After the cats, now it’s time to move on to the family path — starting with Julian. Not sure if it’s the best choice order-wise, but I can’t help it because I really like his appearance. That, and because Hosoya’s voice acting is flawless. ﾟ+.(*ﾉｪﾉ)ﾟ+
Julian is the gardener working in the royal palace. He takes care of the hanging garden, and he’s talented enough to maintain it alone. Quiet, soft-spoken and gentle, Julian isn’t the type of person who can fight with a weapon. Rather than working as a knight, he prefers having a peaceful life in the hanging garden. He was ordered to take care of Fiona as a part of his job, but they grow closer over time. Julian is also Fiona’s first friend in the royal palace.
For the main plot, please refer to Mejojo‘s route. This post will only cover the individual events.
During the dance party in the palace, Fiona decides to leave the dance hall. A long time ago, she reads in a book that a woman who doesn’t have a dance partner is called a wallflower. She feels lonely to be one. All the people around her are smiling radiantly as they dance, and yet she can only watch them from the side. It makes her feel even lonelier. It’s too bad that she couldn’t dance after dressing up so much, but seeing the brilliant atmosphere of the party is enough for today. Fiona then slips out of the dance hall and returns to the garden. If Mejojo asks her about this later, she’s going to tell him that she feels tired since it’s her first time joining a dance party. She stretches her arms as she enjoys the night breeze, which feels good when it blows past her flushed cheeks. While she doesn’t hate dressing up from time to time, it still makes her feel a bit uneasy.
Just then Fiona hears some footsteps, and she turns around to find a familiar young man. She remembers that his name is Julian, the young man who wanted to serve her earlier. He smiles and asks what happened because she’s supposed to be attending the dance party, and so she admits that she couldn’t find a dance partner. Julian looks surprised, but Fiona reminds him of her current position. She’s under the suspicion of being a witch, so she can’t dance with the princes in public. Julian replies with a sympathetic “I see”, as if he understands how it feels to be left alone. When he says it’s such a waste because she’s a beautiful princess, Fiona can feel her cheeks burning. It’s really strange. He’s a servant, and she’s used to receive compliments from servants. She knows it’s a part of a servant’s job to praise their master, and yet she feels embarrassed upon hearing his words. Fiona thinks it’s because Julian doesn’t resemble a servant, even though he’s calm and soft-spoken. The atmosphere around him is similar to Zara’s, but it’s also different somehow.
That aside, Fiona agrees that it’s really too bad. She dressed up and put on a beautiful dress, so it’s a waste that she couldn’t dance with anyone. She lets out her regret with a sigh, but then Julian asks if she wants to dance with him. Servants like him can’t enter the dance hall though, so he asks if she doesn’t mind dancing here in the garden. Fiona blinks in surprise. Julian doesn’t resemble a servant after all. Noticing her silence, he quickly adds that she can refuse if she doesn’t want to. He apologizes for being so shameless by inviting her, but she smiles and shakes her head. It’s not that she doesn’t want to dance with him. It’s just she can’t seem to grasp his true colors, so she’s not sure if she should take his hand. Once again, Julian holds out his hand and asks Fiona to dance with him for one song. From this gesture alone, Fiona can tell that Julian has received proper education. He knows how to behave like a gentleman, and somehow he fits the image of a noble more than a servant.
Fiona is still a bit reluctant, but Julian smiles when she takes his hand. It’s true that he’s mysterious, but she also knows that he doesn’t have any malicious intent. Julian thanks Fiona before holding her hand, and he gently rests his right hand on her hip as he escorts her. He asks if she can hear the music, and she says yes. Even from the garden, they can faintly hear the live music from the dance hall. Julian takes the lead once he finds the right timing, and Fiona follows his escort — counting to the rhythm of waltz in her mind. The steps are light and easy with small combinations, but Fiona feels grateful since she’s a beginner. When she looks up, she can see the beautiful starry sky in place of the dance hall’s chandelier. Julian then asks if she’s okay, pointing out that it must be hard to dance on the lawn. She agrees since the ground is really different from the smooth dance floor. If she’s not careful, her heels might get stuck in the soft soil. However, Fiona points out that the stars are so beautiful. Julian looks up to the sky and says she’s right, but then he adds that the stars surely wouldn’t care about their opinion. They can’t see themselves either. Fiona asks what he means by that, but Julian only says it’s nothing and asks her to continue dancing.
It’s actually a miserable condition for one to become a wallflower and leave the party only to dance with a gardener, but Fiona doesn’t feel that way at all. In fact, she feels that they’re doing something special and it makes her happy. At the end of the song, Julian smiles and asks if she wants to dance for one more song. Fiona nods, and so she continues dancing with Julian until the party ends. Just the two of them.
