Welp I kind of went MIA for a few months thanks to medical school really picking up… but at least I managed to finish this translation thanks to a particularly boring lecture 😛
Please let me know where my translations can be improved! (You should be reading this at penjournalhappy.wordpress.com)
Having no idea that the child he had picked up and put on the rock was happily showing off his glory in his heart, Heimos patiently knelt on one knee and held the child’s left foot in one hand.
He himself was wearing dark long boots, while this child was only wearing thin-soled sandals. Additional thin white cloth strips had been wrapped around the child’s calves.
Unlike his own dark brown complexion, the child’s skin was very white, reflecting the sunlight, so pale that it seemed to be glowing. The skin was delicate too—that simple tumble on the stones just now had already left several darkening bruises, which stood out conspicuously on those little legs so similar to lotus roots.
Heimos noticed the ankle he had grasped in his hand was indeed slightly red and swollen. He squeezed it lightly, not daring to use too much force. Although the two of them were both children only a few years apart in age, this child really was too delicate compared to himself. If a single tumble could leave so many bruises, he was truly worried that only a little more strength in his squeeze would end up snapping that thin ankle.
The little foot trembled in his hands, obviously feeling pain, but the wince was quickly suppressed and the motion stopped. He didn’t hear any crying out in pain either, as the child still sat obediently before him. When Heimos looked up, those big eyes—shining golden like amber—blinked brightly back at him.
He had witnessed far too many children so spoiled their entire lives that they would throw tantrums at the smallest slight. This was truly the first time he had ever seen such a cute and clever one.
Heimos thought to himself: if all little children were this obedient and lovable, he would no longer feel annoyed at the mere sight of any little brat.
At this moment, Heimos, immersed in this wonderful first impression of Garlan, had no idea…
This child was only looking at him with shining eyes because he was happy to see Heimos half-kneeling before him.
If he knew what Garlan was thinking right now, Heimos would probably have turned hostile immediately.
Garlan lowered his head to look upon the young boy squatting at his feet. While he was cackling to himself in his heart, he couldn’t help but let out a pensive sigh.
In his memory, he and Heimos were bitter nemeses.
Heimos was a terrifying fellow, and also an extremely proud one. Whether Heimos was facing Garlan’s brother-king Camos, or even standing before the gods themselves, he had never once seen Heimos lower his head.
Heimos hated him. He could feel the gaze of that man towards himself was always extremely malicious and terrifyingly cold, like a bloodthirsty hyena hidden in the shadows, its gaze locked on its prey. The moment he showed the slightest weakness, it would surely pounce and rip open his flesh, without an ounce of mercy.
He had almost never encountered Heimos one on one. Every time they had met, they were always surrounded by their respective subordinates, each vigilant of the other, only watching from afar.
Therefore, at this very moment, Garlan being so close to this person and even having this person actually kneel before him… it was all too difficult to believe this was actually happening.
Garlan had always felt that the sight of this man lowering his head a single inch before him, let alone kneeling to him, could only happen in his wildest dreams.
……So he must actually be dreaming right now, right?
Just as he was contemplating this very likely possibility, Garlan suddenly heard the other person say something.
“Does it hurt?”
Although the boy’s voice was smack-dab in the middle of changing thanks to puberty and was therefore hoarse and constantly cracking, his tone was warm and gentle.
Hearing this gentle tone, shivers ran up Garlan’s entire body, and he felt all the hairs on his body stand on end.
No no no—this isn’t right——
This is way way way too “not right”!
His nemesis should bear a stark resemblance to a greedy starving wolf, never letting go once it latches its fangs into a victim and tears off a huge chunk of flesh.
His nemesis should be akin to an infinitely vengeful vulture, seeking revenge for the smallest grievance, engraving its hatred into its very bones, never relenting until it has tormented its opponent into a final fate worse than death.
His nemesis is a fellow as vicious and diabolical as a venomous viper—
Look, saying this out loud makes it sound laughably pathetic, but… back in Garlan’s “first life,” the very first time he met this fellow’s eyes, he could not help but tremble in terror. In that single moment, the clothes on his back were instantly soaked in cold sweat, his legs softened into jelly underneath him, and he only barely managed to retain enough dignity to stand his ground and not retreat to the furthest corner possible.
The man’s eyes were too terrifying, so terrifying that a single glance would make anyone’s heart shrivel in fear.
To Garlan, what met his own gaze were not the eyes of a human, but of a cruel devil that had crawled straight out of hell.
There were no words with which he could describe the look in that adult Heimos’s eyes. All he knew was that getting stared at by that man was like being stared at by the slit pupils of a venomous king cobra. That frigid sensation seeped into one’s bones, like a festering sore eating away at one’s heart.
Garlan’s influence and strength had always been much weaker than Heimos’s. Yet despite that, he was able to endure over ten years in this kind of head-to-head confrontation with Heimos. Aside from King Camos’s partial assistance, there was another important reason why he could survive for so long: because Heimos had a downright terrible reputation.
Although Heimos was an accomplished general with numerous victories under his belt, the common people called him nothing other than ‘Devil.’ In contrast, Garlan had a much more favorable repute to his name among ordinary people and powerful ministers alike. Most people wanted him to succeed to the throne, simply because they of course preferred a benevolent king to a bloodthirsty one.
It was pretty much common knowledge that this ‘Devil’ prince’s temper was notoriously violent, and countless souls had perished at his hands. The dark aura of those restless deceased seemed to have permeated into his very bones, to the point where even his smile was malicious and sinister to the extreme. Mothers even whispered to their babes that he devoured the flesh and blood of enemies whole. Such rumors secretly circulated among the people, enough to send shivers down any rational citizen’s spine.
Garlan did not know the degree of truth or falsehood in these rumors. However, Garlan had once personally witnessed how Heimos ‘handled’ an assassination attempt. He had sliced off each limb of the failed assassin, one at a time. Only then, accompanied by the symphony of that man’s bloodcurdling screams of agony and despair, did he finally cut off the head.
In that moment, the blood spurting out of that man’s decapitated neck sprayed onto Heimos’s grinning face. Garlan saw with his own eyes how the great joy and happiness in Heimos’s smile even reached those dark and gloomy golden-red eyes. The scarlet streaks of blood painted onto Heimos’s cheeks truly brought out the crimson in his eyes, making for a hauntingly alien scene straight out of hell itself.
Perhaps from that moment on, an ever-growing thought took hold in Garlan’s mind: there was no way he could ever win against this man.
In this man’s eyes flashed the fierce light of cold-blooded predators, eternally enveloped in a hate-filled and bloodthirsty aura. All who beheld him felt an unspeakable discomfort and unease at the sight of such a warped existence.
No matter how many times he was reborn, every single time Garlan met those baleful golden-red eyes, chills ran down his spine.
After all——how in the world could a normal person like him ever stand even a ghost of a chance against this obvious psychopath!!
The image of that malevolent and twisted man fresh in his memory, Garlan looked back at the teenager currently squatting in front of him gently massaging his feet and asking if it hurt…
Garlan clutched his heart before it could fully collapse in on itself. He felt he had probably recognized the wrong person. Maybe this youth just bore a slight resemblance to Heimos, that’s all.
He weighed up the teenager in front of him, still uncertain.
There was no way he could mistake those eyes. Even if he could no longer remember that man’s appearance, he would never forget the ferocious glare of those golden-red eyes every time their owner killed him.
That man’s pupils were fiercely branded in his memory. There was no way he would ever mistake that person’s eyes for another’s.
Just as he was thinking this, Garlan looked down to see Heimos’s hand holding his own foot, and suddenly realized there was something else wrong about this picture.
As Heimos’s hand gently grasped his ankle, the difference between their skin colors became particularly conspicuous.
The youth’s dark brown fingers were long and slender, the knuckles clearly delineated as they pressed on his white ankle. Staring at the contrast between dark and light, Garlan felt something was more and more off.
Something’s not right here too.
According to his memory, his complexion was definitely not supposed to be this pale.
Although he had always been raised with care as the prince and younger brother of the king, for some reason, his skin had always been quite rough and tanned (though still not comparable to Heimos).
Fine, maybe it’s just that he had nice and tender skin as a child but it got worse as he grew up. But even if his skin tone isn’t the same dark brown color as Heimos’s, it should be at least light brown. Why does it currently look so pale as to be white?
“Nothing’s broken, it should all be relatively okay.”
Just as Garlan was pondering what exactly was going on here, he heard Heimos talking to him. As he lifted his gaze, he saw Heimos stand up and reach out to him. Judging by the direction of his movement, it seemed like Heimos wanted to hug him off the rock.
At the very thought of getting hugged by his mortal enemy, Garlan’s hair stood on end.
Without any remaining time to think over his options, he hurriedly jumped down from the rock himself.
He originally thought he would be able to bear this twinge of pain just fine, but he did not expect a child’s body to have less resistance to pain.
As soon as the sprained foot hit the ground, a burst of piercing pain shot up his leg. Thrown off balance, he lost his footing and crashed straight into the arms of the youth standing in front of him.
Heimos had originally intended to reach out his arms and hug the child off the rock. But just as he raised his hand, this little child actually jumped down on his own for some reason.
Immediately afterwards, the child lost his footing and toppled head-first onto him.
He had originally been in the middle of subconsciously taking a step back thanks to the sudden jumping movement of the child. Before he could stand firm again, this toppling child then crashed right into him.
Heimos was only a twelve year old kid himself. Unable to instantaneously stabilize his footing, his entire body fell backwards.
The end result was, Garlan knocked down Heimos.
Heimos reflexively hugged Garlan.
Then the two rolled into a ball and slammed right into the tree trunk right next to them.
He could never have expected that the price for not wanting his nemesis to hug him down… was tumbling into a spinning ball together with his nemesis.
When he regained his bearings and was able to react to what just happened, Garlan found that he was right on top of Heimos, and one of his hands just happened to be pressing against Heimos’s neck.
At this moment, the heart that had just been pierced by that sharp sword not so long ago fiercely clenched in his chest.
In this instant, he almost instinctively tightened his fingers and grabbed the other’s throat.
All he had to do was use a little more strength.
Tighten his grasp around this person’s throat.
Just like this, if he snapped this person’s neck——
The child’s fingers had just tightened their grip, when suddenly a warm and large brown hand covered those little fingers, pressing down right as Garlan was about to continue applying strength.
Garlan’s heart skipped a beat and he immediately released his fingers.
He looked nervously to Heimos, fearing that Heimos had seen through his intentions just now.
But fortunately, he was currently still young. Heimos thought the child was only subconsciously trying to hold onto something of fear, so he didn’t think too much of it. All he did was pat that little hand comfortingly, silently telling the child he had no need to fear.
Garlan’s heart fell from his throat all the way back down to his chest.
He slowly released his hand and sat up.
He lowered his head. His fluffy blond hair covered his face, hiding the look in his eyes at this moment.
Translated Author’s Comments:
Yes, this is the story of a son of destiny who saves a villain on the verge of becoming blackened and twisted, and then tragically discovers he may have paid too high a price—himself. Whoops.