Incompatible Interspecies Wives - C.112: Approaching Shadows (2)

Incompatible Interspecies Wives

C.112: Approaching Shadows (2)

As the campsite was set up, I lay down on the vast plain, relishing the rest.


Resting like this always brings a sense of calm to my heart.

It might be a habit ingrained in me over time.

I avoided this method of relaxation for a long time because it reminded me of Sien.

I tried not to think too much.

Whenever thoughts of Sien seemed to surface, I consciously diverted my mind.

Perhaps, I still think of her because of the way we parted.

Of course, there was love, memories, shared feelings... but the relationship was forcibly ripped away, leaving an unhealed, messy wound.

As I once told Adam Hyung, the pain was complex.

There was also the guilt of not being able to protect the one I loved back then.

That guilt might have led me to wield violence in the slums afterwards.


I was not as smart as Adam Hyung, so it seemed I was only now coming to terms with my feelings.

Well, it might just be an excuse.

And perhaps, I was rationalizing why I couldnt forget Sien.

Our relationship back then was too deep to be described in words.

For someone like me, who had nothing, there was nothing more precious than her.

I sighed briefly.

I tried not to think about Sien, yet here I was, absurdly pondering the same issue again.

Shaking my head, I tried to regain my peace.

Ners fated partner.

Arwins death wish.

Siens situation.

I tried not to think about any of it.

In the end, all these were issues of the past.

Ner was now married to me, I came to terms with what Arwin might have thought, and Sien left me.

These were issues I no longer needed to hold onto.

I just needed to live in the present.


Lying there, I heard the sound of someone approaching.

It was a faint sound, as if from a dream, and I couldnt react to it.


Half-conscious, I sensed someone sitting beside me.

Her scent wafted over, reminiscent of fresh grass, and I immediately recognized it as Arwin.


As soon as she sat down, she let out a short sigh.

Was my body tired from what had happened before?

Even with Arwins presence, my consciousness flickered, threatening to fade.


But Arwins touch brought me back to alertness.

She gently touched my cheek with her finger.


In the silence, she slowly lay down beside me.

I heard the sound.

Just as I suspected, Arwin lay down on my arm, proving my guess right.

...Freedom feels good, Berg, she whispered.

It was a message for me, yet it sounded like she was talking to herself, assuming I was asleep.

Internally, I agreed with her words, enjoying a more comfortable rest.

Her presence somehow strengthened my heart.

Feeling her relax made me think that perhaps I was doing something right.

It might be because of you, that I feel this way, Arwins voice carried a strange sadness.

The more she spoke, the clearer my thoughts became.

It seemed unlikely I would fall back asleep now.

I wondered what conversation she had with Gale that brought about this sudden change in her.

Freedom, something Ive longed for all my life... but would I have felt this if I were alone?

Arwin chuckled, trying to lift her spirits, but the sadness in her voice remained.

Do you know, Berg? There was so much I wanted to see, so many places I wanted to go. I believed that everything beyond the Celebrien estate would become memories. But...

Arwin spoke with a sense of emptiness.

...But why is it that in all these memories, its only you?

Her words made my hand twitch.

More than the freedom Ive been waiting for all my life, you, whom I never expected to meet, remain in my heart more deeply. Swimming in the sea, getting caught in the rain together, learning to use the bow... You are the one who stands out in my memories.

Arwin whispered.

I felt a strange gratitude for her words.

It felt like our bond was growing stronger.

Perhaps, this was the right path forward.

...So I should be happy...

At that moment, Arwins shoulders started to shake.

I slowly opened my eyes.

Arwin, with her eyes closed, was on the verge of tears.


She said.

Can you let me go?


My mind froze for a moment.

The arm I had stretched out to comfort her stopped in mid-air.

Her request was too sudden for me.

But at the same time, it must have been a long-held sentiment in Arwins heart.

...Before I grow fonder of you... before I suffer more after your death...

Arwin, who was always so composed, now shed tears.

Her words made it hard for me to repeat the same old words.

Dont look too far ahead, enjoy the time we have.

Was getting closer causing her pain?

I had only wanted her to live comfortably with the memories of me.

All I tried was to bridge the gap between us.

Can elves and humans never truly come close?


I moved my frozen hand.

I embraced Arwin.

She flinched, startled, in my arms.

Ah...! Youre, youre awake-

-Is it really impossible?

I asked.

Even as I posed the question, I felt a pang of pain.

At times like this, I realized how much of my heart I had allowed to be affected.

The smiles shared with Arwin had become my strength, it seemed.

...Is it really impossible, Arwin?

I pulled her head closer and hugged her tightly.


Arwin slowly stiffened in my embrace.

She buried her head in my chest.

I knew it.

Perhaps this was a selfish notion.

But in the realm of emotions, some things couldnt be explained with reason.

Was it wrong to start something if the fear of parting was there?

...Probably not.

The separation from Sien was painful, but one thing was crystal clear.

The time I spent with her was an immense happiness to me.

I didnt want to erase all those memories because of the pain of parting.

The same goes for Arwin.

She was my wife... wouldnt it be right to try living happily?

Perhaps we could build a future even more poignant than the memories we had accumulated.

Still, I couldnt impose only my hopes.

