"I'm back, you traitorous, ungrateful dogs!" Leguna appeared on the execution platform before anyone noticed. He was dressed in pain, linen clothes without any armor or weapons. He didn't even wear a mask to cover his face and stood at the most eye-catching spot in Melindor Plaza.
The imperial guard stationed nearby began to swarm from all directions, fully armed and ready for him. Alissanda raised his hand to signal them to not act recklessly. Leguna's power ten years ago was terrifying enough. Now that another decade had passed, who knew what level he was at now? Alissanda didn't want his subjects to be sacrificed unnecessarily.
"Harrison," Alissanda summoned the high-order warrior that had provoked Leguna during the banquet years ago. He was now the person in charge of the imperial capital guard.
"Awaiting orders, Your Imperial Majesty," Harrison said as he stepped out.
"Have the commoners leave the area. Tell them that they might lose their lives in the upcoming battle!" Having experienced it once, Alissanda made sure to give evacuation the main priority.
"Yes!" Harrison said after some hesitation, "Your Imperial Majesty, should we make preparations to ensure he doesn't escape?"
"He won't. We've been waiting for this day… the day to settle it all."
As Alissanda and the other imperial warriors were helping the crowd evacuate, Leguna began to chat with Innilis, having reunited for the first time in a decade.
"Big Bro Leguna… Big Bro Leguna? Big Bro Leguna!" she called out thrice. Her voice was hoarse and filled with endless fatigue. Her dried eyes also began to tear up.
Leguna looked at her with a gaze full of pity and guilt. He knelt and gave the magical cuffs on her hand a light tap to unbind her. His eyes also reddened from the tears. She had suffered in the past decade. Stroking her head, he lifted the petite woman into his arms.
"I'm sorry, Innie. I came too late," he said, forcefully suppressing the torrent of feelings he was experiencing. "Don't worry. Leave the rest to me! I won't let you suffer ever again!"
"No! No! Big Bro!" she cried in a panic, "You must leave now! It's enough that I got to see you one last time! Leave, or you'll be in danger too! Goodbye, Big Bro!"
As she said that, she used what remained of her mana and tried to self-destruct with the mana inside her!
"No!" he cried in shock as he released his impetus to force the mana in her body down.
"This…" Innilis was just as shocked to be sealed by him. Before she figured out what was going on, Leguna slapped her on the face.
"Don't do anything stupid!" he rebuked. He couldn't help but slap her out of panic, but he didn't strike with force. He only wanted her to snap out of it.
"If I don't die, you won't leave, right? Then both of us will have to die here. I'd rather end myself first and let you go," she whispered.
Leguna sighed. "You stupid lass… trust me a little more, won't you?"
"Annie… Annie let me live. But she didn't do it so I could watch you suffer. I am to protect you all. Don't worry. I'll make sure you can go back unharmed."
"I see…" Even after he spoke, she didn't feel too happy about it. She knew she had changed far too much in the past ten years.
Leguna understood what she was thinking with a glance. To assure her, he held her face and kissed her on the lips.
"Kyah!" She reacted after blanking out for a whole minute. Some redness returned to her face. She looked a little more like she did back then.
"I know. We have all changed quite a bit in the last decade. But what I feel for you will never change. Aren't you my fiancee?"
"Okay…" It was only then that she finally let her suppressed desire to live loose. Her greyed eyes finally glowed emerald green like they used to.
After she calmed down, Leguna felt relieved. After some hesitation, he couldn't help but ask, "Do you know where Eirinn is?"
She shook her head dejectedly. "Sis Eirinn… I've not seen her in ten years."
His heart sunk.
"I was so panicked after seeing Sis Annie appear… But Angelista knocked me out to stop me from doing anything brash. When I came to, Sis Eirinn was resting with me at a small town. I asked her how it turned out, but she didn't say a word apart from shaking her head. I had no choice but to ask around. When I found out about it, rage filled my mind. I recall that she wanted to stop me from taking revenge, so I left town alone, went to the south to build a network and found Blackshadow… I… I've been looking for her for the past decade too, but I couldn't find any leads…"
Innilis stuttered the longer she went on. Apart from looking from Eirinn, much of what she did was exacting her revenge against the empire. The kinds of gruesome acts she committed were unimaginable. She was just a girl who wasn't even past her twenties, yet she had become the leader of the largest resistance force, which was quite a feat. She had schemed and spent time with the worst company while committing countless atrocities to be able to survive that long. Apart from her soul and body, she had sold off everything else, her kindness, naivete and conscience included. Would she have to tell Leguna about all that as well?
He wasn't too surprised to see her stop. Smiling, he said, "Let's forget the unhappy things of the past."
"Okay…" She breathed a sigh of relief after hearing that.
"Can you wait here for me for a bit?" he asked out of nowhere.
Leguna stood up and looked at Alissanda. "I have something I need to settle here. So, wait for me. Let's go look for Eirinn together once it's done, alright?"
She nodded hard. "Okay!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter