It was a strange thing to say. Everyone in their surroundings looked perplexed, but Zich simply stared at Glen like he didn’t want to miss a slight change on Glen’s face.
“…I don’t know what you are saying, sir.” Glen looked troubled, but his tone was careful in consideration of his addressee’s feelings. “May I ask why you asked me this question?”
Zich’s eyes continued to trace Glen’s face as if they were searching for a suspicious criminal. When Glen and other people began to feel a bit awkward, Zich smiled widely. “Haha! It’s nothing. It’s just that I felt a heroic air from you as soon as I saw you, Sir Zenard. It made me remember a storybook that I read when I was little. It’s what the hero said while defeating the villain, and I saw the hero overlap with you and couldn’t help but ask.”
“Haha haha! I see! Indeed, it’s true that everyone will think that Sir Zenard looks like a hero.”
“You are flattering me, sir. I’m not that amazing of a person.” Glen denied Twen’s words as his face turned red.
“What do you mean by flattery? I have heard other people say the same things so many times. Sir Zenard, you should just accept it and boast about it.”
“Um, I have also heard many good words about him.” Twen and Weig took turns praising Glen. Even though Glen was not an official member of Karuwiman, it made Weig happy that someone with the title of Honorary Holy Knight was going around doing good deeds, especially Glen who had outstanding achievements.
“Yes, it’s true. You are different from Mr. Zich who doesn’t have the appearance and attitude of an Honorary Knight.” Twen and Glen turned around in surprise at Lubella’s words. They didn’t expect the upcoming Saint to say such sarcastic remarks.
It seemed as if news about Lubella’s personality change hadn’t spread widely yet. Twen tensed up in worry that Zich might get angry at her comments. But Zich wasn't angry, and Weig also laughed.
“You haven’t improved at all from the time you judged people just by their appearance. As your friend and Karuwiman’s Honorary Holy Knight, I worry about Karuwiman’s future.”
After jokingly provoking Zich a bit, Lubella closed her mouth shut, and Weig laughed even harder.
“It seems like Lady Lubella is no match for Sir Zich yet.”
“Tch!” Lubella pouted, but she admitted her loss. “Fine. I lost. I lost. Even though he is a different type from Sir Zenard, I think Mr. Zich is also a decent hero.”
“…” Zich was at a loss for words by this statement. A hero—he did go around doing kind acts, but were people calling him a hero now?
“Huh? Why are you so quiet? Are you perhaps embarrassed?” Lubella had misunderstood Zich’s reaction. Her eyes sparkled as if his attitude was adorable and this frustrated Zich even further.
“No, I just thought it was too early for you to admit defeat, Lady Lubella. You could have definitely defended yourself by stating that you meant I looked different from my exterior and asked me why I was so quick to think that you were still prejudiced.”
“Ah, there was a method like that.”
“Write it down, Lady Lubella. There aren’t many people who will teach you things like this, especially to someone like you.”
“I will engrave them into a deep, deep corner of my mind.”
“…This is surprising,” Twen said in surprise as he listened to Zich and Lubella’s conversation.
“I heard that Lady Lubella changed, but she is skilled at even making jokes of this nature. She became much better at making retorts.”
“Ah, m-my apologies.” Lubella suddenly realized that there were other people besides Zich and Weig.
“Why are you apologizing, Lady Lubella? Even if you are the upcoming Saint, you are not restricted from making jokes with a friend. Karuna is not so closed-minded. There were many previous Saints who talked roughly since they were deployed into many harsh conditions. You are much better than those without tenacity who can’t take on their responsibilities.”
Weig nodded his head at Twen’s words. He had already emphasized tenacity to Lubella many times before.
“Still…” They heard a muttering voice with hints of negativity. People turned their gaze to Glen who spoke carefully with an awkward smile.
“Isn’t the Saint the face of Karuwiman like the Pope? I don’t know if I’m stepping out of my place, but I think the Saint has to possess a good disposition to a certain degree.”
“Of course.” Twen agreed so readily that it made Glen’s carefulness seem a bit embarrassing.
“The Saint has to possess basic etiquette and character. Their mission isn’t like us dunce knights, who only have to run to the battlefield. But the selection process to choose the saint candidate already factors in their skills and character and not traits like tenacity. That’s why us knights emphasize tenacity in a Saint so much, because other characters have been proven through the selection process anyways.”
Weig grumbled, “But these days, even the selection process is not so trustworthy.” He remembered Chelsea Windne who used to bully Lubella out of jealousy.
Lubella smiled awkwardly and didn’t refute Twen.
“Even if we diligently follow Lord Karuna’s teachings, we are still humans. We can’t help but have our faults. To filter that out, the selection process has two rounds and, in the end, the person most fitting to be the Saint is going to take the position.”
Twen comforted Weig and smiled widely. “Did I answer your question?”
Glen replied, “Yes, I was short-sighted. Thank you for your teaching.”
“You don’t have to thank me. It’s my joy as your elder to be of help to young people. I always welcome these types of questions. It’s always a great sight to see young people grow and mature.”