A few days after the dance party, Fiona finally learns about Julian’s identity. His name used to be Julian von Garibaldi, and he was the first prince of Weblin. His mother was the legal wife of King Garibaldi VI, but her endless attempt to assassinate Mejojo and Auger eventually led to their downfall. She got confined before committing suicide, while Julian got disinherited and lost his right of succession. After his mother’s death, Julian was left all alone in the palace without anyone to support him… until Mejojo and Auger gave him the hanging garden to maintain. They allowed him to work as a gardener, and even though he’s not allowed to leave the garden, he feels grateful to them for giving him a place to belong.
After Arles bit Fiona’s shoulder, Mejojo completely loses his mind and ends up strangling her. She loses her consciousness, and she falls into a dream of the royal palace. When she hears a voice calling her name, she wonders if it’s Julian. Fiona closes her eyes when a strong wind blows, but she opens them again when she hears Julian’s voice telling her to watch out. He manages to grab her hand, just before she gets blown away by the wind. The panic caused him to put too much strength though, and both of them end up falling onto the ground with him hugging her in his arms. Fiona quickly asks if he’s alright, and Julian answers that he’s fine — asking her if she’s unharmed. She tells him that she’s fine, but she’s worried about him since she fell on top. Julian chuckles and reassures Fiona that he’s alright, because she’s really light. Fiona blushes saying she doesn’t think so, but Julian smiles saying it’s true — lifting her up to prove his words.
Fiona is surprised and clings onto Julian’s shoulder, and he easily gets up while still carrying her in his arms. She didn’t expect him to be so strong due to his thin build, but then she remembers that a gardener needs to carry a lot of heavy things. Back in the tower, she often saw how the gardener walked all over the garden while carrying heavy bags of soil. When Fiona comments that he’s quite strong, Julian instantly denies it. He says it’s simply because she’s light, and he goes “If I’m really strong…” before trailing off. She calls his name in confusion, but he only puts her back to the ground. When she looks up, Fiona notices that Julian is biting his lips with an irritated expression. She asks why he’s making that expression, so he replies that when she got attacked by Arles, he couldn’t do anything. He was terrified and he couldn’t move. Fiona says that’s not true because Julian did try to protect her, and that’s why Arles had to knock him away. It’s not that he didn’t do anything.
However, Julian shakes his head saying he’s a cowardly weakling. The truth is he could get back on his feet, but he didn’t. Fiona couldn’t say anything in return, but she thinks about how he doesn’t suit the image of a prince after all. It’d be easier for him if he said the pain knocked him out, but instead, he admitted that he couldn’t move because he was scared — it’s not princely at all. Julian says that he caused Fiona to get such a wound even though she’s a girl, and he reluctantly touches her shoulder. She resists a bit upon thinking that his hand will touch her nape, but then she blushes as she allows him to do it. Right now she wants to let him do as he likes. Fiona wonders if it’s going to hurt, but when Julian’s fingers lightly touch her wound, she’s surprised that she doesn’t feel any pain. That’s when she remembers that she’s dreaming. She knew that this is only a dream, but she forgot about it along the way. Maybe because Julian’s actions are too real. Fiona wonders if the real Julian feels depressed and guilty too, like the Julian in front of her. She knows that she’s being overly self-conscious, but that might happen for real.
Even if it’s only a dream, Fiona doesn’t want to leave Julian in depression. He quietly lifts his head when she calls him, and she tells him that she was happy when he tried to protect her. Julian replies that he didn’t get back up, which is the same as leaving her alone in danger, but Fiona doesn’t think so. Aside from physical wounds, people’s heart can take damage as well. Arles’ attack hurt his heart, and that’s why he couldn’t get up. Fiona wonders how many people can stand up again if they’re in Julian’s position. It’s not like he didn’t get back on his feet — he couldn’t. Julian looks straight into Fiona’s eyes, and after a short silence, he finally chuckles. He says that being unable to stand up isn’t something he can be proud of, so she wonders if she failed to cheer him up… but then she notices that he looks more at ease now, and she feels glad.
Reverting his gaze back to Fiona’s shoulder, Julian whispers that it’d be nice if the wound heals quickly. She blushes when his voice tickles her ears, and before she could turn around, he leans in to touch the wound with his lips. Julian gently whispers a nursery rhyme to chase the pain away, unaware of the fact that Fiona doesn’t feel any pain at all. She can only feel a ticklish, hot and wet sensation of his lips and tongue on her shoulder. She tells him that it tickles, but he only asks her not to move — he’ll heal her wound. Fiona tries to protest since it reminds her of how Arles bit her shoulder, but Julian never puts his teeth onto her skin. He’s just licking her wound thoroughly, that’s all. Even though he’s just trying to heal her wound, her body starts trembling as his tongue touches her bare skin. It’s only a dream, and yet her body is burning up because it feels so real. Feeling embarrassed, Fiona asks Julian to stop since she’s fine now. However, he only answers with “You’re cute too when you’re embarrassed…” and tightens his arms around her. She can’t escape.
