Author: lipzoldyck

 

P1.

 

Peter was, in fact, not a trained soldier.

 

To tell the truth without adding or subtracting, when he was innocent, he briefly held the sword, but that was all. Even Peter knew he had no talent, so he gave up his sword early on and went on to do other things.

 

Therefore, he wasn’t a knight from a noble family, nor did he have a grandiose goal for the Empire, and he had skills that would be embarrassing to be called a swordsman.

 

But nonetheless, Peter was selected as a soldier and went to war.

 

As he said earlier, it was because he had ‘held a sword for a while in his innocence’.

 

No matter how poor his skills were, Peter belonged to the few people in his village who could handle a sword. It was probably natural for him to be selected as a soldier because he was pushed by the words that he would be better than someone who couldn’t even hold a weapon.

 

Because he entered the war against his will, he was a bit far from what people called the bravery and sacrifice of soldiers.

 

In fact, Peter was a man more suited to a scythe or a shovel than a sword, so his comrades who went to war didn’t expect him to have the kind of bravery that a soldier would have.

 

So who would have known? To think that Peter would run after seeing the Master of the Magic Tower who was said could kill a person with a single gesture.

 

And that after he ran out, he would stand in front of the Master of the Magic Tower and say that he was the savior of his life.

 

Everyone who knew Peter even a little bit was astonished, and even the high-ranking people next to the Master of the Magic Tower were surprised, yet the said person was calm after hearing those words. In fact, it would be more accurate to say that he didn’t pay any attention.

 

Despite such treatment, the story of Peter who came back after thanking the Master of the Magic Tower was like this.

 

The moment the kingdom army was almost crushed to death by the monsters released as if, “I die, you die too,” the Master of the Magic Tower saved him. He also didn’t mind the blood splattering on his robes and slicing the monster to pieces.

 

In fact, the reactions of his colleagues who heard the story were mixed, but Peter continued to talk. It’s true that he’s scary, and it’s true that he doesn’t feel like a normal human being, but that fact saved his life.

 

Until a few days ago, his appearance of trembling at the sight of the Master of the Magic Tower slaughtering the enemy soldiers was nowhere to be found.

 

“I just thought I was going to die. But as soon as I looked up, what did I see?”

 

“You saw the body of a monster with no head?”

 

“Yeah! Only the torso of that large crab remained! But maybe he wasn’t satisfied with just blowing its head, or whatever…”

 

“It’s already the 3rd time you tell that story, isn’t it time to stop?”

 

“Wait, it’s a really different story this time. The moment he used his magic again, something glittered in his clothes, and at first glance it looked like a jewel. But again, the jewel…”

 

Because Peter wasn’t good with words, the story he told was also poor. Deliberately using an exaggerated tone, as if to give it a dramatic effect, only caused boredom, and even after hearing it, all the words were the same.

 

The gist of the long-winded and repeated words was, “The Master of the Magic Tower may not be as scary as you think.”

 

Since he’s his lifesaver, he might think that, and the colleagues who had nodded at him at first felt bored and left, yet Peter’s mouth didn’t stop.

 

Eventually, one of them jumped out of his seat and shouted, ‘If the Master of the Magic Tower had known you were so talkative, he would have left you alone!’ and the conversation stopped.

 

But since the two started fighting right after that, and because Peter was severely punished for causing internal turmoil in wartime, no one cared about the backstory he hadn’t brought up.

 

If only they knew that the ‘necklace’ that Peter had been talking about was quite important to the Master of the Magic Tower, and that people in the capital would be interested in it later, that it was related to an old lover that the Master of the Magic Tower missed so much. If it had been, at least one person might have paid attention, but no one could know the future.

 

The story has been forgotten.

 

***

 

At that time, Dante really felt that everything was meaningless.

 

The anger at the death of the villagers was still there. The sadness that Ei wasn’t with him grew thicker as it grew, yet it never went away.

 

However, the act of killing people in revenge, and seeing people look at him with awe or fear, became more and more annoying.

 

In the midst of getting used to the smell of human blood, how much the monsters intervened and harassed him.

 

Even though the Magic Tower officially sided with the Empire and the magicians of the Mage Tower were mobilized for war, the number of people he killed didn’t decrease.

