Chapter 1. Kill the Empress
Hannah, Arsene, and the Knights of Platanus had already arrived in Orkins in the late afternoon.
Even though they didn’t rush the schedule, it didn’t take them long, since Orkins was a straight shot from the capital.
Arsene recalled that Hannah, who had been sitting in a daze in the carriage all day, had not eaten a single meal properly.
“Where did Hannah go?”
The boy got watery soup and soft bread from the inn he was using as his accommodation and came out to find Hannah.
The innkeeper also added a few fluffy potatoes, saying they had just steamed them.
“She said she was going for a walk, so she must be near.”
The inn was large enough to encompass all of the Knights, but it was old and outdated.
Arsene took a small tray of food and entered a small clearing behind the stable.
He could see crude training scarecrows made by hand and what looked like wooden posts, as if the knights who were staying there had prepared it for them to use when warming up.
“Is this the place?”
By the time Arsene tilted his head, a singing sound was heard from somewhere
‘…… That was good. Better than I expected………..”
It was definitely Hannah’s voice.
Arsene took quick steps to where the sound came from .
“……. It’s not simple.”
‘Where is she?’
Arsene, looking around, found Hannah dangling over a large tree.
“Hannah? Are you there?”
Arsene looked up from under the tree.
He could definitely hear people talking, but Hannah was alone.
‘Did I hear it wrong?’
No sooner had Arsene wondered than Hannah jumped off the tree branch.
“Did you come to find me?”
As Hannah moved, a firefly hovering near her flew high in the sky in a circle.
Hannah tapped Arsene on the shoulder as his eyes followed the tail of the firefly as it flew away, wondering if there was a firefly habitat nearby.
“You brought these for me?”
“Oh, oh, yes. Because you don’t didn’t eat much all day.”
“Thank you. Let’s eat together. I don’t think I can eat it all by myself.”
Hannah grabbed a warm potato and sat down at the foot of a low tree.
With the still steamy potatoes in her mouth, Hannah called out to Arsene.
“You should try some, too. It’s perfectly seasoned.”
Arsene also sat down next to her and popped a piece of warm potato into his mouth.
The potatoes were ripe and delicious, even though he was not hungry.
“The sky is so beautiful. Can you see that?”
“Sometimes when I look at the sky like this, my eyes become clearer.”
In the carriage coming to Orkins, Hannah was quiet the whole time.
She just looked out the window with sleepy, half-blinked eyes, dozed off and on, and was quiet without a word.
When night fell again, her eyes lit up as if she was in a daze.
One day she was dazed even until she went to bed, and another day she was full of life in the morning.
After repeating this several times, Arsene became a little worried.
When Hannah had eaten half of the potatoes, Arsene asked carefully.
“Do you have insomnia?”
“Yes. Insomnia is when you have trouble sleeping at night. You can’t sleep well at night, right?”
Arsene’s voice was very cautious and full of concern.
Hannah stared at Arsene and smiled.
“You’re worried about me.”
“Oh, my body seems to feel different every day………..”
“I’m fine, really.”
“Are you sure you’re okay?”
“Yes, it’ll be over soon.”
“Over? What is?”
Hannah just smiled without answering.
She was looking at the sky as if it was pouring down and murmured in a somber voice.
‘Who is everyone?’
Arsene wanted to ask back, but Hannah’s eyes didn’t fall from the sky, so he kept silent.
Hannah’s mysterious golden eyes shone like stars.
As the hot soup turned cold, Hannah turned to look at Arsene.
“When this is all over, will you take good care of me too, Arsene?”
“I don’t quite understand what you are saying. What’s all going to be over?”
“This journey right now.”
Arsene at least knew that this journey was not so simple and easy.
The Empress, who was officially considered dead in the Empire, came back alive.
Although he didn’t know Lady Asha’s exact plans, Arsene at least knew that she would never return with a happy heart.
And that was exactly what Arsene wished for.
‘The Emperor! You son of a b*tch!’
The low and cowardly way he used the Empress and the children as a shield was still vivid in his memory.
Lady Asha had risked her life to save such an emperor.
Such Asha was brought down by the emperor who had gone mad with an inferiority complex.
