Thank you to Sarachan and littleauntie for the raws.
When I came out of the opened carriage door, the dark scent of blood stabbed my nose.
It was a mess outside. Blood and flesh. Knights who were stabbed by a spear of ice and fell in pools of blood. Cries of pain came from their wailing mouths as they flinched at death’s door.
A piece of the broken moon illuminated the scene with unfeeling light.
The tranquil forest path had turned into a nightmare, where the smell of death vibrated so strongly you could taste it in your mouth and feel it in your pores. But the slaughter was not over yet.
The surviving knights were fighting a masked assassin.
I stared at the assassin facing the knights alone with unbelieving eyes.
The assassin’s movements transcended the category of ordinary humans.
He swung his sword at a speed that was difficult to keep up with the naked eye. The sharply forged blades drew merciless lines and screamed, and blood splattered every time the arc was drawn.
One—then two— escort knights fell as they struggled, trying to bridge a vast chasm of the differences in their abilities and power.
Cutting down knights as one would do to overgrown branches blocking your path, the assassin came closer and closer.
A hand holding the hem of my dress trembled.
It was Kian’s voice that woke me up from my momentary stupor.
He hugged me, and we rolled into the grass.
A pillar of ice fell where I had just stood. Ice fragments scratched and scraped delicate skin.
I lifted my head, looking for my attacker, a sore tingling on my cheek.
A black robe wizard, hiding in the dark, came into view as he stepped forward. Magic was concentrating in his palm, a sharp slab of ice appeared.
My self-defense necklace! My mind shouted like thunder.
The wizard reached out to shoot the ice spear. The moment I tried to grab the necklace, the wizard suddenly screamed.
A dagger that flew and pierced the wizard’s right hand.
The spear of ice that flew, aiming for me, missed and stuck a wooden post beside me.
My eyes went to the source of that life-saving dagger. It was Sir Hans. He cried out as he defended himself with his sword against the masked assassin.
“Lady! Run away now!”
He shouted, striking and rushing towards the assassin.
“Go! I’ll take care of this one and follow you!”
Sir Hans did not look back.
Amongst the duchy’s knights, he was the most talented.
Still, I wasn’t sure if he had a chance.
But there was no time to dawdle. I knew well that the time he had given me should not be wasted in vain.
“Master, get on!”
Kian shouted, bringing a horse that survived even after being hit by a spear of ice. After placing me on the saddle, Kian followed me up.
As we dashed away, the sound of hooves clapping against the forest road at night where no humans could be found.
If you go straight like this, the system will come out. If you get there, you can ask the guard for help. As I continued to drive my horse relentlessly, I thought to myself:
Kian shouldn’t die here. He has to live.
All of this happened because I changed the original timeline, and if he dies without awakening—
If he dies because of me…….
Even just hinting at the thought tightened my chest and grew a numb pit of panic in my gut.
It was then. The temperature around me fell as if I had entered an icebox.
I instinctually looked up at the sky. Covering the night were countless spears of ice sharpened into pointed blades.
The black robe wizard, floating in the air, raised his hand and slid down.
Long windows of ice poured out like a meteor shower. I shouted, grasping the necklace engraved with defense magic.
“Kian, hold on tight!”
I felt his arms tightly squeezing my waist.
The downpour of ice picks punctured the ground. My sight turned foggy as the white haze encircled us and the ice weapons broke against it.
Despite my view being hindered by the mist, I squeezed strength into my hands so as to not be separated from the reins.
The horse sprinted continuously through the sheets of the ice rain.
When the bombing-like ice rain finally stopped. At the end of the straight road, there was a guard station at the walls of the estate.
Now we are almost there. It was a moment of relief to see the goal within reach.
Suddenly, I felt excruciating pain in my chest.
When I put my hand on the area where I felt the pain, blood leaked out. As I looked at my red palms, I understood what had happened one step late.
Above my head, the wizard said in an empty voice.
“Magic tools seem to be out of effect now.”
An ice pick the length of a dagger was lodged in my chest. The necklace’s jewelry with the defense magic engraved on it lost its light a long time ago and had scattered into powder.
The wizard attacked one more time. The horse impaled by ice collapsed. Kian held me and fell off the horse.
We were rolling on the ground several times. Strangely, the warmth of Kian, who embraced me, was clearer to me than the agony.
Kian rose up with difficulty.
He clasped my hand, trembling. His white face was torn and wounded.
“Master, Master….… !”
He screamed, with eyes like broken glass beads. He rubbed my hand, which was rapidly losing warmth, on his face.
What a poor fellow.
I grinned at him with effort, squeezing out my last remaining strength:
“Escape…… ru…… .”
Kian’s expression twisted—distorted as if he was crying. He shook his head.
“That order…… I can’t follow.”
He never knew that he would move as if he would never fall off my side. From my fading vision, I could see magic gathering in both hands of the wizard. From the mouth of the wizard, a death penalty fell:
“I’ll send you to your master’s side.”
The wizard fired magic at Kian.
With a groan, blood vomited from Kian’s mouth.
Using his body as a shield, he had taken the onslaught of another ice spear attack.
In an instant, his body became like a rag doll. With a bloody face, he called out to me.
“Mas…… st…… .”
At that desperate appearance, tears continued to flow from my eyes.
You can’t die in a place like this.
I tried to talk, but only the sound of boiling blood came out. My breathing became more and more difficult, and my vision was blurring and dimming.
I promised to make you happy, but I couldn’t keep that promise.
If I hadn’t tried to change the original.
If I hadn’t, at least you could have avoided this ending.
Even if you lose your lover, fall to the end of despair and become a cold killer.
It would have been better to follow the development of the original.
Then at least Kian wouldn’t have lost his life.
Because of a selfish, calculating woman like me who tried to change the original to live, you…….
It’s all my fault, I’m sorry…….
With regretful words, I couldn’t convey; my vision was darkened.
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