Chapter 1. Kill the Empress
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“Jorge, we’re all ready. Hurry.”
At the knight’s words, Jorge hastily pulled hard on his gloves.
“You guys are so fast. Yes. Let’s get going.”
Hurrying through the Knights, Jorge glanced at the barracks of Tamon and Aranrosia.
‘How can they save the beast without a doctor?’
The little beast was indeed a “silver deer” cub.
Of course, Jorge had only seen silver antlers, but he at least knew that was the only beast with such antlers and skin.
‘Well, I’m sure the captain will take care of it.’
Jorge gave a worried glance at Tamon’s barracks and hurriedly mounted his horse.
What mattered now was not the young cub that had survived.
It was more important to get rid of the scent of blood, the trace of it that was left not far from this barracks where they were.
Jorge thought again of the brutal scene at the spot where he had found the young silver deer.
It was a small forest not far from the entrance to the canyon.
When they entered with the intention of seeing that far, Tamon and the Knights were greeted by the bloody scene of battle.
Scattered on the floor were dozens of corpses of what were neither beasts or monsters.
And even the corpses of two silver deer that appeared to have fought against them.
How fierce the battle had been, all the surrounding trees were broken and scratched, and blood was splattered in all directions from who-knows-what.
‘I had no idea the silver deer’s fighting prowess was that high.’
Knowing only the value of the antlers and skins, Jorge could not help but be amazed at the marks of just two silver deer fighting against these monstrous creatures.
‘What was it, by the way that attacked the deer? It was too strange to be a beast, too venomous to be a monster……..’
And it was a little different in shape from the monsters that were in the gap.
It was as if the two traits were combined to create a completely new creature……
At that moment, Jorge couldn’t help but let out a single word.
They were such monsters.
It was between a beast and a monster. They were not beasts, nor were they monsters. (*He is talking about the creatures that attacked the silver deer.)
Jorge and the knights, who ran fast and arrived at the forest a while ago, began to organize their surroundings quickly.
There was nothing good about having these corpses near the barracks site.
This was because they did not know which animals, possessed by the smell of blood, would come to the vicinity.
They quickly covered their tracks, dragging the creature’s bodies and pushing them into the canyon.
“Everyone watch out for the fog!”
The Knights quickly cleared the bodies while wearing the masks they had brought with them.
Although ragged, the silver deer skins and antlers were an important financial resource, so they were put in separately.
“When you’re done, let’s return quickly. It is already dark. Hurry.”
“Yeah, it’s kind of spooky. Let’s leave quickly.”
“Did the captain walk around all alone in a place like this?”
“His nickname is ‘Monster’. No. Our captain is worse than a monster. Much more.”
Jorge chimed in with a nuance that made it hard to tell whether he was complimenting or swearing.
Everyone nodded earnestly at his words, but on the other hand, some were reassured by the thought that such a man was their lord.
The knights glanced around the scene where blood and gore had been splattered earlier and hurriedly left the scene.
Jorge, who was running in the very back, glanced at a small bush that was a short distance from the scene.
It was the bush where they had found the small silver horned deer that had been hiding.
Two adult deer fought against a dozen monstrous beasts.
Perhaps those two silver deer had fought to the end of their lives to protect the deer cub that was hiding behind the grass.
Jorge looked around the place with mixed feelings and hurriedly quickened his steps back to the campsite.
Just then, the deer cub, who had been gasping for air in agony, opened his eyes.
* * *
The deer cub, who shed a thin cry without energy, wriggled its whole body and tried to move.
“I thought it would not survive with that much blood, but it came back to life.”
Tamon said as he gently rubbed the deer’s chin with his already healed finger.
The young deer was alert, baring his teeth despite his lack of energy.
Tamon chuckled as he gently rubbed the deer’s chin, as if it were cute.
“The silver deer is a lot stronger than it looks. No matter how young they are.”
“That’s amazing. There aren’t many silver deer in Tanatos, but you seem to know their ecology quite well.”
On that note, the conversation was getting too long, so Asha became silent and made eye contact with the young deer.
The fear-stricken deer was staring at Asha with eyes full of alarm.
