Published at 26th of February 2022 07:06:27 PM

Chapter 117: Chapter 117

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Chapter 117: Sophien (3)

My heart doesn’t beat; my lungs don’t work.

 My body temperature was rapidly dropping, and my peripheral nerves, including my fingers and toes, grew numb as my organs shut down.

My body was already  dead.However, Iron Man postponed death. Instead of using the heart and lungs, my blood vessels artificially contracted and repeatedly relaxed to transport blood and oxygen. It was just a workaround to save some time, but it was good enough.

All so that my death would not be discovered by the Sophien of this world. So that her next memories could continue normally.

I reached the basement of the Imperial Palace, the wooden gate. The door was already open as if in wait.I stepped out into the basement, reaching the middle of the darkness with my slow stride.

“You knew it was going to be like this.”

I heard a voice at that moment, prompting me to glance over. It was the Devil’s Mirror still assuming Sophien’s form.

“It’s over. You are dead.”

I nodded. I consumed 60,000 mana in an instant and took a huge amount of dark energy in without any preparation. From that point on, there was no chance of survival.

“Why did you do that if you knew? I’m curious.”

I just closed my eyes. I had quite a few thoughts. Among them, there were Deculein’s, and there was also Kim Woojin’s. But there was only one answer to his question.

“It was a promise, and I didn’t want to lose.”

My body was already broken, and my brain was slowly wasting away, but strangely, I smiled. In that state, I opened my eyes and stared directly at him.

“I didn’t want to hand over the world and Sophien to a twisted demon like you.”

The demon’s face hardened. Then, the bastard nodded.

“Then, congratulations. You won.”

That was the last thing he said. I first lost my sight, and then I was deafened. There was only silence. Inside the emptiness, I felt death approaching me.…

It felt so cold to the touch.

* * *

Sophien woke up.

Her head was somewhat cloudy from the mixed memories, but the distinction was clear. Deculein had kept the promise he had made with  her.

Sophien smiled as the words left her. He had indeed witnessed all her deaths. Of course, as if any other methods of death other than sickness were out of the question, he left as soon as she got well.Sophien looked around.

Two mugs full of cold coffee on the tea-table; it was just as it was when Deculein left.

“You said you were going to face me.”

Sophien frowned and grabbed the teacup. Her magic warmed the coffee, and she took a sip. She proceeded to wait, tapping the table gently with her fingertips.

 How long would it take him to get here from the basement, she wondered.Sophien watched the clock.Tick, ​​tock – Tick, tock-

The second hand moved inexorably forward, but Deculein didn’t return. No matter how large the Imperial Palace was, it wouldn’t take more than 10 minutes.

 Did her idleness transfer to him?It was then when Sophien, feeling testy, crossed her arms and began to mutter under her breath

-A loud cry rang out from outside the room. Sophien opened the door with Psychokinesis.“What’s the fuss?”

“This is trouble! In the basement of the Imperial Palace…”

Sophien’s eyes widened as an explanation followed in a hurry. 

She jumped up, her legs moving before she could think, with dozens of servants and knights in tow.

“Your Majesty!

 Here, we don’t know-

“Sophien urgently arrived at the basement. A man was standing by the wooden door leading  in.

Sophien stepped forward, her eyes going blank.

 With every step, the world grew a little dizzier, and she staggered.

When she finally reached him, she let out a laugh at the absurdity of it.

Without realizing it, she had begun to clench her fists, turning her knuckles white.

“…You said we would meet at the end of my process.”

Deculein. His whole body was eroded by dark energy, and he stood as if leaning against the basement wall.

All his vital functions had already stopped, and his veins had turned black. He looked like a corpse.

“Did you mean to come back looking like this?”

Sophien felt a cold headache forming.

Unexpectedly, the countless moments of her life were rewound before her.

This was the man who stayed with her long memories, like a trace left in her regression’s history.

“Y-Your Majesty. You can’t. The dark energy will spread-“

She ignored the minister’s advice and moved into the man’s sight. She looked into his face, observing his closed eyes.

—I will be watching Your Highness everywhere.She recalled what he said when the bastard left.—Even if I leave your sight for a while…

I will always be with you through your  process.Sophien looked at the sword around his waist. It was the treasured sword handed down from generation to generation to the Imperial Emperor.

—…Can I ask you for one promise?

‘If now… if I commit suicide, you will come back to life.’

—No matter what happens… don’t take your own life.

‘Did you know this when you said that?

’—Cherish your life… Your Highness.‘

Was that an arrogant conviction that I would kill myself for you?

This fucking bastard.’You could have just said that if you were going to die.Feeling a torrent of emotions she’d never experienced before, Sophien suddenly noticed a piece of paper sticking out of his suit pocket.

She stretched out her hand to pluck up the fragment.

The eunuch Jolang called out to Sophien.

