It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (24/63), enjoy~
“I see you’re awake.”
She gasped for breath and flinched when someone called out to her. The thought of being subjected to another round of torture made her feel faint.
But she couldn’t give up; she couldn’t lose, so she raised her head.
Liz was taken aback. The person in front of her was not Puppchen.
“It seems you’ve mistaken me for Lord Puppchen.”
The fire of the lamp moved through the darkness and illuminated a single woman. Liz wondered if that was why she only had a slight glimpse of her hand and felt as if she were someone else.
“So, you don’t need to look so scared.”
She remembers that her name is Haran Skaaha de Felzen. She is a survivor of the Felzen royal family.
She still looked dignified as ever, but her expression was tired and dull.
“What do you want?”
Even though she had a hint of caution in her eyes, Liz maintained a resolute attitude, refusing to show any weakness. In contrast, the smile on Skaaha’s face was one of bitterness.
“It’s going to be cold tonight. I thought I’d bring you a blanket.”
She put her hand inside the cage and held out a warm blanket.
“What do you intend to do?”
Liz watched her face, trying to figure out what Skaaha really wanted. However, no matter how much she looked at her, she only smiled slightly and seemed to have no other intentions.
It seemed that she was really acting out of concern for Liz’s safety. Incredulous, Liz’s eyes widened in surprise.
The last time they had met, she would have thought nothing of it. She would have accepted the favor offered to her without hesitation.
“Why are you being so nice to me?”
But now that she knew about Skaaha, she had doubts about her sincerity. She had heard of the cruelty that the Grantz Empire had inflicted on the Felzen Kingdom and the atrocities they had committed against Skaaha’s family.
“I don’t mean to treat you badly. Even if you are a member of the Grantz imperial family, you will be treated no differently than any other prisoner of war.”
Skaaha tilted her head and looked at Liz with a frown.
“You have a look on your face that says you disagree.”
“…I’ve heard a lot about you from that guy called Puppchen.”
“I see… So I can’t blame you for being suspicious.”
“Yes, because I’m sure you have a lot of resentment towards the Grantz Empire.”
“…You are being very persuasive. What are you trying to say?”
With a sigh, Skaaha left the cage once and immediately returned with a chair in her hand. As she sat down, she turned her greenish-blue eyes to Liz as if to urge her onward.
“Don’t you hate me for being a member of the Grantz imperial family?”
There’s no need to go overboard. Liz said simply and straightforwardly.
“To be honest… I do hate you more than anything. But if I vent it on you, I won’t be able to forgive myself.”
She must have a noble spirit. There seems to be no lie in those words. At least Liz could see that she was sincere in her attitude.
“And torturing you won’t make me feel any better. My intentions are not with you but with other people.”
“Who are those people?”
“What are you going to do now that I’ve told you? Are you going to punish them for what they did to me?”
“I’ll do everything I can to help you.”
She knows she can’t be persuasive when she is in captivity, but if she is released, she will gather information based on what she has been told and provide as much support as possible to the Felzen region. Of course, she will punish the soldiers and their commanders for not following the military code.
“You are so kind. Even though you were born into the Grantz imperial family, you have a pure heart.”
Skaaha gave her a look of admiration, but she shook her head to indicate her rejection.
“But even so, my strength is not enough. I still have to improve my position. If I want to punish those who have done the most treacherous things, I have to stand at the top and change everything.”
“In other words… is that all you’re fighting for?”
If the only way to do that is to stand at the top of the Grantz Empire, then her ultimate goal will be obvious.
“Or are you prepared to abandon your current position and rebel against the Grantz Empire?”
Liz was at a loss for an answer. She didn’t know what to say.
“There are things that can be solved with kindness alone. But there are some things that can only be solved with violence. If you don’t have the courage to do so, don’t say you’ll lend a hand so easily.”
Skaaha’s words weighed heavily on her. If her vengeance is as Liz imagined, then there is no way but to turn against her. But that would be like destroying everything that had been built. It would be a hard road that would involve everyone close to her.
The current Liz was not strong enough, nor did she have the courage to sacrifice Hiro and the others. There was no way she could punish those who broke the military code with her weakness.
She could not do anything about it, even though she said so. Liz gritted her teeth and turned her face down.
“The Sixth Princess of the Grantz Empire, Celia Estrella Elizabeth von Grantz.”
When someone called her name as if she were quietly throwing a pebble into the water, she looked up from her position.
Skaaha was on one knee on the ground. She bowed her head towards Liz.
“I apologize for my words and actions that may have upset your feelings. At the same time, I ask that you keep your pure and noble heart intact.”
“There is no need for a girl like you to get dirty yourself by helping someone like me.”
It was a charming smile, as lustrous as a flower in a meadow.
“Above all, I want to take my revenge with my own hands.”
