Durandal staring at me while sitting on the corpse of his fallen enemy wasn’t uncomfortable like I thought it would be. I was actually at ease. After he guided me, there was a sense of connection—a feeling that I hadn’t experienced since I was still a poor farm girl. I wanted to weave that warmth into a blanket and wrap it around myself every time I went to sleep. Thousands of golden motes of light rose up around Durandal’s body. He looked like an angel. Ah. Was he talking to me?
Those words brought me back to reality, and I stiffened before shouting, “L-Lucia!” I saluted him because the aura he was giving off was similar to the captains’ in the army.
He knew. I mean, I guess it was obvious I was a slave. I didn’t want to meet his eyes. “Just Lucia,” I mumbled. A hand touched my head, causing a shiver to run down my back. He scratched my ear, causing waves of bliss to run through my body. I wanted to tackle him and—. Gah! Stupid, stupid animal instincts! Stop embarrassing me!
“Like a spirit.”
“Huh?” What was that supposed to mean? I guess Durandal didn’t have a last name either. Was he trying to comfort me? But please stop scratching my ear. “D-Durandal?” His hand stopped, thank the Godking. “Can I ask you a question?”
He didn’t say anything. He just stared at me. Was that a yes? A no? I swallowed my spit so I wouldn’t sound awkward when I spoke. “You’re the sword of the Godking, correct?”
He nodded. Phew. I thought he was going to ignore me.
I asked what was on my mind the whole time. Why’s the place filled with crap? Of course, I didn’t word it that way. “Then this is his treasure trove?”
He nodded again.
“Then”—where the f***’s the treasure!?—“where’s the treasure?”
“Think about it.”
Oh. Clearly the outer layer was a disguise. The real treasures must be hidden beneath a contraption or array formation that—
“What kind of treasures can last for thousands of years?”
“Eh?” What? Thousands of years?
“Can you name any? Other than me.”
“But … it’s only been eighty years since the Godking died?”
Durandal’s gaze turned colder than ice, and I involuntarily stiffened. His killing intent was choking me. I’m going to pee. I really am. Please stop. His voice was low like a beast letting out a growl. “Really?”
I’m going to die! I don’t know how I managed to, but I think I nodded. The atmosphere got heavier and heavier. I can’t breathe. Where’d the air go!? Why’s he just staring at me like that? Ah. I peed. Forgive me, panties. “D-Durandal?” My voice was tiny like a mosquito’s whine.
The atmosphere loosened, and I regained my clarity. I heard rumors of suffocating killing intent and intimidation, but this was the first time I experienced it for myself. Durandal sighed and said, “Stop crying. That’s an order.”
“Yes!” I’m not crying. Totally not crying. Ignore that tear that’s running down my face.
“Clean yourself up.”
Whose fault was it that my legs are like this!? But I held back my thoughts and nodded. There really was no need to provoke the scary fellow’s aura. I should listen carefully in the future. At least I carried around a lot of spare clothes and armor in that bag. I hated lugging it around during the trip here, but luckily, Bryant had foresight—because he totally knew he was going to die…. You know what? Forget it. His foresight was shit.
“I’m done,” I said to Durandal after changing into a set of armor and turning around. Why did he look so sad?
“The miniature dimension had some special characteristics. Thousands of years have passed in here, so all the treasures rotted away,” Durandal told me. Even his voice lost its color. Did he peek at me while I was changing? Was he disappointed in what he saw? Wait, Lucia. Focus on the context. Focus.
“Would the Godking make a mistake like that?” Even a child would keep perishable groceries in mind.
“It wasn’t a mistake. That asshole did that on purpose.”
“A-asshole? The Godking?” Blasphemy! Blasphemer! That’s impossible. The Godking’s my idol. He can’t be an asshole—he’s perfect.
“Yup. He was an asshole.”
“No way.” I refuse to let anything taint my perfect image of the Godking. If Durandal was telling the truth, then that means I’ve been worshipping a, a…. Lucia! Stupid squirrely brain. Why couldn’t I have been born part crow instead? “Then what about the other weapon spirits? Didn’t he have a literal army of them? How come you’re the only one left? And what about the spirit stones? Those don’t rot.” Squirrels are smart sometimes too! See?
Durandal sighed. Did I say something wrong? “A weapon spirit needs a contractor to sustain their life. The Godking died. We…”
Why does he look so sad? Ah. He was lonely. Anyone would be lonely after being trapped for millennia by themselves.
“…was the spirit who lasted the longest…”
But he’s not alone anymore. He has me now, doesn’t he? We made a contract. I gave him my blood. We danced together. My legs moved on their own until I was right in front of him. He stopped speaking, and I took that chance to hug him. Don’t be sad, Durandal. We can be lonely together. Say something consoling, Lucia.
“I’m so sorry.”
“Sorry? For what?” He touched my head, but I didn’t react this time. This was important.
“You must’ve been so lonely.”
“I’m just a weapon spirit.”
“No.” I met his gaze. He was crying. Tears rolled down his cheeks, but he didn’t even notice them. “You’re not.” People cry. Weapon spirits cry too. Then weapon spirits are people as well? The transitive property doesn’t work here, Lucia. Say something else.
“You are Durandal.”
Um. Did I break him? He’s not moving. Or breathing. Do weapon spirits even need to breathe? Ah, he looks so cute when he’s stunned. I just want to eat him up. “Durandal?”
Oh. He’s awake. Serious face now, Lucia.
“Work hard, Lucia,” he said and pulled away from me. Was I too clingy? “I will make you into a legend.”
“Me? How?” Could I be a legend? With Durandal by my side…, I definitely could!
“You’ll s”—my stomach gurgled, drowning out his voice—“ee.”
I wanted to bury my face into my hands. So I did. Durandal didn’t make fun of me; instead, he laughed and rubbed my head. Ah. That feels nice.