The Master of the Brave - Chapter 132
The Master of the Brave
Chapter 132 – Under the moonlight
“Hehe…” Leticia began to laugh as they left the room.
“Ha… hahaha.” Wynn laughed too, caught up in the moment. He wanted to go somewhere quiet where no one would interrupt them, to talk to Leticia alone.
In the courtyard, they found a marble fountain and a white bench next to it. The rain and wind, which had raged in a storm earlier, had lifted before they knew it, and they could see the moonlight through the clouds. It made the white marble of the fountain stand out in the darkness. The fountain, which seemed to draw water from the Murray River, spouted in abundance, and the drops glistened in the light. Count Schlihaden, a vain man, must have had it built. The count’s taste in clothing was a bit daunting, but the serene atmosphere created by the fountain and the plants in the garden was very pleasant.
The wind was cool and damp after the rain, and it felt good on their burning skins. The bench was soaked with water from the rain, but with a little spell from Leticia, the drops quickly disappeared and they were able to sit down.
“Aah, that caught me off guard.”
“My heart is still beating like it’s going to burst out of my chest.”
They had been laughing all the way, and finally they both managed to stop laughing.
“I forced myself to get you out of there, but I guess it wasn’t the best thing to do. I think I made your brother mad, Letty.”
“Don’t worry. I’m sure Raul will take care of it. More importantly, Onii-chan. What’s wrong? Was there really something?”
“No… not really. It’s just… you know. I saw you surrounded by those guys and I couldn’t help myself.” Then Wynn put his left hand on Leticia’s right hand, which was resting on the bench. Then he looked up at the moon showing through the clouds. “Even I was surprised at myself.”
“Yeah.” Leticia leaned her head on Wynn’s shoulder and leaned toward him.
“Letty… I like you.”
“Probably since that first day we met in the courtyard of the Wandering Bird’s Nest…” Wynn stopped talking, then stroked Leticia’s head against him and hugged her trembling shoulders. “But I couldn’t tell you for a long time. It’s because you and I live in different worlds. That’s what I thought. When you came back from your long journey and I found out where you really came from, I was afraid that you would leave me and go away from me, so, instead, I stayed away from you.”
“But now that I am the Master of the Brave, I am relieved. ‘Oh,’ I thought, ‘now Letty and I have a new bond. Even though we are from different worlds, if we are master and apprentice, I can still have the same relationship with Letty as before…’”
Leticia lifted her body. Then she looked directly into Wynn’s face with slightly moistened eyes. Wynn put his hands on her shoulders and looked at her firmly.
“I’m a weak coward. I was aware of your feelings, but if I responded to them, the people around us would surely not allow it. They would try to separate us. I was afraid of that. That’s why I let us continue our relationship as childhood friends, as brother and sister. I… well, I didn’t have the courage to take the first step.”
Leticia just listened to Wynn’s monologue in silence. He pressed her right hand to his own chest, holding it with his left, and she made a small gesture with her head, as if listening with delight to his every word.
“Letty… Leticia. Leticia von Mavis. I like you. I don’t want to use the excuse that we live in different worlds anymore. I don’t want to let you go. I want you to stay with me forever.”
At the same time as Wynn’s thoughtful words, Leticia’s eyes widened in astonishment, and a drop ran down her white cheek.
“Me too… I like you too, Onii-chan. I love you. I really love you. I never want to part from you…. I love you so much that I can’t help it…”
Wynn covered Leticia’s cheeks with both hands and wiped the tears from her cheeks with his thumbs. She closed her eyes. Their lips touched.
“Letty… Leticia…” Wynn murmured Leticia’s name and placed his lips on her small lips once more. “Letty… I will always protect you. I will always be there for you.”
“I don’t want to be separated from Onii-chan anymore either. I will never, never, never be separated from you. I never want to have that feeling of loneliness again…”
Even when she was traveling with the heavy destiny of defeating the Demon King, Leticia cried for Wynn, who had been separated from her. She always thought of Wynn, no matter what. She believed in him more than anyone else in the world, who pampered her and always loved her deeply. There were only a few words with which Wynn could answer Leticia:
“I love you, Letty.”
New drops came out of Leticia’s wide-open eyes.
“I’m happy… I can’t believe it…” With her hand on Wynn’s chest, Leticia’s tears spilled over.
These were the words Leticia had been waiting for so long. A burning feeling welled up from deep within her heart. A feeling of happiness that made her whole body tremble.
“I’m so happy…” With unprecedented joy, Leticia hid her face with both hands and cried.
Wynn hugged Leticia tightly. In Wynn’s arms, she kept crying while trembling a little.
“Onii-chan… Onii-chan. You are amazing, after all. Just with those words alone you make me feel happy, so much happy…”
Leticia then showed a sly smile as she stood up from Wynn’s arms.
