TC Chapter 43

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When asked to eat what fell on the ground, Jackal shook his head because his pride was hurt.

Karaf frowned.

“That damn thing…….”

He was just doing a good deed, but the horse was very rude. 

Asha spoke quickly making excuses again.

“Sheppy only eats what I give him.”

“Uh, really…….”

He wondered what kind of horse could be so ridiculous.

Karaf was speechless and couldn’t say more than click his tongue.

Meanwhile, Asha took a candy with purple hyacinth petals, with a slightly weak expression. 

Jackal felt sad when he realized that she was thinking of him looking at the flowers.

“Sheppy, say ‘ah’.”

As Asha nuzzled his nose and placed the candy in her palm, Sheppy stuck out his tongue and ate the candy.

Karaf, who was looking at them, felt jealousy boiling inside him again.

He wondered if that was an act of love between lovers. 

At this moment, he is also holding back the desire to put a candy directly into Asha’s mouth, but that damn horse is in front of her. 

As Karaf clenched his fists, he suddenly imagined putting a piece of candy in Asha’s mouth. 

As he continued with his horrible imagination, his eyes widened and he stopped moving. 

     I am crazy. 

He must have been so hungry for physical contact that he even thought about this, but his expression suddenly turned serious.

But then, the horse suddenly sneezed.

Asha asked with wide eyes.

“Sheppy? You don’t feel good?”

Jackal was still coughing.

     The pollen is driving me crazy…….

In fact, he had a ‘pollen allergy’

Horses were originally animals with a well-developed sense of smell, so pollen was really deadly to him. 

He couldn’t eat raw flowers while transforming into a horse, but he was happy to receive them because Asha gave them to him.

However, the smell of roses and poisonous pollen emanating from Karaf’s body was simply unbearable.

It was only then that Karaf noticed pollen flying off his body and was stunned. 

When he’s jealous, he seems to have involuntarily shed pollen from his body like thorns……. 

Asha felt it too, her eyes widening a bit and looking back at him.

“By any chance…… Your Majesty…….”

Karaf said, quickly covering his exposed chest.

“The pollen gets worse once a month. It’s an instinct…….”

He didn’t bother to explain what that instinct was. 

It was a kind of ‘reproductive instinct‘, in which flowers spit out pollen for fertilization. 

But Asha didn’t notice and smiled innocently, covering her mouth.

“Once a month…… It’s like the time of the woman’s moon.”

Karaf looked at her with a puzzled expression, but when he saw that she was holding back her laughter for his own good, he blushed and turned his head away.

“…… You can think as you please. My body is indeed strange. I’m not doing this because I want to.”

When Karaf finished speaking, he turned around and put a hand to his head. 

He feared pollen would stick to his hair and look like dandruff. 

And when he found the pollen on his head as expected, he went, ‘Damn…’

Then he ruffled his bangs nervously. 

Meanwhile, Jackal had a runny nose and wiggled nostrils.

Asha took out a handkerchief and dabbed his nose lovingly, Jackal looked down in embarrassment.

A man with a runny nose in front of the woman he likes. 

He was pathetic. 

He was really happy that he was now in the form of a horse. 

Asha asked worriedly as he watched Sheppy who kept sneezing.

“Sheppy, do you want to come inside?”

Jackal shook his head. 

He wouldn’t be able to stay by her side because of that damn pollen. 

He wanted to be near her at all times to prevent bad people from showing up again, or the tyrant from doing anything bad to Asha. 

But it was then. 

A knight rushed towards them from afar.

“Your Majesty! The spy opened his mouth……!”

Karaf looked serious and asked him.

“Really?”

“Yes! This time again, the minorities did it!”

As the knight reported, he found Asha beside him with her head down.

He believed he had made a sensitive report in front of Vanessa, who is from a minority.

The knight didn’t know what to do, but Asha’s face had already turned white.

     The minority was the culprit……?

Jackal, who was planning a recapture operation under the guise of some kind of kidnapping, also looked at the knight with a shocked expression on his face. 

The unexpected appearance of a minority kidnapper was derailing the plan. 

Asha did not understand why minorities wanted to kidnap her. 

The rumor that she belonged to an ethnic minority had already spread throughout the Imperial Palace, so it was inevitable.

Karaf said with a hardened face.

“I will question him personally. Let’s go right now.”

He looked back at Asha and was about to say something, but closed his mouth and followed the knight. 

It wouldn’t be comforting to tell her anything.

Especially if he has to torture them in the future. 

     I’ve been wanting to go on a date with Vanessa……. 

The expression on his face as he walked forward was as bloody as a grim reaper. 

