only kids like candy!"
"What if I buy you the most delicious butter cake in Melindor?" Marolyt threw out casually.
"That's... more like it," the girl blushed.
"That's all it takes to bribe you?"
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