Twen laughed out loud. “However, Lady Lubella, you should also watch out for other people. There are some stubborn and conservative people who think that saints have to always be on their best behavior like some kind of doll.”
“Yes, I will keep that in mind.”
“But you can act freely when you are with me. I fully welcome your change and growth.”
“I will also keep that in mind.” Lubella made a big smile.
“That’s great. Honestly, I was worried about your fragile heart, but now, even that one fault of yours is gone. It must have been because of the events in Portia, right?”
“Yes. That was the incident that made me realize how naïve and sheltered I was, and it made me fully realize how evil those Bellid followers were.”
The events in Portia had already spread far and wide. Even though Zich’s involvement and other important information were kept hidden, all other information was spread among the Karuwimans.
“Mr. Zich was extremely helpful during that time. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Mr. Zich was the one who made me change. For that, I am thankful to him.”
“It was nothing impressive. Well, there was also a reason for me to change, so maybe that’s why I helped Lady Lubella out like that.”
“Really, what was the reason?” Glen suddenly intervened, “If it’s possible, would you be able to tell me? I’m suddenly curious.”
“You said that there was someone who told you to try living a kind life, right? That person sounds like the hero in the novel that you mentioned. Was it that person?” Recalling the conversation they had when they first met, Lubella was also curious to hear Zich’s answer.
“Yes. Because of his words, I started doing kind acts.”
“You told me that you lived a rough life.”
“Yes. I lived a very rough life.”
“I understand. You had trouble with your family.” Like Hans did, Lubella assumed that Zich’s troubles with his noble family were what he meant by having ‘lived a rough life.’
Weig also had the same thought. However, what Zich meant by having ‘lived a rough life’ was that he did all kinds of horrendous actions before he regressed, but Zich obviously did not correct their assumptions.
“While I was living a rough life, I met that person. I can’t reveal his identity. But if there is one thing I am sure of, that person was full of righteousness. Just in case all of you misunderstand, I also have to add that I don’t particularly like this person. Actually, I dislike him. Personally, I think he is a very annoying person, but I still decided to follow his advice. And now that I’m living like this, I think…it doesn’t go well with my personality, but it’s not bad.”
“It must have been an amazing meeting.”
“Well, I don’t want to go that far and say it was an amazing meeting.” Zich made a bitter smile and shook his head. “But if it was not for him, I would not have been able to joke around with you, Lady Lubella, like this.”
“I still think it must have been an amazing meeting.”
“I also agree.” With Weig’s agreement, Zich merely shrugged his shoulders.
“But if I meet him, I want to say this to him.” Zich’s attention shifted to where Glen was. Glen was attentively listening to all of Zich’s words. “Currently, I’m living according to your advice, and it’s not been bad so far.”
Zich smiled. “Have I answered your question?”
“…Yes. Thank you for replying so thoroughly to a personal question of mine.”
After that, various conversations continued, and the night grew deeper.
* * *
“Pweh!” Zich let out a small breath and lay down on his bed.
They seemed to have paid a lot of attention to the people who fought with the Bellids’ northern branch, because the makeshift bed was much softer than usual. Zich put his arms on top of his forehead and looked at the top of the tent. In the complete darkness, all the events that recently happened passed through his mind.
‘Glen Zenard…’ Before he regressed, Glen Zenard was the one who hampered his plans and eventually killed him. And Glen was also the person who pointed Zich towards a new path. ‘He didn’t seem like a regressor.’
Zich blinked his eyes. ‘If you are born again, become a person who lives a kind life’—that was what Glen Zenard said to him before he died. But the Glen Zenard right now didn’t seem like he remembered that line.
If the Key that Distorts Destiny caused his regression and there were other regressors like him, members of the Hero Party were the most likely candidates to be regressors. And Zich thought Glen Zenard was the most likely candidate as he was the person who Zich stabbed with theKey that Distorts Destiny.
‘Well, since Lubella didn’t regress, that guy might not have regressed either. From the first place, the one who seemed most like a regressor was that silver-haired woman who I’ve never met before.’
Surprisingly, the Key that Distorts Destiny might have no involvement with his regression. Of course, Glen could have also been acting. Zich also hid his regression from everyone.
‘Even if he is acting, it doesn’t matter.’
Regardless of whether Glen regressed or not, Zich had no plans to get involved with him. Although he respected Glen’s strength and followed his advice, if Glen opposed him due to his past actions, Zich could also just fight him back. This was the extent of their relationship.
‘But I guess I was able to express my thoughts.’
Zich had wanted to tell Glen Zenard that he was now living like this because of his advice. Zich didn’t know the reason why Glen said this to him before he died. Glen could have said this in the spur of the moment, from the joy of finally defeating the last Demon Lord, or he could have sincerely wanted Zich to live a kind life. But either way, it didn’t matter much to Zich.
Zich had only wanted to say a few words to him if they ever met.
‘Now, he doesn’t matter to me.’
He finished saying everything he had wanted to say. He also had no thought or reason to get involved with Glen. Zich crossed his hands behind the back of his head and closed his eyes. Soon after, peaceful breathing filled the entire tent.Previous Chapter Next Chapter