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(tw: blood, death)
Gerard acted as a kind friend by Leila’s side. He believed that an opportunity would come again someday if he waited like this. However, Frederick was always Leila’s first…
When Frederick misunderstood Leila and distanced himself from her, it was none other than Gerard who stood by Leila’s side. He comforted her wholeheartedly. However, Leila left him as soon as she got back with Frederick.
When Leila had consumed the poison that was targeted at Frederick, Gerard searched for an antidote. After days without sleep, he was able to obtain one.
However, Leila wasn’t interested in his hard effort. Her attention was solely directed towards Frederick, who stood by her side the whole time she was bedridden.
Gerard was growing exhausted. His person didn’t love him. No matter how hard he tried, it was all in vain. At first, the fact that it was unfair and the rage bubbling within him nearly killed him.
However, he gave up not long after that. The indivisible heat was gnawing his insides, leaving him with terrible emptiness in the end. He wished for this to stop. He wanted to be filled.
He wished to be loved.
It was the day of Owen de Hernia’s ascension. Gerard frowned, which was unlike his personality, and kept wary of the surroundings. In recent days, a suspicious note had been received stating that there would be a rebel attack on the day of ascension.
However, the enthronement ceremony was nearing its end, completely overshadowing the tension in the air.
‘As expected, it was a false tip.’
At the exact moment Owen received the Emperor’s crown and Gerard wrote off the warning as false…
“Stop the filthy half-blood from wearing the Emperor’s crown!”
A group of rebels broke in. The banquet hall quickly turned into a disaster.
“Anton, capture all the rebels alive! Especially those upstairs!”
Only the Imperial Knights fought without panic. They were fully prepared just in case this happened.
“Eric, escort the nobles! Women and elderly first!”
Gerard gave orders to the leading knight members of the Order, and they spread out in unison with their subordinates.
“Simon, come with me!”
Gerard escorted the ex-Emperor and his wife along with the newly crowned Emperor. He struck down flying arrows and protected them from the rebels who tried to attack them. They succeeded in escorting the Imperial Family to the secret passage in the banquet hall.
One of the rebels broke into where the nobles were gathered and threatened them with a silver dagger.
‘Goddamn it Eric, that b*stard! Of course that’s what they were going to do if we gathered the women and elderly together!’
However, it was impossible for him to run there to protect them. That was because the Grand Master of the Order of Imperial Knight’s first priority was to keep the Emperor safe before anyone else. Gerard turned away coldly. He tried to follow Owen into the secret passage.
“Kya, young Lady Stein!”
However, the shout of a name that followed soon forced Gerard to halt. When he turned his head hurriedly, he saw Leila get caught by the rebels. The rebel’s blade was close to Leila’s pure white neck.
“What’s wrong, Grand Master?”
Simon, who was following Gerard from behind, questioned him upon his sudden halt.
He had to leave. If it was the Leila he usually knew, he might not have worried too much. However, she was currently swordless, and was also wearing a dress that made it uncomfortable to move around. D*mned mermaid.
Before he realized it, he was running toward Leila.
Simon called Gerard, who bolted out of the blue.
“Go ahead! I’ll clean up the situation and follow you in a moment!”
Gerard gave the order without looking back.
Meanwhile, the rebels who held Leila hostage were alarmed. Unlike other young ladies, the woman glared at them without an ounce of fear in her eyes. They wanted to scare the noble Lady as she couldn’t seem to grasp the situation.
However, for a noble, her body was too firm. Moreover, she didn’t scream or cry even though he put a dagger on her neck. However, the rebel brushed it off as if it was not a big deal. He took Leila hostage and threatened the Imperial Knights who were trying to approach him.
“Don’t come any closer! You *ssholes! Stay in place or I get rid of her!”
Leila didn’t miss the moment when one of the rebels who caught her was speaking in an enraged tone. The dagger that threatened her neck got a bit loose, creating a gap.
Taking advantage of the gap, she elbowed the rebel’s stomach.
“Ugh! This b*tch…”
Leila escaped from his arm when the rebel bent out of reflex. Then she took out the dagger she had hidden in her sleeve.
Leila pushed the dagger into his shoulder with all her might. There was no unnecessary movement.
She finally kicked the man’s abdomen as he froze in pain. However, she couldn’t use her feet freely because of the mermaid dress she was wearing.
She punched the rebel’s nose, unfazed.
The rebel collapsed with a horrible noise.
‘I’m glad I brought the dagger with me. Chloe’s advice was good after all!’
Shaking her hands lightly and turning around, Leila’s eyes landed on Derick, who was running toward her. Leila and Derick were far away from each other as the men gave up safe places to women and the elderly under the instruction of the Imperial Knights.