Fiona asks Julian to let go if he’s only healing her wound, reassuring him that she’s fine now, and he replies that she’s right. He’s only healing her wound, so she shouldn’t be so tense around him. Fiona tries to deny this, but Julian chuckles and asks if it’s true. Since he doesn’t stop, she starts thinking about how he can be so kind yet so teasingly mean. When he apologizes for failing to protect her, she wonders why she’s seeing this dream. Is this what she’s wishing for? Or is it something else…? She needs to wake up, and then tell the real Julian that it’s alright. He must be worried about her, and he might be blaming himself for being unable to protect her. Fiona knows that she has to wake up, but her hand keeps stroking Julian’s hair. Maybe she’s the one who’s wishing for this. The gentle dream doesn’t seem like it’s going to end, but then it fades away. Fiona gets flustered upon recalling her dream, since a dream is believed to be a fragment of one’s wishes… and she really can’t deny that. She did realize that it was a dream, but she didn’t want to wake up.
Beside her bed, Fiona finds Nesso and Zara along with Julian. They’re suggesting the idea of escaping from the royal palace through the underground sewers, but Fiona is unsure if it’s really alright for Julian to come with them. Even if he got disinherited, he’s still the first prince of Weblin. Is it okay to take such a person out of the kingdom? Of course they don’t know what Mejojo and Auger will do if they leave him here, but at the same time, he’s the only one who can stop them. Julian is also a member of the royal family. When the time comes, he can be the power to deter them. Fiona glances at Julian, but she can’t bring herself to say it. He’s wishing to escape just like her, and so she can’t just tell him to stay here and do his best. She can’t push all the responsibilities onto him. On the other hand, she’s not sure if it’s okay for him to abandon his kingdom.
Noticing the confusion in Fiona’s eyes, Julian tells her that he’s fine. She’s a kind person, so he can tell what she’s thinking about. She knows that it’s really selfish of her to be so confused over this, and he replies that it might be true, but he’s just as selfish. He wants to escape the kingdom too, so it’s alright. It’s his decision, and she doesn’t have to feel responsible. Fiona can’t argue further, and she agrees to take Julian along. Just like how she chose to leave the kingdom with Nesso and Zara, Julian has made a decision too. They escape together through the underground sewers after that, but it turns out to be a trap — Auger ambushes them near the exit. That’s where they first see how broken Julian really is, as he’s been tortured for so long by the twins. Auger retreats after losing against Nesso though, and after Fiona literally slaps some sense back into the dazed Julian, they run out of the royal palace.
That night Fiona is down with a fever, so Nesso, Zara and Julian decide let her rest in a mountain hut. After learning more about Zodiva and the wolves, Fiona turns to ask for Julian’s opinion. He looks surprised, and after blinking in silence for a while, he looks down saying she already saw how broken he really is. He’s not sane, and yet she’s asking for his opinion? Fiona quietly recalls what happened in the sewers earlier. While it’s true that he’s not normal back then, right now he’s not broken — he’s the Julian she knows. That’s why she wants to hear his opinion. Julian remains silent for a while, but eventually he answers that he wants to save the kingdom. The problem is he’ll always lose himself in front of Mejojo and Auger, and it terrifies him. He sadly whispers that it’s really pathetic of him, but Fiona says that’s not true. It’s more scary and sad that they broke him into such a state. Julian gently chuckles upon hearing Fiona’s reply, giving her a smile which always feels so delicate and fragile somehow. When Julian asks what she wants to do, Fiona replies that she wants to talk to the wolves before giving up on the kingdom.
From there, Fiona and her companions enter the wolves’ territory. Arles invites them to the wolves’ hideout in Zanan, where she learns about what happened between Mejojo, Elvira and Arles 10 years ago. Fiona has to make a decision before they leave Zanan, and she chooses to have a peaceful life with her family — she’s going to leave tomorrow. Arles calmly accepts her decision, but it also causes her to ask if he’s not going to blame her. As a Lobeira she might be able to do something about Zodiva, and yet she decided to run away. Even though she knows the wolves are heading towards doom. Even though she knows Weblin is going to enter the worst state at this rate. She might be able to stop everything, but she chose to escape for her own safety. However, Arles says nobody can blame Fiona. By asking her to stay, it’s just the same as telling her to sacrifice herself. She decides to seek after her own happiness instead of sacrificing herself, and no one has the right to blame her — she has the right to live for her own happiness.
