"Please, kill me," Alonso begged Faela.
"My lord, I..." The general grew quiet and didn't meet his eyes.
"Uncle, I'm sorry..." Celia cried without any restraint. "I'm so sorry... I never imagined... I should've noticed that healer had become a worshiper... Dad trusted him... but now, because of me, you..."
Alonso's eyes became wet but he held the tears. "You're human, Lia. You have no fault in this. I should've noticed he was putting tainted blood on my medicine..."
Celia moved closer to hug him. Alonso took a step back.
"I... Don't get any closer... I don't know when I'll become... I can't risk it..."
Despite closing his hand so hard it was losing its color, the fist trembled as the demonic energy coursed and tried to take control over his body and soul.
"There's got to be something we can do... We can't... I can't lose you too, uncle..."
Neither Alonso nor Faela met her eyes.
The swordsman glanced at Tetsuko.
There's nothing, the soul in the sword projected her thoughts to her wielder.
Even if she forced herself, she couldn't devour the evil energy without being overtaken by it as well. However, even then, it wouldn't be enough. The corruption inside Alonso had spread too much.
In a bizarre turn of events, what was preventing the evil energy from taking over him right away was Lucky Chaos's twisted energy.
That's what's keeping his sanity. But even that has a limit, Tetsuko knew.
The battle for Alonso's body and soul was lost. Soon the proud lord who fought against the worshiper his entire life, would become the very thing he swore to destroy.
Unless he dies. Right here, right now.
"I'm sorry I can't fulfill our promise, Lia." Despite the pain, he still forced a smile as he looked at the girl he considered family. "I'm really sorry."
Celia cried even harder. She raced and hugged Alonso before the swordsman could do anything.
The swordsman hesitated but hugged her back. The girl buried her face on his clothes and let her tears out.
After what seemed a long time, Alonso grunted, let her go and stepped back. The energy inside him was advancing.
Celia, however, didn't let go. With her tiny hands, she tugged at his clothes with all the strength she had.
"I have to go, Lia," Alonso said, trying to suppress the pain.
"I won't let you!"
The swordsman embraced her again. "I don't wanna die like Diego. I don't want to become that."
Despite whispering, the girl widened her eyes as if he had screamed. Only then she finally let go of him. With her hands trembling, Celia looked into his eyes
Alonso patted her on the head. "You'll be fine. I know you'll be. You can count on my son for anything. He'll... be happy... to help you..."
Before Celia could say anything, he grunted again, this time louder. Panting, he stepped back at once, only stopping when he hit. As he bent his back in pain, Alonso buried half his face in one hand.
Even if he was fast enough to hide from Faela and Celia, he wasn't fast enough to hide from his sword.
Despite being on the other side of the room, Tetsuko had seen his eyes as he retreated against the wall. The white from his eyes was turning black, and the pupil yellow.
Thanks to Lucky Chaos' energy, it's only in one eye. But once it takes the other... Tetsuko didn't have to imagine what would happen. She had seen as one lost the mind. Alonso is strong. If someone like him becomes a worshiper, it's gonna be troublesome... Maybe more than the Grand priest...
And that could be good for me.
He'll be forced to fight again and again, until he dies. And I could grow even stronger...
As the idea became more tempting to her, Alonso grunted again, his breathing heavier.
"Please, Faela. Kill me... I don't have much time!"
His legs had lost the strength and he grabbed the table to keep standing.
At that moment, Celia saw his eye. "No... Uncle..."
"I'm sorry... Lia... I really am... But... I can't..." He grunted again, turning to Faela. One eye was completely possessed and the white from the other was beginning to vanish. "Please!" he begged.
With a grieving face, the woman nodded and drew her sword.
"No!" Celia ran and stood between Faela and Alonso. "I forbid you from killing him! It's an order!"
"My lady, please. I don't want to kill Lord Alonso, but the alternative is worse than death for him. You saw it yourself. Even if we keep him in prison for the rest of his life, that's not what he wants. He doesn't want to become a worshiper. He doesn't want to destroy everything he and his ancestors fought and gave their lives to protect." As Celia cried even more, Faela knelt and hugged her. "I know what's like to lose your family in the blink of an eye. I know it's not fair. But we must be brave. For them as well."
Celia's desperate cries filled the room and echoed in the stone hallways of the castle. Even so, she did nothing as the soldier let her go and walked towards Alonso.
"Thank... you," the lord said, lowering his head. Despite the pain, his expression said it all; he was truly thankful.
Faela closed her eyes and clutched the handle of her sword harder.
Before she could raise the weapon, Alonso grunted again.
Shit! The energy noticed! Alonso!
It was too late. By the time the soldier raised the sword and brought it down, Alonso's body and soul had been taken over by the demonic energy.
With his face scowling, he grabbed Faela's sword by the edge. His hand was unharmed as he pushed the blade back.
When he raised his head, both eyes showed he was completely possessed. Alonso was gone. Not where was only a worshiper, whether he liked or not.
YOU ARE READING
Tetsuko was a blacksmith. Ever since she could remember, her life revolved around swords. And when she died, she became one. I'll be posting this novel on Royal Road as well