17.2 This is Unnecessary (First Part)
“Ah! My husband, of course you would like to meet him! But it’s too bad, he’s busy right now… I’m sorry. Even though his hairline is receding from stress, he wants to meet you, too! By the way, Merry-chan, you are going to sleep here, right?”
“I’m about to ask someone to prepare me a room.”
“Eeeh? It’s okay to just sleep here, y’know~! My husband isn’t coming back tonight~! Oh, yeah! We are about to throw a welcome party for your Vice Captain, will you come~?”
“Ugh. Thought so.”
Men relax when they drink. When they are relaxed, they become nonchalant. That guy’s nonchalant-ness is already irritating as it is. Am I going to stand there like an idiot and watch him merrymaking? Nope. Not happening.
“Anyway, feel free to stay here~ Luci-kun will arrive soon.”
My eyes shoot open in shock, while my eldest cousin only laughs.
“Hahaha~ surprised? It’s Luci, you know~ Lucifan!”
“…” But why? Why would he…? Of course that’ll be a great shock for me—after all, he did leave us behind for God-knows-where.
Lucifan Sennette—he’s my brother and he ran away from home three years ago.
After that, it’s unclear what happened to him. Rumors say he changed his name and works as a soldier somewhere, or that he lives in the province surrounded by rich widows, or that he’s elopeing with a mysterious girl—he’s the family’s sour topic.
He such a bastard that any mention of him can only make me react in disgust. And now, to be reunited with him again …anger swirls in my heart.
…That shitty brother of mine!
“Greetings. My name is Lucifan Sennette.” My brother says, as he greets the Vice Captain.
By the way, this is happening in Versana’s room—aka, my current location—somehow, my shitty brother and the Vice Captain are here. …But why?
Moreover, Versana is actually here, too. Only, she’s hiding behind the black pillar, spying—how did this happen?
The three of us become silent as we stand there.
Ok. So this is how the whole thing happened—
My long lost brother showed his face at last and the tension within the room sky rocked. In the middle of our staring match, in enters the Vice Captain—with such bad timing, I might say.
We have no choice but to exchange casual, carefree, greetings, now.
Oh, my shimmering anger, where can I hide thou?
Once I regain my composure, I silently stare at both men.
In all actuality, my brother’s appearance isn’t as ‘grand’ as society depicts. A black bodice, akin to a belt, hangs loosely around his waist. Thin leggings and white leather boots. He also wears silver ornaments casually on his arms and neck. His frivolous, long black hair adds to his character. His eyes are thin, as if he narrows them all the time.
Meanwhile, Vice Captain Glen is huge. Be it vertically, or horizontally, the muscles under his dark padded leather armor is the definition of thickness. I don’t need to say anything about that sword hanging on his back. Also that holy javelin in his hand.
The pattern adorning the spearhead moves as the Vice Captain slides his hand to ruffle his short hair, answering;
My brother narrows his eyes even more, and looks straight at me—stop that brotherly look of yours, I’m not falling for it.
“Merry-chan, I’m coming with you on your mission!”
My brother responds cheerfully. “I am a qualified healer now!”
Ver-nee-san adds, “And I’m the one who taught him~!”
“Ver-nee-san, let me tell Merry-chan of the news myself! See, Merry-chan, I’m a proficient mage too, now, just like you.”
“Don’t call me that.”
“I may not be able to help you in term of offense, but healing is also important!”
Heck, I can heal myself just fine, thank you. Ironically, in terms of offensive spells, I also surpass everyone in the family. By far, I’m the brightest witch there ever was in the Sennette Family history. What’s the point of your existence, then?
I’m annoyed. I don’t know why, but I’m super ticked off right now. Besides, I also have a familiar, Saetta! I grip my staff tightly.
“And you choose to come to me and Saliroza, why?”
“I’ll play the support role for you, Merri-chan!”
“Only now did you decide that?” I sneer.
After Lucifan leave us behind, Saliroza and I decided to work at the fortress.
I’m in charge of defending the surrounding area. At the same time, I absorb the soldier’s Inki to feed Saliroza. With my magic as a sustenance, Saliroza proceeds to do menial labor inside the fortress.
I sometimes think that perhaps—perhaps, if this brother of mine hadn’t run away and acted as a responsible adult; providing for us as he should, then Saliroza and I would be leading normal, peaceful, lives in the city.
His black eyes, a characteristic of Sennette Family, pop open. I lower my gaze as my shoulders sink—I can see his lips quiver.
