Chapter 10. Why did this woman...?

***

 

The first group of troops ran through the voracious snow.

 

The situation in which dozens of knights were running at a fierce speed all at once was unusual.

 

Dozens of horses sprinted at full speed, followed by a mist of snow.

 

Since every single one of them was a knight of the same race, the speed at which they left the empire was beyond the common sense of ordinary people.

 

The knights of Tamon broke through the Arcandium Plain, the largest plain in Tanatos, in just two days.

 

After running for another two days like that, they finally slowed down and stopped their horses when they were all exhausted.

 

It took them only four days to cover the distance that would have taken an ordinary person ten days.

 

“We’ll camp here today!”

 

The weary Ronasso exclaimed as they settled into a suitable spot.

 

The knights began to set up their tents, looking like corpses. The feeling of needing a place to lie down and rest as soon as possible made their hands move faster.

 

In the blink of an eye, a colony was created.

 

Ronasso, who had been kicking his tongue as if he felt sorry for them, generously handed over a bottle of whiskey.

 

“All right, people! Drink and fall asleep like a corpse.”

 

“Wow!” 

 

A bottle of whiskey had everyone shouting for joy. They had been running as if being pulled by a monster.

 

For the past two days, they had been running with minimal sleep. They wanted to sleep well even for a few hours.

 

Coming from the land of only spring and summer, the winter in Tanatos was exceptionally harsh to them. 

 

“Oh, it’s cold. It’s so cold. “

 

Deputy Commander Max shivered and crouched down by the fire. He was particularly vulnerable to the cold, and his lips were shivering even though he was wearing far more layers of clothing than the other knights.

 

“It’s freezing cold. How the hell do people in Tanatos live in this cold? I don’t know.”

 

Their country, Amor, had a hot climate in all four seasons. It was a little too hot in the summer, but it was still better than this cold.

 

A country with unmelted ice mountains.

 

It seemed that Max could never live in such a cold country, no matter how rich the country was, no matter how much money it constantly produced.

 

“I think I’d rather run as fast as I can and get out of here as soon as possible. When I get back, I’ll sleep for a week.”

 

Max shuddered, and Roman, the longest serving old soldier at his side, brought him a whiskey and added a word.

 

“Even if we were chased by enemies, we wouldn’t be running like this.”

 

“That’s exactly what I was talking about! I thought I was exiled.”

 

“Of course, your wife would have followed you here, wouldn’t she?”

 

“Hahaha! Then someone should tell her I’m dead on the way!”

 

“No, if she finds out later, Anasha will crack your head and the liar’s head side by side.”

 

“Your wife is very strong! Hahahaha! If you don’t want to die, you should just stay with your wife.”

 

“Oh my gosh, I miss my wife!”

 

“Go to sleep!”

 

Except when they sat down for a while to eat their meals, they were running almost all the time, seventeen hours a day.

 

The general who was leading their pack ran relentlessly. He was right, it was a very brutal move, the personnel who lagged behind would never be able to make it.

 

Horses and people ran almost to the point of passing out, and finally settled down earlier today.

 

Four hellish days had passed, and the Knights smiled as they sat on the ground. They had finally got some rest.

 

Tamon, who was glancing at the knights, gave Ronasso something. Belatedly, after receiving a heavy pocket from him, Ronasso approached the knights and said in a lively voice.

 

“Here’s the General’s jerky! After all that hard work, you must need to replenish your calories, right? I’ve also unloaded some extra whiskey, so eat this and get a good night’s sleep. We’ll have to leave again at dawn.”

 

“Wow! It’s jerky!”

 

“Chat as much as you can, and then go to bed. Anyone who fails to wake up tomorrow morning will be banished.”

 

Ronasso imitated Tamon and left the knights to return to his seat. It was also his sincere desire to get home quickly.

 

“Our general is so good at tightening and loosening!”

 

When someone shouted, a burst of laughter erupted.

 

Glancing back and laughing at the knights’ commotion, Ronasso saw a tent erected a short distance away.

 

A heavy tent made of the thickest fabric.

 

It was their captain who had already gone inside and settled down, the one Ronasso trusted the most and his benefactor.

 

Ronasso’s eyes wavered as he was about to explore the tent Tamon had entered.

 

‘What was that thing he was holding in his arms earlier….’

 

There was a suspicion in the air.

 

‘It’s her.’

 

The late Empress of this country.

 

No, the Empress that this country wanted to kill….

 

Tamon went to the ice mountain where the woman was abandoned.

 

He hadn’t seen what Tamon was holding yet, but his hunch was that it was that woman.

 

‘He didn’t hold a corpse, did he?’

 

Because even if Tamon Krasis was a madman, he wouldn’t be a man who had gone that crazy.

 

Ronasso was sure Tamon was not that impatient to take revenge by bringing her dead body, no matter how much he hated the Empress.

 

Yes, he wouldn’t……..

 

“But why am I so anxious….?”

 

Ronasso stared at Tamon’s tent with shaky eyes, then shook his head and turned away.

 

It had taken him a long time to learn that no matter how anxious he was, he could not win or change Tamon.

 

He just has to believe and follow.

 

That was the way Ronasso had sworn when he chose Tamon to be his leader.

 

About that time, the light that was leaking from the tent flickered. 

 

***

 

Roselyn could smell the forest and the earth.

 

It was that very scent that lifted her up again and again as her consciousness darkened.

 

The smell of soil, soaking wet from the rain.

 

The smell of the trees that have sprouted green leaves on the ground.

 

It was a clean and refreshing scent that no perfumes could have.

 

“I want more, more, more…….”

 

A hot fever rose in her. The hotter her body felt, the more the purity of the scent attracted her.

 

It seemed that the painful heat would subside if she deeply immersed herself in the scent.

 

Her throat was so hot that she wanted to swallow even seawater, but oddly enough, she couldn’t connect with her consciousness.

 

“…Are you thirsty?”

 

A cool voice whispered in her ear.

 

That alone seemed to quench her thirst. Roselyn rushed to the direction of the voice.

 

She felt like a seed tossed into the cool, damp forest.

 

Instinctively, she curled up and reached out to catch a handful of life-giving soil.

 

Grabbing it tightly, she heard a laugh. It seemed that Roselyn had scratched his neck.

 

As soon as she heard the sound, Roselyn let go of what she was holding.

 

“No, no, no. No, no, no. No, no.”

 

She struggled to free her hands. An annoying heat consumed her entire body.

 

Cold sweat broke out as she unconsciously tried to overcome her instincts.

 

“Huh …… ah……”

 

She moaned, curled her body up tightly and endured the pain. She shook her head and tried her best to overcome her desire.

 

Pitiful.

 

“Are you rejecting your instinct to live?”

 

Tamon looked at Roselyn with curious eyes as her body struggled to live while her soul was trying to die.

 

Her pale face with cold sweat, the wispy silver hair, the bloodless lips and the pitiful, dry, trembling body….

 

  • ······· Despite her humble appearance.

 

Why …… Why did he have such an appetite for this woman?

 

In the meantime, considering what this woman had done to him, it was insignificant even if he bit her and tore her up.

 

How much of a surprise had the Empress caught him off guard so far? How many times had she held his breath?

 

Tamon gritted his teeth, but on the other hand, he gasped at her mastery.

 

She always seemed to be someone who could see further than Tamon.

 

She either sensed what he wanted before he did, or she sought out the pitfalls he sold her like a demon god.

 

Although her cleverness annoyed him, he always wanted her.

 

Why was this woman born in Tanatos?

 

Why did she stay with such a trashy man?

 

Why did this woman…this woman……….

 

Why couldn’t he meet her first?