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For the Downfall of My Beloved Chapter 28

Updated: Feb 29


While alive, one might think that after death, they could reunite with those who have passed. 

 

But Gion, having tasted death, knew this was not the case.  

 

Those you miss in life remain the ones you miss in death. 

 

"..." 

 

Gion finally looked down at the bodies of the Second Chime and Hwien, unable to reach one another with their fingertips.  

 

Even in death, the two would not meet.  

 

They would drift in their own illusions, facing their pasts and regrets, hopefully for a long time, preferably forever. 

 

At that moment. 

 

"Gion!" 

 

Haram, who had delivered the fragment of light after killing the Fifth Chime, was rushing towards him urgently, as if every second was critical, just like on the battlefield. 

 

"... What's the matter?" 

 

"I might not be able to deliver the fragment of light this time." 

 

Haram's words came out in a rush, without pausing for breath. They were choppy and disjointed, but he didn't stop talking. 

 

"The Princess... she's not in the White Dragon Castle." 

 

"......." 

 

"She should definitely be there at this time... but she's disappeared." 

 

As Gion took a step towards Haram, 

 

Thud. 

 

Haram immediately grabbed Hoyeong's arm beside him. 

 

"Hoyeong, there's something even more urgent." 

 

Haram, usually calm and composed, was visibly emotional. 

 

"Demons have invaded Buksan." 

 

*** 

 

The dawn sky was obscured by clouds. 

 

A reddish glow dominated the heavens, forming a halo of light. 

 

"..." 

 

Gion stood in front of the shattered castle gate. 

 

Despite the fragmented gate, the White Dragon Castle was eerily quiet. 

 

Gion looked down at the beheaded gatekeeper's body. 

 

He died instantly. 

 

There were signs that he was attacked without a chance to fight back. 

 

Gion picked up the severed head of the demon. 

 

It seemed to have been cut by a thin, long sword, but that wasn't the end of it. 

 

The neck was severed by a sword enshrouded in dark energy. 

 

A demon killed another demon. 

 

Creak. 

 

Gion opened the tattered gate. 

 

"..." 

 

Everyone inside the castle looked at Gion. 

 

They remained peaceful, no different from before, living their lives in the White Dragon Castle. 

 

A woman fetching water from the well, a maid carrying laundry, a man chopping wood... 

 

Calm, peaceful, undisturbed. 

 

Eerily so. 

 

Tssk. 

 

With each step, the not-yet-dried bloodstains mixed with the sand made a dry and damp sound. 

 

The remnants of brutally destroyed lives were scattered chaotically. 

 

The white bone fragments, not completely disintegrated, melted and stuck to the ground in a sticky mess. The severed blood vessels and nerves of the bodies were protruding in all directions like noodles. 

 

Some corpses were so heavily crushed that they became a tangled mess, not even bleeding anymore. 

 

In this horrific scene, no one vomited or fainted.  

 

They just blindly carried on with their lives. 

 

Two seemingly incompatible realities intertwined, creating a dissonance. 

 

The dark presence that had swept through the hall couldn't leave the White Dragon Castle. 

 

Crunch. 

 

Stepping forward, Gion stepped on a fragment of a shattered blade. 

 

- I should at least be able to protect myself. 

 

Despite everyone's opposition, she had held the sword in her tiny hands. 

 

That sword's blade now lay broken and worn out. 

 

Like a piece of abyssal darkness soaked in crimson blood. 

 

"..." 

 

The point where the blade broke wasn't here. 

 

The dull impact indicated it flew off and landed here. 

 

There were no signs of abrasion, so after this fragment landed, it hadn't been disturbed. 

 

Thud. 

 

Gion slowly moved forward. 

 

One step. 

 

The distance was too close for the small, palm-sized blade to have flown off due to recoil. 

 

Two steps. 

 

No blood splatter here, so the blade must have been aimed at this spot. 

 

Three steps. 

 

If the blade had struck here... 

 

Thump. 

 

Gion stood in front of the sporadically scattered blood. 

 

It is not near the main hall but closer to the castle gate. 

 

No shoe prints, but there are torn pieces of flesh, so it must have been barefoot. 

 

Would the princess of the nation have a reason to come here barefoot, sword in hand? 

 

Gion followed the tiny footsteps, inspecting the traces. 

 

He noticed blood, not yet pooled, spilled in a round pattern. 

 

The blood of one person. 

 

Stabbed in the side, slashed up to the waist. 

