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TC Chapter 68

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For the first time, he calls her Asha instead of Vanessa.

Asha bit her lip hard.

Karaf was already making a face as if he had given up everything as if he was sure the butterfly would leave him.

Even so, his heart ached even more because her gaze looked nostalgic and pleasing.

Asha never thought that he would have such a secret.

She didn’t know that he always wanted to show her his handsome and dignified side of an emperor, so he thoroughly hid his weak and sick side. 

She also saw only his outward appearance as a tyrant and did not try to see his true face.

Because at that moment, it was too much for her to bear her own pain…

No, maybe she turned a blind eye on purpose.

Because she wanted to avoid him. 

The flower and the butterfly were closer than anyone, but they didn’t know each other.

They couldn’t empathize because they didn’t know each other’s pain.

Since when did this relationship become so bad……?

Asha was devastated. 

Karaf’s eyes, which had been looking at her with warmth, soon filled with self-loathing.

He rested his head on the cold ground and muttered, breathing hard.

“Scram…… get out of here…… I really…… could hurt you……”

As soon as he finished speaking, he vomited blood.

His back shook wildly with each inhalation and exhalation.

But each time his eyes rolled back and he tried to pass out, the mark on his chest wouldn’t let him. 

It was as if the red mark wanted him to go through all this pain until the end. The red mark kept waking him up and not allowing him to sleep.

He vomited everything he had in his stomach, so he hadn’t eaten anything, but even so, gastric juices mixed with saliva constantly came out of his mouth.

He groaned as he wrapped his arms around his face so that Asha couldn’t see his horrible, ugly sight.

“Asha…… Hurry up and send Asha back to the palace…… Duran……!”

Duran’s eyes reddened as Karaf yelled out loud.

“Your Majesty…….”

He couldn’t even imagine how much pain his master was going through right now.

Perhaps it was because he had suppressed his symptoms with medication, his symptoms seemed two to three times more severe than usual.

It will take much longer for him to get back to normal.

Karaf said, out of breath.

“This side…… I don’t want to show it to you anymore…….I…… I’ll be fine if I hold on a little longer……. So quickly…….”

His teeth clenched in pain.

Tears welled up from his tightly closed eyes.

Originally, she hated him, but after being exposed, he was afraid that she would really hate him. 

Karaf always gives her the best and shows her the best……..

He was more afraid that Asha would look at him with an abominable look as if she was looking at an insect, just like his mother did when he was young.

Asha stopped in the doorway with great shock, looking at him.

Karaf was the most beautiful and cruel rose that reigned in Etzheim, the empire of flowers.

But now, in pain, he was nothing more than a pitiful, cursed human being.

But it was then. 

Karaf came back to his senses for a moment, then suddenly his eyes changed.

He shook his head and looked at Asha with completely different eyes.

His eyes glowed like red fluorescent lights in the dark as if they were glowing with blood. 

His black pupils had already narrowed vertically like the eyes of a snake.

He laughed like crazy and then got up off the ground. And staggered toward Asha.

It looks like a murderer who came to strangle her.

Duran quickly blocked his way. He had seen this sight like this before.

Even on the day of the Emperor’s coronation, Karaf lost his reason and raged, slitting the throats of many who opposed him.

It was a terrifying sight, like a sword dance.

Duran believed that the only thing he could do for his lord now was to prevent the cursed man from harming Vanessa.

If he hurts Vanessa with his own hands…… He would probably suffer for the rest of his life and torture himself.

That was the only thing that had to stop.

As Duran determinedly drew his sword from its scabbard, Asha stepped forward faster than he did.

And in the next moment, Karaf’s red eyes went wide.

Asha held him in her arms and gently stroked his cold back.

She spoke calmly into his ear, like calming a crying child in a fit.

“It’s fine now. I’m here…… So everything will be fine.…… don’t cry.”

Asha closed her eyes.

In her eyes, Karaf’s appearance was similar to that of the child from her dream, crying like an abandoned child.

Instead of strangling her, the boy appeared to be grabbing his mother by the neck.

Karaf’s sharp eyes gradually softened and returned to normal.

He let his head fall onto Asha’s shoulder.

Asha swayed under his weight, but she stood her ground and held him, stroking his back all the time.

