After the incident concluded, Lucius ordered his Knights to clean things up and support any victims. Fortunately, thanks to the guards and Knights, everyone evacuated safely.
Lucius also had one of his Knights send an urgent letter to Favian Vel Nolbeia, the leader of the Eagle Knights. He ordered Favion to make a statement about how the culprit of the murders and the incident tonight were mutated beasts from the Corrupted Region. Lucius also mentioned how someone used a strange array to summon beasts from there, but to no worry since they were taken care of.
As for the beast talking, since there were only a few people close by at that time, Lucius recorded their names and demanded their secrecy.
Afterward, Bea and Anya also returned to Aurora after completing their tasks.
Tanya and Bea ran towards Lady Aurora just before she entered the carriage. “Are you alright?!” They asked simultaneously.
Aurora could barely put on a smile as the images of what just happened continued to replay in her mind, so she gave a terse reply. “I am okay.”
The two looked at her worriedly but felt it was better to give her space. “Why don’t you spend another night in the dorms to rest?"
Aurora shook her head. “No, I…would rather go back.” Nothing will come of staying longer.
On their way to the mansion, Lucius and Aurora quietly sat in the carriage as they continued to hold hands. In her left hand was a note given to her by Gaius before he left.
When Gaius stopped crying long enough to stand up, he briefly spoke with them.
“I used to blame you for Lillian losing the use of her dominant arm that day. I thought that if she never met you, she would have never sought to become a Knight. But deep down, I was slightly glad that she would live a normal life instead of putting herself in danger."
"Lillian hated the thought of a "normal life" more than anything."
Gaius put on a small smile at Lucius' words. "You're right. You knew her more than I did. Rather than blaming you, I blame myself more for not realizing sooner what she wanted. It wasn’t only because of you she took up a sword. Ever since our parents died, she obsessed over becoming stronger.”
“…What do you plan on doing now?”
“There’s no point in me staying here since I no longer have any family left. I’ve decided to travel the world and increase my knowledge in runes and blacksmith.” He placed his hands on his hips and grinned. “Who knows, maybe I will become a master craftsman!” Even though he was smiling, the grief on his face was undeniable.
“…Is that so?” Lucius didn’t know what else to say. Stop him from leaving? Did he have the right? “Let me know if there is anything you ever need.” He can only wish him a safe journey.
Gaius snorted at his words and then laughed out loud. “That’s not like you!”
Aurora stood by, not saying anything. The sight of Lillian being burned alive still affected her. Seeing this, Gaius opened his arms wide and waited.
She slowly took a few steps forward and placed her head on his chest with her arms at her side. Gaius wrapped his arms around her in a tight bear hug.
“Don’t dwell on it. What you did was for Lillian and me, right? So that others wouldn’t know she was the culprit behind the murders?”
Aurora lowered her eyes. 'No, I only did it for you.' But she didn't tell him that and let him continue.
“Besides, it’s something she brought on herself. She knew the consequences to her actions.”
Gaius moved back and patted her head. “So, you still know how to call me teacher?” He laughed when she blushed. “Oh right. Lillian left this note for you. It seems like she knew things wouldn’t go her way.”
And that note was the one Aurora continued to hold in her hand without reading even after she boarded the carriage.
“If you don’t want to read it, you don’t have to.” Lucius squeezed her hand that was still in his.
“No…I feel like I need to.”
She let go of his hand, and her fingers traced over her beautifully written name on the letter.
≿━━━━༺ Aurora Isla ༻━━━━≾
Aurora carefully opened the letter. Inside was a small piece of paper with only a few words written on it.
[ Be careful of Duke Blaise’s
eldest son, Kian Blaise. ]
Lucius narrowed his eyes as he read the letter.
Aurora’s gaze burned with furry. She crumpled the notes in her hands.
Since their first meeting at the banquet, Aurora was on the receiving end of Lillian's hatred. Aurora did not know how Lillian was in the past, but what she did know was that they caused her teacher to lose a loved one. They hurt Lucius with a poisoned arrow and tried to kill him. They also kidnapped her...or at least tried to.
‘The Blaise family…I swear I will destroy them, even if it meant becoming enemies with the Empire.'
Lucius seemed to know what she was thinking. He took her hand back into his. “I will never let it come to that. We can just replace that pillar or strengthen the other three pillars.”
With this, their goals were both aligned. The destruction of one of the four pillars of the Epheria Empire, the Blaise Dukedom, was inevitable.
It was also the start of the 'Tyrant Couple of the North' first mission together.
When they finally reached the mansion, Lucius carried the sleeping Aurora in his arms as he made his way inside.
Not one person noticed the small black cat with its two tails swishing, jumping down from the top of the carriage and following behind the couple.
Lucius laid Aurora on top of his bed and called for Tanya and Anya to change her clothes. The twins left after finishing, and Aurora briefly came to.
Hearing her soft moan, he quickly went to her side. “It’s okay. Go back to sleep.”
Aurora's eyelids opened and closed as she wandered between being up and sleeping. “Don’t leave.” She whispered.
“…I won’t.” Lucius laid down by her side and moved her head to his chest as he hugged her.
‘It seems like Lillian’s death concerned her more than I thought.’
He didn’t think it was the killing part that bothered her, but rather how she died that caused her emotions to run rampant. It was death similar to hers.
For now, all he can do watch over her.
Like that, with their hands intertwined, they fell asleep.
After that, the two barely left their rooms even after three days passed, causing everyone to worry about their health. But since they were eating properly, it was all they could wish for.
In the evening on the fourth night, a knock sounded from the door.
“Come in,” Lucius replied groggily, still in a state of deep sleep.
The door opened, but no one said anything. Frowning, Lucius sat up to see who it was. He rand his fingers through his hair to move his bangs to the back.
Halon, his head butler, stood there with a solemn expression. It looked as if he couldn’t wrap his head around something.
“What is it?”
“……Siathrich Niall and his Knights have returned.” His voice was so low that Lucius had to strain to hear him. “One of his subordinates would like to report to you.”
Lucius stood up and quickly changed into casual clothes and followed behind Halon. “His subordinate? What about Siathrich?”
“He was injured and is being treated by Dr. Jarvick.”
“Is it serious?”
Halon stopped in front of the drawing room. “No.” He opened the door and stepped to the side.
When Lucius moved inside, he saw a Knight wrapped with bandages sitting on a chair. The Knight quickly stood when he saw the Duke and placed his hand over his chest in greetings.
The Knight looked sleep-deprived and malnourished. He could barely stand on his feet.
Lucius sat down and pointed for the Knight to also sit. The Knight struggled to follow suit. He wobbly moved back to the chair and sat down.
Halon stepped inside and closed the door behind him. He stood to the side and quietly listened to the Knight recount the details.
It took about an hour for the Knight to relay everything.
"I see. Thank you for the hard work. I will compensate you fairly. Shower, eat and get plenty of rest."
"Thank you, Your Grace!" The Knight placed his hand on his chest and left.
Lucius glanced at Halon and sighed.
In the meantime, at the infirmary...
Siathrich picked up anything near him and threw it at the wall. He continued smashing things, no matter if it was medical equipment or glass.
Dr. Jarvik and several Knights stood outside the room with worry. Tanya, the eldest of the twin maids, entered the infirmary. What she saw nearly broke her heart.
Blood seeped through the bandages wrapped from his arms to his torso. Anyone could tell it was due to him breaking the mirrors and punching the walls with his bare hands.
The always smiling and cheerful Vice-Captain wore a face filled with pain, but it wasn't due to the numerous open wounds on his body.
Just as he was about to throw another punch, Tanya rushed in front of him. As expected, he stopped when he saw her. She held his hand and pleaded. “Don’t hurt yourself any more than this.”
Siathrich lowered his head and fell back to the bed behind him. Tanya wrapped her arms around his neck to try and get him to calm down.
“Damn it!” Siathrich cursed at his lack of strength. He buried his head in Tanya’s chest, his shoulders trembling.
Lucius returned to his room. But he didn’t go back to sleep. Instead, he sat on the edge of the bed as he gazed at Aurora’s sleeping face while thinking about what the Knight told him earlier.
“In conclusion…” The Knight continued. “We found traces of General Balian Lasage in the outskirts of the Blaise Dukedom. But he was already dead when we found him in an abandoned cabin. That’s when we realized we fell into a trap."
It was around when Princess Estelle was found safely, Raya let the Duke know he stopped receiving updates from the Vice Captain and requested to look for him.
Lucius knew better than anyone the relationship between the two was more than master/student. Siathrich was an orphan before being adopted and used to cause trouble in the past, and Raya always scolded him for it.
So, Lucius couldn't bring himself to deny his request. He was also worried for Siathrich and allowed Raya to go on his own.
"By the time the Captain found us, it was too late." The Knight continued. "As we were surrounded by enemies on all sides, he stalled for time to give us a way out. We suspect that the Captain, Raya Kassar, has died.”
End of Volume 3 ♥
1) Aurora Grannis Di Epheria Votes: 28 68.3%
2) Lucius Rizar Votes: 10 24.4%
3) Gaius Lancaster Votes: 2 4.9%
4) Lillian Lancaster Votes: 1 2.4%
5) Kian Blaise Votes: 2 4.9%
6) Griselda Enlil Votes: 0 0.0%
7) Yulia Vel Nolbeia Votes: 1 2.4%
8) Beatrice Jeune Votes: 3 7.3%
9) Estelle De Lyn Ignis Votes: 1 2.4%
10) Raya Kasser Votes: 2 4.9%
11) Halon Kasser Votes: 0 0.0%
12) Tanya & Anya Votes: 16 39.0%