Truth is, it was only her they remembered - Chapter 5
「You can call me Dale.」
「Mr. Dale, the priest.」
「Yes, Ms. Knight Clarence Holton.」
Clarence dared to speak what was on her mind. She dared to speak the guilt that’s been creeping inside her.
「I have sinned.」
Dale didn’t need to look at her face by hearing her trembling voice and troubled breathing alone, Dale could tell that she was in so much pain. For how long has she kept it in, he wanted to ask.
「I killed someone.」
She said without adding further excuses to her sins. She was brave to admit that she did it for her personal gain.
「 I accepted the duty of a knight as well as the payment it offers to fill my stomach. 」
Killing someone is a knight’s duty, it might be different from killing someone with ill intentions, but it was still the same. Both still killed a living person. Both are still a crime that they should not have committed.
「I’m a sinner, I should·······.」
‘I am not worthy to like anything’ she wanted to say, and Dale was quick to understand. She was not a God to punish them for their sins. She was just a mere human like them. She doesn’t have any right to decide whether the person in front of her deserves to die or rather die with her very own hands. What she did puts great weight on her being. It troubles her heart and mind. It was a crime that Clarence Holton could not forgive even if it was, herself.
It will always leave a scar on her heart, no matter how much she tries to forget it. Her moral compass will still hunt her down. So Dale answered her.
「Ms. Knight Holton, I too know you have sinned.」
Dale wanted to say it as honestly as he could. He doesn’t want to hurt her with empty words to appease her or to lie that her sins could be easily forgiven.
「But at least allow yourself to share your burden with us. It was not just you alone. It was all of us.」
She was grateful that the priest was generous enough to share her burden, but for Clarence, her sins are her own.
Clarence was trying her best to come up with the right answer to speak, but Kenneth Owen’s voice interrupted them.
「Who was the guard on duty? Why is he too noisy?」
「Wizard of the tower, Mr. Kenneth, please tone your voice down.」
Dale stops him, but Kenneth was too distracted to mutter an answer.
Kenneth sat on the opposite side of Clarence.
Though Kenneth’s question was short, Clarence was quick to understand and showed him a scar on her neck. The injury he was talking about was treated by him a long time ago.
「Haven’t I told you to rest for a while?」
「 I have rested.」
Kenneth’s brows furrowed with her short answer. Her injury that day was far too serious. It could even lead to losing her life. Luckily, Kenneth was there to help her, he cast a spell on Clarence to heal her wounds.
「A patient like you will be in great danger if you won’t listen!」
「It’s not a compliment, you fool!」
「But still thank you.」
Kenneth frowned for a moment and took off his robes that were covering his body.
He muttered something, and soon Clarence’s body was lifted in the air. He muttered something again to put Clarence back to where she was seated, but this time with Kenneth’s warm fuzzy robes replaced as the ground.
「This is something you should say thank you for 」
「Thank you. But your robes will get dirty ······.」
「 Nonsense. I only washed the hem of that robe once. Just get it back to my quarters tomorrow. For sure, the little fellows at the tower would be glad to see you too.」
Clarence is well aware of Kenneth’s stubbornness the same way that Kenneth is too with Clarence. Contrary to the belief that when two hard-headed persons meet, they will always fight, the two are quite close. The reason too is because they don’t try to persuade each other.
She enjoyed the walk while reminiscing about the past. Soon after that, she arrives in a nearby village. Clarence saw a large stall as her feet stopped at the entrance. An old aged woman greeted her and showed Clarence her handmade handkerchiefs. Clarence took a look at it for a moment then proceeded to buy her goods.
Now that her brother is a full-grown man, having a decent looking handkerchief may seem necessary. Oh, come to think of it, Clarence remembered that most people who came out from the capital brought gifts to their brother and relatives, so she decided to buy one for them too. For sure, they will treat her warmly as it has been a while since they last met.
Clarence has been sending a part of her monthly salary to them for a long time. That amount was considered big to those who live in the provinces, so probably they are grateful to her.
Maybe they were too grateful they will have a feast for her as she works hard. What should she do? Clarence’s cheeks blushed a little at that thought.
Clarence bought the most healthy-looking horses and a saddle to accompany her in her journey. Her heartbeats faster as the thought of them crosses in her head. She wanted to be where her family is. She wanted to be with them as soon as she could.
* * *
Clarence’s hometown was adjacent to the country’s border. Light damages are only visible to the area as it was on the opposite side of where the war took place.
Abyss is a lively city connecting Korea to other countries. Every day, several merchants would visit the place. Every day new faces would appear and it was also because of that she was able to meet her former mentor and be able to eat a proper meal each day.
