Chapter 5: It Won’t Happen Twice (1)
When Jezel suddenly grabbed her face and shook her shoulders, Elena’s expression turned slightly fearful.
That guy, who she called brother, was someone who didn’t know when or where he would go crazy and throw a tantrum.
“Huh? Oh, no. Anyway, it’s been a long time!”
Jezel spread his arms with an emotional expression.
Elena’s death was a painful memory that had haunted him all his life.
But now that he was meeting her alive again, he was happy to the point of tears.
He wasn’t the type to express himself in words. As the leader of mercenaries, he always expressed himself physically, with hot temper.
Jezel approached with his arms spread, and Elena’s face turned pale for a moment.
“I really missed you!”
“You saw me just a few days ago… Wait! Why are you suddenly like this? Don’t come near me!”
Jezel hugged Elena tightly and closed his eyes. His whole body was enveloped in a feeling so intense that tears welled up in his eyes.
“Ah! Why are you giving me goosebumps all of a sudden!”
Elena was truly taken aback.
In fact, she and Jezel were not on good terms.
Jezel, who was captivated by feelings of inferiority, always threw tantrums and exhausted people. So she had no choice but to treat him gently as her little brother.
“What’s this joke? Are you trying to cause an accident?”
Elena twisted her body and pushed Jezel away.
As she tried to say one more word, she couldn’t help but pause when she saw her brother’s face.
A gentle gaze and a smile, a face filled with inexplicable longing.
Upon seeing Jezel’s expression for the first time, Elena’s heart tightened in an instant.
She didn’t know why she was feeling this way herself.
“Why is this happening? Did he get into another accident? Why are the corners of his eyes so unnecessarily moist?”
Elena looked at Jezel with a suspicious gaze.
He continued to smile brightly, still not revealing what was so good about the situation.
For some reason, his expression now felt genuine.
“Is he like my older brother from before?”
Since her father was always away on business, there were times when they relied on each other as siblings after their mother passed away when they were young.
However, their relationship became a bit strained as Jezel turned into a vagabond over time.
When Elena narrowed her eyes and kept staring at him, Jezel coughed awkwardly.
“Ahem, it’s just because I’m glad to see you. But what brings you to my room?”
Elena looked surprised as if she couldn’t believe it.
Just a few days ago, Jezel didn’t react like this when she came to see him.
– Get lost. Don’t stand there acting all high and mighty. Your breath is making me uncomfortable.
That was how he normally talked to her.
So she didn’t actually want to come, but she had come out of courtesy after hearing that she almost died at the hands of an orc.
“No, Belinda told me to come see you… She said you were in danger because of the orc, but you seem okay?”
Belinda tended to simplify everything in the world.
Perhaps she was hoping that Elena’s visit would improve their relationship as siblings.
Since Belinda kept asking her to come, Elena had no choice but to come, but now that she was here, Jezel’s condition seemed quite good.
I didn’t expect such a warm welcome, although I thought I was emitting heat from my corner.”
“An orc? I took care of them all. It’s nothing special. I am very strong.”
Elena chuckled at Jezel, who shrugged and made a face.
“What’s so funny? You returned to talk about falling.”
“Oh, come on. Listen to me. Let me tell you how I caught those guys…”
Elena burst out laughing at her brother’s sudden gestures and bragging about his exploits.
His boasting was amusing, and it wasn’t bad to see her brother’s cheerful side after a long time.
“So I called Ricardo, you know that womanizer soldier?”
“I know him. He’s quite handsome, and he’s popular with the ladies.”
“Hmm, he was as bad as they come.”
“Who is he, by the way?”
“He’s a really bad guy.”
Jezel’s young eyes flashed briefly. Elena made a face that said, “Of course, that’s how it is.”
She thought things had gotten better, but they were still far from normal.
Still, it was a relief that things had improved to this extent. She had to keep an eye on him since she never knew when he would have another outburst.
“I have to go now. Take care of yourself.”
“Sure, next time I’ll tell you about catching a dragon.”
“You caught one in your dream? Do you even know what a dragon is?”
After listening to Jezel’s exaggerated and boastful story, Elena left feeling happy.
Although it was a bit strange, seeing him act like this was much better than before.
In the past, it was difficult to even have a conversation because of my bad temper.
After Elena left, Jezel stared at the door for a while and then smiled slightly.
“I have never forgotten you, not even for a moment.”
Jezel could never forget Elena’s appearance when she was found beaten and left to die.
“Others have not forgotten either.”
When he returned to his territory, he could not forget the faces of his father and those who were hung in front of the castle with their throats cut.
“I was a coward and a weakling.”
He remembers his pathetic self who was too scared to do anything and ran away.
A tense atmosphere suddenly surrounded Jezel’s smiling face.
“Now that the opportunity to make everything right has come back…”
He is no longer the worthless scoundrel from his past life.
“I will stop the destruction of Perdium.”
Jezel grabbed a pen and paper and wrote down future information as he remembered it.
He knew about major events that had occurred on the continent, although he couldn’t remember the exact dates, he had a rough idea. This will be a great help in determining his future course of action.
“For now, the priority is to save Elena…”
In a week, the festival will begin. This festival, which is also a celebration of the harvest season, is a time to wish for prosperity.
Even in the barren northern territory where battles with barbarians never cease, people hold festivals and pray for prosperity.
“Think about it. At that time, I was definitely…”
Jezel had been continuously criticized and ignored, and had decided to leave his family.
During that time, the festival had started, and at Elena’s urging, he went to see the festival with her.
But in his miserable state, he couldn’t even notice the festival. Eventually, Jezel returned to the castle alone.
Since the festival was held within the territory and Elena had knights to guard her, he didn’t pay any attention to it.
“After that, Elena disappeared….”
