Days Filled with Sunshine
As they were walking across the streets of York, Minnie looked at the gleeful Innilis with shock. She leaned over and whispered, "Innie, aren't you afraid of this... Mister Leguna?"
"Afraid?" Innilis gave her elder sister a curious look before looking at Leguna. "What's there to fear?"
"Brother said that he's a really strong mercenary! I heard that those scary people can kill people without batting an eye!" warned Minnie carefully. She said that with a soft hiss in fear of the two mercenaries overhearing her.
The other mercenary apart from Leguna was none other than Annelotte, who had chosen to tag along.
"The weather looked really nice today, so I'd like to take a walk," was how Annelotte explained her decision.
Leguna's eyes twitched slightly as he walked on. As an assassin, it was imperative for him to have good hearing. Wayerliss had trained him quite thoroughly in that regard. That was why even though Minnie tried to keep her voice low, Leguna still managed to pick it all up.
I didn't think that the docile and harmless look I have would still inspire fear in others, thought Leguna helplessly.
Innilis gave what her sister said some thought with her finger against her mouth. After a while, she said, "Sis, you're right. If you put it that way, Big Bro Leguna is indeed rather scary."
Leguna almost tripped from hearing that. Oh heavens, I've already been forced to come shopping for sweets with you! Yet you still consider me scary? I'd really like to meet someone as 'scary' as I am one day!
"Well, that was how I felt at first. But after that, I'm not so afraid anymore," continued she.
"Because I realized last night that Big Bro Leguna is quite alike our brother. When I see him as my elder brother, he doesn't seem so scary all of a sudden," explained Innilis.
"Alike? How so? Brother looks far better than mister Leguna," said Minnie as she looked at Leguna from the back with a tilt of her head.
Darn it, my figure and looks are far better than Jaehart's, alright?! There's a limit to being biased, you know! thought Leguna uncontrollably with his vein popping in anger.
Annelotte seemed to have heard some of it as well. The girl's beautiful eyes seemed to blink faster than usual.
Innilis shook her head and said, "Well, I wasn't talking about his looks. Let me tell you about last night..."
"Ahem, Innilis, didn't you say that you would forget everything if I bring you out to shop? Nobody likes girls who don't keep their word, you know." Upon hearing that Innilis was about to reveal his embarrassing chapter, Leguna hurried to break her off.
"Okay, I won't say it," said Innilis with her tongue poking out. She then winked at her sister and said, "Don't worry, there's no need to be afraid. Big Bro Leguna and Big Sis Annie are good people. Just treat them like you would our brother. Do you remember that desserts shop back then? Big Bro Leguna will be treating today! He'll be fine even if you come along!"
"Really?" Minnie said hesitantly, before she mustered her courage from her little sister's encouraging gaze and shouted, "B... Big Bro Leguna... Well... I want to have the butter cake from that shop!"
Leguna couldn't help being humored by Minnie's stuttering voice. "No problem. Let's go, I'll buy it for you. What do you want, Innie? Feel free to tell me."
"I want that fruit cake and a chocolate milk tea!" Innilis was far more daring than her elder sister in that regard.
The four of them entered the shop. Leguna ordered the things the sisters requested as promised and he got himself and Annelotte a cup of coffee each before they found a place to sit down at.
"Sigh, it sure isn't everyday that we get to laze around like this," said Leguna as he sat down with a satisfied look. Living like this was the best.
Spending the morning with two cute girls and the woman he pined for, dining away at a desserts shop... His life up till now was worth it!
Annelotte found herself suddenly thinking after the girl's desserts were served, changing our way of life from time to time isn't too bad... It was a rather rare instance for her to be in such a good mood.
"Wait a second," said Annelotte as she stopped the salivating sisters. They looked at her confusedly for a few seconds until she said, "Alright, it might taste slightly better now."
"Whoa! It's icy and cold! It really tastes better than before! Thank you, Big Sis Annie!" exclaimed Innilis with surprise.
"I didn't think your Glacial Domain could be used in such a way. It's far more practical than my increased stealth," said Leguna with a laugh. He could instantly tell that Annelotte had used Glacial Domain to lower the temperature of the desserts served, making them all the more delectable in the hot summer weather.
"I don't think increased stealth is all your gift offers you, right?" said Annelotte absently after giving Leguna a sudden stare.
Leguna seemed a little panicked. Coughing awkwardly, he said, "Well... You can tell?"
