Actually, Leguna didn't plan on staying in the camp for that long a time. But since Eirinn had just recovered from shock, he decided to let her rest for a few days before leaving.
He didn't think she would turn back to normal so quickly after he returned. In only one day, her face was healthily flush again.
It shouldn't be surprising, however, since Eirinn was a 12th-stratum priestess. Even though her constitution wouldn't be able to compare to that of warriors, it was still far superior to average folks'. She was also divinely favored and would always be protected by Pyro's sacred light. So, her injuries weren't significant problems to begin with. She had easily recovered with a day or two's rest.
The problem lied with her mental scars. The sudden siege, close brush with a deranged Alpacino and near death at the hands of Stokians had terrified her badly. Had Lisana not watched after her, Leguna would've been greeted with her in a far more fragile state.
Now that he was there, she no longer had anything to fear. After she was promised that her teacher would be saved, she felt that the terror she had been feeling wasn't that bad. No other bad thing could happen now that he was here, right?
As for Alpacino, she believed that he was still doing fine.
So, she gradually regained her joy as she spent time with Leguna. Seeing that her smile gradually returned, he thought it was about time they made a move.
He had left in such a hurry that there was still much to deal with at the bureau. There was also the matter of Fort Kesta's fall being partly his fault and Annelotte had her own research to deal with. He wasn't sure how Innilis was faring with her injuries and there was the matter of recovering Eirinn's looks, so he didn't want to waste too much time dallying.
He told her what he thought, and she assented to his plans. Since he said they should leave, she agreed without hesitation.
"Then, let us set it for tomorrow then! I'll get them to prepare the horses in advance."
"Alright," she said with an obedient nod.
They agreed on leaving before noon the next day, but something happened on the same day they agreed to leave.
It was a relaxing and uneventful afternoon. Leguna didn't need to train like those soldiers, so he sat on a chair in Eirinn's room and stared blankly at the blue skies and enjoyed the autumn breeze and warm sunlight. He felt that the relaxing afternoon would purge him of his pent up fatigue.
"How comfortable!" Eirinn couldn't help but exclaim. The sun, the breeze and him… It was all she ever wanted in life.
"If you like, I can sunbathe like you more often," he said with a smile.
He had wanted to ponder how he would tackle the matters that afternoon, but after sitting around for half an hour, he started to feel rather lazy. Scheming, holding grudges and fighting for power could all go to hell!
At the very least, he wanted to spend that afternoon without the slightest regard for other things. Spending time with her under the sun and in the breeze as the soldiers bellowed rhythmically in the distance was absolutely sublime.
It was too bad things didn't go as smoothly as he had hoped. An hour after they sat around and just as they were about to fall asleep, a guard entered the room.
"Sir Leguna, we received a parcel from the frontlines addressed to Miss Eirinn." Leguna had stayed in the camp for four days so the guard thought it best to consult him first on Eirinn's matters.
"A parcel? Who's it from?"
"I heard the crimsonflame demon, Saron, sent it. They requested for Miss Eirinn herself to open the parcel," said the guard as he waved the parcel about the size of a cargo sack around. "Our magi have tested it for magical reactions and it turned out negative. It should be relatively safe."
"Saron, huh…" He nodded. "Alright, leave it to me."
"What's inside?" Eirinn wondered at the sight of the parcel on the table.
"I don't know either." He looked at the parcel's size and felt the weight in his hand and couldn't guess what it was. It looked like two rectangles stacked up against each other. Was it merely two pieces of stone? To be safe, he told her, "It's best that you go out first. I'll let you back in after I'm sure it's safe."
"There's no need!" she said coquettishly, "What if it's something Teacher had Saron sent me? I want to see it too! Also, you can protect me in case anything happens, right?"
Seeing how sweet she was acting and given that she had just recovered, he thought it best to go along with her wishes. But even so, he asked her to stand back out of worry. With that distance, he would be able to react if that parcel ended up being something troubling.
Leguna also knew that Saron wanted to defeat him in a fair fight. Using dastardly methods simply wasn't that fellow's style.
He cut open the string tying the parcel up with Ebony and sighed with relief. It didn't glow or smell, so it seemed rather safe.
He carefully opened the parcel and his expression contorted right away.
"Aaaaaaah!" Eirinn let out a shriek of terror as her face turned pale in an instant. She shut her eyes instantly and backed away hurriedly as if the parcel contained something from the depths of hell.
"Saron you bastard!" Leguna let out an almost lion-like growl.
Inside it were two large crystals, but they weren't normal crystals. Encased within each of them was a human head.
One of them belonged to Alpacino, who had died protecting her, and the other… belonged to Eirinn's teacher and mother figure: Nancy.
There was a note that wrote: I heard Miss Eirinn and Mister Leguna have a close relationship. During the attack on the fort, I, Saron, was deeply hurt that Miss Eirinn didn't honor me the pleasure of meeting me. Now that I've found out where you are, I hope to make up for not being able to serve as a good host with a gift that will surely put smiles on your face. As for the two bodies, I'll take good care of them for the moment. Miss Eirinn, should you want them back, feel free to get Leguna pay me a visit. I will be happy to return them.
Leguna vaporized the note with his impetus after he finished reading it. He turned and saw that Eirinn had just fainted and was about to fall towards her back.
He rushed to her and held her tight.
"Men!" he called.
"Sir, what do you need?" a guard said as he charged in. The sight of the two crystal-encased heads gave him a fright.
The highest commanding officer of the camp knew that Leguna was a person of importance. So, he had his men stationed nearby at all times so that they would be able to provide for his needs.
Leguna did notice their presence, and he accepted the kind gesture for what it is. He didn't think he would actually need to call for their help.
"Get me a medic, quickly!" he roared as he carefully put Eirinn on the bed.
"Miss Eirinn isn't physically harmed. The sudden shock caused her to faint." The medic was a white-haired old man. He saw the two heads and shook his head with shame. "Madam Nancy is quite well known among us medics. There are few who can match her skills and work ethic. I didn't think the Stokians would be that ruthless and kill off such a brilliant medic like her."
"They will pay for this." Though his voice sounded rather normal, anyone paying attention would notice the fire burning in his eyes.
There were many things Leguna couldn't bring himself to care about. He didn't even mind being used by Arikos to kill Legg.
But that didn't mean he didn't have a temper. There were some feathers of his that couldn't be ruffled with at all costs, and those were the three girls around him.
Those three were among the most important people in his life. Annelotte gave him strength and courage, Innilis gave him responsibility and a cause, and Eirinn gave him hope and light. Her smiling face would always be one of the most beautiful things he's ever seen, and her tears were among the things he hated most to see. Her happiness was more important than anything else.
How could he stand letting someone hurt her so? He resolved himself to shed Saron's blood for the tears he made Eirinn shed.
Crimsonflame demon, huh? I'll be claiming your life!
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