Seeing him, the soldiers kept saying hello.
He even greeted the soldiers who took care of the horseshoes kindly.
I received an apology from Rodrigo.
“It is not something you should apologize for.”
I remembered the people of the Cartina mansion.
Did I know all their names? In the second half of the novel, Rodrigo, who suddenly turned into a devil, came to mind.
He didn’t even talk to Devlan or Gunther back then.
Did he ever looked someone with warm eyes?
“Are you very surprised? Earlier in that wounded barrack…”
“No! I saw a lot of people hurt.”
When the Cartinas had an accident, there were a lot of people who were injured, big or small.
So I also learned some medical techniques to give them first aid.
Come to think of it, the Cartinas were quiet these days.
I guess they don’t have time to harass people because they were monitoring my meeting with Rodrigo.
I think it was a good choice for me to say that I was going to marry him anyway.
Rodrigo and I walked silently.
Eventually, we got out of the barracks and reached the shore of the lake.
When setting up a barracks, there must be water nearby.
They needed water to wash and cook.
The campsite Rodrigo chose was excellent.
Just by looking at the shore of the lake he chose, I could tell how good of a captain he was.
A small path through the thickets of woods, hard land, wide lakes and clear waters.
“Shall we take a break?”
Then I sat casually on the grassy ground.
I heard a bewildered voice and looked up at him to see he was taking off his coat.
“You can’t sit on the ground like that.”
He took off his coat and laid it next to me.
Without saying a word, I shifted my hips and sat on his coat.
“I should have used a handkerchief, but I can’t.”
From the first time we met on the battlefield, he was obsessed with the handkerchief.
‘Because he’s a gentleman.’
I muttered to myself and looked quietly at the shore with him.
Silvery light bounced off as the still water’s surface occasionally swayed.
The wind was cool and the sky was dyed blue like a painting.
He spoke first.
“I’m sorry for making you look embarrassed.”
I asked in a tone of not knowing at all.
“Losing the war, getting help from your family, and the soldiers not being able to protect you…”
The self-criticism didn’t fit the situation.
Read only at pm tl.
“It’s not your fault.”
I told him my honest feelings.
“It’s not your fault everything that happened to you.”
His eyes fluttered like a fish splashing on a quiet lake shore.
His face slowly approached mine.
I know what the signal was.
I closed my eyes.
The moment our lips were about to touch-
“General! General! It’s a desertion!”
A voice was heard looking for him.
When Rodrigo and I rushed back to the barracks, Devlan reported.
Rodrigo’s face changed terribly.
“Who is it?”
“One unit deserted.”
“Catch every single one of them.”
What is this? Not on any other day, but on the day of the great victory, why did so many soldiers leave?
I stood still, deep in thought.
“Go back to the barracks, Estiya.”
Rodrigo turned to me.
If I insist on staying here longer, he’ll be in trouble.
I nodded and headed for the barracks.
“Miss! Where have you been? Master Kaylan has been looking for you for a long time.”
Jane was crying.
I reassured Jane by telling her roughly how I had seen Gunther.
Jane’s anger quickly dissipated.
“Sit down Jane.”
Jane came over.
She was complaining about how bad my blanket was.
It was a luxury for someone to even wish for a cozy blanket on the battlefield.
But considering Jane’s feelings for me, I didn’t point that out.
“If you were a soldier, when would you like to desert?”
“When my death becomes certain.”
Jane said as if she didn’t even have to think twice.
“Right, I thought so too.
If you hold on for a few more days, you can win, so wouldn’t it be strange to run away before that?”
“Oh my, Miss.
You misunderstood what I said.
I wasn’t talking about winning or losing a war, I was talking about my life.”
I pondered over Jane’s words.
So Jane said ‘when her own death became certain’, it was regardless of the victory or defeat of the war.
A deep realization has come.
The fleeing soldiers experienced the fear of death for the first time today.
Or the fear of death that had been built up so far that it exploded today.
What was the reason?
“Miss, if you don’t have anything else to say, should I clean here?”
Jane asked to confirm.
I nodded my head roughly.
I remembered what Kaylan, Ether, and Eyla had said.
The things they talked about were not only fearful to the enemy but also feared by the allies.
I got up.
“I’m going out.”
“To fix the accident.”
I ran, leaving behind Jane who called me bitterly.
When I went to see Rodrigo, he was leaning on a chair with his eyes closed.
I murmured very little.
I didn’t want to wake him up if he was asleep because he looked very tired.
“I don’t get it.”
Rodrigo stood up slowly and blinked his stiff eyes.
There were unique reactions you see when someone wakes up from a nap.
