Chapter 237. <Death King’s Family (1) (Correction)>
Translator: Seven ED: Sei
Sylvia clenched her fists.
“What do you mean, ‘how we’ll deal with this’?”
“I will summarize the details that are currently in question.”
My lover continued calmly.
“I hurt you. Although I apologized in order to heal those wounds, it will be difficult to heal it with just words. In fact, I doubt that those wounds have fully healed yet.”
“Well, if you put it like that it makes me look petty, but… If that’s the case then…?”
“Then there are three options.”
Raviel spread three of her fingers before folding one of them.
“The first is for me to experience my downfall* until you are satisfied.” (*: or ‘ruin’, or ‘destruction’)
When I heard this, I clenched my fists.
Raviel glanced at me out of the corner of her eye before looking towards the Young Miss once more.
“However, I cannot do that. For the past me and the current me, there are too many things that rely on me that will be affected by my downfall. In the past, it was the safety of the Empire, and now it is the happiness of my lover, which is why I am unable to fulfill that request.”
“Moreover, that wouldn’t make you happy, your butler has already sacrificed himself to prove that.”
Sylvia lowered her head.
The story of the butler would forever be a debt that she could never repay.
Raviel folded another finger.
“The second would be to physically eliminate you and erase you from existence.”
Flinching, Sylvia raised her head.
The Silver Tyrant looked down at Sylvia with blazing red eyes.
“Normally, this is the method I would choose without hesitation.”
“My lover told me that God once said ‘Murder is the ultimate incompetence’. I completely agree with that. Murder is by no means proof of competence, it’s simply the option that is chosen because there is no other way.”
However, Raviel had made a quote.
“However, I am not an omnipotent god. I am not an omniscient transcendent. I am a person with limitations, nothing more than a ‘slightly more intelligent beast’ who lives on the ground and cannot survive without bread and water. I have things that I must protect in the midst of my limitations. That is why I have no choice but to physically eliminate anything that is a threat or has the potential to become a threat.” (TL: This… is a scary justification…)
A voice that carried the willing affirmation of the speaker’s limitations and the human dignity that was expressed through it.
Sylvia clenched her teeth.
“I, are you going to get rid of me…? Or are you saying that you cannot allow someone like me to have a body so you will leave me in the restraints of the Hundred Ghosts…?”
“Both are possible, but I don’t intend to choose either of them”
As she said this, Raviel folded the last finger.
“The third is to accept your heart.”
“In other words, I will accept you as my concubine.”
Slurp, Miss Ja Soo-jung took a sip of her barley tea. The sound of her sip was quite clear.
Other than that, there wasn’t a single sound as even the cult members hiding in the shadows of the walls held their breath.
What finally entered my ears was the exclamation of admiration from Bae Hu-ryeong.
This legend among legends who had conquered up to the 99th Floor of the Tower, was staring at the courtyard* with a truly profound expression. (*: Calling it courtyard now apparently)
-Zombie, get me some popcorn. Ah, not just any popcorn, you gotta get caramel popcorn. In my opinion, popcorn is especially delicious when it is moderately coated in brown. How should I say it, it’s more special since every bite feels like tooth decay. Anyway, right.
Compared to his expression, his dialogue was anything but profound.
To be honest, I wanted to tell him to shut up for a second.
Eventually, after a long while, a person’s voice flowed through the courtyard. It was the main character, Sylvia Evanail. The Lady of Golden Silk.
Sylvia’s lips trembled.
“What nonsense are you saying!?”
I couldn’t see it clearly in the dark, but I was certain that her eyes were trembling as much as her lips.
“Concubine? D-, did you just say concubine? You, how dare you say that to me, Sylvia Evanail. Me, who His Highness the Crown Prince promised to make his Crown Princess, be a, a concubine…!? Did you just tell me to become your concubine!?”
“Bullshit! Bullshitbullshitbullshit! What kind of bullshit is that, that— that doesn’t make sense! You, what in the world, what are you thinking…”
“Mm. It certainly is bullshit.”
My heart, which had fallen for her, clambered up my spine with a whimper.
“There are two reasons why this is bullshit.”
Raviel said as she spread her fingers once more.
“One. This is not something I can decide on my own. Face*. Status. Gaze. All of those conditions can be sorted after, but first, Gong-ja and I must come to an agreement. The fact that the agreement didn’t come before the proposal is one of the reasons why I think this is bullshit.”(*: The face that can be gained/lost rather than the physical ‘face’)
I let out a breath of relief.
As my heart that was trying to crawl up my spine settled back into place, Sylvia shouted.
“No, that’s not it! What about listening to my opinion?! That should have been a prerequisite condit—”
Raviel folded her fingers.
“Did you even really love me??”
The shouting Sylvia closed her mouth.
“Was it love, or was it a longing for the one you idolized?”
“Isn’t it just a desire to possess something you didn’t have, and that you believed you couldn’t have?”
Silence passed for a long while.
Raviel put her teacup down.
And Ja Soo-jung collected the teacup into a tray before disappearing into the house.
“I love Kim Gong-ja.”
“I love everything about Kim Gong-ja. I never believed it was possible to love anything this much, and it is something that is impossible for many people who lived and died, but it is a miracle that was granted to me, meeting him.”
