Suddenly the door opened, and Viola appeared. She was wearing pants as usual, and had a sword hanging from her waist. As soon as Andra saw the princess, she bowed her head.
“I greet the glory of the noble Ishur.”
“Nice to meet you too, Lady Andra.”
Said Viola, waving her hand. Telling her to raise her head.
“Were there any inconveniences on the way?”
“None, thank you for being considerate…”
“Um, is that so?”
Viola, who cut off Andra’s answer, glanced over her shoulder and asked.
Following Andra and Jonathan, it wasn’t long before Dustin arrived in front of Viola. Dustin greeted the princess and stood beside her like an escort knight. Andra tried to avoid eye contact with Dustin as much as possible.
“It is relatively quiet compared to the other times that we moved together once. Isn’t that right, Jonathan?”
Viola opened her mouth, this time staring at Jonathan. Her light smile made Jonathan shake his head as if he couldn’t help it. Perhaps Viola was curious about how Dustin and Andra were traveling in the same carriage. Above all, as Viola spoke as if she didn’t know the two people mentioned in a conversation, Jonathan said as if in denial.
“Sister, you tease them too much. Both the Lord and Lady are adults who know the difference between public and private matters.”
“Yeah, who said they don’t? But it’s a little sad that I missed one fun thing.”
“Stop teasing them. Rather…”
Jonathan glanced at Dustin, who was standing next to Viola. Strangely, after Dustin appeared, his nerves started to itch a little bit. Sometimes Dustin’s gaze at Andra sent chills down his spine. He’d have to wait and see. Jonathan thought so and held out his hand in front of Dustin.
“Long time no see, Lord. How have you been?”
“…I greet the glory of the noble Ishur.”
“I often meet your older brother, Sir Airak, but it’s been a while since I’ve seen you. You have grown a lot. Are you still growing?”
“Northerners usually grow even until they’re thirty years of age,” Viola answered instead of Dusting. “Sir Airak’s growth spurt seems to be a bit slow, but he is still very much growing little by little.”
She glanced at Dustin, who was growing bigger and bigger following his older brother. Dustin certainly didn’t bear much resemblance to his older brother, but looking at his size, he was becoming more like Anthony. And above all… Viola caught Dustin’s gaze towards Andra, and so the corners of her mouth tugged up into an amused smile.
“Anyway, if our greetings are over, let’s get back into our respective carriages. We have a long way to go, and we have to be more efficient. Lady Andra, you can ride in my carriage with me. I have something to tell you.”
Viola turned around and climbed back into the carriage. Andra looked at Jonathan in bewilderment. Jonathan said not to worry and escorted Andra into the carriage with ease. Andra, dazed, followed Viola into the carriage.
As the door closed, she met Dustin’s eyes across Jonathan. Andra unknowingly quickly turned her head away.
“Please sit comfortably.”
“Thank you, Your Highness.”
“So, have you decided?”
At some point, Andra felt speechless for a moment as Viola jumped into the main topic. Andra knew what Viola was asking. Viola was asking if Andra would stand by Jonathan’s side until the end. From the moment it was revealed that she was an Awakened, Andra could no longer stand in the gray zone. She now had to choose.
“Choose carefully. Because once you choose it, you won’t be able to undo it. I’m saying this because I’m thinking of your sake.”
“Yes, I am well aware of it.”
“It must be very complicated to think about, isn’t it? Whether it’s Jonathan or Lord Airak, both options are tough.”
Hearing Viola’s words, Andra stiffened. If Jonathan was one of the options, that’s normal enough. But why was Dustin being mentioned here? Could Viola possibly have noticed?
But they had never been caught by anyone at all. Andra has always kept her contact with Dustin secret. If their relationship was known, things would get all the more tangled up than this.
“Your Highness, why is Lord Dustin being mentioned here…”
“You cannot fool my eyes.”
Viola peered through the curtains over the window as she said this. Andra didn’t know what to say, so she shut her mouth again. After a while, Viola’s dark eyes turned to Andra. Andra felt the hairs on her body standing tall.
“You seem to have forgotten that an Airak is by my side, too. It’s been several years since I started living together with an Airak, so I know a lot about them, and I take pride in it.”
“But I still don’t understand what you mean.”
“Feigning innocence, I see? Avellin’s one and only daughter, as expected. This shows that you grew up preciously.”
Andra was at a loss for words as Viola flung an astute point right at her.
Viola closely observed Andra. She was an Avellin, so even though Andra was flustered, she kept her composure as much as possible. It’s usually difficult for people to stay calm in front of Viola, but, as expected of Ansel’s younger sister.
Viola often thought of Avellin’s eldest son, who acted deftly in front of her.
“Actually, I became sure of it only today. The way Lord Dustin gazed at you was unusual.”
“…May I ask what kind of gaze you are talking about?”
“I told you. I live with an Airak, and I know their characteristics well. Airaks are usually honest about their feelings. Lord Dustin is no different.”
Viola recalled the time when her husband, Anthony, was immersed in swordsmanship. In the eyes of others, he constantly looked expressionless, but Viola knew the subtle differences that were revealed little by little.