The fawn was so small that it didn’t even come halfway up Tamon’s arm.
Only a year old, it seemed to be getting bigger.
The silver horned deer was a slow grower. Their temperament was strong and hard, but it took time to grow.
‘Lucentia once told me about a baby born a year ago……’
Is this silver deer that baby?
Asha’s heart throbbed.
“It’s funny, though, a silver horned deer would never leave its young alone.”
“… Oh, this little one wasn’t alone.”
“There were two adults. This one was the one that was hiding in the bushes nearby. But, those two adults were dead a short distance away. It looks like they died protecting this one.”
Tamon told Asha the short version of the scene of the messed up battle.
Asha’s face hardly as she listened to him.
The only silver horned deer herd left in Tanatos were children, managed by the imperial family.
Of course, Tamon couldn’t be sure, he hadn’t searched all over the black canyon.
But strangely enough, Asha couldn’t help but feel that this fawn was the one that Lucentia had told her about.
“I think there are more deer around.”
Tamon pointed out exactly as if he had read Asha’s mind.
Asha looked pale and clenched her fists.
Tamon, who was staring at her, called her in a sweet voice.
He gently swept her eyes and urged her on with a gentle voice.
“You look like you have a lot to say. Why don’t you tell me?”
Sighing heavily at his words, Asha opened her lips.
“Actually, this was done by the late emperor of Tanatos.”
A hard voice echoed through the quiet hut.
* * *
“The more I learn……the more I realize that the dead emperor is such a crazy guy in many ways.”
Tamon laughed out in a terribly twisted voice.
The dead emperor wanted to monopolize the silver horns and skins, he would put children in a herd of wild animals.
That method was truly inhuman and cruel.
That human being had done evil to those helpless children.
For example, he would let them hold something precious and take it from them, or he would hold their families hostage.
Asha bowed her head, unable to deny it.
In fact, it was just before she became empress that she learned this secret.
The previous emperor, on his sickbed, called her to inform her of the existence of La Gorreci.
“I say this to you because it seems to me that if left to Gillotti, he will let loose in an instant what I had tamed. Can you manage it properly?”
What did he say to Roselyn, who was too shocked to answer?
“…. their parents and siblings are living richly under my patronage. The youngest child was born a few years ago. It is really strange in that house. Another child with white hair was born. I am very ……grateful.”
The previous emperor laughed on his sick bed.
It was a threat against Roselyn.
And to show this, a few days later, he brought in a four-year-old child who had just started walking.
The waddling child had cute frizzy hair.
It was a natural, white, beautiful hair that could not be made artificially.
What could Roselyn say?
One thing she thought fortunate at the time was that there were only a few days left when the previous emperor would truly die.
How surprised she was to find herself rejoicing in someone’s death.
“If it was you who took care of those children, it is enough to understand why this painful look on your face now.”
“……I made a promise to protect those children.”
Tamon laughed at her words.
“Otherwise it wouldn’t have been Roselyn V Sunset.”
He could guess what Asha wanted from her voice. His hand brushed her smooth cheek.
His hand naturally stroked her earlobe and held her close.
Soft lips roamed near her hardened eyes, cheeks, and lips.
“I’ll go get the kids. So don’t make this face.”
Asha said, pushing Tamon roughly away as she jumped up at his words.
“No, I don’t want it that way.”
Tamon’s face contorted at Asha’s strong refusal.
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t want to see you hurt for my purpose anymore. I don’t want that. So you can’t go to the rescue alone. Never.”
Tamon’s expression turned cold at Asha’s rejection of him again.
He asked back, unable to hide the hard expression on his face.
“If not me, how can you save those children? I don’t think we have the time or the means.”
Tamon’s words were not wrong.
Still, Asha could not back down.
For her revenge, for her cause, Tamon had been constantly injured.
He did not hesitate to get hurt, and he did not hesitate to destroy his body.
She did not want to see him like that any more.
“Just one day, give me one day. I’m sure I’ll come up with a way.” (Asha)
Tamon looked at Asha coldly with a stiff face and murmured.
“……You will find a solution without my help?”