“I apologise for burdening you two.”
“Don’t force yourself. You took care of our husband, so it’s only right we take care of you. Plus, you saved us. Focus on healing your chest wound first.”
Ying wouldn’t listen to me. Yet, for some reason, she got along unbelievably well with Nier. Perhaps it was because the two of them found traits that resonated with each other. For instance, despite being concerned for each other, they both maintained expressionless looks when communicating. Additionally, perhaps Nier felt a sense of nostalgia, as looking at the current Ying must’ve been tantamount to seeing her former self.
Nier sat down to one side, while Ying lied on the ground. Ying turned her head to look at Nier and softly said, “You can’t wear shoes indoors.”
“Oh?” NIer looked to me, hoping I’d translate.
I was their translator. After I told Nier what Ying said, Nier took of her shoes and handed them to me. She then said, “Ying, I’ve heard about your sister.”
“You shouldn’t know about it,” replied Ying. She turned Lucia, who was under the tree, looking eager to try climbing it. She stated, “It’s our business. It’s useless even if you know. You don’t need to know about it. It was my mistake; thus, I should be here. The villagers didn’t do anything wrong, either. I was the one who caused my sister’s predicament. The villagers aren’t at fault.”
I retorted with frustration: “It’s not your fault!”
Nier pressed her hand onto my shoulder: “Dear, calm down. I’ll speak to her. Don’t be agitated.”
I only realised how emotional I was when Nier stopped me. She sighed then said to Ying, “If you think it’s your fault, let me ask you: you know what would’ve happened if you didn’t kill the children, don’t you? You only did what you considered to be right even if that right answer meant blood would be spilt.”
“I shouldn’t have let them touch my sabre. It’s a curse. I failed to protect them. The fault was mine. I hurt the villagers. I should’ve protected them, yet I killed their children. Those five kids used to always play here at my place. I really liked them, but I had to kill them.”
Ying recalled her past. I was surprised that she would face her past so candidly. She didn’t bat an eye when she recounted her past for us; even her tone changed. She shut her eyes and went on in a soft voice, “It was all my fault. I failed to protect them and even failed to protect my sister. I deserve to stay here and atone. I shall stay here for my whole life to make up for my mistake.”
“Not everybody is worth protecting.”
“It’s only natural and right for us to protect those without power, since we have the power to. Seeing those around us die when we possess power is our fault.”
“You can’t protect everyone.”
“That’s why I do my best to protect those around me.”
Ying and Nier conversed very harmoniously. The two of them spoke calmly. However, I, as the translator, couldn’t keep calm, so my tone continued to fluctuate. The two of them didn’t bother with me, though. Nier stopped talking after that; Ying didn’t intend to say any more, either.
Nier shifted her gaze to me and chuckled: “Ying is as stupid as you were back then.”
“I didn’t have such a strong sense of duty back then, okay?”
“That’s because you didn’t have Ying’s strength back then. If you did have that sort of strength, I guarantee you would’ve made the same decisions as her,” said Nier, eyes on Ying, who shut her eyes to rest. She carried on in a soft voice: “Ying resembled a demon gone mad when she fought last night. When she fought that creature, she spilt blood with her sabre. She wouldn’t have been wounded if she didn’t protect us. Your Majesty, that thing is more terrifying than Ling Yue. It’s extremely deft in the water, and I think it possesses mana.”
“This island doesn’t have mana.”
“That may be because it absorbed the mana here on this island,” said Nier, then looking at Lucia: “Lucia’s mana isn’t of superior grade, but even she could sense a tremendous flow of mana that concentrated all the mana nearby in its direction. If my conjecture is correct, it’s absorbed the mana from the necklace Queen Vyvyan gave you.”
I nodded: “But even though it’s a monster with mana, Ying can fight against it, which means Ying should be physically immune to mana, right? Put another way, mana should be ineffective on her.”
“I would surmise so. With that said, as it is a creature with mana, you could say we’ve encountered something we’re familiar with,” answered Nier, elaborating further. “Actually, I think I can fight with it.”
I paused to think then responded, “I have a thought: if it’s a monster with mana, I have just the thing to deal with it. I have a formula for making a potion which dissolves mana. Seeing as it absorbs the mana nearby here, I just need to pour the agent into the ocean. The potion nearly took my life. It could weaken the creature if it dissolved the mana it absorbed, right?”
I went through my breast pocket and took out a small book. The small book was the last item Mera left behind for me. I always carried it with me. It was made from fur, so the contents were easily kept in good condition. Part of the book detailed the formula of the mana dissolving potion that almost killed me.
When Nier saw me take out the small book, she turned serious all of a sudden. In a stern tone, she said, “Your Majesty, are you seriously planning to kill the creature? While I did say that I could go and fight it, I wasn’t hoping we’d go out of our own way to pick a fight with it. Your Majesty, this has nothing to do with us. This isn’t our territory and is not our business. If we bump into the creature on the way back, we can engage it, but don’t go out of your way to pick a fight with it.”
“I want to help Ying.”
“That has nothing to do with killing the creature. Ying can defeat the creature. She can resist the harm damage it inflicts, but we can’t,” argued Nier. “I am your wife, Your Majesty. I cannot let my husband risk his life. We don’t know much about the creature, and it’s not an ordinary human. Therefore, there are many unknown variables. There is no need to bring trouble upon yourself. Furthermore, saving Xia would be the greatest magnanimity we could show.”
I contended, “It’s pointless to save Xia. If we want to help Ying, saving Xia alone is pointless. As a matter of fact, we’d fail, as she’d still end up locked back in the prison. We must slay the wyrm. It’s the only way we can remove the shackles on the sisters. I must slay the creature! I insist! Ying won’t be able to atone. Xia won’t attain salvation, and neither will I unless it’s killed. I don’t want to leave this place with shame and regret. Ying is right; not doing anything when you have the power to is a sin!”
“You’re a little similar to your past self, Your Majesty.”
“But didn’t you fall for the me of the past?”