Chapter 96 – Runaway (1)
“I’m just unsettled.”
Viola scooped up the water with her hands and drank it. The water was coming from the mountain, but strangely it felt like the water from River Judith. For this reason, she came down to the streamside to drink water whenever she missed him.
“The messenger hawk just arrived.”
“That hawk also seems to be very hard at work. It shouldn’t have to be sent over anymore…”
“But we still do need to know about the situation over there.”
It may also be the fact that they were deep in the mountains, but since they were so far away from the Kingdom of Koronis, the hawk seemed to be exhausted. Perhaps this was the result of its old age, but the bird had also started arriving later and later.
Viola didn’t bother reading the news that the hawk delivered to her. She only listened to Paul, but other than that, she had lost all interest in the world.
“They say that the war is over.”
“They did? Who won?”
“Well—” Paul’s face scrunched up.
“That’s right, it must’ve been the Blood Army. I don’t have to look to know that. How fierce it must’ve been, given the past resurrection of the Emperor of Blood.”
Paul sighed. “They surrendered. The whole kingdom admitted defeat and designated him Emperor as they had before.”
“It was already wrong to challenge him in the first place. It would’ve been difficult to try to break down a land blessed by God.”
The results were predictable. Even if Viola stood at the forefront, the results would’ve been the same. She thought of the crown prince that stood at the forefront. The love he had for Guinev was special.
“It seems the crown prince was handed over from the Kingdom of Farus. It’s possible… that he experienced the same sort of humiliation that Prince Edward did…” Paul bit his lip. “First it’s Guinev and now even the crown prince… The King of Farus must be in deep turmoil.”
‘What must’ve happened to Guinev? That I do not know.’
Upon entering the forest, Viola had given up on a lot. Even if the others would ridicule her for tossing aside the luxurious life of royalty, she was calm.
Since the forest was a place she had lived in for a long time, she was at peace. Now, instead of a nanny, Rosha picked berries and cooked, and instead of Edward, the knights protected her, hunted, and fetched firewood. If food supply ran short at times, she would sell the jewels one her dress in exchange for some flour. Though she no longer had any jewels left to sell…
But still, she didn’t mind. She became self-sufficient, bearing in mind that there was more than one way to skin a beast. She would sell the coats of the beasts that her knights hunted and skinned.
“Let’s now go back to the campsite. It’s getting chilly.”
“Yes, judging by the rising smoke, Rosha must’ve prepared lunch.”
The two got up together and walked over to the campsite where Rosha was waiting for them.
‘How much have we walked? ‘
Something felt amiss. The two simultaneously felt a sharp chill. Viola’s face went rigid. Her heart was thumping.
Rosha’s screams could be heard from nearby the campsite. Before Paul could catch Viola, she had ran over to where her little maid was. Her screams were very terrifying. She threw her shoes off herself as they were uncomfortable to run in. She could have cared less about the rocks jabbing her feet.
Viola drew a dagger. Minding the sword, she ran in a frenzy towards the campsite that was taken over by an eerie atmosphere.
Just when she arrived, she found a black horse.
Snort, snort! It recognized Viola’s scent.
As soon as she saw the horse, her heart swelled like it was going to burst. Her whole body shuddered.
That horse belonged to Lustian.
Suddenly, a bunch of soldiers popped up from the forest at once. They immediately surrounded the campsite layer by layer as if to enclose it. The chilly wind blew through Viola’s hair.
Creak-As the wooden door opened, a sturdy man walked out. Viola felt like her throat was closing.
His sharp, flashing eyes, his crooked mouth… His short black hair made the cuts on his cheeks all the more striking. She felt her heart was being ripped apart. She could not breathe.
“I’ve finally found you… Viola—”
All the time that passed unraveled itself like a shell coming off. Exposed so nakedly, all that remained was the tragic demise of the knights.
Viola’s body was trembling all over. The knights could not become the enemy of the Blood Army. They were each a prosecutor, freely using their swords. Their caliphate, Lustian, was unquestionably the best of them. Paul was futile against his attacks, and all the knights that faced the military died one by one. Their limbs were cut off as a result of the precisely pointed attacks and quick movements. In a battle where both sides put their lives on the line, Viola’s knights were the ones who lost.
Viola witnessed the deaths of the knights right before her eyes after they provided a place for her to take refuge and pledged allegiance to her. She could feel an acrid taste in her throat. At the same time, her whole body was almost convulsing.
She was fearful as she looked at Lustian, covered in blood.
‘The Emperor of Blood. He went mad as soon he rose to power…’ The rumors were true. It was horrifying looking at a form, no different from that of a devil, killing others.
Lustian took off his apparel and wiped the blood off of himself. Even as he approached her with a polished face, he looked like a different person. After gently reaching out, he tugged at her hair and buried his nose in it. As he took a deep breath, Viola breathed out.
“I left it empty for you… The seat for Empress—”