"We would need to know who sent them and where exactly they were coming from."
Maren muttered his words in thought as he sat upon his chair beside Amaragi's bed, his hands resting against his chin while he was staring at the ground. And Amaragi herself could only agree with a nod of her head.
"There are only a few plausible options, but a definite answer would have been beneficial nonetheless."
Even though she was still feeling weak, her back resting against the frame of the bed as she was sitting upright, Amaragi was steadily beginning to recover. However, just a few paces away from them, Namagi was leaning against the wall at the other end of the chamber, her lips pursed slightly in nervousness.
"We tried to spare at least one of those scumbags for interrogation, hell, I tried…"
There was an awkward moment of silence when Namagi trailed off, not speaking any further. And she deliberately chose to look to her side and away from her sister's gaze, which was undoubtedly still trained upon her intensely.
Almost unnoticeably, Namagi's lips began to tremble the longer Amaragi stretched out that single word.
"... but? When the last one saw that he wasn't getting out of this, he actually sliced his own throat before we could catch him. Not my fault!"
With a last and curt huff, Namagi simply crossed her arms before she completely looked away with her eyes closed. Seemingly as though she were fully satisfied and convinced by her own statement.
"... my hands are clean in this…"
Another mutter, reinforcing her own mind as she practically nodded slightly for herself while Namagi still kept her eyes closed.
Heaving an almost inaudible sigh, Amaragi instead chose to drop it there.
"Regardless, as I said, there are not many possible candidates. Glenrock is known for its specialty in… secret diplomacy. A way for them to compensate for their lack of military strength, if you will. And right now, it seems that they are playing to their strengths accordingly."
Namagi merely huffed again.
"... you can't even call their meager troops an army. Compared to us, they're an ant to be crushed beneath an iron heel."
One of her hands actually clenched into a fist, causing Maren to tilt his head slightly, even though he didn't outright say anything.
He guessed that her previous hatred against secret diplomacy hadn't quite worn off yet…
"Then they are free to sabotage us the longer we remain idle…"
Again, Maren merely muttered his thoughts out aloud as he stared back at the ground.
"Unfortunately, that is true. We are currently still relocating a big part of our resources and troops towards Norin's remains. That way, we are still quite vulnerable… our military may be unrivaled, but it only does little good when our army is so thinly spread out. Therefore, we cannot play to our biggest strength at the moment."
However, slowly but surely, as Amaragi's words trailed off, her eyes shifted towards Maren's form. And her hand silently reached out to grasp one of his own, causing him to perk up with a small but surprised hum.
"... but it will be worth it, once we have established ourselves there as well. Our path towards Glenrock will be drastically shorter, our supplies much closer… then it will only be a matter of time until we can strike to annihilate them."
With a confident grasp, she entwined their hands, and her eyes locked with Maren's own. A sheer gleam reflecting in her crimson gaze, with emotions unspoken.
Until suddenly, a thunder rippled through the sky, momentarily bathing the chamber in a bright light.
The ominous roar immediately followed after, accompanied by a multitude of rain drops crackling against the glasses of the windows.
With an abrupt shift of her head, Namagi faced one of the windows closeby before she approached it with a hardened expression.
Staring outside, she barely saw anything aside from the pitch black sky as the raindrops upon the glass almost completely covered her view. She furrowed her brow, her lips forming into a thin line.
"... I knew I shouldn't have let Rena go under these circumstances…"
She muttered these words almost as though they were directed at none other than herself, but Amaragi heard them nonetheless.
Thus, it almost came as no surprise to her when Namagi suddenly whipped around and made her way towards the door.
"I'm going out, I'll take an escort delegation with me."
"... right now? But-"
Before Maren could say anything further in concern, he stopped amidst his words the moment Amaragi held a hand to his chest, gently silencing him in the process as she wordlessly shook her head.
And not a moment after was Namagi already out of the door.
"There is no stopping her when it comes to Rena, I know that by now. I'm worried as much as you are, but I'm also trusting my sister. She will be alright."
Maren stopped for a moment in thought as he glanced down at Amaragi's hand.
"General Rena. She and my sister have been friends for a long time… when they were both still children. Aside from myself and Kiel, Namagi had always refused to allow another person into her life… not quite unlike myself either in that regard, I suppose…"
Amaragi chuckled lightly, her eyes lidding slightly.
"... but Rena was different, she was the first person Namagi had actually grown fond of. It is a story I might tell you one day."
For another long moment, Maren didn't say anything further as he merely hummed, facing the ground once more with a pondering expression. Noticing this, of course, Amaragi's expression shifted slightly before she made an effort to reach him a bit further.
"... your thoughts… share them with me…"
Realizing her intent, Maren shyly eased her efforts by positioning his chair closer to her bedside, allowing her arms to enclose around his form, gently pulling him slightly against herself.
And she didn't stop there, her lips softly brushing against his cheek as she trailed them along his skin.
Almost as if she were tempting and enticing him to follow her request through each and every of her actions alone…
And he did. Whether or not he was aware of it.
"... Glenrock… I think I've told you before that I had already once been there for diplomatic reasons…"
For a mere second, Amaragi's eyes seemingly lost any and all warmth.
'... yes, she is an ambassador from Norin. She has actually been my superior for a while when I was assigned as part of her escort delegation for a trip towards Glenrock…'
But it was gone as quickly as it had appeared, instead, she suddenly placed her head closer against his neck.
"... yes…? I remember…"
"Back then, we had been trying to gain Glenrock as an ally in our fight against… the Empire…"
Maren turned his head away slightly, and even though Amaragi couldn't see his expression, she simply pulled back slightly until she could.
Before she merely cupped his cheeks with both of her hands, messaging and caressing them. Needing no words to tell him that these times were no longer relevant anymore, having long turned forfeit the moment he had met her.
Thus, he gained the courage to speak again, albeit hesitantly.
"... but I have also learned a few things about Glenrock during that time, a weakness in particular."
Suddenly, Amaragi's eyes gazed deeply into his own, and she fully cupped both sides of his face so he may never look anywhere else.
And she was all ears
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