It was only for a moment, and Liz couldn’t believe her eyes.
While Liz was surprised, Skaaha continued, trying to keep a serious expression on her face.
“Even if you were the emperor, I would have rejected you.”
She then closed her mouth, walked over to a nearby desk, and returned with a wooden bowl in her hand.
“I have nothing more to say to you. And you do not need to say anything more either.”
She extended her arm through the bars and held out the bowl to Liz.
“It’s a little cold, but you can eat it. You must be hungry.”
There was no abuse, just a one-sided apology, and after being cut off from the conversation, Liz had no second thoughts.
“Ah, there’s no poison in it ― but you wouldn’t trust me if I told you that, would you…?”
Skaaha looked at the soup in the wooden bowl and slumped her shoulders in disappointment.
“Apparently, we don’t have any silverware, so we’re using wood, which is horrible to eat with.”
Misunderstanding the reason for Liz’s silence, Skaaha scratched her head and looked puzzled.
“No. I will eat it.”
And then, as if to snatch it halfway, Liz picked up the wooden bowl.
She took the bowl in one gulp, which irritated the wound in her mouth.
“Haha, what an interesting girl. You should eat calmly. No one is going to take it from you.”
Skaaha sat back in her chair and smiled at Liz as she sipped her soup.
“I had a sister your age. She was very tomboyish and gentle, too.”
Skaaha softened the corners of her eyes as if reminiscing about the past. Liz could not say anything. Her sister was already dead ― she must have been murdered in the most brutal way possible.
She wondered how much hatred she would feel and whether she would be able to bear it, but time passed without her being able to give an answer.
“…..Thank you for the meal.”
“Do you want a refill?”
“No, that’s enough. Thank you.”
When Liz returned the wooden bowl, the conversation between them ceased, and silence fell.
The silence took over the tent. But Skaaha didn’t walk away, and she gave Liz a somber look.
“…There is one thing I would like to confirm with you.”
“What is it?”
“I want you to tell me what you were dreaming about earlier.”
When Skaaha asked her a question, Liz instantly knew she had to cover it up. Although she didn’t know for what reason she was asking, it was best not to bring up the subject of the Five Emperors of the Spirit Sword as much as possible.
Above all, since the First Emperor Altius, the Flame Emperor is a rarity, and many people are interested in it, and there are many people like Puppchen who are interested in studying it.
“…..I can’t remember it.”
“I see; if you don’t want to tell me, that’s fine too.”
Even though the story was skipped, Skaaha didn’t seem to be particularly offended and proceeded without hesitation.
“If you dive too deep, you won’t be able to come back. That’s the only thing to be careful about.”
“Why are you saying that to me…?”
“To be honest, I’m also the holder of the Five Emperors of the Spirit Sword, just like you.”
Skaaha confessed easily and swept her right hand in the air. Then mysteriously, fine particles swirled around her hand, and a blue spear appeared with a particularly bright light.
It was a beautiful spear. The handle is dyed blue, and the spear’s tip is glittering as if it were studded with jewels.
“As expected… I had a vague feeling about it; was it the Ice Emperor?”
Liz looked at the blue spear with a bit of surprise.
In history, the Five Emperors of the Spirit Sword have never chosen a person from another country. No, it’s just that it hasn’t been confirmed, and there may have been some, but at least the only people whose names appear in literature are from the Grantz imperial family.
“I don’t know why I was chosen… but right now, it’s not about that; it’s about your dream.”
She changed the subject, but in the middle of the conversation, as if she remembered something, she gave a small snort and put her hand on her chin, and looked at the Flame Emperor and Liz alternately.
“But first, you know that the Five Emperors of the Spirit Sword have a will, right?”
Liz wondered if she should answer and then sighed in resignation. If she were chosen by the Five Emperors of the Spirit Sword, too, there would be no point in hiding it.
“Yes… My “Flame Emperor” is a mischievous girl.”
The Five Emperors of the Spirit Sword refers to the five treasured swords that the first emperor, Altius, created after receiving power from the Spirit King. As the name suggests, the will of the spirits resides in the Five Emperors of the Spirit Sword.
“But I can only understand what she is thinking; I can’t interact with her yet.”
The Five Emperors of the Spirit Sword will not reveal themselves unless the wielder is recognized as the master and will be cursed if forced to manifest. However, if the wielder is recognized, they will be given immense power.
This is why they are called “gifts” from the Spirit King.
“I see, my “Ice Emperor” is a bit eccentric. He’s hard to handle because he sulks easily.”
However, it is said that the stronger the owner’s wish, the more power the spirit sword will give. The effect is even more pronounced if the wish is of the utmost “heartfelt wish.” In other words, drawing out the power of the spirits is a matter of how much their hearts resonate with each other, but in order to do that, you need to understand the spirit sword and build a relationship of trust, not just wish for it unilaterally.