Sophien looked back to him, stiffening.

There was a hint of laughter on Jolang’s normally expressionless face for some reason.

“The two knights are now being detained in the Imperial Palace Prison.”

“Yes. It’s Julie and Keiron, who dared to fight without permission in the Imperial  Palace.”

“A fucking mess happened while I was sleeping.”

* * *

Emperor Sophien personally visited the Imperial Prison.

Julie and Keiron were isolated in separate cages, set side-by-side. She glanced between the two.

There was no answer.

“Are you ignoring what I said? Or are you saying it was a street fight, not a duel?”

A duel and a fight were different.

A duel between knights was treated somewhat sacredly, but in the case of a fight, the story was different.

In severe cases, sparring in the Imperial Palace could even lead to execution.Julie finally answered, prompting a grin from Sophien.

“Okay. It would be strange if you won.”

Then, Julie’s expression turned to one of fear.

“Perhaps, Professor Deculein…”

Julie raised her head. Seeing that startled face, Sophien clicked her tongue.

“Looking at you, you’re the fool that is likely to follow him soon.”

Julie bowed her head without saying a word. Sophien looked to Keiron next. 

He was on his knees.“Do you have anything to say?”

“…How are you feeling, Your Majesty?”

Sophien spoke to the servant next to her without answering him.

She didn’t want to quarrel  here.“Let both of them go. It was a duel between knights.”

“Yes, Your Majesty. Jailer!”

The jailer ran quickly to open the cages.

Julie couldn’t stand easily as she was still in shock, but Keiron moved to stand behind Sophien as always.


Sparing one final glance for Julie, Sophien left.

“Enough. Everyone go back now.”

Yes, Your Majesty. Thank you, Your Majesty…”

After sending back all her servants, she stalked through the corridors of the Imperial Palace.Keiron and Sophien’s footsteps echoed through the halls, overlapping each other. Moving in sync with the stride of the Emperor was the basics of being an escort knight.

“There was a 『Bibliography』 in Deculein’s inner pocket.”

Sophien handed the paper she held to Keiron. Keiron took it without a word.

“If you look at it, it says you were following a Nescĭus.”

“Are you still?”

At Keiron’s answer, Sophien smiled deviously.

Deculein, was it this clever bastard’s intention, or had it turned out like this by chance? If not…‘Why are my feelings moving like this when I think of him?’

“The power that the small demon seized belongs to  me.”

“Yes. That’s right.”

Sophien stopped and turned to Keiron. He immediately knelt on one knee. Sophien leaned over and looked down upon him.“Then I will ask. What is the punishment for a thief who dares to steal from the Emperor?”

* * *

The next day, Sophien left at dawn.

 It had been a long time since she had left the Imperial Palace.

She didn’t tell anyone except Keiron and set the wagons off on purpose, with the eyes and ears of the Imperial Palace spreading the news here and there.

Many high-ranking families harbored fears and expectations, thinking, ‘Isn’t the Emperor going to visit us?’.

 As well, the officials of the Imperium were equally nervous. But Sophien’s destination was to visit neither of them.

After a three-day journey, she captured the Nescĭus, whom Keiron was pursuing.

“…Is this the image that I’m afraid of?”

To Sophien, the Nescĭus was just a skeleton covered in a black robe. It wasn’t scary at all.

“Cut it down.”

“Hmph. You look painful to watch. You coward.”

Sophien drew the sharply-forged sword from her waist, the tip aimed at the  Nescĭus.But Sophien did not thrust the sword through its neck.

She felt a bit hesitant. Of course, if she regressed like this, Deculein would come back to life. The power of regression seized by this small demon was hers, and the center of that regression was also herself

— Sophien Ekater von Jaegus Gifrein.Still, the reason why she was afraid was…

“Keiron. Will he forget?”

Sophien would remember Deculein, but Deculein would not remember her. He would remain only as Sophien’s memory.

 The countless days she had spent with him would be gone, and the only one who understood her in this world would cease to exist.Sophien sheathed her sword.Keiron said it as if urging.

 Glancing at him, she replied with a sigh.

“…There is no need to cut it down.”

Then she reached out to the Nescĭus.

The Essence of Regression that he had stolen was recovered by simply placing her index finger on the skeleton’s forehead.

“This should be enough.”

Sophien predicted the time of her regression by the magnitude of that  period.

“It’ll be a big problem if the date and time are off. Will you be okay?”

“It is my power. When I see it, I’ll know.”

Sophien looked at the Essence of Regression rather bitterly.

“…It’s nothing. If I go back, your sins will vanish anyway.”

Keiron’s face sank heavily. Sophien grinned and clenched her fists.


“See you again, Keiron.”

“Yes. Your Majesty.”

─At that moment.Sophien’s accepted the Essence of Regression in a quite dramatic display.

