Book 5, Chapter 73

An Unspeakable Love

There were many gaping wounds on Richard’s body, but everyone present was more worried about the condition of his heart. Bodily injuries could be healed by any good priest, the only issue was with time, but the heart was the core of an expert’s bloodline and strength. Even though many bloodlines warped the body and gave one multiple hearts, the first was always the most important and serious injury could even result in stunted growth.

A collective gasp sounded as Richard’s clothes were torn off, followed by a heavy sigh of relief. A bright glow shimmered from the location of Richard’s heart, the last of the destiny crystals that he had kept with him all this time. The flesh around the slate was charred, but the heart itself was definitely protected. A few healing spells would be enough to bring him back.

However, Senma and Asiris couldn’t bring themselves to rejoice. Flowsand didn’t smile either, turning to Nyra with a questioning gaze, “And Lina?”

Now that Nyra was level 18, her abilities with resurrection had grown. The spell still wasn’t perfect, but the drop in capability and talent was minimal. Lina would never step into the legendary realm in her life, but as someone who was once level 19, she would at least remain a grand mage. This was a horribly bitter end; nobody with the ability to enter the realm of saints was ordinary, and even those who weren’t prodigies made conscious efforts to suppress their growth for a hopeful spurt into the legendary realm. Lina had been one such person.

Just how much courage did it take to sacrifice one’s life like that?

Nyra placed her hand on Lina’s forehead, but even after her eyes flashed she kept mum. The unexpected silence quieted everyone’s celebrations.

“Nyra,” Flowsand urged the soul shepherd once more. Whatever the answer was, they needed to face it soon enough.

Nyra pulled her hand back up and sighed, “Forgive me, Miss Flowsand… I cannot resurrect her.”

The words were like a peal of thunder, shocking everyone present.

“What?” Flowsand’s voice turned shrill, “I didn’t see you resurrect someone before in this battle, Nyra. Do not let other matters cloud your judgement, resurrect Lina now! That’s an order!”

Although Richard himself might deny it, he and Lina shared a rather special relationship. Flowsand knew of Nyra’s past and motivations even better than Io, so she was afraid this guardian was unwilling to resurrect Lina just to eliminate a love rival for her master.

However, Nyra just lifted her head and smiled helplessly, “I haven’t resurrected someone yet, no, but Miss Lina’s soul is beyond any hope of resurrection. Whatever that beam was, it eroded her soul sea to the brink of complete destruction; even if I insist on resurrecting her, Miss Lina would only return as a zombie without life. I do not believe the Dragon Mage would want to live in such a state.”

“And what about Richard?” Flowsand’s voice turned softer.

“Most of the damage was taken on by Miss Lina. Lord Richard’s soul might have sustained some damage, but it is minor at best. The absolute worst case is a slight change to his personality, but even that is unlikely.”

“So there’s nothing you can do?” Flowsand asked with a frown.

“I can try to tether her soul to this body for a short period of time, healing its wounds and allowing her to regain consciousness. You could ask her what she wants in person, but you would only have ten minutes before you reach a decision.”

Flowsand fell silent for a few seconds before looking back up with determination, “Io, heal Richard right away. Nyra, you do the same for Lina, no resurrection. Tiramisu, go get a tent ready before they’re done. Give the two some time alone, they have to speak to each other.”

All three referenced nodded before continuing about their duties, while Flowsand herself returned to the battlefield to direct it in Richard’s absence. By the time Richard and Lina regained consciousness, they were sequestered from the outside world.

Still kneeling before them, Nyra was expressionless, “Lord Richard, Miss Lina only has ten minutes to live. This is the limit of my ability, please do not hesitate.”

Nyra turned around and left the tent, making sure to seal it off with a few spells.

Outside the tent, the followers and rune knights still guarding deliberately maintained their distance. Some were seated and others stood, all thinking in private while maintaining absolute silence. Senma was the furthest away, sitting on a snow-covered rock. This was the first time that she felt like the Resting Orchid Plane was unbearably cold.

Inside the tent, Richard took a brief moment to recall the events prior to his loss of consciousness, understanding just what Nyra had meant. His entire body went ice-cold at the thought of Lina losing her life. On the other hand, Lina remained calm and collected, only taken aback that she had gotten a few more minutes alone with him before her death.

“Lina… W-why did you… Why did you do that?!” He took on an admonishing tone, but his voice was shaking worse than ever in his life.

The Dragon Mage just put a finger on his lips, not allowing him to continue. Her gaze upon him was filled with struggle, but she spoke gently, “Don’t talk about that, I don’t have much time. I wanted to say for a long time, and question too. Please forgive…”

Seeing Richard nod, a smile appeared on the Dragon Mage’s face. Her cheeks then blushed, her gaze suddenly shifting to the ground, “I wanted to say… Actually, question first! No, let say…”

Her face continued to turn redder, words more and more incoherent. She eventually took a sharp breath, but even then her voice turned meek, “I’m… tired. Let me rest against you for while.”

As Lina leant forward, Richard grabbed her and rested her head on his shoulders. She then fell silent, leaving the tent completely silent except for her breaths.

One, two, three… Richard counted, and then even that sound was gone.

“… Lina,” he called out gently.

There was no response.

“… Lina?”

There was still no response.

Richard did not call her name again, just hugging her forcefully while his tears dripped down in silence. This beautiful woman was an extremely gifted grand mage, but in certain ways she was just as stupid as she was smart. She was stubborn, insisting on things she fancied without ever thinking of compromises.

The words she wanted to utter now were the exact same words she had wanted to tell Gaton when she was younger. They were the same words that had been bottled up in her heart ever since he had walked in on Cardiff’s harassment years ago. However, she always found reasons to keep quiet. Even in the end, she hadn’t managed to speak those words out loud.

The words themselves were simple, but their meaning was deep and profound. She also didn’t need to say them for Richard to understand. Perhaps that was the true Lina.

……

When the cloth covering the tent was finally opened, Richard walked out with Lina in his arms. His followers immediately turned to look at him in silence.

Richard immediately reconnected to everyone contracted to him, surveying the remains of the battlefield, “I’m fine, but Lina… Now is not the time to mourn. Stop cleaning up the battlefield, and kill all stragglers. Mobilise everyone, we’re attacking right now! I want that city before Lina’s blood runs cold!”

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Styles

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA