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    “It’s the Crimson Valley.”

    A soldier who recognized the terrain drawn on the map stated with confidence.

    “Here and here. Under the cliffs that meet, there’s a narrow path where only a few horses can pass. It’s not well-known as it’s a shortcut used by locals to cross the mountain.”

    The soldier looked up at Ashler, his voice trailing off.

    “It is said that a long time ago when a fight broke out at the end of the cliffs, one side used it as a trap. The name Crimson Valley comes from the fact that it was covered in blood.”

    It was indeed a trap. Ashler looked at the map and called his subordinates. He ordered them to select trustworthy soldiers and create a search team, and then conduct internal surveillance. Then, one of his subordinates glanced outside the tent for a moment.

    “Are those people going with the search team?”

    Ashler finally remembered the person who had been worrying since last night. Melmond had stayed up almost all night, and the butler had cried all night, his eyes swollen. If Ashler were to leave, it was clear that the two would go crazy and follow him. However, it was dangerous to take someone who was not a soldier. As he pondered for a moment, he heard a nearby suggestion.

    “It would be best to take the two people outside with you. If by any chance the person they are looking for is really with His Majesty, they might be needed because he seems to be in weak health. That person could be important to His Majesty.”

    It was a serious opinion, but Ashler was not fooled. The person who spoke was Nani, after all.

    “Of course, your four months’ worth of salary is also important, right?”

    Hmm. Nani flinched. But soon, he coughed and whispered as if persuading him.

    “Sir Ashler, this is by no means just a trivial bet.”

    It definitely seemed to be because of the bet.

    When they arrived at their destination, Nani, Melmond, and the butler clearly were the first to rush into the Crimson Valley before everyone else to check the result of the bet.

    “I’m doing this just for Abel’s sake. He is weak, you know? Sir Ashler, please make a decision for the greater good.”

    Ashler nodded at his words. The time had come to make a decision. The time had come to truly satisfy Nani.

    “Alright. We’ll take the two people with us.”

    As Nani’s face immediately brightened, Ashler added a condition.

    “But I’m in, too.”


    He threw a heavy purse onto the table and added.

    “One year’s worth of salary, I bet the two would not recognize each other.”

    The stakes grew higher.

    ⊹˚. ♡.𖥔 ݁ ˖ ⊹˚. ♡.𖥔 ݁ ˖

    If one sweated and gasped for breath, struggling and collapsing, anyone would look ridiculous. But there was an exception. The fairy’s appearance, even when struggling, was beautiful.

    “Haa, haa.”

    Abel exhaled rough breaths through his mouth and took heavy steps. His wet blond hair stuck to his white forehead, and his green eyes, although hazy from exhaustion, had a moistness that created a strange atmosphere. Moreover, his clothes hung loose, revealing a glimpse of one shoulder. The sweaty fairy was charming in its own way.

    It was a sight that would make anyone, regardless of age or gender, entertain dangerous thoughts, but it did not affect only one person. Karas, who simply saw Abel as a swindler, did not care whether he was struggling or not. Rather, it was comforting not to hear the increasingly familiar voice of him calling him ‘commander’.

    Therefore, he did not stop walking until he reached a crossroads and needed to know the direction. After walking through the plain for a while, he entered the forest again. Abel, who was already exhausted from walking under the scorching sun, was overwhelmed following the uphill mountain path. Despite starting early in the morning, it was only noon now.

    No matter how much medicine and fresh meat he ate, his poor stamina couldn’t improve overnight. Abel looked like he could collapse at any moment. But he didn’t suggest resting until the end. If he couldn’t hold on until the end, he planned to drink another medicine.

    He was worried that drinking medicine so often might strain his body, but he wanted to gather strength by trusting himself and thinking of the brave commander who was going on this path. Of course, the other side had no faith in him, not even a speck. Instead, his plan was to test and kill Abel in the Crimson Valley.

    That’s why he planned to take Abel to the Crimson Valley no matter how difficult it was. He didn’t show it, but Karas was actually slowing down a bit while climbing the mountain.

    Wouldn’t it be boring if he died before reaching the Crimson Valley?

    However, Abel, who didn’t know his true intentions, was touched when he noticed the slightly slower pace.

    He was indeed a good person, the brave commander.

    Abel made up his mind to somehow keep up with this pace. It was when he was determined with earnestness that he must not cause trouble and continue to lag behind.


    His staggering body, not seeing the tree roots rising on the roadside, tripped and fell. He barely supported his upper body with his two arms, but his trembling arms felt like they could collapse at any moment.

    Haah, haah…

    Abel exhaled hot breaths, feeling his way around his waist with his hands.

    Red bottle, red bottle. The butler had written down which medicine to use for each ailment, but most of the time, they were distinguished by color. Unable to even read the writing, Abel murmured the color of the bottle he should take in his mind.

    However, his vision was blurry, so he couldn’t see the color of the bottle at a glance. After a long time, Abel finally managed to find one bottle with his trembling hands. As he struggled to open the cap and drink, he noticed that Karas, who was walking ahead, had stopped. Abel raised his pale face and faintly smiled at him.

