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For the Downfall of My Beloved Chapter 48

Updated: Apr 2

Swoop!  

 

The doors of White Hall burst open violently.  

 

"Lord Demon King!"  

 

Many officials hurriedly followed The Demon King, but he only entered The White Hall.  

 

"Perhaps you should freshen up first...!"  

 

"......"  

 

The Demon King, covered in blood, let droplets fall on the fine carpeted path.  

 

The blood that soaked his hair had hardened and tangled, but even so, not a single wound was visible on the Demon King's body.  

 

His form, bearing the aftermath of the battle, was wreathed in black energy.  

 

How long had it been since he entered The White Dragon Castle? 

  

Surely not more than a month.  

 

He had intended to end the war with Xuan Kingdom as quickly as possible, but due to the enemy's desperate resistance and hiding, his entry into the White Dragon Castle was delayed.  

 

Clang!  

 

The Demon King carelessly threw his sword aside and headed to his office.  

 

Light flickered from beneath the office door, spilling out into the hallway.  

 

Thud.  

 

The Demon King slowed his steps.  

 

"Sigh..."  

 

He tied his tangled hair back, removed his blood-stained robe, and dropped it to the floor.  

 

After closing his eyes briefly, he opened them.  

 

Screech-  

 

He slowly pushed the door open.  

 

"...You've arrived quickly."  

 

A familiar figure shimmered behind a black curtain.  

 

The owner of the voice focused only on the book in hand.  

 

"I'm late."  

 

Rustle.  

 

The Demon King drew back the black curtain and looked down at the woman.  

 

Her bright white hair, as if absorbing all the light in the world, shimmered under the lantern light.  

 

Her red eyes, though dim, were clear in their focus.  

 

As a shadow fell upon her pale face, she slowly blinked.  

 

She took shallow breaths, her small shoulders rising and falling, fingers flipping through the book.  

 

She might look like a lifeless body...  

 

But she was very much alive.  

 

"Rohwa."  

 

The Demon King sat before Rohwa, resting his chin on his hand.  

 

"It's been a month; at least show your face?"  

 

However, Rohwa continued turning the pages of her book, not even glancing at him.  

 

"The retreat of Xuan Kingdom's army doesn't mean it's over. We haven't reached the front line yet."  

 

"Have you eaten? You seem thinner than before."  

 

"...The internal affairs of the White Flower Kingdom are fine-"  

 

"We haven't seen each other in a while, let's have a meal together. Your complexion suggests you might collapse right now."  

 

"......"  

 

Rohwa closed her book at the disjointed conversation.  

 

"The current state of my health isn't what's important right now."  

 

The Demon King tilted his head in confusion.  

 

"Then what is important?"  

 

"It's about Xuan Kingdom."  

 

Rohwa quietly looked at a corner of the map.  

 

"Focus on the war and Xuan Kingdom for now. Shouldn't you deal with Gu? Don't divert your attention elsewhere. If you miss this chance to conquer Xuan Kingdom, your prestige will fall. Don't waste your strength on trivial matters."  

 

Yes, it always comes to this.  

 

No matter the question, Rohwa's answers never included the Demon King.  

 

Even when they were together, it didn't feel like it.  

 

Rohwa's gaze was never truly on the Demon King but fixed on some invisible void.  

 

The Demon King muttered, turning his head away.  

 

"...The plan is proceeding without issues, so don't worry."  

 

A year ago.  

 

War had been relentless since returning to White Flower Kingdom from True White Flower Kingdom.  

 

Gayeon had become a vassal state to the White Flower Kingdom, leading to numerous internal conflicts, and stabilizing the country with its expanded territory required much effort.  

 

The efforts of more than ten months were not in vain.  

 

The White Flower Kingdom had reached a period of stability, and most troublesome matters had been dealt with.  

 

But there was still work to be done.  

 

Xuan Kingdom.  

 

They, too, had to become a vassal state of the White Flower Kingdom.  

 

"Now, Xuan Kingdom is almost in my grasp. So—"  

 

"Wouldn't it be better the sooner it's done?"  

 

A spark of interest appeared in Rohwa's eyes.  

 

"As soon as possible, we should integrate the Xuan Kingdom into the White Flower Kingdom and then attack the True White Flower Kingdom."  

 

The Demon King quietly observed her lively eyes.  

 

But Rohwa stood up and continued,  

 

"Now that it's come to this, I should join the battle too—"  

 

"Rohwa."  

 

The Demon King's voice was low, his expression stern.  

 

"Who decided you could go to the battlefield?"  

 

Rohwa looked back at the Demon King with furrowed brows and calmly said,  

 

"It's strange I haven't gone out until now."  

 

"......"  

 

She was right.  

 

Among those currently in the White Flower Kingdom, if one were to choose the strongest after the Demon King, it would undoubtedly be Rohwa.  

 

However, Rohwa being strong and her participation in battle were different matters.  

 

"You can't even take care of yourself."  

 

Would he have to witness her being pierced by a sword again?  

 

Like that day shrouded in mist, disappearing into the smoke.  

 

"With all positions filled by the generals, there's no need for you to go out too."  

 

Rohwa just quietly looked at the Demon King without saying anything.  

 

"Let's have the banquet together later."  

 

The Demon King quickly stood up and turned around.  

 

"Stay quiet and still."  

 

Click.  

 

The Demon King opened the door and headed outside.  

 

"Xuan Kingdom will fall by tomorrow."  

 

***  

 

Where am I?  

 

I can't see anything in front of me.  

 

Floating in pitch-black darkness, my head starts to throb as if it's about to burst.  

 

"Ugh…"  

 

Gu clasped his head, bowing down.  

 

"What's this…"  

 

The sticky liquid crept up Gu's legs.  

 

"Madness! What is this...!"  

 

Gu hurriedly searched for his sword at his waist, but his hands grasped nothing.  

 

Meanwhile, the sticky liquid began to consume him as if it would engulf him entirely.  

 

"Get off...! Get off me!"  

 

Gu started frantically trying to wipe the liquid off with his bare hands.  

 

It was hot and sticky, and despite Gu's will, it seeped into his skin.  

 

"Ah, ah..."  

 

Blood.  

 

Whose blood could it be?  

 

Was it the blood of his soldiers, the enemy's, or those Gu had killed? 

  

Gu looked at his trembling hands in despair.  

 

At that moment.  

 

-Killing loyal subjects, assassinating the king of an allied nation, and losing the country...  

 

Someone's voice floated in his head.  

 

Simultaneously, ghostly hands grabbed Gu's legs.  

 

"What..."  

 

The countless soldiers who had lost their lives and the loyal subjects Gu had abandoned, the king of Gayeon...  

 

They were all staring at Gu with wide-open eyes, bleeding.  

 

"Stop, stop..."  

 

Gu struggled, looking around as if searching for a savior.  

 

Then.  

 

A man covered in blood entered Gu's sight.  

 

Thud.  

 

The man slowly approached Gu.  

 

When the man reached in front of Gu.  

 

"You are…"  

 

Gu stammered, looking up at the man.  

 

A man with black hair and eyes as dark as pitch.  

 

It was Gion.  

 

"You… truly…"  

 

Gu's eyes were filled with fear as he stammered.  

 

Gion silently drew his sword.  

 

-You will be remembered as the worst king in history.  

 

"…Gasp!"  

 

Gu shot up, eyes wide open.  

 

"Sigh…"  

 

Familiar campfire sights greeted him.  

 

The smell of blood mixed with alcohol was nauseating.  

 

As Gu stepped out of his sleeping quarters.  

 

Clatter.  

 

A liquor bottle kicked by his foot rolled across the floor.  

 

"......"  

 

Gu, with a heavy head from the hangover, slowly looked around.  

 

The messy camp was only filled with dust, and the smell of blood, impossible to wash away, lingered everywhere.  

 

The White Flower Kingdom had started to undermine the Xuan Kingdom and turned Gayeon into a vassal state half a year ago.  

