The Pharmacist Lady's Secret Trading - Chapter 26
“It’s cold. Yuri, get April something to cover her.”
Ian whirled around before April could even ask. He called Yuri, ordering him to lead April inside.
Her situation, which seemed to have been auctioned off like this, was darkened by the shame of being indebted to him again. She was even more angry, unable to figure out what was his first thought on this.
“Forgive me for the rudeness, April.”
Leaving April behind, Ian walked off to the center of the training field where Carl was waiting. He swung his sword over him.
“Don’t look down on me, Marquis.”
“I’ll do my best.”
It was not long before the duel between the two began. The sound of swords clashing and reverberating through the morning breeze banged on April’s ears. The two men were like beasts, growling and biting each other off.
April witnessed them occasionally pointing their swords on each other’s flesh, but never piercing each other.
“…..They’re not cutting?”
The two were trying to press down on each other without trying to graze the other. A pure struggle to stay up on their knees. None of them got a chance to breathe until the one who was overwhelmed collapsed while trying to build up the strength in his limbs, thus ignoring to focus on their senses.
“Why is it so cruel?”
It might be a rule that one should not lose their life in this competition for honor, but in a way, it seemed more vicious than a bloody struggle. As time goes by, the inferior side would be pushed endlessly, revealing weakness until his knee was stuck in the ground.
As the battle got intense, Carl stepped back on the impact. He was pushed by Ian, who began wielding his sword like a whirlwind.
Clenching his teeth and holding the sword above his head, Carl took a moment to inhale. The hairs on his back stood up in fear. He had once retired from the battle upfront due to his injuries. Furthermore, he was being casually pushed by such a person.
‘What the hell, man.’
Looking up at Ian, who began to trudge towards him as if to split his body, Carl even shivered in fear at the thought that if he lifted his sword, he might lose his life at the same time this duel would end. So he couldn’t do anything other than just blocking it.
‘Have you lost your mind? You can’t……’
Ian’s eyes were even more ferocious, but his sword contained the anger. It was a rough blow, but not sharp. Noticing his piercing eyes, Carl decided to distract him.
“Isn’t it terrible to be so excited about a woman?”
Almost in the corner, Carl struggled to counterattack Ian’s sword, provoking him. He wanted to make up for his inferiority by disgracing him and breaking his balance. Ian’s grip on his sword became tighter.
“You look tired. You’re being nosy, aren’t you?”
“You’re the one who’s crazy over—”
“That doesn’t concern you.”
Ian, who was aiming to get an opportunity to strike, suddenly changed his posture. After gripping the sword’s handle tightly, he lowered himself, quickly striking a blow into Carl’s stomach.
Then, Ian turned to his body, which was defenseless, to block his head. When his own balance fell off, Carl stepped back, a dull pain piercing his chest.
The sword fell from Carl’s hand with a clanging sound as it hit the ground. Ian looked down at him with an arrogant look, pointing his sword at his neck. The knight in front only grabbed the dust from the floor with his trembling hands.
“Isn’t it too early to be provocative? Think about it.”
Carl gritted as Ian returned the sword to his sheath and threw off his breastplate. April had been immovable, standing on one side of the field. Ian walked silently to her, who did not look happy yet.
As Ian was about to approach her, she suddenly jumped out to the field, shouting his name and directing him over his shoulder. Soon enough, Ian could hear the man screaming as he came in with his dull steps.
“You can’t! You can’t leave me!”
Ian whirled around as Carl’s wild footsteps picked up the pace. Carl had picked up his fallen sword and was rushing this way. However, his target did not seem to be Ian. His gaze was directed further beyond.
Ian knew that April was at the end of his sight. Quickly grabbing him, Ian fell down together on the ground, resulting in the dust to rise from the field.
“What are you doing, Carl?!”
Ian pressed his collarbone with one forearm, glaring at the struggling knight. Even blood trickled down to the floor from his other forearm where the sword grazed him.
“Wh-What are you…….”
Carl’s hand trembled as it grabbed Ian’s injured arm. Carl’s red-hot face was on the verge of bursting. Perhaps trying to break down Ian’s grip, his fingernails dabbed on his injured flesh, but Ian did not even blink.
“Don’t, Miss April.”
She tried to rush to Ian’s aid, but Yuri blocked her. At April’s voice, which was trembling only for Ian, Carl laughed out with a curse.
“Even in this situation, kkuk, why only the Marquis?!”
Carl mindlessly spat out, his eyes were so full of madness. But Ian did not waver.
“Y-You don’t know what I’ve been through.”
“Do I need to know?”
Ian tore off his hand roughly before standing up and trampling on his hand with his feet. Carl’s painful scream pierced his ear, but he didn’t care.
“This hand had strangled April. Twice.”
Then, he grazed his sword’s blade along the back of the wriggling knight’s thigh. When blood oozed out, Carl rolled up, struggling with his leg in his arms. A dark red mark stained the dirty floor.
“Next time, it won’t be your leg, but your lungs.”
“Yuri, take him.”
Ian ordered Yuri to drag him away without giving a second glance at Carl, who shouted something with his rasping voice. Then he approached April, who was shaking.
She stepped back as he strode towards her. But, Ian looked down at her with straight determination and no signs of any agitation.
“I didn’t want to see him.”
“Then, why were you watching?”
“Funny, my destiny depends on this right now. I’m grateful that you won.”
Her voice was still filled with anger. However, it was somewhat softer than before the duel. She couldn’t just get mad at the person who was hurt right in front of her. April shifted her gaze down, avoiding to meet his eyes.
“It’s strange. Carl would not dare to strike back for a while. You won’t be harmed for a while. Now that I think about it, I was very mean.”
As a pharmacist who had to save people, April thought it was an unrecoverable attitude. However, Ian shook his head.
“I’m sorry I acted as I pleased. I wanted to free you. I can’t help it if you think it’s an excuse, but this is all I can do for you, who’s trying her best to cure me.”
Every word Ian uttered contained weight. It was the first time she’d heard someone swear at themselves.
“I started it, so I will be the one to end it.”
He knelt down in front of April, extending his hand out. When April hesitated, Ian clasped her hand, kissing the back of it lightly before slowly getting up.
“You have my fate bound in your hand, so take good care of it.”
Dropping her gaze, she fiddled with her lock that was carelessly resting over her chest. Her vision became blurry. As soon she felt the tension releasing her, she let out what she unknowingly had endured inside. She felt she wanted to talk to someone and rely on them at least once.
April turned her head around, covering her eyes with her hands. It seemed like she was holding back her tears.
“I don’t know how long it has been since I’ve been treated like a person, so I didn’t know…….”
Ian anxiously stared at her before he stretched his arms out. April’s body, which seemed as though it would break at any moment, came straight into his arms.
At that moment, Ian felt something hot popping out of his mind. His heart ached as if it was breaking down to pieces, and his arms tightened around her. He wanted to hold her tighter.
“April, you’re too much for me to handle.”
He was breathless. Gently pushing his chest away, April looked up at Ian. Staring into her eyes, he gently cupped her face in his hands. The golden waves in his eyes raged with passion.
“I’m afraid I owe you a lot.”
As if time had stopped, April could clearly hear the beating sound from his chest.
“You can forget me or get rid of me. It’s up to you, Marquis.”
Speechless and confused, Ian walked past her, leaving her behind. April could not make her feet move even though she thought she should go after him.
She couldn’t move. Her feet felt heavy, as if they were stuck in the ground. In her empty head, only Ian’s rugged confession lingered.