Chapter 32:

The Promise

The Consequence of Saving the World

Like a woodpecker in super-slow motion, her finger repeatedly tapped the side of her upper arm. I’d say that her arms were folded, but that wouldn’t be an accurate description since she’s missing her left elbow and everything beneath it.Bookmark here

With crossed arm, she sat across me. She was cross. Bookmark here

What made everything even more awkward was that we were the only two customers in this bar. Usually, it would be frequented by adventurers, mercenaries and the like but it was completely empty thanks to Sereya.Bookmark here

It didn’t matter if the other patrons recognised who she was or not—everyone’s survival senses triggered and immediately ran out of the establishment. I didn’t blame them—when one of the strongest beings in the world walked in murderous intent, that was a smart decision to make.Bookmark here

She typically wasn’t one for anger; which was why whenever she got pissed—she’s really pissed. Bookmark here

Sereya the Merciful Blade was merciful to her enemies, but I couldn’t say the same to her loved ones. She was extra controlling during my entire recovery process. I knew for a fact that my body was back to 100%, heck—maybe even higher quite some time ago, but she’d still insist that I stay in the infirmary until tomorrow, my last day of recovery.Bookmark here

The source of her anger was me. Thanks to that, I had a method of calming her down.Bookmark here

“Sereya, you’re beautiful.”Bookmark here

Her silence only seemed to magnify her anger. Well, it was worth a shot.Bookmark here

“Thanks,” her expression remained unchanging, “but I’d rather you tell me something that I don’t already know.”Bookmark here

Okay, that definitely was not worth a shot. Bookmark here

“Umm, miss,” the frightened waitress who was hiding behind the counter approached our table, “s-sorry to interrupt your c-conversation, but this one’s o-on the h-house.”Bookmark here

So great was her fear, I could’ve sworn I saw her sweat travelling upwards. Her trembling hand did her best to lay down the mug of ale without spilling.Bookmark here

A smile beamed from Sereya as she looked at the waitress dead in the eye.Bookmark here

“Thanks! You really know how to make a girl happy!”Bookmark here

Of course she had to throw shade at me. The roof of this building must be feeling so relieved that someone else was doing the job for it!Bookmark here

The waitress, still visibly shaken, pointed at me.Bookmark here

“Err what about h-h—”Bookmark here

“Oh don’t worry about him! He can’t drink. He’s supposed to be in the hospital recovering.”Bookmark here

The pressure was too immense. I caved in.Bookmark here

“I’m sorry!” Bookmark here

A dull pain emerged from my forehead as I voluntarily slammed my face onto the table in apology.Bookmark here

“For?”Bookmark here

“For sneaking out of the hospital?” I slowly tilted my head up to gauge her mood.Bookmark here

“Try again.”Bookmark here

Okay, so she wasn’t upset with me for not staying in bed. Just what could it be?Bookmark here

“For not listening to you?”Bookmark here

“I’m not your mum, Evan. Though I would appreciate it more if you did listen to me. But that’s beside the point.”Bookmark here

She took a deep breath. Her fingers started to massage the area between her forehead and her temple in frustration. I could tell that she was struggling to put together her next words. If anything, her disappointment affected me a lot more than her anger.Bookmark here

“Evan, we talked about this before when you’re in the hospital. Remus aside, you remember why I was so upset at you for the stunt you pulled in the Seven Heroes Summit, yes?”Bookmark here

“Yeah.”Bookmark here

There was no way I’d forget. I let my own prejudice against Remus take the better of me and I even voted against Sereya.Bookmark here

“You said you don’t want to be a Hero. I’m fine with that. Just now, you went and saved a girl from some robbers. I don’t care that you went and contradict yourself. But what I do care about is that you went and beat up a guy! What if you killed him?!”Bookmark here

“I didn’t kill him! Also, The Seven Heroes are forbidden from killing the innocent—he was a robber, he wasn’t innocent!”Bookmark here

I realised a bit too late that raising my voice was a huge mistake. Bookmark here

“Who are you to say that, Evan? Are you so high and mighty that you can judge who’s innocent and who’s guilty? Are you saying that it’s perfectly fine to kill someone who’s not innocent?”Bookmark here

She waited for a response from me, but I got it now.Bookmark here

“You’re not the one who gets to decide, Evan. Thanks to the motion that was passed in the summit, if you killed the robber, and if this country feels that he is innocent, I’m going to be the one who has to put you down, you know that?”Bookmark here

Her cracked voice and the tears that were starting to form were hitting me hard. I wanted to comfort her, but my mind was signalling to me to keep quiet and not make things worse.Bookmark here

