Episode 15: Hng (4)
T/N: Big thanks to Yuki, Ginko, Bri, Alexiel, Sarah, Strawberry and Merida for sponsoring this chapter on Ko-Fi!
The relationship between hierarchies in Irugo was not usually too rigid but Mukali was more unconventional.
Because of his magnanimous attitude, the maids treated Mukali, who was both a general and a noble, quite comfortably.
This didn’t mean they disregarded him, by any means.
The maids knew how kind and sweet Mukali was, despite with steep rocky shell. Even when he lost his left eye, the maids were more saddened than him and cared for him, not leaving his side for a moment.
Once Mukali was by himself, he ignored the tea which was getting cold and fiddled with the ornaments in his hands.
‘I really hate tiny and fragile things like this.’
While thinking that, his fingers kept playing with the squirrel’s tail.
‘…But since the Princess Consort gave it to me.’
It wasn’t because it was a gift from his lord’s wife. It was because it was given to him by the person called Aristine.
《 Sir. Mukali is a warrior who fights deadly battles so I think it will only inconvenience him further.》
《 But Sir Mukali is a warrior so isn’t battle his job? Even if he doesn’t go out to battle, he trains every day. The same thing applies for training.》
Those were the words Aristine said to Volatun who gifted Mukali an eyepatch.
Just like when they first met, Aristine saw Mukali as he was.
Not a monster with a hideous face.
Or an unfortunate, pitiful person.
Or someone who was actually a good person contrary to his monstrous outer appearance.
Her gaze was never like that. She just looked at him the same way you would look at someone wearing red or blue.
Mukali put the ornaments down on the glass table.
They were like Aristine.
A demonic beast was the reason Mukali lost his left eye. It was an intense battle.
He was separated from his comrades as he fought fervently, enduring the pain which felt like his entire left face was burning.
The demonic beast that smelled his blood pursued him. He didn’t even have time to care for his wounds. His hands were full just trying to survive.
After 2 weeks, he was able to join his comrades.
However, the wound on his left eye was left untreated in the worst environment possible and it was irreversible. The area around his eye was already rotting.
He took measures to prevent further necrosis, but a terrifying, hideous scar remained.
The maids who adored him burst into tears when they saw it and looked helpless. His parents praised him as an excellent warrior. But he knew that when they fell asleep, they hit their chest with pain.
There were many good people around Mukali. They were neither scared nor disgusted, nor did they avoid him.
They felt sorry for Mukali.
They loved him and wanted to take care of him.
Mukali knew this too, so he didn’t exactly have any complaints. Rather, he was grateful.
Sometimes, there were nights where he felt like an abnormal monster and found it hard to bear. Because whether they were appalled by him, or sympathized with him, they were all saying he was not normal.
But Aristine, she—.
Mukali’s index finger tapped the sleeping fox’s ear.
‘Would the Princess Consort really have an affair?’
Yesterday, Aristine visited Mukali’s mansion with the court ladies. When Aristine said that she and Mukali were going to the smithy to see Ritlen, the court ladies easily nodded in understanding and went back to the palace.
If it was really an affair, would the court ladies react like that? In addition, would Aristine so openly talk about where she was going or who she was going to meet?
From that moment on, Mukali realized that something was different than he thought.
Feeling oddly elated, Mukali honestly asked.
《 By the way, why are you going to meet him? 》
《 Hm, Tarkan has agreed to doing business so I guess I can talk about some of this now.》
Mukali was surprised at the sudden mention of his lord’s name. Did that mean his lord knew?
《 This is necessary for my business.》
This was news to him. But Dionna definitely said…
Even before, Aristine herself said that she was trying to lure that man.
《 If I make a lot of money, I’ll treat you.》
Aristine said with a bright smile.
Was that really it? He hoped it was. It should be.
Deep inside, he wanted to believe this was the truth. Mukali could sense these feelings he had and steeled his heart even more.
He wanted to verify it with his own eyes.
And so he did. With his own two eyes.
Aristine was innocent.
She wasn’t hiding treacherous intentions or chasing after another man and ignoring her husband.
She…she was a really nice person.
Mukali admitted with difficulty.
The Princess of Silvanus.
Because of his pride, he refused to acknowledge her and denied her continuously.
He got angry at the people who saw her for who she was, accusing them of being easy and taken by deception.
Furthermore, he only listened to what someone else said, and rudely attacked her to criticize her.
He even deceived her by pretending to help in order to catch her red-handed at the scene of adultery and embarrass her.
‘I’m embarrassed of myself.’
In reality, Aristine was the one who saw Mukali clearly, more than anyone else.
Mukali clenched his fists.
‘I will pledge my loyalty!’
Aristine was a wonderful woman who suited his lord well. Saying that she was a good pair with Tarkan, was the highest compliment to Mukali.
‘I have to tell Dionna too.’
Now that the misunderstanding was cleared up, he wanted to tell her so she could be at ease since she was very worried.
She wished for Tarkan’s happiness and hoped for Aristine to be a good person so she would certainly be happy to hear it.
‘I should go tell her myself, right?’
It didn’t seem right to notify with a telegram.
Mukali rose to his feet, in a good mood.
But just as he was about to leave the room, he stopped.
‘Where did Dionna get such a misunderstanding?’
Dionna’s own words were that the Princess was chasing after a man’s tail. She continuously denied it and sided with Aristine but there must be a reason why Dionna even considered that idea.
‘Even though other people knew all about Ritlen, they didn’t even suspect adultery.’
So why was Dionna the only one?
Mukali sat back down.
He could go and ask Dionna but that didn’t seem like a very good idea. She was a good kid and very sincere towards their master, so her worries might have gotten ahead of her.
‘But for now…’
Mukali’s only eye sank heavily.
‘I have to check where Dionna got the information that Her Highness is interested in Ritlen and how that information was conveyed for Dionna to have such worries.’