Chapter 1 Part 1
I asked again and Kwanach flinched. He said slowly in a low voice.
“Because I missed you.”
“Why don’t you just come and see me?”
“I thought you didn’t want to see me. I had no shame.”
“You do know.”
I said with a pale smile, and Kwanach cleared his throat. There was a moment of silence. A small light lit in the bedroom flowed into Kwanach’s solid features. From time to time many emotions welled up from his grim face and then disappeared.
He seemed to have something to say. I waited, staring at him.
After a while, Kwanach broke the silence and said in a broken voice.
“These days I feel like a really greedy, bad man.”
As soon as I heard the first word, I knew that this man was speaking his deepest truths and striving to expose himself honestly.
“I’ve tied you up here in the name of protection, but am I really the subject of that? Isn’t it all because of my selfishness?”
His eyes were filled with pain as he continued.
“Kwanach, I know you were worried about me.”
“No. I only thought about why I’ve been so greedy for you without knowing my place from a long time ago.”
Kwanach sounded as if he was kneeling before a statue of a goddess in a temple, confessing his sins. It was full of impassioned contrition.
“That’s what I heard from you. Have we met before?”
“…… Yes, we had.”
Immediately after I came out of my coma, I questioned Kwanach’s attitude and asked him such a question. Kwanach denied it several times, but answered reluctantly.
“It was a long time ago. You don’t have to remember. I hope you don’t remember me from that time. It was so ugly.”
He didn’t seem to want to talk about it any more, so I couldn’t ask any more questions.
“It was a long time ago, when you didn’t even know my name…I met you.”
But now Kwanach’s mouth, which had been tightly closed, opened.
I was both surprised and confused.
Two lives. Looking back at the several incidents that had been repeated, I could not find Kwanach anywhere.
“When was that?”
I stretched out my hand and laid it on the back of Kwanach’s hand. And I was surprised. Kwanach’s body temperature had always been as hot as fire, but now his hand was like ice. He seemed to be very nervous.
He was on one knee on the side of the bed, his body was stiff.
“It’s natural that you don’t remember. No, I didn’t want you to remember forever.”
“At that time, I was so shabby and dirty. To the point where it is guilty to remain in my head.”
It was the same story as last time.
“What are you talking about? That can’t be true.”
I shifted my body and moved closer to him. I tried to get down next to him, but Kwanach blocked me.Then, in a gloomy voice, he said
“I wanted to be a man worthy of you. A man worthy of your love….I was so busy pretending to be something I am not. But it was all in vain.”
I thought I had realized a lot while living my second life in regression. But I had no idea that Kwanach had come this far with such feelings.
Maybe this man’s heart was much deeper than I thought.
My heart throbbed. It pounded hard. Kwanach’s self-mocking voice penetrated my confused mind.
“I’m not as shabby now as I was then, when I locked you away selfishly. I haven’t changed in the least.”
“No matter how much I struggle, I can’t help the dirt I was born with….”
“I always feel small when I stand in front of you. The fact that you have regained your strength this time is proof that you have been chosen by the Goddess. I feel like I’m being punished by the Goddess. Don’t you dare covet Usphere Catatel.”
He was the man who had commanded the continent, but now Kwanach was looking at me in the form of an immensely weak man. His eyes were full of sadness, looking down at himself. It was as if he was asking me not to abandon him.
The emotions that were blowing from within Kwanach were stirring him up. When did it all start?
What kind of differences existed between us?
Kwanach began a story that had been lying dormant for a long time, a story that would provide the answer.
“Do you remember the Radonia Mountains?”
* * *
The Radonia Mountains were the mountains that separated the southern and northern parts of the continent.
At that time, there was no Empire Radon, and a seventeen years old boy who had lived a hard life as a slave stepped on the mountain range,
This was the story of Usphere’s previous life before her death.
* * *
The number of monsters suddenly increased in the Radonia Mountains. The mountain range passed through the lands of both the Kingdom of Pernen and the Kingdom of Stendal in the north, so it wasn’t the responsibility of just one place.
Eventually, the two kingdoms joined forces to launch a campaign to defeat the monsters. Kwanach was a slave soldier who was taken prisoner during the campaign.
