BBYW Vol. 4 Chapter 23 (WN)

Chapter 23 – A Woman’s Resolve, a Man’s Pride

After that, a servant of House Sphinx escorted me to the reception room for guests.

After a short wait, spent relishing in a rare variety of western teas poured in white porcelain cups, Mist — now fully clothed — came into the room.

As soon as our eyes met, she bowed deeply, almost to a right angle.

“…my deepest apologies for welcoming you in such an unsightly manner.”

“Well, no…it wasn’t unsightly at all.”

On the contrary, it was a rather pretty sight…I thought to myself, as I put down my cup on the table.

“I did visit your residence without warning, after all. Please, raise your head.”


Mist’s gaze returned at eye level.

She was wearing a black dress, but was not hiding her face behind a veil, as she had done during our meeting at the Thunderbird mansion. Her ebony complexion made it difficult to see for sure, but she seemed to be blushing slightly.

(To see an older woman blush because of me is a pleasant sight too…whoa, hold your horses, Dyngir, she’s a widow…)

Maybe because I had just seen her wearing nothing but underwear, I felt a surge of desire rise inside me, so I shook my head to drive the dirty thoughts away. I then stood up and greeted her again, in a more proper manner.

“Let me thank you for offering me such a warm welcome despite my sudden visit, Lady Cairo.”

“Naturally. I too thank you for accepting my invitation, Lord Dyngir.”

By “invitation”, she was probably referring to when she asked me to come see Naam. Such words could be easily interpreted as just compliments, but Mist seemed to have fully meant what she said.

“By the way, where’s Naam?”

“She is…rolled up in a ball on her bed. She finally realized what an embarrassing scene that was.”

Mist seemed troubled, but also happy in a way.

Naam was still twelve years old, but she was a woman nevertheless. Appearing half naked before a man must have been a shock, after all.

“Please put in a word to her for me, if you can. I can’t reply to her letter like this.”

I had come to the western province to rescue Naam from the threat of the “Terror Armies”, but delivering my reply to her letters was also one of the objectives of my journey.

I had been thinking for a while that I should take my time and talk with Naam too.

(When we met at the capital, there wasn’t even the time to drink a cup of tea. Someone would have gotten in the way, anyway.)

I didn’t have the slightest intention to do anything with a twelve year old girl, but Valon was too protective of his little sister to trust me. He was always against me meeting her, after all.

“I am glad to hear that you seem to think fondly of her. She will be overjoyed to hear it.”

“I hope so…anyway, she seems to be doing better than I expected. I’m relieved.”

She had just lost her brother, but Naam did not seem too down. Though it might just be on the surface.

“Well…rather than not feeling down, it’s more like she doesn’t think that Valon really died.”

Mist pondered for a moment, then replied. I nodded with conviction.

“To be honest, I share the same opinion. I can’t believe that he just fell in battle, like that. Has the body been identified?”

Mist lowered her gaze and shook her head.

“No, Valon’s body could not be recovered, because of all the fighting. Even so, a trustworthy subordinate reported his death, so there should be no room for doubt…”

“Hmm…by the way, is there any way I can meet that subordinate? I’d like to ask them a few things.”

“I’m afraid it might be difficult. The person who saw Valon for the last time is a man named Jaar Menfis, but he is at the third fortress now, together with Margrave Sphinx.”

“The third fortress…is located next to Thebes, correct?”

“Yes, that’s how far we have been cornered. If that fortress falls, it will be a matter of time before the “Terror Armies” invade the capital.”

Mist stared at the table, a forlorn look in her eyes. Soon enough, however, she raised her face again, the melancholy replaced with courage.

“It pains me to ask you something like this when you have just arrived, Lord Dyngir…but could you take Naam with you away from the capital?”


It was the request I expected.

If things continued like this, House Sphinx would definitely fall. As a member of the noble house charged with protecting the border, Mist was probably ready to accept her fate. At the same time, however, she was not cold enough to require a young girl to pay the same sacrifice.

“Naam alone? What do you plan to do?”

“My fate will be the same as the capital. The Cairo clan has served House Sphinx for generations. Our fate lies with our master.”

“…do you truly think that Valon would want such a thing? If so, I might have to slap you now, in place of the Senior I admire.”

“Of course not! If he were here, he would have us both take shelter somewhere, immediately. This is just my personal resolve.”

A soft smile appeared on Mist’s lips, probably because of her remembering Valon. Even so, the resolve in her eyes did not waver.

“I will not accept any reproach from Valon, though. It’s his fault for dying first. If he wanted me to live, he should have survived too.”

“I see, that’s quite true. I do not have any objections to that.”

I shrugged and accepted Mist’s words, but continued.

“Even so, no man would just let the woman he loves die. That’s a man’s pride, you should understand.”

I stood up from my seat.

“I’ll go talk to Naam, Could you tell me where her room is?”

“That’s all right, but…”

“Lady Cairo, I cannot tell you yet whether I will accept your proposal or not. However, no matter what happens, I will not let that girl die. You have my word.”

“I see…thank you so much.”

Seemingly convinced by the confidence in my tone, Mist dropped her shoulders in relief.

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