Arles reminds Fiona that it’s her choice, and she nods in agreement. It’s her decision. She chose her family over the wolves or the kingdom. Arles smiles as he tells Fiona to be happy, then he turns around and walks away. She wants to stop him. She wants to apologize for not helping the wolves, but she already made her decision. It’s not something she can ask forgiveness for, and he never blames her to begin with. If he does, he would use force to confine her… but he didn’t. Arles gave her a choice and asked her to make a decision for herself. Making a choice is a cruel thing. She never knew this since she’s always been protected, and he taught her the weight of a decision. That’s why instead of apologizing, Fiona only whispers “thank you…”
The next day, Zara finds it unusual for Fiona to be awake so early in the morning. He realizes that it must be because she couldn’t sleep, and knowing that she can’t hide it from him, she admits that it’s true. She spent all night thinking about what’s going to happen from now on. Zara says he understands, but he asks her to wake him up next time. Even though it’s not good to rely on medicine too much, he can do a lot of things to help — such as making a herbal tea to make her feel relaxed. Fiona smiles, and she promises to rely on him if she can’t sleep again. When Nesso enters the hall with Julian, he’s also surprised to find her awake. Fiona greets them good morning, and she points out that Nesso is so mean. It’s like he’s implying that she always oversleeps. Julian’s eyes widen in surprise, and he responds to this with “…eh”. When Fiona protests, Julian smiles and reminds her that he often had to wake her up in the hanging garden.
Zara teasingly asks if Fiona can’t wake up on her own even in the castle, while Nesso grins saying she used to oversleep a lot in the past. Fiona blushes and panics as she tries to stop them, realizing that she has dug her own grave. Nesso laughs saying they’ll keep her oversleeping habit a secret, while Fiona can only pout in embarrassment. This is why she finds it troublesome to have longtime companions, because they know about all of her past mischief and failures. Nesso then asks if Fiona has made her decision, and everyone’s expression turns serious when she says yes — she’s leaving the kingdom. Upon hearing her answer, Nesso and Zara smile as they sigh with relief. Maybe they were worried that she might want to stay in Weblin. She wants to do something for the kingdom. She wants to help the wolves. But her family is the most important thing for her, and she wants to have a peaceful life with them. If she can only choose one option, then she chooses her family over everything else.
Fiona apologizes for making them worry, and she assures them that she’s ready now. Nesso and Zara are glad to hear this. The journey ahead will be harsh, but they’re going to overcome it together. Fiona knows that she’s going to trouble them a lot along the way, so she bows her head and asks them to take care of her. Nesso smiles as he pats her head, saying they’re going to be in her care too. However, Zara then turns to Julian and asks what he’s going to do… and Julian looks down with a troubled expression. They brought him along after escaping from the castle, but Fiona wonders what he truly wants to do. Back in the garden, he told them that he wants to go with them. He said he wants to live freely outside the kingdom. Does Julian truly feel that way? Or was it only a lie to lure them into the sewers? He seems really reluctant, and he has a painful expression on his face. Fiona actually wants to help, but she knows that won’t do. Julian needs to make a decision for himself. It seems like Nesso and Zara shares her opinion, because they remain silent.
After a while, Julian finally answers that he knows he doesn’t have the right to say this… but he wants to go with them. He knows he’s troubling them, and it’s only obvious for them not to trust him. He doesn’t mind even if they leave him behind, considering what he’s done to them. When Nesso and Zara exchange looks beside her, Fiona remembers that Julian has betrayed them once — even though it wasn’t on his own will. From here they will have a harsh journey towards the border, because Mejojo will definitely send pursuers to chase after them. It’s only natural for them to eliminate all the threats they can avoid right from the start, but… Fiona wants to trust Julian. In fact, that feeling actually grew stronger after she saw how broken he is. Zara then wonders if he can ask Julian some questions. When Julian answers that he can ask anything, Zara asks if Julian remembers his betrayal in the sewers.
The word “betrayal” hurts Julian, who then sadly closes his eyes. Despite the pain, he doesn’t try to cover it up. Julian admits that he does remember, and he’s aware that he’s asking too much after doing something like that… but Zara smiles saying he didn’t mean it like that. It’s just that Julian looked so different back then, and so Zara finds it hard to believe that they’re the same person. Julian admits that it was really him though. He’s broken, so much that he’s helpless. Nesso wants to know what this means, because Zara and him just can’t think of Julian as a bad person. Even though he already betrayed them. Julian lets out a quiet, nervous chuckle, and he reveals his real name to them — Julian von Garibaldi. He used to be the heir to the throne, a member of the royal family. Both Nesso and Zara gasp in shock, though Fiona can understand why. After escaping from the palace, she never had a chance to introduce him properly.