“Hey, can we do it again? Can you give me another hug?”
“Of course. I love you, Letty.” At Leticia’s request, Wynn pulled her body closer once more.
“Hehehe… you’re turning red, Onii-chan.”
“Tch, I can’t help it.”
Leticia giggled, whispering in his ear.
Instigated by Locke, Wynn had taken themselves away from Leticia’s brother and the nobles, and confessed his feelings for her, which he had kept hidden for years. She was very pretty and sweet, but he felt increasingly embarrassed. His cheeks were hot. He put his hands on Leticia’s back and played with her silky soft hair. Leticia’s eyes narrowed, as if enjoying the most comfortable of touches. Wynn could feel her love reaching deep inside him.
Voices from inside the mansion announced that the party was about to end. Someone might come to the courtyard as well. Still, Wynn and Leticia embraced, the warmth of each other’s bodies making it difficult for them to separate.
It was Leticia who noticed the change first. She was still in the same position in which she had been hugging Wynn, concentrating her mind to look for signs of her surroundings. As Leticia’s body tensed, Wynn also noticed something strange. He could hear some kind of struggle from outside the mansion.
“What is going on?”
As he stood up, his questions were answered by the voice of a soldier who had entered the mansion in despair.
“I’m sorry, sir! The imperial army is advancing towards Peshlika! The mansion… has been surrounded.”
The soldier’s tense voice was drowned out by a final, decisive shout. However, the voice of the soldier who had risked his life to warn them of the urgency of the situation had reached Wynn and the others.
“We have to get to Cornelia-san!” Wynn tugged Leticia’s hand out of his and ran off.
“Onii-chan, you know what, I won’t hesitate anymore.” As she ran past Wynn, Leticia looked ahead and muttered to herself.
Wynn didn’t ask what she meant. However, with a light pressure on the hand that was attached to Leticia’s, Wynn responded with the same pressure. The sweet moment between the two was interrupted, but they were able to tell each other what they felt. Then, there was nothing to fear anymore.
“What does this mean, Count Schlihaden?”
“There is no need to panic, Prince Raul. It’s just another guest who would be arriving tonight.”
When Wynn and Leticia returned to the hall, they saw Raul and the other high-ranking officers of the Lyon Royal Army, Count Riselman and the squires under Cornelia: Locke, Wedge and Lino surrounded by soldiers of the of Western Front Knights, swords pointed at them.
“Oh, Letty. As you can see, it’s become quite a mess.”
When Raul saw Wynn and Leticia returning to the hall, he shrugged. Although they were surrounded by a large number of soldiers, his assessment showed no sense of danger.
“By ‘other guest’, do you mean Prince Neumann’s main force currently advancing down the street?”
In answer to Raul’s question, Count Schlihaden nodded with a smile and a cold laugh.
“That’s why they let us and the generals into the city in the name of hospitality! Were you in favor of my brother Neumann from the beginning?”
“I suppose this will be your last banquet, Princess Cornelia. I hope you enjoyed it.” Count Schlihaden mocked Cornelia’s stern expression. “It’s a natural conclusion when you observe the trend of the times, isn’t it, Princess Cornelia?”
“But, Count Schlihaden. Our army in Lyon is 60,000. The combined forces of Western Sector Knights and Lords of the Empire should be no more than 20,000. Until we meet the main force of the Empire that is advancing, we still have the advantage in numbers. When my army discovers that it has been deceived, they will attack Peshlika immediately.”
“That is why, Prince Raul, I have invited you and the princess to this mansion. You will all be taken as prisoners. With the crown prince as hostage, can your army attack?”
“You are a vile man… you should be ashamed to point your sword at the royalty of a country with which you have an alliance!”
Looking at Count Schlihaden, Cornelia clenched her fists tightly. Beside her, Raul shook his head slightly. Then he called out to Count Riselman, the ambassador to the Kingdom of Lyon, who was standing behind him.
“My, my… now I understand the ambassador’s anguish.”
“I’m so sorry. I never imagined that those people would be so stupid… After the safe recapture of the Imperial Capital, when I see His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince, I would like to immediately consult with him about the qualifications of the Western Lords. Until then, please forgive me…” Without hiding his condescending tone, Count Riselman apologized to Raul.
Count Riselman, who had declared them fools, was surrounded by the nobles who favored Count Schlihaden, but he raised his hand to restrain them and prevented them from exploding. However, it seemed that the lords who ruled this area had a fatally inferior political sense, as Locke had said. When Wynn looked at Locke, as if seeing through him, Locke shrugged, holding out his hands as if couldn’t be helped.
