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Subjugation Preparation ~ Part 4 ~ The Night before Subjugation
“…Alright, who did you hear that from?”
Anorun glared at Albert as if he was her nemesis.
“From the note left behind by the fifth generation of my ancestor.”
“That pervert bastard! Not only his hand is light, he is also blabbermouth!! What kind of holy knight he is…”
“You have the right to be angry, but please will you listen to me first?”
Albert responded with calm voice.
“No problem! But remember that I might or might not uproot your head depends on it!”
“Please be gentle… I think you have known the reason of our Lazar families’ existence?”
“Of course. To protect the highest founder, right? With your own life that is.”
“That is correct, but I think the meaning is a bit different from what Miranda-sama thought.”
In an instant Miranda grabbed Albert’s collar and pushed him to the wall.
“Who permitted you to use that name! The only one who I permit to use that name to call me is only the highest founder!”
“My apologize… my I continue?”
“Tch! Go on!”
She let him go violently, and took some distance with sour look.
“The meaning of our existence is to protect highest founder. However what we protect is not only her life, in every generation of Lazar we were always instructed to protect everything about her.”
“Everything? What do you mean?”
“I wonder how I should explain it… this is what the first generation Lazar said when he become holy knight leader ‘if you can’t do it then you have no right to bear the name of Lazar’. It can be interpreted as those who didn’t have power don’t have to work under Alneria church. He never said the real reason. However I am convinced what he meant was ‘never leave the highest founder alone’.”
“? I become ever more confused…”
Anorun inclined her head slightly.
“…Actually, the highest founder has lived, more than 800 years.”
“I know tha…wait, 800 years? That mean…”
“The one who founded the Alneria church is the current highest founder. She said she doesn’t even sure how long she has lived. Perhaps more than 1000 years, or perhaps 800 years plus something. Her past memories have become vague.”
“I see, I can imagine it…”
800 years. It was indeed an overwhelming number. Anorun actually has lived for 300 years, however that 300 years was already long enough to make her fed up with it.
“(It has been long time since I become immortal. 300 years is already boring, but 800 years…)”
“That person is lonely.”
“You might have understood it, she couldn’t tell anyone about her immortality and for official purposes she needed to change her appearance every ten odd years and act like a different person. Because if the highest founder’s appearance never change, it will invite problems. There was a time when she thought to make her previous incarnation ‘die’ or just leave the Alneria church… however whichever is it, the fact that she will lose her acquaintances won’t change.”
“That…I also understand how she feels.”
“Because of that the first generation oral tradition is ‘even if only us it is fine, always stay by her side and keep her from feeling lonely’. From his words we were able to understand.”
“I get that, but why it must be your family?”
Hearing Anorun’s words, Albert’s slightly weary and sad green pupil directed towards Anorun.
“…Did you notice something when you look at us?”
“That is the reason…”
Albert showed a rare sad expression.
“Of course there are some who unable to fulfil that mission. However after knowing her situation most will still stay with Alneria church. However Lazar fifth generation ago, Lihyard-sama added another clause to our mission.”
“’What we must accomplish are, first, always stay beside the highest founder’s side until the end of our lives. And for that we need to secure our bloodline.’ And the second one is, ‘to protect Miranda-sama’. This is my own opinion, but she is someone worthy to serve for us knights and we are not allowed to lose her. Her existence is more important that our life.”
Anorun turned completely bewildered,
“What…Lihyard never said anything about…”
In Anorun’s memory, Lihyard only appeared as a frivolous man.
“(He keep touching my breast and my butt as he likes… yet his gaze is always affectionate. At first when master picked me up I lost all my desire to live, just like an empty shell. Looking at me who was similar to a living corpse, no one was willing to call out to me. But, now that I think about it, the first person who called out to me was Lihyard…and when I feel down he always came to greet me—I see, so he worried about me—if it was the case I hope he used an easier to understand action…)”
At the same time her many years of doubt was resolved, she felt grateful towards Lihyard’s consideration. Though it won’t erase her anger towards his actions like touching her breasts and butt.
“But if that was the case, why didn’t he say it honestly? I feel happy towards his consideration, but at the same time I also met with terrible experiences because of him. I feel his action is inconsistent.”
“…The fifth generation’s note is here. Perhaps the answer is in there. His will was to open it only after he, his wife, and his beloved concubines passed away. Do you want to read it?”
“Give it to me.”
Anorun opened and flipped the note Albert gave her. At first she read it casually, but gradually her expression turned into astonishment. Her face slowly turned pale and her body trembled, and finally large drops of tear started to fall from her eyes.
“No, no way…! I…I did horrible thing. I didn’t understand him at all. He always looking at me, caring about me…and trying to stay by my side!!”
The tears didn’t show any sign of stopping. Without covering her tear-stained face, Anorun grabbed Albert.
“What…what should I do!? How can I compensate him??”