Nesso then asks if Fiona knew about this, and she apologizes for not explaining. Nesso doesn’t mind since they didn’t have time for that, but he’s extremely shocked to see that Julian is still alive… because back then, it was announced that Julian died from an epidemic along with Rayleigh. Of course Julian never knew about this, but he can understand. After all, they couldn’t announce that the first prince of the kingdom has been disinherited. It happened around 12 or 13 years ago, and he’s been working as a gardener in the hanging garden since then. Nesso finds it unbelievable for the former first prince to turn into a gardener, but Julian then explains that Mejojo and Auger were the ones who put him there… and Nesso falls into silence before exchanging looks with Fiona and Zara. They all know how cruel Mejojo and Auger must have treated Julian, and yet Julian is refining everything by saying they “gave him a place”.
Julian is aware that Mejojo and Auger have broken him, but at the same time, some parts of him have been changed by them. He has these two sides inside of him, existing in a complex balance. After hearing Julian’s story, Zara draws the conclusion that Julian is very unstable. Julian seems confused to hear this, but then he adds that during his stay in the garden, he was taught to obey Mejojo and Auger. If he dared to defy them, they would give him terrifying punishments. That’s why he can’t go against them. They taught him absolute obedience through whipping and all sorts of torture. In front of them, his broken side will come out. He will obey them and seek for their praise, for it was the only sense of value they knocked into him. Zara says that Mejojo and Auger are holding control deep inside Julian’s heart, and Julian admits that it’s true — he wasn’t lying when he said he wants to run away. He was truly wishing to escape with them… but sadly, he couldn’t defy Auger’s order and ended up leading them into the sewers. Julian’s voice trembles as he bows his head to them, deeply apologizing for what he did.
Nesso and Zara remain silent, but Fiona says that she wants to believe in Julian. She adds that she will have to rely on them if something happens though. Just in case Julian ever turns into Mejojo and Auger’s puppet again, their strength will be needed. Fiona wants to travel together with Julian, but her strength alone won’t be enough if something happens to him. She needs Nesso and Zara’s approval in order to bring him along. Zara then asks for Nesso’s opinion, and Julian is surprised when Nesso says they should be able to make it somehow. He already saw Julian’s strength when they were fighting the wolves, and he can cut Julian down with ease if it gets dangerous. Both Fiona and Julian are shocked to hear this, but Zara smiles and explains that it means no matter what he does, Julian isn’t a threat for Nesso. Their next problem is that Julian might call enemies towards them, so Nesso says he’ll think about the countermeasure. Before Julian can ask what this means, Zara gently translates it as an invitation to travel together.
When Julian asks if it’s really okay, Nesso nods saying he didn’t only see Julian’s strength during their battle with the wolves. He also saw how Julian tried to protect Fiona from danger. Nesso isn’t sure if Julian can do the same thing against Mejojo and Auger’s subordinates, but he knows it was an instant decision — which Julian confirms as true. It might be a strange way to put it, but they can devise a plan because they know he might betray them… though of course it’d be best if he doesn’t. When Julian apologizes, Fiona laughs since she finds this conversation interesting. Julian was reluctant knowing he might betray them, but Nesso and Zara decided that as long as they have a plan, it’s fine even if he betrays them. Nesso laughs saying it does sound dumb, but Zara adds that they’re talking about the truth. Julian once again apologizes for troubling them, but Nesso only asks if he’s really sure about this. Nesso might have to kill him if something happens, and traveling with them means he’s taking the path against Mejojo and Auger.
Mejojo and Auger will surely try to use Julian if they find out about this, and Nesso knows that Julian won’t be able to disobey them. Julian says it’s true that he can’t defy those two, but now he feels relieved knowing that Nesso will kill him if that happens — which makes Nesso snort in laughter. Beside them, Zara and Fiona are talking about how this conversation feels so wrong. It just feels strange to see Nesso declaring that he might kill Julian, not to mention that it actually makes Julian feel relieved… but even so, they’re going to travel together. When Nesso and Zara welcome him into the group, Julian happily shakes their hands and politely asks them to take care of him. However, Nesso suddenly remembers something. Now that Julian is officially their companion, he wonders if he should be more formal towards Julian. Even though he got disinherited, Julian is still the former heir to the throne. It doesn’t change the fact that Julian is Mejojo and Auger’s older brother either. Up until now Nesso has been treating Julian normally because he didn’t know, but then he clears his throat and says: “Would you prefer to be called ‘Your Highness’, Prince Julian?”
