Huge thanks to Ginsan for the kofis! (4/8)
One Blood, One Wish, One Magic (4)
There were times when he felt guilty about what he was doing, but he couldn’t get rid of that little piece of paper. Henry always carried pictures of his older sister and Layla, and the other pilots fought with their precious people near to their hearts.
He had no one. The hometown he longed for was destroyed by a sea of fire by his own choice.
But he needed something to hold on to, too. Someone who would turn him into a human, not a soldier.
The pendant fell into the sea and was lost when his life was saved. But he never stopped acting stupid. After the war was over, he started collecting Rosen’s articles in earnest. And…
Ian returned to reality and buried his face in his hands. As he raised his head, in the distance, a blue dress caught his eye. He didn’t know for a moment whether it was a hallucination or reality.
It was reality. Some time had passed, and Rosen was running back to him.
The sound of the waves around him gave no room for fantasy. It finally awakened him to the cruel situation.
-No poison? Why do soldiers carry such things? So they can’t be caught by the enemy and tortured?
-I know you think I’m very pitiful right now. So, if you have something, can’t you give it to me?
When he thought about it over and over again, the conclusion he came to was the same. Rosen couldn’t escape, and the moment she went to the island of Monte, she would die painfully. It was already too late to change the outcome. And Rosen knew it. That’s why she appealed to him to die comfortably.
He touched the pistol on his waist. The biggest consideration he could give Rosen now was to give her a neat ending. It was miserable, but it was for the best. Shooting was the most humane method of execution he knew. If he aimed at her head, she would die instantly without feeling any pain.
The government and the military would be offended, and he would be disciplined, but it was not something they would not let go if he made up a proper excuse. Accidents frequently occurred during the transport of prisoners, and summary dispositions were frequently made.
It might be better to kill her with his own hands. Ian knew all too well what went on on the island. Abuse, violence, r*pe, torture. Things that made life worse than death.
His feelings didn’t matter. If he really cared about Rosen, he had to think about what would really help Rosen.
‘Let’s think rationally, rationally…’
He watched as Rosen drew closer, and released his pistol from his belt. But at that moment, Rosen Walker’s innocent confession echoed in his ears again.
-I love you, Ian Kerner.
In the end, Ian couldn’t even hold his pistol properly and dropped it on his floor. He suddenly hardened as he leaned over to correct a mistake he hadn’t made since he was ten.
Suddenly, a small hand was pulling the hem of his coat. He stood upright again, staring at Rosen, who had returned. The sea breeze fluttered her pale hair around her ears.
Rosen was waiting for him like a child who had done an errand and wanted praise. She was completely unaware of the fact that he had been aiming at her with a pistol moments before.
“Here, I brought it.”
“Come on, take it, Ian.”
“What are you doing? Hurry. Put out your hand and I will pour it out.”
Rosen unwrapped the paper and poured the powder into his hands. He stretched out his hands and stared blankly at the white powder falling like grains of sand. Then the witch who killed her husband looked at him with worried eyes.
A pale, breathing Rosen Walker stood before him. The person who seemed to be forever trapped in a black-and-white photo.
Suddenly, a question he had never thought of before filled his mind. It was unfamiliar, but it was a question that seemed to have been somewhere in his heart for a long time.
‘Was there ever a time when it mattered to me whether Rosen Walker was a murderer or not?’
‘If I were to go back, would I really refuse to transport?’
The excuse that he would have made a different choice if he turned back time was void.
He thought he knew now. Why did everything get messed up?
He stared at Rosen for too long. Regardless of politics, he would have met Rosen like this in the end.
If someone else had taken Rosen, he probably wouldn’t have been able to stand it. With any excuse, he would have taken that mission and ended up on the same boat. He soon realized.
All of this was his choice. Even knowing what was in the drawer, he sent Rosen into the cabin. He didn’t want her to die. To let her know that he was shaken. He thought that if she had hope, at least she wouldn’t kill herself on this ship.
He didn’t send her because he believed in her. He sent her because he didn’t. He knew she would look through the drawers in the cabin. Meaningless resistance. That’s who Rosen Walker was.
Rosen asked if his gaze felt strange.
“Are you afraid that I might run away? Why are you looking at me like that?”
“…It’s not strange. I was always watching you.”
“Were you spying?”
“Yes, you didn’t know.”
Without a word, he stretched out his arms and hugged Rosen gently. Rosen felt suffocated and pushed him away slightly. But he didn’t want to let Rosen go.
In retrospect, he always wanted to touch Rosen, even as he watched her back as she escaped. He felt like hugging her wasn’t enough. He wondered if there was any way to reach deeper. He knew it was a crazy idea, but…
-In your boring, painful, and long life, you must have at least one magical day. Think. Have you ever had a day like that?
Ian Kerner hesitated for a moment, then swallowed Rosen’s lips with the words he couldn’t bear to say.
He wasn’t pushed to do it. At least this job, from start to finish, was his choice.
He chose Rosen Walker.
Maybe a long time ago.
From the very beginning.
– It took me a very long time to upload this episode because I was afraid it wouldn’t be interesting ㅜㅜ I’ll upload it anyway. My goal is to try to upload once a week!
There are a lot of questions, so if you don’t like FAQs, please skip this!
(T/L Note: This is a Q&A session.)
Q. Spoiler for the ending
If you want it, please watch the author’s review of chapter 24!
Q.Share the BGM.
The BGM that I listen to are game OSTs… It’s like this… I don’t think I’ll write well. When I write, I listen to a song again and again. I like the BGM you’re leaving in the comments. Please share it with me. Billie Eilish – Lovely, I’m listening to it.
Q. Ian Kerner is 30 years old and handsome, and I’m surprised he’s a v*rgin. Is there a special reason? Has he ever had a lover?
I don’t think the specific reason will be mentioned in the main story, so I’ll just answer it now.
He’s never had a lover. A desolate life without a crush or one-sided love.
Because he like guys – (X)
Because he grew up fast – (X)
Because he is a perfectionist – (X)
There are a lot of complex reasons. He’s very straightforward and arrogant. He has a habit of solving everything by himself, so he didn’t feel much desire for a relationship. He doesn’t have many friends.
He entered the military academy at the age of 10. (The military academy rules prohibit dating. Everyone does it, but Ian Kerner, who follows the rules, can’t do that right?) At the age of 20, the war started, and since then, pilots have been driven to death for 10 years.
As an orphan and a fighter pilot who sacrificed his life for his job, people around him reacted like, ‘He was a very good pilot, but I don’t want him to be my son-in-law.’ He participated in the war when he was a student and predicted that everyone around him would die. He’s so handsome but no woman approached him…
There was so much weight on his shoulders that he couldn’t afford to be soft. Plus, as I mentioned, he didn’t think he should have a lover/family because he didn’t know when he would die as he had a dangerous job.
In addition, all of the squadrons led by Ian Kerner in the early days were women, so the opinions around him were not good. There were many people who looked down on them just because they were female pilots… (I’m going to elaborate on this part a little more if I write a side story.) Many women were careful not to get caught up in s*xual gossip because of their actions.
Harassing pilots was no joke. At the time, there were even rumors that Ian liked men, but Ian himself thought it would be better to let them think that way.
He has had mental breakdowns since the raid on Leoarton 6 years ago. The war was intense… When people of high ranks started to introduce their daughters to him to get married after the war ended, he was obsessively collecting articles. And… well, that’s what happened.
To sum up, the environment did not allow youth + his personality.
Q. How old is Henry?
He’s the same age as Rosen. (25 years old)
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