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For the Downfall of My Beloved Chapter 9

Updated: Feb 1

"If I had known it would come to this, why didn't you tell me from the start? It was a waste of time going back and forth." 


Leaving a trail of blood on the fine silk path, Gion slowly approached Rohwa. 


Rohwa, seated on the throne, legs crossed and idly flicking her toes, rolled her eyes at Gion's words. 


"Don't you think you should clean up the mess you made, knowing how hideous your actions were? Besides, you're the type who needs to see things with your own eyes to be satisfied." 


Rohwa spoke indifferently as if she had known Gion would come. 


"How was your little outing after such a long time?" 




Gion sheathed the long sword stained with the blood of demons. 


"You could have done anything else, but you shouldn't have ruined the White Flower Kingdom." 


His voice was firm, uncracked. 


There was neither anger nor resentment in it. 


It was like a strict adult pointing out the mistakes of a misbehaving child. 


Rohwa, descending the stairs, stopped and stared blankly at Gion. 


"Are you saying it's my fault the White Flower Kingdom was destroyed?" 


Rohwa's face hardened instantly. 


It seemed her expression would twist in anger, but she quickly regained composure and murmured, 


"Fine... let's say it was my fault. But what about it?" 




"You won't ever understand how those hundred years were, even if you die again." 


Rohwa didn't shed a tear. Nor did she seem to be holding back from crying. 


She merely looked like an empty shell, devoid of all life's brilliance. 


"Even if you found out, it wouldn't erase those hundred years..." 




Rohwa, wrapped in dark energy, began descending the stairs, her tiny bare feet touching down. 


"In the ruined White Flower Kingdom, with not a single ally by my side... I, who desperately hoped for the war in Biryu to end quickly... suddenly..." 


Rohwa muttered so softly that Gion could barely hear. It wasn't so much speaking as it was a huge knot in her heart, uncontrollably pouring out. 


Her sigh, leaking out softly, was filled with melancholy. Her shoulders dropped lifelessly, and her clothes slipped down. The scars on her broad shoulders stood out prominently. 


Her empty gaze seemed to say, what's the use of all this now? 


Though Gion couldn't hear exactly what she was saying, he could tell how worn Rohwa was. 




Gion looked up at Rohwa, who stood still. 


Rohwa was three steps above him, her gaze above Gion's. 




Gion approached Rohwa. He was about to climb the stairs when he looked up at Rohwa, staring down at him, and stopped just before the steps. 


"I'm sorry." 


Gion didn't add anything else to those words. 


He just slightly tilted his head back to look up at Rohwa. 


Rohwa paused for a moment, her expression blank, and then the veins in her neck bulged. 




Blood vessels surfaced in her whites, her two eyes shining a blood-like red. 


Gion fixed his gaze on those reddened eyes. 


Rohwa used to have blue eyes that admired the beauty of the world. 


But now, those red pupils seemed filled only with bloodlust. 


- Now, the throne is your rightful place. 


He seated her on the magnificent throne. 


It was Gion who did this to Rohwa. 


It was Gion's fault that Rohwa ended up like this… 


"I must take responsibility, however insignificant it may be." 


"I will restore the glory of the White Flower Kingdom and then offer my life." 


At those words, Rohwa hesitated momentarily, but Gion did not stop speaking. 


"If that's still not enough, you can kill me, revive me, and lead me to death again. Take control of my entire life and death." 




"I promise." 


Gion never broke a promise. He vowed to return alive from Biryu, and indeed he did. 


"So give me the crystal of light." 


The crystal of light. 


It's essential for fully controlling and applying the White Qi, capable of annihilating demons. 


A successor without the crystal of light is no more than a baby holding a sword. 


Had it been anyone other than Gion who manifested the White Qi without the crystal, they would have died, and their bodies would have exploded. 




A brief silence ensued. 


"Are you referring to this?" 


Rohwa smirked and levitated a crystal above her hand. 


The crystal sparkled vibrantly as if containing all the light in the world. 


That moment. 


"Power should not be gained so easily." 


It was too quick to catch with the naked eye, a fleeting moment. 

Rohwa's dark energy enveloped the crystal. 




The crystal of light in Rohwa's hand shattered into seven pieces. 





Gion remained unflustered, his expression unchanged. 


Instead, Rohwa furrowed her brows and tilted her head in confusion. 


"You're not troubled by the shattered crystal of light?" 


"Having the crystal of light would have made things easier, but it's not the end of the world without it. I'll just take a more difficult path." 




"If breaking the crystal of light eased even a little of your resentment from those hundred years, then that's enough for me." 




Rohwa covered her face with trembling hands. 




She burst into laughter, teetering on the edge between crying and laughing. 


"Not only are you abominable, but now you're saying you'll restore the glory of your White Flower Kingdom without the crystal of light?" 


"It's yours, not mine." 


"How arrogant." 


Rohwa hardened her expression in an instant and said, 


"Kneel and bow your head." 




"Maybe then, my mind might change-" 


That moment. 




Gion immediately knelt down as if a warrior was paying homage to a princess. 


Head bowed, just like a hundred years ago, he placed the sheathed sword in front of his knees. 


-I will return alive. I can do it. 


He looked up at Rohwa earnestly, just like back then. 


-Have I ever failed to keep a promise I made? 