Julian turns red in shock, and he asks Nesso to stop since he’s just a gardener. He’s just Julian the passerby. They all burst into laughter upon hearing this, while Julian blushes even more and asks them to stop. Nesso still laughs as he apologizes, and in the end he decides to call him “our friend Julian”. Julian accepts the title with a smile, and that’s how he became their traveling companion.
After having breakfast, Nesso asks if they should depart now. Fiona agrees, but Zara is frowning in silence. When Julian asks him what’s wrong, Zara admits that it feels painful not to have the wolves’ cooperation — a feeling shared by all of them. The wolves are attacking Weblin, the people of Weblin are judging them with prejudice, and both parties are suffering from Zodiva. They’ve found the answer to solve everything, but right now they don’t have the time to put it into practice. Fiona has decided to leave Weblin, even if it means abandoning everyone left in the kingdom. She has decided to prioritize her family. Zara then asks if she has drank her medicine, and Fiona answers that she already did after breakfast. He reminds her to drink it after each meal, just in case. After all, there’s a possibility of her being infected with Zodiva. Even if they leave the kingdom, only death awaits her if it breaks out.
Zara is worried when Fiona turns silent, but she assures him that she’s fine. They still can’t say for certain if she’s really infected or not. She’s only pretending to be cheerful, but it’s better than being depressed all the time. Fiona then suggests leaving once they’re ready, and so they walk towards the entrance of Zanan… but Rath suddenly appears in front of them. Nesso steps forward, asking if he has any business with them, and Fiona is surprised when Rath quietly takes out his dagger. Nesso’s hand also moves towards his sword, but the next moment, Rath lifts the dagger to stab his own arm. Blood is dripping out of his arm, and they stare at him in confusion. They don’t get his intentions. As he glances at them, Rath wipes the blood with a cloth. Then he hands the bloodstained cloth to Fiona and says “…the blood of a wolf. You need it, right?”
Shocked, Zara asks if he’s giving them a sample. Rath only replies with a short “yeah”, and he takes out two more cloths from his pocket. Both of them are dry, but there are dark red stains in the middle. One of them holds Guillan’s blood, and the other one has Arles’. When Zara asks if those two agreed to cooperate, Rath says they didn’t — he took their blood by force. Fiona’s eyes widen in shock, but Rath assures her that both of them are still alive. Nesso is at a loss for words beside them, and she wonders if Rath is only joking… but Rath only asks if it can help them. Zara quickly answers that it’s a great help for them, and he asks why Rath does something like this. After all, the wolves have refused to cooperate. Rath answers that he doesn’t have any intentions to cooperate with them as a wolf, but he doesn’t understand either. He just did it somehow.
Rath then walks past Nesso, and he stops right in front of Fiona. As she looks at him in confusion, he holds out his hand and gently touches her cheek. Then he says “I only thought that… I don’t want you to die.” He tells her that he was cursing everything. He cursed himself for being a wolf. He cursed the people of Weblin for judging them. He also cursed this helpless world. Meanwhile, Fiona is a Lobeira who can die easily. As if that’s not bad enough, she got accused and chased around under the suspicion of being a witch. They are similar, but different from Rath, Fiona accepts the world. She accepts herself. If there are people like her, he thinks the world might turn into a better place someday. As he touches Fiona’s cheek again, Rath whispers “That’s why. You must not die.” He pulls his hand after saying this, then he walks past her and leaves. Fiona calls out to him, but Rath doesn’t stop. Even though he helped her, he has no intentions to cooperate with them as a wolf. His back is giving her a silent rejection, and she just can’t bring herself to invite him to come with them. That’s why in the end, she only says “thank you!” towards his back.
When Rath turns around to glance at them, Fiona can see him nodding with a faint smile.
After leaving Zanan, Fiona and her companions are heading north towards the border. Before entering the area, Zara tried coating their shoes with wax to make them waterproof… but it doesn’t work. They complain about their wet shoes as they walk, since their feet are completely drenched. Weblin is surrounded by great nature, and so the kingdom has a lot of forests. Fiona learned about this by looking at the scenery from the top of the tower, as well as reading about them in books. There are also different types of forests in Weblin. For example, the forest around Zanan don’t bear any leaves and gives a cold, dreary impression. As for the special trait of the forest they’re currently in… it’s this muddy ground. Zara says it’s not good for their feet to grow cold, and he asks Fiona to tell them if she’s feeling unwell. She obediently agrees, knowing that she’d only cause them more trouble if she hides it and keeps walking until she couldn’t move. While Nesso would love to carry her on his back, Fiona thinks he’s being overprotective. They don’t know how much longer this marsh will go on, so she can’t ask Nesso to carry her all the way to the end.
