Chapter 22

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‘Let’s just leave it, right? You can’t live anyway, right?’

‘But, if you say that you want to let people know about your unfairness, it will be annoying. I just needed to get rid of this town.’

‘Well, You’ll starve yourself, anyway. How can this little thing survive here unless God suddenly appears and helps?’



Whoosh.

Lihan swung the wooden sword again.

As if trying to defeat the voices.

As that man said, it was a place where he couldn’t survive.

If he hadn’t been noticed by Jiel, who was passing by by accident, he would have starved to death as he said.

However, he was miraculously found by the Dragon of the Earth and survived, and he is still alive.



‘Kid, you can just stay here and starve to death. All the villagers died like this, how are you going to survive alone?’



The voice was cruel.

But he never thought of revenge.

But now that he thinks about it, it was a little unfair.

Why can’t he eat well even when he came to such a magnificent castle because of that?



‘Hunger is painful. All the villagers are dead and you’re the only one who survived, so you will die most painfully.’



Why does his words bother him? Why does he have to follow what that man said and die in pain?

Because he survived alone?



“You’re working hard.”



Lihan, who was wielding a wooden sword with drops of sweat flowing, stopped moving.

Looking back with a short breath, it was Kael who stood in the dark garden.

His red eyes seemed to glow rather pale, perhaps it was because of the moonlight.

It was as if he was seeing through everything.



“But you have a lot of thoughts.”

Lihan, who hung his hand with a wooden sword, took a breath.

Then he remembered Hyazelki’s words.

And pushed away other distracting voices.



‘You are a family, too.’



When he recalled her words, and when he remembered the smile, his heart calmed down.



“I’m going to protect myself…… by the way.”

“So what?”

“So…… I’m trying to be stronger, too.”



Lihan’s gaze, which had fallen on the floor, slowly faced Kael.

It’s not his fault to survive alone.

The sinner were wrong to attack the town in the first place.

Lihan’s eyes slowly changed under the moonlight.

Kael grinned and murmured softly.



“That’s a pretty useful kid.”

* * *



The butler, who told Kael that Hyazelki wanted to learn swordmanship, experienced a fear that he never wanted to feel again.

Since then, Hyazelki has only been watching Lihan secretly, who is training swordsmanship because Albert and Yuri overlooked her presence.

And as the time of watching increased, Hyazelki sat on one side with a book.

While reading the book, she looked at Yuri and Lihan once, and read the book again.



“Hia, aren’t you cold?”



And since the day he first asked her why she had nightmares, Lihan’s attitude has become much softer.

He seemed a little open-minded, and Hyazelki even felt proud that she had achieved her goal.



“Yes, I’m fine.”



It was getting warmer.

Sitting in the sunny seat, Hyazelki added with a smile.

“It’s warm.”

“Yes.”

“Break time is over! Come back!”



Lihan, who just drank water once, ran back to train at Yuri’s call.

He was quite different from when he first came to the castle.

Now he eats quite well.

Since he ate well and moved his body, he quickly gained weight and grew taller.

The size, which was much smaller than his age, only now looked like his age.

Although he still doesn’t laugh often, his face is still more lively than before.

The wind was gentle, so the hand that turned the page was light.

It was a pleasant afternoon.

Then, the sound of footsteps through the sound of the bell jiggling could be heard.



“Hia, what are you doing here?”



Surprised by the sudden voice, Hyazelki dropped the book on the floor.

Yuri, who swallowed her breath, murmured softly.



“Master…”



Hyazelki, who jumped up, turned around and faced Kael.

He was still looking down at her with a blank expression.



“Papa, are you taking a walk?”



She asked with a casual smile, but Kael only narrowed his brows.

The gaze stayed at Yuri and Lihan for a while and then returned to Hyazelki.



“I think those two are here for swordsmanship class. What are you doing here?”

“Well, I was reading a book.”

“Here?”

“Yes…”

“Were you watching the swordsmanship class?”



Hyazelki shut her mouth tight as she tried to make an excuse.

Because it occurred to her that Kael told her not to lie.

Looking at her nodding, Kael sighed briefly.



“Hia, you told Albert that you wanted to learn swordsmanship.”

“……Yes.”

“Why are you interested in swords? Even though I said I wouldn’t allow it.”



Hyazelki couldn’t say anything, so she fixed her eyes on the ground.

But she knew nothing would be solved if she didn’t answer.



“Picking up a sword brings you closer to sin. Do you want to learn swordsmanship even though you know what it would do?”



Of course the rules are different for her. Even knowing that, isn’t he willing that Lihan is wielding a sword?

However, Kael could not allow Hyazelki to hold a sword.

Holding a sword means you can’t avoid dangerous situations.

Hyazelki was afraid of the wrinkles in Kael’s forehead, which was the proof of his displeasure.

Still, Hyazelki had to say.

She didn’t mean to be close to sin.



“I’m just… I just wanted something to protect myself…….”



So that even if strangers come in, if someone threatens, she can survive.

Kael’s eyes sank deeply at her words. Because he couldn’t understand why she said that.

