Chapter 4. The Story of Platoon Leader Rufus
“…Then I will appoint you as the platoon leader of the Asmodian Subjugation Army.”
Someone’s voice could be heard.
“Bring me the Devil Audisus’ head, and I will give the Princess to you as a wife.”
It was the king, wearing a purple robe, while he sat on his throne, stroking his beard.
Rufus raised his head and stared blankly at the king, who was still alive. The king, killed by Baroness Inferna, was alive and well.
This was really…
“What are you staring at? You can step back now.” The king waved his hand, expressing his blatant displeasure. Rufus, roused by this, raised himself.
As he stepped outside after a brief encounter with the king, the soldier standing sentry bluntly said: “The way out is over there.”
“…” Rufus watched the royal soldier silently.
“What business do you still have?”
“The Demon King Audisus.”
“Where is the Demon King?”
“How would I know that? The extermination force has just been dispatched.” The soldier muttered in displeasure. He seemed offended by the question.
That’s right. The Demon King was still alive.
“Apparently, you’re going out to the subjugation army, so don’t ask useless questions. Go ahead and get ready.” The soldier clicked his tongue and turned his head.
It seemed that he did not want to exchange words with a noble of an unknown baron’s house. Contrary to being treated as the bottom of the chain, Rufus felt a sense of pleasure growing within himself.
It was the same treatment he had received before. Not as the hero who killed the Demon King, not as the new king who crushed the corrupt Royal Family, but as the poor aristocrat from an unknown barony.
It was just what Rufus had hoped for.
“Is Princess Sordid greeting the prince of the Empire?”
“Ah? How did you…” At Rufus’ question, the royal knight’s eyes widened.
It was certain. The prince of the Empire had not revolted yet. Princess Sordid was still preparing to marry the Imperial Prince.
Now, it’s the past. Today has come to overshadow the future that had passed.
As soon as he left the king’s audience, he sprinted towards Princess Sordid’s palace, the most luxurious and extravagant one.
The strange gazes of the people of the royal palace watching him passing by didn’t go unnoticed. But they didn’t matter to him.
He ran and ran, and he ran so hard that all he could hear was the wind hitting his ears.
[(◍＞◡＜◍)♡ Visit me @ www.millenniumsnow.com ♡]
And finally, Rufus found whom he was looking for.
She had a bright smile as her hair flutters radiant like spring. She was just as Rufus remembered.
She was still in her youthful glee, still wearing her maid’s work clothes and sweeping the floor with a broom. Humming a tune with so much joy.
If I die,
I’ll become a drop of rain.
I’ll wash away your tears.
At the familiar melody, Rufus’ heart began to pound.
He wanted to run to her right away and hug her. He wanted to lift her up and dance her round and round. And then he wanted to caress her eyes, nose and mouth.
However, she did not cross the magic circle Demon Lord Audisus created. She would not remember the man named Rufus.
Was it okay to approach her now? Rufus barely calmed his heart as it was about to jump out of his ribs that had locked it in.
Right in front of him was the woman he missed so dearly. However, Rufus did not take those steps.
How should he approach her? How could he stop himself from telling her everything?
“For what purpose did you come to Princess Sordid’s palace?”
Someone suddenly spoke to Rufus, who had not been able to keep his mind from wandering.
“Who, who are you?” Rufus unknowingly took a step back from them.
A middle-aged woman was standing there. It was a woman with her hair neatly rolled and tied up. At first glance, she was dressed like a maid but carried a silver insignia on her chest.
She was the head maid.
“Are you here to see Princess Sordid? I am sorry, but the Princess has ordered not to accept unscheduled guests.” The maid holding a basket said in a clear voice.
“No, I didn’t come to see Her Majesty the Princess.” Rufus shook his head violently. He cursed himself to the end and wanted to shake off the afterimage of Sordid, who was dying.
“Then why did you come here?”
“I…” Instead of answering, Rufus turned his head to Sarubia, still sweeping the palace’s front.
“Oh, it’s Sarubia. Do you know that child?”
Rufus didn’t know how to answer the maid’s question.
He knew! He knew her well! But the problem was that Sarubia didn’t remember him.
Rufus pondered for a moment and replied: “…I don’t know, but I want to know more in the future.” It was the best answer he could come up with.
The maid carefully looked at his features and behaviour as if examining Rufus.
“…Excuse me, but what is your name?”
“Rufus Inferna. I come from the Barony Inferna.” Rufus revealed his name in a daze. He suddenly felt like he was being questioned.
