Dear Eddert - Chapter 0
Translator and Editor: Effe and Yonnee
Chapter 0 – Prologue
Year 175 of the Imperial Calendar, during the season of winter.
At the Sernotti Estate.
“There is no life left in her.”
In front of the woman’s body, Pope Benedict mumbled. The body was covered by clean linen as it lay quietly. At first glance, it looked as if she was only sleeping comfortably.
“Please save her.”
Someone grabbed Benedict’s collar, which was embroidered with gold thread. The man’s eyes fluttered darkly as he suppressed the pain and barely spoke.
Benedict stared at him for a moment, remembering the last time someone touched his body. He didn’t remember.
If anyone other than the Imperial Family were to touch him, they would be given the death penalty. No. The criminal would not even be given such a chance. There were only a handful of people who could meet him face to face.
“Isn’t it your duty to heal the Imperial Family?”
Blood flowed down from the large fists clenching his clothes. The man’s gaze was full of despair. They were the eyes of a person who had lost everything and were desperate.
So he wished he had done well before he lost it.
Benedict felt a silent urge to scrape away the ray of earnest anticipation in the man’s eyes.
“Isn’t that why… you came here…? To save her. Because Eden is a member of the Imperial Family…. so… please save her.”
It was like seeing a madman with completely extinguished embers in his arms. Benedict, who had been silent, finally opened his lips slowly.
“My healing power is limited. I can heal a person who is about to die, but if I can bring the dead back to life, then I would be a god.”
The sharp blade of a well-forged sword was directed at Benedict’s neck. Then, in one fluid motion, a handful of Benedict’s silver hair that fell below his shoulder was cut silently.
It was such a nimble movement that even Benedict, who had eyes different from ordinary people, could not detect the man’s movements.
“If you’re not a god, it would mean that you could die at the hands of a human being.”
Seeing Benedict’s hair falling down like a fluttering silver thread, Walter whispered with his teeth clenched.
“Save her. No matter what. Or else you will die and never leave this place.”
“Do you really think it’s possible to kill me?”
As an archmage before becoming a pope, his most powerful ability was his healing powers. No matter how lethal an attack he could receive from Walter, there would be no problem if he healed himself.
That’s why Benedict’s family, which was just a family of mages who lived in a small village, had to live in captivity under the control of the Imperial Family for generations. The rulers of the Empire wanted to monopolize the abilities of the mages.
“See for yourself whether it is possible or not.”
Walter pointed the sword at him and let out a rough breath.
“Not a bad idea.”
Benedict smiled and took a step forward. The sharp blade reached his white, wrinkle-free neck.
Seeing the red blood flowing down the blade, Walter distorted his expression.
But then the open wound disappeared without a trace even before the blood flowing from the sword could reach the floor. There was not even a scar on the cut skin. The glimmer of hope that had been lost in Walter’s eyes flashed again and his sword, which was aimed at Benedict, disappeared inside the scabbard in an instant.
Having seen the healing power of the Pope with his own eyes, he was ready to do anything to save Eden.
“I will do anything. Please… Please, save her.”
As he answered Walter’s pleas, Benedict’s voice was dry and ice cold.
“Did I not tell you? It is impossible to heal someone who has already breathed their last breath.”
To tell the truth, it was ‘close to impossible’, but Benedict kept silent about this. He wanted to make sure before trying anything. The man in front of him, Walter, looked at him in disbelief and bit his lip.
“Then what the hell are you doing here…?”
“Because I wanted to confirm the death of the Princess with my own eyes. Because that is also my duty as the Pope of the Empire.”
As soon as he had finished speaking, Benedict saw the despair flooding Walter’s eyes. Walter staggered, as if his knees had lost strength, and grabbed the bed on which the body was lying.
He murmured in a whisper, not even daring to touch the body. His large hand was trembling. He had the expression of a person who had lost even a single drop of hope.
His dark brown, almond-shaped eyes brimmed with tears, which then dripped down. As soon as one drop fell, another drop followed. Then another drop came even before the tears could fall.
The dry cheeks were now drenched with tears that flowed silently. Benedict stared at the weeping man, thinking about the last time he shed a tear. He could easily recall it. As he recalled his memories of that time, his mood subsided a little more.
“I think there is one thing I need to make sure of before I go back.”
Benedict’s pale lips moved slowly.
“Since the former head of Sernotti, Valtri, has passed away, I must call you, the only son, as head of the household. Walter Sernotti.”
