Home Post 1211-chapter-112


2. At the end of the twilight


Jiwoo was awakened by the noisy commotion outside. She lifted the carriage’s curtain and peered out. People got out of their vehicles and bustled around the halted vehicle. The carriage that was supposed to journey through the night had been halted by an intensifying blizzard.

In the remote north, roads were scarce. So their stop was as good as in the midst of a forest. To shelter from the blizzard, the caravan arranged their carriages in a circle and lit fires with dry wood. Although the flames were strong, the severity of the northern cold justified it.

“We should manage for three nights with this much.”

“If only the blizzard would calm down sooner… Had we known the weather would turn so abruptly, we should have left with more time to spare.”

“What about the beast damage? Being stuck here because of the blizzard…”

“We’ll have to ask Akarna for help.”

Soon, there was a knock on the carriage door.

“Akarna, are you awake?”


Upon opening the door, Jiwoo was greeted by several knights and soldiers from the temple, who had come from the temple. Along with someone who appeared to be an aide.

“We have a request, Akarna. As you can see, the blizzard has intensified, so we can no longer travel today.”


They hesitated slightly while looking at each other before adding.

“To prevent damage from beasts, we were wondering if Akarna could take some measures.”

Despite the roundabout way of asking, they essentially wanted her to shed some blood. Sprinkling Akarna’s blood around the camp not only deterred beasts but could also quell the blizzard to some extent.

Jiwoo stared at the ornate dagger and the bottle they held for collecting blood, then responded.


Though they always phrased their requests as if Jiwoo had the option to refuse, it wasn’t truly a situation where she could comfortably say no.

If she declined and something bad happened, the blame would inevitably fall on her. Even if the situation was beyond Akarna’s powers, the fault would be Jiwoo’s.

Sometimes, they appealed to guilt. Refusing to shed a few drops of blood could lead to greater suffering for many. They argued that after all, a minor wound would heal quickly for Akarna, so what was the big deal about shedding a little blood?

Why does God’s guardian refuse to do God’s will?”

When the situation escalated, someone would inevitably approach and force a blade upon Jiwoo’s body. It was better to do it herself before it came to that.

“Please give it to me.”

“Ah, thank you, Akarna.”

The knight handed over the dagger and bottle as usual, but the soldier beside him jumped. Having only lived in the north, this was his first encounter with Akarna and the way she worked.

“Wa, wait. You’re going to collect blood in this bottle? Is that how it’s done?”

“Yes, it’s fine. Akarna can easily heal from such wounds.”

“But still…”

“Preventing beast attacks this way is better than suffering from them.”

The northern soldier seemed uncomfortable, but the knight wasn’t wrong. Filling the bottle might take time, but it would ensure a quiet night.

Just as Jiwoo placed the dagger to her wrist.

“What are you doing?”

A furious shout echoed from somewhere.

Before the source was identified, the person had sprinted over in the blink of an eye and snatched the dagger from Jiwoo’s hand.


The bottle meant for the blood shattered on the ground with a loud noise.

Those who belatedly recognized the man hastily bowed.

“Your, Your Highness!”

It was Prince Aleph, the second prince.

“What is this about?”

“We, we were asking Akarna to help prevent beast attacks.”

“Prevent attacks?”

Prince Aleph scoffed disdainfully.

“Pathetic. With a full squad of soldiers and twelve paladins, you wake up our guest from the north to cut herself because you’re afraid of beasts that haven’t even attacked…”

Then, he swung the dagger he had taken suddenly.

A moment of beast-like ferocity was revealed beneath his dignified appearance.


The sound of the blade cutting through the air followed, and soon, a mark appeared on the cheek of the knight who had handed the dagger to Jiwoo.


The paladin grasped his face, but blood was already overflowing between his fingers.

“If a few drops of blood can prevent beasts, this should suffice. I will personally ensure no beasts approach with the blood you’ve spilled.”

“Your, Your Highness…!”

“Don’t make a fuss. Such a minor wound will heal soon, won’t it? Huh?”

Infuriated for some reason, Prince Aleph flicked the dagger in his hand, as if ready to strike again.


Jiwoo instinctively grabbed the hem of his garment. As soon as she touched it, Prince Aleph’s shoulders jerked noticeably. He quickly concealed the blade and turned towards her.

“Stop it.”

Her voice was very soft. Perhaps even trembling a bit from fear.


Yet, it was enough to calm the agitated man. The tense, sharp atmosphere softened considerably.

Prince Aleph let out a deep sigh and then personally straightened Jiwoo’s collar, which had become disheveled as she exited the carriage alone.

“…it will really be alright. Go back in and rest.”

Then, he walked towards the dark forest.

In the North, the sun sets early. The snowstorm made the forest even darker, and after a few steps, his figure was no longer visible.

That evening, as Prince Aleph had promised, no beasts appeared.

(Illust here)

* * *

The blizzard raged all night and stopped precisely by dawn. The capricious Northern weather cleared up and revealed a cloudless, bright sky as if it had never snowed.

When it was possible for the carriage to move again, Prince Aleph, who had been absent, returned. Looking extremely tired, he declined any formal greetings or meals and simply slumped down next to a tree.

Leaning on his sword for support and closing his eyes, he seemed to be trying to catch a bit of rest before the carriage was ready to depart.

‘Is that person… okay?’

The result was that the camp was safe.

Prince Aleph had done as he said, patrolling the surroundings throughout the night to prevent any beasts from approaching. While those at the camp remained unharmed, the details of his nocturnal activities were unclear to most.

However, Jiwoo felt differently. As Akarna was sensitive to the presence of beasts, she could faintly sense the existence of beasts lurking nearby and knew who had driven them away.

There seemed to be only one reason for Prince Aleph to have personally undertaken such a task. Every time someone attempted to draw a blade to Jiwoo’s body, he intervened.

She still couldn’t understand the reason why he did so.

Somewhat concerned about him spending time alone, Jiwoo seized the opportunity when everyone was busy with departure preparations to approach the second prince.

He seemed unaware of her approach with his eyes closed.

He looked exhausted. It was evident he had been affected by the miasma, likely from confronting beasts all night.

‘But why so dark?’

His pale face, contrasted with his dark hair, made him appear younger with his eyes closed. Yet, the miasma lingering around him was unusually intense, as if he had been facing beasts alone for decades.

It was strangely discordant with his youthful appearance, much like the depth in his eyes.