It was Leticia’s older brother, Rails, who advanced from among the nobles still seething at Count Riselman’s comment. Rails’ face grew grim for a moment as he saw that his sister was still holding Wynn’s hand. However, he immediately sketched a noble smile and held out his hands to welcome her, saying:
“Come this way. His Royal Highness Prince Neumann is going to be our brother-in-law. He is also very concerned about you, his sister-in-law. Now, he is willing to dismiss the fact that you were working with the impostor prince. Before to let your reputation as the Brave fall to the ground, We will go to the Imperial Capital and have an audience with His Highness Neumann. At that time, I will apologize together with you, and ask His Highness to take a lenient measure to…”
“Big brother, aren’t you mistaken about something?” Interrupting Rails’ words midway, Leticia spoke. The sound of her voice was the complete opposite of the cold tone she used when she pretended to be sincerely concerned about her brother. “The title of Brave bestowed upon me by the Goddess of Creation, Anastasia, is on the level of a High Priest and the Emperor. There is no need for me to kneel before Prince Neumann, who is only a member of the royal family.”
“My bad, I’m sorry, Leticia. You are absolutely right. You don’t need to apologize to him. But then, listen to me well. If you come with me to see His Highness Neumann, he has promised to further the development of the Mavis family. I’m sure he will arrange a good match for you as well. A man of your rank would be suitable for your needs. Royalty from a great country would be the most likely match. There is no doubt that…”
“I’m sorry, big brother. I have already decided with whom I wish to spend my future: Wynn Bird. My dearest mentor and confidant.”
“He’s just a commoner, isn’t he? Think again, Leticia! If you can find a match with the royalty of a great country, you can live a life unhindered! You can bring even more prosperity to the Mavis family!”
“I don’t care about my family, big brother. I was told it was for the good of the world, and I set out to defeat the Demon King. Four years… some would say it was only a four-year journey. But for me, those four years of being forcibly separated from the one I love were painful… and lonely! I don’t want to go through that again…”
Leticia, who was holding Wynn’s arms against her chest, looked up at him and smiled shyly. He smiled back and nodded vigorously. Seeing them together, Locke gave a little whistle, Lino’s face lit up and Cornelia smiled slightly.
“I will never leave his side again…”
“That’s enough, Rails-dono. Let’s save the family discussion for after this mess has calmed down, shall we?” Count Schlihaden interrupted the conversation between Leticia and Rails. “Princess Cornelia. From here to the imperial city of Simurgh, you will accompany my Western Knights. To the Lyon soldiers abroad, please return to your homeland.”
“Do you really think our army will listen to such a thing?”
“This is outrageous, Prince Raul. I am not asking you, I am giving you an order. It seems you need to be aware of your position. As prisoners of war… no, you are a tribute, from us to His Highness Neumann.”
“I don’t know which of us doesn’t know his place, though it’s clearly you! It’s a pity you’re trying to take us prisoner with such a small army. Then everyone, let’s do this! Let’s break the siege and join our allies! What do you say?”
“Yes, Your Highness!”
When Raul drew his sword, the dignitaries of the Lyon Royal Army drew their swords as well.
“So you’re trying to resist! If you had stayed calm, we would have treated you with the respect you deserve!”
“I hate to say it, but I’m not a quitter by nature. Thanks to you, I was able to accompany Letty on her journey to the end.” Raul showed a clear smile on his face, while he cut a soldier dressed in full armor with a single slash.
A huge splatter of blood and gore. The faces of the nobles paled as the smell of blood reached their nostrils.
The circle of soldiers around them quickly widened as Raul looked at them with a sharp gaze, as if to say, “Who’s next?”.
Raul was not unnoticed by the momentary fright displayed by the soldiers. After pinpointing a gap in the siege net, he jumped into it. After taking down two soldiers in a jiffy with his divine sword movements, the Lyon Kingdom’s military rushed to further widen the gap in the siege net Raul had created.
“What’s wrong with you! They’re just a few! What are you doing!?
Count Schlihaden recognized the soldiers, but the fact that they were inside the mansion played against them. Since it was the great hall, Raul quickly cleared a path into the hallway of the mansion while his opponents were enveloped in the atmosphere it gave off. At this point, the difference in the number of soldiers would no longer matter. The rest was a game of skill. The Brave, the Sword Saint and those soldiers trained by him. Count Schlihaden’s soldiers were easily pierced through.
“Your Highness! Watch out!”
As Raul was leaving the mansion, Manuela, His squire, came running in on her horse. Noticing the strange situation in the city, she had deployed her troops to help Raul and the others escape.
“Gather the troops! We will intercept Prince Neumann’s army!”
At Raul’s command, the knights and soldiers of the Lyon Kingdom’s army who had followed Manuela saluted and ran. The war began. After jumping on the horse that Manuela had pulled for him and Leticia behind him, Wynn led his horse to meet his allies outside the city.
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