He immediately uttered a short word and sent the messenger flying away.
Kael didn’t take his eyes off Hyazelki for a moment. And she, too, did not shy away from his gaze and faced him directly.
“Tell me again what you just said.”
“I want to learn swordsmanship.”
“Didn’t we already finish that story the other day? If you need something to protect yourself, that watch you have…….”
“I couldn’t keep it.”
Hyazelki said calmly, interrupting Kael.
The expressionless face made Kael nervous somehow. He has never seen her like this before.
The child pulled out the watch from her neck.
“I’ve been wearing this around my neck all along. The curse hurt me. You tried to protect me, but Lihan got hurt, by protecting me.”
Hyazelki snapped the necklace she was holding.
“I want to protect myself. This life right now, everyone I like. I don’t want you to get hurt because of me either.”
Kael couldn’t say anything.
“Papa you once asked me, ‘Are you satisfied with just being protected’?”
“Well, I’m not satisfied. I don’t want to be protected.”
“……, of course.”
Kael, who was listening to Hyazelki’s story with a serious face, asked quietly.
“So you’re going to hold a sword?”
“You want to hurt others to live?”
“………I won’t hurt others.”
Hyazelki calmly took a breath.
Then she closed her eyes gently and recalled Owin’s words.
“Without hurting people…… I want to protect myself. Tell me how can I do that.”
There was a sense that she was asking too much.
Nevertheless, she had to ask.
If the answer was firm that there was no such way, she would have found another way.
But after a long time of deliberation, Owin gave her an answer.
“……I can give you a bladeless sword.”
“Of course, it is not the complete solution.”
“But, Lady, it is the heart rather than the sword that hurts people. A blunt sword without sharpness may not interfere with the training, but it will achieve the goal you want.”
“I’m going to carry a sword without a blade.”
Kael refuted Hyazelki’s reply without a blink.
“Just because you have a bladleless sword doesn’t mean you can’t hurt people.”
“I’m not going to hurt anyone.”
“With the tools to slaughter humans, how will you not harm humans and protect yourself?”
She herself was aware of the contradiction.
But she couldn’t back down.
“Now…… I don’t want to just be protected uselessly.”
Hyazelki’s eyes, which had always seemed calm, were filled with tears.
Kael, who found it, reflexively shut up.
“I don’t want to lose to the curse. For not losing to it…… I want to be strong.”
“This curse… I want to get rid of it, Dad.….”
It was the first name she called him ‘Dad’.
Kael’s eyes, which had sunk deeply, shone a little. Hyazelki seemed to have called him that way because he didn’t even though of her wishes.
Kael clenched his fist.
He wanted to find the person that cursed this slender child, pretty and lovely child, and swing his fist at them.
Kael was looking at Hyazelki, who was shedding tears, and slowly reached out.
Slowly wiping away the tears flowing down her cheeks, he slowly hugged the child in his arms.
When he slowly patted her on the back, the silent tears became sobbing, and soon, she burst into tears again. Albert, who had been standing by him all along, was perplexed by something he had never seen.
“Let’s go back to the room for now. I have to wait for Hiel to come.”
Hyazelki was gasping and crying, so she couldn’t even answer well.
“When Hiel comes, show him to her room.”
“……Yes, My Lord.”
Leaving Albert’s slightly late reply behind, Kael clenched his mouth and took the child and climbed the stairs.
Hyazelki couldn’t stop crying until she arrived at the room.
“Awow, Li, Li, Lihan…… Because of me…….”
Kael swallowed only a sigh, wiping away the constantly flowing tears.
Shouldn’t he had told Hyazelki, who was of young age who can’t even drink yet, about the curse?
He was in serious trouble. At least he thought of going to let her know when she was old enough to drink together.
But seeing her crying so hard in front of him eyes, he was upset.
“Tell me…… How, how, how, how…… Oh, the curse, the curse…… Do you have….”
Will she understand what I’ll say to her? Kael, who thought for a moment, quickly erased the idea.
Of course she will understand.
She looks like a child and is helpless in front of a curse, but she has already repeated her life four times.
Preferably…… he hoped it wasn’t him to explain this curse, but it seemed inevitable.
Kael exhaled a long breath and sat Hyazelki down on the bed.
And he drew a chair and sat in front of her.
“Hia, you are…… Hia is loved a lot.”
Kael, who had been waiting for Hyazelki to calm down a little, who had been constantly shedding tears, soon opened his mouth.
“You are loved by God, and you are loved by dragons, but…… You’re not loved by humans for that reason. But this is not your curse.”
Hyazelki sniffed and listened to Kael calmly.
“Your curse is from the sinners who are jealous of the love you received from God.”
‘Those crawling bugs like things.’
Kael swallowed a curse inside.
“It is their purpose that you, who are loved by God, are colored by darkness. The curse will not be lifted until its purpose is achieved.”
