I Want to Die One Day Before You - Chapter 2.16
The servants and knights poured water and struggled, but they couldn’t lower the momentum of the fire.
The whole place was in chaos. People were screaming to avoid the fire, some were hit and fell, and those who have died were silent.
Rufus held Baroness Inferna tightly. She inhaled a lot of smoke on the way to this place where the fire had not spread yet and was in bad condition.
Was this the way his grandmother would die?
“Brother, what do we do now?” Edel held Sarubias hand tightly and was shivering.
“Whatever it takes.” Breathing out the acrid smoke, Rufus clenched his teeth.
“You have to live.” By saying that, Rufus held Baroness Inferna even harder.
It was then, “Ah, please don’t!”
“Save me!” The screams of those who have gathered because of the fire were heard.
‘Did the fire spread all the way here?’
As Rufus lifted his head, an unexpected scene hit his sight.
There were armed soldiers.
Those men had covered their faces with black cloth. Judging from their appearance, no one would ever think of them as royal knights.
When they swung their swords, people couldn’t even scream before they fell and dyed the ground red. Wherever they went blood splattered.
‘What is happening?’ Rufus couldn’t understand what he saw at first.
A person was killing a person. It was a ridiculous scene.
He had thought only demons killed people, but people killing people… Wasn’t this wrong?
“There he is!”
Someone shouted at Rufus, who was watching the scene of the murder. All the soldiers in black turned their heads toward Rufus as if they had made a promise. They pointed the blade of their swords at him.
“Kill the traitor Rufus!”
All at once, the assailants began to rush toward Rufus.
His body reacted before his head had registered what had happened. At the moment of the first assailant’s brutal blow, Rufus hid his grandmother behind his back and pulled the sword out of his waist.
The sharp friction between two blades colliding pierced his eardrums, at the same time, the tingling vibrations from the sword crawled up his arm. It was an unpleasant, distressing sensation wearing down his body. The familiar memories of the battlefield, which had dominated Rufus’ daily routine for three years, came back to him in a flash.
Rufus kicked the man who had attacked him.
“Ugh!” The man lost his balance and collapsed after an unexpected counter-attack.
Before the mortified assassin was ready for combat again, Rufus stabbed the sword into the unidentified man’s heart with a swift strike. A groan broke out of the stranger’s mouth.
Looking down, Rufus twisted the sword and blood poured from the fatal wound like water. Overwhelmed by the unbearable pain, the figure staggered back in a grotesque motion.
Rufus recklessly followed suit and gathered his sword for a powerful strike that blew away the assailants head in one swift motion. The man’s head rolled into the distance. Even in death he was unable to close his horrified eyes, still staring at Rufus.
It happened in a matter of seconds.
“Oh my God!”
“What a cruel guy!”
The other assassins, who witnessed the terrible death of their colleague, faltered.
“…” Rufus looked at the grotesque crowd that appeared before him without saying a word. They were killing people indiscriminately until just a moment ago.
He was confused when he saw it. Why were people killing people?
But then he realized that he must have been mistaken. Humans couldn’t kill humans. Those men were not human but must be demons. The goddamn monsters must have taken the form of humans to kill innocent people.
Yes, those were monsters, so he had to kill them all.
“Rufus, you bastard! Did you think you could survive even though you covet the throne?”
A man, who seemed to be the leader, glared at him and shouted. He had also covered his face with a mask.
“Don’t even think of running away! Your grave is right here!”
Baroness Inferna, standing behind Rufus, frowned.
“Rufus, did you do something wrong?”
“Not to my knowledge.”
“Really? So they must have misunderstood something and set you up.”
Walking forward, Baroness Inferna picked up the sword of the fallen assassin.
Rufus’ heart sank when he saw it. “… don’t come forward.”
“Oh, look at you talking to your grandmother. I’m not so weak.”
Baroness Inferna glanced at Rufus and raised the sword. “I am still the head of the Inferna family. The head fights for a member of the family.”
Instead of refuting, Rufus tightened the grip on his sword. He was well aware of Baroness Inferna’s stubbornness. No matter how much he begged, she would never put down the sword.
‘Then I’ll have to kill them first, so they can’t even reach her.’
Rufus called out to his lover, who was hiding behind him.
“Cover Edel’s eyes for a while,” Rufus looked up and lifted his sword again, “I’ll finish it soon.”
He wanted to capture her sight one more time, but now he couldn’t take his eyes from the enemies in front of him.
“Kill him!” With a roar, the assassins came at once.
Rufus fainted an attack and tried to cut them sideways. All the assailants were powerful swordsmen. The blades they swung were almost invisible to the eye, but it didn’t matter. He had endured more than this while fighting the demons.
Rufus wielded his sword with animalistic senses. The unpleasant vibrations from the metal made his whole body ache again. At the same time, a flash of light came from his sword. It radiated mana.
“Argh!” A man’s arm hit with mana was paralyzed. Taking advantage of the gap, Rufus aimed precisely at his heart. On the ground, the number of bodies that were severely wounded increased. The sound of metal hitting metal filled the blazing air.
‘Was he this talented?’
The king, watching the situation from behind, broke out in a cold sweat. Rufus was much stronger than he thought.
He had been foolish to say, ‘What great manpower does it take to purge a country bumpkin?’
It was God’s fault that he thought twenty knights were enough. He should have brought an army at least. Explosions resounded incessantly. Rufus’ mana burst out without a break, and with a thud, the king’s last knight collapsed.
“Are you happy to do it all by yourself? You’re such an unfilial guy.” From behind, Rufus could hear the displeased voice of Baroness Inferna.
In the end, she couldn’t swing her sword once. Without saying a word, Rufus shook off the blood from the blade.
‘Like a monster,’ the king thought. Rufus killed twenty knights in a flash. The king had no choice but to blame himself. This guy named Rufus was more of an obstacle than he thought.
Rufus walked towards the masked leader. He wanted to know who wanted him dead.
“Uncover yourself,” Rufus aimed his sword at the king, “Are you a demon? Did you show up before me to avenge the death of the devil Audisus?”
The king did not answer the question. It was a waste of time to answer someone who would die anyway. No matter how strong Rufus was, he is, at best, a baron-born aristocrat. Compared to the mana flowing through the noble blood of the royal family, he was weak.
The king lifted his sword.
With the opponent’s combat readiness, Rufus clasped his sword. At the same time, he fortified his sword with mana.
‘What a fool!’ That was exactly what the king wanted.
As soon as Rufus’ mana-imbedded sword touched the king’s sword, a shockwave shook the earth and Rufus’ vision turned black.
“Rufus!” Sarubia screamed.
His whole body reeled. As his breathing clogged, he lost his balance and slumped on the floor.
‘What happened?’ He tried to breathe; however, he couldn’t take in the air as if his lungs were broken.
‘No!’ Rufus clenched his teeth and stretched his arm to get back the dropped sword.
“Meaningless!” A steel-covered shoe stepped on the back of Rufus’ hand. “Who are you trying to beat with this kind of magic?”
The man, concealed in armour, looked down at Rufus and grinned cynically.
Rufus realized then, ‘Mana recoil…’
The opponent used his mana to push back his attack. And Rufus was utterly overwhelmed by the counter. There was only one person in this country who had such powerful mana except for the queen who had already passed away.
“Your Majesty the King…”
Rufus looked up at the man who stared down at him.
“Well, you’ve figured it out.” The king shrugged.
Rufus clenched his fists.
‘Why are you trying to kill me?’
He was an aristocrat who devoted three years to his country. He killed the devil to protect the people at the risk of his life.
Why, why did he call him a traitor and tried to judge him with a sword like a sinner?
“Your existence is sin.” Saying so coldly, the king lifted his sword.
Baron Inferna and Sarubia shouted at the same time.
As the king aimed for Rufus’ neck, his sword pierced flesh.
Blood dripped down and soaked the earth.
“Ah…” Rufus looked wide-eyed in front of himself.
He saw a sword and a fragile back. Blood red flowers bloomed on Sarubia’s back that has been pierced.
The sudden appearance of a woman standing between him and his prey puzzled the king.
“What’s your deal!?” The king hurriedly pulled out his sword and kicked the woman away.
Her little body was powerless and fluttered to the ground.
“Sarubia!” Beyond his ragged breath, Rufus roared.
“So this is the maid you chose instead of my daughter.” With bitter scorn, the king looked alternately at Rufus and Sarubia.
“Why do you have such eyes, Rufus? Don’t worry. I’ll send you with that girl…”
The king failed to put an end to his words. A head, once attached to the king’s body, rolled over the floor. Out of breath, Baroness Inferna emerged with a sword over the body of the king, who had died and collapsed.
“Don’t touch my grandson, you bastard,” Baroness Inferna scolded, wiping off his nasty blood from her face.
“Sarubia!” Rufus, who was in a daze, hugged the fallen Sarubia. “Get a hold of yourself, Sarubia!”
“Rufus,” painfully opening her eyes, Sarubia looked at Rufus, “I… I did it.”
“Your grandmother was supposed to be stabbed to death… and I crossed her fate.” Sarubia smiled brightly despite her feverish breath.
A blazing fire, a raging crowd, and a frosty-blue blade…
In the future that Sarubia saw, Baroness Inferna was impaled by the king’s sword while trying to protect Rufus. So Sarubia attempted to change that future. She ran before Baroness Inferna could and threw herself. And instead of the baroness, she was stabbed.
“Sarubia, what the hell are you talking about!?”
“Literally, I interfered with your grandmother’s death… Haha, so it was possible to change…”
“Sarubia! What have you done?”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t know I was going to die…” Sarubia’s eyes slowly closed when she said that.
“Sarubia!” Rufus hurriedly clung to Sarubia’s body. Blood was all over his hands. Her injury was fatal. It wasn’t an injury that could be cured by mana.
“Lies!” His hands trembled.
“Didn’t you say you’d be by my side when I died?” Suppressing the unstoppable trembling, Rufus grabbed Sarubia’s hem, “Sarubia, don’t close your eyes. Look at me, look at me!”
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to make you cry…” Sarubia forced a smile.
The man’s head dropped. Large teardrops fell onto Sarubia’s pale skin and were absorbed by her clothes.
“Don’t cry.” Sarubia stroked the man’s cheek with the last bit of energy she had. How could a grown man crying be this cute?1
[(◍＞◡＜◍)♡ Visit me @ www.millenniumsnow.com ♡]
Rufus, you don’t know.
I fell in love with you from the moment I met you.
When I caught you in my eyes, I felt like dozens of butterflies were flying within me.
It was a feeling of hundreds of flowers blooming above my head and fluttering.
My feet followed the wind to you like being on clouds.
But I was too young, and I was so clumsy.
Like a coward, I stole your lips.
I didn’t know what else to do.
I couldn’t figure out how to leave me with you, no matter how much I thought about it with my immature and foolish head.
I was so shy that I couldn’t even ask for your name.
I just laughed like a fool, and I wasn’t confident I could reach you.
I have prayed for you every day since then. May you not get hurt. May you not feel sad. May you not shed tears.
When I woke up, I was thinking of you, all those years.
And when you finally came back safe, when you came to see me again, when you called my name…
I’ve made up my mind since then.
Thanks to you, death seems a little less lonely.
[listen to ‘Saving Grace’ by Kodaline while reading this chapter ♡]
While she could only deliver her mind silently, the man was crying frantically out her name. Sarubia smiled faintly at such a man.
“I… I want to see the fuchsia flowers in your hometown….”
Whispering a wish that cannot be fulfilled, Sarubia has closed her eyes.
– End of Chapter 2 –