Just Because of That
Leguna grit his teeth and prepared to block the unblockable strike.
He didn't forgive Innilis for what she had done; rather, it wasn't something that could be solved based on forgiveness alone. He didn't know why he was defending her either, but he knew he couldn't just watch her die like that. Jaehart and Minnie were already gone, so how could he bear to watch Innillis die here? He simply couldn't do it.
He mustered all the impetus he had and tried to block the galestorm swordsaint's strike.
He managed to take it, but he got badly injured.
Leguna spat out fresh blood. Even though he knew saint-realm fighters were amazing, he only truly came to understand what that meant that day. One casual strike from a saint was enough to cause him to vomit blood, despite him being a high-order warrior.
"I only used half of my power. The next strike will contain seven-tenths of it. Are you going to yield or not?" he coldly asked with Azureflash raised.
"I won't yield…"
"Why? Is it worth throwing your life away for a girl like that?"
"No matter what she did, I owe her two lives. One each for her elder brother and sister. So, I won't yield."
"Big Bro, don't do this! I'm not worth it!"
Innilis stood up and tried to approach Marolyt, but Leguna stretched his hand out to stop her.
Marolyt furrowed his brow and felt the rage building when he saw the kid the one that attempted to kill his daughter. He blasted his impetus outwards and yelled, "Then die together with her!"
"Wait!" a clear voice rang out.
Annelotte and Eirinn rushed over. They had thought it was a simple argument based on the sound of it. However, the two were shocked when they saw Marolyt wielding Azureflash.
Marolyt could hold himself back before his beloved daughter.
"What's going on?" Annelotte asked, frowning and blocking Innilis and Leguna behind her, "Why did you strike out at them?"
"Ask them yourself!" Marolyt said grumpily.
He had wanted to avenge Annelotte, yet now she was questioning his decision. He could do nothing but vent a little at her.
Leguna hesitated for a moment before answering.
"Innie just confessed that she was the one who poisoned you…"
"How?!" Eirinn gasped, covering her mouth.
But when she saw Innilis's pale face, it didn't seem like a joke to her all of a sudden.
"Just because of that?" Annelote asked Marolyt.
"You knew?" Marolyt asked, "Did your memories come back?"
"No, but I deduced it. I didn't back up the memories, but I have a vague impression of it perhaps because not long had passed since then. I guessed what happened when Innie talked to me yesterday."
Innilis felt her soulless body shake. She knew. She knew everything, yet she didn't talk about it and tried to protect her.
"Why didn't you tell us?" Marolyt asked.
"Things would turn out like this if I did," she responded emotionlessly, "I don't want this. I don't want anyone getting hurt."
"Then you were willing to let it go, to let the one who tried to kill you go?! She wanted to kill you! What were you thinking?!"
"I can't remember the details," Annelotte said, "But since I didn't back the memories up, I've already chosen to forgive her. Perhaps she had her troubles and was forced to do it. Regardless, I chose not to expose her, and I trust nothing if not my own judgement."
Marolyt didn't have anything else to say. He mulled in silence and a savage look flashed across his face.
"No matter what, I have to kill her today. I can't leave someone like that by your side!"
He raised Azureflash as he made his declaration. Even Annelotte, the strongest one on the scene, couldn't stop him. He was the swordsaint, a saint-realm expert whom nobody could oppose!
"Don't do it," Annelotte said, taking a step forward.
"I have to!"
"Don't force my hand!"
"I'm doing this for your own good!"
"It's up to me to decide what's good for me!" she barked, "I have my own judgment! As far as I'm concerned you're trying to kill my friend!"
Marolyt hesitated. Annelotte, for all the fights they'd had, had never spoken to him like this before.
"I don't want to make you sad," Annelotte said apologetically, "But if I have no choice, I can only threaten you with this. If you hurt Innilis, we will no longer be father and daughter. I won't ever see you again."
Marolyt wore a complex expression. It was a melting pot of disappointment, dejection, self-mocking, frustration, and hopelessness.
"You're willing to abandon me for a friend whose betrayed you? I…"
Marolyt looked a few decades older in an instant.
"Father… I… I'm really sorry, but I can't let you hurt Innie."
Marolyt's mind collapsed into chaos. A few minutes later, he put Azureflash away.
"…I'll listen to you this time. I trust your judgment. Just be more careful. I don't want anything to happen to you."
"I will, Father," Annelotte nodded sincerely.
Marolyt didn't say another word. He swept his gaze over everyone and left.
"Back off!" Annelotte said after her father left.
However, she wasn't saying that to the girl who had tried to kill her, but Leguna, who was about to help Innilis up.
Leguna was speechless, but he still made way.
"Alright, Innie, it's fine now," Annelotte consoled, hugging her tightly.
"Sis Annie… I'm sorry…"
"Foolish child--" She flicked her little nose. "--I didn't mention it because I wanted to hide it from others. Why did you tell them yourself?"
"Because I couldn't take it…" she mumbled as her tears flowed out endlessly, "Last night, I was so afraid I thought I'd die when I thought about what I did. I feel really bad… Sis, I'm really, really sorry! I shouldn't have done that! It's my fault! I was wrong! Waaaah!"
Those who were there couldn't bear to see an innocent, joyful girl end up so tragic. Eirinn took out her handkerchief and wiped her tears off as she offered words of consolation.
While Leguna also felt bad for her, he steeled his heart and pretended not to care about her.
Annelotte would shoot him a glance or two, as if she was complaining about how cold he was acting. But he still feigned ignorance. Since Innilis had done that, she had to be punished!
After a long while, Innilis finally calmed down. She approached Leguna and stood there silently, but he still didn't look her in the eye.
"I know you're angry. I don't expect you to forgive me after doing something like this," she said as she wiped her tears off, "So, I will take my cue. I will leave and never show myself again. I just hope you won't forget your promise. No matter what I become, never forget me."
Innilis prepared to leave when she finished.
Annelotte and Eirinn tried to stop her, but they stopped right after stretching their hands out. They knew it now lay with Leguna. If he didn't forgive her, Innilis would still have to leave.
She wasn't trying to put up an act of pity to earn his sympathy. She had in fact chosen to give up everything. She had made up her mind the day before to take whatever punishment Leguna decided for her, even if it meant being killed by Marolyt. Even if he didn't, she would go look for a place to off herself.
She didn't wished to struggle after having lost everything.
Annelotte glared at Leguna again, but he didn't make a sound. He watched Innilis walk away as memories of their time together flashed in front of his eyes.
"Big Bro's the best!"
"You're the weakest, Big Bro!"
"Waaah… my brother and sister… they're dead…"
Do I… really let her leave?Previous Chapter Next Chapter