 

In fact, the reason Dante became like this was also because he had virtually disposed of the people on the list the Crown Prince had given him.

 

He found the one who caused of her death and eliminated it, but there was also a feeling that she didn’t return, and after dealing with those people, feelings similar to guilt came later. It was only after Dante stepped on numerous corpses and stood up that he really thought that he was killing innocent people.

 

But he had come too far to stop now just because he had such a thought.

 

Like a person who has lost what he could call his will, Dante repeatedly moved as the Crown Prince requested or killed unconditionally if they were judged as enemies.

 

Many people who saw him called him the slaughter-mad Master of the Magic Tower, but rather, killing people to Dante at that time didn’t carry any weight.

 

In the midst of his daily life where he became numb to the act of living and breathing like that.

 

[Tower Master, I found a gemstone I hadn’t seen in your room. I contacted you because there’s a protective magic on it so it won’t break.]

 

A call came from his secretary. Dante, who almost replied, telling him to throw it away without thinking, belatedly came to his senses and immediately moved to the Magic Tower.

 

Although Rook, who was holding a box of a gemstone, was horrified by Dante’s sudden teleportation, he didn’t care that the secretary was surprised.

 

“Where is that gemstone?”

 

“Ah, it’s here.”

 

Dante urgently snatched the gemstone from the box Rook showed him. Even though he glanced at Rook’s bewilderment at the unexpected reaction, he didn’t care and looked at the gemstone as if he were looking at the most precious thing in the world.

 

When he saw a dull purple color and saw the size of his finger.

 

Ah, yeah. He was sure that what he was holding, what he thought was right.

 

“What, is it something important?”

 

After confirming that it wasn’t a magic stone or a precious jewel, Rook asked irritably. While he thought it was a crude gemstone that was common everywhere he went.

 

Dante, with his throat choked up and unable to add another word, he simply replied.

 

“…Yeah.”

 

Gasp.”

 

Since there was only one thing that Dante could say was important—if it was anything related to her—Rook belatedly came to his senses and held his breath.

 

But just like before, Dante didn’t pay any attention to Rook. The only thing that ran through his head at that time was how he could forget this.

 

He thought he had nothing left from Ei. Even the pair of bracelets that Ei had had no meaning because they were what he had given her after all.

 

However, he couldn’t believe that now, he has found what she gave him while thinking of him, none other than that.

 

“So this exists.”

 

…What you left behind was here.

 

After checking the rugged stone, Dante had to stand still for a moment to control his emotions. For days he had gone numb, and he felt like crying again over a single stone the size of his palm.

 

Indeed, she was the only one who could elicit these feelings in him.

 

“Tower Master, that… If it’s a valuable item, shall I keep it safe?”

 

“No.”

 

“Then how…”

 

“…”

 

From that day on, Dante began to make a necklace out of that shabby and cloudy gemstone and carry it around. One day, she said that the color of his eyes reminded her of the stone he had been given.

 

Even at the moment when his sense of smell was paralyzed by the smell of blood and bloodstains were stamped on every step he took, he could only think of her if he had her necklace. How she laughed while handing him this stone, what color her eyes were, everything.

 

[I bought it because I thought of you. Here, take it. Normally, I wouldn’t have turned my head this way, but thanks to you, my pockets were getting thicker, so my eyes went blind. It has the same color as your eyes, right?]

 

If it was someone other than Dante, he might have thought he would have been better off not accepting this jewel.

 

He might have regretted that he shouldn’t have loved her, thinking of himself left alone in the years to come. In fact, it’s natural for a normal person to have such resentment and regret.

 

But already, because Dante was beyond the normal range in that he avenged the death of his beloved with the blood of so many people, and because he has never regretted loving her for a moment.

 

Dante felt neither resentment nor regret.

 

No matter how lonely he was, no matter how much he dreamed and flames flew before his eyes, he would probably live with this feeling until he died. Because even this pain and longing she left behind.

 

There wasn’t a single thing he could throw away, stuck in the past.

 

Author's Thoughts

this chapter is sponsored by Nectarina (4/4)

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Comments (3)

  1. Hmm… I don’t like the Crown Prince. I could already tell this Crown Prince was bad news. Can he please don’t come any closer to our protagonists?