Rather, she was the one who hurt him.
Because of her, he got hurt again. She felt sorry for hurting him…….
Jackal lowered his head.
But Asha really did feel bad for Jackal.
If she hadn’t foolishly fallen into a trap set by a minority, both he and Lycaon would have been safe.
As Asha stared sadly at the quilt, Jackal held out his arms to her.
Asha’s eyes widened as he held her close.
Jackal said, holding her in his wide arms.
“Don’t be sorry. I will do my best to prevent such a situation from happening in the future.”
He ran his bandaged hand through Asha’s blonde hair gently.
Just as she always relaxed and fell asleep simply leaning against Sheppy, Jackal wished she could relax for a moment in his arms.
Asha closed her eyes slightly as he held her in his arms.
She was always the one who had to carry heavy responsibilities, but when she was in his arms, all her problems seemed to disappear.
As if carrying the load for her, Asha felt so calm.
* * * * *
Asha spent the whole day taking care of Jackal and Karaf, going back and forth between the palace where Jackal is and the small castle where Karaf is.
Did I overdo it?
Asha inadvertently fell asleep while nursing and suddenly opened her eyes.
Before she knew it, she was in a field of flowers she had seen before.
Asha made up her mind and headed straight for the black rosebud on the cliff.
Withered flowers came to life and bloomed again as she walked through the field of flowers.
It was a fantastic sight, almost magical.
There were still many thorny bushes sticking out of the ground on the cliff.
Asha cautiously approached the boy crouched in a cocoon.
But when she looked closely, the boy was unconscious with injuries all over his body.
Asha was surprised and quickly took the boy into her arms.
This time the thorn bushes didn’t attack her as they did back then.
Asha put her ear to his chest. His heartbeat was faintly audible.
Perhaps because it was cold, the boy’s face was white and his lips were blue.
Somehow, he had the same decadent appearance as Karaf.
Asha quickly removed her cloak and wrapped it around his body.
“Everything is fine now. I’m here.”
She patted him and whispered to him like a spell, remembering the time she used to take care of orphans in the village.
But it was then.
“…… They say I’m a flower that shouldn’t bloom…….”
A boy’s voice was heard.
As Asha looked at him in surprise, the young Karaf continued to speak weakly with his eyes closed.
“My mother and the nobles told me that. Nobody in this world loves me. I wish I had never been born……”
Asha’s expression turned sad. Her heart ached from his words.
“No, that’s not true. Think carefully. There are definitely people who like you. Take a good look around you. There is a flower hidden among the other colorful flowers.”
Karaf still had his eyes closed, but a slight smile appeared around his mouth as if someone had suddenly come to mind.
He was pitiful and cute, so Asha said as she stroked his hair.
“What do you think? Can you see it clearly? You have to find the flower and call it by its name.”
“……Then that person will stay by my side forever?”
At those words, Asha was silent for a moment.
“Nothing in this world lasts forever. Everything is seasonal, and in the end, we all leave this world.”
The boy’s face saddened slightly at the pitiful words.
“That’s why you have to do the best you can while you’re alive. So you have no regrets left. I realized that recently.”
The boy’s expression turned serious as if he was thinking about it.
In a short time, his blackened lips were recovering their color. Seeing that, Asha smiled and said.
Young Karaf flinched.
“Of course. You’re a pretty flower.”
Asha said it, caressing his cold face with her warm hands.
However, Asha’s words caused the young Karaf’s face to distort.
Asha was worried that she had made a mistake, but she felt tears well up in his eyes and her eyes widened.
The little boy was crying silently again in her arms.
Those were the words that he really wanted to hear from his mother ever since he was very little…..
She felt very sorry for him, who had learned to hide his tears at an age when he should have been loved by his parents.
Asha looked down and whispered.
“Many people in this world are waiting for your blossoming. You have to bloom quickly to light up the whole world. I will be waiting for that day. And when that day comes… I will smile brightly next to you.”
* * * * *
Karaf’s eyes snapped open at dawn.
Where am I ……?
His face paled as he rummaged through his memory, he remembered the scene of Asha coming into the room.
He vaguely remembers being in her arms, but after that it was dark.