Asha couldn’t sit still in her anxiety and nervousness. 

She didn’t know what he was thinking, but she knew that there would be bad consequences.

* * * * *

Karaf descended into the dungeon with the knights. 

Inside the iron bars, a disastrous-looking man hung with his hands tied to the ceiling.

Seeing the color of his hair with his head bowed down, Karaf thought of someone and frowned for a moment. 

The subordinate, who was questioning him, turned to him and bowed.

“Greetings, Your Majesty.”

“…… Yes.”

Karaf trudged into the iron grate and asked calmly.

“It was you who dared plan to harm me and Vanessa?”

“…….”

“Lift your head. Let’s see how ugly you are.”

Karaf jerked up a chair to sit proudly across from him, legs apart, arms resting on the back. 

The man raised his head. 

At first, his hair looked dark and gray, but upon closer inspection, it was a grayish brown. 

Through his sweat-drenched hair, his bright blue eyes could be seen. 

Karaf said, frowning mischievously.

“You look very much like him. Are blue eyes a symbol of betrayal?”

“…… I am different from Mr. Cylon.”

Karaf’s face stiffened at the name that suddenly came out of the man’s mouth.

“…… What did you just say?”

The man said with his blue eyes shining fiercely.

“I am different from the one who was carried away by a momentary affection and forsook the cause. He just put a curse on you and died…… A shame for the clan!”

At that moment, a chair wildly flew over his body.

“Ugh…….”

Suddenly, Karaf jumped out of his seat and kicked the chair. 

The knights around him were a bit flustered, but their faces were hardened with anger just like him. 

They were well aware that many knights had died in that incident.

“Hahaha… How can I not hate minorities?”

Karaf laughed like a madman, then ruffled his bangs and spoke coldly.

“Duran.”

“Yes, Your Majesty.”

“Bring me the whip.”

Duran handed him a whip, looking at him with a ghostly face.

Karaf said calmly fiddling with the whip.

“My curse seems to be nothing more than a ‘momentary affection’ for your people ….”

“Do you think you will live to the end and rule the empire as you please? No! You will never bloom and will slowly wither and die. No one in this world can break your curse……!”

Karaf’s red eyes flashed with madness.

“……I will let you know a tenth of what pain I feel.”

When he finished speaking, he swung the whip mercilessly and wildly. 

The gloomy and dank dungeon reverberated for a while only with merciless whips and cries of pain. 

* * * * *

Asha, who quietly returned to her room, heard the news thanks to the servants’ chatter.

The imprisoned minority people disguised themselves as servants at the Imperial Palace on the day of the banquet and said that they had poisoned Karaf’s glass. 

Also, another assassin was hidden just in case the assassination plan failed.

It wasn’t enough for them to kill the emperor, they even tried to kill the butterfly.

However, when Asha overheard the maids’ conversation, her eyes widened when she heard about the man who cursed Karaf.

“…… Well, they say that the spy spoke remarks to His Majesty. That no one in this world can break His Majesty’s curse or something…….”

“Is His Majesty still interrogating him?”

“Ah, Lady Vanessa…….”

The maids who were chatting among themselves found Asha and rolled their eyes as they looked at the ground. 

The rumor that the butterfly was the only one capable of breaking his curse had already spread throughout the Empire. 

Asha’s expression turned serious when she noticed what they were thinking now.

For that man to say such a thing, meant that he knew how to break the curse.

Maybe Karaf will torture him without killing him until he finds out how to do it…….

As expected, Karaf had interrogated the spy all day and returned to his bedroom at night.

Tired, he ruffled his hair when he suddenly found a bloodstain on his uniform. 

He frowned and threw his clothes on the floor in annoyance. 

The chamberlain noticed that he was in a bad mood. Silently he took the uniform and tried to back away. 

But then Karaf asked.

“…… What about Vanessa?”

He asked without even looking at him, but the chamberlain answered politely right away.

“I heard from the maids that she had been resting in the room all day.”

“I see….”

Karaf looked down a bit.

She must have felt uncomfortable after hearing the news. 

He thought that she might have heard the news that he cruelly tortured him……. 

Tiredness washed over him, and Karaf went to the bathroom and roughly cleaned his bloodied body. 

Since he wasn’t feeling well, he went to bed earlier than usual and had a nightmare that night.

* * * * *

Karaf was standing alone in the middle of a forest while it was raining.

The knights lay bleeding on the ground around him, and the last remaining Duran stood before him, his sword on the ground gasping for breath. 

The whole place was covered with blood. 

Karaf said, holding out a hand to him with trembling eyes. 

“Duran…….”

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