Death Can’t Sleep - Chapter 35
The next day, she woke up to the sound of birds chirping.
She stared at the ceiling while the memories of last night flooded her mind.
Victor kissed her and smiled softly, which made her heart pound.
She smiled like a fool.
She curled up under her blanket in embarrassment and called her maids.
“You’re awake, Madame.”
Mary was standing next to the bed, holding a washbasin. She looked pale and tired.
The other maids also had hardened expressions.
‘Is something going on?’
Despite her doubts, she first washed her face and combed her hair.
Then, something strange caught her eye.
Her room was still dark.
Normally, as soon as her maids entered, they drew the curtains and opened the windows, but they didn’t today.
She got out of bed and walked to the window.
She could open it herself.
“Madame, wait a minute…!”
Before Mary could stop her, Amarion pulled open the curtains.
Their bedroom was on the 4th floor of the castle, so the garden and village center were clearly visible from it.
Usually, the central square was filled with swindling merchants, street vendors, and travelers.
But today, it looked different.
“What is that thing on the square?”
She asked with a frown.
None of her maids answered.
She looked down at the square once more.
‘It looks like a wooden structure… No.’
“It’s an execution podium…”
A chill ran down her spine.
Suddenly, Sir Raoul entered her room and stood there silently.
She asked hastily.
“What happened? Who will be executed today?”
“We have been commanded to remain silent by his highness the Grand Duke.”
Raoul sighed deeply.
He was Victor’s knight, but they had become pretty close.
She bit her lip, eyeing the large axe on his back. She had seen it blow fire wolf’s necks off with one swing.
Eventually, the hesitant knight opened his mouth.
“…Some vassals will be executed this morning. His highness personally ordered it.”
“What is their crime?”
“Embezzlement from the budget and contempt of the lord’s family.”
She clenched her teeth.
An ominous feeling engulfed her body.
There weren’t many vassals who could get their hands on the budget money.
So it was clear who was going to be executed today.
They must have been the vassals she saw in the hallway yesterday.
She couldn’t believe it. She thought Victor would surely be merciful, so why did he decide on such a cruel punishment?
Punishment and execution were often necessary, but they shouldn’t be overused.
It wasn’t because she came from a land where human life was more precious than gold, but because if she were a lord, that’s what she would have done.
That’s what she was taught.
She strode across the room.
“I need to see Victor.”
As she approached the door, the apprentice knights blocked her way.
“The Grand Duke has ordered the Grand Duchess to stay in her room.”
She opened her mouth, closed it, and turned to Raoul.
Raoul was standing to the side with a gloomy expression.
She couldn’t believe it.
“Is this an order from Victor himself?”
“What if I want to leave?”
Raoul was silent.
The apprentice knights did not step away from the door, even though they noticed her protest.
They were truly loyal knights.
But now was not the time to praise them.
She spoke slowly.
“I have a sword.”
Raoul’s eyes darkened.
She didn’t like to threaten others.
She learned swordsmanship to protect people, not to scare them.
Especially to protect weak people, like these knights.
But right now, she was in a hurry.
The apprentice knights guarding the door looked confused. They didn’t understand. She had nothing in her hands!
But she wasn’t lying.
This was Victor’s bedroom, so the walls were covered with weapons. Besides, the sword she used every night was laying next to the bed.
At most, it would take a few seconds for her to grab a sword.
Raoul let out a painful groan, realizing this fact.
She didn’t want to punish them for following orders, but she said again.
“Please don’t make me draw my sword.”
“Madame, I have orders.”
“Then break it.”
She exhaled softly.
Raoul’s eyes widened.
“Gold is more important than orders, and lives are more important than gold. You know that, don’t you?”
“…Yes, that’s right.”
“Then break the order.”
Raoul understood her idiom immediately. It was an idiom often used by mercenaries.
It was also a warning that she had no intention of going easy on him, and that she was willing to use force.
As he struggled internally, she picked up a long ribbon to tie her hair up.
Mary came over quickly to assist.
When her hair was fixed, Raoul gestured to the knights heavily.