Just then Nesso, who’s leading the group, notices something and stops walking. The others walk forward to see what’s going on, and they’re surprised to find a river blocking the way. The wetlands they’re walking on is actually a path leading towards this river, and they didn’t realize because the whole path is watery. Julian also points out that the ground in front of them is much deeper, though it’s hard to see due to all the trees growing around the river. However, it’s not impossible for them to cross the river. Nesso predicts the depth to be around their knees, or maybe their waist at the highest. Zara wants to avoid playing with water in this temperature though, and Fiona agrees. They’re heading north, and so the temperature has been dropping gradually. They might not feel it when they’re walking normally, but it’d be different if they jump into water.
When Nesso wonders about what to do, Fiona looks around hoping to find a solution. Her eyes soon catch something, and she points to a spot not too far away from them. There are rocks rising above the water, so they might be able to cross to the other side. Nesso then decides to give it a try, and when Fiona asks him to be careful, he grins saying he’ll just turn into a drenched rat if he fails. After handing his belongings to Zara, Nesso lightly jumps onto the rocks. He comments that the rocks are quite stable for them to step on, and it doesn’t seem like they’ll crumble or sink. Nesso easily crosses the river before coming back, informing them that the marsh ends on the other side. However, he then looks at Fiona saying it’d be dangerous for her to cross the river alone. It’d be bad if she gets drenched. Fiona obediently agrees. She actually wants to insists that she can do it alone, but she also knows that failing would lead to a terrible result.
Fiona decides to ask for Julian’s help, asking him to cross the river with her. Julian is surprised, while Nesso is clearly disappointed that she didn’t choose him. When Zara asks if they’re going to be okay, Julian admits that he’s just as worried, but Fiona stops them saying she’s going with Julian. Even though she’s not strong enough to save other people, she can’t leave him alone. She wants to tell him that everything will be alright in his hands. Julian then asks for Fiona’s hand, holding it as they head towards the rocks. His hand doesn’t have Nesso’s strength or Zara’s sense of security, but feels really gentle and reliable. When Julian is holding her hand like this, Fiona feels that she has to do her best too. Instead of only being protected, she wants to help him too. After stepping onto a rock, Julian holds out his hand to help Fiona jump. In return, Fiona tries to support Julian when he moves to the next rock… but then he loses his balance. She quickly grabs his arm and pulls him back, assuring Nesso and Zara that they’re alright.
Knowing that Nesso and Zara are worried, Julian asks why Fiona chose him. He points out that Nesso and Zara are more reliable than him, and she agrees since those two would help her cross the river in no time. Julian asks why she picked him then, and Fiona says it’s because she can do her best with him. Since Nesso and Zara are always helping her, she feels that she’s relying on them too much. Julian chuckles saying that sounds a bit pathetic, but it makes him happy. Fiona smiles asking if he’ll do his best with her, and he gladly says he will. Fiona then leaps onto the next rock and helps Julian to cross, supporting him when he lands. His hand is firmly holding onto hers, and she feels happy knowing he’s relying on her too. They help each other as they hop from one rock to another, until they eventually reach the last one. The distance between the rock and the river bank is a bit far, so Julian says he’ll go first. They have to let go of their hands too due to the distance, and Fiona asks him to be careful.
When Julian safely lands on the dry ground, Fiona instantly feels relieved. It’s strange since he’s older than her, and his reflexes are by no means bad. The gap between the rock and the ground isn’t that wide either. It’s just a bit farther compared to the gap between the rocks, and even she should be able to leap over it… but if it’s with Julian, Fiona feels that they’re taking a great challenge together. She soon realizes that it’s because they’re similar. She’s a Lobeira who grew up in a tower, and he’s a disinherited prince who was confined in the royal palace — because he was announced as dead. Both of them are stepping into the outside world for the first time, and that’s why they can enjoy the experience together. Julian then asks Fiona to jump with all her might, because he’ll definitely catch her. If she’s doing this with Nesso or Zara, it’d be much easier… but crossing the river has turned into an adventure because she’s with Julian. Fiona then tells him that she will jump now, and she kicks onto the rock as she leaps.
