The young Holy Paladin looked calmed as if he didn’t seem to feel the pain. His eyes just stared fixedly at some corner, as if he was thinking deeply about something.
The body, which had almost no strength, seemed to have finally reached its limit. It softened docilely and leaned quietly in Esmond’s arms. Those fine and long eyelashes twitched softly, and the rippling water reflected in those clear and bright eyes.
The outerwear could no longer be worn. Esmond picked out the part that had not yet been stained with blood, separated out the lining, cut it into cloth strips, and then carefully helped Su Shi wrap up a few of the deeper wounds for him.
Perceiving his movements, Ivan suddenly looked up at him. There was a moment of silence, and then his delicate and pretty brows softened helplessly into a smiling expression. “There’s no need for all the trouble. It doesn’t matter.”
Esmond’s hands shook and he held his breath subconsciously.
“The Holy Paladins use their lives to defend the pope. Since I want to assassinate the pope, of course I have to pay the price with my life. It is very reasonable.”
Su Shi looked at him, smiled lightly, and said calmly: “This is just my destiny. You are a cardinal. You should know that everyone’s destiny is foreordained. You cannot interfere or reverse it because of your own will.”
“I know, but–”
But it will still be sad.
Translations by Vanilla Muse.
Swallowing the unspoken words again, Esmond continued tying the cloth strips in his hand. Then he moistened a clean white cloth, and carefully cleaned the blood on Su Shi’s cheeks.
“Your injuries were caused by me. I should at least be responsible.”
The blood was slowly wiped away, revealing a particularly pale face underneath. He couldn’t help frowning. He carefully stroked that pale face a few times until the clear face was faintly pinkish, and the emptiness in his heart finally gained a fuzzy peacefulness.
“Originally, those people weren’t targeting you. They came to assassinate me under the pope’s orders. That is why their every move was murderous. Because I dragged you in, so it caused you harm…”
“You knew already?!”
Su Shi’s chest tightened. His expression stunned.
It was not necessary for the pope to assassinate a cardinal for no reason, not unless Esmond already knew the truth of the pope’s demonization.
But—he clearly took that ancient book out of the cave, and the other party should no longer have any way to learn about the truth…
“As expected, you know too.”
Looking at Su Shi’s response, Esmond’s eyes finally darkened. The hands hanging down by his side unconsciously tightened into fists.
His chest hesitated for a while before gradually calming down, and suddenly raised his hand to hold the other person’s wrist, but his strength was very careful and gentle.
Su Shi suddenly felt something wrong.
He raised his head subconsciously, and those eyes that were always deep and steady also seemed to be warmed by the water vapor in the air. Those eyes landed on Su Shi and revealed an extremely gentle grief.
“That day, I went to the prison all of a sudden, because while I was conducting a search at your house, I found a top secret assassination order from the pope targeting me.
“I had no way of telling if you never received this order, or if you had defied this order, and thus some unknown things happened that even led to you wanting to assassinate the pope—until that day when I went to see you, you told me that you were innocent, and then I finally determined everything.”
Support the translator. Read this on vmnovels (dot) com
Esmond looked at him in silence, raised his hand to his shoulder, guided the young Holy Paladin to lean into his arms, and brushed a soft kiss to his forehead. “Your ice orioles are very beautiful, Ivan… Thank you.”
Even until the end, the person in front of him still tried to use coldness and indifference as camouflage. He gifted Esmond with the last precious treasure, and led away the pursuers who followed him, so that he could safely escape from the treasure cave.
This was a kindness that was so heavy that it was almost impossible to return.
No matter why the other party wanted to protect him, whether it was because of loyalty, because of justice, or for some other reason—it was thanks to the silent guardianship from this Holy Paladin in front of him that he was able to survive up till now.
Having realized that there might be some terrible misunderstandings in his communication with the other party, Su Shi was blankly taken into Esmond’s arms. He watched the protagonist’s favorability value soaring all the way, and his vision faintly turned black.
“No, Your Excellency, our statuses are unequal…”
Su Shi could almost visibly see that along his path to death there was suddenly a high mountain and board river obstructing his way. Su Shi hurriedly opened his mouth, raised his hand to push away the other, and jumped out of the hot spring while dripping wet.
Translations are by vmnovels [dot] com, if you’re reading this anywhere else, then it was stolen.
Abruptly coming out from the warm spring water, the cold stabbed at him from all sides until his body turned white. He couldn’t help straining as he leaned and knelt down. He curled his body up tightly as he coughed.
Worried that he could catch a cold like this, Esmond got out quickly and arrived at Su Shi’s side in long strides. He picked up a shirt that was still considered serviceable, wanting to wrap Su Shi up first.
Probably because his movement was too big, the weight in his hand suddenly lightened, and a book fell out from the folds of the shirt.
The book had been stained with blood, the cover and spine were mottled, and the paper was slightly yellow.