 

They committed atrocities like looting resources and setting fires to mountains without even starting a war.  

 

In such circumstances, the Xuan Kingdom had no options.  

 

For a small country like Xuan Kingdom to start a war against two powerful nations would be like committing suicide. 

 

But then…  

 

A month ago, the Demon King had suddenly stormed in.  

 

"Why... why has it come to this..."  

 

He had lost countless soldiers.  

 

The soldiers, already exhausted from half a year of fighting, had long lost their morale.  

 

With insufficient forces to form a proper line, the demons of White Flower Kingdom brazenly raided their civilians right at the front lines. No matter how much they fought, the White Flower Kingdom remained unshaken. Over half of Xuan Kingdom's territory had turned into hellscapes within a month. They were holding on, but the White Flower Kingdom wasn't even using its full strength.  

 

The Demon King was manipulating Xuan Kingdom at his leisure as if a cat toying with a mouse.  

 

"This is all... because of him..."  

 

The noble glory of being a king of a nation had vanished into thin air.  

 

The enraged citizens began blaming Gu, hurling insults at him.  

 

Not only were soldiers deserting and giving up on Xuan Kingdom, but citizens of Gayeon, now subjects of White Flower Kingdom, were also coming at him with a vengeance in their eyes, eager to kill him.  

 

-The Demon King has killed loyal subjects, assassinated the king of an allied nation, and lost the country... You will be remembered as the worst king in history...  

 

Gion's curse seemed to be coming true.  

 

"That bastard...!"  

 

Crash!  

 

Gu threw a rolling liquor bottle.  

 

Glass shards scattered across the floor, making a strange noise.  

 

At that moment.  

 

"King of the West! A message has arrived!"  

 

A soldier hurried into the camp.  

 

Gu nodded as if accustomed to it.  

 

"Is it from the True White Flower Kingdom again?"  

 

This wasn't the first time a message had arrived.  

 

After the White Flower Kingdom began its invasion of the Xuan Kingdom, Choyeop, the king of the True White Flower Kingdom, had been continuously sending messages.  

 

"Give it here."  

 

Gu began to read the message.  

 

-If you wish to defeat White Flower Kingdom, it would be wise to join hands with True White Flower Kingdom. After all, our goals align.  

.  

.  

.  

The same story again.  

 

He had sent numerous questions to understand their intentions.  

 

At the same time, he had sent some of the few remaining soldiers to the True White Flower Kingdom...  

 

'It's not called a natural fortress for nothing.'  

 

Getting information about the True White Flower Kingdom, a place geographically isolated from the outside, was no easy task.  

 

Other than knowing that a man named Choyeop was the king and they were expanding their power, they hadn't learned much.  

 

Moreover, it was clear that these people were dangerous, as they were good at avoiding the key points of the questions and hiding information. 

 

But.  

 

-This is the last time I ask; please make a decision.  

 

There was something different about this letter, something that set it apart from all the others. 

 

They want to join forces for their goal, but they're keeping everything in the dark. 

 

They were definitely dangerous people. 

  

And the attitude of deciding the end as if the choice was theirs to make...  

 

'How presumptuous.'  

 

Crunch.  

 

Gu clenched the message in his hand.  

 

Disgust overwhelmed him.  

 

Not because of their behavior, but because of the frustration of being powerless against such people.  

 

Joining hands with the True White Flower Kingdom might indeed be the last chance to drive out the White Flower Kingdom.  

 

If they delayed any further, the fall of the Xuan Kingdom was only a matter of time.  

 

With the Demon King moving personally and the support of the seven generals, it was inevitable.  

 

If it continued like this...  

 

-You will be remembered as the worst king in history.  

 

Gu chewed on his lip. 

  

No.  

 

He had absolutely no intention of letting that happen.  

 

As always, he intended to continue living in nobility at the pinnacle of power.  

 

So this time...  

 

"Deliver a message to the True White Flower Kingdom."  

 

It would just be fodder for the return to glory.  

 

"Tell them to come to the Xuan Kingdom."  

 

***  

 

"You must tell us the truth. Only then can we decide how to proceed."  

