As Asha put her clothes back on, Jackal said as soon as he came to his senses.
“…..You said that you ran away from the emperor.”
“But, as far as I know, the current emperor hasn’t found the butterfly yet.”
He doesn’t even know I exist yet.”
He asked like a fool.
“What? But you just said that you ran away from the emperor…….”
“Because that has become a thing of the past.”
Jackal did not understand the situation at all.
He couldn’t understand what the hell she was saying now.
When he regained his rationality, his red face turned cold.
Asha lowered her gaze and continued speaking.
“All butterflies have special abilities other than making flowers bloom.
I guess my ability was regression.
I ran away from the emperor, but I was captured, and the moment I died, I returned to the past.
You’re the first one I saw as soon as I opened my eyes.”
Asha calmly told him the story of the past when she was sold to the emperor.
The story of the terrible day when her village was annihilated……
Jackal just listened but did not answer.
Asha finished the story with a small sigh.
“….That’s why I wanted to become a Lycaon.
My abilities aren’t perfect yet, and I don’t know if I have other abilities, but if I improved them, it will definitely be helpful to Lycaon someday.
Please don’t kick me out.”
There was a long silence in the room for a while.
Jackal slowly turned around and stared at her.
She didn’t know what his deep blue eyes were thinking.
Asha wasn’t sure if he believed her, so she was just staring at the floor.
If he didn’t believe her, she would be in a dangerous situation.
Since she revealed the secret of being the butterfly, she could not discard the possibility of being kicked out for the safety of his people or sell her directly to the Imperial Palace.
To Lycaon, she is nothing, and as Gabe said, she is a dangerous fugitive.
So no matter what decision he makes, she will accept it.
It was her choice to follow him, but it was his choice to accept her.
Jackal immediately spoke heavily.
“…… What is your purpose?”
Asha looked at him without understanding the question.
His eyes were colder than ever.
“If it’s true that you went to the past, then why do you want to become a Lycaon and improve your abilities? Instead, why don’t you just hide from the Emperor? Is it, perhaps, to save the minorities?”
He hit the nail on the head there.
She said she would help Lycaon, but the main reason was to protect ethnic minorities.
Now deceiving him could backfire, so Asha admitted.
“You should have heard the rumors that I formed a separate group a long time ago.
Because an old man told it to people of all ages.”
The old man he was referring to was the chief of an ethnic minority village.
Asha had also heard the story of Jackal when she was young.
“Do you know why I did that?”
Jackal asked, shaking his head again.
I don’t want to talk about this anymore.
It’s not a very good memory to remember.
Anyway, I’m just a traitor to them.
But will you come to me to help those minorities?”
As expected, he didn’t seem to have a very good relationship with the village chief.
So it would not be good if she tried to help them.
But I’m not going to ask you to help me with that.
When that day comes, I will leave Lycaon and disappear alone to help the villagers.”
Jackal was silent for a moment, then asked.
“Disappear…..Then after that.”
“Where and what are you going to do to live after saving them?”
Asha was taken aback when he asked such a thing.
She panicked at the fact that she had never thought about her future.
She answered with a slight stutter.
“I’m not sure yet…….
Disappearing, as the word implies…….”
“Why do you always talk about your life so easily?”
Asha’s eyes widened.
His voice sounded somewhat angry.
His unexpected reaction was enough to overshadow the idea that he might coldly sell her.
Asha was perplexed.
“Oh…… I’m sorry if I sounded offensive.
I just came back from the past…… For now, that’s my only purpose.”
“That is a useless purpose.”
Asha frowned slightly at the mocking remark.
“It’s not useless to save lives.”
I heard butterflies are divine beings from heaven, was that true? You are such an amazing saint!”
“Don’t be sarcastic.”
“Sarcastic? I was just telling the truth.
The woman who is willing to give her life in vain to save people is either a saint or she is a foolish woman.
Of course, I think they are similar.”
Asha tried to protest, but he took a step closer.
Jackal said softly, looking down at her with his blue eyes.
“I know one thing for sure.
That you don’t belong with us.
We don’t entrust the lives of our comrades to those who don’t value their lives.”
Asha spoke with a blank expression on her face, but he walked straight to the door.
“But you know what?”
Suddenly, she stubbornly yelled.
“You said that my purpose is useless, but without my help, your purpose in life, let alone your life, will disappear.
Because the year I became Empress, Lycaon was forcibly disbanded and you were captured by the Emperor and beheaded…….!”
Jackal stopped at the door at what she said.
Asha realized that she had made a mistake after speaking.
She got angry and said what she shouldn’t have said.
In the past, she learned the news from Karaf when she was trapped in the palace.
She could not see it with her own eyes but was told that his head was exposed for the entire empire to see.
He must be shocked to hear that he is going to die, too.
It was a miserable feeling.
But Jackal closed the door without a word and left.
His face, reflected in the light, looked lonely as if he had somehow lost himself.
The moment the door slammed shut, Asha lost her strength and fell to the floor.
* * * * *
Jackal walked forward with a serious face.
The snow rumbled silently under his feet.
He wanted to go to Sosa right away and tell him, but he was somehow hesitant.
He wasn’t sure if she would become a danger to Lycaon, or to save Lycaon.
There was a lot to find out if what she said was true, and if it happened, exactly when and how it happened.
Jackal wiped his lips.
He thought it would be better to discuss it with Sosa after he had more information.
Sosa always advises from an objective point of view, but if he pushes with his position, he will have no choice but to follow his decision.
For the sake of his people, it was necessary to avoid making false judgments as a leader.
He had too much weight on his shoulders to hold a woman comfortably.
It was then that he walked in deep thought.
Nagy appeared from somewhere and followed him like a puppy.
“There is warm water in the bathroom, go and take a bath!”
Confused, he unwittingly went to the bathroom.
A wide wooden barrel was filled with hot water, and steam rose above it.
Nagy smiled softly and looked back at him.
It was like a puppy waiting for praise.
If Nagy had a tail, it would be flapping frantically.
Jackal relaxed his expression and ruffled Nagy’s hair with his big hand.
“Thank you, Nagy.”
He took off his clothes and got into the wooden bathtub.
The hard and impressive muscular body shone more vividly under the water.
Nagy grabbed his clothes and fluttered out of the bathroom.
His tensed body relaxed in the warm water, and his confused mind seemed to calm down a bit.
Jackal wiped his face with water, paused for a moment, and closed his eyes.
However, as soon as he closed his eyes, Asha’s face immediately appeared and he felt embarrassed.
Aside from the serious problem, images of her eating food like a rabbit and her smile came to mind.
He couldn’t get it out of his mind when she covered her mouth and laughed softly.
Her smile seemed pure and innocent.
That seemed to be her true nature.
He recalled her drunken, slightly reddened face.
The soft feeling of holding her body, and the white skin of her chest, which he had glimpsed as she showed him the butterfly pattern.
Suddenly, the bathroom felt stuffy.
Jackal decided to finish his bath early and got up from the wooden tub.
But at that moment, he realized that he hadn’t brought a change of clothes.
He tried calling Nagy, but he left, thinking his bath would take a long time.
Jackal murmured, holding his head with one hand because he was troubled.
“I’m going crazy……”
* * * * *
Asha is anxious to sleep due to her drunkenness, but she remained vigilant until Jackal returned.
She felt she had to do something, either apologize or explain more.
But then, she felt a presence, and someone opened the door and came in carefully.
Asha thought it was Jackal, so she pulled herself together and jumped out of bed.
But at that moment, her eyes met with a blue-gray horse’s eyes that had snuck into the room.
Asha was speechless in this strange situation.
The horse also froze with one leg in the air, blinking its large eyes in embarrassment.
It looked as if it had stopped after coming in.
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