Chapter 11 – Reminiscence
Translator: Skye Editor: thursdays PR: sj_myself
The site of the next monster subjugation was close to Albraca. It was a forest owned by the palace where hunting competitions for aristocrats were held in the summer.
Although monsters were reported in the area, the place did not need an urgent dispatch as there were no residents. However, it was heavily suggested that the hunting grounds be cleared before the upcoming hunting competition.
As a result, the other urgent sites were placed on the back burner and the hunting ground was chosen as the first subjugation site.
Yuriel didn’t even have time to adjust to living in the capital before she was chosen to take part in the subjugation.
Raphlet, who had been against Yuriel’s involvement to the end, was currently leading the knights at the front. Deep sighs escaped from his mouth whenever he saw her, as if he was displeased with her joining them.
Whenever she had to clean his room, which left the two of them alone, she felt his stinging gaze follow her every movement.
Ever since they had reunited, Yuriel had been unable to relax and unwind due to his cold-hearted demeanor.
“I see you know how to ride a horse,” Helio commented, approaching Yuriel who was frantically staring at Raphlet’s back.
“Yes, Raphlet taught me when we were younger.”
“When you were young… Then, that means it was before Raphlet joined the order, right? He was 14 years old when I met him. How old are you, Miss Yuriel?”
“I’m 21. I don’t know my exact age so I decided to go with the same age as Raphlet.”
Helio was momentarily lost in thought, reciting Yuriel’s age.
“The same age as Raphlet…Were you born in the Mogris Grand Duchy as well?”
“I don’t have any memory of where I was born, but most likely?”
Yuriel, who had been watching Raphlet’s back the entire time, turned her head. She had to shift her gaze upwards as Helio’s horse was much bigger than her own.
As sunlight leaked through the trees and over his dark blond hair, Helio looked like an angel who had come down to save mankind.
Yuriel squinted her eyes as she looked up at the unrealistically beautiful man. If only he didn’t loathe Raphlet, she was sure they could have gotten along well.
Despite being the victim of torture on top of a dramatic first meeting, Yuriel didn’t hate Helio. Rather, she had a favorable impression of him, though she couldn’t explain why.
But it definitely wasn’t because of his appearance. In fact, rather than a saccharine appearance like Helio’s, Yuriel preferred a stoic face like Raphlet’s.
The inexplicably favorable impression came from his overall image. For example, the air about him.
She even had a strange experience back when they had been dealing with monsters rushing the train; her fear had vanished when she saw the figure of his back. The strange feeling had also contributed to her taking the gun without hesitation and even wearing multiple bombs around her neck.
Her determination to make sure one of Raphlet’s colleagues wouldn’t get hurt also played a big part.
Though she didn’t tell Helio, that’s how Yuriel felt.
Helio shot Yuriel a slight smile and continued in a low voice. “His skills aren’t the only reason he was able to become the First Division Commander after only 7 years.”
Of course, that didn’t mean his skills weren’t good, as Raphlet was quite talented.
“If it wasn’t for the Book of Prophecies, he most likely wouldn’t have been able to take the position of First Division Commander at such a young age,” Helio added. His voice was full of detest, and Yuriel gave him a side-glance.
“Book of Prophecies?” she asked, eyes sparkling like she had heard an interesting story.
“I can’t share any details as it’s not something that’s open to civilians.”
Yuriel’s face crumpled dramatically.
At the sight of her sullen face, Helio burst into pleasant laughter. It was loud enough to cause the knights around them to turn and stare at them.
“If you’re curious, you can join the order. Though you can only join if your ability is real,” Helio said.
“It is real.”
“Yes, yes. I’m looking forward to it,” he drawled.
Feeling strangely comfortable, Yuriel and Helio continued their conversation, throwing sarcastic remarks at each other.
The maid who worshipped Raphlet and the man who despised him.
They shouldn’t have gotten along, but for some reason, Yuriel felt more comfortable as their conversation continued.
Raphlet, who was riding on ahead at the front, cast a glance at the two who were talking excitedly amongst themselves.
Yuriel was leaning towards Helio, and the corners of her mouth were raised. The same was true for Helio, as his usually straight posture was slightly tilted towards Yuriel.
Appearance-wise, they looked quite good together. A woman with long, flaxen hair and a man with blond hair. In addition, their personalities were also probably well-matched.
A woman who approached everyone with a lively, unhesitant manner, and a man who was rather friendly to anyone–as long as they were not Raphlet.
The knight with an elegant and gentleman-like appearance stretched out his hand towards the maid’s hair. Without swaying even a little on top of the shaking horse, he took the leaf off her head with a mischievous look.
Helio dangled the leaf in front of Yuriel’s face, commenting on how it was a similar color to her eyes.
Yuriel stared at the fluttering leaf in front of her. Her big, green eyes blinked before creasing softly as she smiled.
Her carefree face held a smile as she mumbled her thanks.
It was like a scene right out of a romance novel.
The veins on the back of Raphlet’s hands bulged as he observed the sight.
The horse stopped with a loud neigh as soon as he roughly pulled on the reins. When the horse raised its front two feet high in the air and hit the ground, everyone’s eyes turned to Raphlet.
“We’ll make our temporary shelter here,” he said in a monotone voice. Raphlet’s gaze then shifted to Yuriel.
He, who had not spoken to her even once after she was confirmed to join the subjugation, called for her.
Yuriel, who had been in the middle of a conversation with Helio, jumped off her horse without even saying goodbye and ran to Raphlet.
Staring at the knights who were setting up the barrack tents alongside Raphlet, Yuriel was in awe.
Every time they moved, she could see the makeshift building being built well over the height of the knights. It showed that they had plenty of experience building these temporary barracks.
Temporary lamp posts embedded with magic stones were put up between tents. When everything was complete, rather than a camp for subjugation purposes, it looked more like a summer resort created by laid-back aristocrats to enjoy a night out.
The temporary lanterns had been requested by Yuriel.
She had asked them to make it easy for monsters to notice, like bait.
“Are you sure you’re all right?” Raphlet asked Yuriel, who was holding a medicine bottle in her hand while staring at the finished tents.
It was a bottle containing sleeping pills that were temporarily prescribed to help her sleep before the monsters came.
“Because they’re not good dreams.”
There was concern infused in his rigid tone. Raphlet was well aware of Yuriel’s dreams.
There was no way he wouldn’t know, as he was the one who comforted Yuriel in his arms every time she trembled in fear after waking up from her dreams of being attacked by monsters.
Shortly after being saved by Raphlet, Yuriel had also slept many times in Raphlet’s room while avoiding the eyes of the grand ducal couple. She would hide in Raphlet’s wardrobe and run into his arms once he opened the door after all the servants left the room.
Raphlet would happily welcome and hold Yuriel in his arms and head for the bed.
Because they were about the same height back then, when Raphlet wrapped his arms around her waist to carry her, Yuriel’s toes would drag gently against the floor. Whenever that happened, Yuriel would hug Raphlet’s neck and bend her knees.
The wide bed had more than enough room for two children to lie down with their arms completely spread out. Yet they always laid in the middle of the bed, clinging to each other.
Raphlet would hold Yuriel in his arms as she clung to him and slept.
That was when the two were about 10 years old.
It had already been more than a decade since then.
Yuriel was now an adult and knew she couldn’t snuggle into Raphlet’s bed anymore.
Come to think of it, it was most likely that Raphlet already knew that Yuriel shouldn’t be in his bed back then.
The children of aristocrats received sex education early, as engagements were often set at a young age, so perhaps Raphlet was already fully aware.
Nevertheless, Raphlet had accepted Yuriel every night.
For Yuriel, who would be trembling in fear due to her dreams, he always made sure to keep the candle beside the bed from going out all night, and swept her back calmly.
Rubbing the medicine bottle, Yuriel raised her head.
If I were to be held in Raphlet’s arms now, my feet would no longer drag along the ground like they did in the past.
Yuriel thought so while staring at the figure of the man who was now well over her height.
But I don’t think I can be held by him anymore.
“I’m all right.”
For her, there was now something even more frightening than being torn apart and trampled by monsters in her dream.
The scariest thing for Yuriel was to hear that Raphlet received injuries without being able to see him.
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