39. The Returnee Noble Lady (38)
—why don’t I have a father, mother, and brother?
—why do I have no one?
One day, Hadith asked such to the Dragon God, the only companion he had ever since he was born.
“—I’m sorry, none of this is your fault. It all happened because of me. Such is the cost that you have to pay for being my reincarnation.”
Hadith didn’t want Rave to feel guilty like that, hence, he decided—
—this is all the Goddess’ fault.
That curse, named love, had taken everything from Hadith.
That was why he had to deal with said curse. Other than that, no one was to be blamed for this.
He shall learn a lot of things, and became a worthy emperor, so that one day, when the chance arrived, he could dispel the curse.
He must became strong enough to protect everyone from the Goddess.
That was the meaning of his birth.
Even when he was all alone, even when his own parents acted as if he didn’t exist, he never cried.
However, occasionally, the Goddess would possess Rave’s eyes just to see Hadith.
The Goddess would laugh, and say;
“—do you still think that someone would need you? Do you still think that day will come, when someone who loves you will show up? You need to look around you. Such things don’t exist. I’m the only one who can love you from the bottom of my heart.”
Rave would chase her away and told Hadith not to listen.
“—it’ll be fine. Once you find a Dragon Princess, she’ll never appear again. Until then, I will stay with you, so don’t get swallowed up by her words. Don’t forget your reasoning. Don’t be swept away by love.”
Therefore Hadith nodded. He forced a laugh as to not worry Rave.
Even if the first time he met his Father, that man was kneeling before him right in front of the throne, pleading—“—I beg of you, spare my life!”
Even if his brothers were too scared to meeting him—
Even when the blood of his mother, who slit her throat right in front of him, splashed unto his cheek—
—he acted as if he was unaffected by them.
He acted like a true Emperor.
“I’m fine.” He always laughed and said so to Rave—
—every time he said that, he never failed to incite the Goddess’ laugh.
“—I love you. Even if nobody else loves you, I love you. I won’t hand you to anyone else. Hey, look only at me? Everything will be easier that way. I know—I know of the real you that even the Dragon God doesn’t.
“You don’t truly believe in a bright future. Because, said bright future would require you to trick a girl to be your bride. Who would love someone like you? Other than me, who would? You know that, right?”
Even if she didn’t actually appear, the Goddess was always laughing, taunting and further deepening the darkness surrounding Hadith’s heart.
Ah, I see now.
The Goddess is right—
—you’re right. You’re the only one who’ll ever love me.
The truth is, everyone—even my own brother hates me.
I’m not wanted by anyone.
None of them even wished for me to live.
“—I’m here for you, if you’re in any trouble, just speak to me.” That girl had said so.
His consciousness returned to reality. The bubbles that once wrapped him burst.
He suddenly questioned why he had her locked up.
…that’s, that’s because she is still of some use to me, right?
This chaos was most likely caused by the Holy Spear of the Goddess, which was physically carried there by Prince Geraldo, her kin.
The Goddess herself couldn’t cross the border due to the magical barrier.
That’s why he locked her up inside Rave’s barrier.
But, knowing how clever she was, she probably realized everything already—
—that he was using her as a decoy all along.
Surely, she had no feelings towards him anymore.
In his heart, he was aware—she probably hates me already. That much was obvious.
Still, he had to keep her.
There was no one else as talented as her.
First of all, he had to do something about the Goddess—both for himself, and the kingdom.
His judgment wasn’t wrong.
But then why—
…back then, why did he protect her small back, which was about to be pierced by the Goddess’ spear?
At that time, the Dragon Emperor’s sword—Rave—was already inside his hand. He could’ve just let the spear pierce through her and seized that opportunity to land a strike on the Goddess.
The Goddess would be rendered immobile until she found a new vessel to possess.
Even now, Rave would be of much better use if he had brought him along instead of leaving Rave with her…
“…I, don’t really understand.”
His muttering disappeared among the clamor.
The townsfolk were trying to destroy the sealed gate.
On the balcony in the center of the castle, Hadith was overlooking the town.
“He took my wife and my daughter—!! I must get them back—!!”