Having once heard Ners words, I knew it might be possible.

How desperate must she have been to harbor such a wish?

I, too, was at a crossroads of choice.

It was a serious question.

Answer me, Arwin.

...I... I dont know either.

Arwin spoke, struggling to hold back tears, conveying her uncertainty.

...I dont know what to do. Im so confused, Berg...

I held her tighter in my arms.

There were no more words I could offer.

Speaking effortlessly like Adam Hyung was never my forte.

Instead, I expressed what I usually wouldnt.

Holding her in my arms, I stroked her hair.

Arwin did not push me away.

...I dont think I can let you go.

I spoke bitterly.

This wasnt a matter of my choice alone.

Even for the sake of the Red Flames, she needed to be with us.

...And of course, there was my own desire.

At those words, Arwin gave a weak smile.

...Is it really like that?

Since she had spoken those words to me while I was asleep, she probably hadnt truly hoped for a situation where she would let me go.

I joined in her difficult laughter, trying to shift the mood.

Like I said before, lets not worry about the future.


Worrying too much means you cant enjoy whats in front of you.


Fearing pain and letting go of the present... that seems like a foolish choice to me.


And a planned separation is much better than a sudden one. If we prepare well enough, it might be okay.

...For example...?

I spun around, holding Arwin in my arms.

She naturally lay on top of me.

I looked up at the white clouds floating in the blue sky.

...Its better than separating through death. Ive seen such farewells countless times in the mercenary group.

Thats not what I meant, Berg. How do you prepare for a separation?

I laughed lightly.

Maybe its okay if we enjoy everything to the fullest until were tired of it? Wouldnt it be fine after a sufficiently satisfying life?

...Is there enough time?

We have 60 years, whats there to worry about?

...Im an elf. Its a short time.

Short? Its long. Weve only been together for a few months, and look how close weve become.


We have hundreds of times longer than the time weve spent together so far. Is that short?


Arwin closed her mouth as if in deep thought.

I didnt press her to make any further decisions.

As I said, we had plenty of time.

She could slowly decide in the future.

Whether to move forward with me to the next step, or to stop here.

As I stroked her hair, her long ears kept touching the tips of my fingers.

Arwins ears quivered up and down with each touch.

I was still waiting for her vow.

Though we were married, she had not yet made her vow.

She had said she would make it when she could truly mean it.

...Ill keep trying until I hear your vow.


I took a deep breath before speaking.

If I wanted sincerity from her, I had to show my own.

Because your presence has become my strength.


Ive been feeling it more lately.

The pain from my wounds seemed to dull in the presence of her and Ner.

I was less shaken by provocations aimed at me, and my anxious heart felt steadier.

I hope we can continue to be like this.

What did I do

Just being by my side is enough.

I was pushing a bit.

I was growing fonder of her, and fully intended to envision a future together.

I hoped she felt the same.

...Think about it, Arwin.

That was how I concluded.

Arwin slowly nodded her head.

Vice-captain... Eh, vice-captain! Time for dinner!

Baran called me from a distance.

I said to Arwin,

...Lets go.


Arwin didnt respond. She just lay her head on my chest, motionless.

...Come on, lets go.


I playfully pressed her side.

Startled, Arwin jumped up in surprise.

Be, Berg...!

I chuckled, sitting up.

Arwin naturally moved out of my embrace.

We brushed ourselves off and stood up.


Turning around, I saw someone watching us from atop a hill.


She looked at us with a stern expression... then turned away.

I sighed with a smile in my voice.


It seemed I had to somehow manage the growing rift between my two wives.


Felix had made a decision.

...Lets prepare to march. Its time.

Acran spoke in a low voice.

...This mission will be challenging.

We cant afford to delay here any longer. Weve somehow managed to gather the troops; it should be possible.

Felix hadnt been idle.

Suppressing his typical dragonian-like fiery temperament and stubbornness, he had run around persuading the sons involved in the succession struggle.

For now, he asked them to stop fighting and help.

But the sons were skeptical, uncertain how many of their forces would die in the war.

After all, the outcome of the war could significantly influence the succession battle.

Fortunately, Felix managed to reach a consensus.

He secured promises of support from everyone.

Tired of such struggles, Felix shook his head.

...Lets finish this quickly and leave. Ive lost track of how many days weve been here.

Acran sighed again.

War isnt just about forces, you know. There are unseen factors that heavily influence it, like morale, alliances...

Despite this, Acran seemed to understand that there was no other option and stopped talking.

There had been many more hopeless moments than this.

With Felix commanding to move, everyone simply followed.

Sylprien spoke to Acran, who looked concerned.

Dont worry. If a real problem arises, Ill immediately send my bird to Gale.

And what would that change?

Hes nearby. Hell come to help right away.

Acrans face lit up.

The master is nearby?

Hes headed towards the dwarf village, Sarik.

...Thats welcome news. If necessary, we can seek the masters assistance.

Felix, observing his companions reactions, finally asked the saintess.

Saintess-nim, what are your thoughts?

The saintess opinion was always clear.

...I dont want to delay any further.

The closer the end, the more urgent the heart becomes.

Lets finish this war quickly... I...

At her response, everyone nodded in agreement.

Felix spoke up.

Alright. Lets go then.

The End of The Chapter

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