How long did he walk like that? The place where Rufus arrived was Sarubia’s tomb. Sarubia’s body has been laid to rest behind the royal palace.
It was as well-cultivated as the royal tomb. How funny. Rufus had promised her that he would decorate a beautiful room in the mansion for her, but he didn’t know that it would happen this way.
He looked at Sarubia’s tombstone without saying a word for a while.
Sarubia – without her, it was like hell.
Even when he saw beautiful things, his eyes keep getting blurred. It was not pleasant to receive the praise of the people. Even the throne, which everyone looks up to, is so lonely.
Sarubia. Without her, it was really…
Late into the night, it started to rain. Cold raindrops broke through Rufus’ silk robes and took away the last bit of warmth. Good. It would be good to catch some kind of deadly flu like this. It would be okay if he never got up from his bed again. But Rufus was the king. The people won’t let the king die just like that.
Then he’d rather… Rufus raised his hand over his sword that he had put down on the ground. A sword stained with the blood of demons and humans. It was a cursed sword that ate countless lives. This sword has accompanied him through a hellish battlefield, so it wouldn’t be bad to end it with this sword. Rufus slowly pulled the sword out of the scabbard. It was then.
‘Don’t cry.’ A whisper came through the raindrops.
Rufus stiffened at the sudden voice.
” …Sarubia?” It was just a whisper, but it was clear. It was Sarubia’s voice.
“Sarubia!” Rufus, who had dropped the sword, hurriedly turned his head everywhere. But there was no one. The only thing that caught his eye was the pouring rain. At that moment, there was a melody in his head.
If I die,
I’ll become a drop of rain.
I’ll wash away your tears.
‘What song is this?’
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When they first met, and on the night when they couldn’t sleep, Sarubia sang him a lullaby. Then, the last moment with her shook his mind.
She said she was sorry to the end. She was smiling to the end. She was looking into Rufus’ eyes to the very end.
‘Don’t cry.’ Sarubia’s faint smile flashed before his eyes.
At that moment, it seemed as if he was suffocating. After all this time, this sensation did not disappear. Again, the thorns flared up within his empty heart. Those terrible suppressed emotions were flooding in. He hated the pain. If only it would stop one day.
‘Why? Why on earth…?
I want to see you again, you, who are dead and have gone back to the earth, you, who have suffered so much.
I’d like to take you with me, hold your hands and show you the fuchsia flower you wanted to see.
So please, just one more time…’
Rufus collapsed on the ground, collapsing like a candle-grain that was finally flowing down. As if something was stuck in it, his chest felt stuffy. However, no matter how hard he tried, it won’t get better. It choked him.
Shrill cries broke through the cold air. No one was present to comfort the man who fell onto the muddy floor and vented his feelings. Only the night wept mournfully.
Cold raindrops wet Sarubia’s necklace, held in Rufus’ hands.
The blood staining Rufus’ hands were washed away. At the same time, Sarubia’s necklace began to glow red.
Through the unfathomable darkness, a blurry figure crept up.
“What is your desire?”
Surprised by this low voice, Rufus raised his head. What appeared in front of Rufus was the Devil, Audisus, in his human form.
“You bastard! You’re still alive!” Rufus hurriedly drew his sword and swung it at the demon king. However, the dark aura struck by Rufus’ sword just flickered. There was nothing to reach.
Towering in front of Rufus, King Audisus continued his speech as if nothing had happened: “We will give you all the treasures in our castle. So, please save us.”
“Ah…” Only then did Rufus realise that king Audisus, who appeared before him, was not real but an illusion.
It was Sarubia’s necklace. To be exact, it was a revenant of King Audisus, which poured out of the demon’s mana stone. The ghost of a guy who has been dead for over a year was still haunting this place.
“If not, is it fame? We will let you achieve it through our people, the witches.” The devil’s spectre kept talking.
It was the same as that time. The devil once held such a monologue before he died. He was truly a despicable demon. Rufus clenched his teeth and watched the ghost.
Then suddenly, this remark popped out of the mouth of the demon:
“Or is there a past you want to change? Do you want to turn back time and get another chance?”
He had never heard this before.
“What do you mean, turn back time?”
Rufus hurriedly asked the devil’s revenant, which grinned as if it had won.
“Oh, what you want is to change the past! All right, We will grant that wish!”
“But you’re already dead. How can you grant my wish?”
“We were born to defy fate as the king of the demon race, Demon King Audisus! Though a ghost who has lost his body, We can turn back time if you want to.”
The spectre of the devil stared intensely at Rufus, and Rufus returned that stare idly.
“I can go back to the past if I want?”
“Yes, you can live your life again.” The ghost of the devil added an explanation: “You can get the wealth and honour you didn’t get in the past. Or you can take revenge on those who ignored you and also correct your past mistakes.” At the words of the spectre, Rufus stared blankly at him.
Go back to the past.
Live life again. Well, if that’s truly possible…
“Come on, human. Tell me. When is the past that you want to return to?”
“I want to see Sarubia again.”
Hearing Rufus’ answer without delay, the spectre watched him with piercing eyes. Then he finally couldn’t hold back and burst into laughter.
