ITDHL (Novel) Chapter 97

C97

Lariette immediately moved to the room Hamad had given her as soon as she finished borrowing magical supplies from Yama. It was to pack the necessary magical supplies for walking through the desert.

"Lari, none of that will withstand the sandstorm of Wind Month," advised Hamad with a furrowed brow as he followed her back to the room. They could have avoided such a sandstorm, but now it was the second stormiest half of the Wind Month period. It was not a place to survive with torn cloaks and tents. But despite the continuous dissuasion, Lariette continued to busy herself packing.

"Even a little will help."

"Even if you couldn't escape death with that little help?!"

Hamad raised his voice, his choice and indignation rushing toward death; he was the king of Ashtar, and Lariette was the guest who had been invited to Ashtar. Hamad had a duty to protect her, yet when Lariette heard the threat of dying, she didn't care at all. She casually asked the other soldier where she could find Asrahan. Her indifference infuriated Hamad even more. Over 100 people died in the desert.

They were swallowed by a desert storm, broke their necks, and died; they were ovulated by a monster and died... most of them haven't even been found. Even they were mostly desert-born and bred warriors of Ashtar.

It meant that even those accustomed to this climate would lose their lives if they were even slightly unprepared.

So, to Hamad, Lariette's actions were seen only as an act of brutality. Percussion! A large hand grabbed Lariette's wrist as she tied her hair.

It didn't hurt, but it was quite a strong force. Only then did Lariette look back.

"Lari, do you think dying is easy?"

Hamad approached her face as a warning. He felt he had to stop her even in a harsh way.

"It's not an easy decision. The cutting wind. You will face cockroach-infested monsters before your lover."

...

"You won't be able to feel the feeling of love again, eat delicious meals, or lie down feeling the comfort of a blanket. How precious was the life you took lightly, and it was too late to regret it amidst the monsters."

Hamad thought Lariette would be confused. The courage from the emotions of the moment cooled in the face of reality. But what appeared in his sight was Lariette's face with a small smile on her lips.

"Yes."

There was a voice that seemed to recall a distant moment.

"How precious was life to be considered a trivial routine. How precious and beautiful were the days of crying, laughing, and whining in the passing time. What a horror death is to take all that away."

She knew it better than anyone. Lariette added with a smile. She couldn't have known... She regretted one day, one hour, and one minute amidst the misunderstanding of a time limit, and after the misunderstanding cleared, her life was so precious that she left Asrahan.

Asrahan is a person who came to this desert through a sandstorm to find her gone, leaving only cold words. That's why Lariette knew very well what choices she had to make at that moment.

"It's not an easy decision."

Lariette firmly grabbed his hand. A direct gaze soon turned toward Hamad.

"It's a decision I made because I know more about life than about death."

She stepped away, dressed in a cloak to keep the desert wind at bay, left the room, abandoned the palace, and headed towards the gate.

It would be good if she could borrow from Yama, but she couldn't wait any longer. After wandering through the death desert for days, she knew how painful every second was. So she had to go a little faster. Finally, upon reaching the city gate and attempting to escape Ashtar, a low and charming voice grabbed her.

"Lari."

Lariette closed her mouth and turned her head. No matter how much he helped her, she wanted to reject any further detainment. However, the first person she encountered was not the strict-faced Hamad but Yama, who boasted fluffy fur.

"Take him. He's the strongest."

"Yama! Thank you so much!"

"If you're grateful, come back alive."

Hamad added, dropping the old cloak and throwing a new one over her face. It was a sturdy white mantle. Lariette, who had changed her cloak, smiled cheerfully and took hold of Yama's reins. The beautiful Yama's large eyes hid and cried.

The gates opened on Hamad's instruction. The wind that entered wasn't too strong thanks to the magical system based on the castle gate, but the situation outside was immense.

Due to the strong sandstorm, she couldn't see an inch ahead, and she heard a loud wind and rumbling. She believed there was a monster near the wall. Hamad, quickly realizing this, stopped Lariette with an urgent voice.

"Larie, wait!"

"Let's go!"

But it was too late to stop Lariette from starting. Yama vigorously entered the sandstorm, and the roaring of the monster's screams grew louder.

"Soldier!"

"Yes!"

With the same heart, he wanted to go out and save her, but his servants grabbed him by the collar and held him back. No matter how interested the king was in the first woman, Hamad couldn't be sent into the sandstorm to protect her. Hamad hurriedly sent soldiers to the monsters on the walls.

He ordered them to be killed, but aiming was not easy due to the strong wind. Gunpowder exploded in the wrong place, and a large monster gradually approached Lariette.

"Get out of the way!"

"Oh, Hamad, no!"

Hamad shrugged off his servant, who clung to his pants leg, and drew his sword. He couldn't stand still in the face of death. But before the sharp tip of the sword could face the monster, an unexpected event occurred.

Aw!

Bright red blood splattered like a fountain and dyed the sand. Along with it, the large body of the monster split apart on both sides with a shriek.

Hamad and the others in Ashtar stared at the sight. Lariette, who leaped vigorously from the top of Yama and soared into the sky, killed the monster in two at once. Doha, who was teaching Lariette, called her a genius.

Being called a genius by a globally recognized genius meant that Lariette was truly gifted with outstanding ability. Until now, she was beaten here and there, surrounded by those strong enough to count on the continent.

In particular, she lacked practical experience compared to Asrahan and Doha, so she couldn't fully bloom. However, stones are often refined into jewels someday.