 

Thud. 

 

Gion placed his foot over the footsteps. 

 

Using the traces as a guide, he began reconstructing the past battle in his mind. 

 

The blood drops, sharp as spikes, seemed crystallized. 

 

The footsteps were deeper here, indicating weight had been put on them. 

 

Rohwa must have thrust her sword into the throat of someone nearby. 

 

Due to her relatively slender build, she would have moved swiftly, focusing her weight to exploit a weakness. 

 

Tap. 

 

Gion turned his body sideways again, aligning his feet with the footsteps. 

 

After receiving all the spurting blood, she turned her sword and then pierced the stomach of someone behind her. 

 

"..." 

 

Silk fragments, splattered with blood, clung to the ground. 

 

The fine texture was gone; only the blood had hardened. 

 

Thump. 

 

Gion immediately turned around. 

 

Next to the small footsteps, two long streaks created by dragging something were visible. 

 

Unable to subdue the attackers at once, she used a corpse as a shield to move forward, protecting her vitals while swinging her sword at the approaching demons from both sides. 

 

The large footprints were all aimed towards the faint ones. 

 

Not a single drop of not-yet-dried blood veered away from the faint footprints. 

 

It was unmistakable. 

 

Rohwa had faced the invaders alone. 

 

"..." 

 

Swoosh. 

 

Gion stood atop the last footprint. 

 

This was it. 

 

Where the battle had ended. 

 

Gion looked down slowly. 

 

Too much blood had splattered to distinguish anything clearly. 

 

But one thing was certain here. 

 

Rohwa had put down her sword here. 

 

And it was voluntary. 

 

In a place no different from a battlefield, she had sheathed her sword. 

 

-General of the White Flower Kingdom, lay down your sword. 

 

A demand he had heard countless times from the enemy on the battlefield. 

 

It meant surrender. 

 

And it was synonymous with death. 

 

Yet, despite that, Rohwa had sheathed her sword. 

 

Whoo- 

 

The clouds began to clear, and sunlight started to shine through. 

 

It shone intensely as if trying to lock the night behind bars. 

 

The warmth settled on every wound on the body, bringing a surge of pain. 

 

It felt like rolling over broken glass shards scattered on the frosted ground. 

 

Why did she do it? 

 

Was it truly her own choice? 

 

Or was it a situation where she had no choice but to do so? 

And therefore… 

 

Did she die? 

 

Without his consent, Gion's body weakened, and he took a step back. 

 

The already faint footprints were crushed under his weight and vanished. 

 

"......" 

 

Still, he didn't know. 

 

Although she had sheathed her sword, no bloodstains were visible. 

 

Just these traces weren't enough to ascertain Rohwa's life or death. 

 

But there was one way. 

 

The people of the White Dragon Castle who had witnessed this bloodshed. 

 

They were still here. 

 

Gion lifted his head immediately. 

 

"......" 

 

The question he was about to ask got stuck in his throat. 

 

The woman fetching water was holding a sickle. 

 

The woodcutter chopping firewood had an axe. 

 

The maid carrying laundry had a kitchen knife. 

Surrounded by numerous individuals armed with blades, Gion was under their scrutiny. 

 

Their hands, gripping the weapons, were unblemished.  

 

Not even the smallest scratch or hardened callus was visible. 

 

Despite the bloodbath that had taken place in the White Dragon Castle, these individuals appeared untouched, as if they hadn't been there at all. 

 

As someone who had weathered the storms of Biryu for five years, Gion knew well.  

 

In a battle of this magnitude, the only way for anyone to remain unscathed is through sacrifice.  

 

Rohwa must have sheathed her sword for them. 

 

At that moment. 

 

Thud thud thud thud thud! 

 

Countless footsteps were heading towards the White Dragon Castle.  

 

The white qi rippling around Gion seemed to guide him towards the castle gate.  

 

Demons were approaching the White Dragon Castle, more than those who had been at the Second Chime's castle. 

 

"... So this is it." 

 

Those holding weapons began to slowly surround Gion. 

 

"Someone has set the stage to capture me." 

 

Releasing dark energy, indistinguishable from a demon, they exuded a murderous intent, having seemingly forsaken their humanity. 

 

The very people Rohwa had protected by laying down her sword were now turning their blades against her, standing with their backs to her. 

 

Thud. 

 

Gion moved forward, stepping firmly where the footprints had been. 

 

"The Princess laid down her sword for you, yet you choose to capture me." 

