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    Fortunately, the Crimson Valley appeared before Abel collapsed from exhaustion. The path between the cliffs was so narrow that you could only see the path clearly when you got closer. At first glance, the path seemed to continue straight as a narrow line, with the entrance on the other side clearly visible.

    However, even if it wasn’t the distinctive terrain of the valley, seeing enemy soldiers entrenched across the valley made it clear that this was the destination. Conveniently, there was even a guide at the entrance of the valley. As soon as he saw Karas, he shouted and ran through the narrow passage.

    “Ah, he’s here!”

    Abel followed Karas, panting, and was startled and stepped back at the sound of the enemy’s voice. And then he looked up at Karas and was surprised again. The position of the Commander-in-Chief is really high. Seeing that both the enemies they first encountered on the open field and the enemies across the valley all knew Karas.

    Well, with his skill in annihilating enemies, he would indeed be famous. Feeling a renewed sense of fear towards Karas, Abel looked beyond the valley. From the crowd gathered at the narrow entrance, it was hard to gauge the scale of their forces, but since they had been summoned here, it seemed something had been prepared.

    At that moment, a man in his fifties, clad in armor, shouted from the other side.

    “Karas! I’ve been waiting for you.”

    Instead of answering, Karas turned his head towards Abel.

    “It’s him.”

    “Yes?”

    Out of the blue, he called him “him”? Abel asked, confused, and Karas replied as if annoyed.

    “Baldy.”

    Baldy? Abel was even more bewildered. Looking again, the man in his 50s seemed to have a shiny forehead.

    “Yes, he’s bald.”

    Abel reluctantly agreed, and Karas turned his eyes and muttered.

    “If we catch him, the war will end.”

    It was then that Abel realized that the bald man was the enemy country’s king. His heart raced as he realized this fact.

    I can end the war. I can be of help to the prince. Gulp.

    Swallowing his saliva due to tension, a dry voice slowly continued.

    “But there must be traps along that path.”

    Indeed. Abel nodded his head. Of course, they wouldn’t have brought in the nearly invincible Karas without any preparations.

    “Then how do we pass through the traps?”

    “It’s simple. You just need to know what the traps are.”

    How? Karas turned his emotionless gaze away from Abel’s green eyes, which were wide with surprise once again.

    “You said you wanted to end the war for His Majesty, right?”

    Abel’s green eyes widened as he turned to Karas. Yes, I do. Even without an answer, Karas understood and suggested a method.

    “Then go into the traps. Sacrifice your life to find out.”

    [T/N: Wth. I am crying T-T]

    Lies would always come to light. Because everyone has something more precious than their deception. Their own life. Karas had not yet seen anyone who would risk their life and would still lie. So, he naturally believed that it would work this time too. He didn’t think that someone would continue to lie when they were told to walk towards an obvious danger.

    Now, his face would show hesitation. His eyes would shake, his face would stiffen, and his confusion would be revealed. He would pretend not to know Karas’ true identity, and he might even kneel down and beg for his life, saying that all the words about the emperor were lies. No, he might even faint from the shock and fall to the ground.

    Karas spat out the words and waited for a reaction, staring intently with his green eyes to not miss any tremor. He also watched for any signs of confusion in his expression. And the reaction came immediately. However, it was not what Karas had expected. His eyes slightly widened, and a smile appeared on his small white face. And a firm answer followed.

    “Yes.”

    Abel, who raised his head to look at Karas again after surveying the valley and the enemies beyond it, had eyes that were neither shaking nor stiff as he looked straight at his opponent.

    “I will go first. I will focus all my strength on uncovering the trap to help the Commander-in-Chief.”

    “….”

    “Don’t worry. I will do really well.”

    He answered confidently, but as he looked back at the valley, he showed a hint of worry.

    “I hope the trap is short-lived for me. That way, the Commander-in-Chief can easily pass through.”

    Though the other person showed no reaction, Abel didn’t notice and turned to look at the valley. He earnestly contemplated while carefully examining the valley.

    “The problem is that they are targeting the Commander-in-Chief, so when I go first, they won’t make any moves. Well, fortunately, there are some hiding spots along the way that I can use.”

    “You….”

    “Well, it’s okay! I will disrupt them and make them use the trap on me.”

    “….”

    “Haha, it’s not something to brag about, but I have occasionally heard someone say that I’m a person that can do everything well. Of course, just occasionally.”

    “….”

    “So, I will definitely do my part-“

    Abel stopped speaking. Only then did he notice that the other person was looking at him with a strange gaze. After a moment of confusion, a bigger smile appeared on Abel’s face as he lightly tapped Karas’ arm to reassure him.

    “Don’t worry at all. I will do my best to help you, even if it means risking my life.”

    Then, as if he remembered something, he took out two pomegranates and handed them to Karas.

    “Here, take these.”

    Karas just looked down at the pomegranates without moving his hand. In response, Abel then forcibly placed them in his hand. Two red fruits could be seen through the yellow handkerchief. Following that, a voice filled with satisfaction was heard.

    “Hehe, it’s a gift in advance. Commander-in-Chief, please survive and enjoy them later.”

    Karas’ confusion was already overwhelming, as if he couldn’t understand, he tilted his head to the side.

    This was something Abel had left behind for someone precious. So, of course, he had to pass it to that person, right? But why give it to him if he’s going to die?

    “Why?”

    “Yes?”

    Abel asked, but soon he realized his question. Abel thought for a moment, looked at the empty space as a habit, and answered comfortably.

