Neither Should be Angered
Leguna awoke two days later. He feared seeing Annelotte’s corpse as he opened his eyes, but there was nothing beside him.
“Ley, are you awake?” asked Vera, opening the carriage door.
Since Vera was with him, Kurdak must be driving.
“Kid! You’re finally awake!” Kurdak yelped from the driver’s seat.
“Did we escape?”
“Yes. You’ve been out for five days,” Vera answered.
Leguna looked around.
“What about Annie? Where’s she?”
Vera’s face stiffened.
“No! She’s not dead! Did you cremate her?” howled Leguna, terror written on his face.
“Of course not! She woke up a few days ago. The necklace she always wore saved her.”
Leguna’s eyes brightened. The boy shot upright, nearly shoving his head straight through the carriage’s roof.
“I knew it! I knew it! Where is she? Call her over quick! No, I’ll go see her! Where is she right now, I want to apologize! It’s my fault!”
Vera’s face stiffened again.
“Ley, I’m afraid she…”
“Afraid of what?” Vera’s silence chilled Leguna’s spine.
“You have to wait for a while before you can apologize to her.”
The truth was, he had no chance of apologizing to the girl, but Vera didn’t have the heart to tell him that.
Annelotte wasn’t dead and had even woken up why did he have to wait?
Vera took a deep breath.
“Left? Where’d she go?”
Vera briefly recounted the last couple of days.
“I see,” Leguna muttered, “She’s really angry…”
“Don’t be too sad. We’ll go to Chino soon. We’ll meet her again if that’s our destiny.”
“You don’t need to console me, Sis,” Leguna said, smiling, “I’m ashamed of making her angry, not of making her leave.”
“You don’t care about that?”
“I care! Of course I care! That’s why I’m going to Chino. She can’t run away from me even if she is mad! I just need to settle a few things with Innilis and the orcs, but I’ll go to Chino as soon as that’s done!”
“Kid!” Kurdak interjected as he poked his head into the carriage, “It sounds like you’re going to leave us behind. Forget it! I can’t stay here any longer, and my woman won’t leave my side, so we will go to Chino, anyway. We might as well to together.”
Vera slapped Kurdak’s cheek. The poor man nearly joined the bushes on the side of the road.
Since the two had agreed to the journey, there was no need to hesitate.
“Big One! Why hasn’t Big Bro come back yet?! You lied to me!” complained Innilis as she pushed open the door.
“Oh, my little ancestor!”
A massive headache struck the giant orc like lightning.
“I already told you they’ll be back in a couple more days!”
“That’s what you said a five days ago!—” the little ancestor’s eyes teared, “—You’re lying! You said it before, whoever lies is a dog!”
“I-I-I-I…” Kreighdon stuttered, trying to come up with an excuse, but his admittedly thin repertoire of excuses was dried up.
Leguna had left without alerting anyone. Innilis only realized his absence the next morning. She felt she was abandoned and burst into Oljharok’s study and started wailing. The great chief wanted to crack the little brat’s skull open and boil her for dinner, but he couldn’t. He’d promised Leguna he’d take care of the little devil. His solution was to push responsibility for the little demon onto Kreighdon. As a result, the fallen angel would frequently burst into the war god’s house and throw tantrums. Besides training in his hidden arena, he never had a moment of piece.
He’d tried scaring her, but she wasn’t afraid of him. If he roared, she’d screech. He’d tried ignoring her, but the little wraith had more stamina than saints. She could cry and throw tantrums for hours on end. He’d even tried comforting her, but the vixen never believed a word he said. The orc was at his wit’s end.
“Does Big Bro not want me anymore?”
“How can you say that?! How could he not want such a cute and precious little angel? He just had to go deal with something important. He’ll be back soon! If he even thinks of abandoning you, I’ll beat him up so bad he won’t even be able to crawl away!”
“Then why isn’t he back yet?”
Kreighdon was speechless. He was in the middle of desperately trying to figure out what to say when an orc rushed in.
The mountains fell from the saint’s shoulders. He could have sworn he’d just broken through to the next realm.
“I told you, didn’t I? He’s back!”
Innilis was surprised to see Kurdak and Vera standing behind Leguna. She didn’t know the whole story, but she knew the two had been captured by someone. Their safe return broke her face. It was permanently split in half by a massive smile. It took her only a few moments to notice Annelotte’s absence, though.
“Annie went to Chino across the sea.”
Innilis’s eyes widened.
“You made her angry again!”
“How’d you know?”
“I knew for a long time!” Innilis said as she tried to mimic the adults’ shrugs, “What are you going to do?”
“Look for her of course! Oh, and, Innie…”
“I will probably go to Chino in two days. I wonder if you–”
Innilis cut of Leguna’s words with an explosive cry. Her eyes ran rivers on cue.
“Big Bro doesn’t want me anymore!!! I hate Big Bro!!! Big Bro’s always lying to me!!! You said you’d let me follow you forever! But you try to abandon be all the time!!! Waaaaah! You lying dog! Big Bro’s a dog! Waaaaaaah!”
The girl’s crying was even scarier than a bellow spell. The little devil could overpower even saints!
“I never said I was going to leave you behind!”
The little demon’s wails vanished as soon as they appeared.
“Innie, do you want to leave with me?”
The little angel’s face bloomed instantly. The storm clouds parted, and the heavens opened. Leguna couldn’t stop staring.
Evil thoughts, be gone! Innie’s too young! I can’t have such thoughts!
“Yay! Big Bro’s the best!” cried the deity as she leaped into the poor sod’s arms.
Leguna gave the little girl a headbutt
“Humph! You even said you hated! You wanna make up just like that?”
“Come on… I only misunderstood Big Bro!”
“You little fool!” Leguna pinched the child’s nose.
Innilis hadn’t misunderstood him at all. He had wanted to suggest they look for a place for her to stay. This trip wasn’t going to be a quick one, it was likely to be very dangerous as well. They didn’t know what waited for them, at least. He wanted to leave her behind, she would only be in danger and be a burden on everyone else. But after seeing how tortured she was, he could not harden his ears and heart enough. So, he exploited a loophole in his words instead: he didn’t say ‘I’ll bring you with me’, but ‘leave this place with me’.
Women are not to be angered, no matter how small, thought he as he looked at the giggling devil in his arms. All things aside, she had achieved her goal, even if only temporarily.