Chapter 362: The Black Raven’s Eyes
Translator:?EndlessFantasy Translation??Editor:?EndlessFantasy Translation
Nicholas stared at Monty in a daze, as if this was his first time to truly come and understand Monty. He said subconsciously,
“This is impossible, Monty.”
He said with furrowed eyebrows. “You’re… lying.”
Monty shot him a glance, chuckled, and shook his head in a scornful manner.
The Raven of Death sat on the ground with his head raised. His emotions could not be deciphered. “Was it impossible for the gentle and delicate Adele to cheat? Or was it impossible for the well-behaved and lowly Mirk to seduce his mistress?”
With every word, Monty furrowed his eyebrows even more tightly.
As he listened to Monty’s words, the Star Killer felt as if he had forgotten the pain on his shoulder. He inhaled deeply and carefully recalled the past, comparing parts that were inconsistent with what he heard.
“But this is the truth. That damned fruit, Bryne Mirk,” the Raven of Death said through gritted teeth. “That taciturn, simple-minded and inflexible soldier from the countryside who only knows how to walk behind Soria and say ‘yes’.
“Can you imagine it? Him? And Adele?”
When he said this, Monty spat a mouthful of blood and sneered.
But his eyes were filled with an indescribable pain, like a fighter who was driven into a corner.
“So, Soria had her body and Mirk owned her heart.” Monty’s smile slowly became mocking.
“And the only thing I could touch was her death.”
But the Star Killer continued staring at him incredulously.
“Impossible.” Nicholas suppressed the fury in his chest and refuted with certainty. “Prince Soria… It was impossible for him to place such an order. He had already agreed to let them go.”
When he heard what Nicholas said, Monty nonchalantly snorted and said, “Did you really believe that Soria was going to let them go?”
Nicholas froze momentarily.
Monty’s expression changed, and he said coldly, “Soria was the one who was lying, that’s all to it. He did so to create an opportunity for me to get rid of them in the dark without leaving any traces of my deeds behind.”
Nicholas’ expression changed rapidly while he was still filled with doubts and confusion.
“No.” He gritted his teeth hard and lifted his head, denying what Monty said again. “All of us know him… Soria, he was a good fighter. He trained, killed enemies and drank wine together with us. We laughed briskly together and engaged in scuffles against other groups with us. He even dragged us to the countryside to liven up Byrne’s wedding. He’s not that sort of person! If he wanted to solve the problem, he would at least… At least, he wouldn’t have made you assassinate…”
But before he could finish, the Raven of Death cut him off with curses and gritted teeth.
“You know shit!
“Many people have the same appraisal of him as you, including that damned Mirk.” Disgust and dread appeared on Monty’s face at the same time. “But for countless years, I had been serving Prince Soria and did things in the dark for him.
“No one knows him better than me. Only the Black Raven’s eyes can see the truth under the moonlight clearly.
“Soria Walton, he grew up under the guidance of the cunning and farsighted Lisban, and the unbeatable Kaslan. He was like a younger version of King Nuven, dignified and not one to stick to trifles. But he was even colder and more resolute than his father.”
As he talked about the deceased prince, Monty’s expression became solemn. “Most importantly, Soria was far-sighted and ambitious, and every step he took was for the sake of gaining power and for the sake of his own interests.”
The Star Killer’s gazed focused a little bit more with every sentence Monty said.
“Our prince never cared about the gentle and graceful Lady Adele.” Monty continued coldly, making Nicholas tremble with fear. It was as though there was snow hidden in Monty’s voice, and it had been accumulating in him for decades.
“He only married her to plot against the Camians, paving the way for that war twenty years ago where Soria led troops and fought against the Alliance of Freedom, shaking up the Golden Passage, and scaring the City of Faraway Prayers and Defence City into submission.
“And in the future Soria had planned, even without that rotten matter with Mirk, Adele was fated to die.”
Nicholas was puzzled. “What?”
Monty leaned against the rock behind him. His gaze was profound. “That year, I was sent to Constellation to investigate and form certain contacts because of this. I also heard the conversations between Soria and King Nuven once in a while. I knew that…
“Eighteen years ago, Soria was supposed to be the commander in chief for that war between Eckstedt and Constellation. And his aim was really clear—he didn’t want to conquer Constellation through a battle. Instead, he was paving the way for the future.”
Monty raised his hand weakly and pointed at the south. “First of all, Dragon Clouds City would have gathered forces from all of the kingdom and fought Constellation until they are heavily damaged and their people lived in extreme poverty. They were supposed to be without the ability to recover for decades.
