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It was enough for Jeremy to be pursued by the knights, but Aslei was different. It may have been that his sanity was fluctuating, as he did not stay and ran away.
‘Why did you run away? Even if you can’t speak, you can write.’
It was obvious he was of sound mind when he saw her waking up from her sleep and tried not to startle her. The problem, however, was that he ran away as people flocked in.
“… … I need to get dressed,”
she declared and looked at her maids for their assistance. They supported her and raised her up. A couple of voices urged her to rest, but Frisia had no intention of resting.
Even though her legs and pelvis hurt, it was more pressing to save Aslei. And to capture Jeremy Wood!
‘Jeremy, let’s see what you got, you bastard!’
She had no clue as to why he would curse Aslei, but she was willing to take revenge upon him a hundredfold—or a thousandfold!—on Aslei’s behalf.
❁ ❁ ❁
Damn it, damn it!
Jeremy kept transforming and running away. He used mana to attack too, but the duke’s knights were different from the chaff he had ever faced before.
If he tried to depart from above—probably because of her instructions to keep him alive—with the slightest opportunity a swarm of attacks aimed at his arms and legs bombarded him.
It was a world in which a severed limb could be recovered by giving a huge donation to a high-ranking priest. So the damn nobles didn’t mind cutting off human limbs.
Not all nobles were like that, but at least it was clear that they thought it was okay to cut off the limbs of a wizard who cursed the duke and turned him into a beast.
‘The moment you get caught, it’s over!’
He thought for a moment that he could transform into a huge monster and harm the knights, but then he realized there was a sword master to worry about.
Even if he turned into a large monster in front of the Sword Master, he would become a large moving target.
Boom! Boom boom!
… … He turned into a small animal such as a mouse or a cat and tried to run away, but they had even released the hunting dogs.
He hated the knights, but he hated the animals that were chasing him with their sharp teeth exposed even more. Jeremy gritted his teeth and vowed to get out of here at any cost.
He didn’t take over the Duke’s life, but he was already half victorious since he succeeded in turning him into a monster.
Jeremy chortled with the thought and ran into the woods. He didn’t even know how unsightly and hideous his smile was.
❁ ❁ ❁
Aslei, who had escaped the duke’s mansion, moved his steps in grieving anguish. Now he was left riddled with anxiety and despair over what he should do.
‘Frisia recognized me.’
Therefore, he did not know that if he returned even now, a comfortable life would be guaranteed even if he looked like a monster. However, Frisia would be miserable just like him.
He turned Frisia into the wife of a monster, a woman with a cursed, wretched husband.
‘Frisia… … .’
Just the mere thought of her name made his hollow heart deeply ache. He could feel his heart torn and bloody with the longing to see her and hold her again.
But with her body like this, he would not be able to hold her. Even getting close to her might hurt her. He was too big.
‘I can’t touch you again.’
How miserable Frisia would be by his side. The man she was planning to divorce was cursed and within a couple of days of the deadline he became a monster.
If she divorced him as he was, the world would instantly label Frisia as a vicious woman who had abandoned her cursed husband.
They may have formed a friendship, but they were not lovers. It was too much for her to ask her to take on a burden for the rest of her life.
‘This does not mean that the Ducal House of Tintalion will be destroyed.’
His grandfather was still alive. It would be simple enough for him to choose a useful son from a collateral, distant branch of the family and adopt him as the heir to the dukedom. A grandson who has turned into a monster should be left on an island somewhere in the Duchy.
He couldn’t drag Frisia with him in exile.
‘It’s going to be a miserable life anyhow.’
If it was known he was alive, Aslei thought his grandfather would not let her go. Attaching Frisia to him would be used to assuage his guilt for abandoning his grandson.
He was a great ruler of the duchy, but was a deficient grandfather.
He couldn’t bring himself to make Frisia unhappy.
However, he desperately wanted to see Frisia one last time, with a determination to give her up, with a final farewell and definite closure. He just wanted to meet her eyes, hear her voice, feel her breath.
If only he could do that one more time… … .
At the inhuman breath that came out of his mouth, Aslei laughed self-disparagingly at his disgusting self. Everything was over now.
One thought on “HCM – 42”
I can’t wait for them to wipe that ugly smile off Jeremy’s face. & poor Aslei :/