We still ended up arriving a little too late.
Karana and I looked at the Lord’s palace, where black smoke was twirling into the sky above. When the anthropoids attacked the palace, they threw flammables inside, igniting a big fire. The guards tasked with security were fighting at the city walls, while the people were hiding in their own homes trembling, leaving the palace there to burn until there was nothing left to burn.
I didn’t know what to say, but I saw Karana who was next to me in pain, so I felt that I had to say something.
Karana gripped my arm tightly and forced herself to stay on her feet. Her body trembled as her tears coursed down her face. She spoke in a shaky voice, “It’s all gone… It’s all gone… My husband and my things… They’re all gone… all gone… Everything is gone… The snow sculptures… The books… They’re all gone… all gone…”
“It’s all right; it’s all right. You’ll be able to get your notes and whatnot again. I’ll share them with you again whenever you want!”
“But my husband’s and my memories are all gone!!”
Karana shouted toward the ground and wailed loudly. She cried as she looked at the black smoke twirling up into the air. The big fire melted the sculptures and the books had been burnt. Those were the only things Karana had remaining. Those were the only things that she could rely on to reminiscence. She lived here, because there were traces of her husband having once been here, as well as her memories of him.
Now, however, they were no more.
“Your Majesty… you are different… Your story with your wives has a future… but I… This is all I have… But they are all gone now… They are all gone now… and I will never have them again… If I forget him, not even my husband will remain…”
Karana sat on the ground and curled her fingers up against the ground. The broken fragments on the ground almost caused all of her fingers to bleed. She looked up; her purple eyes were filled with an intense murderous aura. It was my first time seeing her reveal such an aggressive expression. She looked to the North where the anthropoids fled. She clenched her teeth and shouted, “Socina shall never forgive the anthropoids! I swear on my name, Karana Dominique Von Testersmill, and the honour of my family that I will definitely annihilate the anthropoids in the North! I will annihilate them! The anthropoids destroyed my husband’s and my most cherished memories. I will make them pay with their blood!!”
I just called out to her, but Karana spun around and looked at me with such a fierce gaze that I was almost frightened. She whipped her now somewhat messy hair while keeping her gaze on me. She then very aggressively shouted, “Your Majesty, please accept my request. I want to get revenge, as well. I also want to destroy the horde of anthropoids in the North. Socina will provide everything it can to help whether that is manpower or provisions. I can even give you myself as long as you can avenge me!”
“I can do that, but… I just want to know why you all have to add yourself into the list. Am I that sort of person to you?!”
“You misunderstand, Your Majesty. It is just that when a woman reaches a dead end, her body becomes her last capital for living on. If it really comes down to it, it is nothing to be ashamed of.” Karana looked at me and went on sternly, “I am not lying. I will do my absolute best to do what you ask as long as you can help me get revenge. I am able to be here today thanks to my husband, but my most precious treasures have been destroyed, so there is nothing that I am unwilling to sacrifice now!”
“Even if I do make your wish a reality, I won’t ask for your body!” I scratched my head and sighed. I then continued, “I, actually, am the one who should be most concerned; but nonetheless, since you’ve both given me such heavy responsibilities, it’s dampened my concerns. However, Karana, I promise that I will definitely help you, not just to avenge you, but also to protect the people and territory of mine that I want to protect.”
Philes rode his horse over at a fast speed. He looked at me and reported, “Your Majesty, the guard unit is ready, and so are your new soldiers.”
I nodded then looked at Karana, “Lord Karana, I shall take my leave now then. A major incident has happened, so please forgive me for changing my schedule. I must rush back to Troy City now.”
“Please wait a moment, Your Majesty.”
Karana suddenly grabbed me. I looked at her, feeling somewhat puzzled. She took in a deep breath and declared, “I shall follow you. I have nothing here anymore. I cannot tolerate looking at these ruins and doing nothing! I must do something to get my revenge even if this is the last thing I do!”
“You want to come with me?”
“Yes. I want to go with you to the North. I want to personally plant the victory flag in the North before returning to Socina. Only that way can I face my husband’s grave!”
Karana’s gaze was particularly serious and firm as rock. I didn’t think I’d be able to stop her regardless of what I said. Karana deeply loves her late husband. She even dared to refuse a marriage proposal from the royal family for him. I fully believe that such a woman would even take to the battlefield for her husband just as Nier and Lucia, who both fought Alice that night, in spite of their poor conditions.
Nobody can stop a woman’s affirmative love. Nothing can.
“It’ll very dangerous, you know?”
“I will protect myself. I will not make you protect me and distract you!”
“I’m not worried about being distracted. I’m just reminding you to not do something rash for revenge.”
I turned around and mounted the horse Philes led over. I added, “Karana, pack your stuff. Come to the city doors once you’re done packing. We’ll wait for you there.”
“Will you not object?”
“Would my objection work?”
We gave each other a smile. Karana stood up, and then headed in the direction that she needed to go with a resolute mentality. I didn’t know who she was going to look for or what she was going to do, but I believed that we’d definitely meet her at the city door if we waited for her there.
“Your Majesty… we are going to battle. Would there not be problems if we brought Lord Karana along?”
“Aren’t I the same as her?” I then chuckled and explained, “I can’t do anything, either. I rely on you guys to protect me, as well. That said, you, too, should be aware that Karana won’t stop now. She’ll probably form her own team to attack them even if I reject her. Socina City might be a station we can use as our frontline base for attacking. With Karana with us, it’ll be easier to negotiate things.”
In a concerned tone, Philes asked, “Do you think… Troy City is in danger?”
I looked in the direction of Troy city and clenched my teeth, “I don’t know. Troy City best be fine. My wives and mom are all there. I must guarantee their safety. They’re the most important to me, as well as the people I love most… It’s my turn… to protect my moms this time!”
Current time at Troy City…
“The elves have entered a harsh battle, as well.”
Elizabeth threw the letter in her hand into the basin of fire. She lied down sideways on the bed and cleared her throat softly before giving her orders, “Send Lucia and Nier… mm… and Freya to the Royal Capital. They are the most important people to my son. If something happens to them, I won’t be able to stand my son’s tears.”
A Valkyrie looked at Her Majesty, “Your Majesty, the enemy is estimated to arrive at the city around tonight. Our army has just left, and hence, require some time to return. We should just retreat for now. Your safety is what is truly most important! It matters not if we abandon this city, as it is not suited for a defensive battle. The land is flat, and it’s only combat force is its militia!”
The Empress chuckled. She looked at her and responded, “This is my son’s city. This city’s name is Troy City. I abandoned my son once ten years ago, and you want me to abandon him again?! I will never do that! This city doesn’t just have militia. There’s all of you and me! I’m right here inside my son’s city! I’m not taking a single step back! This is Troy City! It is blissful for me to die in my son’s city!”
“I, myself, will fight just as I did in the past. As long as it has to do with my son, I shall never abandon it. Never!”