Isekai For My Ex Chapter 20: WHAT IT’S LIKE TO TAKE A LIFE?
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"This… isn't… supposed… to… happen… why????? Why????? Why did you kill me?"
A man with wounds from everywhere wrapped in flames reached out his hand to Andrei in a zombie-like manner.
"Don't come closer!" Andrei screamed, but the man wasn't listening and kept getting closer, it was the man he killed in the last battle.
The voices repeated in an infinite loop, again and again, it looked like the man could reach him, but he couldn't.
The loop repeated, the faces, voices, smell of oil and blood, everything felt so realistic.
Andrei was having a nightmare.
"Hahhh… hahhh… hahhh…"
Andrei finally woke up from the nightmare, it was the first time he took a life with his own hands. He put his hand on his head as the nightmare caused him an intense headache, he felt throwing up.
He immediately went to the bathroom and threw up, he washed his face and looked at the mirror.
"What a mess" he said to himself.
His face was pale and his eyes had bags under it. Since the rescue mission he has been having dreams like this. Where the people he killed or instructed to be killed would haunt him. Some faces were familiar some were not but they all equally looked gore as if their faces started melting.
"And I thought I was fully prepared for this" he held himself and shivered.
He slapped his face and went outside the bathroom and went to the window, he could still see the moon, he wasn't sure of the time he could only assume based on the coldness of the air and how the skies looked like.
"It may be 1:00 AM in the morning huh?"
He decided that he couldn't sleep anymore, so he put on his newly washed camo jacket and went to the kitchen.
There was no one in the kitchen, although during the day to evening it was full of cooks and maids altogether preparing food for everyone in the castle.
The kitchen looked large for Andrei, he brought a lamp with him and put it on the kitchen table.
"Coffee… Coffee… Geh… I forgot, I couldn't read" he immediately had a sour expression on his face.
The wooden containers had writings on it, however Andrei who couldn't read can only look at it with a sour face, moreover that the containers weren't visible.
That would mean that if he had to find coffee he would have to smell everything in the kitchen, which has more than a hundred containers.
He sighed in resignation and decided to just have water. He drank the water and went outside the kitchen with the lamp.
He walked back to his room but stopped when he saw the dark blue firefly-like lights in a corner.
"Ahhh those lights again huh?"
As he walked towards it, he saw another lamp coming from the same direction. Holding it was Claire, who also had bags under her eyes.
Andrei walked towards Claire who only looked at him leniently.
"Claire, make me coffee or tea, hehe" he made a V-sign towards Claire.
"Want me to hit you with this lamp?" the other responded in her flat tone.
"No, sorry haha"
"I bet you went to the kitchen even if you couldn't read… just wait a bit here, I will call for a maid to get it for us" Claire changed direction but Andrei stopped him.
"I'd feel bad, they're sleeping right?"
"No, they are rotating in shifts, there are some maids who are awake right now, just waiting for orders. They make rounds on the castle every hour, see…" she pointed at three lamps going to their direction.
They were the maids Percy. Eve and Clarissa chatting with each other.
When Andrei looked at Clarissa was now happily chatting with her friends, he could feel a little comfort in his heart. That maybe the killing was worth it, but shook his head of this thought. "No, it's never okay to kill"
However the image from his nightmare showed up again which made have him a headache.
He held to his head due to the pain.
When she looked for Claire he couldn't see her anymore, only to find that she went to the three maids.
"This girl… teleported? can't you dial down the stealth mode?" he thought while still in pain.
Claire seems to be asking for coffee and tea.to the maids who's also seems to be surprised by her sudden appearance.
After a while Andrei's headache have lessened, and Claire had already returned in front of Andrei holding a lamp.
"I already ordered for tea and coffee"
"But I didn't ask for tea?"
"That was mine idiot"
"If you're gonna call me an idiot at least put some feelings to it!"
"Just a minute, I think I'm having a dejavu" Claire shakes her finger.
"You're having it because you don't always put feelings to your words, I bet you've heard many people complain about your tone, that's why it's not deja vu!"
"No, you're the only one who has the courage to do that seriously"
"Yeah, if someone bullies me the way you do, Michaela would freeze their shoes together with their feet, or perhaps secretly burn their robe?" Claire put his index finger on her head.
Andrei immediately felt chills from his spine, thinking about what could happen if Michaela wasn't in love with him, he would have already suffered those magical torture.