Lariette faced Doha head-on, and during days in the desert of death, going beyond the crisis of death, these experiences became the occasion for her ability to flourish properly.

Lariette landed on a running Yama, using wind magic as naturally as water. Then, without looking back, she plunged into a sandstorm and disappeared.

Hamad, watching Lariette's disappearing back with a blank face, smiled in vain. The laughter grew louder and soon he began to laugh. Hamad, who had been laughing for a long time, muttered quietly, clutching the trembling edge of his mouth with his fingers.

"Well, that's really cool. It leaves a regret."

------------------------

In the harsh sandstorm, the hair tie holding Lariette's head broke and disappeared into the storm. Lariette felt her long hair fluttering frantically, burying her face further beneath Yama's nape.

Her cheeks were already scraped by stones and branches, she was in a state full of scratches. As Hamad said, the storm in the second half of the Wind Month was overwhelming, the wind was too strong. Without Yama, familiar with the desert storm, it would have been difficult to even take a step.

Less than 10 minutes had passed since she crossed the gates of Ashtar, but she had already encountered three monsters. Although they were a species that everyone had faced, it wasn't easy to compete with monsters who were familiar with storms with strong winds.

Her twisted ankle throbbed because she made a mistake in landing during the battle, and her wind-torn skin stung. Her head was dizzy from using too much magic.

A few months ago, during Blanche's kidnapping, she made a fuss over a small wound. But now Lariette endured all the pain and kept moving forward.

"Everything that survived this sandstorm is thanks to Asrahan."

If she hadn't dreamt of Asrahan, she would have given up and closed her eyes while wandering in the desert.

"Everything is thanks to him for making me realize that life is precious."

The day she was sentenced to a time limit, Lariette didn't care if she died. Rather, she felt sorry for things she had never done, but she didn't have many lingering feelings about life.

Then she felt such a hunger for life, all because Asrahan made her happy. Lariette desperately regretted realizing this too late.

"So it's time to pay you back."

The purple eyes shone intensely without wavering. A resolute mind led to the right path. Then a loud noise was heard, it was the long cry of monsters and the sound of someone fighting against them.

"Let's go!"

Lariette grabbed Yama's reins and ran with more strength. Her heart began to beat with anticipation. Even the breeze that cuts through the flesh came with an exhilarating stimulus. Soon a human groan was heard in the soft sand dust. It was so faint that it was hard to hear, but Lariette instinctively felt that it belonged to a very familiar person.

She saw a large scorpion-like monster. It was the moment the monster's tail attempted to pierce Asrahan's body.

"Asrahan!"

With a cry, Lariette jumped back onto Yama's back. A thick tree trunk rose from the ground and bound the scorpion's tail, forming powerful wind magic over her hands.

Lariette's body quickly reached the front of the dark man. The back of a slender woman was more reliable than any other long-breathed figure. A shield quickly spread around her and the man.

!!Quizzic!!

The sharp wind magic tore through the monster's body. The flesh of the venomous monster rolled against the shield with a pulsating sound. All the debris was swept away by the strong winds, and soon only the whistling wind and heavy breathing filled the area. Lariette turned slowly. And finally, in a furious storm, she was reunited with Asrahan.

They couldn't speak, but they locked eyes, it was a moment of desperate longing and desire, but they couldn't keep their mouths shut.

Lariette felt the excitement of an indescribable passion in her heart, her eyes burning in the moment, her nose rigid, her lips trembling. It was Asrahan who spoke first.

"...Is this also a dream?" Asrahan murmured with a tearful voice. He couldn't take his eyes off her from the moment she appeared. He was even afraid to blink. Perhaps she would disappear like a mirage when he opened his eyes again.

"I miss you so much, am I dreaming again?"

Lariette couldn't respond and could only tremble. As soon as she opened her mouth, it felt as if she would cry in her throat. After taking a deep breath that passed through her chest several times, the voice finally came out.

"Asrahan."

Lariette's body slowly descended to the ground. She touched the ground with trembling hands and knelt in front of him, looking at him. What should she say first? It was a moment she had rehearsed a thousand times. Say hello first, no, I'm sorry... Disorganized thoughts tangled in her head. And it was her utmost sincerity that finally came out of her mouth.

"I missed you."

In the end, a burst of tears. Tears rolled down her cheeks and mingled with a faint smile. Asrahan's hands trembled and reached out towards Lariette. Soon, the touch of his fingers brushed against her eyes.

"Actually..."

She felt a slight warmth on her skin. She also felt the texture of tears.

"Is it really you?"

She saw the violet eyes looking directly at him, the redness of her tiny nose, her cracked and bloodied plump lips. It was truly Lariette. Not a fragment of dreams that disappeared with the morning, which made him terribly painful. Lariette, alive, was crying in front of him.

"I missed you."

Asrahan's voice was saturated with passion, and a thick tear formed in his reddened eyes, trickling down his cheeks.

"I wanted to see you so much, I wanted to die."

He began to gasp intermittently. A large hand held Lariette's shoulder. He was desperate, as if he wanted salvation.

"Never."

Soon, Asrahan pulled her into his embrace. The bodies of the two, man and woman, merged seamlessly.

"I will never let you go again."

Even if this is a dream, I will never let go. Asrahan cried and whispered desperately in her ear. The blue eyes within the reddish whites seemed to sense madness.

Lariette nodded silently, tightening her grip on his back in their embrace.

"Never." His lips whispered to her.

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