Chapter 2 – Hello (Goodbye), Honey (2)
There was once a time that a world-class S-Class Guide cried to me, begging for me to stay away from him.
[ Do you not have any conscience, Miss Seohyun? Don’t you even feel sorry for Ciel? ]
[ …I’m well aware.
It’s not as if I didn’t know what kind of words I’ll be receiving while I’m outside.
If my husband was being guided by a Guide of a similar rank as him, more hidden abilities might still manifest within him.
But because of me and my subpar guiding, I knew that he’s always struggling.
That’s why it’s not as if I didn’t know that I’d receive such insults and bad treatment.
And yet, I…
[ So you know, but you’re still going to stay with him? If it wasn’t for you, that man would have been able to reach a higher position.
[ …I have nothing to say.
I knew it very well.
But as long as he wouldn’t let him go, I couldn’t bring myself to let go of him either.
I’m not the only one who chose the other.
[ What’s with that expression? You think Ciel chose you? Really? How shameless.
When the woman’s face distorted with a look of scorn and contempt, I was swept by a realization.
I had no choice but to realize that the only person who was feeling this way was me and me alone.
When that woman left, a stony silence was left.
All I could do was to stop the sobs from leaking through my lips as I cried silently.
My husband never said anything to confirm these feelings, but I believed that he felt affection for me.
However, my conviction on this shattered so easily.
No, perhaps in the back of my mind, I already knew.
It’s just that I didn’t want to admit it.
If I hadn’t let myself be overcome by my greed and stubbornness to stay by his side…
If I had only looked at him from afar and looked back at that time as only a memory of the past…
Then, I wouldn’t have lost my life.
An Esper’s rampage was powerful enough that it could blow up an entire city.
And more importantly, there wasn’t a clear explanation as to why the rampage would happen, and there was no way to save the Esper amidst this.
However, I couldn’t just watch without doing anything.
Even if we didn’t get along well, he was my husband, my Esper.
Already, he was more precious than my own life, so in spite of everyone trying to stop me, I threw myself into the raging sea of fire.
His elements were fire and wind.
It took all my willpower to trudge deeper into the roaring flames.
When parts of my flesh had melted and when the pain went beyond the threshold of my endurance, I found him standing in the zenith of the pillar of fire.
As soon as I saw him, I ran and embraced him blindly.
Physical contact was the best to increase the efficacy of guiding.
However, the heat that emanated from him caused even worse pain than I could ever imagine.
My head started spinning and my body reflexively trembled.
I gathered all of my strength and began to absorb his heat.
The type of guiding that absorbs the Esper’s energy was something that I never would have resorted to unless it was an emergency.
This was because my constitution as a Guide was closer to a normal person’s, and so it was difficult to handle the energy of an Esper that was at a high level.
I embraced him and looked up at his face, which was not in a good condition.
Different from his usual cold, aloof appearance, it was as if he was letting out the cries of a beast.
And before it was too late, I whispered to him.
It was the term of endearment that I’ve always wanted to call him.
As the heat rose within my body, I felt my insides melting away.
I already knew that it would end this way, but even when I was so close to the end, it still didn’t feel real.
Before I knew it, I’d become numb even to the pain wracking through my body, and I soon heard a thud. It was my body that fell over, but it felt as if it wasn’t my body.
So, I just blinked and heard someone else fall beside me.
Truthfully, I wasn’t sure if it was beside me.
It sounded so far away.
My vision gradually darkened.
Still, I was relieved that, as I saw my last glimpse of the sky, it didn’t look as red as it did earlier.
His rampage had stopped.
That was such a relief.
Still as ever, my heartless husband, Ciel, called my name with a monotonous voice.
I’m so glad you’re safe.
I wanted to talk, but I couldn’t because my throat was entirely lodged with blood.
My consciousness was slowly drifting away, and it felt as if everything was becoming more distant.
It’s funny, but a random thought crossed my mind at that moment.
Was this the sensation of my soul leaving my body?
I think I’ll be able to let go of my feelings for you.
I loved you with all of my heart, all of my being, but now that both my body and soul will be gone, I think I can finally give up.
I thought that my heart would break when this moment came, but…
Curiously enough, what I felt even more was relief.
In my next life, I hope that I can have a family full of warmth, just like other people.
I hope that I can meet a man who loves me.
I hope that we can live a normal life together.
As I wished for a god out there to heed my prayers, I opened my burning eyelids so that I may see his face even in the end.
And when the breeze blew past, that moment felt ever so sweet.
It felt as if I was drifting into slumber, as if my body was floating.
At death’s door, as I decided to let go—to immerse myself in that sense of tranquility—a hoarse voice reached my ears.
There was a hint of danger amidst that voice, but nevertheless, it brimmed with sorrow.
It was a voice that was so familiar to me, and yet I couldn’t remember whose it was.
The world around me became dyed in red and black.
Soon, my thoughts stopped and I couldn’t think of anything more.
Death so easily swept me away.
¹ in this case, ‘hello’ (안녕) can also mean ‘goodbye’; and as for ‘honey’ (여보), it’s a term of endearment that’s usually used between married couples only, that’s why it’s special for her
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