“The Five Emperors of the Spirit Sword can give you tremendous power, but it also means that you have to endure an enormous amount of power. The power is too much for a human vessel to handle. Just one use of it can be extremely draining… That’s as far as it goes.”
Skaaha checks on Liz, who snorted with difficulty.
“Yes, it’s fine. I kind of understand it.”
“Then let’s get back to the topic. To put it bluntly, it’s best not to dive too deep.”
“Are you going further into the realm than I am?”
“Probably, so I would advise you. The deeper you go into the realm, the more the Five Emperors of the Spirit Sword will sometimes show you the memories of their former owners. This is necessary in order to understand the Five Emperors of the Spirit Sword, but there is also a danger that it will take your mind away and make you a disabled person.”
“Have you seen it yourself?”
“I have. In order to master the power, it is quicker to look at the memory of the former owner. In the case of the Ice Emperor, the memories of several people were mixed together. It’s not much of a burden because you can jump from one scene to the next, but in your case, it’s just one person, right?”
“…The First Emperor Altius?”
“Yes. That’s why I’m worried about you. To see memory is to understand it, to make it a part of you. If it is the First Emperor Altius, he will have knowledge that ordinary people cannot understand. If you were to see it, there is a possibility that you would develop a disability.”
“But all of the Five Emperors of the Spirit Sword were originally in possession of the First Emperor Altius. If so, can you see his memories too?”
“No, I can’t. To be precise, his memories were not in the realm that I could enter at this stage.”
It is said that the Five Emperors of the Spirit Sword, except for the Flame Emperor, who was only the first emperor, and the now-lost Heavenly Emperor, have changed masters throughout their long history and that the more distant the past holder, the deeper into the realm they have to go to find their memories.
“The previous holder before you was the First Emperor Altius. It’s like a demon king standing in the way of your entrance. So I believe that it is more difficult for you to draw out the power than the other Five Emperors of the Spirit Sword.”
If Skaaha’s words are to be believed, then the young man who looked exactly like Hiro in the dream was the Second Emperor Schwartz. And the point of view that Liz was looking at became Altius… What happened between the two? It did not seem as if they had fallen out.
“I’ll consider your advice. I’ll be careful in the future.”
Liz reacted to the words that Skaaha had muttered.
“Hey, why did you think I was dreaming?”
“When I stepped in here, the Flame Emperor was about to go berserk.”
“It’s true. I had to use the Ice Emperor to force you to wake up.”
Liz was surprised that such things had happened, and when she opened her eyes, she felt the presence of people outside, and her body tensed up with caution. Did Skaaha also notice it? She clutched the Ice Emperor.
“Who is it?”
When she called out with a hint of murderous intent, the sound of gravel being trampled echoed.
“It’s Rach. Skaaha-sama, Pupchen-dono wants to see you.”
“…Okay. I’ll be right there.”
The tent was instantly fogged with alarm, but the mention of the abominable man’s name caused Liz to glare at the entrance to the tent. Skaaha notices and smiles at her.
“You can rest assured. I will never let anything like that happen to you again.”
With the pride of a knight, Skaaha threw a blanket over to Liz.
“So, for now, you should rest and recover your strength.”
Then, I’ll leave you now, she said and rushed out of the tent.
Liz wrapped her body in a blanket and closed her eyes.
He must be worried about Liz. She felt sorry for all the trouble she had caused. So the next time she met him, she would be sure to smile and hug him, leaving behind the pain of her scars.
She doesn’t want him to look as painful as in that dream. She didn’t want him to be dominated by sadness.
She needs to be stronger. From now on, she will train herself thoroughly so that she will not cause Hiro any trouble. Just as the First Emperor Altius once fought side by side with the Second Emperor Schwartz, Liz renewed her determination to fight side by side with Hiro.
(Cerberus needs to take a bath too.)
The water-hating white wolf was probably not bathing now that Liz was gone. Since Tris spoils Cerberus so easily, it’s impossible that he would take a bath.
(I hope they’re both okay…)
They should be fine since they were taken off the battlefield first.
She entrusted Cerberus to Tris, who had a strong sense of responsibility, and left him in charge of the troops who were too injured to come back. She gave strict orders to join up with the Third Prince Blutar safely.
(And then there’s the improvement of the Felzen region.)
She had a lot of things she wanted to do. If she hadn’t been captured, she probably wouldn’t have known about it. Perhaps the Spirit King took her prisoner in the Grand Duchy of Dral in order to learn about the dark side of the Grantz Empire.
(Even if the other party is my father.. the mistake must be corrected.)
She was at a loss for an answer when asked by Skaaha, but her mind was already made up. Liz sank into a slumber, thinking that she might be able to get some decent sleep today.