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He was more terrified now than when he faced any enemy.
Akkard managed to pull himself together and held out his torch to illuminate the corpses. Fortunately, Damia was not among them.
Judging by their appearance, they looked like workers guarding the warehouse.
‘But the fact that they are dead… … .’
It meant something dangerous was going on here. And Damia was caught up in it.
When this thought occurred to him, Akkard was genuinely horrified. Maybe Dami’s cold body was lying like these corpses in a hidden location.
With that mental image in mind, his body trembled. He still hadn’t had the opportunity to properly beg her for her forgiveness. He had committed so many regretful mistakes and transgressions that it was impossible to count them all.
If he lost Damia like this, he would surely be ruined. He would live a life worse than death, full of guilt, regret, and longing.
Just then—A small, sharp, plosive sound suddenly resounded from within the warehouse.
That sound horrified Akkard as if on fire. He got up like lightning and ran straight to the warehouse.
To save the first and only woman he had ever fallen in love with.
The endlessly swelling worries and fears suffocated his chest and throat as if he was on the verge of suffocating at any moment. His heart was ahead of his legs, so he almost fell over.
He hurriedly caught himself from falling and slammed into the warehouse door. Then the door opened like a screeching mouth.
“Dami!! Are you here?”
Akkard jumped into the warehouse and listened desperately.
No matter how cacophonous the noise, the voice of a loved one caught his ears. As if there was some special magic in that voice.
“Sir Akkard… … ?”
He managed to discern the faint whisper. As he pinpointed and ran in the direction of the sound, he saw Damia lying on the floor.
“Oh my God, Dami!!”
His nightmare had become a reality. Yet, during his brief run to her, nothing felt real to Akkard.
Fortunately, Damia looked fine with no injuries. But as if he had been incredibly drunk, he had lost his mind.
‘What happened to you?’
At the moment of wonder, Akkard belatedly caught a whiff of the sleeping gas’s odor. It was an incense he had sniffed a few times before, so he quickly recognized its identity.
‘This… … It’s his invention.’
Being the Crown Prince’s right hand, of course, Akkard knew the alchemist working under him. Recalling a face he didn’t like, he pulled out her handkerchief and put it over Damia’s mouth and nose.
Sleep gas was known to have no significant effect on life. However, he was worried that if she inhaled too much, there would be side effects.
Under normal circumstances, Akkard would have also lost consciousness. But, although he was reluctant to admit it, Heinrich’s alchemist was such a brilliant talent.
But since he had come in with the entrance wide open, a significant amount of sleeping gas had escaped. So Akkard was able to keep his wits about him by biting the tip of his tongue until he bled.
He came out, holding the woman he loved carefully. Her body’s warmth and unique weight in his arms were precious.
After fearing he had lost her, everything else seemed to pale in comparison. He had almost lost his mind so he wanted nothing more than to take Damia to a safe place to be alone.
‘If I could do that, I could throw away anything.’
Including status, wealth, position, and property.
It was quite strange to realize he genuinely felt that way. How much pain and anger had he endured to get to where he was now?
However, the love he harbored for this little woman casually knocked it all down like it was nothing, even when she didn’t love him back nor believe in his love.
Akkard caressed her cheek, feeling he wanted to cry.
His fingertips, which had once held her down with force because he wanted to see her crying face, now trembled in fear as he carefully swept her cheeks, not wanting to wake her.
Akkard laid her down in her safe place, then turned around. He still has work to do.
Just before Damia passed out, she had asked him to do something.
“Inside, there is Cesare… … have to hold on to… … .”
So he didn’t want to miss him this time. Because this was the only thing he could do for her.
* * *