PCP – 140

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He did not miss the opportunity. He whispered quietly looking into Damia’s quivering gaze.

“To catch a snake, you have to go into the snake’s den, right?”

You said you would do anything to save your father. Didn’t you just say that? Akkard’s eyes were asking.

Damia bit her lip. Certainly, if she stayed here in the North, there was no way to figure out what Cesare would be up to in the capital.

However…….

“I have never left the North before.”

In particular, she had never even stepped foot in the capital city of Pelmonium.

Pelmonium was as close to the south as it was very far from the north. So, unless you were the head of a noble household— even then you hardly ever went to the capital.

Damia had always wondered what she could do as she grew up in the remote North.

“So what? Whether it’s the capital city or the South, it’s the same, places where people live,”

Akkard snorted and replied arrogantly.

“Including the saint, all the major figures of the High Temple are currently stationed in the capital and the south. In the name of so-called ‘service’ and waging the holy war on the pollution.”

Just by taking that into account, it was obvious which way things would go.

He had finished speaking and looked at Lessid. Frowning, Lessid reluctantly agreed.

“… … It’s true. If even Cesare has headed south, all that’s left here is the shell.”

At his words, Damia’s lips parted.

Evidently, the more she listened to Akkard, the clearer it was for her to know what to do next. But she had never thought of going to the capital before, so her worries and uncertainties were swirling around in her head.

Can I leave my father in the North? No, wouldn’t it be safer for him? If I go to the capital, I… … Can I do well?

“Sometimes travelling far away brings you closer to the source.”

Seeing Damia heistate, Akkard held out his large hand, as if he were about to pull her in. Then he tilted his head and asked.

“Or do you have more work to do in the North?”

… … there wasn’t.

Damia realized that she could no longer postpone her decision. Apart from her feelings for Akkard, she had to go to the capital.

To stop Cesare and save her father.

“I understand.”

With her little sigh, Damia placed her slender hand on his large palm. And she spit it out like a promise to herself.

“I will go with you.”

“Good thinking.”

As if Akkard had been waiting for this moment, he clasped her hand tightly. And he repeatedly emphasized it, while smiling deeply with an earnestness as if he would never miss it again,

“Let’s go together. To the capital.”

***

So Damia decided to head to the capital.

It wasn’t as difficult as she imagined it would be to get her father’s permission. Damia had already been privy to Owen’s true feelings when he became drunk with her last. So it was so easy for her to persuade him with words she didn’t mean.

“You want to go to Pelmonium to find a marriage partner?”

Upon hearing her words, Owen’s eyes grew wide with the completely unexpected announcement. She nodded in affirmation.

“Yes. Remember what you said last time? You want me to get married and be protected by a reliable, strong husband.”

To catch a snake, you have to go to the snake’s den. As she quoted Akkard’s words to him, Owen looked perplexed and bewildered.

“But, dear, Pelmonium is too far away… … Do you really need to go there to find a marriage partner?”

Damia did not panic because it was a question she had already expected. Rather, she smiled and proudly expressed her opinion.

“The North is too narrow, Dad. I’ve already seen all the men here. And not one of them has struck my fancy.”

At this time, it was very advantageous that the North had a narrow social circle. Owen, who had regularly travelled for business, recognized the truth in his daughter’s words.

But he loathed the idea of sending his one and only daughter away, so he hesitated and decided to make a last-ditch attempt.

“How about the second son of the Cortits? Or the eldest son of the Serendov family who isn’t engaged yet… Even the youngest member of the Hale family has a pretty promising future… … .”

“Father.”

She cut him off gently. And she swept back her hair with a proud motion revealing her gorgeous face to the fullest.

Her beauty shone as transparently as a superlative ruby under the midday sun. Damia with a radiant face proudly declared,

“You know. They don’t suit me.”

Overwhelmed by his daughter’s dazzling confidence, Owen’s mouth fell open. Taking advantage of that opportunity, Damia firmly pushed forward her own opinion.

“Then I will go to the capital. To find a man that suits me.”

Speechless and at his wits end, Owen eventually just shook his head. Then, unexpectedly, he laughed out loud.

“Haha! At times like this, you really resemble your mother.”

“… … mother?”

It was rare to hear about her mother, Arya, who died when she was young. As Damia expressed interest, a sad smile formed on his lips.

“Indeed. As you know, Arya was from the South. But the reason she came to marry this far north was the same reason as yours.”

It was the first time she had heard such a thing.

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