༺ The Dark Side Of The Moon ༻
“Frey, get under the table.”
“Serena, it’s fine. I’m actually…”
“I know you’re strong, but please listen to me.”
Hearing Serena’s resolute voice, Frey began hesitating.
Serena, who looked at Frey, grabbed his arm and pushed him under the table.
“You’re in a half-dead state now. No matter how strong you are, you’ll definitely get hurt.”
“I’ll protect you. So stay there.”
Still, as Frey didn’t release his sword from his hand, Serena raised her eyes and struck his hand with her fan.
“Don’t worry. I’ve already calculated everything.”
Hearing those words, Frey crossed his arms and lowered his head with a sullen expression.
Serena smirked because Frey’s current figure reminded her of his younger self whenever she pranked him.
Then, as her owl, who was perched on her shoulder, hooted and flew out of the slightly open window, Serena, who had been watching it, closed her eyes slowly and fell into thought.
‘… In 5 seconds, the window will be shattered and a man will break in. The weapon will be a dagger, and it will target my left shoulder.’
And the next moment, the window on the right was shattered and a masked man broke into the room.
Realizing that Serena was staring at him, the man immediately finished his assessment and began to aim at Serena’s left shoulder.
It was a cold and terrifying prediction that could only come true because the Moonlight Family had trained her to be a killing machine for her entire life by the Moonlight family.
“It’s within my prediction.”
Serena blocked the strike with her fan, then quickly turned and began to observe the door to the left of the room.
‘Sensing the flow of air coming in from outside the door… there is one person on each side of the door. Looking at the body shape, height, and posture, both are within distance to strike.’
Serena knew all the strategies and tactics they used, as she had already seen them numerous times since she was young and in the previous timeline.
So Serena could easily predict what the assassins would do if she thought logically. It was as if she were predicting the future.
‘So as soon as the door opens, the two men standing on the edge will jump in the right and left directions, respectively, after attacking me. Then…’
After completing her assessment, Serena kicked the bewildered man’s shin, then grabbed him by the neck and pulled him up in front of her.
And at that moment, the door crashed open and the two assassins who broke in attacked Serena and retreated to opposite ends of the room.
However, their daggers pierced the man Serena had used as a shield.
‘Next, two people will come down from the ceiling at the same time and try to stab me with a sword. At the same time, the guys on opposite ends of the room will prepare a follow-up attack.’
With that thought in mind, Serena twisted the stiff neck of the man, who had been stabbed, and kicked the chair to her right. She then grabbed onto the limp man, and started running to the left.
And at that moment, the ceiling collapsed, and the two assassins landed on the floor.
The two of them were trying to stab Serena, but suddenly, they found Serena far away and started infusing aura into their swords.
However, one of the assassins who was infusing aura suddenly collapsed after his head was pierced with a dagger.
This was because the chair Serena had kicked earlier hit the man who was throwing the dagger from the far right. As a result of that, the dagger changed its trajectory.
At the same time, the woman who was about to throw a spear from her left gave up on ranged attacks because of Serena’s human shield, and instead pulled out her dagger and began preparing for hand-to-hand combat.
‘Isn’t the guy below going to be aiming for my feet? He always liked to intervene and take the glory for himself at crucial moments.’
After finishing her assessment, Serena dropped the limp corpse and climbed onto it.
‘The woman in front of me is not good at close combat. So maybe she’ll just attack with what she’s learned, and not with something that stems from experience.’
Eventually, after remembering her fighting style, Serena smiled and started swinging her fan.
Serena, who had blocked the escape path with lunar mana, twisted her body and narrowed the attacking possibilities of the woman in front of her. She then momentarily thought.
‘Then the only attack she can do with her dagger is a stab.’
Unsurprisingly, the woman looked at the lunar mana surrounding her in bewilderment, and immediately closed her eyes and tried to stab Serena with her dagger, using all her strength.
Serena then grabbed her arm and used strength against her as she dragged her towards herself.
And at that moment, the man vigorously launched a sword slash.
Serena then kicked the woman she had been pulling towards the path of the sword slash, and swung her fan in a wide motion.
The woman who was shoved in the path of the sword slash was killed instantly, and when half of the assassins died, a momentary silence descended upon the room.
Eventually, what broke the silence was the spear that pierced through the flesh of the man Serena was standing on.
But Serena, who had read the subtle vibrations she felt from the man she was stepping on, had already predicted the spot where the spear would emerge from. She then quickly lifted her foot to dodge the spear, and then she hastily kicked the tip of the spear.
Then the tip of the poisoned spear broke off and flew towards the man with the sword, who was looking at the scene. He dodged aside with a terrified expression.
However, as a result, the marksman, who was defenseless behind him, fell to the floor with a poisoned spear tip stuck in his eye.
And at the same time, the assassin, who was aiming for a chance at the bottom of the floor, suddenly ingested the lunar mana that seeped through the floor, and fell to his knees while vomiting blood.
The man with the dagger, who watched this scene with a stunned expression, began screaming and running towards the window.
But as he approached just in front of the window, Serena’s owl suddenly popped out and scratched his eyes fiercely with its claws.
“L-Lady Se-Serena! Please help me!”
As a result, the assassin, who lost his sight, began panicking. He hurriedly knelt down and started begging for his life.
“That’s why you should have given up on your mission when I gave you a chance.”
“Did you really want to kill my husband so much?”
But Serena, who was staring at the assassin coldly, relentlessly broke his neck and headed for the window.
‘The moment I close the window, an assassin watching the situation will fire a poison stinger. If I dodge it and throw the fan towards his location that I remember…’
Serena, who was about to carry out the last action that she had calculated, collapsed, screaming at the pain that suddenly coursed through her body.
A complex magic circle floated on her body.
And when the stinger, which was fired without missing that opportunity, Serena laughed emptily and muttered.
“I told you to stay hidden under the desk.”
At that moment, Frey jumped out from under the desk and struck the poison stinger with his sword.
“How am I your husband, by the way?”
After that, Frey, who was quietly gathering stellar mana in his hand, looked at Serena and asked in a low voice.
“I don’t remember ever having a wife?”
The moment he finished speaking, a silver ray of light from Frey’s finger pierced through the tree in the distance.
Then, a brief scream was heard from somewhere, and silence descended upon the room
“… Please marry me, Frey.”
The one who broke the brief silence was Serena, who was already in tears.
“Even if it’s for a short time… Let’s have a wedding, go on a honeymoon, have a baby, and live peacefully.”
“Serena… I told you I’ll be fine?”
“Don’t lie! I’ve already read your thoughts! You’re not even sure you’ll survive!”
Saying that, Serena got up and began to weep bitterly in Frey’s embrace.
“Please. Please marry me before it’s too late. Please.”
“I will never remarry. I will spend the rest of my life raising your child. So please…”
“You’re an idiot.”
Serena, who had been throwing a fit for a long time, inquired with an astonished expression upon hearing Frey’s words.
“What did you say now?”
Then Frey spoke again with a mischievous expression on his face, and Serena began to look at him with blankly.
“It’s the second time in my life I’ve been called an idiot.”
“Yes, you were also the first person who called me an idiot.”
Serena smiled bashfully, and Frey sighed and lifted her up.
“Anyway, I’m not dying. I’ll survive, no matter what.”
Hearing this, Serena’s expression darkened for a moment, and then she struggled to brighten her mood and nodded her head.
“Then shall we go on our next date?”
“No, that can’t happen.”
However, when Serena, who was smiling at him, uttered those terrifying words, Frey shook his head resolutely and scanned his surroundings.
“We just committed a murder in the middle of the Imperial Capital. Not in the back alley, but in an ordinary dessert café.”
“Yes, so I need to clean this mess right now. First of all… the money I have right now…”
Frey looked at the blood-stained room with a serious expression on his face and started checking the money he had now available…
– Clap! Clap!
Suddenly, when Serena clapped her hands, Frey began to look at her with a perplexed expression.
“… Clean it up.”
Soon, the dessert café staff opened the door upon hearing Serena’s command. Their expression turned stiff after witnessing the carnage, and they began to move in union. Frey, who was looking at the scene in astonishment, asked a question in a hushed tone.
“There’s even that kid who said pets weren’t allowed?”
“There is a saying that in order to deceive the enemy, you must first deceive your allies.”
“… Was this place like this from the beginning?”
“Still, the desserts are delicious, right?”
When Serena finished her words and smiled at him, Frey, who was staring blankly at her, suddenly broke out in a cold sweat as he looked at the staff who had entered the room.
“It’s alright, they have poor eyesight to the point where they can’t even see a face well without glasses. Of course, they can tell the overall outline and color…”
“… I lost.”
After that, Frey cut off her explanation with a resigned expression, then quietly followed her and walked out of the dessert café.
It was an exceptionally bright moonlit night.
“Frey. Did you have fun today?”
I was quite shocked by the dessert café horror incident, but fortunately, I was able to have a pretty good time after that.
I watched a play with her for the first time in a while. We also had fun together shopping in the back alley, and in the bar I found out Serena’s weakness was alcohol.
If she hadn’t come to her senses at the end and used her alcohol detox magic, the situation would have turned out quite bad.
“Look over there. The moon is dazzling tonight as well.”
“It almost faded already?”
“… In cases like this, just say it’s dazzling.”
Both me and Serena, who were running out of time, lay down on the floor of the playground we frequented and gaze up at the sky.
“Won’t you be reprimanded for the assassins who died today?”
“I can make it seem like an accident.”
“Didn’t the elder council directly issue the order?”
“I’ve already planted a spy in their ranks, so don’t worry too much.”
Hearing those words, I looked at Serena, who was looking at the sky next to me, and said.
“Who’s that bastard?”
“Why are you asking that?”
“I’m planning to slaughter the entire elder council, but I can’t kill your spy.”
Hearing those words, Serena began to burst into laughter.
“Haha… how are you planning on doing it?”
“The friends I’ve recently made are quite useful. They will be able to wipe them out quickly.”
“Can I trust you?”
“If you keep doing that, I’ll give you an order?”
When said that with a slight frown, Serena responded with a pleasant smile.
“From now on, we’ll talk at night, through means of letter. I’ll send you an owl every night.”
“Uh… It might be a bit difficult to receive the letter at times, right?”
“That’s up to my owl to decide. He’s as clever as me.”
I nodded my head and immediately asked a question with a curious expression on my face.
“By the way, how the hell did you find out about all this? And how did you avoid the penalty in the first place?”
Then she began to use her old habit of speaking to annoy me.
“I’m sorry. But I can’t tell you right now.”
When I looked annoyed because I remembered the past when I had to deal with Serena’s antics, she opened her mouth with a smile.
“When everything is clear, I’ll tell you then. There are still so many things I’m still not sure about.”
Hearing those words, I began to stare at Serena for a moment.
“Why? Are you pissed off?”
“No, because you look pretty today.”
As I gave her compliments to repay her for doing her best tonight, Serena suddenly looked mischievous.
“More than Kania?”
“Is Kania more precious? Or am I more precious to you?”
After hearing her words, a myriad of thoughts flooded my mind in an instant.
It was probably the only moment my brain caught up with Serena’s computational speed.
“Kania is precious as my maid, while you are precious as my fiancée.”
However, that wasn’t the case.
Instead of catching up to her, she ended up reading my thoughts.
“Look, you’re still in the palm of my hand.”
Serena, who copied my tone, said so with a wintry smile. Seeing her like that, I smiled and began looking at the sky again.
“I have one question.”
But Serena suddenly frowned at me and asked a question.
“… Who gave you the handkerchief you were holding earlier?”
Hearing those words, I took out the handkerchief from my pocket and said.
“My sister gave it to me.”
Serena listened to my words, and she immediately looked me in the eye and said with a smile.
“Are you telling the truth?”
“Do you think I’m crazy enough to lie to you?”
Saying so, as I was about to put her handkerchief back into my pocket, Serena suddenly took the handkerchief from me.
“There you go.”
A small moon was engraved on the handkerchief in my hand.
“Hey, it’s almost dawn.”
I quietly stroked the handkerchief, feeling a gentle mana that wasn’t poisonous like lunar mana. Meanwhile, Serena spoke with a gloomy look.
“I have to go now.”
Saying that, Serena, who was about to get up from her seat, looked at me as if she had suddenly remembered something, and started talking.
“Princess Clana designed this test in collaboration with the Moonlight family.”
“Yes, I know.”
“However, things went wrong due to Professor Isolet’s decision.”
When I heard that, I frowned, and Serena whispered in a low voice.
“Professor Isolet’s decision to swap the commanders of each team forced the plan to go awry. Do you understand what I mean?”
“… There are assassins among the commoner students.”
“Be careful, Frey.”
Serena nodded her head quietly at my words, and while speaking, she looked at me with a worried expression.
“If there is more information I find out in the future, I’ll share it through my owl.”
“Wait, don’t go yet. Serena.”
Serena tilted her head after hearing my words, so I whispered to her quietly.
“If I don’t drink the antidote before morning, I’ll die, won’t I? Don’t you need to give me the antidote?”
When Serena heard those words, she quietly pulled out a vial from her pocket.
“Are you talking about this?”
“What, it was real?”
I asked just in case, but when she really took out an antidote, I was so shocked that I quickly reached out to the medicine bottle she was holding, but…
– Slurp Slurp.
She took off the cap of the vial and began drinking the antidote as I looked at the scene in a daze.
“What are you doing…!”
I was about to shout at her with a bewildered expression on my face, but suddenly Serena grabbed me and pinned me to the floor, knocking the wind out of me.
“… Yew want to dwink?”
As I gazed at her in confusion, Serena’s eyes smiled as if to form a crescent moon pattern, while her mouth was full of antidote.
I couldn’t die like this, so there was nothing I could do about it.
After a long time, Frey headed back to the Duke’s mansion.
Her owl, who she left alone for a brief time, returned to Serena’s shoulder, and began to stare at her shyly.
Then Serena, who gently stroked her owl perched atop her shoulder, began to mutter in a grim look that was completely different from her earlier expression.
“That was really true. What was written there was true. Th-Then, you really…”
Her owl looked at her in concern and patted her with her wings.
“I was wrong, Frey. I… I was wrong… So…”
Serena started muttering in a trembling voice, even shedding her tears.
“… Please don’t ever leave me again.”
Soon, the sun began to peek through the dark sky.
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