Episode 20: The Memories of the First Opera that were Not Beautiful (V)
Meanwhile, Deltinus couldn’t comprehend Canaren as she leaned forward and shed tears.
Although the lyrics of her first song are very sad, this opera was a work that had a happy ending, one where the female protagonist and the male lead fall in love. He didn’t like it because it was the most popular recently, but he chose it on purpose.
There was a scene in which the male lead just appeared on stage and exchanged sweet whispers of love with the female protagonist. Was there any reason to cry so sadly?
Yulif was one step faster than Deltinus, who was trying to get up and approach Canaren.
Canaren nodded her head. Her tears blurred her vision, and it was hard to breathe in her pain as her heart tightened. She took Yulif’s hand and she leaned halfway against him.
"Why are you crying? It’s not even sad. I will never understand your feelings."
It wasn’t sarcastic or mean as usual. Deltinus seriously didn’t understand why she was crying.
Power entered Canaren’s hand. She swallowed the leaking cries. She didn’t want to show weakness in front of Deltinus.
As she wiped away her tears from her cheeks, his hoarse voice flew over again.
"Ah. Was it because you thought of your hometown after meeting your fellow countrymen after a long time? Even if it’s only half-blood, it’s because you’re the same people, right?"
Canaren lifted her head. Deltinus had been looking at her all the time, so their eyes met head-on.
Golden eyes brimming with tears, a flushed face, and lips that were chewed and puffed up from crying seduced him from a close distance. Yulif was nowhere to be seen.
Deltinus wanted to take her, even if he had to take off his secretly casted arm, even for a short while. After all, a contract was made with the soul, so tearing his arm off wouldn’t make him free. As such, Canaren was a stimulating and fascinating existence.
Deltinus laughed bitterly.
"That woman is a hybrid born between a person of the Hwira tribe and a human. She came from a slave brought in by her father, perhaps."
This was why the singer had thought it was ‘because of a father whom she doesn’t even know his face’.
It was horrifying and terrifying. There were people who captured and sold the Hwira people as slaves for no reason, people who bought and used them as they please, and even people like Deltinus who smiled happily even though they knew the facts.
Canaren’s body trembled. Now, beyond her sorrow, her anger grew. What the hell did this man want from her to bring her here?
‘This guy just wants to see me suffer.’
All Canaren did to Deltinus was to sing in front of him. She didn’t do anything to hurt him. Although she was unfairly brought to the Imperial Palace, she tried to alleviate his insomnia.
‘Why bother me like this, a person you don’t care about?’
Canaren looked at him with her eyes mixed with anger and resentment.
"Still, she is the most famous singer in the capital. The song is much better sung by my sweet bird. It seems that it’s inevitable since she’s half."
Canaren’s face contorted. She was disgusted with Deltinus who devalued and despised the singer; it wasn’t as if the singer wanted to become such a being, or sing him songs.
She wanted to be angry, and she wanted to ask how he could say such a thing, but no words came out.
Deltinus looked at Canaren, who was firmly angry, and snorted at her sarcastically. He stood in front of Canaren.
"Did you feel any better when you hear the song of the loved ones you miss? I did it because I thought of you in my own way, so hurry up and put on a happy expression. Do you want to ruin a good time?"
The place was quiet. The stage where the male and female protagonists faced each other and sang in harmony suddenly became empty.
What did he mean by ‘a good time’? Canaren was more comfortable with the heavy silence as it is now.
The terrible cries that seemed to elicit blood from her ears were painful to her. She didn’t regret it at all.
As for Deltinus, he’s not a Hwira, so it was only natural that he couldn’t hear it. However, in his words and deeds, there was not even an ounce of concern for others.
Wouldn’t it be pitiful for her to have to live her unwanted life from the moment she was born?
Canaren felt like a fool herself for thinking that way.
Deltinus was the most important, yet terribly selfish person. He wasn’t a person who knew how to feel pity for others. The way he was now was proof of that.
Her tears dried up because of her anger. Canaren let go of Yulif’s hand and stared straight at Deltinus.
Yulif was ready to use magic at any time. The reason why he didn’t take any other action was because Canaren looked prepared to do something.
Contrary to his expectation that she would be crying, her strong, clear, golden eyes were both very interesting and unpleasant to Deltinus.
It was quite different from the eyes he saw at the secret palace garden yesterday. There was not even the slightest resentment in her eyes towards his brother. Her eyes filled with pure kindness, trust, and a handful of kindness were like the gentle sunlight.
It’s been like that since before. She kept her mouth shut in front of him, but she had a good conversation with Yulif. She even smiled.
‘But why are you showing only the cool eyes that embrace the blade in front of me?’
Why does she get close to Yulif, but avoid his touch when she’s alone with him, as if it was spiky like a hedgehog? Why the heck was it so different between that guy and him?!
He was the one who found her and brought her here. ‘I mean, I am her master. He knows how to separate her from me at once, but why can’t she recognize me as the owner?’
Deltinus’ mood quickly subsided.
He had never endured so much for anyone in his life, which was nearing the end of his 30th year. It wasn’t just patience. He seemed to be interested in Canaren; taking her to the opera house with just a mere wild idea, and bringing a singer from the Hwira tribe, which was difficult to find, while listening to the disappointing voice of the owner of the theater, who was not much to see. Yet she seemed to accompany Yulif instead, and he had endured the bold request.
He had no interest in boring operas. Everything was for Canaren.
If she could laugh by Yulif’s side, shouldn’t she be able to laugh at his own side as well. No, it had to be.
