The powerless Leguna's fall was halted by Magus's Hands. He could only barely ensure he didn't get hurt from the fall, but controlling his trajectory was impossible. Thankfully, Angelista appeared and used Magus's Hands to prevent him from being turned to meat paste.
"Thank you." He had long guessed that she would help him out. It didn't surprise him.
The unreliable-seeming Angelista didn't look as frivolous as usual. With a solemn look, she asked, "Is Nidhogg dead?"
"Yes," Leguna said with a nod. "He's dead."
She didn't ask anything else and brought him to the ground. When they landed, she helped him stand. "Then, all this has come to an end, right?"
Leguna paused, before shaking his head. "No, not yet."
HE turned to look at Alissanda, who had been observing the whole time. Even though he didn't participate in the battle, he wasn't protected by Leguna's divine barrier. Now, the emperor seemed really haggard. His golden locks were covered in dirt and dust and his face and body were unbelievably dirty. He looked more like a beggar.
"How much energy do you have left?" Angelista wasn't surprised at what he was going to do, so she only gave a casual reminder. "I definitely won't involve myself in this."
"Like before, just protect Eirinn and Innilis for me," he said as he dragged himself towards the emperor.
"Don't die, or all the help I gave you will be wasted," she said with a shrug.
"I won't die before I kill him," he said without turning back.
Alissanda also felt Leguna's hate-filled gaze. Gripping his greatsword, he glared back at Leguna.
"You should've died long ago!" he yelled.
"And let Nidhogg destroy your ugly empire?" Leguna's voice rang through the rubble that used to be the plaza, almost deafening Alissanda.
"Don't you understand this? Even now, you're still a danger to the world! You shouldn't exist!" Alissanda felt his rage boiling.
Leguna chuckled and said in a mocking tone, "I? A danger to this world? The one who created the Tide of Death was Nidhogg, and the one that helped create Nidhogg as he is today is your ancestor, Hector, and this empire. I, on the other hand, stopped the Tide of Death from spreading and just killed Nidhogg just now. You call me a danger to this world? Am I dangerous because I earned achievements so great the empire can never pay me back? Because I have power that the empire can't control? No, I am dangerous to your empire, not the world."
"Rights don't erase wrongs. No matter how much you contribute, that won't make up for your sinful existence!" Alissanda stubbornly insisted.
"Yada yada, I'm evil and shouldn't exist… Whatever you say. But--" His lazy tone suddenly shifted to a roar. "--What sin did Annie commit? How was she a danger to this world? Why did you kill her?! Why?!"
Alissanda took a step back at the sound of her name.
"She was good, but she chose to stand with you, so she had to die."
"Then, I'll make sure you follow her!"
With power he somehow had, he blurred and charged at a speed even a saint like Alissanda couldn't see. Though it was a simple charge, it was so fast Alissanda couldn't evade at all.
The moment he blurred, Alissanda felt as if time had stopped. In that instant, he saw the scene of his death: his heart had been pierced by a longsword. Leguna wore a complicated expression of pain of loss and grief mixed with the joy and the pleasure of sweet revenge. His expression was so moving that even Alissanda could feel his pain.
But was that really his fault? In that instant, he had many such doubts, but he chose to deny them. He refused to admit that he made any mistakes. He could accept that he had wronged Leguna, but he wouldn't admit any wrongdoing. Leguna had to die for the world's safety.
Though, I guess there's no longer any point to that. I'm probably going to die anyway, was his last thought.
Leguna's sword whooshed through, but Alissanda didn't feel any stabbing pain. He turned around in shock and saw the pink silhouette he had been chasing over the past ten years.
Lisana had awoken some time ago and charged at Leguna with a speed she couldn't even muster usually.
"Move away, Lisana!" Leguna's sword had pierced her chest, but fortunately, he stopped his charge and didn't go through with the thrust. Even so, his expression still looked terrible. Nobody could stop him from avenging Annelotte, not even Lisana, who he was heavily indebted to!
Lisana was in rather bad shape. Her skin looked pale like paper and blood flowed out of her mouth and chest nonstop. She had stopped Leguna by moving so fast despite her serious injuries. But while she was shaking, her expression was firm. She slowly stretched her shaking right hand to her throat and took out a jade necklace. "Don't… hurt… him…"
When he saw the necklace, doubt flashed across his face, followed by rage, struggle, and hesitation.
The necklace was something he used to wear. Some ten years ago during the Stokian breach of Fort Kesta, Eirinn almost lost her life. Lisana had ignored danger and gone to the battlefield to rescue her from Stokian hands. To thank her, he gave her that necklace and pledged that he would do one thing for her as long as she kept it, no matter how great the request.
She was quite apologetic to see him struggle like that, but she still begged, "Don't… forget… your promise… I beg… you… Don't hurt… Alissanda…"
Now, Leguna was faced with a difficult choice he had never had to face before.Previous Chapter Next Chapter