The Regressed Son of a Duke is an Assassin chapter 210

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The Regressed Son of a Duke is an Assassin

Chapter 210. The Princess and the Assassin (4)

-Clang!

The fierce vibration running along the edge of the blade jolted my wrist harshly. It was odd, really—this kind of sound wasn’t typical when a sword sliced into human flesh. Ceyram’s sword was not buried into the soft flesh of Princess Arin, but was stuck against the barren stone floor.

That’s right.

I couldn’t do it.

Not that I didn’t want to—it was that I couldn’t.

Under normal circumstances, I would have calmed my mind and made sure to aim at my target carefully, ensuring that I wouldn’t miss again. But I just couldn’t do it. My mind and body were refusing to kill her.

“……”

Swear words too crass to be spoken out loud jumbled together in my mind. Were they the result of some sympathetic feelings that had decided to appear now, of all times? But caring, affection—those were things that hadn’t existed in someone like me.

Not only did I lack someone to give such sentiment to, but there was also no situation where those feelings might arise. Maybe that’s why I was never treated like a person. Sure, that must have been the way it was in my past life.

However, in this current life, it seemed that annoying emotion called affection had managed to develop in me, sadly enough. Perhaps it had been there for quite some time, but I had been denying its existence.

Now, I’ve come to recognize it because of this foolish princess.

“How do you plan on saving me?”

Instead of my immobile hand, a question escaped my lips without my conscious intent. The princess, slightly perplexed, carefully opened her mouth.

“I’ve been thinking. Is the mist that obscures the light truly something evil…”

Doubt.

It’s the very heart of what drives people to initiate any action. Her desire to save me originated from such doubt.

“The person you have shown me, at least the parts I’ve seen—though I’m sure there’s much more that I haven’t—I still don’t think you’re a bad person. At least to me, you were a mist that definitely played a helpful role.”

I couldn’t even muster up the term ‘foolish’ anymore.

That’s right, if you had seen my true nature from the start, you wouldn’t have entertained such trifling thoughts. You are able to misunderstand because you don’t know everything about me. I suppose I can concede that much.

But now? Don’t you know who I really am? A merciless assassin who not only slaughters without hesitating but also feels no remorse whatsoever.

“You’re wise and capable. Someone decidedly different from a foolish person like me. So, I thought there must be a reason why you do these things. What path are you walking down? What lies at the end of this path…”

The princess’s breath became rougher as she spoke.

“Who was it that said that? If you want to see the true nature of something, give it power. It will naturally reveal its inherent character.”

It wasn’t incorrect.

Especially for humans.

Humans, born with inherent frailty, often reveal their true nature once they possess power. Is that why you’ve been spreading false edicts around the empire? To understand the essence of what I am a part of, this ‘mist’?

“Do you wish to know my true nature?”

Instead of replying, the princess simply nodded slightly.

“My true nature is exactly what the princess sees before her now.”

The princess furrowed her brows, indicating her disagreement.

“What you seek in the world, princess, has no need for someone like me! I am the sort that should be erased from this world!”

Overwhelmed by emotion, my voice rose without restraint.

The real me that hasn’t changed since our first meeting on the battlefield until now. You’re an existence that neither understands me nor has any need to.

“What world do you desire?”

The princess asked again, staring at me.

“Is there no place for me in the world you wish for?”

I found myself as mute as if I had swallowed honey, unable to say a word.

It wasn’t that I was contemplating what to say; rather, I simply had nothing to tell her.

“……!”

Suddenly, a chilling intent at my back made me spin around, sword at the ready.

-Clash!

“Did you really have to do it this way!”

A fierce look, tangled with anger and hatred, was shouting at me.

Arin’s knight, Resmus Klein, was drenched as though she had been soaked in blood. Her entire body streaked with red as if she had been splattered in gore. Perhaps this is due to her being called the empire’s greatest sword in spirit? Though her life wasn’t threatened, she was clearly in places that would cause her unbearable pain if she moved even slightly.

I can assure you, she’s feeling pain worse than if dozens of swords were thrust into her body.

And yet she had endured all this and now rushed here, meaning to stop me.

Before I knew it, knights from the domain and even common people who had heard the commotion began to gather around.

“What on earth were you trying to do to the—”

Just as Resmus was about to mention the princess, I silenced her instantly, gripping her so tightly she could barely make a sound other than a groan.

“Kugh!”

Even so, Resmus didn’t look away from me but held her glare of fury. I looked back at her impassively and, with my free hand, slipped off my cloak.

-Whoosh

The cloak I had removed gently settled onto the princess who lay on the ground. In a moment, the princess’s body and face were fully shielded from people’s gaze by my cloak.

As I let go of Resmus, I stepped back from the scene.

“……”

Resmus, gasping for breath, immediately rushed over to the princess.

“Prin-… Are you alright!”

Wrapped in the cloak, the princess struggled to rise and looked at me with a puzzled expression. Ignoring her gaze, I left the area.

“Why… why spare me?”

Her question, which seemed almost a whisper, reached me carried by the cold night breeze.

Of course, I had no intention of answering.

Even if I did want to, I couldn’t say anything to her at that moment.

No matter what I might explain, it would only give her a false hope.

* * *

“Run!”

The knights, urgently armed to the teeth, were dashing toward the scene in the middle of the night, grave expressions on each of their faces.

“There seems to be some trouble in the streets.”

Hastia and Garnian, who had exited the inn, looked puzzled at the sight of the sudden appearance of knights but naturally followed them to see the commotion.

Then at a certain spot in the street…

Among the gathered crowd and knights keeping order, there were two women being supported, both obviously not in normal conditions.

‘……!’

The eyes of Hastia and Garnian widened in recognition.

Within the crowd, they saw two women clearly in distress, and both women were familiar. Princess Arin of the Ushif Empire and her guardian knight, Resmus, who had come to visit them just a few hours ago.

Resmus, in particular, was in a severe condition. She was drenched in blood to the extent it was doubtful if she could even stand, propping up the princess who was…

‘Is that?’

Something all too familiar to Hastia was wrapped around the princess’s body.

Unmistakably, it was a cloak owned by someone who had once treated it almost as a part of their body, never removed. It was Sian’s cloak.

Realizing this, Hastia quickly pulled out the Soul Stone.

The stone was now emitting a much stronger aura than before, one that felt ominously powerful. Drawn to the stone’s energy, Hastia instinctively turned and headed in a different direction.

“Hastia?!”

Garnian followed her, bemused.

Passing through the streets and houses into a quiet part of the forest, they arrived…

-Trickle, trickle

Following a clear water sound, they came upon a certain man.

“Who is that man?”

To Hastia, he was someone very familiar.

‘Sian?’

Sian sat there, watching the stream flowing before him, his back turned to them. Even though he must have sensed their presence, he didn’t look back.

Hastia felt both glad to see him and perplexed by his unresponsiveness.

‘Garnian, could you please wait here a moment?’

“Yes? But…”

Garnian was hesitant, noting Sian’s turned back with unease.

“That man… He seems to be in an extremely unsettled state compared to before. He might pose a danger to Hastia—”

‘Don’t worry. I’m approaching him to alleviate that anxiety.’

With an assuring look, Hastia slowly neared Sian, smiling gently.

‘It’s good to see you again, Sian.’

She reached out with a telepathic greeting, but no reply came.

Hastia leaned forward to take a closer look at his face.

“……”

His eyes were tightly closed, and his mouth shut—as if asleep while sitting.

Caught off guard by his unexpected condition, she was considering how to proceed when suddenly…

-Snap

Sian’s eyes flew open.

Startled, Hastia recoiled, but Sian grabbed her by the throat, refusing her any escape.

“Hastia!”

Garnian, alarmed, started to rush over, but…

‘Stop, Garnian!’

She quickly sent a telepathic message to halt his advance.

“Haah…”

Sian, breathing heavily, looked at her anxiously.

Hastia thought to herself that Sian was in a very unstable state. He didn’t even realize she was approaching until she was right next to him and started telepathic communication.

He then violently reacted, mistaking her for a threatening presence.

Hastia calmly took his hand to reassure him, and after a moment, Sian loosened his grip on her neck.

“What are you?”

‘It’s Hastia. Have you forgotten my name already?’

“That’s not what I’m asking! Why are you here?!”

‘I was returning to Fruina with my clanmates when night fell, and we decided to stay here for the evening.’

Hastia explained without losing her smile.

‘The Soul Stone you returned to me resonated quite strongly. I guessed you must be nearby. So I came to look for you.’

Sian could only scoff in disbelief.

He turned his head away, facing the endlessly flowing stream.

‘Did something unpleasant happen?’

“Don’t worry about it.”

‘How can I not care? How can I, when the person who saved me wears such a sad expression? Even though my clan lives longer than humans, we hold on to the bonds and affection we form until death.’

The corners of Sian’s lips twitched, but his face remained troubled.

‘Earlier today, a member of this country’s royal family, Princess Arin, sought us out.’

Sian’s gaze returned to her once again.

“What for?”

‘She wanted to see the ancient records preserved by our clan. We wanted to oblige, but unfortunately, it was not something we could permit, so we had to decline.’

Hastia wanted to ask about the princess’s surprise at the Soul Stone and why she had Sian’s cloak, but the current circumstances stopped her from prying further.

‘Do you have any sort of relationship with her?’

Instead, she asked a single question that would answer all her queries.

“……”

‘If it’s difficult to talk about, you don’t have to. They say that just having someone beside you during the hardest times can be the greatest comfort.’

“……”

‘You don’t need to speak out loud. You can just think to yourself, or you can just stay silent. I’ll be right next to you. Because there is nothing sadder than being alone when you are suffering.’

Sian didn’t respond till the end.

Yet he did not reject Hastia’s offer to stay by his side.

And so, without another word or action,

Hastia simply filled the space beside Sian.

As if to prove that it was enough on its own,

Sian could feel the multitude of negative emotions that had been choking his heart,

Slowly melting away.

(To be continued)

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