Extra chapter thanks to Luis, Faustine, John and Choon 🙂 Enjoy!
Chapter 93: Red hesitates in the festival night
The clink of glassware echoed in the kitchen.
I washed the cups with soap and water and passed them to Lit.
Lit took the kitchen wares I passed to her and wiped the moisture off with a dishcloth before placing them on the shelf.
Lit and I were washing the dishes after Ruti and the others left.
“All right we’re done.”
“Thank you for your hard work.”
After placing the final cup on the shelf, Lit raised one of her hands. I lightly touched that hand.
Even though it was just washing the dishes together, Lit showed a smile as though we completed a difficult task. Whenever we completed some collaborative work, we would always either high-five, shake hands or hug.
Well, obviously we won’t do it in front of others. I don’t think we have but maybe we might have done it once or twice.
“Then, I’ll prepare the bath.”
“Okay, thank you.”
I returned to the living room and wiped the table. I squeezed the dust cloth dry.
After that was done, I took my time to rest and wait for Lit to adjust the bath temperature.
“Now then, winter solstice festival night huh.”
The question was the timing to pass it to her.
“I’m nervous. Maybe it would be better to do it on a regular day instead.”
Now that I think about it, passing it to her on the festival day would feel like I am putting on a show. Maybe I should do it tomorrow?
“No no, knight captain taught me that it was not good to delay any matters. Do not hesitate if you decide to attack, a resolute sword is a victorious sword.”
Of course, that was about swords and troops. I’m sure Knight Captain would never imagine that I would recall what he said during a time like this.
I miss those times, when I just entered the knight order and was battling to raise my 『Guide』 initial levels, he was the person who taught me the importance of sword technique and that skills do not matter.
During the time when we started our journey, Knight Captain was one of the few in the Imperial Capital who was stronger than me. His divine protection was 『Woad Raider』, a divine protection within the barbarian system but he endeavored to fight intelligently with the sword.
And it was not limited to sword techniques. When I was still an apprentice and Knight Captain called me Little Gi, he repeatedly cautioned me to not rely too heavily on 『Divine Protection』.
“Listen here Little Gi, 『Divine Protection』is certainly the source of our powers. But the 『Divine Protection』is incapable of making any judgment. It is up to us to make the right choices.”
Divine Protections are incapable of making any judgment. The people in this world often forget that principle.
People feel that obeying the impulses was the right thing to do because that was driven into them emotionally as they would suffer if they resisted their divine protection whereas they would experience joy if they fulfilled their impulses.
Moreover, under the doctrine of the Holy Church, God Demis does not blame one for their failures and crimes due to their divine protection impulses.
Seven years ago, when a man called the Bandit King with the heinous divine protection of 『Bandit』 was going to be executed, regardless of the massive number of people he had murdered and robbed, he received a lot of respect from the church and the citizens for fulfilling his divine protection and he stayed in prison without any discomfort until the day he was executed.
On the day of his execution, many came as spectators and they shouted words of support for the man trembling in fear of death.
And then, the bandit king was executed accompanied by grand applause.
“I wonder if this is okay.”
I participated in the fight to capture the bandit king but that man was not the so-called chivalrous thief. He had a charisma that attracted people and he was caring toward his henchmen but thinking about how he attacked and killed his victims for his own self-interest, I could not feel sorry for him.
“The bath temperature is just nice!”
Lit called out to me. This is bad, my thoughts were completely side-tracked.
I have not come to a decision on the main point of when to pass that.
… I’ll think about it as I take a bath.
Lit and I entered the bath together.
Lit leaned her back on my chest and loosened her body comfortably.
With my view from the back of Lit’s head, whether it was her healthy nape or her breasts floating in the bath, there were many sights to be bashful of.
Although it was an everyday occurrence.
Well, even though Lit did that every day, her body would stiffen for an instant every time her back touched my chest so I guess it was a tie, probably.
“Today was fun.”
Lit said. 【Drip】 A droplet from the ceiling fell into the bath.
“I never imagined a day where I would enjoy a festival with Ruti. Life sure is unpredictable. In a good way.”
“That’s right, when I first came to Zoltan, I imagine that I would be living a much more solitary and lonely slow life.”
“Would you have preferred it that way?”
I hugged Lit from behind.
“Of course not.”
We closed our eyes and enjoyed each other’s body warmth.
“Shisandan, do you think he’s dead?”
Lit gripped my hand. I gripped it back in response.
“That guy has died twice. Once by my hand and the second by Ruti.”
“That’s why I am over it. I will no longer pursue him. Even if he comes back to life, I would fight if he threatens my and Red and Ruti’s life in Zoltan but I would not mind if he doesn’t.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, taking revenge once is enough. Getting it twice is excessive.”
Lit said and turned to look at me with a smile.
“More importantly, Red, I cherish you more.”
Maybe because she was embarrassed with what she said, Lit’s face turned red.
It seemed that Lit had sorted out her feelings about Shisandan.
I have to say it.
“A-after we leave the bath, I have something I wish to pass to you. Could you give me some time?”
“Sure but … to-tonight is the night of the winter solstice festival though.”
I could tell that both of our bodies were stiff from the nerves.
Calm down. Deep breaths.
There was a legend about the night of the winter solstice festival.
The 『Drake Rider』 who defeated the 『Winter Demon』 rescues the 『Princess』 trapped in the ice castle.
However, due to a curse by the 『Winter Demon』, the 『Princess』 was frozen to the core of her heart.
The 『Drake Rider』 was enraptured by the figure of the beautiful 『Princess』 and was deeply saddened that her heart was frozen and had stopped beating.
The 『Drake Rider』 took off his own ring from his ring finger, placed it on the chest of the 『Princess』 and dripped a drop of his blood inside the ring.
When he did that, the 『Drake Rider’s』 warm blood passed through the 『Princess’』 skin and reached her heart, warming her frozen heart. The 『Princess’』 heart started beating once again and the 『Princess』 slowly opened her eyes.
Then, the two exchanged kisses. The 『Drake Rider』 married the 『Princess』 and became a king when they returned to her hometown.
That was the summary of the legend.
That was the origin of the custom to give rings during an engagement in the Avalonia Continent. Putting it on the ring finger was also because of that legend.
Well, there was that. It was easy to imagine the metaphor within the legend. To pass blood through the woman’s ring …
Many people claim that many children are born in the fall season because of that legend. Incidentally, fall is roughly 10 months from the winter solstice festival.
While waiting from Lit who was changing into her clothes after getting out from the bath, I held the box with the ‘ring’ in my hand and was still hesitant and troubled, thinking if I was passing it to her in the heat of the festival or that she would be disillusioned or that I should maybe pass it to her on a normal day after all.