Failed To Abandon the Villain - Chapter 101
“But I suppose I was pushed to the back of the line. First you and Elise, then the children, and your bond.”
The emperor said, shaking the glass with one hand while resting his chin on his other hand. He stared at the round ice and tilted it lightly. The harsh alcohol burned his throat. He swallowed a few times, then raised his head again to look at Lagris.
“Lagris, do you know that? Once a crack is made, it can grow very quickly. It doesn’t take long for it to break.”
“So you’d rather break it than watch it break, wouldn’t you? And…”
Lagris scrubbed at his face with both hands. He thought about it but couldn’t come up with an answer. He couldn’t figure out where everything went wrong. There were times he regretted that they met.
“I broke it because I couldn’t handle and deal with it breaking all of a sudden. Thanks to it, you’re in my pocket and Elise is in my hands.”
The emperor seemed satisfied as he spoke comfortably. Lagris despaired again at the sight of the man who looked so much like a full-blooded, ravenous beast that had finished its predation. The more he looked at him (the emperor), the more he saw him change, the more he saw the changed relationship, the more the glorious past haunted him. He didn’t want to be sane anymore.
“It’s not really the three of us anymore, is it? It’s your fault when you said you’d abandon me first and create your own world with Elise. I felt like I was stabbed in the back.”
“You defiled Elise! Cainus! You did something you shouldn’t have!”
“You should say it right. You were the one who defiled her first, Lagris.”
The emperor smiled darkly. Lagris was at a loss for words and could not say anything for a while.
Lagris and Elise loved each other and wanted to get married. It was a time when they were young and weren’t very thoughtful, so they rushed to have each other’s hearts and bodies first, and then they had a baby, so they decided to get married a little later. It was as if it was already a given that they would get married. ‘It wasn’t defilement,’ Lagris tried to explain, but closed his eyes as he watched the emperor’s mouth open again.
“What difference does it make if I defiled it once or twice? Oh, of course, I don’t think our actions are dirty just because we mimicked your words.”
“Where the hell did you throw away your common sense!”
Well, I think I left it in my mother’s womb.”
The emperor looked at Lagris, who was exploding with anger, and chuckled.
He put his hand on his forehead that seemed to crack. The migraine had been going on for so long it was driving him crazy.
“Lagris, Lag. This is what happens when you’re greedy. And then Elise gave birth to four children, and …… to be fair, she had to give birth to my child too.”
“My children… didn’t live long and died.”
Lagris said despairingly.
“I still think it’s sad.”
At the sincere words of the emperor, Lagris faltered and tipped his cup and poured himself another drink. Watching him continue to drink the strong liquor, the emperor took the rest of the liquor bottle and turned it upside down. The orange liquor flowed down onto the rug. Lagris stared at the emperor as if to ask what he had done.
“What are you doing?”
“I hear you’ve been drinking a lot of strong liquor lately, and it’s not good for you, Lag.”
“I’m drinking because I can’t sleep.”
The emperor put down his glass on the table with his left hand, grabbed Lagris by the chest with his right, and pulled him to the front of the table.
Lagris wavered and frowned.
“You’re not in good shape either. Have you been eating?”
“Don’t mind me…….Since the beginning.”
Lagris looked away. He rose from his seat as the emperor released his hand that gripped his chest. Both Lagris and the emperor knew that he would have to obey the emperor’s words in order to safely hold Elise’s body in his arms again.
“Bring the child to me safely, and I will let you see Elise, Lagris.”
The emperor said as he drank the rest of his cup. The gray eyes of Lagris grew even larger, and he turned away in a panic. He sat down at the table, made eye contact with the Emperor, and opened his mouth.
“Is it true?”
The emperor nodded pleasantly, very pleased with his eyes, as if it was the first time he had ever seen them properly. He (the emperor) was willing to pay back as much as he could if Lafris did the job well.
“I keep my promise, Lagris.”
“Okay. By the way, what do you intend to do with the child?”
“There’s a drug I need to make. Gillian can’t do it.”
The emperor, shrugging his shoulders, said frankly. Lagris, his arms folded, opened his eyes wide in slight surprise. Wasn’t Gillian also a pretty amazingly skilled alchemist?
“….. She’s such a great kid, isn’t she?”
“She’s as great as Elise. But she’s not as interesting as Elise.”
The emperor said, thinking of Baretta. Emotions, all emotions, were not very interesting to a dead child. Though some of the actions she tried to provoke still seemed juvenile.
“I’m surprised you’d rate it that way.”
“Oh, by the way. …There have been stories of corpses coming to life all over the place, do you know anything about that, Lagris?”
“Corpses come to life?”
Lagris opened his eyes wide and asked back. The emperor was silent for a while. He didn’t reply, but looked at Lagris for a long time, then smiled affectionately and shook his head, as he always did.
“If you don’t know, it’s fine. Track the girl down and bring her to me. Then all three of us can be together again.”
“Can we be together?”
“There is such a thing. Anyway, please do.”
Nodding, Lagris stopped moving as he tried to turn himself around. He hesitated a bit, and eventually opened his mouth slowly.
“You’re not going to kill her…. are you?”
“If I’m going to kill her, I wouldn’t ask you to bring her here, would I?”
There was no reply from Lagris. The emperor’s smile deepened as he effortlessly grasped the truth of the unanswered. He had already been involved in many crimes. There was no way he could back out now. Lagris clenched his fists tightly. The Emperor smiled broadly, licking his lips as he lowered his voice as much as he could.
“You’re bringing her here, aren’t you, Lagris?”
His smile deepened.
“For our precious Elise.”
The emperor’s voice whispered in a small chant, but Lagris said nothing and turned away.
“Don’t make me kill you.”
The emperor did not answer. Lagris disappeared with the magic circle that did not glow. The emperor slowly sank down on the sofa as the presence of Lagris completely disappeared.
The ice in the glass of whiskey clinked together in the glass. Even though it looked like that, Lagris also cherished the time when the three of them were together the most. That was why he couldn’t leave, couldn’t push the Emperor away, couldn’t kill him.
“A long time ago.”
The emperor, left alone in his office, smiled.