Leguna's facial muscles stiffened instantly. He didn't expect Lisana to make such a request. How could he possibly agree? He had run his mouth just now saying he would, however. What could he do?
"Uhm…" He forced a smile. "--Why would you make such a request?"
"Just say whether you can or not."
Lisana looked relaxed like usual, as if she wasn't the one trying to tear Leguna from his lovers.
"I can't do it. Anything else is fine!"
"Then…" Lisana's pretty crimson eyes flashed deviously again. "…I want you to kill your 'boss'. Mister Kurdak, and give me his head. Can you do that?"
"What?!" Leguna's face contorted.
"I'm just joking," she said with a sudden smile.
"Err…" He didn't know how to react to that. Even though Lisana did change a bit thanks to Marolyt's influence, to think she could make such sick jokes.
"Do you understand now?" she solemnly asked after she finished laughing.
[Oh, orc gods above… why do I have such a dimwitted disciple,] Gahrona exclaimed.
[What did I do wrong?] Leguna was starting to feel that everyone was coming after him.
[Forget it. Let Lisana explain it!] she said after a sigh.
Lisana looked at him and smiled. "I want you to understand promises."
"Yes." She nodded and turned to look at the soldiers patrolling the camp. "Sometimes, promises can be light and inconsequential, other times… they can be much heavier than you can possibly bare."
"Take your promise just now!--" Lisana swept a couple strands of her hair out of her face. "--You promised to do anything for me or get me any gift. But you've just said no to two things I asked you to do which was entirely possible for you to do."
"You don't have to apologize. I was being ridiculous on purpose. Don't make promises you know you can't keep. You'll only hurt yourselves and the people to whom you make the promise. I mean, just look at what you've done to Eirinn, Annie, and Innie with your promises. That should be enough suffering for you for a lifetime."
Leguna had a sudden epiphany. He didn't expect Lisana to say something so Eirinn-like.
"Looks like the two of you are more alike than I thought!" he couldn't help but comment.
Even the sharp-witted couldn't guess what he was referring to.
"Nothing." Leguna brushed it away with a casual laugh. "I get what you mean by now. Even so, I still have to pay you back. Just come up with something. Well, at least something I'd do."
"Why aren't you an honest one?" Not refusing the offer, she tapped her finger on her lip and said, "Well… what should I get then?"
"Enchanted equipment? Information? Or something else?"
"Hmm… how about this? I need you to do something for me."
"What is it?"
"I still don't have anything for you yet, so let's just say you owe me one for now. I'll get you to do it when I figure it out. Naturally, I won't demand anything too excessive of you."
Leguna gave it some thought and nodded. "No problem!"
Even though it was only a verbal promise, it was still a valuable one from the head of the bureau. His word was definitely worth a lot!
After settling the promise with her, he couldn't help but ask, "By the way, how did you run into Eirinn?"
"Well, it goes like this…"
The sacrifice Alpacino made as redemption for his foolish actions wasn't able to stop the Stokian troops. After they decapitated him, they continued pursuing her.
Eirinn, trusting as ever, ran the best she could along the way Alpacino pointed her in and was caught up to not long after.
The horse-riding Stokians sent a few riders ahead to surround her front and back.
"Who-- who are you? What do you want with me?" she asked fearfully.
Silver hair and burns on the face… this should be her, Trey thought when she saw the girl. With a smile, she said, "Girl, what is your name?"
"I'm Eirinn." She didn't lie and could tell from the uniforms of the riders they were Stokians. However, she was unaware of their intentions.
"We finally found her," a rider said with a relieved sigh, "Madam Trey, what do we do next?"
"Lord Saron said that whether she lives or not doesn't matter. Even a corpse would serve the purpose," the old magus said coldly with the smile still on her face.
"Kill her! A corpse is far easier to deal with. Who knows whether she'll cause any more trouble if left alive."
"I understand." The rider nodded and drew his sword.
Eirinn looked at the rider that was encroaching upon her with terror plastered on her face.
"Darn it, why's an ugly monster like you acting all pitiful?!" The rider furrowed his brow before making his swing.
"Big Brother Leguna!" She placed her hopes in what could be her last moment in the person she trusted the most.
The rider's longsword was snapped mid-swing by a sharp and formless sword wave. Not only that, the broken part of the blade flew backwards and cut into the throat of one of the Stokian riders.
Blood spurted out of the headless rider in the center. His corpse remained on horseback for a few seconds before sliding off.
"Aaaaaaaaah!" Eirinn cried. How could she not scream, given her sight of blood when she was on the battlefield the first time terrified her so much?
"Thankfully, I made it in time." Lisana counted her blessings. If she was one second late, all she could take back would be Eirinn's corpse.
She didn't know that without a certain soldier's brave sacrifice, she wouldn't even be able to see a corpse.
With the Stokian soldiers surrounding Eirinn, Lisana didn't dare to be too brash. She unleashed a sword wave to stop the enemy's attack before charging in with full speed.
Right before she left Melindor, she managed to break through to the 15th stratum with Marolyt's tutelage. While it was only one stratum's difference, she made it into the high order and that divide made a huge difference.
Her speed underwent a qualitative change, and thanks to her slender female physique, she could move just slightly faster than Leguna. She poured all her energy into quickening up and broke past the Stokian ranks to Eirinn's side in a breath's time.
Lisana appeared serene despite being surrounded.
"Nap!" she said with a warm smile before knocking her out.
She knew that Eirinn wouldn't want to see what would transpire later, so instead of letting her faint from shock, knocking her out first would be far more merciful. A high-order warrior like her was more than capable of exerting just the right amount of force at the right spot without Eirinn feeling hurt and suffering from side effects later.
Lisana carefully lifted Eirinn up and left with breakneck speed.
However, she could only move that fast for a short time and wouldn't be able to carry her for long, anyway. The moment she slowed down, the Stokian soldiers would still be able to catch up on their mounts.
So, she placed Eirinn down near a tree and drew her second sword and readied herself for combat.
Girl, leave the girl to us and I'll spare you," Trey said with her eyes narrowed.
"Leave this land and I can spare you too," she plainly said.
"Looks like I have to show you your place before a magus." Trey smiled to reveal her messy teeth. Even though the female warrior before her looked to be rather powerful, she was confident she could crush the arrogant lass with her magic.
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