Swing that Way?
Leguna's whispers were so soft not even Alissanda could hear it, but One immediately froze, blood still trickling out of her mouth.
Her face bloomed a few moments later. She hesitated for a moment, then whispered a bloody question.
"You… no, my master… do you remember?"
Leguna froze and wiped away the tears he had unconsciously shed, confused.
He had mumbled it without thinking about it, or realising it. Fragments of a memory had flitted past his consciousness. It was an endlessly dark space. He couldn't see anything in there, but that realm was under his complete control.
The only thing that made him uncomfortable was… that space… that world… was too lonely. There was no other, no sound, no laughter, no tears, nothing. There was only him… by himself. Even though he knew he could control everything there… even though he was its ruler, that feeling of void and loneliness almost drove him insane. Even though it was just a fragment of a memory, the emotions still felt like a raging torrent.
Even in his fragmented memories, he knew that he began to do something in his loneliness.
A name began to form in his mind: Leybecca.
He'd mouthed the word, tasting its strange sound that simultaneously felt incredibly familiar. He didn't think the word would impact One so much.
"Did you remember something?" she asked, looking at him warmly as if she was hoping for a positive answer.
He didn't know how to explain, so he shook his head awkwardly.
"It's not right to say that I didn't… But all that happened was something flashed through my mind. Does that… have anything to do with you?"
"You still haven't remembered…"
She looked like Leguna had when he'd found out Annelotte hadn't recovered her memories, no, perhaps she was even more disappointed. After all, she had been waiting a few decades more.
"Is that your name?"
One nodded silently.
He finally noticed her dejection. But it was fine. At least it would stop her from continuing her rampage. He approached her and tapped her on the shoulder.
"Listen, Leybecca, I don't care whether you're doing this for my good or not. If you really care about me, don't do this."
"Why?" she asked.
She had seen the future that would make him despair. It was a future in which she didn't even exist. Did that mean she had to accept her fate of destruction for his sake?
"This isn't what I want."
Leguna didn't know how much he meant those words. However, for Alissanda's sake, he decided he would become scum and manipulate her feelings.
He placed a hand on her bearded face.
"You also mean a lot to me. I don't want you to go so far for my sake. This will only hurt me."
[Ley, looks like your womanizing tricks have improved. You haven't stopped because you've swallowed Eirinn, huh? You're a wild dog without a leash now,] Gahrona coldly spat.
[Damn it, Teacher, weren't you busy absorbing the souls in the sword? Why are you back all of a sudden?] he asked, startled.
Gahrona didn't say another word. Whenever One showed up, she would remain incredibly silent. She was, after all, a soul outside the wheel of fate as well, and One had the ability to see which path the wheel of fate would go. So, Gahrona didn't dare to let herself manifest too much.
One still hadn't let her dagger go. She didn't seem convinced.
"--No buts," he said with a strict expression, "First, Alissanda won't harm me. Second, even if I will face trials in the future, they are mine to bear. I believe I can overcome them with my power. Lastly and most importantly, if my happiness requires your sacrifice, I don't want it. It's not a good deal!"
He he felt his skin squirm into goosebumps at his words but he still gazed into One's eyes emotionally until she squirmed awkwardly.
"Alright--" She put her daggers away and sighed. "--It's not absolutely certain what I saw will come to pass. But you have to be careful."
He smiled warmly, not daring to believe he could talk the strongest Stokian assassin out of it.
Wait, she gave up on the assassination because of me? Does that mean Stok's interests aren't important to her? Is she on my side? Not Stok's or Hocke's, but mine? Who in the world is she? I've only met her twice. And what's with the familiarity I feel when I'm with her? Is Leybecca truly her real name?
Countless questions flashed across his mind, but he didn't have the luxury to ask any of them. Alissanda was behind him and Xeno was a little further away.
"Alright, is there anything else you'll be doing in Melindor?"
"No. I came here on Pyro's instructions. I wanted to confirm some things before taking Alissanda out with myself. But now… I have nothing else to do."
"Then, go back. I will cover for you here. Leave before anyone notices."
One had never been one to dally, her reason for being in Hocke had vanished, so she left immediately.
Alissanda was giving Leguna a strange look when he turned around.
"I know this is hard to explain, but…"
"Don't need to explain," Alissanda said with a nervous smile, "I am quite open to these things, you see. Quite a number of other nobles also like men…"
Leguna felt like he was struck by lightning. He widened his eyes and didn't know where he was coming from.
"I only hope you understand…" the prince said with utmost seriousness, "That I'm a straight man through and through. Just don't have any thoughts about me."
Alissanda slapped his forehead. "Oh, by the way… Even though I'm not too familiar with Miss Annelotte, she is still the daughter of our empire's swordsaint. So… if you really swing that way… I think it's best you clarify it with her. It isn't something you should drag on for long. It'll only get messier as time passes. And for the sake of your life and her feelings, it's best you don't mess around…"
Leguna was at his limits. He cursed, "F*ck your mother's lover, I'm serious about Annie! Who the heck's messing around?"
"Huh?" He scratched his blonde hair in confusion and probed, "Then… you're bisexual?"
"I'm just like you-- no, I'm even more straight than you! You're the bisexual! Your whole freaking family is!" Leguna shouted so violently saliva splattered all over Alissanda's face, completely ignoring the fact that he was a prince.
"Stop messing with me!" the prince shouted back, wiping the saliva from his face, "You don't swing that way? But when you looked at that assassin just now… I mean, holy crap… I felt the cringe in my bones!"
Leguna fell silent and said in a low voice, "Your Highness."
"Can you not make a big deal out of this?" he pleaded, "That person's a little weird, but they definitely won't do anything to hurt us."
Alissanda contemplated it seriously for a long moment before nodding.
"Fine. But I have a few conditions. First, you must promise me the fellow won't ever come for me. It was a real close call just now. If I'm targeted by an assassin like that, I doubt I'd ever get a good night's sleep."
"Additionally, I don't care what relationship you have with him, but I hope you don't tell him everything. There are some things best known by few."
"And lastly, and this is important… You have to give me a firm answer," he said, looking Leguna in the eye. "Do… do you swing that way or not?"
"I'm your mother-f*cking uncle!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter