3. The Returnee Noble Lady (2)
—it happened in a flash.
A silver sword elongated like a snake and extended away—just like a beast that devoured both sky and earth. Mountains were annihilated, the ground shattered, and the supply lines cut off. The front line had collapsed—regrouping was impossible.
The fire lighting up the night sky spread in an instant.
The relentless onslaught came from above, as if originating from Heaven itself.
The word ‘defeat’ hung in the air.
“–kill them all.”
Glaring down from the night sky dyed in crimson, the enemies’ Emperor commanded with an emotionless voice.
“It doesn’t matter whether they’re children, woman, or babies. Everyone linked to that woman is worthless. They are nothing but trash. Insects. The fact that they’re alive itself is a sin.”
His voice was merciless, colder than a blizzard in midwinter—it froze the surroundings.
“But don’t let them have a quick death. Kill the baby in front of the mother. Kill the mother in front of her husband. Kill the husband in front of his brother. Make them apologize for being born, then make them beg for death. Destroy everything—their hopes, love, dreams, and bonds—don’t let anything remain—make them suffer like I did—!”
It was a slaughter.
Towards such a barbaric command, Jill’s eyes gleamed in fury.
In response to that, the Emperor’s golden eyes glinted as his laugh thundered madly.
A wicked, cursed Emperor. Also known as the king of madness—he would torment and murder people on a whim—a lunatic ruler.
She didn’t believe such vileness exist until she had confirmed it with her own eyes.
She pointed her sword towards the Emperor, who was on a higher ground, and kicked the ground with all her magic.
Although they were in the middle of a war, unnecessary killing—especially ones that involved lots of innocents—was unforgiveable.
More than that—there’s something I absolutely won’t forgive…!
That was, the fact that it was difficult to consider him as the enemy.
His magical power, radiating a silver gleam, flew towards the night sky to shield the people—the mere sight of it was breathtaking.
The more she stared at him, the more apparent which side was the winner, and which side was the loser. It got to the point where she couldn’t help but be astonished.
To minimize the casualty, the emperor had encouraged his people to withdraw. That appearance of his could even be considered lofty.
Even so, she couldn’t help but wonder—
—that Emperor, how long has he been like this?
As if swatting a fly, The Emperor swung his hand and a mass of magic was hurled towards Jill. Jill spread her arms and received it upfront, clenching her teeth. Her magic flowed into both of her arms as she broke the magic like she were squeezing a balloon.
The exploding sound as the magic burst only calmed her down—
—she had successfully claimed both the sky and the earth back.
The Emperor himself, not expecting this, turned around with a surprised expression.
No longer concerning herself with the risk of dying, Jill gained momentum and cried out—
“—our sides admit defeat! Withdraw your armies!”
The Emperor’s beautiful eyebrows furrowed, as he said in a low voice.
“Even though you’ve admitted defeat, why are you the one giving out the order?”
His extraordinary appearance gave Jill hope—she might still be able to talk sense into him.
“If you really want to torment someone, I would gladly be that person. I will be your prisoner of war. That’s why, let everyone else go.”
The Emperor, who stared at Jill from top to bottom, appeared as if he was looking at a weird creature. Then, his thin lips curved downward in scorn as he mocked the Battle Maiden—
“—that’s a good resolve. But is there a need to cry in front of me like that? Very unsightly.”
“Who is crying, you weak, cowardice, man—!?”
“Weak, you say? To this Dragon Emperor? Enough, I’ll kill you.”
“Then, shall we decide who is the strongest?”
Laughter erupted as the corner of the Emperor’s lips rose—his golden, ferocious, eyes pierced Jill.
At the same time, Jill pointed the tip of her sword straight towards those pupils.
“Prove it to me, that you aren’t all talk and are actually stronger than me—!”
For a fleeting moment, the golden eyes shone in intrigue, before regaining their calmness.
“I’ve lost my source of entertainment. Troops, withdraw.”
His voice, full of boredom, commanded.
Jill, who never actually thought of pulling back, shouted.
“—are you okay with things ending this way—!? Don’t you want to capture me—!?”
“You aren’t delectable enough.”
The Emperor vanished like mirage, leaving a gaping Jill.
After that, the remnants of the magical powers danced like the flapping of butterfly wings. The entire brigade of the Rave Imperial Army was also gone.
It was truly an anticlimactic conclusion.
The rage in Jill’s heart couldn’t be subsided—
“—I, I’m not delectable enough, you say—!?”
All of Jill’s subordinates took charge of calming her down—it was the day shortly before she was detained by Geraldo’s order.
Which could be said, six years from now.
It was only yesterday… and suddenly I’m thrown into six years before all that happened? I must be dreaming… yes, this must be a dream…
She would like to wake up—
—she would like to wake up and confirm that she was still alive and breathing.
She was hoping for an incredibly insipid development to happen—like miraculously being caught by a tree branch, which cancelled her deathly fall. It would be better if her lieutenant—who survived—happened to pass by and rescued her.
—because the place she currently slept on felt warm and silky…
…finally, she completely regained consciousness. She immediately sat up on the bed—
—at the same time, the large, fresh, flower she had worn on her hair fell from her shoulder. She saw her palm—which was still as small as before.
Her feet, which were buried inside the crimson duvet embroidered with gold thread, were also as short as before.
As she felt a breeze, she stood on the bed. She peeked outside the window, which casted sunlight into the room through the gaps of the thick curtains. The courtyard seemed familiar…
“…this seems like, a royal castle’s… guest room?”
“What a relief. You’ve woken up.”
The person who entered the room was someone she saw in her previous dream.
Hadith Theos Rave.
His current appearance was younger than what she had saw in her dream, however, it was unmistakably him. The beautiful Emperor of the neighboring Rave Kingdom.
She unconsciously balled both of her hands.
***T/N: YES, IT HAPPENED IN A FLASH INDEED, AND YOU’RE ALREADY IN HIS ROOM. CHRIS HANSEN WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO YOU, HADITH.