If Kurdak wanted to kill him. Leguna wouldn't resist no matter how badly it hurt him.
It was the Kurdak that cared for him and saved his life multiple times. If needed, he wouldn't mind giving his life for his sake.
However, he couldn't tolerate her for harming Annelotte. That was the one thing he wouldn't yield, He stared at Kurdak with an angered look for the first time in his life.
"Hmph! Why did you snap out of it so quickly?" Kurdak said, looking annoyed. The opportunity he got just now was the best if he wanted to kill those two, but now, it wouldn't be as easy for him to face off against two gifted.
"I'm asking you why!" Leguna said hoarsely, his voice sounded like metal grating against metal.
Kurdak watched Leguna's eyes darken and knew that he was getting more and more enraged. He slung his sword on his shoulder and cracked a smile.
"Why? Take a guess."
"I… don't know…"
Even now, Leguna refused to believe that Kurdak really wanted him dead. He was like a father and brother to him! How could he hurt him? What kind of father or brother would hurt those they cared for?
Leguna couldn't imagine it. From as far back as he could remember, he had been alone. He didn't have anyone he could call a blood relative. Initially, it was Eirinn and the old guy who looked after him, and then, there were Vera and Kurdak. Now, the person who was the closest thing to family to him was trying to kill him. He couldn't figure it out no matter what.
"Then let me tell you!" Kurdak said, after seeing Leguna's disappointment. "For profit!"
"Profit?" Leguna repeated. What kind of profit could possibly prompt Kurdak to hurt him?
"Yes!" He nodded and removed his armor. "Look! I'm just a commander of a brigade with five thousand men. Even though it looks rather impressive, it's nothing but dogshit! I haven't served for long, but I've achieved far more than those stupid generals! Look!"
Kurdak tore away his undershirt and revealed his toughened muscles.
Leguna's eyes narrowed at the sight and even Annelotte's eyes twitched.
It wasn't because his body was beautifully built. Instead, they were startled by the network of scars all over him.
There were slash marks, sealed holes, charred skin, and many other kinds of messed up scarring. The most obvious one was the blast mark in his abdomen, the origin of which was hard to tell. It looked like a snake had coiled itself into a circle on his abdominal muscles. It looked like a few chunks of flesh were missing.
Leguna felt his goosebumps rising at the grisly sight. He knew how Kurdak used to look like. Even though he already had his fair share of scars back then, they weren't nearly as terrifying. Additionally, given the level of proficiency of the army's priests, that was already considered healed. Otherwise, Kurdak wouldn't have even a single part of his body that looked unharmed.
"I led my brigade and wiped out three times our number of Stokians and was always the one who charged first! Even I can't finish counting the wounds I've sustained. But what did the empire give me? Nothing but the position of brigade commander!"
"But your rate of promotion is already the fastest possible in the empire!" Annelotte argued, "Even the emperor can't make it any faster than it is now!"
"It's not just me, but my brothers, too! They trust me so much and charged in with me all the time, often ending up dead! They…"
He felt himself choke up suddenly.
"They are like expendable goods! Once they're used up, the empire sends more over! But they aren't just resources to be used up! They're people! They laugh, cry, feel pain and joy all the same! But now, they're all dead, they died in vain! Even the ones that survive can't rise up the ranks and get rich! Blackie… My brother…"
Leguna was quite surprised. Even though he cared for Kurdak quite a lot, he didn't really bother with his men. The bureau couldn't report the deaths of the subordinates of a mere brigade commander to the head, could it? So, he wasn't made aware of it at all.
"Hah, bureau head you are indeed!" Kurdak mocked, "Why would you bother with the death of small fry like him?"
Leguna ignored the slight. He lowered his head to mourn for Blackie. When he looked back up, he regained his former cool demeanor.
"Even if I don't care about him, would you kill me over something like this?"
"Of course not!" Kurdak wiped his tears away. "I have quite a reputation on the battlefield, you see. So, the Stokians made me an offer."
"What kind of offer was that?"
"You don't have to know! But, they have a condition. I have to bring your heads to them!"
"You're lying!" Leguna yelled, his eyes bloodshot, "I don't believe it! I refuse to believe you're such a low-life!"
"What's there to doubt?" Kurdak waved his sword around. "Didn't I mention that Lamir's going to come with me too? General Manhattan has always been against this and now, I have to care for two women at once. Can I really afford to put myself in harm's way anymore? Getting the easier position in Stok is far better!"
"No! Impossible!" Leguna's tone of voice contained hints of begging. "It's not enough! It's still not enough for you to kill me! If you really want anything, you know I can give it to you! It doesn't make sense! You're my boss! You won't do this to me!"
Annelotte closed her eyes a little tragically. She knew that Leguna must've been facing a lot of turmoil right now. How did Kurdak end up like that?
"Hahahahaha!" Kurdak laughed as if he was just told a joke. Looking at Leguna sympathetically, he said, "Kid… hahaha… you… you're really freaking stupid, aren't you? Hahaha! I… I only helped you out a bit… and you really think I'm your sworn brother because of that? It's the first time I've met someone so stupid like you!"
"Isn't that the case?" The expression on Leguna's face gradually faded as he heard the laughter. "Weren't you the one who saved me from the quickshadow drakes back then without any ulterior motives?"
"Of course!" Kurdak said with his chest puffed out, but then, he said one thing that sent Leguna spiraling down an abyss. "But that was because Moonshadow asked me to! Your arrival, growth and everything else was calculated by the guild! I was just working with them! I earned 300 coins by taking you back to Starfall alone!"
"No! Impossible!" Leguna covered his ears and shrieked. "You're lying! You're definitely lying!"
"I'm not!" Kurdak yelled with his impetus, "Ask the girl next to you if you don't believe me!"
Leguna shuddered and put his hands down before slowly turning around.
"Annie, is this true? It can't be, right? It's all fake, right?"
Annelotte didn't answer. She had lost many memories, but she did remember something about this. She could feign ignorance, but the look on his face made her understand that he would eventually find out about this through other means. It wouldn't be hard for the bureau to dig the matter up.
"Yes," Annelotte admitted. However, she knew that Kurdak refused that money. "But--"
"What about you?" Leguna interrupted.
He was enraged, but Annelotte knew that Leguna was in turmoil after being betrayed by his most trusted friend. So, she didn't show the slightest sign of displeasure.
"I follow my will. I wasn't tasked to keep an eye on you."
Leguna fell silent when he heard that. He looked at her and cracked a smile.
"You're… you're all lying to me…"Previous Chapter Next Chapter