“Next, the nine arrogant, unyielding and greedy archdukes of Eckstedt would have suffered from a large number of casualties and paid a huge price in this war that King Nuven intentionally let happen. Only Dragon Clouds City would retain its power.”
The Raven of Death gritted his teeth hard. “At the end of the war, Nuven would have negotiated for peace with the Constellatiates. If Aydi the Second married his youngest daughter off to Prince Soria to form an alliance between the two kingdoms, Eckstedt would withdraw their troops.”
Nicholas was stunned.
He suddenly recalled the destructive war that led to his fame eighteen years ago, and the thick smoke and corpses at both sides of the fortress. He thought of the deaths and gore in Constellation, and the warriors’ roars and howls.
He even thought of the Butcher of Constellation’s relieved gaze before he died.
“This way, in the days that follow, especially after Soria is crowned, he would have been taking over an Eckstedt where all the vassals can do nothing but watch him do whatever he wanted in silence, and his enemy was a weak and destitute Constellation.” Monty took down a little waterskin from his body with a bitter expression. He poured out the hard liquor inside it on his wound while he still suffered from immense pain before he started bandaging his wound again.
“The future King Soria would not only have been able to suppress all the archdukes and make all of Eckstedt the Walton Family’s private property… He could have even gone one step further and reached out to control Constellation, which would have yet to recover its strength, through his queen from the Jadestar Royal Family, and he can do all of this with a legitimate reason because of his queen.”
Monty panted as he endured the immense pain of hard liquor being poured on his wound. “Even more so, his descendant, the heir whose blood is half Jadestar and half Walton can follow his forefathers’ footsteps and cast the Dragon Scale Crown and the Nine-Pointed Star Royal Crown into one, completing the great undertaking that no one had achieved since the Ancient Empire.”
Nicholas held his breath, and his entire body stiffened.
Once he said this, the Raven of Death fell against the rock, and laughed mockingly and loudly. “Do you understand? Since Adele could not bring Soria even more benefits in his magnificent plan, she didn’t deserve to become Eckstedt’s queen. So, she was fated to die, sooner or later.”
Nicholas stared at his former colleague in a daze.
The Star Killer only realized at this moment that he had always lived on the other side of the same mirror and saw a completely different world than this sworn brother of his, who he once thought he was extremely intimate with.
This realization made him mentally and physically exhausted, and he could not help but clench his fists.
He and Monty entered the White Blade Guards’ camp at the same time. But at some point, their paths deviated, and they had drifted further and further apart from each other.
‘Kaslan’s… two sides?’
Nicholas helplessly repeated Monty’s words in his mind. His weak body slid down a little, but the immense pain from being nailed to a rock through his shoulder made him regain consciousness. He was drenched in cold sweat.
“Hahaha, can you imagine it? Adele’s death was supposed to lead to a show of a husband seeking revenge and answers while filled with fury and torment.” Monty laughed so hard that he cried. “But in Soria’s eyes, it was only a scheme and a bargaining chip.”
He shook his head slowly, and his tone was resentful. “Nobles, nobles. Ha, these scums, what sort of motherf*cking rotten beings are they?”
Nicholas said nothing.
King Nuven, Soria, Kaslan, Monty…
It was as if many people, whether they were dead or alive and who he thought he understood, had freed themselves from the constraints of his memories and became beings he was unfamiliar with.
It made him incapable of questioning the Raven of Death any further.
Monty’s laughter faded.
The smile on his face disappeared.
“But when I sneaked into the Blood Court with the poison and saw that Adele was tending to the flowers and plants while happily teasing her child, when I saw the smile on her face.” Monty’s gaze froze. “I knew that I didn’t have the right to blame her.”
“She was only a gentle and demure flower. It was me who brought her into this hell.” The Raven of Death’s expression was bitter. Under the sunlight, he became one with his shadow. “I left her in Heroic Spirit Palace to be tortured and belittled. I left her to be pushed around on these scums’ chess board.”
The Star Killer slowly lifted his gaze.
“So you took it upon yourself?”
Nicholas said slowly, “You wanted to save her? Even through betrayal?”
Monty’s expression changed.
He shot a cold glance at Nicholas. His gaze was fierce.
“Did you really not know, Spiky?”
The Raven of Death clenched his teeth slightly. “The misfortunes and hardships Adele went through for so long after getting married and moving to Dragon Clouds City… As the king’s personal guard, the acting captain of the White Blade Guards, and the Guardian of Heroic Spirit Palace, did you really not notice them at all?”
Nicholas furrowed his eyebrows.