“What a stupid human being!” The demon king’s spirit flew through the air and laughed at Rufus. “Look at everything you’ve built now. You’ve got everything you can enjoy as a human being! The wealth and honour are all beneath your feet. How foolish of you to abandon all this and go back to the past for one insignificant maid! How stupid!”
“She is worth it all,” Rufus retorted.
“Worth? Does it make sense that a maid is more worth than a country to you, human?”
“My scale of value and yours can’t be the same. Don’t argue about your sense of value in front of me.”
At those words, the Demon King burst out with a roaring laugh. The bold human’s response amused him to no end.
“So be it, human. I’ll let you meet the maid you pamper so much again!”
In an instant, the demon king’s spectre flew towards Rufus. Where the ghost passed by everything turned into black dust. At the same time, Rufus’s vision began to flicker as if it was melting away.
Then, a magic circle that Rufus had never encountered in any magic book began to be drawn.
Rufus intuitively realized that the magic circle was a forbidden spell that transcends time and dimensions.
“Why are you granting my wish?”
Looking at the ever-changing space, Rufus asked the demon king’s ghost whose shape was distorted by its own power that rushed to expand the realm.
The spectre smiled cunningly.
“A revenant possessing a magic stone cannot live by its own will. However, if We turn back time as you wish, We can come back to life.”
Demon King Audisus turned towards the magic circle before Rufus.
“Let’s meet again, foolish one! Next time, We won’t go easy on you!” The ghost of the Demon King passed through the magic circle and disappeared.
The circle gradually expanded and began to swallow everything around it. The world seemed to be collapsing. But Rufus wasn’t afraid.
He moved slowly towards the magic circle. The intense light seen through the magic circle blinded Rufus, and every breath he took was painful.
Rufus unknowingly let out a moan of pain. His skin was burning as if it has been torn apart.
His body felt like it was about to burst into pieces. The unimaginable pain caused Rufus to falter. He almost couldn’t handle it…
It was more painful than dying. But he wasn’t afraid.
In an instant, a small flower bud burst amidst Rufus’ memory.
Her face shone with a sweet smile. Her warmth was like the sun. He wanted to protect her. He yearned to reach out and touch her again. He wanted to keep that beautiful smile for a long time.
‘That’s why, Sarubia, please… please live as long as you can this time.
Live long enough to grow old and forget how many candles to put on the cake later.
And don’t die before me because life without you was like hell.
Let me die one day before you.’
To reach another opportunity, Rufus stepped toward the magic circle.
In the light, Rufus laughed.
End of Chapter 3 – The Story of King Rufus
Thank you everyone for welcoming me back! I am glad I got back to translating! I have read every comment, just not replying because I fell ill last week and was swamped with work. Trying to get more sleep and to get back at writing as well (I know this doesn’t match but believe me, once I’ve unlockes Lucid Dreams, I am sure I can even work on Storyboards in my dreams! xD
Well, this is the End of Chapter 3. It’s quite short, isn’t it? This is the end of Rufus’ and Sarubia’s first journey =)
The thing that striked me the most in this story is the fact that Rufus got anything he wished for in life but he came out so so unhappy. It means life isn’t only about reaching all your goals or come out on top of the world. Sometimes your happyness in somewhere completely different than you might imagine.
Rufus also struck me as a very healthy character (until now, I have not come far with the story myself since I decided to translate along with my reading to keep myself motivated to keep translating – I only read about one chapter ahead to not miss any potential confusion in direct translation). Rufus is a naive man of some sorts, he comes from the countryside, where he struggled to life a good life. That’s why he marched to the king and asked for the hand in marriage of the princess whom he thought would elevade his living conditions. He then went on an unwanted journey of war, struggling yet to live for another day. And when he came back, he was still a naive man who now wants his old life back – which means the struggles of war made him realize what good life he had before, or at least it opened up the reality of his life. He strives a peaceful life where he doesn’t even held it against the royal family for sending him out to war – until they devalued his family in front of him. While he has firm beliefs, he didn’t devaluade other’s beliefs. For example, he straight out said that his beliefs are different from those of the Devil King Audisus, means he acknowledges that his beliefs are not the right beliefs, it’s just his own and he will see them through – we are talking about a mortal enemy here, a human and a demon but Rufus actually acknowledged a demon’s beliefs has their own value which means Rufus is acknowledging the demon himself. He could have just coldly retorted that a demon doesn’t know of love or affection or of the value of sacrifice (something many heroes like to use frequently to downgrade others). Rufus acknowledges that everyone has different priorities and he does not need someone to understand him and his reasons at all. Rufus is confident in a way that he alone stands strong. He does not give a *insert your favourite word* about what others think of him.
I came across a very interesting V-Blog and the owner said: The life is yours and words are others. Don’t let other people’s words dictate how you are supposed to live your life. (Loosely translated from Sang Vlog ^^) I can’t agree more with his words. I would like to make a seperate topic on this whole thema instead of cramping it up here and making my notes longer than the actual chapter TT-TT (sorry guys).
I like Rufus. And I like Sarubia. I like their down to earth mentality. I like how they don’t drama around about the feelings they have for each other. If you leave all decicions up to those two, they would have been back at Inferna and the story would be over at only the first half of the 2nd Chapter xD
Please be patient with me, and see you next chapter! ♡♡♡♡