Rodrigo stretched his body long.
His tight muscles could be seen through his ripped shirt.
I felt my face got warmer and looked away.
What are you going to do?”
“We will deal with it according to the military law.”
“You mean to kill?”
Rodrigo stopped drinking water.
He looked at me for a long time.
“You are interested in a lot of things.
Do you know the military law?”
I didn’t study law.
I just skipped.
“Not to that extent.”
The mastermind has to die.
And the rest will be branded on their foreheads, and they will live as battlefield slaves for the rest of their lives.”
“Does it really have to be done?”
Without realizing it, the words came out bluntly.
The decisive appearance of Rodrigo was unfamiliar.
I knew the deserters had to be punished, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that the punishment was excessive.
“Rodrigo, think about it.
They are no different than Bono.”
As soon as I spoke, I realized I had made a mistake.
The names of soldiers who died while fighting fiercely on the battlefield in front should not be included.
There was a long crack in Rodrigo’s calm face.
“Estiya, don’t treat them the same as Bono.”
He got up and stood in front of the map he had hung up.
Today was the first time Rodrigo turned his back on me.
I knew it was my mistake, but I was sad.
“Rodrigo, it’s because of me.
If you are going to punish them, then I will have to be punished too.”
“What do you mean?”
He turned his head and looked at me.
I got up and looked straight at him.
The distance was created by the table and chairs placed between us.
“It was because of me that the Cartinas joined the battle and they were terrified.”
Now that I think about it, did the Kartinas cover up the enemies and allies and kill them? Of course, the tip of their sword was towards the enemy, but what if there were allies in between?
“It’s a leap.
Even if it is, it was Cartina who made it happen.”
He seemed determined to execute the deserters according to the military law.
It was a mindset that would never change.
I gave up trying to convince him.
He felt very far away.
“Estiya, I think you should go back.”
Those words became a dagger and stabbed my heart in pain.
I accepted Rodrigo’s words.
I went straight to the barracks where the Cartinas were gathered and held my small luggage.
“Estiya! Well thought.
“What about war?”
Unlike the rest of the excited family, Hela asked calmly.
“We’ve won a big victory, so I think they’ll negotiate.
They’ll just have to get a declaration of surrender to the right extent.”
Hela didn’t ask further if she thought my words were plausible.
“If we leave now, we will be able to move to the nearest portal in the evening.”
Coming home was easy, unlike coming to the battlefield.
We didn’t say goodbye to Rodrigo.
Two months have passed since then.
It has been three months since the war started.
The war entered a war of attrition.
Contrary to my expectations of an attempt to negotiate, Veloki persevered.
Rodrigo, who was fighting attrition, lacked supplies and troops.
Knowing this, I could not readily offer to help.
He never contacted me, and neither did I.
The only way to know about him was through Detheus.
After returning from the battlefield, Stefan frequently visited the Imperial Palace.
Every time he went, he asked me to go with him.
I knew what Stefan was aiming for, so I didn’t want to go, but we met by chance and I was forced to go after hearing the news of the battlefield from Detheus.
He sat me down and talked about his story for a long time, and when I made a face that I couldn’t listen to him any longer, he told me about the war situation as if he was giving me candy to appease a child.
“Soon the king of the Veloki Empire will change, Miss Estiya.”
He whispered as if it were a great secret.
“It has been decided that the person on the throne of Veloki will be one who’s loyal to the Empire.”
The Veloki Peninsula was not part of the Empire.
What they got was the power to decide their own king.
Is the Empire going to ignore it?
“In that case, the coronation ceremony will be held, and then a very grand banquet will be held, so how about going with me?”
I forcefully smiled.
Detheus’s hand slowly moved toward my hand that was placed on the table.
I naturally lowered my hand under the table and answered.
“Aren’t you supposed to go through the battlefield? I don’t want to go to dangerous places.”
“Oh, that war? It will be over soon.”
What do you mean?
“The Pope moved.
I came home and sat down at my desk.
I remembered the face of the Pope I saw at the last banquet.
Nathaniel had a boyish face and red lips.
I think he played an important role, but I couldn’t remember.
After all, 17 years have already passed since I entered this world.
It was natural that memories fade.
He seemed to hold a very important key in this war.
It was disappointing that I couldn’t remember.
Ha, if only I could talk comfortably with Rodrigo at a time like this.
Unfortunately, however, we were both frustrated after the desertion incident and never contacted each other.
According to Detheus, Rodrigo was in a hurry.
What should I do in this case?
I soon found the answer.
Shortly after ringing the bell, Jane came in.
“Get ready to go out.”
“Where are you going?”
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