Rebuking the Swordsaint
"Face! Status! Personal grudges!--" Leguna spat the words out and glared at Marolyt. "--You're Annie's dad! Her father! Now she's in a coma and you know only Grandmaster Myr can save her, but you because of those laughable things… You'd rather argue with him pointlessly here. For what?"
Marolyt's facial muscles suddenly tensed up.
Leguna squinted. He knew Marolyt was angered by his rebuke, but he wasn't going to stop. This time, Marolyt truly was going overboard. He stood there fearlessly and continued, "Is your own pride more important than your daughter's life?"
Marolyt was stunned when he heard those words as if it had only occurred to him. The ramrod-straight-backed Marolyt suddenly deflated like a balloon. His face twitched and wrinkled up with dread.
Marolyt held his head low for a moment and spoke in a voice that only Leguna could hear. "It's all my fault…"
Leguna humphed coldly and turned to Myr. For some reason, Myr had been avoiding his gaze.
But Leguna didn't let him off. He looked at Myr and hissed, "Grandmaster, you often say that you like Annie and treat her as your disciple, even if she wouldn't take up that title. Do you think it's really appropriate to leave your disciple in that state without helping?"
"No it isn't," Myr said, nodding obediently.
Seeing that their attitudes had shifted, he knew any more scolding wouldn't do any good. He grit his teeth and knelt.
The two old guys looked at him in confusion.
"Annie's in a coma. She was someone who could keep her calm even in a fight against the crimsonflame fiend, but now she's in a coma…"
The two seniors looked each other in the eye. "I don't know what's keeping her out cold, so I'm really worried for her. You two know that if not for her sake, I would've died in a ditch somewhere. So, I won't be able to rest well for every day she remains in that state. It was my bad for speaking to you two seniors in that tone. Just take it as me trying to make use of Annie for the sake of myself and the bureau! I am willing to receive any kind of punishment. But no matter what you think, the only thing I want is for her to wake up. I'm begging you."
Leguna lowered his head when he finished, not wanting them to see his tears. Even though he acted calmly when he got back, he was actually at the brink of a breakdown.
There were three mental pillars supporting Leguna. The first was his boss, Kurdak, but that man was now at the empire's borders and couldn't offer him any help. The other was Gahrona, but she was just a soul and was helpless to do anything about the current situation. The last was Annelotte, but she was out cold.
So, he tried to hide his feelings to solve the problem the best she could. But he was already at his breaking point, having lost all his support. When Marolyt and Myr argued over something so inconsequential like pride, he lost it and exploded.
"Forget it--" Marolyt appeared completely sober. He sighed and turned to Myr, before bowing. "--Mister Myr, I shouldn't have insulted you like that. I'm really sorry and hope you can help me save Annie. I'm begging you."
"What are you saying?!" Myr said with a glare.
Marolyt merely furrowed his brow without making a sound. For the sake of his beloved daughter, he had decided to endure all kinds of insults by Myr. However, Myr followed up with, "You want to let me be the bad guy this time? I won't let you get your way, hmph! I won't fall for it! What did you think I was busy working on today? I was synthesizing a concoction for her!"
Leguna's eyes brightened.
"Stand up, kid," he said, offering him a hand, "I've heard about Annie's symptoms from other people. Like you guessed, I believe her diatagi is damaged. So, I've started preparing to make the medicine early in the morning."
As Myr said that, he took out a small vial. Looking at Marolyt, he said, "I had wanted to sneak it to Annie. But now that you're here, I'll leave this to you. Old guy, don't glare at me like that. This concoction has no side effects at all. She would be fine even if she drank it even if she wasn't hurt. I won't carelessly give my disciple medicine."
"Umm--" Marolyt hummed awkwardly, then turned away. "--Thanks for that."
"Take it and let her drink it immediately. There's also some for the little lass. Have each one of them drink half. Don't worry, I'll make my way there later too."
Melindor handed Leguna the vial.
Leguna put the vial into his dimensional pocket and left without even bidding goodbye.
"We two old fogeys really went overboard just now. Heh, I didn't think we'd need a junior to chastise us for that," Myr said when he approached Marolyt.
"Wrongdoing is wrongdoing. Seniority doesn't have anything to do with it in my eyes," he said as he shot him a glance, "What? Felt like you lost face?"
"Not really--" He shook his head and said vaguely. "--But… you felt it too, right?"
"That's right," Marolyt nodded. "That kid… really is similar to him."
"Do you think he really died?"
"His physical body was eliminated by Kevin and I, and his soul was wiped out with your Death Sentence. Tell me how he could've survived that."
Myr didn't mention his name, but Marolyt knew who he was referring to.
"I hope that's the case too, but I think you don't know him that well," Myr said with a perplexed look, "I was the one who spent the most time with him back then. I know that he would stand out even in the topmost class in Stok's magic academy. Compared to us… No, compared to everyone in this world, he was… different. Perhaps he was insanely arrogant, but that part of him was built upon the foundation of absolute power. So, I can hardly believe that we really managed to kill someone that horrifying."
"I was quite worried back then myself, so I sent Annie to Lance," Marolyt said, "But later, I came to understand that no matter where we hide, we wouldn't be able to escape his wrath if it really comes. There's no real way to fight fate, so we might be better off submitting to it!"
"Submitting to fate? I'm quite surprised to hear these words from the mouth of the galestorm swordsaint," Myr said, surprised.
"Hmph! I don't like to behave according to expectations. A life without surprise is far too boring, after all."
Marolyt left without saying anything else.
By the time Leguna got back to the church, Madin and Eirinn were busy trying out different divine miracles. But no matter what, those miracles could only heal their external wounds. They were at a loss as to how to wake them up.
That made the devout Madin quite puzzled. But he would never doubt that it was his god that was incapable of performing that feat. Instead, he thought that it was his insufficient training. That made him, a high-order priest, even more remorseful. He made up his mind to strive towards the impossibly difficult goal of becoming a myth-realm priest.
Leguna patiently waited for Eirinn to finish her divine miracle, since Annelotte would still have to recover her physical injuries after she woke up. Eirinn's work wouldn't be wasted.
"Thanks for the hard work," he said as he wiped the sweat off her forehead with a handkerchief.
Eirinn smiled at him thankfully. The sunlight cast on her bright face made everything else look duller, save for Annelotte's own face.
Leguna didn't have the time to marvel at how beautiful she looked. He approached Annelotte and prepared to feed her the medicine.
"You aren't going to give that to Innie first?" Eirinn asked, "Sis Annie's a high-order magus, so her diatagi is no doubt huge, so the side effects would be more pronounced, right?"
"Innie's still young, and I trust that Annie would want to try it first. Don't worry, Grandmaster Myr said that there are no side effects."
Eirinn nodded. Leguna removed the cork and Eirinn opened a small gap between Annelotte's pink lips. Leguna carefully poured the medicine inside it.
After about half was poured in, he put the vial away and gently massaged her throat, allowing the medicine to flow down.
What followed was dead silence.
It only just occurred to him that waiting for something could be so painful. How long had he waited? A whole hour? Or half? Regardless, each and every second was torture. Eirinn felt that she couldn't let up on the healing. She briefly explained to Leguna about the situation and returned to Madin to discuss how to continue the two's treatment.
After some time, Leguna finally saw Annelotte's eyelids twitch. Gradually, she opened her eyes and turned to him, still a little dazed and confused.
"You're awake?" Leguna asked softly.
Annelotte looked at the nervous youth's face and said something that utterly chilled him. "Who… are you?"Previous Chapter Next Chapter