༺ The Noble Hero ༻
“Frey, do you remember?”
“Do you remember this entrance?”
As I followed Clana, the entrance to the woods covered with dense trees welcomed me.
I looked at it blankly, nodding in response. Clana smiled brightly at me.
“Really? I do too.”
“Since I’ve visited the woods before, it’s natural for me to remember.”
When I spoke to Clana in a curt voice, she quickly replied in a quiet voice.
“However, it’s still a common memory between me and you.”
Taking a moment to pause, Clana resumed speaking with her arms stretched wide.
“These woods are filled with memories of you and me. Don’t you agree?”
“Just say yes.”
I continued trying to maintain a brusque atmosphere between us, but Clana begged me with desperate eyes.
As I reluctantly agreed, Clana began to smile.
“By the way, where are the Sunrise Primroses? As you probably already know, Sunrise Primroses are quite rare.”
“…Wouldn’t we be able to find one if we look carefully?”
I responded with a look of astonishment upon hearing her response.
“What are you talking about?”
“We’re all grown up now, so we don’t have to worry about getting lost like we did back then. So let’s search for it together until the sun rises.”
“Once again, there’s no guarantee that we’ll be able to find even a single one.”
“No, we will.”
However, Clana’s response was resolute. She looked at me determinedly and with that, our conversation came to a close.
“I think I know where we can find a flower.”
She then turned around and started walking forward.
Looking at her, I sighed unconsciously.
Despite her attempts to appear stable, her entire body was now trembling uncontrollably, not just her hands.
It seemed that the strong liquor she had consumed was no longer having its desired effect on her.
Well, she was about to commit suicide. She couldn’t easily go through with it just because she drank.
I knew that very well from experience.
As I observed Clana, these thoughts ran through my mind, and I murmured to myself.
“What a spectacle.”
Her eyes trembled, her lips were swollen, and her entire body continued to shake.
But what surprised me the most was the sight of her face turning pale, rather than red, despite the copious amount of alcohol she had consumed.
“Clana, what’s wrong?”
As I casually asked her that, she quickly responded in surprise.
“Are you not feeling well?”
After a bit, I asked the stuttering Clana again as I approached her.
I held her hand quietly.
“Le-Let go. You have to let go.”
“…A passerby would think you were being attacked.”
“Hurry up and let go!”
As she shouted, Clana tried to shake my hand off, but I looked into her eyes and clasped my hand even tighter.
She then gave up tearing her hand away from me and instead began ripping her hair out with her other hand.
‘Was she holding on through sheer will?’
I tried to activate the penalty before she turned into a bird, but her mind seemed to be resisting it with all its might.
“No… please… No, I can’t…”
It looked painful just by watching her suffering, but seeing that her eyes were bloodshot, Clana was seriously incredible.
“What are you doing, Clana? We have to find the flower.”
“Wh-Why did you grab my hand?”
When I inquired as such, she asked me a question in response while appearing embarrassed.
“Because your hands were trembling.”
So I answered quickly, and Clana began to look at me blankly.
“A-Ah. No, I can’t.”
“A, a little more. A little more… Just until I get the primrose. Please.”
“…Not yet, I don’t want to change yet.”
Hearing her mumble in panic, I sighed and thought to myself as I concentrated stellar mana on my ears.
‘…Then it’s no use pondering over it.’
At this rate, I think I’ll have no choice but to use my last resort…
I, who was lost in thought while holding Clana’s hand, suddenly noticed Clana, who began to run. I too began running alongside her, although, I saw her stumbling a bit.
“Cl, Clana! What are you…”
“Hurry up, hurry up and go. Hurry up and…”
Even though she was scratched by a branch, limped past rocks, and staggered continuously, Clana firmly held my hand and continued to run.
However, she eventually tripped on a rock.
I was holding hands with her, so I almost couldn’t grab onto her in time.
What if she got a scar on her precious body?
Having thought of that, I spoke with a soft smile to Clana, who was hugging me with a dazed look on her face.
“So, where is it?”
“You must have found one in advance. A sunrise primrose.”
After hearing that, Clana quietly buried her face in my chest and pointed somewhere in front of me.
“…It, it’s over there.”
“Alright. Let’s go.”
I started heading in the direction she pointed.
Holding Clana, who sprained her foot in a stone, in my arms.
Clana, who was in my arms, called my name in a trembling voice, but I didn’t bother to look down at her.
What was the point of this situation, where I was carrying her to her final destination?
However, I continued moving forward.
After walking for a long time, I was able to find the sunrise flowers blooming between the cracks of the rock.
‘…To be able to grow through the rocks. It’s a flower that suits Clana.’