With hands full of scars, he did not dare to reach out to Rohwa but instead clenched his fist tightly. 


- Please forgive me. 


Even while kneeling, Gion kept his back straight and his black hair cascading down. 


In that way, like a loyal subject awaiting his sovereign's command, Gion didn't show the slightest movement until Rohwa spoke. 


An hour passed, and the long kneeling made his back tingle with numbness. 


Not long after, the wound on his back from the fight with the Seventh Chime opened up, and blood trickled out. 


After two hours, sweat formed on the fist resting on his knee, and the back of his slightly bent neck felt sore. As dawn broke and the sun began to rise, the light shining into White Hall illuminated the pool of blood where Gion sat. 


Yet, Gion did not falter in his posture, maintaining his position. 


"... Raise your head." 


It was only when the morning sun filled White Hall that Rohwa, who had been silently observing Gion, spoke. 


"General of the White Flower Kingdom, Gion, lift your head and receive the command of the 16th descendant of the White Dragon, the Princess." 


Gion slowly raised his head to look at Rohwa. 


Rohwa began to give her command with an unwavering gaze, just like a hundred years ago. 


"Every time you take a life, a reward shall be bestowed upon you. Go and kill the Seventh Chime." 




Gion picked up the long sword he had placed in front of his knee and unsheathed it. 


As the sharp blade pierced the floor, Gion kneeled on one knee and bowed his head. 


"I will heed the command." 


Gion drew the shallowly embedded sword from the floor and left White Hall. 


Rohwa quietly gazed at the sword mark left on the stairs. 




"Are you saying the one I killed wasn't the Seventh Chime?" 


Hoyeong looked at Gion, who was wrapping his burst wound with a cloth. 


"Did you meet the Princess?" 


Gion hesitated for a moment, then, while tying the cloth tightly, nodded his head. 


"What happened to the crystal of light?" 


"She said she'd give it to me if I bring the Seventh Chime. So I'm asking you." 


Hoyeong furrowed his brow and then sighed. 


"That one was only the Seventh Chime of the past. The current Seventh Chime is someone else. Unlike a hundred years ago, new ones have taken over the position of Chimes." 


"Then where is the Seventh Chime?" 


Gion immediately stood up, holding his sword. 




Hoyeong shifted his gaze to the western mountains and then pressed his temple firmly. 


"Before that, there's a promise you need to fulfill." 


"A promise?" 


"If you say you will keep that promise, then I will consider your request." 


Gion nodded quietly. 


"The hundred years you missed were a period of disgrace itself." 


Hoyeong looked out at the field where only circular grave sites without proper tombstones remained. 


"For a hundred years, the capital was a stronghold of demons, not humans. The lone princess went mad, pouring the White Qi only towards you." 




"Countless lives were lost. Not only the members of the White Tiger tribe but also half of the citizens met their end at the hands of demons." 


Gion silently observed the remnants of the distant past, then looked back at Hoyeong. 


Hoyeong seemed lost in thought for a moment before continuing. 


"And at the end of all those events was Rohwa." 


Hoyeong stood up with his golden eyes flickering, like a warrior about to enter a bloody battle. 


"For the sake of avenging them, you must kill Rohwa." 




"Then I will give you the information about the Seventh Chime." 


The wind blowing through the mountains was chilly. 


"Alright. Let's proceed with that. But there's a condition." 




The short silence was broken by the sound of Gion unsheathing his sword. 


"I will show her the glory of the White Flower Kingdom before she dies." 




Gion grasped the sword with his blood-stained hands. 


"I'll make her fully aware of her deeds before I personally end her life." 




Can humans and demons truly love each other? 


In a reality where even humans struggle to love properly, can love between a human and a demon be plausible? 


If a human and a demon were to love, it would undoubtedly be a tragedy. 


And at the center of this tragedy was a person named Juya. 


Juya loved the Seventh Chime. 


The Seventh Chime loved Juya. 


And now, Gion needed that love. 


"Juya caused this?" 


The northern mountain had burned down, leaving only ash swirling in the wind. 


The forest, once teeming with life, was silent as if it had never harbored any living creature. 


Hoyeong, drawing his sword, said, 


"Believe it or not, that's the truth." 


What exactly had happened to Juya was a fleeting thought. 


There was no time to be shocked by the fact that Juya had burned down the entire mountain. 


In the face of the White Flower Kingdom's downfall after countless years, there was nothing left to disbelieve. 


It was time to act. 


Hoyeong gathered the energy of the White Tiger and stretched out a blue line. 


The long line spread throughout the mountain. 


"It's that way." 


The blue line mingled with red and gradually darkened. Gion quickly followed the faded line. 




At the place he arrived hastily, a woman appeared. 


-Love truly makes a person strong. 


Juya's words came to mind. 


A person who, in front of love, held the most genuine desire, knowing how to give heartfelt love every moment. 


Not one to wring out love but someone whose inner warmth overflowed and permeated the other person. 


That was Juya. 


But now, Juya, with her amber eyes shining and her long red hair flowing, could hardly stand, intoxicated with alcohol. 


The whip she once wielded to fend off demons was completely frayed. 


Juya was just drinking atop the ashes of burnt lives. 


The smell of alcohol was overwhelmingly bitter, even amidst the ashes. 


The person once filled and fortified with love lay shattered like pieces of glass. 

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