Walter, whose name was called, turned his gaze towards Benedict. Walter’s eyes, staring at him with a tear-soaked face, lost it’s light and were empty. When Benedict appeared, he felt like he was holding an angel’s hand in the fiery circles of hell. Walter believed he would surely be able to save Eden. But now everything was over.
“A shadow of light that exists for the sake of the master. Head of the legendary Sernotti family. As the Pope of the Empire, I implore you. Do you really deserve to be called a shadow of light?”
The body lying under the linen was bandaged all over, but Benedict knew what wounds she had.
Two on the left side of her chest. One long, horizontal cut from her shoulder to her abdomen, a last sharp stab in the neck. These all showed how horrific the conditions at the time of her death were.
“The master who should be protected by the blood oath died in this way, but how dare the shadow live.”
Benedict’s pale blue pupils dilated, emitting a cool light. It was the eyes that made the surroundings creepy. As an archmage, it wasn’t only his healing powers that were formidable. His eyes intimidated people. A normal person would not have been able to even move on the spot due to the sheer magical power he exuded.
“…You’re right. I should have died with her.”
Walter drew his sword again and let out a hoarse voice. As she lay with her eyes closed with a relaxed expression, it seemed as if she would immediately open her eyes and call his name. He thought she was going to say it was all a joke, that he was too surprised, that he was too much of a coward, that he was an idiot. She would look at him like she used to, with her mouth wide open and laughing out loud.
“I thought it was my last hope and waited for you. But if there is no hope, my existence would be meaningless, as you said.”
Because there can be no shadow where there is no light. Watching Walter raise his sword in the air, Benedict added firmly.
“I do not heal people who are not members of the Imperial family. It means you are foolish to try to commit suicide by relying on my mercy.”
Walter laughed, his voice low and his eyes hazy. When he had gone to the Stone Mountain with the dying Eden on his back, he managed to reach the mage there, but it was already as if he had already lost his mind.
The old mage had been stunned to see Eden, whose body had been mutilated and barely had the appearance of a body, the jewel of the imperial family that was losing its shine.
[ “We need to call the Archmage… No, Lord Benedict might already know…” ]
The old mage was right. Benedict already secretly left the papal headquarters for this reason. As Walter waited for him, Walter felt his chest burning to black as charcoal.
“I have never once wanted to be part of the Imperial Family, but…”
It was a suffocating pain to watch beside her, who couldn’t open her eyes.
“This is the first time I am as grateful for that fact as I am now.”
At the end of the last murmur, Walter’s sword swung one round in the air.
‘Sorry to keep you waiting, Eden.’
The well-forged sword moved quickly, creating an illusion-like blue light.
‘Please understand that I cannot stab my heart. Because my heart is yours. When we meet again after we die, you can directly stab my heart.’
Benedict watched without blinking as Walter’s sword neatly cut off its master’s neck.
It was indeed the appearance of the head of Sernotti. Walter did not hesitate or feel any fear. As if he had been waiting for this moment, he slashed his neck with his sword, without even closing his eyes until the end. It was a choice that left not even a single chance of survival.
Blood gushed like a fountain from the neatly severed neck. After being cut off, Walter’s head, which was still on his shoulders a moment ago, rolled down. A faint smile crept from Walter’s face, seated correctly on the shoulder of the corpse. A satisfied expression. It was the most comfortable face he had ever seen.
“…You have such a strong shadow, but how did you get into this shape?”
Benedict, quietly observing the situation, finally wandered around the blood-stained floor. It was when Walter’s corpse and head were pushed one after another and brought down. Benedict’s eyebrows moved silently as he watched her asleep without any word.
“…Are you agitated now?”
It’s been a long time since she stopped breathing. The soul that had completely disappeared inside was trembling faintly.
It took three days for Benedict to come to the Sernotti estate, sensing the situation when he saw the jewel of the Imperial Family that had lost its light.
He had to cast a spell on the entire detached palace where the papal headquarters was located, avoiding the surveillance of the Imperial Guard, who checked his movements every day, and that slowed his departure. The soul in her body, now visible before his eyes, would have vanished without a trace had she been a normal human being.
Benedict lowered his head and looked at the little jewel hanging from his neck. The light was flickering dimly within the gem that had been cut in half. After staring at the bed without moving for a moment, Benedict finally made a decision. He came all the way here for this anyway.
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