It wasn’t until two years of living with Viola that Viola recognized how Anthony reacted when he was absorbed in something. So it was easy to catch it from Dustin’s face, compared to when Anthony was focusing on his swordsmanship.
“But judging from your reaction, it seems that you still can’t accept his feelings for you yet.”
“I’m sorry, Your Highness, but I truly…”
“I fully understand. It’s Lord Dustin Airak, after all. If I was in your shoes, I wouldn’t be able to accept it either. The son of my household’s nemesis. Does that even make sense? This isn’t some kind of romance novel.”
Hearing Viola’s murmur, Andra stared straight at her. She was the child who resembled the empress the most, her senses are quite similar to that of the empress too. Andra wondered whether she should just admit it here or continue to pretend. But what good would it be to admit it? It would be better to feign innocence in front of the princess who knew everything. It felt like her head was going to explode.
“Still, it would be really fun if you go on to choose Lord Airak. You’ll be able to see Sir Albert or Ansel passing out after grabbing the back of their necks from a spike in their blood pressure.”
Viola chuckled briefly. Because of this, Andra’s chest felt a little tight. It was complicated enough to split her head like this, but the princess was having fun because of someone else’s matters. Wasn’t that totally devious? But whether she knew Andra’s thoughts or not, Viola continued as she shrugged her shoulders.
“Don’t think too hard. Because I intend to be on your side, Lady Andra.”
“What do you mean?”
“Literally so. I would take your side no matter what you decide. Either way, you’re destined to come into contact with me.”
“Why are you telling me this?”
Andra summoned up the courage to ask. From her point of view, Viola, who suddenly revealed, saying, “I know your secret,” was just absurd. It was Dustin’s one-sided feelings anyway, but she couldn’t understand why she had to be pressured by Viola to such an extent.
“Well. Perhaps I’m curious about how you’ll decide?”
“What do you mean…”
“Let me tell you one thing. Whatever choice you make, it must be for your own sake. That way, you will have fewer regrets.”
Viola crossed her arms and leaned against the backrest. It was perhaps her own life’s advice, so Andra couldn’t say anything.
t/n: im still curious about who the princess banged in the maze at that time. i don’t think she considers marrying Dustin’s bro bad-bad, so either she moved on or it was just a one night stand… but she still strikes me as the type to probably bang a lot of men?? hahahaha i mean she did switch right from andra’s bro to dustin’s bro and even married him fast…
Boom, boom, boom…
The sound of drums resonated around them. The man looked at the smoke rising from the base. Between them, he saw people wandering around.
It was dawn, yet they still could not even open their eyes properly, they packed their armor and weapons. They looked like a bunch of mice. The man looked down at them with an expressionless face, then turned his head and left to go somewhere else.
The mountains at dawn were creepy beyond the stillness. The fog that grew thicker as he went inside obscured his vision and blocked his senses. Above all, the bizarre cries heard from time to time aroused fear in humans. It was like the notorious Mezei Mountains.
Even so, the man didn’t care and started to go further inside through the forest. He had nothing to fear.
How did he make his way through the woods and into the interior? The man’s face and back of his hands were full of scratches from the sharp thorns of trees. However, they soon began to heal little by little and disappeared in an instant.
The man began cutting down trees without hesitation, looking for something. And soon, the man arrived in front of a very large tree. It was an old tree that had been struck by lightning, split in and charred black.
The man stretched out his hand and caressed the grain of the wood. A gritty touch felt through his palms. The man caressed the tree a few more times before stepping into the crack at the base of the root. The gap was quite wide, so even a man with a large size could easily get in and out.
A long passage was connected to the gap. The man moved down the aisle. It was dark and damp, but it didn’t matter much to the man. He walked straight ahead without a single light.
Eventually, the man reached the end of the passage and faced a large rock. Then the man took out the match he had prepared and lit it. Whoosh! As the match was lit, the whole area lit up.
The man carefully examined the rock. Unknown letters and patterns were engraved on the rocks. Of course the man could read the text, but he couldn’t figure out what it meant. It wasn’t something he could solve in the first place. There was someone else to solve this, and they were on their way to Morgennis.
He stopped at a certain spot and stared at it.
[ Here lies the place of slumber of Wisdom and Ideals. ]
The man touched the phrase with his fingertips. The name he missed so much was disappearing from this world. The name of the person who devoted herself to humans more than anyone else that was forgotten in their memories.
So his actions are justified. In this world where humans are teeming with people like ants, wouldn’t it make no difference if just a few humans were to die?
In fact, it didn’t matter if all humans would die. With his God, man can be resurrected again. His God will make it possible.
“I will change the world many times over for you.”
The man clenched his fists.
“Even if this world is covered with the blood of all life. Will it be as precious as you?”
The match goes out and turns to ashes and falls to the ground.
“My dear God.”
t/n: THIS IS NOT DEAN RIGHT?? I THOUGHT DEAN AND ANAT IS THEIR PREVIOUS LIFEEE WHAAA there’s someone who pointed out that who-was-their-name knight was dean, and i nonchalantly replied no i think it was someone else from the previous life reborn, goshhh they were onto something!!
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