For the first time, there was pure, unconcealed resentment showed up in Monty’s eyes. His chest dipped and heaved. “It’s hard to imagine that every day and night, Adele was tormented, abused and looked down upon…
“And so many people in all of Heroic Spirit Palace, including you, saw that only as the prince’s private family matter and watched by the side indifferently as those misfortunes and hardships fell on her.[email protected]@@@[email protected]@@@@=======
“Adele could only seek solace in that foolish Mirk.”
Monty’s entire body started trembling. “But even so, Mirk, whom she counted on and did not have a single redeeming feature, could not give her anything. He neither had the guts to stand up for her nor the courage to run away with her. He does not have the capability to protect Adele!”
Nicholas gazed expressionlessly at him.
“Spiky, Mirk, and every single White Blade Guard, all of you are cowards.” Monty spat hard on the ground. “You only watched as a pitiful and miserable woman endured torment and hardships while remaining unmoved, and you did not have the courage to stand up to it.
“All of you.”
Monty lowered his head.
“That night, while I stared at the flowers and plants in the court, I let go of the poison in my hand and told myself that I couldn’t do it, all while feeling powerless.”
He continued desolately. “I cannot extricate myself from the darkness I had sunk into. But at least, at least I couldn’t make Adele my victim, another soul of the dead who died by my blood-stained hands.
“Perhaps I don’t deserve to wield a white blade. But I definitely wouldn’t be a coward!”
Bright light flashed in Monty’s eyes, and the muscles in his arms tightened again like a sailor who seized a plank that would save his life while he was sinking into sea after his boat sank.
“Even if the person she liked was that silly Mirk…” Monty gritted his teeth hard. “If that was the only way Adele could be happy and smile again, it would have been worth it.
“As for the remaining darkness, I would have borne it.” The Raven of Death stared at his right hand in a daze. His gaze was unfocused. He looked like he was crying and smiling at the same time. “I would have guarded her hope alone in the boundless darkness.”
Nicholas inhaled deeply. He felt a storm of emotions raging in his heart.
“So you found Constellation’s Secret Intelligence Department?”
Monty flashed a feeble smile.
“They found me,” the Raven of Death said flatly, “When I was drinking in that inn in Spear District… the owner of the inn from Camus Union could drink really well and was very good at convincing people…
“He told me about his love story with his wife, and told me that in this short life, there has to be a time when we throw caution to the wind and go forward without looking back. Of course, I only found out after that he was the person in charge of the Secret Intelligence Department in Dragon Clouds City.”
Once he said this, Monty snorted. It was unclear whether he was laughing at Nicholas or himself.
“You know everything that happened after that.”
The Star Killer closed his eyes.
The two of them became quiet.
A breeze blew past, and the moans between the rocks became more and more mournful.
“The always gluttonous and lazy Monty who had always been gluttonous and lazy became like this just for a woman?” Nicholas asked wearily.
“A woman you can never get?”
Monty froze momentarily.
But he then burst out laughing.
“Come on, Soray Nicholas, the so-called Star Killer. Haven’t you also been living in pain and conflicted emotions until now for the sake of a woman you can never get?”
The Star Killer’s whole body became stiff.
“Yes, I knew a long time ago. Just like how you knew about mine, I, too, know who the person your heart desires. The Star Killer isn’t as cold as the rumors say.” Monty leaned against the rock, showing his usual lackadaisical and unruly mannerisms.
Nicholas stared at the Raven of Death in disbelief. His mind stopped thinking.
There was a mocking look on his face when Monty clicked his tongue and said in a seemingly emotional tone, “When she came to visit Kaslan at the White Blade Guards’ training camp, all of us bastards crowded the place to look at her. A few hundred pairs of eyes were almost completely fixated on that girl…
“You were the only one, Spiky. You were the only one who turned away and pretended to look scornful. In truth, you didn’t even dare to look at her. Trust me, I know that feeling.”
Nicholas said nothing. He only shut his eyes tightly and tightened his grip on a rock in his pocket.
“Once, when we slipped out and looked for women together, you got drunk. You even called out her name when hugging some woman…”
The Star Killer suddenly opened his eyes!
As Nicholas stared at Monty with a pair of bloodshot eyes, he became a little furious. He cut the Raven of Death off with a cold expression.
Monty stopped talking.
“You know, I suddenly realized that I…” Nicholas inhaled deeply and said hoarsely, “I… I almost can’t recognize you anymore.”
Monty was slightly startled. He then laughed loudly.
“It’s not just you.” In the beginning, his laughter was very joyful, but it slowly became a little forced. Miserable, even. “A lot of times, when I stare at the man in the mirror…
“I almost can’t recognize… who he is.”