Wouldn’t Asha have been disappointed to see my ugliness?
No, did I not hurt her? I used to lose my mind.
He was so startled that he jumped out of bed.
However, when he found someone by his side, Karaf’s eyes widened even further.
Asha was sleeping soundly on the edge of the bed.
She must have taken care of him all night. There were basins with wet towels, glasses of water, and medicines.
Karaf’s eyes trembled slightly.
She must have witnessed his ugly and monstrous appearance, but she did not leave his side and take care of him.
He didn’t believe it, so he slapped himself.
Feeling the tingling sensation, it didn’t seem like a dream to him.
Suddenly, the rain that had been accompanied by thunder and lightning stopped, and the stars shone clearly in the clear blue night sky.
Also, the pleasant sound of insects singing made him feel like the two of them was on vacation.
He silently looked at Asha’s sleeping face.
Her face in the moonlight was so beautiful and divine, like a goddess descending from heaven. He couldn’t take his eyes off her for a moment.
Then suddenly Asha’s brows frowned slightly.
Karaf was startled. He quickly and carefully lay back on the bed and covered himself with the blanket.
Asha woke up and raised her head.
She didn’t know how much time had passed, but she could see that Karaf’s face had a much better complexion than before.
He looked so kind that it was hard to believe that he is a tyrant.
Asha breathed a sigh of relief, but the look on her face was a bit puzzled.
Do you even know how much I suffered and how much I had to give up to take care of you?
Asha felt upset for some reason, and she pinched his white cheek.
She wasn’t satisfied with that for some reason, so now she grabbed his cheeks with both hands and pulled them.
But at that moment, Karaf opened his eyes and looked at her.
Compared to his amused cheeks, his eyes were those of a beast.
Asha was so surprised that she didn’t even think to let go of his cheeks.
“Your Majesty…… You are awake?”
Karaf had been watching everything she was doing.
He looked down slightly to the side and looked at her hands pinching his cheeks.
Only then did Asha startle and let go of his cheeks and excuse herself.
“I…was checking why Your Majesty wasn’t awake yet, but I somehow grabbed your cheeks…..”
Asha didn’t even know what she was talking about and made stupid excuses.
As Asha stared again, Karaf smiled slightly. He didn’t question anything.
His smile seemed a bit sour, so Asha stopped making excuses and closed her mouth.
Karaf stopped smiling and looked out the window as he spoke in a cracked voice.
“Why did you come to see me? I wish you would have let me die…….”
“……There are no butterflies that let flowers die.”
Karaf turned his gaze and stared at her blankly.
“No. You’re wrong. My mother almost killed me once. My mother meant it back then.”
Asha was speechless.
“And you didn’t tell me before? Diseased and wilted flowers are not attractive.”
Karaf muttered with a pale face like a patient.
“That’s why everyone is leaving me……. Come to think of it, what the horse said wasn’t wrong.”
‘The flower must be bad in front of the butterfly’s eyes.’
He lowered his gaze in resignation.
“Your Majesty may be right.”
Asha looked directly at him and said.
“But not everyone is like that. Whether a person is attractive or not, I don’t like or dislike a person based on their appearance.”
Karaf’s eyes widened slightly and he looked at her.
When he looked at her purple eyes, he felt embarrassed, as if his black heart had been exposed.
Asha really does have eyes that seem to see a person’s inner beauty, he thought.
Asha slightly relaxed her expression and said.
“And I have told Your Majesty before. Helping someone is always valuable to me. So I’m just doing what’s worth it..”
“Have Your Majesty thought about the proposal I made before?”
Karaf didn’t answer.
She asked for freedom in exchange for doing everything possible for him to flourish and become a good emperor.
He couldn’t make up his mind, but he couldn’t make up his mind even more when he remembered what had happened today.
He really couldn’t live without her by his side.
Karaf covered his face with both hands, took a deep breath, and then asked carefully.
“You said before that butterflies don’t settle for just one flower… So… Even if we can’t always meet, can you be with the same flower……?”
The expression on his face seemed so desperate.
Asha realized what he was talking about.
It was his final option, asking her to put aside her greed and not leave his side.