"I don’t know what to think. I brought you all the way here on purpose and let you listen to the songs of your fellow countrymen. Did you not like the song? Should we kill her right now because she dirtied our ears with her insignificant skills? Will you feel better then?"
Canaren was appalled by Deltinus.
He was a terribly egocentric human being who could only think of himself. How could he be this twisted?
She straightened her back and stared at Deltinus calmly with direct, unbroken eyes.
‘I can’t lose to a person like this.’
A round thing flew towards Deltinus’ face. It was Yulif’s pocket watch. Canaren wrapped the strap tied to the watch around her hand and threw the watch like a pendulum.
A red spark flew out of the pocket watch that struck Deltinus’ forehead.
It felt as if the flames were seeping in and burning his eyes. It was a pain that he couldn’t get used to even if he had suffered it once.
Deltinus fell to the floor with a shriek. Canaren looked down at him and sighed heavily.
‘I’m not your bird. You have no right to demean or insult me or that person. Don’t take other people’s misfortunes and despair as a joke.’
Instead of saying the words running through her mind, she let it pour out of her gaze. Then, with a trembling hand, she grabbed Yulif’s arm.
「Go quickly. I don’t want to be here.」
Canaren’s will was her own. But before Yulif could open the door, the door opened first.
The knights who were guarding the gates had heard the screams and came in. They found Deltinus lying on the floor.
Deltinus was gripped with maddening rage.
When Canaren was first caught in the Hwira village, she was not like this. She was terrified and trembling, and she always tried to somehow escape.
It was clear now that she had been tainted by staying with that arrogant Yulif.
Moderate rebellion was seductive, but excessive resistance was only irritating. Also, this friendly method was not suitable for her. He needed to make sure that he imprinted onto her who her owner truly was.
He didn’t want to win a bet or anything like that. From the moment Canaren separated from him once and for all, betting was just a means to keep Canaren in the Imperial Palace.
‘You are mine! I will never hand you over to Yulif!’
Deltinus clasped his forehead and screamed with malice.
"You dare hurt me? Come on, I’ll take it in front of the Duke. Catch that girl and bring her back now!"
As soon as he heard Deltinus’ evil words, Yulif lost his mind.
"Ah, argh, Your Majesty!"
"We cannot move."
The knights, whose faces had turned white, dropped their weapons at the same time. The sound of falling metal resounded.
"What the hell are you doing…"
The violent sound of bending iron stopped Deltinus’ mouth.
Yulif took Canaren’s hand and took a step forward. His hand, wielding his magic power, shone blue.
An invisible force pressed down on Deltinus. It was the same power that made the knights kneel and drop their weapons.
It’s not the kind of magic that Yulif was proud of. Even pure magic could become a destructive force the moment it passes through his hand.
"Would you mind clearing the way?"
"…Were you planning on doing this from the beginning?"
"There is no reason to answer."
As Yulif clenched his empty hand, the half-folded weapons crumpled like paper. The knights lowered their heads under the sense of suffocating pressure.
Yulif wanted to protect Canaren’s heart, who overcame fear and squeezed courage. He wanted to show that that one step can change a lot. Only then will she be able to keep moving forward without losing her courage.
No. Actually, it was an excuse. Yulif wanted to kill Deltinus right away.
He wanted to brutally get rid of him from this place, who insulted Canaren with dirty words that were hard to put into his mouth.
But he couldn’t.
"Yeah, try it. No matter what you do, you won’t have Canaren. As long as the oath exists! It belongs to this man, me!"
Deltinus believed in the oath and screamed like crazy.
His handsome brother could never harm him. He could never refuse orders. That was the power of the oath.
"Even if I break the bird’s wings and twist its neck, I won’t let you have it."
What Deltinus had said stuck in his ears.
Yulif’s eyes, in which coldness had subsided, were supremely calm and still. His completely dead eyes, without any emotion, were eerie.
"You still think I won’t be able to kill Your Majesty?"
The pure murderous intent that Yulif exuded permeated through his skin. It wasn’t something that could be hidden. It was out of control due to the anger that had crossed its limits.
He clenched his molars while looking at Deltinus, his teeth trembling.
In the face of overwhelming strength, status and bloodlines were useless. The survival instinct to live and survive filled Deltinus’ head.
"You’re a fool."
With a brief insult, a sword flew and pierced the area between Deltinus’ legs. It was the sword that Yulif took from the knight.
He was warning him that If he treated Canaren with disrespect and hurt her, he would do worse. There were many other ways to instill a sense of defeat and humiliation without touching his body, but he chose this method on purpose.
Indeed, Deltinus’ expression was worth seeing. He was looking down at the floor where the sword was pierced with unfocused eyes. His weak legs trembled as if they were convulsing.
The pride he had built up by being at the top of everyone and acting his own way must have been shattered. Deltinus will never forget what happened today, for the rest of his life. Yulif wanted to go one step further to make Deltinus think of him every time he saw his own face.
"Sorry for making a fuss. Have fun watching."
Yulif carefully escorted Canaren. Canaren left the grandstand, walking among the wriggling knights while leaning on Yulif.
Deltinus had no choice but to watch the backs of the two people moving away from him.
Even after the two disappeared, his body did not listen for a long time. He had the illusion of a throbbing sensation between his legs that the sword had barely passed.
‘Is this real? It can’t be. I… Have I been insulted by Yulif in front of garbage?’
Deltinus could not accept this disastrous and complete defeat.
He raised his nails and scraped the floor. His nails broke and his blood dripped, but he didn’t care.