There was a moment of silence between the two, and Lihan, carrying a wooden sword, approached the two slowly.



“Then…”



Kael’s eyes turned to Lihan, who muttered in a small voice.



“Then I’ll… Can I protect Hia?”



The spring breeze ruffled their hair.



“I’ll be the strongest knight. Then I can… I can protect Hia, right? Then, Hia…… You don’t have to learn swordsmanship.”

Hyazelki, who had stopped breathing for a while at the words that followed, soon released the breath she had been holding back.



‘I’m surprised.’



Hyazelki raised her head in surprise.



‘But why am I surprised?’



She bowed her head again in wonder, but heard Kael saying.



“That’ll do.”

“What?”

“Albert.”



At the low call of Kael, the butler appeared at once.



“Why are you coming out from there?”



Looking at Albert, who quickly came out from the nearby bush, Hyazelki asked.

The butler couldn’t answer anything and wiped off his cold sweat with a handkerchief.

“Did you call, My Lord?”

“Bring a knight. Assign him as Lihan’s teacher.”

“A knight…….”



As Albert blurred the end of his words, Kael’s eyes turned to Yuri.



“……your family has produced outstanding knights for generations.”

“Yes, My Lord.”



Yuri excels in almost everything as long as it comes to physical work. She has good physical strength, and she is good with her hands.

Thanks to that, she also learnt basic swordsmanship knowledge from her family. That’s why Yuri was in charge of Lihan’s class.

However, basic knowledge is not enough to protect Hyazelki.



“Then bring Lihan’s teacher, Yuri.”



Yuri, who glanced at Lihan, soon bowed her head.

“Yes, My Lord.”



Nodding, Kael turned and approached Hyazelki.



“Hia, that child said he would be your knight, so I won’t allow you to hold a sword.”

“…….”



Hyazelki dropped her head with a discontented look.

No matter how strong Lihan is, it is Lihan who is strong, not herself.

If she is left alone, it is the same as her being powerless.



‘Then there’s no difference…….’



Every moment has been happy since she came to the castle.

So Hyazelki wanted to save this life. This time she wanted to save it anyhow.

Herself… …from that ‘curse’ that she doesn’t know what it is.

Kael, who was looking at Hyazelki, who was only looking at the ground with a disastrous expression, felt his chest stuffy.

He didn’t mean to make her look like this.

So he couldn’t stand it and sighed.



“……but if you still need something to protect your body, follow me to my room.”



She opened her eyes wide when Kael, who she thought was just saying no, added belatedly.



“Yes, I’ll go.”

“Yes.”



Hyazelki, who was staring at Kael’s back as he slowly moved away, turned around.

Then he approached Lihan and held his hand tightly.



“Thank you, Lihan.”



‘If I have a younger brother, is it how I would feel?’



She smiled at that thought. Of course, she wanted to laugh but someone could hear her.

She soon ran after Kael.

Lihan, who stared at Hyazelki as she moved away, grabbed the hand that she had held.



“Now, you will be a knight who will protect my lady in the future. Let’s start over.”



Lihan nodded as if it were natural to hear Yuri’s voice with a smile.



“Yes.”



Yuri’s smile deepened at the attitude that was not at all playful.



* * *



Albert, who was following in a fidget, stopped at the spot when Kael told him not to follow any more.

So it was only him and Hyazelki who entered Kael’s room.

The door closed and Kael approached the window.

As if it had been decided, he went to the window when he entered the room.

Because looking at the sky was the only thing that made him breathe.



“Come here, Hia.”

“Yes.”



Hyazelki, who approached Kael, looked up at him.



“Take out what’s on your neck.”

“This?”



Hyazelki took out a pocket watch hidden in her clothes.



“Yeah. I guess it’s from Ciel, right?”

“Yes.”

“That doughy fellow.”

“What?”

“No, it’s nothing.”



Murmured Kael with a discontented face, reaching out his hand.



“Give it to me.”

Hyazelki calmly unhooked her pocket watch and handed it to his hand.

Kael, who looked at it once, asked.



“What did Ciel say while giving you this?”

“Um…..it will protect me.”

“Anyway, he’s a long way off from not returning any time soon.”

“What?”

“No, it’s nothing.”



The fat-faced Kael turned the watch around.



‘I think you’ve been cursing at Ciel since earlier…….’



Hyazelki, with her lips puckering, didn’t bother to point out that part, and looked at Kael quietly.

He grabbed the necklace that had the watch hanging down on it.



“Hia, there is your power in it.”

“My power? What power?”



‘I think Ciel said something similar.’

When Hyazelki asked with her eyes round, Kael looked down at her with a slightly difficult face and replied.



“Well……having a good heart.”

“What?”

“The power of Ciel was added to it, and so it became stronger.”



Hyazelki stared blankly at her pocket watch in Kael’s hand.

Although there was power, she didn’t know what power there was, nor did she feel anything from it.



“But it’s not going to be available right now. I’ll let you use this power if you want.”

“What’s the power?”



Kael didn’t answer immediately, but took a moment.

He stared at the pocket watch with a puzzled look on his face.

Then he opened his mouth after a short thought.

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