“Before the war with the demons ended, we had the privilege of exercising our own judgement of what’s right and what’s wrong. Now that the biggest threat to mankind is gone, The Seven Heroes, we—are the biggest threat. All of the nations are going to do whatever they can to put us on their leash, and I can’t always help you out of that, Evan.Bookmark here

So please, I’m begging you. Don’t make things harder than it is for me.”Bookmark here

I extended my hand over the table and placed it over hers.Bookmark here

“I’m sorry, Sereya. I really am.”Bookmark here

Her teary eyes looked at me in doubt.Bookmark here

“Before you do something stupid, talk to me, okay?”Bookmark here

I massaged her hand gently, reassuring her.Bookmark here

“Okay.”Bookmark here

“Promise?”Bookmark here

“Promise.”Bookmark here

“Pinky promise?” she asked as she raised her hand while lifting her pinky up. Seriously, just how old was she for coming up with things like this?Bookmark here

“Pinky promise,” I wrapped my pinky around hers. I never realised how small her fingers were until now.Bookmark here

“Waitress!” Sereya suddenly called out as I released her fingers from mine, “Can you get this man a cup of the same thing you got me?”Bookmark here

“Of c-course!” The waitress dashed back into the kitchen.Bookmark here

“But you said I couldn’t drink because I was recovering, right?”Bookmark here

“Well, you’re gonna be out of the ward tomorrow anyway, might as well consider it an early celebration!” Bookmark here

The speed at which her temperament recovered was scary. In any case, it was great that her mood has returned back to normal.Bookmark here

“Ah! That really hit the spot!”Bookmark here

Froth surrounded her lips after she took a big gulp from her mug. She never struck me much as someone who drinks.Bookmark here

“So you reserved this whole place to yerselves, but didn’t bother to invite me?”Bookmark here

Wonderful. Exactly the person that I was hoping to see. Whatever could go wrong?Bookmark here

“Remus! You’re up early. What’s this—getting old already?” Sereya waved at the red-haired alcoholic. In turn, he casually lifted his arm up.Bookmark here

“I sensed a scary amount of killin’ intent from here and thought one of you was in trouble or something. Rushed all the way here and this is what I see—havin’ drinks in the mornin!” as he said that, he dragged a chair from another table, pulling it to ours, “You’re the one who’s getting old, Princess! Hahaha—”Bookmark here

Before he could take a seat, Sereya violently stomped on his foot, cutting his laughter short as he winced. Remus’s Blessing meant that he’ll easily regenerate whatever that was broken in his foot. Couldn’t say the same to the floor, though.Bookmark here

“Kid, how ya feelin’?”Bookmark here

“Fine I guess.” Bookmark here

Two weeks have passed since we tried to kill each other. I still couldn’t force myself to get chummy with him.Bookmark here

“Here you go, sir,” the waitress from before arrived, placing another mug on our table.Bookmark here

“Thanks miss! Great service!”Bookmark here

Of course Remus had to swipe my drink away from me. What else was he good for?Bookmark here

The waitress asked shyly, “Err, should I bring another—”Bookmark here

“Bring a whole barrel! We celebratin’ our friend here getting out of the hospital!” his loud declaration hurt my ears. What hurt even more was him casually tapping on my shoulder. Tap wasn’t a good way to describe it—strike would be a better word.Bookmark here

“You’re gonna send him back to the hospital if you hit him that hard,” remarked Sereya as she sipped on her ale.Bookmark here

Remus retorted, “Not as hard as how you broke my toes! Hahahaha!”Bookmark here

As the waitress scurried back to the kitchen, I still found it difficult how these two insanely powerful individuals could stay as friends, even though the difference between them was like fire and water. To bring these two figures together and lead them against the Demon Lord—just what kind of person was Hanasuke?Bookmark here

“Before you two leave town tomorrow,” Remus set down his—wait, my empty mug of ale, he said, “I got a gift for the both of ya.”Bookmark here

“Another one?” my thoughts escaped my mouth. I recalled him offering a bomb as an apology gift, only for it to go off and badly injure Sereya.Bookmark here

“Hah! Don’t worry, this one’s legit. For you, kid, I’m offerin’ something truly one of a kind.”Bookmark here

In his hand, a sword began to materialise, beginning from the hilt to the tip. An ethereal glow radiated throughout the process as the blade began to take shape, sending chills down my spine.Bookmark here

“This is none other than the blade of the legendary Hero Evansmith Mattheld himself—Exordium.”Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.