Elena and her escort knights were found dead not long after their disappearance.
Upon hearing the news of the incident, Jezel could not bear it any longer. He fled the castle, avoiding the people’s gaze.
That was Jezel and Perdium’s last moment.
“I should have been there with her.”
In truth, even if he had been there, it would have been useless. During those days, Jezel was so weak as to be useless.
However, the guilt of leaving Elena behind and returning to the castle alone haunted him for the rest of his life.
“Could it be that the Duke was behind Elena’s death as well?”
It was revealed that the person who killed Elena in their previous life was a noble from another territory who had come to see the festival.
Naturally, those who were accused of the crime protested that it was a false accusation, and Perdium suffered great damage in the war between the territories.
After that, large and small incidents continued to occur, and the situation only worsened.
“It smells. It smells like goblin shit.”
Jezel left before the war between the territories began, so he didn’t know the details of what happened afterwards.
He only had a rough idea of the situation based on the information he learned belatedly in his quest for revenge.
At first, he thought that they had simply destroyed the territories that would have opposed the rebellion.
But now that he knew that Aiden had intervened in Perdium’s destruction, everything seemed suspicious.
“Why did they destroy this poor and useless territory? Even if they stole it, we would have to fight against the barbarians in their place.”
There were hidden resources nearby, but no one knew about them during this time.
It was something that Jezel had confirmed many times before, wondering if that was the reason in their previous life.
“Well…the reason doesn’t matter. I just have to kill them all.”
Jezel’s expression grew cold.
In his previous life, he had only sought revenge against the Duke, whom he thought was behind everything, but now it was different.
Although I do not know who “we” refers to as Aiden said it, those who oppose Perdium intended to eliminate them all from now on.
Jezel tapped his chin with his finger, lost in thought.
“Elena and the escort knight’s corpses were found in the slums,” he said.
There was no reason for them to visit the slums during the festival. Perhaps someone called them there or they were forced to go.
“One thing is certain.”
Elena’s death is the starting point for Perdium’s downhill path.
“Well, then we just have to correct it from the beginning.”
He organized his thoughts and immediately left the room.
“I have to make my body quickly as it is urgent. The problem is that there is no time. Just one week….”
Jezel toured the lord’s castle first.
Since he had lived in Perdium Castle a long time ago, he couldn’t remember the castle’s structure and the faces of the staff properly.
Every person he met on the way greeted him, but their expressions were not good. There were mixed expressions of ignoring or indifference.
“I’m not that bad of a person.”
During this time, he was probably an irritable and unpleasant person who was constantly angry and didn’t want to meet anyone.
“Young Master! Young Master Jezel!”
While wandering around like that, someone called out to Jezel and ran towards him.
“Oh… Sir Fergus?”
Sir Fergus was a loyal knight who had retired and was of an age to live leisurely, but he remained by Jezel’s side, protecting him without leaving the castle.
Fergus stood before Jezel, bowing his head and gasping for breath.
“Goodness, how much running have you been doing?”
Jezel thought that if an assassin were to appear now, it would be difficult to know who should be protected.
However, Fergus’s loyalty was commendable. Later, it was discovered that Fergus was only concerned about leaving Jezel alone when he died.
“Heh, heh… young master, why are you wandering around alone? I searched for you for a long time, even Belinda didn’t know where you were.”
Fergus continued to gasp for breath while speaking. He seemed to have been moving in a hurry.
“Gosh, I’m old now, why do you still call me ‘Young Master’?”
“Hehe, in the eyes of this old man, you still look like a child.”
Jezel sighed. He was hearing words that he couldn’t even imagine during his days as a mercenary king.
“If you think so, then that’s probably the case. But why did you look for me?”
“Hehe, it’s only natural that I follow my lord wherever he goes. Why do you ask again?”
The old knight looked warmly at Jezel. Facing his gaze, Jezel flinched for a moment.
During that time, Jezel rejected even the knights who were protecting him due to his sense of inferiority and anger. Everyone seemed like an enemy, and everyone seemed to be laughing at him.
But Fergus and Belinda, who had taken care of him since he was young, were exceptions.
Only after losing that preciousness did Jezel realize how foolish he had been.
Suddenly, Jezel’s nose twitched, and he hugged Fergus tightly.
He tried to control himself from doing something too noticeable, but he couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed by the joy of meeting someone precious again.
“Inspiration, live long. Let’s live long together. Dying… it just feels dirty.”
Fergus smiled in surprise at Jezel’s sudden action and said,
“Ha-ha, why are you doing this all of a sudden? It’s like meeting someone after a long time…”
He noticed it! Indeed, it seems that age is not just a number.
‘Yes, Fergus will believe anything I say. He was the only loyal knight who stood by Jezel’s side even when he received criticism for his orc suppression campaign.’
Jezel, who had made up his mind, spoke decisively,
“Listen carefully, inspiration. This is a really important matter. Actually, I died and came back to life…”
“Haha, please stop it.”
As expected, he doesn’t believe it.
“Well, anyway, I have to live long. It’s not easy to be resurrected.”
“Of course, I have to live until you get married, Young Master.”
“Hmm, marriage, huh?”
Jezel gave a wry smile for a moment.
Now is not the time to argue about love or marriage.
If he dies while caring about such things when the destruction of the territory is imminent, who will he blame?
Jezel shook his head, brushed off his thoughts, and strode away.
Fergus hurriedly followed behind and asked, “But where are you suddenly going?”
“To the training ground. I want to practice a bit.”
Fergus was taken aback and clenched his chest,
“Y-you… practicing…Young Master, cough, cough!”
“Ugh! What’s wrong? That’s what you call Inspiration, snap out of it! Breathe! Breathe!”
Why doesn’t anyone believe me at all?