With the protection of the bureau agents, Annelotte successfully brought Innilis and Eirinn to Melindor Plaza. It was already deep in the night, so nobody else was in the plaza. The assassins blended in with the shadows the moment they left the academy, so only Annelotte and the other two were in the plaza. The small group didn't draw much attention.
Not far away, she could see Leguna. He seemed really glad to see the three of them and waved at them like an idiot boyfriend who was waiting for his girlfriend on a date. But what kind of person would take three girls out on a date at once?
"Are you al-- ack!" He yelped halfway through his question when Innilis knocked him down. He was still bound by the cuffs and didn't have any strength. He wouldn't even be Innilis's match.
"You meanie! Why did you leave Sis Eirinn and me alone?!" she cried, "You went with Sis Annie on such a dangerous mission without telling us! Meanie! Meanie! Sis Annie's a meanie too!"
"We just didn't want you to worry unnecessarily," Annelotte said, not quite knowing how to respond to that. During the past few days they had been imprisoned, she told Eirinn and Innilis about the reason of their sudden disappearance. Back then, Innilis threw quite the tantrum and even Eirinn joined in with her complaints towards Annelotte. It took her quite a while to explain things and comfort them, and now, it was Leguna's turn to suffer the punishment.
"Come on, I'm back, aren't I?" He stroked her little head.
"Hmph! I'll let you off, for now…" She knew it wasn't time to catch up and chat, so she didn't escalate her fit. She took a step back and let Leguna deal with Eirinn.
Leguna turned his head to Eirinn and saw that while she was smiling, she was quite unhappy with what she had been put through. Leguna scratched his head awkwardly. "Umm… I'm not hurt, seriously…"
"Lying to a healer about your wounds is not a smart thing to do!" She smiled and came forward to hug him. She mumbled in his embrace, "Don't do things that worry me again."
"Don't worry, Eirinn. that was the last time." He nodded fervently.
"Who was the one who killed Nidhogg?" Annelotte asked. She received even less information than Leguna did and didn't know what happened after she was knocked out. So, she could only guess. Since she woke up in the prison, she had been wondering what was going on. She could finally feel relieved after seeing Leguna in one piece.
"I think… it should be me," he said with uncertainty.
"Should?" She looked doubtfully at him as he struggled to explain it. She was also shocked at how fast his strength grew. After facing Nidhogg, she of all people knew how powerful he was. He wasn't in the same league as them at all. Even Annelotte was helpless before his absolute power. "What about the others? Where's Lisana, Grandmaster Myr… and… Leybecca?"
"Lisana is fine… but the grandmaster and Leybecca are dead."
Her face paled. Myr had treated her rather well over the years and his death felt like the loss of a relative to her.
"It's not time for explanations," he interrupted just before she asked another question. "I was imprisoned over the past few days too. If not for Lisana's help, I would still be trapped. I suspect Geoffrey's the one who's behind all of this."
"Then what do you plan to do?" she asked, not wasting any more time.
"I think we should lay low first," he said unwillingly. It was the first time he felt so pathetic. He had killed Nidhogg after risking everything, only to have the empire going after him right after for reasons he didn't even know!
Annelotte gave it some thought and nodded. "Alright, let's leave this place together."
"One day, I'll come to demand righteous justice from the empire." He looked at the palace and prepared to leave. He had arranged for a carriage, but he still didn't have an idea where to go after leaving Melindor due to how pressed for time he was.
"Sir, please wait," Xeno said as he appeared from a dark corner of the plaza.
"Did you hear everything?" Leguna's gaze cooled as he thought about how he would deal with it. Given the years they spent together, Leguna wouldn't be too willing to off Xeno just like that. Not to mention, with his abilities sealed off, there would be no way for him to do him in. Would he have Annelotte fight?
"Sir, I have no ill intent. I'm here to help you." Xeno raised both hands to show that he wasn't a threat. However, his right hand held a bloodied dagger.
"Ah!" Eirinn and Innilis gave a soft cry. Fortunately, it wasn't like that hadn't seen any blood before, so they managed to remain calm.
Xeno waved the dagger in his right hand. "This is Geoffrey's blood. I just killed him."
"You killed Geoffrey?" Leguna was taken aback, but not angry. Geoffrey had it coming for him, seeing how he treated almost everyone poorly. If Leguna had authority, he would have killed Geoffrey himself. He didn't think Xeno would be so daring as to do so. But then, even if Geoffrey was gone, could he really continue to show up in the Hockian court like usual? Would Alissanda help him out?
Even now, he believed Alissanda to be on his side. However, Annelotte, who always had doubts about the second prince, noticed something amiss. She blocked in front of Leguna and asked, "Is this Alissanda's doing? Is he using someone else to get rid of his brother?"
"Yes," Xeno said with a nod.
"What's going on?" Leguna still didn't understand.
"Fool, Can't you tell?" She had always been quite unhappy with how inherently trusting Leguna was. "The ones who saved us are all from the bureau. Geoffrey's death can easily be pinned on the bureau too."
"Well, he was killed by the bureau in the first place!" The moment he said that, he seemed to have comprehended something.
"The death of an imperial prince is no small deal! No matter who did it, the empire will definitely find the culprit! And the culprit they'll try to pin down will not be Xeno, but you!" she said with great frustration.
"So Geoffrey's mistreatment of me is nothing all of a sudden? I was the one who saved the continent from the Tide of Death! If that comes to light, would the people of the continent choose a prince and forsake the hero who saved the con…" He suddenly stopped when he realized what was amiss. A frightening chill rose from the depths of his heart.
"So you noticed it too, huh?" She smirked. "Hero? Who would know you're the hero? You said you killed Nidhogg. I believe you, Eirinn and Innie too. But ask Xeno if he does! Ask anyone else if they do!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter