Su Shi was jolted awake.
The arm around his back was still firm and strong. Esmond’s warm chest was right next to him, and he could even feel the heart beating.
Don’t know how long the protagonist has already been running for, but his breathing was very rough, falling in ragged huffs against Su Shi’s neck.
Su Shi’s mouth and throat was heavy with the taste of blood, and his entire body was chilled. Su Shi blinked dimly, raised his hand, and caught the cuff of the other party.
“You’re awake? Hold on. We will be safe soon.”
The arm behind Su Shi tightened, as if he was afraid to disturb the young man who was already weak enough. Esmond’s voice was still low and soft.
Su Shi felt a little dizzy. He raised his head to meet Esmond’s eyes, and weakly quirked up the corner of his lips. “What… not setting fire anymore?”
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“It wasn’t easy to get you cleaned up. I don’t want you to get dirty again.”
That hand moved a bit to gently stroke the ends of Su Shi’s hair, pulling the young man even tighter into his protective arms.
Su Shi stalled for a bit before raising his gaze again thoughtfully.
It seemed like they were still being pursued. Su Shi could not see anything behind them, but Esmond’s steps did not stop, not even daring to rest for a short moment.
The jolting was difficult to bear. Su Shi only got to relax for a bit when he was hit again with pain in his chest.
Su Shi wavered between awareness and unconsciousness. In the end, he was unable to hold back a groan. Esmond’s feet paused. His arm tightened up and he hastily apologized. “Sorry, let’s take a break…”
As he said this, he looked behind him again to confirm that he could no longer see any pursuers following them. Then his pace gradually slowed down.
Looking at the quiet and still Holy Paladin in his arms, Esmond’s chest felt a little clogged. He stopped near a riverbank and kneeled on one knee. He supported Su Shi between his arms. “Are you thirsty? Do you want to drink some water?”
Uncontrollable tiredness pulled at Su Shi’s eyelids. He tried his best to blink his eyes open. He nodded his head slightly and curved his eyebrows in a comforting gesture towards Esmond.
Holding the young man steady in his arms, Esmond scooped up some river water with one hand and carefully tipped the liquid into Su Shi’s mouth. He also picked up some water to wipe their faces with.
The cool water diluted the bloody taste in his throat and also sobered Su Shi’s chaotic thoughts a bit. The black mist that originally swam in front of his eyes dissipated a little. He looked at the person in front of him.
Su Shi doubted the protagonist was feeling any better than him. Those people chasing them caused the protagonist to have to run all over the forest.
It was rare for the usually unflustered and unhurried cardinal to be put into a difficult situation like today. Esmond’s complexion was somewhat wan. His breathing was still a bit unsteady, and his chest heaved up and down for air. Several more minor wounds had been added to his body.
“How about you put me down.”
Su Shi whispered softly, trying his best to discern the expression on the other person’s face. “If I rest a bit, I can walk by myself.”
The arms fencing him in suddenly tightened. The unwillingness caused him to exert some force with his arms. After a moment of silence, Esmond spoke in a low voice, “If I let go of you, you’ll go back, correct?”
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“I only have one day of life left. Isn’t it the same no matter where I am…?”
Met with Esmond’s bloodshot eyes, Su Shi smiled softly and shook his head helplessly.
Su Shi’s expression was calm and his gaze was mild, but it made Esmond’s chest tighten uncomfortably. “It’s not the same, Ivan, listen to me–”
After the other person vomited blood and then fell into a coma, Esmond was anxious to the extreme, wanting to find a way to save him, but he was really helpless. He tried to search for anything or anyone that could help, and due to an unexpected turn of events, ended up opening that ancient book.
The book not only recorded the truth that the pope would be possessed by demons in a hundred years; it also recorded many mysteries that have been misunderstood by people.
This included the so-called absolute death brand of the papacy. There was actually a way to escape from the inevitable curse. The prerequisite for it was excessively demanding, and the actualization of it would be challenging, but at least there still existed a nebulous hope.
Esmond looked at him deeply, and then took a deep breath to speak, but suddenly there was a powerful wave of power spreading all around.
The Holy Paladin’s body was already very weak, even such a faint shock caused him to pale considerably, and he lowered his head to cough up a few mouthfuls of blood.
The dark red blood splashed on the blades of green grass, and Esmond’s eyes sank. He raised his hand to hold him, but Su Shi pressed his hand down. “It’s too late.”
As soon as the words fell, several figures in black robes appeared silently from the thick fog.