Her mannerism gave me a very bad feeling.
Had the Acacia Kingdom done something? Or had the battle against the Towair Kingdom not gone as planned?
“We’ve won in the war against the Towair Kingdom.”
“Oh! Isn’t that good news?”
It was news that should’ve brought joy, but her expression was very much off.
More accurately, she looked completely frozen.
“Yes, but Dean, Dean…”
She seemed afraid to even speak. Her composure was so lost she didn’t even bother to address him by his royal title.
“…We’ve also received the news of Dean’s death.”
My world plummeted into darkness.
I couldn’t understand her words.
Death…what did death mean?
My mind, my heart…refused to understand.
But her words clouded my head, never leaving.
“Tanya, I don’t understand. What has happened to Dean?”
My question made Tanya’s expression contort. But she recovered immediately.
“He seems to have been shot to death by arrows.”
Thump. My heart made an annoying sound.
Listening to her responses to my questions was terrifying.
“Yes. Everyone who infiltrated has given me the same report.”
This response tore my heart into shreds.
“What kind of joke is this? Didn’t we win? Didn’t the Tasmeria Kingdom win? Then why…!”
I lost my calm and began to shout.
My heightened mood didn’t last too long.
Hoping Tanya was lying.
Hoping the news was false.
But just by looking at her face, I knew.
I had never seen her like this before.
So shocked she couldn’t close her lips, her eyes full of sorrow.
It told me this was the unshakeable truth.
Instantly I was swallowed by emptiness and void.
These emotions sapped me of my strength. I fell.
In that moment, my knees buckled and I grabbed the corner of the table for support.
Everything on the table was thrown astray.
Tanya took one step after another, approaching me.
Don’t, don’t come closer.
Don’t interrogate my feelings.
My heart cried out in grief, my body wanting to retreat.
But my feet felt like they were stapled to the ground, unable to budge.
“I’m sorry. Let me be alone for a while.”
Desperately I forced these words out.
Tanya and Merida’s expressions looked contorted at my words.
Don’t make those faces, I’m fine…although I wanted to say this to them, I couldn’t even open my mouth.
Wordlessly I stood straight, walking toward my own room.
The world blurred together.
Blurring, twisting. I couldn’t tell if the road I was taking was the correct road anymore.
Everything lost its color. Everything reflected into my eyes, yet I couldn’t recognize anything.
It felt like there was no difference between the ground and the sky. I was floating somewhere.
Walking along the wall, I finally made it back to my room.
When I opened my door to walk back in, I immediately lost my strength and slipped onto the ground.
Murmuring his name, my eyes filled with tears.
I don’t know how long I was in that state.
I just kept sitting there, staring blindly.
When I came back to myself, the setting sun was casting its rays through the window.
All I wanted was a little rest.
Ah, I needed to go back to work…that was what I started to think about.
But my body felt like it was sewn to the ground, unable to move.
I kept trying to accumulate the energy to stand, but it disappeared within an instant and I found myself sitting on the floor again.
Speaking of which, the first time I passed out…the first thing I thought about was my work too.
But Dean adjusted his whole schedule to come and help me, and in the end I was fine. These were the things I thought back about now.
“Hey, help me, Dean…just like back then…”
Just like back then.
I had some faint hope he would suddenly appear from nowhere…but my rational mind waved away those dreams.
Even if the situation were similar, Dean would not come back.
Tanya had told me as much.
Dean was dead.
Shot to death by arrows.
Dead…he was no longer in this world.
No matter how hard I looked, no matter how I thought.
Looking at him, talking to him…was no longer possible.
Thinking about this was enough to release the dark emotions in my heart. I began to weep.
At the same time, I was consumed by tears.
No, no, no!
I didn’t dare to believe, didn’t want to believe that he was no longer here.
Hadn’t we won?
Winning against Prince Edward, winning against the Towair Kingdom. Then why…!
Tearing at my hair, I wailed at the top of my voice.
Not being able to hear his voice anymore.
Not being able to see his smile anymore.
…He wasn’t here anymore!
The world was shrouded in darkness.
Grief, sadness, pain…
They surged into my heart, leaving me unable to breathe.
A ripping pain in my chest. No matter how hard I beat my chest, it always came from the bottom of my heart, leaving me helpless.
Sha sha. The pocket watch swayed upon my chest.
I grasped it, stroking it fondly.
Thinking back to when I received this pocket watch.
A gentle, beautiful memory.
Like I had lost half of my body, I was surrounded by an incredible despair.
I grasped the pocket watch tightly in my hands.
Pain, unable to recognize reality, reaching out to grasp intangible things.
But of course there was nothing for my hands to close around.
They just stayed there, suspended in the air.
This reality only made my pain worse.
I just kept wailing, letting my emotions out.
And then exhaustion. When I came back to my senses I was already hunched over on the floor.
When I got up, tears blurred my eyes again.
This wasn’t a dream.
What I saw was the scene before losing my consciousness.
If I’d known I would be so full of pain, I would rather have not been reincarnated. Thinking about this, I was filled with resentment toward the world.
Dark emotions ate away at my soul. The pain brought more tears.
Raising my head suddenly, I found the sky had turned black.
As if reflecting my heart.
Clouds filled the sky, suffocating any starlight there might have been.
If only the night would never end.
Tomorrow didn’t have to come, for all I cared.
He wasn’t here anymore anyways.
I couldn’t tolerate it anymore. This world without him.
To even think about trying to move forward with this kind of loss.
I cried out again, and fell again.