Chapter 29 – Blanc Acacia (End)

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Distria, who became Emperor, was merciless.

He dealt with his will and other nobles through Acacia.
Even the nobles who could not work and were slow to act were also dealt with.
Occasionally, nobles who took care of their own interests were also dealt with — even all of those who sometimes offended Raphael.

Some sinned, some were not, some were evil, and some were good.
Acacia swung his sword when told to kill.
He had no thoughts about anything.

Acacia silently carried out his orders.

It was then that he thought of the children Asteron had caused to death.
Perhaps, he was trying to live.
He was in a rush to live, so he threw other people’s lives into the gutter… Yet he survived.

In the end, the living won.

If he wanted to live, he died; if he wanted to die, he lived.

In order to live, a human’s reason was something that could be thrown away.

It was the Emperor who drove the nobles to death… All deaths within the peaceful Carwen Empire came from the Emperor.

Acacia was the sword that protected the empire and the sword of the emperor.
If he wanted to, at least one human life was worth less than a wildflower blooming on the roadside.
He trampled on it haphazardly.
He didn’t even feel guilty about it.

The imperial palace always smelled of blood.

His age was twenty-seven.
He heard that barbarians had descended from the north.
Acacia didn’t have to go, though he chose to go north on his own.
He wanted to get out of this damn Imperial Palace.

A bitter wind blew, and the cold swept over his body.

Acacia had the thought that he wanted to end his life here at that moment.
He laid himself down on the snow-covered ground.
His body was shivering cold, but it was strangely warm.
He closed his eyes as the snow slowly piled up over his body.

He suddenly regained his composure and got up.
The snow piled up and fell.
He wrapped his arms around his trembling body.
He shouldn’t die yet.
He was still…

Acacia planned to live until Asteron died.

He had to get rid of Blanc, and his reason to die had to disappear.
Until it was not possible to find the body… Scattered in pieces and here and there so that they do not have eternal rest.
Acacia thought that was the price of sin.

“Commander, we have found the base of the barbarians.”

He raised his sword.
He planted the flag and drove his horse.
After running for a long time and overcoming the raging snow, he arrived at a small village with young children.

“Haa…”

Acacia let out a low sigh.
Now they were even killing kids.
Although he gave up his knighthood, he never gave up being a human.

Raising his sword high, he slashed it.
At that moment, he saw the children who didn’t know how to grow up and cut them all with his own hands.
Although he despised himself, he burned the entire house.
He left no traces.

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…Since when had it been so easy to kill people?

Acacia realized that he had given up being a knight and also given up being a human being.
No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t find the guilt the moment he killed them.
He was not a person.

Blood was dripping from the well-polished blade.

As soon as they returned to the north, Distria gave an order to destroy the Kingdom of Sorano.
He gladly accepted the order.
Acacia knew the kingdom of Sorano had done nothing wrong.
He just followed it as a habit — He fulfilled and fulfilled.

He slaughtered, trampled, and killed those who fiercely resisted, blaspheming their deaths.
He was the one who did not betray his master until the very end, at least, in the face of death.
He cursed to make the death of such people a fear.

He robbed, he took their territories, took their houses of those who served the wrong king…

War was like that.
Acacia suffered from vomiting from the slaughter that he encountered every night.
It was a feeling of vomiting that came from a physical rejection… Vomiting from looking at an imperial palace or battlefield with slaughtered corpses and pools of blood.

A bloody smell, now quite familiar, stung his nose.

…No, an unfamiliar smell of blood lingered on the tip of his nose.
Even after washing, the smell of blood on him didn’t seem to go away.

Acacia gathered his heart.
He closed his eyes.

He did what he deserved as a knight.
…What.

It was right to raise his honor as a knight.

…What honor.

As a knight…

In less than two weeks after his departure, he dealt with all the leaders and seized the victory.
Acacia donated all the land of the Kingdom of Sorano to the temple as ordered by Distria.
And, he was recognized for the fall of the kingdom of Sorano.

One month.

It only took a month to clear the Kingdom of Sorano from the map.
Taking away the place where someone’s life was all about, taking away the country.
All in just one month.

He returned with the paper with all the seals on it and looked at it with grave eyes.
Arne… The Emperor’s new toy should reduce the number of people dying.
He got used to that kind of relationship of being used.

Acacia found it more comfortable.

As he thought, Distria was obsessed with the new toy and didn’t care about anyone else.
His study and office were full of blood, and the hallway smelled like melting candles.
It was a terrible peace obtained by selling the comfort of others.

He was still at the center of it.

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…It was he who shed the blood as well.
He was the one to stop.

So, Acacia forgot her.
He wanted to forget.

There were many nobles who had been captured like Arne.
Within just a few months, they broke their faith and licked the Emperor’s foot.
Contrary to her delicate body, she was stronger than anyone.
Still, it was right to sleep with the Emperor and the nobles to extend her lifespan.

Acacia watched the process of Arne’s body getting stamped.

Despite the hot iron being touched on her, Arne didn’t even let out a single scream.
Her body swayed like a lamp under a wind with the external pressure, though her eyes, which showed her will, did not change.

After experiencing the pain, she did not move her body once, even as her thigh was stamped.
Arne kept herself straight in the face of fear where others would have avoided and terrified.
She didn’t curl up to escape the pain, and she didn’t run away ugly.

Her eyes gleamed as if she said that in no way that could break her will.

Acacia felt as if his head was hit with a stone.
He was overcome with strange emotions.
When he heard that she had slept with the Emperor, he thought that she had also given up being king.
However, the Arne he saw today was not the woman he thought she was.

She was stronger than anyone else, more upright than anyone, and straighter than anyone else.
She was closer to the King than anyone else… more than anyone else.

They could break her body, but they couldn’t break her will.

Acacia was ashamed.
Even though he could have refused, he gave up on everything and followed Distria’s orders.
That he trampled on his motherland, giving up his beliefs.

He was embarrassed.

After seeing Arne that day, Acacia often disobeyed Distria’s orders.

He thought of death whenever he refused his orders, even though it was Acacia, the greatest sword of the Empire.
Because he thought he had to die if he wanted to.
It was useless training, a time of patience, and a time of pain.
He thought so.

Distria ordered him to guard Arne’s door, saying he needed a break.

It was a demotion — From the Emperor’s escort to a door guard.
Acacia was rather grateful not to have to harm anyone.

He guarded the door of Arne’s room.
Even in this situation, she never showed any despair.
So, Acacia treated her as a king because her original place was not here.

Arne was a person of few words.
Usually, he just had to put the medicine to heal the wound.
Sometimes, he asked the maid to wash her.
Arne did not lose her dignity even in this situation and that made his heart flutter.
She always stood before the fear of death.

It was an ordinary day for him.
It was peaceful where no one was killed.

“I want to see Rewan.”

One day, as Arne said that to him.
Acacia thought of her death.
He thought of himself cutting her throat… He thought he was going to set fire to the Palace again as she died.

Acacia was silent.
He pretended not to hear.
Arne gazed at him and turned her head.

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If she held up, he didn’t have to kill anyone.
How long… Until her body broke to pieces? Until her death…?

Acacia despised his unchanging ugly self.
He pushed someone into her limbs because of his personal feelings that he didn’t want to kill anyone.
He became a sword and gave up being a knight, giving up being a human.
He easily pretended not to know about the death of others and killed someone easily.

Even so, the determined eyes that Arne showed him were terrifying, and his heart was pounding.

That night Acacia had a dream.

It was a nightmare.
Again, he couldn’t sleep easily.
It was the harmonious family of those he killed.
Even if he couldn’t sleep, he could easily kill people.
He was the one who was trained to kill people under any circumstances.

The knight who had taught him once said that a knight without faith was just a murderer.

Acacia had no faith.

 

 

* * *

 

 

The Emperor hastily looked for him.

When Acacia heard the servant’s message, he headed to Distria’s office.
Acacia greeted him lightly before quickly scanning the surroundings with his eyes.
Fortunately, there were only Distria and him in the office.

There was no white paper that the Emperor always handed over.
He was relieved that he didn’t have to kill anyone.
Distria looked at Acacia once and beckoned.

Seeing that, he approached the table on one side of the office and sat down.

“I think it’s been a while since I’ve seen your face.”

“Is that so?”

Distria got up from his seat and sat down facing Acacia.
The maid served tea and refreshments.
In the first place, he had never had such a tender spot with Distria since he became his sword.
Acacia fiddled with the teacup.
He had no intention of drinking the tea he gave

“Are you afraid you might get poisoned?”

At his cynical words, Acacia’s hand gestures stopped.
He took the teacup lightly, put it in his mouth, and swallowed it.
It was bitter.

Acacia put the remaining half down.

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“No.”

He was uncomfortable facing him.
Distria was always the one who gave orders to kill people with a numb face.
Though now, he called him and said nothing, simply drank tea in silence and ate the refreshments like this.

Out of the countless days that Distria called him, for the first time, he didn’t order people to be killed.

Eventually, Acacia hurried to the room where Arne was.
It bothered him that Arne was left alone.

Through the gap in the doorway, he could see Arne biting her lip under Raphael.
Acacia felt his head grow cold.
It was Arne’s pain that he ignored.
It was then that he realized why the Emperor had called him.
He couldn’t even get in, and he stood in front of the door blankly for a while.

He stepped back.
He had seen Distria, who didn’t order him to kill anyone, and thought he might change.

He was at ease.
He and Acacia were both created human beings.

As he gave up being human, the sense of guilt he had lost was creeping up.
Guilt ate some of his brain.
Acacia thought of the nobles of the kingdom of Sorano he had killed and remembered the people he had killed… He thought of the children.

Acacia ran until he was out of breath.

He ran, ran, and ran.
He enjoyed the peace he had gained by eating others’ peace as he could feel the determination in Arne’s eyes, yet he ignored her pain.
He couldn’t properly look at Arne in the rush of guilt.

Wiping her messy body with a wet towel, he was unable to breathe.

Still today, she wanted to see Rewan.
Even though he told her of her death, he remembered her vivid expression, who was not afraid.

…When was it, the day he decided to become a knight?

He thought he would uphold the values ​​Asteron had abandoned, and not treat others like disposable.
But, he quickly adapted to reality.

Still, he felt guilty.
He was a contradictory person.
He suffered from not being able to adapt to reality and compromised with the pain.
Crushed by the pain, he forgot his guilt and gave up being human.
He was a terribly selfish person… No, he was a terribly selfish beast.

Acacia thought of Arne.

He remembered her uprightness.
He remembered her being upright in front of external pressure.
It reminded him of his forgotten guilt.
He…he was so ashamed of himself.
He was so ashamed of himself for wanting to be a human now.

Acacia admired Arne.
It was so wonderful that he continued to hold on to the upright convictions he had given up.
He dared to admire her, and he wanted to be like her.

There was a time when he thought that Arne was more of a king.

He was wrong.
She was not just more of a king.

Arne was King.

 

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