“I’ll be a loyal person.”
Arsene said with a solemn face as he did that day he decided to become a knight.
“You saved my life, Hannah. I will not abandon my savior. So I will protect you to the end.”
The boy’s eyes, shining with determination, resembled the stars in the sky. Hannah, who had been watching him intently, nodded with a smile.
“Yes. I’m counting on you.”
Hannah, who had covered her mouth with her fist and smiled, pointed to Arsene’s faint wound.
“It was injured during the monster encounter, right?”
“Did that person save you then?”
“She didn’t just save me. Everyone was able to live thanks to her. Instead, she injured her leg.”
(*they are talking about Roselyn had saved everyone and her leg got injured when the demons attacked when she was Empress in Tanatos)
Arsene mumbled sadly, as if he had lost his own leg.
“You really like that person, don’t you?”
“Because she’s a good person! I know there are many good people in this world, but I don’t think there is anyone as good as her!”
When the monsters suddenly started appearing, even the emperor who had the terrifying power trembled with fear. Even if he had this ability, he was not a god.
Rather, the emperor was the ugliest and weakest of all humans.
He was a selfish man who tried to live on his own, using his children and Empress as a shield.
Yet Asha came forward, even though she was smaller and less powerful than the Emperor. Arsene couldn’t forget her hand, which stroked his cheek at that moment. The hand that was trembling, frightened and pale, that white, beautiful hand that was cold as ice.
She put on an unshakable face, but that person’s hand could not hide its true feelings.
She was scared too.
It was difficult to face the monster in a normal state, but she had to face it with a piece of wood embedded in her Achilles tendon.
Alone, without support or help, she stepped forward to protect the children.
Arsene wanted to be a knight who could swear allegiance to that person.
How could he not respect and like her after going through all that? Even though Arsene was still young, he knew how serious and stubborn she was.
So he dared to say that this hot heart will last for a long time.
“I am a righteous Arsene. Once a savior, always a savior to the end.”
Arsene got up and tapped his chest.
“The same goes for you. Hannah is my savior too. I will never forget your kindness.”
Hannah burst into laughter at the words he said with a runny nose as if he was excited.
How could soup and bread that had already gone cold taste so good?
Arsene’s sweetness was more fragrant than any other sweetener.
“If so, she’d better live a little longer. Right?”
“Hmm? What do you mean?”
“Even if it hurts a little, it will last a long time.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Hannah.”
“It’s nothing. Let’s go in now.”
Hannah brushed her skirt and got up.
Arsene followed her and stood up with the tray.
Hannah was in the middle of eating the rest of the bread on the tray, when Arsene didn’t see her, she spun around and threw some of the pieces of bread into the darkness.
The darkness buzzed and a single firefly flew up.
Hannah glanced at it and hurriedly called out for Arsene.
“Don’t be too surprised, I’m about to faint……”
Before Hannah could finish her words, her body dropped to the floor.
Obviously Hannah told him not to be surprised, but Arsene
dropped the tray and hurriedly picked her up.
Darkness buzzed in the vacant lot where the two children had disappeared.
By the time she came out of the river, Roselyn was exhausted.
The river water was quite cold, but she only noticed it was cold after a few hours. Perhaps because of the deed, they felt closer to each other.
She couldn’t tell if the heat that enveloped her whole body was her own or the running water.
“Oh no. I can’t sleep for hours.”
Amazingly, Roselyn muttered in a drowsy voice.
She let her instincts take over, with no regard for what came before or after.
She couldn’t understand why she did it.
What was even more appalling was that there was no regret or self criticism.
All that was left was a thrill and huge ecstasy.
Roselyn felt that she had changed a little.
And at the center of that change was this man.
“You might be cold, so warm yourself up.”
Tamon took out a thin, dry towel from his backpack and carefully wiped Roselyn’s hair and fingers.
He was just as drenched, but Tamon didn’t seem to have the slightest intention of taking care of himself.
He carefully wiped her legs and toes, ignoring the water that was dripping from his own hair.
She curled her toes and started laughing, and Tamon, who was glancing up at her, gave her a similar smile.