She spoke calmly as if simply explaining the truth.
“Everything about him is perfect. The sound of his breathing, his empty place on the bed when he leaves in the morning… His warmth… Every trace of my love for him makes me happy. I understand him, and he understands me. We are living at the same time. That is why…”
Raviel turned back to Sylvia.
“I cannot accept anything that isn’t [this kind of love] as love.”
“Did you love me that much?”
Sylvia lowered her head.
It was a gesture as if to say she couldn’t answer, couldn’t not answer, and just wanted to avoid everything now.
“You should know by now. You didn’t love me. That’s why I cannot love you.”
That was it.
How much coincidence and blood had it taken, for me to love Raviel, for Raviel to love me? The reason we were able to love so strongly was because our love hadn’t come easily.
Our love was difficult.
But it was a love that Raviel and I had earned.
“…If that is the case, then,”
When Sylvia said ‘If that was the case then’.
Her head hung so low that her flowing bangs covered her face.
“Then, what do you intend to do… after all that?”
Despite being clenched, her teeth trembled and became red as blood began to drip from her gums.
“You won’t destroy me, you won’t eliminate me, you won’t love me… Then what? After throwing out an incomplete apology, ah, what then… what will happen…”
“That, I would like to leave that up to you.”
Then Raviel turned to me again.
“If you were to give Sylvia a body using the Earth Bone Dragon’s box, would Sylvia be freer than when she was a Hundred Ghost?”
Understanding the intent behind the question, I nodded.
“Yes, she’d be free.”
“Is that freedom equivalent to when she was alive?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“Enough to pursue what she wants?”
“Enough to pursue whatever it is she wants.”
Nodding, Raviel turned to Sylvia.
“Then chase after your dreams, Sylvia Evanail.”
“Do you want to destroy me? You almost succeeded before already. You can try again. However, in order to do so, you would need to become stronger than my lover and I, and you would also have to ignore the heart of the butler who sacrificed himself for you.”
The Lady of Golden Silk’s breath stopped for a moment.
Raviel’s words continued.
“Do you want me to die and disappear? Or do you want to personally kill me? Go ahead and try, but I have no intention of going easy on you. I will resist every threat made towards me with everything I have and I will win. You will have to be better, just like you should’ve when you wanted to destroy me before.”
“Or do you want to be loved by me? Or receive my worship and adoration like I did from you in the past? That too will depend on your own efforts. As long as you work hard enough.”
Perhaps you will achieve it, Raviel murmured.
Throughout this stretch of dialogue, her gaze had been locked on to Golden Silk.
“Either way, Sylvia Evanail.”
One person’s eyes met the other person’s eyes.
“I will accept you as my rival, as someone who can stand opposite to me, as a human being I can recognize as my equal.”
From the beginning.
From the very beginning, that was all the world needed.
“So I’d like to ask, Sylvia Evanail.”
Raviel Ivansia asked quietly.
“Do you recognize me as an equal human being?”
Then, silence fell.
Sylvia stared blankly at Raviel.
Beyond the dark sky, the white moon floated.
Raviel’s face, which was backlit by the moonlight, was very firm.
After an unknown period of time.
Golden Silk opened her mouth.
There was so much steam accumulated in her chest that even after she opened her mouth, no words came out.
All that came out was a hot breath filled with malice, anger, shame, remorse, resentment, and enmity.
I, she said.
Sylvia was truly spewing herself.
“I… It’s hard. You, you all….”
She clenched her teeth so hard they bled.
And she was staring so hard it hurt.
“You don’t respect, or belittle*… you accept people for who they are… You do unto others even if they wouldn’t do the same unto you…” (*:Look up to or look down on)
More than anything else, her voice was hoarse.
“…even now. You apologized to me, but in the end I… I can’t apologize to you. I can’t forgive you…I.”
Sylvia covered her face with her hands.
“I know… how shameless those words are. I know I’ve done much —so much— worse to you. I know that… that.”
Regardless of strength, authority, or status, the one who forgives is stronger than the one who was forgiven simply by that fact alone.
As she couldn’t forgive Raviel, Sylvia wasn’t as strong.
“That’s why, first…”
Trembling, Sylvia took a deep, shaky breath as if she was chewing it before letting it out.
“First, I want to try… to do that…”
“You… you all… I will forgive you… I don’t know how long it will take for me to accept you as human beings, or if it is possible to get it into my narrow mind, but I will try to do it from now on.”
Sylvia swallowed her words.
She could have swallowed them then digested them, but after lowering her head, she let them come out.
“I don’t want to be that kind of person… That guy… that’s what my butler must have wanted…”
Tears filled her eyes as she muttered the end.
Then, after sniffling a bit, she sobbed.
“For once… I want… I want to be a person that guy wouldn’t be ashamed of…”
That was called the will to live.
As someone who had the power to give life, I answered gladly.
“If that is the way you want to live. Lady of Golden Silk. Sylvia Evanail.”
“To achieve your wish. To prove what you want to prove. Live.”
A golden card shined in my hand.
“I will accompany you.”
I put her will into the Earth Bone Dragon’s box.