Annelotte and Leybecca
Alright, let's rest for a while." Seeing Leybecca in deep thought like that, Leguna lost his patience. He turned to the rest and saw that they still had many questions. He raised both hands like he was surrendering. "My relationship with her isn't something that can be explained with a couple sentences. But I can promise she won't harm us."
"She only won't harm you," Lisana reminded. That woman had almost killed Alissanda, after all. And based on her tone of voice, she seemed rather… hostile towards Annelotte… or was it jealousy? Regardless, even after Leguna vouched for her, nobody dared to be careless.
While Stok's number one assassin wasn't nearly as well known as Leguna, at the very least, two top generals of Hocke had died by her hand. Who could sleep well with someone of the enemy camp with such a bloody record by their side?
"Umm…" Leguna scratched his hair. Lisana was right. He wasn't being convincing at all. Even if he trusted Leybecca, it was due to some innate instinct and feeling which he couldn't quite describe.
"And…" Lisana turned to the unnerved Annelotte, as if she was asking for her sake, "We're quite curious why he looks so similar to you."
"More like, she's a female version of you," Myr said oddly. He could tell that Leguna and Leybecca's relationship wasn't simple, but he had no idea what form it could take. But of one thing he was certain: his beloved disciple Annelotte definitely wouldn't be happy about someone like this being around Leguna.
"I'm his elder sister," Leybecca butted in. Since she made up her mind and calmed her turbulent heart, she reassumed her lazy and nonchalant persona. She walked to Leguna's side and put an arm around his shoulder. "I'm his long-lost sister. That's why he trusts me so much and I'm willing to help him. Is that a reasonable explanation?"
Dammit, why are you using the random theory I threw out back then?! Leguna thought, almost freaking out.
There were many things about their relationship he didn't understand, and the one that knew everything, Leybecca, couldn't say anything about it. Wait… couldn't say? Leguna's eyes rolled. She reminded him of an extraneous lifeform. But if that was the case… The thought of that caused him to form another guess, but he didn't ask her about it right away.
After that, something that caused his jaw to drop happened. She began to tell the story of them being siblings. In it, the two of them were pitiful orphans who relied on one another to survive. One day, she wanted to get her some milk, only to end up in the hands of some less-than-savory people. Eventually, she was dramatically brought to Stok and trained to become an assassin. When Leguna's reputation grew, they met during an assassination battle. They held back against each other due to their similar looks and often met each other in the field and had fallen in love since. Eventually, she found that he was indeed her long-lost brother. They were merely pitted against each other on different sides due to the whims of fate.
Leguna felt his sweat forming from hearing the story, especially the part about their forbidden sibling love. Fortunately, she stopped messing around when he shot her a pleading glare. Thankfully, Myr hadn't exploded with anger before then.
When she finished describing their relationship, she said, "Protecting my brother is my duty. Since I can't stop you, let me join you!"
"Huh?" He couldn't figure out what she was playing at.
"Am I not capable enough?"
"You are, but why?"
"Isn't it normal for an elder sister to want to protect her little brother?" she said, shooting him a seductive glance.
"Alright, fine…" He waved and surrendered.
She turned to the rest of them and solemnly said, "You will all need me. I'm sure I've already proven myself to you just now. Also, I have much information about Nidhogg that you don't."
"But we can't trust your intentions," Heartslay said, "Why would you help us?"
Leybecca couldn't be bothered to convince small fry. "I don't need all of you to trust me. I only need him to trust me--" She turned to Leguna. "--Do you trust me?"
"I…" She looked into her eyes and was surprised at what he found. There were too many emotions within, all piled up over countless years of accumulation. It was a torturous cesspool of complex emotions. He couldn't tell what she had experienced based on that alone, but he could clearly see her concern and loyalty to him.
Just like magic, he almost unconsciously said, "I do."
After some more discussion, Myr and Lisana agreed to let her join. Nobody really cared about the three assassin brothers. As for Annelotte, Leguna didn't even dare to imagine what she was thinking.
That night, Leybecca offered to be on night duty. To prevent her from trying anything funny, the silent Annelotte said she would do it too. That was how the pair nobody thought possible had formed.
Annelotte and Leybecca both sat quietly in front of the fire for quite some time.
"Are you not going to say anything to me? Come to think of it, you might become my sister-in-law, you know." Leybecca broke the ice first.
"First, I have no relation with Leguna. Second, you're not his sister," she coldly replied.
Leybecca didn't argue with that. She leaned in and curiously asked, "How do you know I'm not his sister?"
"Because you're an extraneous lifeform."
The moment she spoke, the tension between the two seemed to solidify. Leybecca gave her a long look and coldly asked, "What proof do you have?"
"I also knew about the time you tried to assassinate Alissanda. I did some research on your alter. First, I noticed that while you killed quite a number of decent generals of the empire, most of them occupy inconsequential positions. That means you don't dare to influence the war between the two empires too much. Additionally, the time between your assassinations is rather long. That is proof you need time to heal from the punishment of the planar laws after each kill you make. Lastly, when you started to talk about Leguna's background, you spat out blood. In other words, you're bound by many of the laws, so you're an extraneous lifeform."
"Don't you think your evidence is circumstantial at best?"
"Perhaps, but I can't shake that feeling."
"Then why didn't you expose me just now?"
Annelotte turned to look out of the wilderness beyond the shroud spell cast on their camp. "There's no need. If you're an extraneous lifeform, there's not much you can do to us. We have to deal with a crucial threat like now. Since you're able to use your reasons to talk your way through it, there's no point in me causing anyone trouble."
"You mean causing Leguna trouble, right?" she teased.
"Think of this however you like. I can't be bothered to explain."
"So you decided to volunteer for this because you're trying to stop me from getting into any trouble with the others? I suddenly know why Leguna's so obsessed with you," she said as she looked at Annelotte with a hint of unwillingness and frustration.
Annelotte didn't respond and merely looked into the distance.Previous Chapter Next Chapter