Seeing the butterfly instantly calm his madness, Duran’s eyes widened and he froze in place.

Just touching his body calmed him down and seemed to ease the pain a bit.

Although Karaf’s eyes were closed, his body was still shaking and he was breathing hard as if he had been submerged in icy water.

It seemed that he had exhausted all his energy suppressing his madness by himself with the door closed for several hours.

Suddenly, a tear fell from his eye. 

In fact, he didn’t want to hurt anyone with his thorn either.

Nobody loved me, so I just wanted to take a step closer.

However, he did not know how to approach…..

Only then did Asha understand her feelings, she silently stroked his head.

Karaf exhaled heavily and his eyes opened slowly. 

He definitely had a lot to say to Asha, but nothing came to mind.

Her arms were so soft and placid that he wished this moment would last forever.

Karaf wanted to say at least the cliché ‘Thank you and I’m sorry’, but he didn’t have the strength to get the words out, so he just breathed out.

Asha felt his heartbeat slow down. 

The flower seemed to be at peace when it came into contact with a butterfly.

Hugs from a butterfly made him feel a sense of security……

She dared not guess what a disturbing childhood Karaf must have had.

Those who did not know about his curse thought that he was just a murderous tyrant.

Rumors had spread that countless people had died because of his tyranny.

That’s how Asha knew him before coming to the palace for the first time.

His grudge against the minority was worse.

Karaf didn’t seem to deny the evaluation of himself. 

It was also true, and he thought that it would be more comfortable to govern if he implanted in the people the image of a tyrant.

In fact, after the rumors spread, other empires did not think of easily attacking the Etzheim Empire, and no aristocratic forces were trying to shake or take the throne from him.

He chose the stability of the empire at the cost of his own stigma.

Asha slowly turned to Duran and said.

“We have to move him to another room.”

“Yes? But if His Majesty goes berserk again…… he would get out of control…….”

“That will not happen.”

Duran said it out of concern for her safety, but Asha was so adamant that he kept his mouth shut.

He bowed his head without saying a word.

Karaf was moved to an empty room on the second floor with the help of two people.

Under the bright candlelight, Asha was able to examine the red vines that entangled his heart.

The center of the vines, near the heart where the crescent moon was originally marked, was filled with a red full moon.

When the moon did not rise due to the curse, a red moon appeared in his heart.

When she placed her hand on the full moon pattern, the blood vessels quivered and began to throb.

The pattern of his curse reacted violently toward her, Karaf squirming and scowling in pain.

Duran watched the entire scene nervously.

Asha pressed her hands against his heart, as if it were artificial respiration, and took a moment to catch her breath and relax her mind.

     This is about saving people. Don’t hesitate.

She then put her lips to Karaf’s lips and breathed into his mouth.

At that moment, surprisingly, the red veins that had spread like vines on his chest began to resume the pattern.

Karaf’s harsh breathing also lessened.

When she laid her lips on his once more, the full moon slowly distorted, resuming a dim crescent shape.

The vines of his curse would come out once a month to bloom, and if it failed, they would return to his heart and hide.

Due to his black rose complex, Karaf did not show his face to people.

Ironically, it was a pattern that suited him very well, hiding behind countless rumors of being a thorny tyrant.

After calmly completing the task, Asha wiped the sweat from her forehead with her arm, then dipped a towel into a basin of cold water.

Then, silently, she wiped the blood from Karaf’s body.

His face, with his eyes closed, was pale and gaunt, as if all the blood had drained from him.

No matter how painful it was, his body was covered in nail marks.

He was in enough pain to hurt himself……

Asha bit her lower lip. 

Karaf used to force himself on her once a month.

Somehow, that day, he would lose his temper and come at her crazier than usual, and he thought maybe it was because of his craziness.

Every time he kissed her and joined his body with hers, he let out a deep breath as if he felt safe.

Asha was convinced that his madness subsided as soon as their bodies touched.

For him, the existence of a butterfly would have been like a savior…

She wanted so badly to run away from him. He tortured her to the point of wanting to die, but seeing him in such pain made her heart ache to the point of bitterness.

But it was then.

“…… Thank you for saving His Majesty, Lady Vanessa…….”

Asha turned her head in the direction of the voice.

Duran prostrated at the door.

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