A dazzling beam of light emanated from her hand and colored the whole world like the sun. Sophien closed her eyes for a moment to block out the light.She opened her eyes to the sound of the second hand  ticking.She was sitting at the tea table, the two cups of coffee on the table still steaming.

When she turned her eyes up a little further, she saw someone. He was the one who dared to face her  straight-on.Sophien looked at him, meeting his gaze. Both remained quiet a moment longer.

“…Did I call you?”

“Were you dragged from the library?”

“Yes. What’s going on?”

Sophien smiled faintly. The timing was close.

If it were 30 minutes later, Deculein would have already entered the basement of the Imperial Palace.But that laughter was only for a moment.

Sophien, controlling her expression, asked Deculein.“Deculein, do you remember?”

Deculein didn’t say anything. Sophien asked again. Maybe she expected too  much.‘Over a hundred years and a hundred deaths.

Do you still remember me?If it were you, I thought you could never forget me.’However, Deculein stared back.

Sophien clenched her jaw.

She changed the topic as if nothing had happened.

“The Altar bastards.”

“Of course. Why would I forget that?”

Why would I forget? Sophien thought as she listened to him.

“You know, I…”

‘I could endure it because you were with me.’

“I’m going to destroy them myself.”

So, he kept his promise. More than a hundred deaths, over a hundred regressions.

Even if he didn’t remember that hellish repetition, she still did.

The value of his sacrifice and devotion wouldn’t change.

It would not change that he kept his promise.

Sophien remembered the words Deculein once told her when he suggested playing chess.

“Let’s play chess.”

Deculein’s brow twitched faintly.

Sophien understood his emotions just from that subtle reaction.

No, Deculein made it clear a moment later.“Did you just call me to play chess early this morning?”

“So? Are you rejecting me?”

Sophien put the chessboard on the table with Psychokinesis.

She chose white and gave Deculein black.“Shall we start right away?”

Deculein was full of confidence.

Of course, he would be.

During all those memories, that damn bastard never lost.

Sophien moved her white pawn one space.

Her opponent’s black pawn moved accordingly.Deculein was aggressive from the opening, but Sophien took it in stride.

“Do you know that? No matter how many times regression is repeated, there is a skill that does not  disappear.”

“What is it?”

Deculein, who listened quietly, nodded.

“I guess so. Even if you learn magic, it will disappear if you don’t re-pierce the proper circuit, and mastering sword skills is too difficult if you don’t train your body. But not just chess, other knowledge-““Forget it. Who told you to analyze it like that?”

Sophien moved her knight wildly, glaring at  Deculein.

“I was just saying.”

“…Yes, Your Majesty.”

Deculein moved his piece with a slightly puzzled expression. Their game after that was a quiet, tight race to the finish. If Deculein made a move, Sophien countered it.

 And if Sophien made a move, Deculein countered it.The result was concise.

“Damn it. It’s a draw.”

“Yes. In chess, in theory, there is a high probability of a draw if both play perfectly without mistakes.”

Sophien looked at Deculein.

Deculein was analyzing the moves on the chessboard.─I’m quite good at chess.

Even if you invest in it your whole life, you cannot win.His words from the mirror echoed in her  ears.

—So, won’t everything be better when you defeat me?

Even now, even when everything was better, it was just a draw. He was wrong.

“In theory, yes, Your Majesty.”

Deculein’s aristocratic appearance felt rather ironic today.

Sophien pondered, then pointed to the door with her chin.

“That’s it. Go back now. Perhaps your fiancé is waiting for you.”

“By fiancé… you mean Julie?”

“Yes. One match is enough for today.”

“…Yes. All right.”

Deculein bowed to Sophien and stood.

Sophien pretended not to be interested and put her chin on her hand. Then, she glanced at his back as he left.

He walked out and closed the door.

She didn’t miss the sight of his wide back that appeared through the gap.

The door closed, and Sophien left alone, began to fiddle with the chessboard.

Then she turned around and pulled out something: a hand mirror.She spoke quietly, looking into the mirror.

“Are you there?”

However, no matter how long she waited, no answer came.

Sophien leaned back in the chair.“Forget it if you’re not.”

Taking a deep breath, she opened the drawer and put the hand mirror away.

Then she pulled up the curtains. Sunlight streamed through the window like petals. She looked up toward the sky and fidgeted.

The boredom corroding her mind appeared to have vanished to some extent…

Outside the door, Keiron answered.

—Yes, Your Majesty.

“I’m going to exercise!”

The bewildered man was speechless for a moment, but Sophien opened the door before he could gather himself.

Keiron, puzzled, gurgled and let out a bizarre noise.

“Why do you look like a moron?”

Sophien punched his shoulder.And then she walked out proudly.

Her gait was graceful, with no hesitation or laziness to be seen.

Finally, it was time for the Emperor to go out into the world.

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