As I approached the rock with that thought, I began to carefully pluck the flowers.
After a few seconds of silence.
The Sunrise Primrose in my grasp began to emit golden light in all directions.
When I smiled at Clana, who was looking at me while letting out a stupid gasp without even realizing it, I immediately held out the primrose and spoke to her.
“Let’s make up, Clana.”
Her emotions which had been suppressed until then exploded at once.
Caressing her back quietly, I quietly looked up at the sky.
The sky was covered by dense trees, and neither the moon nor the stars were visible.
The golden light from the flowers enveloped us.
“Frey, I have a favor to ask you.”
“…What is it?”
I was staring at Clana in that mysterious atmosphere, and she asked me a favor.
“…Give me a kiss, please.”
Clana whispered in a low voice with a slightly embarrassed expression.
“I wanted to do something more, but we don’t have time.”
“I’m ashamed, but please… ub.”
When I kissed Clana, who was talking rapidly in embarrassment, her tongue began to touch my lips after a while.
It was the first time I had kissed her across both lifetimes, and Clana was only licking my lips with her tongue in an unskilled manner.
Eventually, she succeeded in inserting her tongue through his lips.
Her arms and my arms. Her legs and my legs. Then, even her tongue and my tongue became entangled.
After a long time.
Before we knew it, we spent time basking in each other’s warmth, lying on the ground, completely entangled.
After such a long time.
I fell away from her, saliva running long and falling from her lips and mine.
“I love you, Frey.”
Then Clana, who was holding the Sunrise Primrose tightly in her hand, spoke with a blissful expression, and placed the primrose in my hair.
Then, as Clana opened her mouth with a determined look on her face, I quickly interrupted her.
“Are you going to turn into a canary?”
Then, startled, Clana soon began to speak in a trembling voice.
“Wh, what do you…”
“I won’t let you.”
But without giving her time to speak, I began to let stellar mana flow to the canary that she had held in her hand until then.
“Heuahh… you… What do you think you’re…?”
Clana, who was struggling in terrible pain, asked me a question with the last of her strength.
“Do you think I’ll let you live as a canary?”
As I replied with a smirk to her, Clana began to shiver and scream.
I wasn’t sure what she was yelling at because I was focused on the canary, but it hurt quite a bit when I saw her shouting so loudly.
However, it couldn’t be helped.
To prevent Clana’s plan to enter the canary the moment she regains her memory.
We needed to destroy the canary.
“St… Stop. Don’t…”
“I’m sorry, Clana. Does it hurt?”
“It’s not that… you…”
After struggling under me for a long time, the canary scattered into the sky after turning into golden fragments.
“You’re in danger…”
She couldn’t finish what she was saying and lost consciousness.
I breathed a sigh of relief while looking at her.
I looked at the bush that had caught my attention for a while and spoke.
“You should come out, don’t you think?”
As Frey spoke in a cold voice, the thick bushes shook slightly.
After a while, Irina, who came out of the bush, began to have a calm conversation with Frey.
“Why did you follow me?”
“…I was worried that something might happen. The Secret Lord hasn’t been captured yet.”
“Yes, but why are you hiding the fact that Kania is here as well?”
Irina’s expression when she heard his question exposed the momentary embarrassment that flashed through her.
“…Hello, Young Master.”
After a while, as Kania crawled out quietly from behind the bush, Frey smiled and spoke.
“You fought, didn’t you?”
Kania and Irina’s hair was disheveled, and there were small scars on their cheeks and body.
Therefore, anyone could infer that they fought.
“Frey, do you have the magic scroll I gave you last time? Use it now.”
“Yes, right now.”
As soon as Irina finished speaking, Kania suddenly began to spread her dark mana across the ground.
And so was Irina.
When Kania’s dark mana and Irina’s flames collided and caused an explosion, Frey, who was looking at them, quietly took the scroll out of his arms.
‘I’m the one who will get your penalty instead. I, who sucked away his lifespan like a mosquito, can give as much of my life as he needs.’
‘I’ll take Frey’s penalty instead. I developed the spell, and I’ve subjected him to the curse of death, so I’ll be the one to give up my life.’
Frey stared at the two who were growling at each other.
“It’s no use.”
I tore the scroll Irina had given him a few weeks ago.
Irina and Kania, shocked by the sight, ran to Frey, but he just smiled and spoke.
“You thought I wouldn’t notice?”
“…I learned magic analysis from Serena. You thought I wouldn’t notice what the circle was for?”
Frey, who had spoken, quietly closed his eyes while looking at the two women running toward him.
“…Why is everyone so fond of sacrificing themselves?”
Today, the penalty was a welcome sight for a change.
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