 

*** 

 

Breathlessness. 

 

It felt as if someone was smothering his breath, his tongue trembling.  

 

His mouth was parched, and despite the exhaustion from running, despite that, Hoyeong felt no pain. 

 

"Scream!" 

 

The setting sun, or rather the Seosan of the White Tiger tribe, echoed with the cries and screams of the people. 

 

Grind. 

 

Hoyeong gritted his teeth and quickly headed toward the tribe. 

 

"Aaah!" 

 

"There are too many! Don't engage them head-on. Lure them towards the cliff!" 

 

"My arm, my arm…!" 

 

Voices of death resonated from all directions. 

 

Many of the tribe members had already met their fate, bleeding out. 

 

"......" 

 

Whoosh whoosh– 

 

"How dare the demons... attack the White Tiger's tribe…" 

 

Hoyeong's golden eyes flickered, and a blue energy surged from his form. 

 

The chilling wind resonated strangely through the forest. 

 

Swoosh! 

 

Hoyeong bisected the demon in front of him. 

 

"Regroup!" 

 

His voice, though deep and resounding, was commanding. 

 

The tribe members, upon spotting Hoyeong, found hope in their eyes. 

 

"Hoyeong is here!" 

 

"Everyone, protect Hoyeong!" 

 

Swoosh, swoosh, swoosh. 

 

As Hoyeong gathered the blue energy, leaves rustled around him. 

 

The blue energy spread like a spider's web and rapidly dispersed like a meteor shower, positioning itself throughout the forest. 

 

"What, what's this...!" 

 

"Wasn't the chieftain supposed to be absent-" 

 

At that moment of demon confusion. 

 

Swoosh! 

 

The blue energy swiftly encircled the demons' necks, lifting them into the air. 

 

Their cervical vertebrae misaligned, the demons' heads drooped as if they had instantly fallen asleep. 

 

"Kill the chieftain!" 

 

The remaining demons, filled with murderous intent, charged at Hoyeong. 

 

Slash! Swoosh! 

 

Hoyeong quickly dispatched the approaching demons. 

 

"Do you think we've endured a hundred years without any power?" 

 

Thud! 

 

A demon pierced through the dantian, unable to bear the agony of the sawing pain, twisted and fell off the cliff. 

 

"Foolish creatures." 

 

Hoyeong stood at the forefront of the organized formation. 

 

"I'll handle the demons! Everyone else, block the entrance and prevent any demon from escaping except the front line!" 

 

With those words, Hoyeong continued to slash through countless demons. 

 

As he swung his sword, the demons easily perished. 

 

A sudden unease washed over him. 

 

Yes, it was too easy. 

 

Only these insignificant creatures came for an attack on one of the Five Guardian Tribes. 

 

Does that make sense? 

 

And there was more. 

 

'Why is there no other sound...' 

 

Apart from the echoes of the battle, no other sound was heard. 

 

No wind, no water, no rustling leaves... 

 

As if everything had died, it was utterly silent. 

 

At that moment. 

 

Thump! 

 

"... Hoyeong?" 

 

It happened in an instant. 

 

The head of a tribesman, with whom he had shared a hundred years, burst like a pomegranate. 

 

Pop! 

 

One after another, the heads of the tribesmen began to burst. 

 

"Everyone, get down!" 

 

Though he quickly ordered, it was already too late. 

 

Ratatat! 

 

Every single tribe member standing with Hoyeong had their head blown off. 

 

Lifeless bodies piled up, forming a heap. 

 

"......" 

 

Hoyeong, his eyes bloodshot, surveyed Seosan. 

 

The blue energy Hoyeong had released had completely vanished, not a trace remaining. 

 

Thud. 

 

His heart thudded loudly once, then weakly throbbed as if it would stop at any moment. 

 

"Just stay still. Why make a fuss." 

 

A woman's soft voice resonated in Hoyeong's ears. 

 

Click. 

 

A woman in a red silk dress, her skin pale as snow, slowly approached. 

 

"Third Chime... why..." 

 

With a voice cracking with emotion, the Third Chime gently smiled. 

 

"Why resort to acts that shouldn't be done, spilling blood in the process?" 

 

"......" 

 

"This is the problem with humans. They don't appreciate the mercy shown to them for a hundred years and continue to make a mess like this." 

 

Rustle. 

 

The Third Chime twirled her glossy hair into a bun and secured it with a hairpin. 

 

"Today marks the end of the White Tiger's tribe." 



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