༺ Hegrion (3) ༻
In retrospect, it was true.
From Friede, whom he met at the Great Woodlands, to Aisha from the Federation, Albrecht from the Empire, and Miller from the Academy.
All the heroes he met in this life had a few screws loose somewhere.
It was an accident that happened because he didn’t remember that.
Vera thought Hegrion would be different and that ‘he should be normal’, so he carelessly let his guard down, and it caused a catastrophe.
“My diet primarily consists of meat… It is not very nutritious and has been causing issues with my physiological functions.”
Hegrion spoke with a very serious expression after asking him how he managed his diet.
Vera had an indescribable expression while he listened to him talk, and then he suddenly blurted out.
“…Is that why you came here?”
Is this what he wanted to say after all that?
Was this the reason he sent everyone away?
Hegrion made an ‘Ah’ sound after Vera asked him with a criticizing tone.
“Oh, sorry. Your body is so impressive that I couldn’t help but ask.”
Although it was probably meant as a compliment, Vera didn’t feel happy at all.
The penetrating gaze was infuriating.
He was annoyed by his chilly tone, as if he was taking control of the conversation.
While emotions surged inside Vera, Hegrion cleared his throat and finally got to the point.
“…Actually, the help that I need is not far from the conversation we just had.”
“It’s not far?”
“Yes. I came here to seek advice for the sword, so it is not that different.”
Isn’t it completely different?
Vera thought about that momentarily, then quickly erased the thought and listened to Hegrion.
“I have heard about your accomplishments in the Empire. It was remarkable. I could not even imagine such things were possible.”
“Are you talking about the Magic Tower?”
“Yes, I personally wanted to visit myself, but my schedule did not allow it, so I have not been able to go yet.”
Hegrion leaned back on the backrest.
He sighed deeply, and added with a troubled look.
“Let me ask you this first. You have already reached the realm of Intention, have you not?”
It was a short question, but Vera instantly understood the reason Hegrion came here.
“Yes, that’s correct.”
It seemed that Hegrion needed advice on Intention.
If that was the case, it was worth putting up with this rudeness.
Vera’s gaze scanned Hegrion’s entire body.
‘Physically, he’s close to perfection. If it’s about the purity of his aura… even in my memories, he was unparalleled.’
He realized this a little late.
‘…Is he trying to step into the realm of Intention?’
Hegrion was already at the threshold. Furthermore, he realized that his growth had stagnated at this stage and could not reach enlightenment for his Intention.
Vera felt a small sense of regret within him.
He knew all too well how frustrating such a stagnant state could be.
Why wouldn’t he? He himself had spent close to ten years at the threshold of Intention.
Desperation to improve one’s swordsmanship was one of the few things that could evoke the rare emotion of ‘empathy’ in Vera.
“Do you want to know the method?”
“…Yes, if you do not mind, I really want to know. How did you reach the realm of Intention? How did you train your body and spirit in that process?”
Vera looked at Hegrion, who asked with a stern expression.
‘…Helping him is overwhelmingly beneficial.’
Setting aside his emotions, helping Hegrion would be advantageous for their future journey.
‘I could use this as an excuse to make him guide us to the Nest.’
This was a much better negotiation than asking for it without any conditions.
Although it was a personal request, given their respective positions, it could lead to an understanding between their countries.
Moreover, in the long run, helping Hegrion awaken his Intention might lead to having another aid in their battle with Alaysia.
“…Alright,” Vera gladly replied.
Hegrion’s eyes sparkled, and he bowed his head.
Though his voice remained chilly, Vera could sense gratitude within it.
“Thank you. I will make sure to repay you.”
“Yes, I have something in mind regarding that.”
The conclusion was reached much faster than expected after the initial hesitation.
While pondering how to assist him, a sudden thought struck Vera. He paused, then asked him.
“…By the way.”
“This does not seem like an issue that would warrant the need to keep it a secret from others. Why did you ask for my help in such a secretive manner?”
When thinking about it, if his purpose was to seek assistance on awakening Intention, wouldn’t the group eventually find out during the process anyway?
Vera couldn’t understand why it had to be kept such a secret.
Hegrion tilted his head.
Vera’s mind was filled with questions as he waited for Hegrion’s response.
His answer was…
“Oh, it’s because of your diet.”
It did not make any sense.
“Please consider it a courtesy. Would you not also be reluctant to disclose your diet openly?”
Vera couldn’t understand him.
Was there some hidden significance to the diet that warranted such importance?
Vera couldn’t comprehend Hegrion’s thoughts and simply shook his head.
‘Indeed, he’s not normal.’
I somewhat dislike him.
Those thoughts lingered in his mind.
“Thank you for waiting, Saint.”
“Did everything go well?”
“Yes. Luckily, it wasn’t that difficult.”