Hyazelki, who was listening to the story calmly, listened to Kael’s last words with a vain face.
“……so you have to get through it.”
“If you overcome it and survive this life, the curse will be lifted.”
Will this be the last time?
Hyazelki took a breath thinking about it. Then she raised her arm and rubbed her eyes to wipe away her tears.
She let out a breath and calmed herself down.
“So…… Well, I’m going to learn swordsmanship.”
Somehow Kael felt that way. This time her stubbornness will never be broken.
Besides, he didn’t want Hyazelki to get hurt either.
It is true that she was reluctant to be close to sin even if she held a sword.
But honestly, whatever or whoever Hyazelki hurt, Kael didn’t care as long as she didn’t get hurt.
“……You will begin with a wooden sword. I’ll prepare you a sword with no blades when you grow bigger.”
At last, Hyazelki smiled faintly at the permission she had received.
“……thank you, Dad.”
* * *
Upon receiving a call from the messenger, Hiel stormed into the castle.
Hyazelki blindly led him to Lihan, holding on to Hiel who ran to her.
Hiel, who found Lihan in a more serious condition than her, gave him a blessing for healing first without saying much.
It was only after confirming that Lihan’s pale face was rejuvenated that Hyazelki was also blessed by Hiel.
Watching the wound disappear in an instant, she slipped her hand near her ankle again.
This time, the vague pattern was revealed and disappeared again, lighter than the first time.
Kael, who found it, clenched his fist.
“Oh no…… the curse has hurt you.”
Raising her head, Hyazelki reached for Lihan’s head, who looked more comfortable than before.
The platinum blonde hair was soft. The touch of the hair escaping between her fingers reminded her of the sand grains on the sandy beach she once read in a book.
After taking her hand back, Hyazelki turned toward Kael and Hiel.
“I’m fine now, so I’ll go to Owin.”
“Hia, rest today for now.”
Despite Kael’s worried expression, she shook her small head.
“I’m blessed by Hiel. I’m not hurt anymore. I’ll go now, Hiel.”
“Yes, Hyazelki. Next time, I’ll just come to see you, not because you got hurt.”
“I’ll be happy whenever Hiel comes. I always miss you.”
Hiel smiled beautifully and gave Hyazelki a little hug.
Hyazelki, who slightly closed her eyes in the cozy feeling surrounded by light, greeted the two and went to Owin along the way.
“…… about the curse, what did you say?”
“I already knew the curse itself.”
“Is that so…….”
Hiel stared sadly at the closed door.
“……they constantly commit crimes. Even after your judgment, in the fire pit of hell.”
“It won’t change. That’s why I was trapped there in the end.”
With a nod, Hiel took a slow step.
“Then I’ll get going. I couldn’t explain the situation because I was in a hurry after receiving a messenger.”
“Yes, thank you for today.”
Hiel looked surprised for a moment at Kael’s thank you, who spoke as if it were natural.
If it was Jiel, he would have teased him straight away, but Hiel turned aloof with a light smile.
Owin looked at Hyazelki, who had entered the training ground, with surprised eyes.
There was no bandage wrapped around the arm, no gauze attached to the cheek, nothing.
No bruises and scratches.
“What happened, Miss?”
Instead of answering the startled question of Owin, Hyazelki put her hair together and tied it up.
“Owin, what should I do first?”
“I’m going to try using the sword that Owin mentioned that day.”
The bewildered knight stared blankly at the girl without closing his mouth.
Hyazelki, who was still young, small, friendly, vulnerable and lovely. She was looking at him with strong eyes.
“The sword without blade. Please give it to me. I want Owin’s help to protect myself without taking any life.”
Owin, who was mesmerized by her strong resolution, quickly came to his senses and bent one knee.
Protecting a lovely lady. It was the dream of every knight. But a strong lady was way cooler. This side felt more, more bewitchingly beautiful.
“If you want, I’ll do my best.”
“Thank you, Owin.”
Hyazelki smiled contentedly at the knight’s reply.
The smile wasn’t just the bright, innocent look he had ever seen. It was such a smile, full of hope and will.
* * *
Lihan, who opened his eyes, was briefly confused.
Obviously, he remembered holding and covering Hyazelki falling from the stairs, but he felt he was in good shape.
He didn’t have any scars enough to wonder if it was a dream that he rolled down the stairs.
Lihan, who checked the time while staring blankly at his body with a suspicious face, stormed out of the bed.
It was early morning training time when he woke up. He alone seemed to have been asleep for quite a long time, so Lihan was puzzled.
‘Did I fall asleep right after I fell down the stairs? Is that why I slept until this hour? Or was falling down the stairs was a dream? Is this real?’
He had all sorts of thoughts, but Lihan pushed those thoughts away and quietly opened the door.