Smiling at Derick to reassure him, Leila stiffened for a moment.
A rebel was aiming at Frederick with his bow. Leila’s feet began to move without her realizing it. She didn’t even notice her dress was ripped.
There was another person who ran recklessly like Leila. Gerard Blanchett.
The rebel who was attacked by her suddenly jumped to their feet again and was about to lunge at Leila from behind. The man who wasn’t taken care of by the careless knights raised his dagger at Leila.
“Leila! Get out of the way!”
Two people were running. However, their directions diverged, as if parallel to their hearts.
Arriving at Frederick’s side, Leila hugged her lover and turned halfway around. It was an instinctive act. She wanted to be shot instead of Frederick.
However, her noble determination was thwarted by someone’s push. Gerard threw his body and pushed Frederick away. Therefore, Leila and Frederick were pushed out of the range of arrows.
Swish, swish, swish.
Gerard quickly pulled out his sword and slashed the incoming arrows. Shortly after, he took out the rebel who was aiming his dagger at Leila.
A sharp metallic sound cut through the air.
An arrow, which couldn’t be stopped by just slashing it with the back of his sword, firmly nested in Gerard’s arm. He glanced around. Fortunately, Anton was seemingly able to subdue the rebel who used the bow.
Gerard distanced himself from the attacking rebels and gave his shaking right hand strength. It was difficult to hold a sword because his right arm happened to be hit by the arrow.
Of course, he could swing the sword with his left hand. However, it was difficult to control it delicately, as he had to be cautious in such a crowded place.
At that moment, Gerard made eye contact with someone, Chloe Roem. She was watching him anxiously, with glossed over eyes.
‘What’s with those eyes?’
It was evident that she was lost in thought for a second. The rebel’s blade penetrated Gerard’s arms threateningly.
The blade was thrusted into Gerard’s abdomen. The rebel drew his blade mercilessly.
Gerard breathed in through the pain and bit his lip.
Without a sign of stopping, the rebel raised his hand high to slash Gerard’s throat. He flinched, but the dagger couldn’t go high in the air because of his injured shoulder which had been attacked by Leila earlier.
Without hesitation, Gerard’s sword cut the rebel’s throat. His mental strength was mesmerizing.
He dealt with the rebel and pressed his wounds with one hand. However, blood continued to escape through it.
Gerard’s world began to turn black as he blinked. A voice calling for him in the distance was heard with a ringing in his ears.
‘I can’t fall here…’
Gerard Blanchett was the sword of the Hernia Empire. It was clear that his reputation, which was not just for himself but also the Imperial Knights, would fall to the bottom if they were defeated by the rebels here.
Gerard struggled to brace himself as he collapsed and squeezed open his eyes. However, his body felt heavy and didn’t listen to him.
He heard a shrill voice calling his name. Was it the voice of Chloe Roem? Gerard closed his eyes.
The world turned upside down in that brief moment. Everyone was watching the lofty young Marquis. His blurry vision saw people running toward him.
Leila. Leila was running towards him, holding Frederick’s hand tightly. She looked worried about him, but didn’t let go of the Archduke’s hand.
Gerard felt like it was time to accept reality. Leila, who had stayed by his side willingly, left him again this time. Just as he couldn’t stop Leila from coming, he couldn’t stop Leila from leaving his side either.
Oddly enough, it was not as bad as Gerard thought. The time he tried to hold Leila back was also used to organize his mind, and he finally decided to push Leila out. Only then did Gerard realize.
Gerard Blanchett was alone again. He wished he hadn’t known the warmth of people. The warmth left behind by someone after they departed felt more miserable.
He found the cause of the problem in himself again this time. It was one of his bad habits.
‘What did I do wrong this time? Was it because I showed my actual feelings too much? Was it because I insisted on loving her childishly? Or was it because of my selfishness?’
However, no matter how much he asked himself, he couldn’t figure out the answer. He resented everything in the world. Especially his father.
‘What the hell am I supposed to do, Father? Why did you leave this out after teaching me so many things?!’
He just wanted a warm family. A caring wife, a loving child, just like that. However, that dream was apparently too much for him, who had never experienced such.
Gerard’s twitching eyelids finally closed. The tears in his eyes were held back by his long eyelashes.
He breathed out deeply as he recalled his old wishes before closing his eyes completely.
‘I wish to be saved… from this d*mned abandonment.’
(t/n: I read all of your comments and I actually want this flashback to be over asap too, which will soon be granted because we’ll return to the present in the next chapter XD)
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