"It's only a guess. After all, the elimination of the 50-orc patrol squad half a year back didn't really make sense. If a large mercenary party showed up and wiped it out like you said, there's no way we would've missed them. However, we didn't even see traces of them," Annelotte said as she looked straight at Leguna's eyes, "You did it all by yourself, didn't you?"
Leguna kept silent for a good moment. He checked on the two girls and noticed that they were feasting away without paying the slightest attention to his conversation with Annelotte.
"That's right, it was me," admitted Leguna with a sigh.
A look of disbelief flashed through the girl's eyes. Even the current Annelotte wasn't confident that she could wipe out a squad of 50 orcs all by herself. Yet, Leguna had been able to accomplish that half a year back.
"It sounds unbelievable, right?" He said with a bitter smile, "If you find it hard to believe, Boss and Sis Vera are even further out of the question. So, I didn't dare to admit to it. Even I doubted that I managed to accomplish that all alone. Annie, do you ever go into that kind of state?"
"Where your brain keeps as cool as ice, as if you've lost all emotion, leaving nothing behind but absolute logic. Accompanying that logic is a deep-rooted urge: the lust for blood," Leguna said with a slight shiver in his voice, "The moment I think about how that felt... I become afraid. I fear that that person isn't me. I fear that I become a completely different person in that state. It sounds pathetic, doesn't it, for me to fear myself?"
Annelotte looked at Leguna, who had both his arms huddling his head, and recalled the crying youth from the night before and felt a tug at her heartstrings. She said with a gentler voice than usual, "Don't be afraid... I... We... will always stay by your side."
Leguna looked up at Annelotte. Taking a deep breath to regulate his feelings, he said, "Thanks. But I start to fear every time I think about turning into an unfeeling monster... I'm really sorry for saying things like fearing myself... I really am too weak. People will look down on me as I am, right?"
"There's no such thing," Annelotte said as she looked straight at him, "Everyone will fear something, be afraid of something. There's no need to be ashamed about it. I would never look down on you because of this either. But remember this well: if you show weakness before your fear and run away from it, I will look down on and humiliate you without hesitation. And... You... You said that you would protect me... right? I will take this to heart. If you break your promise, I'll similarly look down on you."
"Huh?" Leguna's mind was a foggy mess. He had drunk a little too much the night before and didn't remember many things clearly. Did he really say something along those lines? But looking at Annelotte's slightly blushing face, he didn't doubt it. Did I say it in front of everyone? Or...
"Innie, did you say something to Annie behind my back?" said Leguna as he stared Innilis down.
"Huh? Say what?" Innilis widened her eyes innocently. Her slightly butter-stained nose and a strand of unkempt blonde hair on her head made her look all the cuter.
"Well... nothing." Leguna raised his hands to surrender. He had completely been defeated by Innilis's cute, airheaded expression. He got some tissue out to give her face a wipe.
Annelotte watched as Leguna wiped the two girls' mouths and noticed that his hair wasn't completely black. Under direct sunlight, tinges of copper could be seen in his hair. However, that wasn't visible under normal light.
She blanked out when she realized that fact. When Leguna was done with what he was doing, he turned back and noticed the girl staring at him absent-mindedly.
Leguna was a little surprised and he felt up his hair to check if there was a braid somewhere. Then, he stroked his face to make sure there wasn't anything dirty on it. In the end, he asked, "What are you looking at?"
Looking at the confused youth, Annelotte felt her mood improve for some reason. With a smile, she said, "Do you know that your hair is a little yellowish?"
"Huh?" Leguna rolled his eyes to try to look and shook his head. "Nope. Why ask that out of the blue?"
"I just noticed it."
"Then again, Annie, your blue hair is pretty rare. Did you get it from your parents?"
"I don't know. I'm actually an orphan as well. I was adopted by the president before I can remember."
"Don't worry about it."
The conversation fell into an awkward silence. Minnie and Innilis were completely unaware of it though and only continued to feast away at their delicacies.
Leguna pretended to look out of the window without caring and brainstormed to think of something to say. But he couldn't find a good topic with which to change the subject, so he cursed himself in his mind for bringing up a question he shouldn't have.
"Oh, Minnie, Innilis, my two angels... I didn't think I'd see you here," said a soft male voice. Though Leguna was thankful for his arrival to dispel the awkwardness, the tone the man used gave Leguna an urge to punch him.
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