Slave soldiers like Kwanach were usually at the forefront of the battle against the monsters. They were human shields, a resource that could be spared even in death. That was Kwanach’s position.
So the boy wasn’t a person. At least by the standards of the Kingdom of Pernen at the time. He was a commodity that always had to prove his usefulness and value. When he was old, he was thrown away, and when he cheekily pretended not to be a property, he was thrown away. It was just a simple reason.
But the boy, filled with rage at the injustice, forgot his position for a while.
“How dare you disobey Lord Benan?”
Several kicked Kwanach’s tightly curled body. He just closed his eyes and endured the pain.
Benan was the commander of the slave soldiers sent by the Kingdom of Pernen to the Radonia Mountains. He was also a distant cousin of the Pernen royal family. He didn’t have silver hair or purple eyes, the sign of royalty, but Benan was a knight who believed in his bloodline and rampaged arrogantly.
That was why he believed that if a slave was a beautiful woman, it was natural for him to take her. His ugly desires extended to young girls.
No one could stop Benan as he tried to scare the ten year old girl in front of the others.
How dare he try to scare a child? He had no honor as a knight, but the slave girl who had come along as a scullery maid. She wasn’t a person to his standard, so it wasn’t really a crime to take her.
While everyone was turning away and pretending not to see the cruel act, Kwanach stepped out.
Kwanach didn’t know the girl caught in Benan’s hands, shivering and shaking. She was the girl he saw for the first time since coming to the Radonia Mountains.
But he knew what Benan was doing was wrong. The moment he stepped up, he might die. In addition to violating the principle of obeying the orders of his superiors, Benan was not a merciful man.
Still, Kwanach’s body moved first. Impulsively, he pulled the girl out of Benan’s hands, and the consequences of his actions were brutal.
“How should I kill you?”
Benan mumbled as he stared at Kwanach being beaten by the soldiers from a distance.
Kwanach felt the blood gushing into his mouth. It hurt as if his rib cage had been torn open. He prayed that they would just kill him. What difference would it make if he survived here?
After a lifetime of being pushed to dirt, Kwanach did not want to imagine the future. Tomorrow would be worse than today, and the day after tomorrow would be even worse. Unless he left this identity.
The boy had never learned how to hope. He had only learned how to despair, how to suppress himself, how to erase his existence.
Kwanach moaned in his faint spirit. Blood and tears flowed simultaneously from his face as his face was stuck in the ground.
While Kwanach was inwardly thinking of killing him, Benan was behind him, gritting his teeth.
He was a slave and he defied the knight. Of course he was the one who had to be killed. But Benan couldn’t kill him.
“D*mn, he’s good at fighting.”
In the palace, there was a general commander in charge of the slave soldiers. He was Benan’s superior officer. He didn’t care if the other slaves died or not, but only Kwanach should come back alive unconditionally.
He said that no one fought like Kwanach. He said that if he had received proper training, he would have already made a name for himself in the kingdom with his sword, a human disaster.
Besides, he had the overwhelming support of the same boy slave soldiers, and it was easy to handle the other slaves with a single word from Kwanach.
In other words, Kwanach was a “property” of high useful value. It would be a shame to lose it.
So if Benan killed Kwanach for such a private matter, he must surely be reprimanded. Benan bit his lips in frustration and injustice.
But he had a sense of pride as a commander, and he could not release Kwanach. He had to vent his anger.
“Put him in a stable and don’t give him any food for seven days.”
At that moment, the soldiers who had been beating Kwanach forcefully stopped in their tracks. Kwanach slumped and drew only a thin, incessant breath.
Benan laughed quietly as he looked down at Kwanach.
“I will spare you by showing mercy……. Don’t think about being flattered by this. Nothing will change if you step up.”
Benan’s voice sounded hazy, as if he were drowning in water.
“Roseanne, tell the girl to come back to my bedroom later in the evening.”
Benan said deliberately in front of Kwanach. He was trying to nail down the fact that no one could be saved and nothing would change.
As Benan left, Kwanach was moved to an old stable. He collapsed on the floor, his whole body aching and his face swollen.
But Benan was wrong when he said nothing will change. Someone was coming to the stable in a few days to make a difference in the boy’s miserable life.