“Get out of the way.”
“You want your head to roll? I’m doing this to keep you safe. Get out of the way.”
Raoul said grimly.
But his tone was firm. The knights who had been hesitating eventually got out of the way, clearing the way.
Amarion left her room and looked at him apologetically.
“I’m sorry, Raoul.”
“No, my Lady. Forgive us for our rudeness that we dared to stand in your way.”
Sir Raoul placed his hand on his chest, like a knight.
‘I’ll have to apologize again later.’
She smiled bitterly as she walked down the hall.
Victor was the only one in his office when she arrived.
She deliberately walked loudly as she entered.
Victor looked up from the document he was reading.
His voice, which whispered sweet affections last night, spoke calmly.
“I thought you would stay in your room.”
“Are you serious? Did you really think that those feeble knights could stop me?”
Victor quietly nodded his head.
“You care about the weak, so I thought you would not be able to turn down their request.”
“…You are mean, Victor.”
Victor’s eyes widened, but he quickly laughed. It was bitter.
She looked at him with a hard expression.
The Victor in front of her felt unfamiliar.
He was calm even after ordering unjust deaths, and confessed that he used his knights to stop her.
He was nothing like a knight or lord.
Even though they had been together for months, it was like she was seeing him for the first time.
She asked, calming her boiling rage.
“Are the vassals I spoke of yesterday being executed today?”
“Are their sins a felony worthy of death?”
Victor answered dryly.
“The law of Morte states that anyone who insults a lord’s family should be hanged.”
“You know the law is cruel.”
She shot back at him.
“You know, didn’t you hide it from me? Isn’t that unfair too?”
Birds chirped outside the window.
The brightly lit office was like a prayer room in the temple.
Victor, sitting there, was as beautiful as ever, but anger weighed heavily on her heart, so she felt nothing.
If she had known that someone’s death was the reward for being honest with Victor, she wouldn’t have spoken.
She clenched her teeth.
“Tell them to stop, Victor. Stop and be merciful.”
“They insulted you.”
“I hate it even more if you’re doing this because of me!”
Her voice grew louder.
Victor looked at her, confused.
She clenched her fists and spoke, with more power than before.
“I don’t want anyone to die because of me. It’s the thing I hate the most in the world.”
Silence fell. Neither one of them looked away. They maintained eye contact for what felt like centuries.
After a while, Victor called the butler.
“Did you call me, my Lord?”
She could feel Diderick’s presence behind her back.
Victor looked her straight in the eyes as he ordered.
“Tell the guards that the Grand Duchess has ordered the execution to be stopped. Send the prisoners back to the dungeon.”
“I will follow your orders.”
There was a click, and the sound of the door closing.
She didn’t avert her gaze.
She didn’t even say thank you.
There was no reason to be grateful for common decency.
In the end, it was Victor who turned away first.
She rubbed her eyes.
“You know what? I could have hidden this if I wanted to.”
“Why didn’t you?”
“Because you told me to be honest. Because I wanted to trust you.”
He approached her and cupped her cheek with one hand.
His hand tenderly caressed her face.
“I want to protect you, Marion. That’s all.”
“But this was the wrong way.”
She shook her head.
No matter how much she liked Victor, she couldn’t agree with his methods.
Death was the end of life, the end of a future.
That is why it was necessary to be very careful when inflicting death.
Her life and Victor’s were different.
Ever since she was born, she had fought monsters to protect people, while Victor had fought humans on the battlefield.
So, to some extent, she was able to understand their differing values.
But even for her, there were some things that were unacceptable.
She removed Victor’s hand from her face.
“I have suffered enough death. I don’t want to see anyone die anymore, ever.”
Victor didn’t answer.
Without hesitation, she turned on her heels and left.
The scent of his musk, which had always enchanted her, gradually faded away.
[E/N: I don’t comment my opinions often, but d*mn this chapter broke my heart. They’re both trying so hard to love each other, but their ways of showing their love hurt each other. Amarion hides things, and Victor uses force to protect the people he cares about. I really hope they can reconcile