ITDHL (Novel) Chapter 98

C98

Hot. Lariette, who closed her eyes and clung to Asrahan's back, felt a fever in the palms of her hands. Not just her palms, but everything she touched. As if she would never let go again, his shoulders, back, and arms were warm. Even the breath that brushed against her ears was warm.

At first, she thought her body was overheated because she had been crying so hard. It was so hot that her eyes filled with tears, the tip of her nose was sore, and her whole face was swollen. But the heat wasn't just because of the crying. Especially, she had a lot of contact with him.

"...Asrahan?"

When she realized something was wrong, she anxiously called out his name. Asrahan still breathed heavily. There was no response. Only his broad back rose and fell intermittently.

"Asrahan!"

Lariette grabbed him by the shoulder and shook him firmly to confirm his condition. His face, which was always as clean as if it had been drawn, looked very ill. She felt her heart sink.

Even more so because it was the first time Asrahan had shown her such a pained expression. She urgently examined Asrahan's body.

His whole body was covered in scratches. His limbs were attacked and torn, and a large wound remained on his back. It seemed that he wasn't known as the Empire's top swordsman for nothing, but there were many injuries, and although there was none deep enough to threaten his life, if that was the case, it meant the problem was inside.

"Poison...!"

Unlike monsters from other parts of the world, desert monsters had very strong poisons that could only seep through the body. Lariette was able to survive among these monsters because she was a purification mage better than anyone else. As soon as the poison permeated the skin, the purifying energy rushed in and detoxified it.

The life-threatening poison was neutralized to a dizzying degree, and even after getting used to the battle, she properly protected herself with protective shields. That's how she was able to reach Ashtar, but Asrahan couldn't. He achieved overwhelming victory against countless monsters, but he couldn't stop the poison that soaked into his skin. He was resistant to a certain degree of poison, but the battle continued, and the amount of exposure exceeded the limit.

"How much mana is left?"

Lariette identified the amount of mana remaining in her body. It wasn't much because it had been used to fight monsters on the way here and to stop the storm.

It seemed that even if she used all her mana as much as possible, she wouldn't be able to fully heal Asrahan.

Even that wouldn't guarantee a safe return to Ashtar. If she used up all the mana, it would be difficult to walk, and in severe cases, she would collapse, but there was no way she could carry Asrahan, pierce through the storms and monsters in that situation. Which means healing him could end up killing them both.

"If it's not cleansed right now, his life will be in danger no matter how fast we are," thought Lariette, covering Asrahan's face. He was looking at Lariette even as he was poisoned to death. Asrahan, unable to take his eyes off her, slowly raised his hand to her face and couldn't touch it, but his fingers moved in the air. Then there was a voice of concern.

"You were hurt."

Asrahan said, looking at the scratch on Lariette's cheek. While he was in agony, he wasn't concerned about his own injuries in the slightest. The situation was so bittersweet that Lariette laughed out loud.

"Asrahan is more injured."

"Go back quickly for treatment. I'll be with you."

Asrahan suggested with a warm breath. He didn't want to be separated from her at all, but Lariette's safety was more important than his desperate heart. His head felt heavy and his vision was spinning.

Asrahan realized that this might be his last time. No matter how much he missed her, he couldn't take her to the other world. At least, he saw her face once before dying. Asrahan laughed a little, thinking that. But Lariette responded with a smile.

"Let's go together."

The same goes for her, not wanting to fall again. She wanted to return together when she returns and die together when she dies.

"Everywhere, together."

Life without Asrahan means nothing. Lariette added that and took Asrahan's hand.

A bright light burst in all directions in the sandstorm. The purification magic was more intense than ever. In the light, the lovers embraced each other tenderly. Like any other day of love, a happy smile and a warm, delicate energy spread through Asrahan's body.

Even this familiar touch was too precious to Asrahan. The light dimmed, and Lariette's body collapsed helplessly. Asrahan had held onto her body tightly and supported her even in an uncured state.

Yama, who had been waiting for them so quietly, suddenly let out a long sound, like an animal warning, unafraid when facing large monsters.

Asrahan felt something approaching them, and it was natural after such a large light spread everywhere.

Thssss<.

And then a chilling sound filled the area. It wasn't difficult to figure out the main character. It was because the snake monsters, ten times larger than humans, approached them with a long tongue.

"Five... Six... Seven."

There were too many. Asrahan held onto Lariette tightly and gripped his sword with the other hand.

"You won't touch a single hair on Lariette."

He whispered in a low voice, like a growling beast. It was a commitment of conviction. A promise to not harm her at all, no matter what happens to his own body. And just as Asrahan was about to brandish his sword, another signal came. He thought it was a monster.

"There's no such thing as a new drama."

Said the man, his red hair fluttering around, loudly. He had heard it. He had seen that fiery hair, silver-gray eyes. Asrahan quickly deduced the identity and narrowed his eyes.

"Alpaca?"

"That Alpaca!" Hamad snorted in anger. At the same time, he wanted to argue why he called himself that name, but now the situation was not good. Let's ask later. Hamad, who decided so, lifted his head proudly and ordered.

"Attack!"

"Yes!"

Ashtar's elite army in Yama ran behind him and rushed towards the monster with a cry. Hamad took his sword and swiftly flew. As a result of his skill, the enormous body of the monster was immediately struck, and Asrahan, assuming they were Ashtar's people, wielded his sword smoothly.

All the attacks were fierce even when they were not normal. The snake monsters writhed and attacked the humans but couldn't keep their heads above water.

The energy was immense because the two strongest people on the continent collaborated. They finally won in an instant against the monster. No one was seriously injured, only minor wounds.

"Shaaaaa!"

The last monster screamed and shrieked, while Hamad, wiping the blood from his face, turned to Lariette with a bright smile. To be precise, Asrahan supporting Lariette.

"Uh, hey!"

Hamad ran towards him in surprise. Asrahan fell to his knees at the end of the battle. He was the first to examine Lariette's condition in his arms.

Asrahan, who had fallen, worried that he might have lost her and hit his head, but it was futile. Asrahan remained unconscious but held her tightly even when he lost his mind, and Lariette did not receive any shock. Hamad looked at the two lovers lying on the ground with a smile. Even after they both lost their minds, they were desperate to hold each other tightly.

"You're tinkling."

Hamad gestured to his men ironically. It was time to return to Ashtar.

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

Lariette had a long dream. In the dream, Duke Blanche and his wife came out, and also Anne, Hallstein, and Princess Erzebut, even Shelia was hopping by her side. Soon, they all disappeared, and Doha showed his face. He looked at Lariette without saying anything and soon turned away. Then the last person to appear was Asrahan. He was very far away, unlike the others. Then he gave her a cold look.

"Asrahan!"

Lariette touched her lips to call him, but her voice couldn't come out. Asrahan slowly turned around and started to leave her, but Lariette shouted again.

"Don't go! I missed you, please don't go!"

But her words only hung around her throat. Like, this is not what she's supposed to say. Asrahan kept getting farther away. Lariette ran breathlessly, but the distance didn't shorten.

"What do I have to say for my voice to sound? What the hell do I have to say?"

She cried in the darkness and reached Asrahan, his weak back fading away. Asrahan was about to disappear completely when Lariette shouted loudly.

"Asrahan!"

It was at that moment that she opened her eyes.

"Haaa, haaa."

Lariette looked ahead, breathing heavily. A yellow cloth fluttered by the window. It was a familiar place. Inside Ashtar's castle, the room provided by Hamad.

"This is..."

Lariette hurriedly tried to recall her last memory. She lost consciousness after healing Asrahan. But being here now meant that Asrahan was brought here. It was a great relief that they arrived safe and sound. But first, she had to check.

There might have been some trouble until the poison reached Asrahan, who was not fully purified, and perhaps he was injured in the monster's attack. She was about to get up and go look for Asrahan, but quickly realized she didn't need to because he was sitting by her bed, looking at her.

"...Did you have a nightmare?"

Asrahan asked softly and hesitantly. Lariette opened her mouth without understanding and looked at him. Looking at the bandage wrapped around his shirt, he still looked unwell. Were you holding me like this? She was overwhelmed with emotion again.

She wanted to tell him not to do that but to take a look at his own body. But before she could speak, her throat choked up, and a dream came to her mind.

A dream that warned her to say what she had to say. Lariette silently faced Asrahan for a moment. His blue eyes were indifferent and pathetic. He also seemed a little anxious. Upon finding that gaze, she quickly understood what he was going to say.

"Asrahan."

"...Yes."

Lariette reached out her hand carefully. The distance became closer, as if she could touch his hand. She looked at Asrahan as if seeking permission. Then she bit her lips firmly and soon held Lariette's hand tightly. And a clear voice continued.

"I'm sorry."

The blue eyes trembled fiercely. The hands holding each other also gained more strength.

"I left you with such hurtful words, broke my promise, and left you..."

She even felt guilty as she checked Asrahan's appearance, which was filled with wounds here and there. Long eyelashes fluttered and covered his teary purple eyes. Lariette tried to explain why she did such a thing. She had an obligation to answer any questions from Asrahan. But the response she received was unexpected.

"I didn't do such a thing..."

"It's okay."

A firm voice interrupted Lariette. She looked at him surprised. Asrahan's eyes were red again.

"Whatever the reason, it's okay now."

It seemed as if he was about to cry. But there was a beautiful smile on his lips, showing that the crying was not caused by pain. He already knew Lariette's circumstances. If Hallstein hadn't contacted her, he might have misunderstood her true feelings, but not now that he knew her condition.

"If you die, I can't live either."

Asrahan recalled what he had said on the day Lariette was about to die. Knowing and thinking about the situation, he could feel how devastated she must have been when she heard that. That's why he left. To prevent himself from showing her his dying self.

"You said it was a three-month time limit, but you're still alive... He was helpful."

Mikhail Dohabellion was born with the most powerful divine power. Therefore, it would have been possible to cure the disease that is said to be incurable. It didn't matter what Lariette had to do with him or what she did to him, it no longer mattered. He was just grateful that she didn't have to die.

"You're with me now, and you're looking at me with tenderness... everything is fine."

Asrahan tilted his head towards Lariette. His face came as close as possible. Unknowingly, Lariette sweetened her lips. In his friendly eyes, he clearly appeared young and eager to devour her. She couldn't divert her gaze as if their eyes were entangled. Her skin tensed with anticipation, and her heart beat strongly.

It was because he was too close. Asrahan looked at Lariette, as if asking for her permission, and she naturally closed her eyes. Asrahan confirmed it, without hesitation, extended his hand, and held Lariette's face. Then their lips drew closer.

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