Immediately after the conversation with Hegrion, Renee smiled at what Vera said.
“What did you talk about?”
At a glance, her tone wasn’t that different from the usual.
However, that didn’t necessarily mean Renee was the same as usual.
She seemed like an investigator doing a thorough investigation to find out the truth.
‘…I should confirm it first,’ Renee thought.
The matter with Albrecht was enough, especially here where a man could be considered a love rival.
She didn’t want to go through such humiliation again.
Although Aisha’s question about what would happen if Vera and Hegrion became involved had led to a heated argument, Renee understood.
The topic of Hegrion’s sexual preferences was nothing more than a joke for everyone.
It had happened multiple times already.
After all, misunderstandings in the past had arisen due to her blindness.
Renee was not an ignorant person.
On the contrary, she was extraordinarily intelligent in terms of learning ability alone. This fact was attested by her past when she completed all her education through memorization alone while being blind.
Because of that, Renee became someone who would not make the same mistake twice.
Furthermore, she was now someone who could stand proudly next to Vera.
Renee would not fall for this kind of joke.
‘I am Vera’s lover!’
I won’t be shaken by such things.
“It was for the sword. He came to seek my help because he felt stuck.”
…I won’t be swayed at all.
I’m not questioning Vera because I doubt him.
I’m just preparing in case something happens.
She didn’t know much about Hegrion.
Considering the low possibility, just in case, she had to be prepared for the possibility that Hegrion might genuinely fall in love with another man or dare to covet Vera.
With such thoughts in mind, Renee waited for Vera’s response.
Vera just smiled calmly at Renee and answered.
“Oh, he also talked about my diet. He seemed very interested in building his physique.”
Vera wanted to share what he had experienced with his lover.
‘Interested in his physique…’
Renee nodded, keeping that thought in the back of her mind.
“I see. Thank you for your hard work.”
Renee smiled cheerfully.
Vera thought Renee’s smiling face was truly adorable and held her hand.
As their hands intertwined, Renee blushed as she felt Vera’s hands lock through between her fingers, then she suddenly asked.
“Oh, so you decided to grant the request of the Archduke?”
“Yes, I also wanted to help regarding his Intention. We can use it as a favor in exchange for the help we might request in the future.”
“Then we’ll go to the Holy City together.”
As Vera continued the conversation, he noticed Renee’s increasingly anxious expression and asked.
“Tomorrow happens to be the day we leave Eirene, so it shouldn’t be a problem… Did I miss anything?”
Renee raised her head a little late, as if she did not hear him, and shook it.
“No? It’s good that we’re making one trip to get everything done at once rather than having to go back and forth twice.”
Vera sighed with relief and answered.
“That’s good to hear. I was worried that you may be offended that I decided things myself.”
“Aww, Vera, you’re not my attendant.”
Renee chuckled, then quickly changed her expression and added in a stuttering voice.
“Th-that’s because you’re my lover… n-not my attendant…!”
Her face began to blush.
“L-lovers are equals! A relationship of mutual respect! Yes! That’s why you don’t have to ask for my opinion all the time!”
That was how it was concluded.
Renee, who had been occupied by thoughts of being Vera’s lover, continued to speak with excitement and clung to Vera.
The same went for Vera. His cheeks reddened, and the corner of his mouth curled as he realized how happy he was to hear Renee’s words.
“Well… since it’s becoming late, I will accompany you to your room.”
Was it the greatness of love?
For the past few days, Vera had been smiling more than he had ever in his life.
The next day, as they were inside the carriage heading towards the Holy City, Hegrion, with his arms crossed, stared at Vera and Renee sitting across from him.
With their hands intertwined, anyone could tell that they were a couple.
Hegrion pondered whether asking questions about their relationship in this atmosphere was appropriate.
But then again, if they were displaying it so openly, they probably had no intention of hiding it. Since they were traveling together, wouldn’t it be better to throw in such a topic to start a conversation?
‘Do you like what you see? Don’t you need some exercise, Saint? How about getting trained by Sir Vera?’
What should I say?
Unlike his cool demeanor and behavior, Hegrion had been very considerate and deeply immersed in the idea of the all-around benefits of physical exercise. He found himself pondering strange thoughts.
After a long deliberation, Hegrion came up with a plausible response.
“Sir Vera, your pectoral muscles seem firm.”
“Pectoral muscles are often considered a symbol of masculinity, so surely your lover must be proud.”
It was a compliment about the other person’s muscles while also trying to praise their lover.
To Hegrion, it seemed like a wise compliment, but the recipients didn’t perceive it that way.
A blank expression appeared on Vera’s face while Renee’s expression stiffened.
Renee thought, ’Is he flirting with him?’
Suddenly, she suspected that his intentions were impure when he complimented Vera’s chest.