“I don’t know… however, when I read his note I think he only wants you to live normally.”
“Yes. Perhaps, living normally, create friends, joke around, laugh together, make a lover…”
“That… is impossible in this late of time…”
Anorun casted her eyes down. Silence warped the two of them.
“…In my opinion, as long we are alive, there is nothing too late.”
“As long we are…alive?”
“Yes. You with almost infinite time, perhaps you might change your mind at a later date, but you will never run out time to take them back.”
“Is that so…Is it true?”
“I can only say it as possibility.”
Albert continued after kneeling like a knight towards their master.
“To know the answer of that, in the next battle, please live. No matter what it takes, please return safely with Alfilis and Lisa. Don’t part with those two. If it is for that sake, you may even use my life as you see fit… In the honour of my prided sword, I swear to fulfil this contract. If I break it, may my life, and my soul return to the sky with this very sword.”
Suddenly Albert drew his sword and cut his fingertip, smearing the blood to the blade and offered the grip to Anorun. It was a formal pledge of a knight, and normally only dedicated towards their master.
Anorun, no, Miranda who was uncertain on what to do, closed her eyes and thought deeply, however,
“Albert Phidelity Lazar, let me accept your sword. My name is Miranda Reivenwas. As your master I will hold onto your life and your soul. I promise, I will act as a master befitting the sword you offered to me, and I will devote my entire self to face any difficulties ahead.”
Anorun also cut her fingertip and smear her blood at the same place with Albert, and then kissed the handle. After that she hung the sword over Albert’s head for three seconds and then returned it to Albert.
“Will this able to compensate Lihyard?”
“It will depend on yourself.”
“That bluntness really resembles him.”
“I am ashamed.”
Anorun laughed powerlessly, as if symbolizing the loneliness inside her. However at the same time, Albert felt glad he able to meet with her as a substitute of the fifth generation.
Actually, when he was a child and heard the mission of Lazar’s he didn’t understand it. He was trained in the way of sword from a tender age. Why he must work so hard, even sacrificing fun times to train? And he also unconvinced by the fact the person his power needed to protect had already been decided before he even born.
At the age of 14, he took the responsibility of being the highest founder’s elite bodyguard. At that time, he was not yet a commander, but under the command of Miliazar, he experienced personally that she was able to use him correctly. And then after knowing Miliazar’s disposition, he was convinced that she was of his sword. For a knight, meeting someone who is suitable to offer their life for was a good fortune. Since that time, he became even more zealous in his training, and yet his feeling was not satisfied.
However he was blessed with talent. And in the end, at the age of 16, when he received Lihyard’s note from his father, the meaning of each swing of his sword became even heavier. Because he has two people to protect now. There was a portrait in his ancestor’s note. The Miliazar from that era and a young girl, smiling at each other. When he saw it, he understood ‘I born and trained in sword for the sake of protecting this spectacle’.
From that time, his training became even harsher. It was so harsh even the people from Lazar family worried he had lost his mind. But Albert was satisfied. For the sake of protecting that spectacle his own pain was nothing. There are people who live their life aimlessly and die without finding what really meant for them, knowing there are people like that in this world, Albert felt he has a blessed life.
And now she was right in front his eyes, his feeling to risk his life for the sake of the two became even stronger. Additionally, she was crying for his ancestor earnestly.
“(Perhaps even without note I can protect her without hesitation)”
It was his true feeling. There was one more thing he thought when he saw that notebook, but he decided to shove it deep in his heart for the time being.
“I never expected there will be a day when I received knight’s oath.”
“Life is like flowing water.”
“I don’t want hear it from you.”
“I am ashamed.”
Anorun snorted. Looking at her smile, Albert was confident what he did was the correct one.
“Then this is my first order as your master.”
“By all means.”
“I plan returning with four people. So don’t die!”
“Also, when there are only the two of us, I allow you to call me Miranda. Having no one to call my real name is, as expected, lonely.”
“Then one more! Turn three times and say ‘woof’!”
Albert put down his sword and readied to turn around.
“Wa-wait! The last one is a joke!”
“Words that have been said can’t be taken back. As a knight I’m just following what my master commanded.”
“Why are you so stubborn even in this kind of thing!”
“If a knight was commanded to die by their master, they will die without questioning it. This hold true especially for me, because I am clumsy.”
“Yo-you are doing it on purpose aren’t you! Your knight’s joke is troublesome to handle so stop it!”
They are so noisy, just like the days she joke around with Lihyard, thought Anorun—no currently she is Miranda.
However the soundproofing magic wore out at some time without them noticing, and Lisa could hear their jokes clearly. And then the next day,
“Last night quite lively, wasn’t it?”
Lisa teased Anorun thoroughly. Though Alfilis doesn’t understand any of it.
Even with all of that the night continued to advance. Towards the fierce battle of tomorrow yet known to any of them.