The Gap Between You and Me - Chapter 45
Herietta’s eyes widened at his answer. If it was Bangola village, then it was the village located closest to the northern border. It was also the place where the defenders guarding the northern border were stationed.
To put it simply, Hugo was being dragged to the place where the actual battle was taking place. Herietta’s lips trembled in shock.
“Don’t worry, sister. I’ll be fine. If I go to Bangola, won’t I have a chance to make a big mark in history?”
Hugo said with a forced smile.
“I will do my best to dedicate my whole body so that our mother, father, and you can be proud of me. The name Mackenzie will be widely known, then I…”
Hugo’s voice trembled as he continued to speak.
“Then I will return to this place, back to Philioche…”
In the end, Hugo couldn’t speak any more. His brave front collapsed as his lips trembled and he looked down.
His little shoulders trembled. He clenched his fists so tight that his bones were almost showing. The brown hair that ran down to his eyes swayed as he shook.
He was sobbing in silence.
“I am afraid, sister.”
Hugo confessed in a sobbing voice.
“I am not as courageous as you, nor am I as ambitious as you are. I’m just a little coward. Don’t you know me well?”
Herietta felt like her heart would be ripped apart by Hugo’s helpless appearance. He was her younger brother who behaved like a grown-up and spoke with an old-fashioned tone that was not appropriate for his age, and always had a dignified posture. But the heart he showed her was very soft and young.
Not knowing what to say, Herrietta reached out and took Hugo’s clenched fists. His hands were much smaller than those of an adult male’s.
“Sister, I want to live.”
“I don’t want to die.”
Drip. Hugo’s tears fell on the back of Herietta’s hand.
* * *
After leaving Hugo’s room, Herietta took a few deep breaths and cleared her throat. Sob. It felt like the tears she had been holding back were about to fall.
How can life be so harsh?
However, she could not be caught crying by her troubled brother. She had to pretend to be determined and strong in front of him until the very end.
She couldn’t stand it any longer, and she hurriedly ran down the hallway and ran to her room.
While waiting for Herietta to return from Hugo’s room, Edwin noticed that something was wrong. He called out her name, but she didn’t stop. He hurried after her.
* * *
“It has to be stopped somehow.”
Herietta murmured as she buried her face in her hands.
“I can’t let Hugo go there. It’s a battlefield where hundreds of people die every day. He is still too young to be sent to such a place.”
Herietta was genuinely concerned for her brother’s well-being. It was too much. He had been following her like a duckling since he was little, but Hugo certainly had a personality closer to a scholar than a warrior. If he had to go to the battlefield for a month, it was clear that he would not last more than a week.
“How could there be no way?”
Herietta raised her head and looked at Edwin. Her face, which was wet with her tears, was a mess.
“The king’s order…”
The king’s orders are absolute. Edwin, who was about to say that like a puppet, shut his mouth. He couldn’t finish his sentence when he looked at Herietta who was trembling in fear. It was hard for him to say anything hastily because she looked like she would disappear with a single stroke.
His heart was as heavy as cotton in water.
“I heard that the Kustans are very ferocious. Even though they are known for not taking unnecessary prisoners…”
“Hugo won’t be able to stand a chance against them. He will die at their hands.”
“The Demner Knights defending the outskirts are very good knights.”
Edwin said while consoling Herrietta.
“With them, Master Hugo will be safe too.”
“No, Edwin. He won’t.”
Herietta helplessly shook her head.
“Although he carries the title of successor, no one has ever heard of the surname ‘Mackenzie’. Nobles without power and money are no different from commoners. Rather, they are in a worse situation than the wealthy commoners. They won’t care about Hugo.”
It was overly pessimistic, but on the other hand, it was a reasonable statement that reflected reality. Therefore, Edwin could not readily refute her words.
No one is relaxed enough to look after Hugo when he arrives in Bangola. He would probably have to get through those difficult times alone and survive.
Edwin’s expression darkened.
It was impossible for Hugo, who was only twelve years old, and had never really mastered martial arts, to survive the battlefield. And that fact was something that Edwin, who had once commanded the Demner Knights while guarding the frontier, knew best.
‘What should I do?’
Edwin agonized. If half of his head thought that it was the king’s order, the other half thought that he should come up with a way to help Herietta somehow.
Herietta cried and called for Edwin. She didn’t say a word, but he could tell she was asking for help. He inhaled and exhaled slowly.
“Miss Herietta. The king’s order is absolute. Therefore, no matter how powerful a high-ranking nobleman is, he cannot overturn it. However…”
Edwin paused for a moment. He didn’t know if he would regret it if he uttered the following words. It was not without hesitation about the uncertain future.
But what to do? After all, there was only one answer from the beginning.
“If the king, or the one who will become king, overturns that order himself, that would be a different story.”
* * *
“I would be lying if I said I wasn’t surprised.”
Marquis Macnaught sighed and said.
“I didn’t expect you to come to me like this. Rather, how did you even come here? I haven’t heard of you coming here yet.”
“Viscount Mackenzie is out for a while. Therefore, it wasn’t possible for me to contact the Marquis.”
Edwin explained as he knelt in front of the marquis and bowed.
“Of course, he doesn’t even know that I have left Philioche.”
Hearing Edwin’s quiet remark, the Marquis was startled. At first glance, his words may seem indifferent, but he was openly criticizing his current master.
The Marquis slowly looked at Edwin’s expression. It was not so different from the one he remembered, the one where he couldn’t understand what the young man was thinking. It seemed like something had changed, but it didn’t seem to have changed at all.
The Marquis’ eyes narrowed.
“Did you know? About the conversation between Mackenzie and me?”
“… I just found out about it by accident.”
Edwin nodded and admitted.
“I am not blaming the Marquis. To be honest, it was too sloppy to be monitoring anyone.”
“That’s because I know you’re not going to run away.”
Marquis Macnaught said with a bitter smile.
“If you had tried to run away, you would have run away sooner. If you put your mind to it, who in this kingdom can stop you?”
“You are overestimating me.”
“It’s true, that’s why I said it.”