The travel time between the capital and the Abyss is roughly three days and two nights. For a knight like her, it would only take two days. She could switch horses to villages if she likes, but Clarence arrived at Abyss for five days.
She’s keeping in mind the Duke’s order to eat three meals a day and sleep for at least eight hours. It’s not exactly an order, but Clarence finds herself following it at the bottom of her heart.
There were some good things too, on that five-day journey. Clarence was able to read the book she bought at the capital when she’s resting on the inns. She was able to buy gifts too when she stopped by in the villages. A porcelain vase, a fine cloth made of silk, an embroidered yarn-dyed in various colors, and a lot more these were the gifts she bought. The thought of seeing her family happy with the presents is making Clarence smile. And that is also how she arrived at the Abyss filled with goods.
* * *
The Abyss is different from what she remembered. The place has gone quieter than usual. Passing the country’s borders has become tricky as well, so merchants could not pass by.
When Clarence was a kid, the place was in chaos. A lot of things are happening at once, and carriages are going in and out of the city, so a number of one or two children are run over. The possibility of death is low, though.
When she stops by a familiar building, Clarence concludes that she is really in Abyss now. She took a small note out of her arms and read the address written on the letter. A letter written by her family, inside it was a note asking her to visit them when she has time. It is a shame that Clarence only knew where to send the money but never knew how it looks. But even so, the thought that she’s finally back is making Clarence happy.
‘ Which address is this?’ she mumbled to herself.
Unlike the capital, where commercial districts are maintained, In Abyss, the freezing snow is covering the streets. It would not be easy for her to find the address, so she decided to get some help. She noticed a small bookstore that held imported books. She decided it would be nice to ask for help there.
The smell of old books infiltrates her senses when she opens the door. The interior of the place is not the only thing different from the one she saw at the capital. It reminds her more of the arm’s dealer as she saw the books stacked up on the desk. The contents of the books on the shelves are unorganized too.
Inside the store was an old-aged man, whose age is similar to a grandfather sleeping, his long pants rolled up to his knees.
‘ Seems I am in the wrong place. ‘ Clarence thought. She didn’t want to disturb the old man’s rest, so she carefully turned her body and ready herself to leave, but suddenly stopped when she heard a loud thud somewhere.
“Are you a customer?”
She was startled when she heard a yawn behind her. She looks back at the old man and looks at his half awoken eyes.
” No, no, sir!”
“A thief, then?”
“Certainly not, I just want to ask how to go to this place.”
The old man clicked his tongue then looked at her.
” Buy one. I’ll show you the way. If we are in the capital, I will immediately report you to authorities, so consider yourself lucky. And also, the sales have not been pretty good. “
” If you show me the right way, I’ll come back here and buy two books.”
” How can I trust you?”
” I’ll leave then.”
The old man groaned at Clarence’s short answer. It seems he doesn’t want his long-awaited customer to go, or maybe he just misses talking to someone. It reminds Clarence of the Duke. His hand slowly approaches Clarence. He reached out his hand at her, asking her to give her the address.
“Let’s see, let me see.”
The old man’s wrinkled hands pointed at the faint letters one by one. He stops for a moment, wondering where the place could be.
” Is this your house?”
” Something like that.”
” You lived in a good house. You must buy three books for me then.”
The old man chuckled and gave her a detailed explanation of where the house could be. The old man even gave her a heartwarming goodbye.
” Take a good rest at home today, then come back here tomorrow to buy some books.”
Clarence is interested in books anyway, so she didn’t hate his suggestion.
” Alright. I will visit you here tomorrow.”
Maybe because the old man is a bookstore owner too, that’s why his descriptions are very vivid and could easily be understood. Just by following his instructions, Clarence finds her way to the address. Anger fills in her chest as her eyes fall to a two-story house built by wood.
When Clarence left this town, her relatives already had a decent house. Of course, her aunt and uncle had contributed to the construction of this house somehow, but Clarence is also sure that most of it was from the salary she sent to them.
When they were young, the trees are their roofed, and the sand was their blankets. Somehow, the thought of her younger brother finally living in a house like this lessens her anger.
Translator Notes :
Kenneth is like your naggy boyfriend but still cares for you right after. I’m slowly taking a liking to him. But then it’s still too early to take a pick lol let’s give the other three male leads a chance. Thank you for reading.
Centinni is translating this novel.
You can donate through Ko-fi (from the main page). Extra chapter(s) will be released when 6$ per chapter has been slowly accumulated on Ko-fi and please mention the novel you are supporting.