Sasha didn't respond. She held Ebony in her hand and slowly approached Leguna's left arm.
Leguna currently had his upper body bared. Under the illumination of the moonlight, the garish wound looked rather eerie.
"Cut off the torn flesh. Don't need to worry about me," he said weakly, having lost much of his blood. He smiled at her encouragingly. "Don't be afraid. You know how to cook, don't you?"
Sasha nodded forcefully. As there were only two people in her home, she would often cook.
"Good. Just think of it as cutting a steak," he said nonchalantly, despite knowing that it would hurt.
However, that only troubled her. She came from a poor household and it would already be quite fortunate for them to get wheat bread. What was cutting a steak like?
She told him of her troubles, much to his flabbergastment. He didn't think she would consider the comparison so seriously. So, he encouraged her a little more and she moved the blade slowly to his wound.
I'll avenge my brother and father if I kill him? she couldn't help but think.
She put the blade flush against his wound and carefully started cutting.
The meat was more or less paste, and now the searing pain came from his nerves being tugged at. If not for his toughened will thanks to years of training, he would've gone berserk from the pain.
She finally cut off some of the flesh from the wound. Even though her hands were really bloody, they were steady enough. She knew that Leguna's life would be in danger if she didn't calm down. She wouldn't want to kill someone who'd just saved her life despite her betrayal, after all.
She had never considered killing him for revenge. She no longer trusted those words as she knew there wasn't any enmity between her and Leguna.
Her timid personality didn't make her much of a hater in the first place, but the other reason was what he said before. He said that all life was equal and Sasha felt that Leguna didn't want to harm people from the start. He was only forced to do so.
Her father and brother's death couldn't really have been pinned on him either. Even if he didn't exist, Seatide could've fallen by other means and it wasn't like he was the one who dealt the killing blow. No matter how she looked at it, Leguna wasn't her nemesis.
So, she tried her best to help him dress the wound in an attempt to save him. He had, after all, given her so much help and even tried to protect her under such a heavy barrage. There was no reason why she shouldn't help. In fact, she had to. That was the least she could do.
With her resolve affirmed, she worked away with expert precision. She felt as if she was now a practised medic and could cut wherever he directed her to without shaking or making any mistakes.
The pain Leguna felt without anesthetics was far beyond what he imagined. But after experiencing the torture that was holy impetus when he used Host of Darkness it was still a pain he could bear.
When Sasha finally cut off enough to get the arrow out, Leguna made a simple tool for her to use with Shadowedge. It was a tweezer-like tool with teeth on the inner sides. With it, she could easily remove the arrowhead.
The extraction went without a hitch. Sasha put down the bloody arrowhead and slumped to the ground as if she had been shot herself.
He quietly took out a bottle of super potion from his dimensional pocket; he had a couple bottles of these lifesavers on him at any moment. Given that they were produced by the court magi association, he could probably recover most of his mobility by noon tomorrow.
Do I have to stay here all night? he thought as he wrapped his wound up. If he were alone, he could go into stealth and sneak out of the millennium capital. But he couldn't just abandon Sasha. What could she do? She'd definitely be captured and tortured by the Stokians if he left.
He made up his mind to heal up inside the little firewood shack. The most dangerous places could be the safest at times. Sartre would never imagine that he would still be hiding in the mansion. And tomorrow… he would break out of the mansion with Sasha!
"How did you find out about my identity?"
Since he had nothing better to do after fixing himself up, he decided to have a light chat, both to divert his attention from the pain and to try to relieve the tense girl. It was likely to be the first battle she ever witnessed, and he was worried she would collapse from the stress.
"A voice told me."
"I don't really know how to describe it either--" She shuffled a couple paces backwards. "--The voice rang out in my head and sounds just like me. I can communicate with it in my mind too. She started talking ill of you and wanted me to expose you… and then…"
"And then you did. So that was the case…" he sighed, "Do you really hate me because of your family members' deaths?"
"No--" She shook her head. "--I thought the man called Leguna was really bad, but when I thought properly about it, I realized my brother's death can't be blamed on you. It's all the war's fault."
"All the war's fault, huh…"
But who started the war?
"Oh, you're still in the mood for small talk in a situation like that? As expected of Mister Dark Requiem," said a magnetic voice.
The locked door of the shack was easily pushed open.
His gaze cooled as he got in front of Sasha protectively.
That action startled One. She gave him a complicated look and muttered, "Did you really change?"
"What did you say?"
"Must you protect this girl?" One asked.
"Yes. I've said that I'm doing this for my own sake, not anybody else's."
"Even if that means you'll die?"
"So what if it does?"
Though, he had already made up his mind to abandon Sasha if One really attacked. The most he would do is to try to save her later or avenge her.
He wasn't willing to give his life for a girl he just met. Annelotte had said that his life wasn't only his own. He had to consider the others who were waiting for his return. Even though it sounded like a bad excuse, it was no less important.
"I don't believe you," she said, shaking her head and having seen through his intentions long ago.
"It's your choice to believe it or not. At the very least, I'm not backing down now."
He wasn't abashed in the slightest to be seen through.
She's one of you Stokians after all. I've already done so much to protect her. Can you blame me for abandoning her? Can you be more shameless?
"At least, T=that part of you hasn't changed," she said again, vaguely.
"Don't make it sound like you know me well."
"I don't know Leguna Dark Requiem, but I do know another person."
"Then what are you here for? To kill me?" he asked cautiously.
He found himself quite confused about her motives. If she was there to capture him, she could've called for more backup, yet she didn't do so.
"Nope. I'm not here to kill you, but to save you. Do you trust me?" One asked.
She was wearing a mask over her face and he could only rely on her eyes to read her expression.
"But this is how it is--" She didn't seem surprised. "--You have two choices now. Leave with me and I'll take you somewhere safe, or stay here and be discovered and pursued. While you might be able to make it out alive, the girl wouldn't."
Leguna hesitated for a moment. He understood his current predicament. It wouldn't be trouble for him to make off himself, but he wasn't sure how he could take Sasha along with him.
At the end of the day, it all depended on whether he would risk leaving her to her own devices. The choice was his and his alone.
"What is your goal?"
"I'm doing it for myself."
"Doesn't the agency only care about national interests?" he mocked.
"I don't owe this nation anything, and I don't feel any loyalty for it. I serve an even greater being," she said, finally with a hint of seriousness.
He still mulled over his choice. He was afraid that One would lead him into an even better trap from which he couldn't escape, even if he decided to cast Sasha away.
"Still hesitating? I was the one who shot you with that arrow, you know."
Upon hearing that, something clicked in his mind. He grit his teeth and said, "Fine! I'll go with you!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter