The Gap Between You and Me - Chapter 63
While running frantically, Herietta desperately searched for a place to hide around. She had to live. She had to survive somehow and return to her hometown of Philioche. They’ll be waiting for me, I have to live.
“You little rat!”
Suddenly, the man who followed Herietta grabbed her hair. He threw her to the floor with a strong force. Crack. Her ankle was bent at an odd angle, and excruciating pain came rushing in. A moan escaped between her lips.
“Damn bitch. You tried to kill me, how dare you!”
The man rolled his eyes and shouted. He had a pretty deep cut on his forehead.
Herietta crawled on the floor, trying to run away from him. But he never made the same mistake twice. He slashed through her back relentlessly with the sword. Her eyes gleamed white.
More pain than she could have imagined came. It was as if the cut was burning. Hot blood gushed from her torn back and wet her clothes.
Herietta couldn’t even move properly and grunted. It was painful to breathe and move.
The man looked down at her, and once again wiped the blood flowing down his forehead with the sleeve of his robe. Then, he turned her over with a rough hand and made her look at him. A long groan escaped between her lips, but he didn’t care.
He threw away the sword, climbed on top of her, and began to strangle her with both hands.
Her airway was completely blocked under his hand. She raised her hands to somehow escape from his grasp and scratched his hand, but he didn’t budge.
Herietta’s body, which had been tormented by the suffering, began to lose strength gradually. Her vision was blurred, and her arms and legs tingled. The severe pain was gone and intense tiredness came over her.
“See you later in the other world.”
The man who foresaw that she would soon be out of breath whispered.
But at that moment, a large figure appeared behind the man’s back. Herietta, who was looking up at the man’s maddened face, looked beyond his back. The person’s face and clothes were hard to see because of her blurred vision.
The man sensed something was strange and turned his head to look behind him. At the same time, something flashing was swung at him, and his neck was separated from his body. His head rolled over the floor like a fruit that had fallen from a tree. Red blood gushed like a fountain from his body, which had lost his head.
Herietta saw the man’s blood spewing out of the sky. The strong smell of blood, not unknown to whom it belonged, was carried in the wind.
And she lost consciousness.
* * *
Flap, flap. The crows that were sitting on the tree suddenly flew into the sky in unison for no reason. Caw, caw. They flew away and wept bitterly.
Edwin glanced upwards. The blue sky was full of black birds.
There is an old saying that the crow is a messenger of the gods who brings death. Is that why? Maybe it was because of the mood, but somehow, something ominous seemed to happen sooner or later.
‘Nothing will happen in Philioche.’
There was only one thing Edwin was worried about at this moment.
‘However, I am still in a place where I cannot see you, so my heart is still not relieved.’
Herietta’s face was pictured in his mind. She looked at him and smiled innocently.
He wanted to get back to her as soon as possible. He expected the times he was not by her side would not be easy, but he didn’t expect it to be this hard.
He suddenly wondered. Does she miss him as much as he misses Herietta? Knowing he shouldn’t wish for anything, it was getting harder and harder to control himself.
Feeling frustrated, he wiped his face dry. It feels like he was facing a problem that he cannot find an answer to. All he had to do was take Hugo and return to Philioche.
Squeak. A large door opened. Edwin hurriedly straightened his posture.
“You’re here to find Hugo Mackenzie?”
A young knight stepped out through the open door and asked. He was wearing the clothes of the Demner Knights. Is he a new recruit? It was a knight Edwin had never seen.
“Yes. As the document states, his assignment here was the result of misunderstanding and error.”
Edwin was polite to the knight and explained. The knight nodded.
“Yes. From what it said on the paperwork, Hugo McKenzie was not obligated to do military service.”
“Then, I look forward to your cooperation. Please take action so that Hugo can return home safely.”
“I wish I could do that too.”
The knight said with a puzzled expression on his face.
“You came too late. It would have been better if you had come a few days earlier.”
The knight shook his head and said. It sounded like he was lamenting something deeply. Edwin’s face stiffened.
“That is… What are you talking about?”
Edwin asked slowly. The ominous energy he had been trying to shake off came back in waves.
The knight came up to him and returned the documents he was holding in his hand.
“There was a great battle here the day before yesterday. The Kustans, who had been quiet for a while, suddenly attacked. We suffered a great loss as a result.”
He looked straight into Edwin’s eyes, which had hardened on the spot. Then he took a deep breath.
“Hugo McKenzie was also involved in that battle.”
* * *
Rumble, rumble. Rough movements like the ground shaking followed one after another. Feeling her body shake, Herietta came to her senses for a moment. Her mind was hazy as if she were suffering from a fever.
‘Where am I? Am I already dead?’
She can’t remember the last thing she saw before losing consciousness, except that she just ran away with all her will to survive and was eventually caught by the man who came to kill her.
In time, Herrietta told herself that she had not died. Her whole body ached as if she had been severely beaten, and her back and ankles were burning as if it were on fire. If she did go to heaven, then she couldn’t have felt the pain so realistically if she was already dead.
Herietta tried to open her eyes, but it seemed that she was so exhausted that she had no strength left to even lift her eyelids. Only a faint light could be seen through her forcibly opened eyelids.
“Ah. Are you awake?”
Someone spoke to Herietta. It was a low-pitched, male voice. She trembled in surprise. Maybe he was the masked man who tried to kill her. She became so afraid that it felt like she was suffocating every time she took a breath.
“What is wrong with her of a sudden? Has her condition gotten worse than before?”
“I think she’s having a nightmare. She almost just died and came back to life, so maybe she’s still having a nightmare.”
The man was not alone. There was another woman by his side. Perhaps she was old enough, she could feel the traces of the years in the voice of the woman who answered.
“It’s a hallucination…”
At the woman’s words, the man seemed to be in deep thought.
Herietta moved her eyes to see the owner of the voice, but no matter how hard she tried, she could only see a couple of blurry imprints, and couldn’t see any more detail. Her vision was fuzzy and she was feeling dizzy.
“What are the chances that this woman will survive?”
“Do you want to save this woman?”
“She has to live. She is the only witness who survived the chaos.”
Said the man firmly. Herietta’s eyelids trembled as she heard his words.
She is going to survive.
No matter what happens, she must survive…
Herietta moved her parched lips. Rather than a voice, it sounded more like a leaking wind.
“What is she saying?”
The man who noticed Herietta’s efforts asked. She moved her eyes and looked in the direction the male was supposed to be.
He repeated what she said. To him, it sounded as if it was an unfamiliar word he had never heard.
“Go… to… Phili… oche. To… that… person.”
Herietta gasped at the burning heat. Contrary to her longing heart, her body did not follow.
‘He would be waiting. He must be waiting for me to come back.’
The face of the one she longed for flashed before her eyes. When she reached out her hand, he was so close that it seemed like she was able to touch him. Yet he could not be reached like a mirage in the desert. Tears streamed down from the corners of her eyes.
Herietta lost consciousness again.