Home Post 1123-chapter-110


Jiwoo had agreed to take a rest here, yet her inability to speak up meant her opinions were often disregarded. This time was no different, with the escort making decisions on her behalf without much resistance from her.

She had hoped for a bit of rest this time…

The tasks of saving people and purifying the land were both challenging in their own right, with no clear distinction as to which was harder. Though both were demanding, purification often felt more grueling.

At least in saving people, she would sometimes hear words of gratitude. Purifying the land showed no immediate results, making it all the more difficult as it usually required shedding more blood. There were times she resisted, only to be forcibly cut with a knife.

The tools used needed to be extremely sharp. Hearing the sound of the blade being sharpened made her feel like livestock being led to slaughter, which was terrifying.

This time, she felt like she was just fertilizer for the land.

Sitting in a corner of the barracks, Jiwoo tried her best not to dwell on her task.

Many wanted to pay homage to Akarna, but like the soldier she briefly encountered earlier, they dared not approach too closely out of immense respect.

After killing some time, Jiwoo suddenly felt something odd and turned her gaze towards the entrance of the barracks.

Something out of place caught her eye.

What was it?

A white bird?

Where did it come from? A white… something, indistinguishable at first glance, was flying towards her.

Initially resembling a bead of light but upon closer inspection, it fluttered like a butterfly or perhaps a bird.

As if deliberately aiming for her, it flew straight towards Jiwoo’s location.


Startled, Jiwoo raised her arms to block the strange orb of light, but it merely floated around her, dancing through the air with ease.

What is this? What’s happening?

Jiwoo looked around with a bewildered face, but no one dared approach hastily.

Instead, the sound of someone’s urgent footsteps seemed to be approaching from outside.


The cloth entrance of the barracks was roughly flung open, and a tall man barged in.

Jiwoo gulped dryly.

She had never seen someone look so intimidating before.

The most striking feature was his dark hair. Reflecting the harsh environment here, his short hair was unkempt. His deep-set eyes made him look sinister and weary. Yet, the burning red pupils situated at the center made his appearance seem incredibly intense.

The man’s appearance was unique in other aspects, too. He was clearly young, with a face free of wrinkles or scars, yet the depth in his eyes resembled that of an old man who had seen the world. However, when those vacant eyes turned her way, they ignited with light.

Like a spark found in ashes, or a sprout pushing through dry earth, it breathed life into a man who seemed dead.

It was astonishing. The change that came over him, as if a person long dead had come back to life. All from just a shift in his gaze.

Had his sharp gaze not been fixed on her, one might consider him an exceptionally handsome man. No, he was indeed exceptionally handsome.

Perhaps it was those captivating eyes that stirred an indescribable emotion within her from the moment she saw his face.

His gaze soon shifted to the bird perched on Jiwoo’s shoulder. It seemed he had come looking for this bird.

The man opened his mouth.


No sound came out.

Only their gazes met in the air.

Disheveled as if he had crawled back from the underworld and with eyes blazing, the man who had been staring intently suddenly charged forward.

In just a few strides from his large steps, the man reached Jiwoo and abruptly pulled her into a tight hug.


It was a hug so forceful it felt like being crushed.

Like a person being pushed off a cliff grasping for a lifeline, she could feel his broad shoulders, the large armor fitting for someone of his stature, and a thick fur cloak that could withstand the northern cold.

She couldn’t hug him back. Her hands lingered in the air, not knowing where to go.

While Jiwoo had seen many welcome the salvation Akarna brought, this was the first time anyone had acted so unreservedly.

Was this allowed?

The people here revered Akarna to the point of fear.

Such behavior wouldn’t be tolerated by the escort that had brought her here.

“…Second Prince!”

Ah, so he was someone for whom this was allowed.

Knowing his identity only made it more uncomfortable. The pressure that had been bearable began to intensify.


When Jiwoo finally let out a groan, the arms around her hastily released their hold.

The scent of dry dust lingered from where he had been.

“Excuse me.”


“I’m sorry.”

Someone from the imperial household had apologized twice.

“I really am… sorry. I wanted to come sooner. I wish I could.”

Could it have been any sooner here?

If the Second Prince had been out battling the beasts and came this way upon hearing of Akarna’s arrival, it was as if he had raced here immediately. No, it was as if he had anticipated her arrival and timed it perfectly.

While still struggling with the local language, Jiwoo managed to muster a response.

“…It’s, it’s okay.”

This was the best she could do after picking it up from overhearing others.

It was hardly the proper way to address royalty, not even close to formal speech.

But even without saying anything, the Second Prince did not get angry. Instead, he gazed at Jiwoo with an inscrutable look.

When Jiwoo met his gaze, he looked away first surprisingly.

“You’ve had a long journey.”

Then, someone else entered the tent.

Black hair, red eyes. A person who looked strikingly similar to the Second Prince. However, he appeared much older than the Second Prince Jiwoo had just seen. Unlike the sharp and tired Second Prince, this man had a composed and trustworthy demeanor.

“Greetings, Grand Duke.”

The escort and the prince’s aide, who had been keeping their distance, quickly approached and saluted respectfully. Jiwoo hesitated on whether to bow, but Grand Duke Leveion spoke again.

“Let’s skip the formalities.”

“…It is our honor, Your Highness . We have been assigned as Akarna’s direct escort for this mission. We have twelve knights with us.”

“To think the temple would care so much for the north.”

Grand Duke Leveion’s voice was so casual, making it hard to tell if he was expressing admiration or sarcasm.

“We’ve heard about the severe damage. If you could guide us to the other injured, Akarna will take care of them.”

The Grand Duke placed a hand on the Second Prince’s shoulder and laughed out loud.

“My younger brother knew exactly when to come to save my life. It’s a bit inconvenient, though.”

Initially, Jiwoo hadn’t noticed because the Grand Duke stood so tall and confidently, but he was using a cane, indicating one of his legs was injured. Yet, he maintained his dignity remarkably well.

“Then, we shall proceed.”

One of the knights pulled out an ornate dagger.

It was a dagger made for Akarna to inflict a wound and bleed, as God’s guardian could not just be cut with any blade, hence it was beautifully crafted.

When Jiwoo saw the dagger and tensed up, both the Grand Duke and the Second Prince’s eyes sharply turned towards her.

“That’s enough. You’re overreacting to a mere scratch.”

“But, Your Highness. We are here for this purpose…”

“Enough. Attend to the other injured.”

The Grand Duke glanced around the tent. Injured soldiers of various degrees were awkwardly looking in this direction.