The two were walked together towards the garden, as Claire instructed the maids to deliver the tea and coffee at the place.
"So… why are you also still awake during this time?" Andrei asked as he took a sip of his coffee.
Andrei asked the girl with him who yawned cutely that her eyes became teary. Her hair wasn't tied and fell to her waist.
She's wearing the same outfit but with a different color, in the past it was black with white frills, and currently she's wearing pink with the same frills.
"Ahhh… my sister was sleep talking about you, and your name so much that it gave me a horrible nightmare"
"Ahhhh… ahahahaha" Andrei had a complicated expression on his face while pretending to laugh.
They arrived at the garden and sat on the bench where Andrei had slept when he tried to escape.
Claire had a delicate expression on her face, she gently touched the violet lights floating and seemed to have fun while doing it, making a smile on her face that Andrei rarely sees on her.
Andrei didn't say a word a just looked at the girl beside him happily touching the lights that came to her.
But he was startled when her eyes met his.
"So… it's my turn to ask right? So why are you still awake at this hour?"
Her presence was the complete opposite of how it usually was for Andrei, she had a gentle smile written on her face and she was looking at him in his eyes, as if she's looking at his very soul, that made Andrei's heart feel comfortable, he wants to tell her everything about how he had those nightmares since the first time he took a life with his own hands.
But the look and smile that she showed, gave him more than enough comfort that made him not want to tell her anymore. He just wanted to enjoy the silence between them, as they looked each other in the eyes.
"No… I'm alright" he unconsciously said the words as he responded with a warm smile on his face.
"Then… okay, but…" Claire once again looked at the lights coming at her gently playing with it, even when she couldn't really touch it. It passed through her fingers, as she tried to caress it.
"If you're having bad dreams because of the men you killed… then that's something I really can't help you about. You see, here… in this kingdom, where war and skirmishes occur two, three… or many times a month, between nobles, peasants, and the worst between kingdoms and empires, killing and strife has lived within the hearts of the people.
But you know Andrei…"
Her expression slightly changed with a hint of sadness.
"Even if we're used to the killings, we still have bad dreams you know… that's because we are humans after all.
But, we choose to live on for tomorrow, for the people we killed… and most of all, the people we saved"
She looked at Andrei once again with the same expression.
"Then… what do you do when you get those scary dreams?" Andrei asked while staring at her gray eyes that shone as the purple lights passed through it.
"Well… for me, I walk to this garden and play with these spirits, I can't hold them though" she giggled. "But for me, walking here when I have those dreams makes me feel relaxed, sometimes I fall asleep on this bench though" she caressed the vines that are growing through the bench they are sitting on.
"I can't hide anything from you can't I? Well… I was having those kinds of nightmares, how did you know?"
"Just a hunch I guess?" she gave a smile to Andrei who was flustered of her sudden transformation.
"This girl who always have threatened, blackmailed and dissed me, could be this cute?" he thought while still in awe with the the girl beside him, so much that he felt that his heartbeat went faster.
"This… is bad" he talked within his mind.
"Andrei?" Claire tilted her head in curiosity.
Andrei diverted his attention from Claire, and became beet red.
"Th-thank you Claire" he stuttered.
"Well, no matter how I hate your guts, I still think of you as a hero"
"I'm nothing that great really, nor do I plan to become one. But why?"
"Well, you did save those servants for my sister right? But you know Andrei, when my sister blames herself for the death of her subjects, she suffers so much that I can't bear to see it"
"Is that so" Andrei fell into silence and slightly smiled while covering his mouth to hide it.
"Therefore you also saved me, it all connects right?
So when you're having those nightmares, believe in yourself... that you had things precious to you and to other people that you protected and saved when you did it.
And that when you did it, you had an accomplice - you have me to carry the burden together with you, that's what I said right?"
Andrei could feel his heartstrings being tugged, while hearing the comforting words of Claire, he was sure that the load that he has been carrying has been lifted somehow, it wasn't that heavy anymore.
"You're… right" Andrei then made a sigh of relief.
While sitting together at the bench, with just a few centimeters apart, the lights danced around the two. They noticed it and smiled at each other.
"Then I'll have to go now" Claire stood up and walked immediately towards the hall.
"Good night Claire, you really helped me, thank you!" Andrei said the words on a hurriedly manner, hoping that Claire could still hear it, he felt happy when Claire stopped and looked back at him.
"I don't remember helping you with anything you know? Well… goodnight" she smiled and disappeared into the hall.
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