“Merry-chan, I’m so sorry…”
“Don’t. Call. Me. That.”
“I apologize. I’m sorry, okay? Onii-chan will work hard from now on! Onii-chan will make up for it!”
“…” There are no words. This is unfair. So unfair.
To make that kind of face, does he not know how much courage I needed to stare back at him?
That face I grew up with,
That face he made when he apologized for breaking mother’s precious teacup—when I was the one who broke it,
That face he made when he comforted Saliroza who’s incapable of absorbing Inki,
Those little precious memories fill my mind and clog my throat.
Unfair. This is really unfair.
“Ahem—…” Vice Captain Glen clears his throat. When I’m so close to burst in tears—why are you here, again?
“Lucifan Senette was formally offered a rank by none other than this fort’s Captain. ‘Need more soldiers’, he says. So he’ll be working here.”
…That’s the first I’ve ever heard of that.
Although irritated, I have no say in this, so I stay silent.
After all, he has nothing to do with me.
My brother inquires, “Will I be living here, too? I would rather do that.”
“No,” the Vice Captain stares at me with his unique-colored eyes—well, what can I say? I rather like the hues…—although the height difference between us, about a head and a half, is making it hard to maintain eye contact.
“What is it?”
The Vice Captain opens his wide mouth, “I’m going to escort your brother back.”
“So you won’t be attending the banquet?”
“’Banquet’—more like a drinking party. I will, after I’ve escorted him—already told Captain Judius about it, too.”
“You say that, but you reek of alcohol, already, Vice Captain…”
“Yep. Can’t control myself.”
Gee. What are you being proud for?
My brother laughs at me. “Well, I’ll be counting on you, Merri-chan!”
“As I’ve said, don’t call me that.” I stare back at him, full of hate. “If you don’t call me ‘Merrilond-sama’, I’ll never, ever, let you meet Saliroza!”
“Got it!” Such a bright expression he has, that brother of mine. “Alright, I’ve decided—Merrilond-sama! I’ll also attend the banquet!!” His eyes sparkle.
“It’s not a banquet, it’s a welcome party.” The Vice Captain interrupts.
“Well, whatever, will you be going too, Vice Captain?”
“You can go first.”
“But my little sister won’t go! How can this be!”
“I’m sorry! I wanted to look cool in front of my little sister, but I can’t take it anymore! Let’s go back now, to the party, to the drinking party! Let’s go back! Let’s drink! Drink to our heart content!”
With such thin body, my brother is able to push that bear of a Vice Captain out. And then, he shuts the door behind him.
…What, you guys are suddenly so close now?
A voice is heard behind me, “Isn’t that a good, thing, Merry-chan?”
Versana appears and pretends to wipe her tear.
“I’m worried~! After all, there’s only two girls here. Luckily, I get dispatched after my marriage. I’m really worried for you. Thank god that Luci-kun is so close-by now~ no need to worry about me! After all, I have my magic—‘Iron Hammer’!”
Versana is indeed a healer—but that doesn’t mean she can be taken lightly. That ‘Iron Hammer’ of her’s can send enemies flying to the other side in one hit…
“It seems like he truly regrets his mistakes~ by enlisting, he hopes to redeem himself and stop running from his responsibility as a Sennette— so please, try to forgive him, okay~?”
I shake my shoulders instead of answering.
—the next morning,
My plan to quickly leave Gordo has failed.
It’s all because the Vice Captain got drunk in that ensuing banquet, or welcome party, or whatever.
I can’t complain, though. In this regard, I might be similar to my brother—easily swayed.
“Whelp, what can you do.”
I’m in the Vice Captain’s room. He’s dead asleep …next to my brother—…why are you guys together? They are dressed, but still, seeing two grown men sleeping side by side…
Whatever, I guess…
I open the window while glancing at them.
Then, staring at the clear skies beyond the blue mountains, I take out Saetta’s tip—which is now inside my palm.
Once I exhale, it takes the form of a white bird.
“Tell Saliroza that I might be late.”
With a small chirp, the bird flies from my hand and leaves a trail of white light behind. I casually follow it until that enters my vision—
—that morbid mass of black and grey. The remains of the demon from yesterday—
**T/N: The sighting of a dangerous, terrible enemy–
The reunion of a little sister and her long-lost brother–
The foreshadowing of upcoming battle–
—AND THIS ALL HAPPENED IN A GODDAMN INTERLUDE?!!?!?!?!?!
WHERE WAS THIS THE ENTIRE GODDAMN ACTUAL BOOK!?