“Lord Inferna, it’s disrespectful, but please don’t touch that child.” The maid, Jean, who looked at Rufus for a moment, let out her deep sigh.
“Touch? What do you mean?”
“Sarubia is still young. She’s an innocent kid that doesn’t even know men…”
“No, I don’t mean that!” Rufus, who was suddenly mistaken for a horny man chasing after a young girl, hastily explained: “I noticed the child working hard. I never had such an obscene heart.”
“Then I must have misunderstood. Please forgive me.”
“No. It seems that there was some ambiguity in my words.”
“Anyway, if you are not a visitor to the princess, I will stop.”
Glancing at Rufus, Jean strode toward Princess Sordid’s palace. Sarubia, who was still sweeping, saw the maid passing by and was delighted.
The head maid smiled as well as she responded to Sarubia. Then she handed Sarubia one of her cookies. It was the largest one and as big as the palm of her hand. Sarubia took the cookie and ate it with glee.
The sound of a friendly conversation between the two faintly reached where Rufus was standing. They chatted for a while, then parted ways.
Sarubia raised the broom again, and the maid turned into the palace.
Now, entering Princess Sordid’s palace, Jean shot another glance at Rufus. At that gaze, Rufus felt as if he had been stabbed by a needle. He obviously did nothing wrong, but he felt guilty.
After hesitating for a moment, Rufus made his way to Sarubia after confirming that the head maid had disappeared.
“Hello, nobleman,” Sarubia looked at Rufus, who was approaching her with bright eyes.
“I heard everything from the head maid,” she said. “She said you were looking at me all this time?” She smiled brightly at him.
‘Ah.’ When he saw that smile, the tip of his nose began to sting. And his heart, which had barely calmed down, began to race like crazy again.
This was really, really more than he expected.
It was more serious.
“Are you here to find the Princess? You can’t just carelessly look at other women the moment you leave the princess’ side.” She made fun of him with her playful voice.
He had missed it.
Her ferocious jokes while teasing him, her warmth that invades his heart like that…
‘I really missed you.’
“…name…” Rufus barely raised his hoarse voice.
“Yes? What about a name?”
“What is your name?”
He wanted to hear it again. He wanted to listen to that nostalgic name by her gentle voice.
At the sudden question, she widened her eyes. But only for a short moment. “It’s Sarubia.” She quickly responded with a sweet smile.
It was like a burning fuse reaching its end.
Emotions that could no longer be suppressed covered Rufus. As if obsessed, he pulled her into his own arms. And remorselessly, he buried himself into the nape of her neck.
Her small, delicate body touched his skin.
It was warm.
It was so warm… it was so warm… it was so lie-like warm…
It was unbearably warm.
The broom that Sarubia was holding fell over.
“Uh, uh…?” Sarubia was taken aback by the sudden behaviour of the man.
Sure enough, a man she’s never met before kept glancing at her, asking for her name at once, and then suddenly he hugged her.
“Hey, nobleman! Hug your future wife!” Sarubia struggled, trying to get out of the man’s embrace. However, the man’s arms became more tense while holding her.
At the same time, a slight sound echoed in her ear. At first, she didn’t know what it meant. But when she kept listening, she couldn’t help noticing.
The man was crying.
“Why are you crying all of a sudden? Are you sick? Did something get into your eyes? Look at me! I’ll get it for you!”
Confused, Sarubia tried to examine the man’s face. However, the man did not let Sarubia go and dug into her arms. His hot breath tickled the nape of Sarubia’s neck.
“Just a second.” The man muttered in a hoarse voice as if he had swallowed iron powder. “Hold on. Let me stay like this for just a moment.”
Sarubia looked at the man clinging to her.
Weird. He’s a weird guy.
There is nothing to say except that he was strange.
Strange, strange, and strange guy.
But it wasn’t bad for some reason.
“What happened? Why are you crying so sadly?” Sarubia sighed lightly and swept the man’s back with her hand. “Don’t cry. Your handsome face is all wrinkled.”
♡♡♡♡ Thank you for your patience! ♡♡♡♡
I’m just in a lot of stress, but I am trying to translate little by little whenever I can. I hope that my new schedule and planning will motivate and allow me to translate every other day. (This chapter was so long, but I didn’t want to stop before they met so update came much later than I anticipated).
And now Rufus and Sarubia meet again! Sadly, she cannot remember him. Poor Rufus! (◍＞◡＜◍) What do you think will happen next?