    “I-I’m sorry. Once I drink the medicine, I’ll, I’ll get better soon. I’ll catch up soon…”


    Instead of getting better, he fainted right away. The empty bottle slipped from Abel’s hand and rolled away. However, it was stopped from rolling further down the slope by a shoe blocking its path. Suddenly, Karas, who had approached Abel, bent down and picked up the orange medicine bottle. He was somewhat curious. He wondered what illness that guy, who would collapse with just a little walk, had. The medicine bottle had a kind explanation from the butler attached to it.

    ‘Medicine for a comfortable bowel movement’

    ⊹˚. ♡.𖥔 ݁ ˖ ⊹˚. ♡.𖥔 ݁ ˖

    The undercover search team, disguised as civilians in plain clothes after removing their insignia, had been running non-stop since morning. Fortunately, Melmond and the butler were riding in a carriage that looked convincing enough to be mistaken for merchants, so even if they encountered enemies, they wouldn’t be immediately attacked. However, it wasn’t just the enemies who were attacking.

    Throughout the morning, as the carriage moved along the wide road, they were already ambushed twice. They were people who had become thieves after losing their homes and land due to the war. Some of them were holding pickaxes without proper weapons, wearing ragged clothes. It was pitiful, but there was no room for sympathy for them.

    Those who ran to chase Karas as soon as possible lost their lives to the soldiers who were trained in war. The soldiers surrounded the carriage, so Melmond and the butler were not harmed, but they felt fear facing those who rushed at them with swords raised right before their eyes.

    Thanks to the soldiers, there were no injuries, but the faces of those who were about to depart again were grim.

    Could Abel have been attacked like this?

    And at the thought that followed, the faces of the two people turned pale at the same time.

    What if the attackers harbor ill feelings after seeing Abel’s appearance?!

    ⊹˚. ♡.𖥔 ݁ ˖ ⊹˚. ♡.𖥔 ݁ ˖




    The three thieves who found Abel couldn’t speak for a while. They had been living in hiding in their hometown for years to avoid being drafted during the war. They even considered themselves professional thieves, having formed a brotherhood. There was nothing to stop them, as they had mastered the ruthlessness and wicked laughter necessary for thieves. Until they discovered the sleeping fairy. That is, emitting a charm that would make the heart of anyone who saw it burst.

    “H-Hyungnim.”  [T/N: This is a term used in Korean for “older brother/big boss”]

    The youngest brother was the first to speak. No one turned their gaze to the youngest, but he asked with a trembling voice.

    “I-Is, is, is it a person?”

    The two older brothers couldn’t easily answer. They couldn’t possibly see that beauty as a person. However, the fairy was clearly breathing. Occasionally, it even let out a weak moan and turned its neck to show its white skin.


    The three of them swallowed their saliva at the same time and took a step forward.

    “I-It’s a person.”

    The most determined eldest approached the fairy with confidence.

    What kind of nonsense is this?! This path was originally not frequented by people. Even if someone passed by, it was mostly the dust-covered beetles. Other than that, they had only seen soldiers sneaking around a few days ago.

    Because of that, this area was not suitable for thievery. They were just using it as a hideout. But to see such a beautiful creature lying on the poorest road. No, calling it beautiful was an understatement. The eldest couldn’t contain his excitement and let out a sharp exhale.

    “Hehehe, but to confirm if it’s really a human, you have to, strip and, touch it.”

    As he spoke, his lower garment was already bulging out unexpectedly. The two who naturally followed the eldest like siblings also approached Abel, breathing heavily in line with their intentions. Stripping to confirm. What a brilliant idea. Moreover, to touch it too!

    “Will touching be enough, hyungnim? If need be, we could spread the buttocks and put our stuff inside…”


    A sudden sound interrupted them. When the three turned their heads in surprise, they saw someone slowly walking from above. A tall man with black hair. In one hand, he held a sword, and the tip of it dragged on the ground, making a sound.

    Screech— Screech—

    When the slow footsteps stopped nearby, the three finally went into a defensive stance and held their weapons in their hands.

    “If you’re just passing by, we’ll let it slide today, so just scram!”

    Before the bulging lump could disappear, the eldest quickly extended a kindness never seen before, eager to have a go with the fairy. However, the young man, who looked barely twenty, surveyed them with an expressionless face before turning his gaze to the fallen fairy on the ground.

    “Hey, hey. Leave when I’m being nice!”

    The second one stepped forward and covered the fairy in case a competitor appeared. Then the man whose vision was blocked looked at the three again with hazy gray eyes. This time, he tilted his head slightly to the side. When he showed no intention of moving, the youngest brother stepped forward and expressed his annoyance.

    Although he held a sword, it was clear that he was a novice in fighting, as he couldn’t even properly hold it to the ground. Moreover, on his other hand were two ducks.

    “Are you deaf? If you don’t want to lose the ducks you worked so hard to catch, then quietly leave.”


    “Huh, look at this punk? Hey, aren’t you gonna look away with those eyes?”

    Instead, the eyes stared even more sharply at the youngest brother.

    “No, this bastard is standing his ground without fear. Hey, who the hell are you?!”

    At the youngest one’s shout, the opponent took a step forward. At that moment, the three felt a strange chill. A shiver raced down their spines. What’s this?

    Before they could comprehend it, they heard the opponent’s dull voice. It was the answer to the youngest one’s final question.


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