“The Dragon Emperor wants to curse this kingdom, therefore we must protect it—!!”
“Kill, kill him—!! Who needs such an Emperor—!?”
“No one wished for such an Emperor—!! So just die, already—!! Die, you trash—!!”
…Even after everything, I’m still the Emperor.
Without me, this kingdom would lose its protection of the Dragon God and be trampled by the Goddess. If that happens, Rave will have no choice but take all matters into his own hands—even if it means going against Gods.
He was aware—he was aware of the whisper originating from somewhere in his heart—
—’Kill them all.’ It said.
No matter how things turned out in the end, Hadith would still be the Dragon Emperor.
Nothing would change, he would stay as the Emperor—
—therefore, wasn’t it alright?
They don’t need him. Therefore, he didn’t need them, either.
Because he no longer had any need for them, what’s wrong with cutting them all down?
…Rave, the truth is, I don’t know how much longer I can convince myself to believe in the future…
…no, I believe I said it to you before—that it would be the last.
Suddenly, a bitter smile approached his face.
It was aimed towards himself, to the kingdom, to the people that he would disappoint—to everyone.
“Oi, Your Majesty the Emperor, why do you remain there—!?”
“All the other Northern Division shall retreat—! I alone shall remain here!”
Hugo, who couldn’t get rid of his unscrupulous attitude, stared at him dubiously. Perhaps because Hadith hadn’t moved an inch, even after being asked by Mihari.
…I mustn’t involve them.
Suddenly, that thought occurred—perhaps it was the last shred of his conscience.
Yes, he had to stand to the very end, even if it meant going alone.
Until the day the Goddess fell, he would love nobody—nobody would love him.
“Retreat to the naval port. The residents are going crazy over here, therefore, they won’t touch that place.”
That was why he had to use that girl as a decoy—ah, no.
He would use that girl as a decoy only if he had to.
My chest hurts, he thought.
Speaking of which, he didn’t drink the nourishing medicinal water today. It was also already long past his bedtime. Surely, tomorrow his condition would be a lot worse.
But, that pain would be nothing compared to those that would be deprived of their lives today.
“Oi, wait a minute, what about you? What are you going to do?”
“Don’t worry about me. Just go, now!”
He heard a noise. The sound of the castle gate being broken.
He closed his eyes, then opened them—this is it.
There was no other way to stop them.
If they wanted to curse, then curse this reality.
“I’m a monster.”
Once he was alone, he recalled that fact.
That’s right, recently, I had forgotten about that…
…yes, from the moment when the ship was attacked, then, when she said—
“—I’ll make you happy.”
Suddenly, the bell tower of the castle rang with a loud noise.
Hadith widened his eyes.
It was the clear sound of a bell, blowing off the stagnant air. Both the hustle and bustle and war cries were cancelled as the sound reverberated throughout the town.
It was like a cry of a soul;
For him to not take the wrong path.
For him to get a grip.
His eardrum shook, as the next sound went straight to his heart—
“—come out, Goddess of Kratos!!!”
A loud voice resounded along with the bell.
“Oi, oi…” Said Hugo as he took a step forward. He stopped fighting, as everyone else turned to look at her.
Unlike her hair, which was swaying in the burning wind, her small body stood unwavering.
Her amethyst eyes showed no hesitation—only determination.
A girl standing on top of the roof of the bell tower, whom was supposed to be a mere decoy—
“—I’m Jill Saber, the real wife of the Dragon Emperor—!! Don’t burn the city into ashes, don’t plague the women, either—I’m the only one you want—!!”
Jill shouted, and within her grip, was the Dragon Emperor’s sword.
“Hadith Theos Rave is my husband! If you want to steal him, you must face me first! I absolutely won’t hand him to you!”
Such, was her announcement.
“I’ll protect you.” Such was her oath to the Dragon Emperor.
**T/N: Hadith… ugh, you //tries to stifle her crying// //fails to do so*// roll on the floor, facing the left ///puddle of tears appeared/// //roll to the right/// tears also streamed to the right/// ///wallow in the puddle of tears///
==Translator’s Journal part
I’ve Got Tears In My Ears from Lying On My Back In Bed While I Cry Over You