HCM – 93

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The emperor still hated Julien.

He made no effort to hide it, so Julien clicked his tongue inwardly.

‘Even if that’s the case, I’m the only one who will inherit the throne… … . It seems that he is not afraid of his later years.’

Julien thought that once he became crown prince, he would have to punish the emperor next. He seemed to have accepted him now because he had no alternative, but he could change his mind later. Even belatedly, he could take a concubine and try to have children.

The situation of a direct confrontation with the emperor had to be avoided at all costs, but Julien was optimistic about his case due to his successive good fortune.

He fucked the two duchies and exterminated his own brother, so he did not doubt that his world would come soon.

‘Let’s see! The Duke of Tintalion and the Duke of Atreille will bow at my feet!’

Julien smiled with delusions at that moment. Seeing him, the crow outside the window cawed loudly. He looked out the window in amazement. It seemed its beady black eyes were laughing at Julien.

“That bastard!”

Julien summoned the guard intending to kill the bird, but the crow ran away before anyone else came.

❁ ❁ ❁

Now, after one city was the capital. Because they had enough rest every time they stopped in a large town or city, their party had no signs of exhaustion.

However, their blades stood taut the whole time, and even the thickest nerves became dull. But something jumped into their field of vision. 

The desperate runner was covered in blood. Unable to scream, he jumped out from between the trees in despair.

It was the monster that followed him. Not one, but four.

The response of the knights was quick. Everyone was heavily armed, and they drew their swords instantly and got in between humans and monsters.

Quickly the monsters were slain.

Others got off their horses and approached the fallen man. The man was trembling as she couldn’t even breathe properly.

“Th, the village… … . the village… … .”

His gaze was earnest, as if he were asking for help. Then he passed out.

The wizard and healer in the party worked hard together to try to save him; the wound was so deep that it was a miracle that he had come this far.

The eyes of the knights watching the desperate man turned to Aslei.

His duties as a knight and nobleman were clear, but the timing was poor. They were on their way with someone they had to protect.

“There is only one village nearby.”

There was only one village in the direction the man had fled from. They had noticed it was a small town or village on the map, so they hadn’t planned to stop by.

The distance is too far to alert the city guards. In the meantime, the villagers would suffer from any delay.

Frisia noticed Aslei’s hesitation and told him.

“Here, the minimum manpower is sufficient. Go ahead.”

Aslei was uneasy. He would rather send only the knights and stay by Frisia’s side, but he knew they could save even more lives if he went.

But is this the right choice? 

In the meantime, the anxiety that something might happen to Frisia was holding Aslei’s ankle.

“Nothing has happened so far.”

Frisia added quickly. At her words that urged him on, Aslei left only a few escorts and headed for the forest with the knights, using an attendant from the nearby area as a guide.

Revealing urgency, their steps became more and more hasty.

Their nervous movements were not confined to Aslei alone. They had to eliminate the monsters that invaded the village as quickly as possible and return to their party.

As she watched them move away, she saw a bird flying high, tilting its head toward a nearby tree.

Frisia took her eyes off Aslei and his party and looked at the remaining knights. She thought only a few escorts would be left, but there were sixteen.

‘It’ll be fine.’

It was a group that had never met a monster. Frisia turned her gaze back to where Aslei and the others disappeared.

He will be back soon. As always.

❁ ❁ ❁

Finding the way to the village was easy as the bloodstains led them. But what unnerved them more than that was that they couldn’t hear people shouting and screaming.

Was it already too late? A fear arose that the man who had just run into their procession might be the last survivor.

However, it was rare for a village to be attacked and annihilated by a horde of monsters, even in remote mountainous areas.

This was because each village had a watchman, and it was common to have warriors or guards.

Besides, this was a town close to the capital. The fact that a large enough swarm of monsters appeared and wiped out the village itself would be considered an absurd tale.

But as they approached the village entrance, the smell of blood welcomed them. Human corpses overflowed everywhere as far as the eye could see, and all of them had traces of having been bitten and their intestines gutted.

Monsters were eating the corpse with no such traces.

The monsters heard the signs of Aslei and the others and attacked them, so the knights drew their swords and cut them down.

‘Something is off.’

The town was too quiet. It was as if a demonic army had occupied the place. There was only noise in the village when Aslei and the others were fighting monsters. You can read more here.

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