Ch. 105 Remove Your Hand (1)
Elena was arresting the Empress’ men who infiltrated the palace, according to Carlisle’s orders. However, at some point, she could sense someone following her. She stopped walking and turned towards the person trailing her feet.
“Hey, why do you keep coming after me?”
Morgan stepped away from behind a tree, smiling. He was so big that even a large trunk couldn’t conceal him.
“Your name is Len, right? How did you know I was following you? I thought I hiding myself.”
“Alright, just get to the point. Are you here to quarrel with me again?”
Elena didn’t care for the pride of knights, but if he kept bothering her about it, it would be interesting to have a face-off to prove who was stronger. Despite that Elena was a woman and had a smaller body, she had her experience from her last life.
“Oh, no. I don’t want to pick a quarrel with you.”
“Then why do you keep coming after me?”
Morgan shyly scratched the back of his large head.
“From what I saw of you from the bridge last time, I think you’re a better guy than I first thought.”
Elena stared at him. Morgan continued on with an embarrassed expression.
“So let’s be friends.”
Elena did not reply, and he continued on nervously.
“We’re all in the same family anyway. I work for the Crown Prince.”
He would probably devolve into gibberish if she left him like this, so she nodded.
Morgan’s face lit up at her answer.
“Are we going to be friends from now on?”
They were not children playing, but it almost felt like he was holding out his pinky finger to make a promise. Elena couldn’t help but smile how Morgan’s gentle nature was so opposite of his appearance.
In her past life there were men who sometimes acted charming and sweet towards her, without recognizing her for her abilities because she was a woman. It was only after seeing in her action did they come to respect her. Of course, Morgan didn’t know she was a woman now, but…in this life, she was going to pretend to be a man in order to hide her identity as much as possible.
“My name is–”
“Morgan, isn’t it?”
She remembered that someone called him that on Flower Bridge. Morgan gave her a smile for remembering. It really didn’t match the big guy at all, causing Elena to smile again. Suddenly–
Swig swig swig—
Someone passed nearby. They had not yet captured everyone who trespassed on the palace. Elena immediately took a combat stance.
“Let’s talk later.”
Morgan nodded and stood by Elena’s back.
“I’ll take this opportunity to show you my strength, so keep your eyes open.”
Morgan took out his main weapon, a heavy iron mace, and spun it a few times in the air. Elena could not help but glance over when she heard the force of the wind. A blow from that would certainly knock down a knight or break his weapon.
Elena’s mouth went upwards as she realized that her friend was more powerful than she thought.
“Then let’s go catch the rats hiding.”
As soon as she finished speaking, Elena shot ahead like a cat, and Morgan rushed forward with a heavy gait that seemed to make the earth shudder.
Elena and Morgan walked out of the dark woods. The number of enemy soldiers they captured together totaled seven, and all seven were carried by Morgan alone. He had two on each shoulder, and the other three he dragged on the ground by their collars. Because of this, Elena was able to walk unburdened.
“You are really good, Len.”
Morgan didn’t miss his enemies easily, but he had a style of fighting meant to overpower one or two enemies in front of him. Meanwhile, Elena’s moves were so agile and accurate that she managed to block the escape routes and narrow the field effectively. Morgan couldn’t help but admire her skills.
“…We’re still a ways off.”
Although Elena had more physical strength and familiarity with a sword than when she first returned to the past, she still hadn’t fully recovered her peak skills. Her basic physical strength couldn’t reach its full potential without substantial training.
“Oh, have you fought with the prince? I hear some talented guys spar with him…”
Elena looked curiously at Morgan.
“You don’t know?”
“Then you’d better avoid it as much as possible. Those who go up against the prince tend to get seriously injured. On rainy days you can hear them complaining about their injuries.”
She knew that Carlisle was not weak, but she had never seen him wield a sword in person.
“Is Carlisle that strong?”
“Of course. Probably the strongest in our army. You don’t know because you’re new and have never been to war. His Highness doesn’t really acknowledge it. But sometimes…even I’m terrified.”
Morgan’s voice trailed off, but his words stayed in Elena’s mind.
She began to imagine what Carlisle was like on the battlefield. Drenched in blood, defeating dozens of enemies… She also remembered the black scales that had appeared on his arm, and imagined him holding up the enemy by their neck. His words flashed across her mind.
– Let me ask you this. Do you have any regrets about your decision? And you know…I could be a monster.
Caril had always called himself a monster, but she didn’t think he was talking just about his arm. Why did it transform like that? She lingered over these unanswered questions. She was lost in thought until the person she was imagining about spoke for real in front of her.
She glanced up, but when she looked around there didn’t seem to be many other knights that had returned yet. She didn’t think they were late, but she didn’t protest.
“They had gotten away farther than we thought, so it took a while to catch them.”
Morgan dumped the seven unconscious bodies onto the ground, and immediately came up to Elena and placed his hand on her shoulder.
“Len did good work–”
“Your hand, remove it.”
Carlisle’s tone turned deadly, and Morgan glanced down to where his hand was placed. His hand was only lightly touching Elena’s shoulder, and this level of familiarity was common among knights. As they fought together and camaraderie deepened, they way they would touch each other would become more familiar too. When they went out for drinks, they would even stumble around shoulder-to-shoulder.
Before Elena could raise a question, Morgan quickly removed his hand on Elena’s shoulder. Carlisle was emitting such a terrible energy that he looked like he would cut the offending limb if it remained on Elena’s body any longer.
Elena stared right at Carlisle and continued as if nothing had happened.
“I don’t think we’ve captured all of them yet, so I’ll go back into the forest and help the others.”
“Ah, me too–”
Carlisle cut off Morgan’s words.
“Why do you need to move with a partner? Morgan, you go alone.”
“Yes, Your Highness. I will return!”
After a loud reply, Morgan rushed towards a direction that had some noise. As Elena stared at his back, she immediately lowered her voice to speak to Carlisle.
“We’ll be out of here soon.”
“…You should praise me for being so patient.”
She looked at him with a surprised expression and unknowingly shook her head.
She saw Zenard coming to them from a distance. The fact that he returned was evidence that something had happened and Elena kept a close eye. Finally he arrived, gasping for breath as he gave his report.
“Your Highness, we found Kuhn.”