14. From Today, the Address is Uncertain (5)
“…Why are you so upset?”
“I am not upset.”
[“Is it because I got a fever? Or is it because I placed her on the bed without permission, or…”]
The two, who left Utaka, were riding on the black horse towards Verscia again. Taking into consideration the fatigue of the horse, they sped up during the daytime. Before the sunset, they entered a nearby village and took a good rest.
As expected, the accommodations weren’t as good as in Utaka, but there were many beautiful inns, and the room had two beds.
Tistye felt nervous each time, but perhaps because of the fatigue accumulated throughout the long journey and the burden of having fallen once, Gaizel’s intent to return to Verscia was now his top priority. In the end, they never slept together.
Then after a few days, light snow began to cover the surface of the earth. When the horse was running for a little while, the gate of Verscia finally appeared just as the sun was about to sink.
However, when they both dismounted from the black horse, in front of the two whom were about to enter while pulling the reins, a soldier stood up.
“Excuse me, but are you Emperor Gaizel?”
It was precisely at that moment Tistye felt a dreadful premonition.
She couldn’t hear the voice of the soldier’s heart clearly.
However, due to the disturbing emotions the soldier radiated, she unconsciously reacted.
“…You fool, do you realize what you’re saying?”
—at that moment, Tistye pulled the arm of Gaizel, whom was beside her. Due to Tistye’s abrupt action, Gaizel withdrew a step. It was at that moment when the soldier pointed his spear towards Gaizel.
“Rebel Gaizel Verscia—orders have been issued to capture you.”
Due to the soldier’s words, the other soldiers who had gathered, also pointed their spears all at once. Gaizel immediately pulled Tistye’s arm and ran towards the city.
“Your Majesty, what is happening…?”
Gaizel’s expression was steep, thus Tistye swallowed her words. They passed through back alleys while waiting for the soldiers to miss them. However, the number of soldiers gradually increased and the voices looking for the two of them approached from here and there.
What do I do… at this rate…
Kokuri—Tistye inhaled. Then, from the corner of a back alley, a woman called out to the two, whom were hiding.
“Your Majesty, Empress, are you okay?”
Responding to Tistye’s voice, Gaizel readied his posture all at once. But the woman called Lizzy was on their side—to prove that she had no weapon, she turned her palms towards them.
“I am glad you’re safe…”
“Lizzy, what happened, exactly?”
“The predecessors in the royal palace rebelled…”
Gaizel quietly listened to the words.
“They all condemn His Majesty Gaizel and reject him… the servants of the main residencewere told to take their leave…”
“They… rejected His Majesty!?”
“Was… was it because His Majesty went to fetch me?”
“—I don’t think so. However, that incident was the tipping point.”
The footsteps of the soldiers grew noisier. After Lizzy covered Tistye with a cloak, she gently guided her from behind.
“When you pass through here, you will be on the other side of the city gate. Escape from there.”
Gaizel pulled Tistye’s hand. Thanking Lizzy before leaving, Tistye went to the aforementioned road desperately.
They unraveled the rope tying the black horse to the wall and immediately straddled its back—
—unfortunately, one of the remaining soldiers caught sight of them.
“I fFound them!”
While listening to the screams of the soldiers, Gaizel slammed his foot against the horse’s belly. The horse started galloping at an astounding speed and left the city behind.
Tistye felt a little relieved—
—but, soon enough, a couple of horses chased after them.
Gaizel booted his horse hard, but the distance between them kept decreasing.
A moment later, Gaizel suddenly pulled the reins, and the horse neighed loudly, before stopping.
She didn’t notice it due to the snow, but tall cliffs spread in front of them—they couldn’t go any further. Meanwhile, the soldiers closed in from behind—one of them shouted at Gaizel.
“Lord Gaizel, come with us—”
However, Gaizel kicked the horse again and began to run towards the cliff. He held Tistye’s body amazingly tight, before whispering in a low voice.
“—never let go of me.”
She could hear the upset voices of the soldiers in the distance, and the next moment, Tistye realized her body was floating—
—violent shaking continuously attacked her body.
Gaizel was riding down the steep cliff. Since their angle was almost close to falling, the momentum kept increasing, and it was impossible to control. Her body was tilted so much, she could no longer tell which was up or down—as per his words, Tistye clung to Gaizel’s body.
—the horse’s hoofs landed on the snow.
The very tired horse was treading one step at a time, awkwardly, on the cold Northern land.
Surrounded by coniferous trees, the place where the sun didn’t shine was akin to a world consisted of only black and white. There were no signs of animals, let alone lights that signaled the existence of a house.
Gaizel was swaying on the back of the horse, his consciousness dull. Inside his arms, Tistye, whom was still in a daze, felt cold. Even if she wanted to hug him, not the slightest bit of strength remained even in her fingertips—which was affected by the cold.
Eventually, Gaizel slumped down and fell to ground, still holding Tistye. Black hair and cloak spread on the white snowy surface.
Large snowflakes began to pile up on his cheeks.
***T/N: Is Luxen part of the reason why the rebellion happened? Can we move on from the ‘search for the reason to kill him’ to ‘methods to torture him before we kill him’ phase????