PDM Chapter 59
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“Your Grace! If you go too fast…!” The commander said as he followed Kyle closely behind.
“You’re too noisy!”
Kyle, who immediately dismissed his advice, accelerated further. The commander could only look on in surprise.
Perhaps because the commander realized that the Duke, who had never lost his composure even on the battlefield, was strangely agitated, no, it was appropriate to say he was nervous.
Their distance grew as he stared blankly at Kyle. The commander soon followed along, his face troubled as he gripped the reins.
The knights were about to enter Tigger. The advance team and the investigation team reported a forest guide over there and that it was by no means something to be seen.
He narrowed his eyes and stared at Kyle’s back. He had a feeling he should bring the Madam back to the duchy safely no matter what.
After thinking about it, the commander increased his speed just as the Duke abruptly stopped. He pulled the reins, and the horse raised its front paws and whined.
Kyle stopped his horse and stared blankly at the sky. Puzzled, the commander followed Kyle’s gaze.
On the way to Tigger, the knight’s destination, smoke rose over the thick leaves. At the unusual sight, he turned to Kyle.
“Your Grace, maybe…!” He stopped when he saw Kyle’s pale face. “Your Grace.”
A sigh escaped his teeth. Kyle frowned harshly and urged his horse without a moment’s notice. The commander looked back at the knights following him as the Duke disappeared like a haze.
After that, he got out of the ranks and drove his horse. His hands, holding the reins again, were wet with sweat.
With a robe wrapped around the window sill with broken glass, Takan pushed out his arm. I pushed him on the back to urge him.
“Go first!” I swallowed my breath at the end of my sentence, inhaled the thick smoke, and coughed. Wouldn’t I suffocate before being engulfed in flames? I couldn’t hold back any longer, as the turbid air made me breathless.
After realizing he couldn’t delay any longer, Takan gritted his teeth and passed through the window, leaning his torso forward to go outside.
He coughed as he reached out his hand to help me but soon stumbled. With his body on the floor, he tapped his temple with his hand, seemingly confused again.
The fire grew stronger as the railing collapsed and fell. It was more dangerous now. I crossed my arms to protect myself and approached the window.
At that moment, the creaking ceiling tilted and fell, sparks flying.
The wooden plank ruptured, and a piece flew away like a dagger. I faltered, holding my face burning in pain. And for a moment, I jumped straight into the window billowing with smoke.
As I finally escaped through the window, I immediately stumbled into the yard. Digging as if swimming through the gray smoke, a lush village landscape appeared.
When I saw the gloomy landscape, I couldn’t help but find it beautiful after escaping the flames.
I choked when I took a quick breath of fresh air. I gripped my neck, coughed, and ravenously breathed in. The sound of air passing through the throat was blatantly audible.
My breath finally became stable when my mouth was stuffy, and my throat stung. I looked down and saw the burnt hem of my trousers. It’s fortunate I was wearing menswear, otherwise, the hem of my dress would have burned out.
“Cough!” Takan frowned and twisted his body like a fish out of water. His delirious episode didn’t seem to have stopped as he coughed in pain.
“Takan, are you okay?”
I slapped him once on the cheek, but he didn’t open his eyes. I looked around the inn where the heat continued to engulf us and wrapped his arms on my shoulder to pull him. We needed to get away from the inn.
I took a step back and dragged him along. Over and over again, I had to lean over and sit down, but at least it was safe to go to a place away from the inn.
I dragged him to the bottom of the tree where I had tied the horse. Just as we almost reached the area, I felt a round object on the sole of my foot. Like inertia, I slipped.
When my butt hit the weedy ground, the cob that had been trampled on bounced off. I could no longer see the hazelnuts that rolled into the grass.
It was such a peaceful and insignificant sight that the previous situation felt unrealistic.
I’m alive. We’re alive. It was not until I looked around the situation that I felt the reality that I had left the inn. My rigid body relaxed and leaned against the tree. I sighed in relief and lowered my gaze.
His face, blackened by smoke, was calm in contrast to the situation. Unlike before, he didn’t seem to be breathing. In an instant, my heart sank.
I put my trembling fingers under his nose. Please. Please. It felt like a very long time. I just hoped he wouldn’t die because of me.
When my finger grazed the tip of his nose, I felt a slight breeze, and relief instantly flooded me. Fortunately, he was only breathing thinly because he was exhausted. His breath, seemingly blocked by a stopper, was finally released.
Blackened by soot, we were a mess. The glossy hair that Lil and Mas meticulously cared for had become dry and tangled, its ends singed by the fire.
The stiff shirt I had borrowed from Rin was mercilessly wrinkled, and the hem of my trousers had been slightly burnt in flames.
Perhaps if Laura had seen me, she would have nagged and said that my dignity as a lady would be undermined. What if Lil and Mas saw it? Lil would wash my hair without saying a word, while Mas would cry, saying she was upset that my hair, which she had managed, was ruined.
Suddenly, a faint smile grew on my lips. Yes, they would have done that.
Suddenly, I remembered the believers scrambling to survive as they pushed the girl out of the window. Just by looking at how ruthlessly they treated Rafnel, they would use the situation to their advantage, and those who aided and abetted would escape. I had no choice but to meet Kyle and report it directly.
What would he say if he saw this mess? He would definitely laugh at me for not listening to him. Yes, that’s right. It was his last face I saw that struck my mind for a moment. No, maybe a different one.
A child’s cry pierced my ears as I was lost in my thoughts. Unfortunately, the situation was still dire. The cries of a crying child in their parents’ arms, the shouts of people trying to put out the fire, and the sound of people running.
Some of them sat in front of the inn, crying. They couldn’t leave the front of the inn despite people’s dissuasion to step down because it was dangerous. Come to think of it, did that girl make it out of the inn? I turned my head and saw a girl among the men who were carrying water.
She was quelling the inn’s flames without hesitation.
When I turned to where the people ran, I saw a forest across the inn. Trees surrounded a lake, and the water’s surface sparkled in the sunlight. It sometimes lost its light when the surface rippled as people took water.
I looked down, staring at my empty hands, and stood up. Blindly running to the lake, I looked back at Takan. Was it okay if I left him like this?
At that moment, Takan coughed and his body shook. Thank goodness.
He took a deep breath and suddenly grabbed my wrist as if to stop me.
He couldn’t even open his eyes properly, yet he managed to croak out, “Are, cough, are you all right?”
I nodded and let out a breathy laugh. Who should be worrying about who? Instead, he was worried about me, even though he was in agony because the effects of the drug continued to plague him.
When I didn’t answer, his grip loosened, and his hand fell. As he lost consciousness, I whispered, “I’m okay.”
At that moment, a dreary noise of a dull object being dragged on the ground came behind me. When I heard the sound passing through the grains of sand vividly, my whole body reacted sensitively. The sound that had been narrowing the distance suddenly stopped nearby.
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