    “There will be many others who will give pomegranates to him besides me. When the war is over and peace comes, he can personally pick them. It’s better for him to live peacefully after the war than to give him two pomegranates myself. Haha, it feels really good to say it.”

    His green eyes sparkled as if he were truly happy. Like really. No, not just truly, but as if he was genuinely happy to be able to die for others. Karas couldn’t understand this situation at all.

    Abel lied about not knowing Karas’ true identity, so all of his actions afterwards had to be lies as well. The ridiculous title of “Commander-in-Chief,” the childish desire to end the war, and every single look he gave Karas, they all had to be lies. And they should have been revealed at this moment.

    But oddly, it seemed to become even firmer, as if it were the truth. For the first time, Karas doubted himself rather than the other person.

    What if I’m mistaken? But it didn’t make sense. Wanting to end the war for the emperor, even though he didn’t recognize him. Such hypocritical behavior surely had ulterior motives.

    The way he spoke and acted were similar to the Regas who had approached Karas before. Unlike before, this one was so perfect just like the real Abel that it made Karas even angrier, but it didn’t matter now. The fact that he was using Abel was evidence that he had deliberately approached him.

    He was back to square one. He should have known that Karas was the Emperor’s name. But now everything was twisted. The fake one was confident in the face of death. As if there had been no lie. While Karas’ frowned in confusion, the other person was contemplating how to die.

    “I will go ahead first. Commander-in-Chief, stay back a bit and follow me. But make sure to stop at the entrance.”

    Abel, who once again urged Karas’ to stop at the entrance, understood Karas’ silence as confirmation and went ahead confidently. The enemy king greeted warmly, but Karas ignored him, feeling gloomy.

    “Karas’, you bastard! Have you come all the way here just to freeze up like a coward?!”

    Shouting from a distance, the king’s voice cracked. But fearing it might not be heard, he exerted more force in his throat.

    “Karas! You bastard! Are you coming all the way here just to mock me like a coward?”

    The king was out of breath. The lack of air made his head dizzy. Yet, his efforts were in vain as he was once again ignored. Regardless of what the king said or did, Karas had grabbed Abel’s arm and turned him around. However, he simply stopped Abel without saying a word. This led Abel to smile slightly and open his mouth.

    “It’s okay. I’ll do well.”

    “……”

    “I’m serious.”

    “Don’t make me laugh.”

    At the cold words, the smile vanished from Abel’s face. Instead, his eyes flickered in confusion, and Karas’ hazy gray eyes narrowed.

    “You’d give up your life so easily?”

    Abel, who was staring blankly at Karas, got angry, glanced at the enemy king who was shouting, and replied.

    “No way. It’s scary and terrifying. It’s not easy. I, rather than that, why does he keep shouting? I should go first…”

    “Shut up, baldy.”

    It was Karas who demanded to sacrificed his life to catch the baldy. The enemy’s king, now supported by those around him, flared up again. It seemed like he might just lose his temper and leave, so Abel became anxious.

    “No, please pay attention to him. If we lose sight of him, it’ll not be good. I’ll quickly go into the trap.”

    And he turned his body again, but he couldn’t move forward. Karas still didn’t let go of his arm. Abel, truly flustered, asked softly.

    “Um, are you afraid Commander-in-Chief?”

    Before the words were finished, Karas pushed Abel’s arm away in one go. Abel staggered and barely regained his balance by taking a step back. He was relieved that he didn’t fall, but soon he regained his balance and took a step back in caution.

    A murderous intent appeared in Karas’s eyes. His half-open, languid eyes had turned dark. It felt like he might get stabbed to death before even walking into the trap. Abel was so scared that he automatically blurted out a flattering excuse.

    “Of course, there’s no way the fearless Commander-in-Chief would be afraid! Haha.”

    He emphasized that he was a fearless guy, even raising his thumb. But Karas didn’t pay attention to Abel. Finally, Abel realized that Karas’ eyes weren’t directed at him. He was staring at the valley.

    Tap.

    Before turning his head to see what was going on, Karas took a step forward.

    Shouldn’t I go first? Abel was surprised and tried to follow Karas quickly. However, as soon as he turned his body and checked the direction Karas was looking, he froze like ice.

    Even though Karas was already walking slowly, Abel couldn’t keep up with him. Someone was walking out of the entrance to the opposite valley. His hands tied tightly behind his back as if he were a prisoner, and his steps staggered.

    Furthermore, one of his feet was connected by a chain, as if to prevent him from escaping. Disheveled brown hair, pale face, and bloodstains visible through his torn clothes. Due to someone from behind continuously telling him to keep walking, he had no choice but to slowly move his steps towards the center of the valley.

    Abel still couldn’t move and stood frozen until Karas stopped halfway. Karas, who was leading the way, was now standing at the entrance like a statue. Although there was some distance, the exhausted and pale face of the man who entered the valley was clearly frightened. And his vivid green eyes were unmistakable.

    Crunch.

    Unbeknownst to Abel, the dry soil under his feet made a sound. But all he could hear clearly in his ears was the voice of the tired king.

    “I called you here because of this person. Do you recognize who it is?”

    How could he not recognize? It was right in front of him. It was his own appearance from 12 years ago. A chill spread throughout Abel’s body. Then, as if to confirm it, the king’s voice echoed once more.

    “He said his name is ‘Abel.’ And he claims to have been reincarnated.”

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