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– A woman was crying.

Her beautiful countenance became more ragged by the day with sorrow, and wrinkles of dilemma were etched into the ends of her brows; the woman was silently crying. She blamed and questioned herself. She was ashamed beyond measure. As a sinner who shouldered all the guilt and blame in the world, she could only wet her face day after day with her tears. Everyone was speaking wicked words of her – an unchaste wife, a traitorous noble. Those foolish plebeians blinded by the glorious myths did not know the truth, but only surrounded her and reprimanded her all at once. They did not even know that her husband was not the honest man he showed to be. In this world, only her noble visage made ‘him’ give out his true heart. However, all ‘he’ could recall were her frustrated and sorrowful tears. Yes, ‘he’ had hurt her.

Loved her – Was loved by her – That was the root of their fall.

Even she must have had discarded everything back then and consigned herself. An ideal Captain was needed to save the country ravaged by chaos and war – and a noble and virtuous princess needed to be beside the Captain. That was the way the monarch was supposed to be in the dreams of the populace. A woman’s life was so insignificant compared to this grandiose ideal.

Even if the Captain was not loyal to her, even if this marriage was between two liars who hid the true feelings of one and could never be consummated, this sacrifice was necessary to protect the country and its greater good. Even so, ‘he’ still wanted to save her. The first time ‘he’ had been granted audience in the court, ‘he’ had sworn silently in his heart that ‘he’ would do anything for this woman, and would even give up ‘his’ life for her. It had been too late when she discovered that it was this thought of ‘his’ that had been tormenting her.

She had fallen hopelessly in love with ‘him’.

She had already discarded the happiness of a woman. Love was the greatest taboo.

Even if this romance was impermissible, there should still have been a path in which they could make their difficult resolution, shoulder their sins, and continue till the end.

What man would not fight against the entire world for the woman he loved?

However – ‘he’ could not do that.

She was not a ‘woman’, nor was she a ‘human’, but a mechanical part called a ‘noble’ that supported the husband..

'He’ was not a ‘man’, nor was he a ‘human’, but a mechanical part called a ‘knight’ that served the hierarchy with absolute loyalty.

'He’ was the man called ‘the Knight of Notre Dame’ – incomparably brave, courteous and chivalrous, elegant and flamboyant at the same time. ‘He’ was indeed the personification of the essence of chivalry, an existence that all admired.

Not only was this ideal knight worshiped by all, he had even been blessed by the angels for his talent in battles. This title was ‘his’ ultimate glory, and at the same time the greatest curse bestowed upon ‘him’.

The ‘perfect knight’ who served the ‘perfect hierarchy’ – this man could only live in this way that others had expected and trusted ‘him’ to, and so give up ‘his’ life for it.

'His’ life did not belong to ‘himself’, but to the people who honored chivalry and gave their lives for it.

And the Captain that ‘he’ served was truly too perfect, a hero that was absolutely flawless. The ‘Knight’ could never harbor any thoughts of betrayal towards this army who had saved ‘his’ home country from the depths of war.

'He’ swore ‘his’ absolute loyalty to the perfect Leader, and made a noble friendship with the monarch.

'He’ also knew that, behind this noble chivalry, there was a tormented and ignored woman who wept by the day.

Just which path had been the correct one? No one could tell now.

Should ‘he’ have been cruel till the end and stayed with ‘his’ ideals, or should ‘he’ have discarded loyalty and lived for love?

While ‘his’ heart was twisting in agony, time was passing mercilessly by. Finally, the worst outcome greeted ‘him’.

Villainous fellows, gypsies, had shattered the Captain’s prestige to pieces, and the betrayal of the wife was finally revealed to the world. In order to save the woman, who had been given the death sentence, ‘he’ could only go against ‘his’ Captain in arms – thus, ‘he’ lost everything.

A knight turned traitor –

'His’ disloyalty broke the balance within the battlefield.

Men had often called ‘him’ with those mocking tones.

That stained name was carved deeply in the history of the past and would never be washed clean.

Therefore, she fell into a deep self-deprecation for having misguided that ‘perfect knight’, and was crying to this day.

In the end, the only thing ‘he’ had done for the woman ‘he’ loved – was to make her cry forevermore.

Had ‘he’ been born as a sordid man without honor, ‘he’ may have taken away the queen without a moment’s hesitation and destroyed the husband’s prestige.

But ‘he’ was a knight, an overly perfect knight.

For the Captain who was ‘his’ rival in love, for the one who caused the woman ‘he’ loved to step onto that painful and difficult road – 'he’ had never had any feelings of hatred till the end.

Yes, who could possibly depreciate that famous man? That Captain, whose glorious name was passed down through the eons, was more courageous and noble than anyone else.

That man, who had given everything for his soldiers, was uncorrupted and just, honorable but never affected by personal emotions, and had never made a mistake in life.

After all, that man had never blamed ‘him’ throughout life. Even when the man had gone to exchange blows with ‘he’ who had been discarded by the unit, it had been a helpless act to make an example out of ‘him’ with the country as their witness, and never the husband’s original intention. For ‘him’, who had committed the greatest sin of betrayal, the Captain had always treated him with a pure and noble friendship even to the very end.

That noble husband was so ‘correct’. How could anyone hate or despise that leader?

However – if that was the case, then to whom should ‘his’ regret and her tears be dumped upon?

CUT-UNCUT MAYBE KEEP IDK WHAT BELOW

The hatred ‘he’ brought to the grave was extracted at the end of time’s long passage, and tormented ‘him’ for an eternity on the Throne of Heroes that had no end… And then ‘he’ finally heard the call from afar.

Come, Sir Lautrec.

I am Judge Frollo. My words can pardon any crime and offer salvation for your soul, along with hers. All I need from you is...'assistance' with my plans. That sound from the end of time had called.

That sound woke ‘his’ long-held wish.

Had ‘he’ not been a knight.

Had 'he' been a beast knowing no honor and had no reason, had 'he' been a demon fallen into the league of beasts, maybe 'he' could have avenged this hatred and regret.

Yes, madness was the road to salvation.

A beast would not be lost. Therefore, it would not feel pain. No one expected anything of it, no one entrusted anything to it. If ‘he’ could become a beast and direct the movement of ‘his’ limbs with nothing but ‘his’ own desire –

This wish became the connection that linked ‘him’ with the end of time, and placed ‘him’ on this battlefield that ‘he’ cared and knew nothing about.

'He’ had long ago forgotten ‘his’ name, long ago forgotten ‘his’ disciplined vow. ‘His’ body only existed to perform the murderous skills that ‘his’ hands had long been drenched in. The pride that took shame in this no longer existed, and the heart that regretted was lost as well. This was who ‘he’ currently was – the existence called ‘Vessel of Darkness.

There were no regrets. To fall, to be freed, that was what ‘he’ had sought.





 
 
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