 

Gu frowned at the voice coming from beyond the tightly woven fabric.  

 

The light flickered, casting a shadow on the purple fabric as he quietly scanned it.  

 

"Of course, that's only right."  

 

Though he wanted to tear down the tent and cut off Choyeop's head right in front of him, that wasn't the priority.  

 

There was something more important.  

 

"With the True White Flower Kingdom taking firm control of Gayeon, we can turn the tide. Even though Xuan Kingdom is losing ground, it's worth a try if we join forces."  

 

"......"  

 

"If we aim to conquer the White Flower Kingdom, wouldn't it be impossible without us? If we disappear, White Flower Kingdom can never be overtaken, right?"  

 

Gu threw the question and glanced beyond the tent.  

 

It might seem like True White Flower Kingdom is helping Xuan Kingdom, but in reality, True White Flower Kingdom needs Xuan Kingdom just as much. It was as if there was no need to bow down.  

 

Thud.  

 

An aide approached Choyeop, whispering something into his ear.  

 

Gu's brow furrowed at the sight.  

 

"Are you listening to me?"  

 

"Ah, my apologies."  

 

Choyeop chuckled and lifted his tea.  

 

"This person is exceptionally capable, so I always keep him close for important matters."  

 

Choyeop quietly listened to the aide's words. He nodded without offering any response to Gu's inquiry. He just leisurely talked.  

 

Faced with a situation unfolding differently from what he expected, Gu straightened his back momentarily.  

 

The gesture seen in the flickering light made him swallow his words. 

  

"Since our objectives are already aligned, I hope we can proceed quickly. After the Xuan Kingdom is integrated into the White Flower Kingdom, it would be more dangerous if the True White Flower Kingdom then attacks the White Flower Kingdom."  

 

Gu set down his tea as he spoke.  

 

"It seems like this is the last chance for you as well."  

 

At that moment, as Gu stared at the tent.  

 

Thud.  

 

The aide again approached Choyeop, starting another conversation. 

  

'...What exactly.'  

 

Though he tried to listen, not a whisper reached his ears.  

 

Knowing what was being discussed would help him prepare for his next move.  

 

It felt as if the space was filled only with brief silence.  

 

How long had it passed?  

 

"My subordinate seems quite worried."  

 

"...What?"  

 

Gu asked reflexively.  

 

"They're concerned that by allying with the Xuan Kingdom now, we might end up being targeted by the White Flower Kingdom as well... It's understandable from the soldiers' perspective, right?"  

 

The king was swayed by his aide's words.  

 

"What do you mean..."  

 

Gu glanced at the quietly standing aide beside him.  

 

Even through the tent, he could instantly sense the killing intent. 

  

A shiver of unease and tension prompted Gu to let out a hollow laugh.  

 

"Do you not wish to ever capture White Flower Kingdom?"  

 

"......"  

 

The aide once again whispered briefly to Choyeop by his side.  

 

Then, a moment later.  

 

Chuckle.  

 

A short laugh echoed from beyond the tent.  

 

"We can return to the True White Flower Kingdom and hold out, then look for another opportunity."  

 

Ringing filled Gu's ears at that instant.  

 

After all the correspondence sent, was this their way of saying they didn't care what happened to Xuan Kingdom?  

 

His hand holding the teacup began to tremble.  

 

He couldn't tell how his face twisted or how his spine chilled.  

 

If they didn't settle things with the True White Flower Kingdom here and now, Xuan Kingdom would effortlessly become a vassal state to the White Flower Kingdom.  

 

In a situation where their military and power were utterly unmatched by the White Flower Kingdom, they were the Xuan Kingdom's last lifeline.  

 

Gu stiffened his neck to hide the quiver in his voice.  

 

"Do you think the opportunity will come again? We're dealing with the Demon King."  

 

Step.  

 

The aide approached Choyeop again, then bent down.  

 

What more could they possibly say now?  

 

Gu gritted his teeth and glared at the tent.  

 

Then, from beyond the tent, Choyeop softly spoke.  

