After a full night’s sleep, Feodor awoke to find that his cold was gone. He could move his limbs without pain, and he even felt more cheerful than usual.
Unfortunately, Feodor’s movements remained too stiff for the military doctor that visited him to certify him for release. He had been forced to take an impromptu one-day vacation and told to spend it resting some more, “just in case.” It was grating – he didn’t have the kind of time he could waste idly sleeping in his room. Of course it wasn’t the best idea for a sick person to be found wandering around a military base during their day off, either.
“We don’t have much time left,” Willem said without preamble.
He and Kutori were the only two people in the clearing they’d taken to calling their training grounds. Nephren and Aiseia had been told to repeat their exercises from previous days for today instead of joining them. In Willem’s hands was the stick he always wielded, but Kutori held something different this time: the dug weapon whose invincibility and strength exceeded all others, Seniolis.
The third morning since the start of her training with Willem found Kutori washing her face with cold water.
Calm down, she told herself. Just calm down, alright?
The act of tricking others carries with it a price.
Who pays the debt? Those who make it a career, of course. Wretched liars who excel at the shameful act of guiding others into performing deeds for their own selfish reasons.
If he had to admit it, Feodor was good at that. Although he had carefully planned out his actions to appear inconspicuous, or rather because he did, he was in the perfect position to act as slyly as he desired.
But all things have limits. As long as he continued to live, Feodor too would someday have to accept the punishment for his folly. His judgment would belong to him alone, and he would be helpless to escape it.
All of which is to say: Feodor had, in the most spectacular manner, caught a cold.
Now, let us take a brief digression from Kutori’s story so that we may delve into the girl named Nephren Ruq Insania.