 

"Perhaps it would be best to consider this proposal null and void."  

 

At that moment.  

 

Crash!  

 

Gu threw the teacup, creating a loud shattering noise that reverberated through the space.  

 

Black energy swirled, hissing as frost began to form on the walls. 

  

"These fools are getting too bold..."  

 

Gu had risen from his seat, now looking down at Choyeop.  

 

"How long do you plan on just listening to your subordinates? Is this why your kingdom is cornered and isolated? If you've crawled up from that corner to Xuan Kingdom, shouldn't you be able to discuss properly what needs to be done!"  

 

His voice boomed angrily throughout the room.  

 

"Do you think you'll remain safe forever acting like this?"  

 

Gu's eyes flashed as he tilted his head.  

 

Swoosh.  

 

The black energy swirled, causing the tent fabric to flutter.  

 

"I could kill you all right here and now."  

 

"......"  

 

Choyeop quietly stood up, his posture straight.  

 

"Then, how about speaking directly with my subordinate?"  

 

"...What?"  

 

"I'm not confident I can persuade him myself. He's too capable to ignore... So, why not discuss it directly?"  

 

"Ha...!"  

 

Gu scoffed, running his hand through his hair.  

 

He was supposed to be talking to the king's subordinate, not a messenger. The absurdity of the situation made him feel nauseous. 

 

"Fine. Let's see the face of the person who wields such influence over a king."  

 

Gu brimmed with hostility and directed the aides.  

 

"Roll up the tent."  

 

The aides immediately began to roll up the fabric.  

 

The translucent thin fabric concealing the subordinate's figure gradually revealed itself.  

 

Thump.  

 

Gu's heart raced with an inexplicable fear.  

 

'...What?'  

 

The slowly revealing figure felt strangely familiar as if he had seen it somewhere before.  

 

Gu focused on the emerging hand of the subordinate.  

 

Pale to the point of being lifeless. The hand was covered in scars, yet it appeared strong enough to grasp anything.  

 

Yes, that hand.  

 

He had seen that hand before, surely in a place reeking of blood.  

'Could it be…'  

 

Without realizing it, Gu stepped backward, the screen behind him wobbling precariously.  

 

"Stop."  

 

"...Yes?"  

 

At Gu's murmur, the aides looked puzzled and stared at him.  

 

"Take your hands off the fabric!"  

 

Whoosh!  

 

But the fabric was already falling away listlessly.  

 

"Have you been well?"  

 

Those eyes seemed to contain all the darkness in the world, pitch-black.  

 

And now, he was face-to-face with those eyes once more.  

 

"How desperately I came here because of you... We have unfinished business, don't we?"  

 

--You will be remembered as the worst king in history.  

 

It was just like the figure he had seen in his dream.  

 

The same figure looking down at Gu with a chilling gaze.  

 

"Your end will be by my hands."  

 

It was Gion.  

 

"You… why are you here…"  

 

Was Gion in True White Flower Kingdom?  

 

Had they failed even to gather such crucial information?  

 

"Drowning in liquor every day, no wonder your head's not working."  

 

Gion spoke indifferently, tilting his head back lazily.  

 

"How else could True White Flower Kingdom have absorbed Munbi Nation?"  

 

"......"  

 

Pieces swirling in his head clicked into place, forming a complete picture.  

 

Not long in history, the True White Flower Kingdom was established by refugees who had fled their country.  

 

That they could grow to this extent...  

 

"....ha, haha…"  

 

Gu clutched his throbbing head and began to laugh hysterically.  

 

In the end, they hadn't come to strike an agreement with the White Flower Kingdom.  

 

No, there was no intention to help Xuan Kingdom from the start. 

  

"I'll make sure to record your story in great detail."  

 

Tatatatata!  

 

Soldiers dressed in black filed into the room in a line.  

 

Behind them lay Xuan Kingdom soldiers, already dead and bleeding, strewn across the floor.  

 

Swoosh.  

 

Gion, treating them as mere backdrop, drew his sword and approached Gu.  

 

"History will remember you in full detail." 

 


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