Fiona easily crosses the distance, but it seems like she put too much power into the jump. She flies straight into Julian’s arms and knocks him down. They both fall onto the ground with his arms wrapped around her waist, and her lips are totally touching his. ｲﾔﾝ☆(*´∀`) σ)))))*3ﾟ),･´.､ Both of them are equally shocked. She panics on the spot, and he apologizes saying he didn’t mean to do that… but then he adds that her lips are really sweet — they taste like roses. Fiona admits that she doesn’t know what to say, and Julian asks if it was her first kiss. She replies that she used to hug and kiss Pearl and Richie — as dogs — before, and he laughs saying she’s so cute. Julian admits that he wants to stay like this for a little longer, and he asks if Fiona would be troubled by that. She says she wouldn’t, but she points out that she should be heavy. However, he tells her that she’s really light. He won’t mind even if she puts more weight onto him.
When Fiona says she can’t do something so embarrassing, Julian chuckles and says that side of her is cute as well — she’s like a cherry blossom that blooms in the garden. She pouts saying he’s such a sweet talker, but she thanks him for saving her. He gladly accepts her gratitude, though he adds that it’d be cooler if he caught her without falling. Julian admits that it’s more like him to fall down though, and Fiona laughs when his shoulders drop — as if he gave up trying to act cool. They get interrupted when Nesso appears behind them, asking what the heck are they doing. He’s soon followed by Zara, who asks if Julian is alright. It seems that while crossing the river was such a big adventure for Fiona and Julian, it’s nothing much for these two. They did it in no time. Fiona and Julian exchange looks as they laugh, as if they’re sharing a secret.
Now that they’ve crossed the river, Nesso says they should hurry on ahead. They’ve passed the marsh, and so they won’t have any problems finding a place to set up their camp. It was hard to find a dry place back in the marsh. They couldn’t start a fire, and they couldn’t find any firewood either. After crossing the river and the marsh, they find themselves in a different kind of forest. It’s a normal one, the type of forest she knows really well, and it shouldn’t be hard for them to set up a camp here. With Nesso leading the way, they head further north until the sun goes down. Their journey is much easier since they’re no longer in the wetlands, but the next thing that awaits them is the severely low temperature. Fiona mentions that it’d be nice to have a warm soup in this cold weather, and Zara agrees because in their current situation, it’d be difficult to find a warm inn to stay in. They’ve walked far away from the capital, but they don’t know who might be watching them. There’s a high chance that Mejojo and Auger already sent pursuers to search for them.
When Fiona whispers that they have turned into wanted criminals, Zara says her position has changed a lot in a short period of time. From daughter of an Earl to a witch. From a witch to the fiancée of the first prince. Now she’s probably labelled as a traitor. Fiona has gone through a lot of things, so Zara says she should at least keep herself warm with a soup. Since she’s prone to catching colds, he asks her to stay as close to the fire as possible. She smiles and thanks him, assuring him that she’ll stay right beside the fire. She then takes out some ingredients for the soup, and she asks him if they would be enough. In her hands, she’s holding small pieces of salted meat, edible wild plants and mushrooms. Fiona collected the plants and mushrooms during the day, based on Zara’s instructions. She knows quite a lot about plants and herbs since he taught her back in the tower, but she still can’t win against his knowledge. He’s her teacher after all. Even after she checked an area, he can always find more ingredients there. He also informs her if she picked an ingredient that turns out to be poisonous.
After checking the ingredients in Fiona’s hands, Zara says they should be good enough. The water is nearly done boiling too, so they can start cooking the ingredients. The soup they’re cooking is simple, as they only boil the ingredients and give seasoning. After putting everything into the pot, they wait for the ingredients to cook while watching the fire. They used all the edible wild plants and mushrooms, but they still have one salted meat left. When Fiona returns it to Zara, he says they also have enough seasoning left. She asks what he means by that, and he explains that there won’t be any towns or villages ahead. If they run out of food, they won’t be able to stock up. Fiona thinks about how they have made their way deep into the forest. Even though up until now they’ve been walking in the forest to avoid people’s eyes, from time to time they would stop by a village or town to buy supplies.
Soon Nesso and Julian return to the camp, both shivering from the cold. When Zara asks them to warm up near the fire, Fiona moves over and invites Julian to sit beside her. While Zara and Fiona were busy cooking the soup, Nesso and Julian went to search for firewood. Nesso asks if their current stock is enough to keep the fire burning all night, since he can gather more if it doesn’t last until morning… but Zara thinks it should be enough. If they run out of firewood, it’ll be his turn to search for more. Both Nesso and Julian are more than willing to help, but Zara assures them that it’s going to be alright. For now, they should stay warm and get some rest. Nesso then turns to Fiona, and he frowns asking what she’s doing. When Fiona answers that she’s making soup, he smiles saying he’s deeply touched to see her cook. Back in the tower, their food was always prepared by their chef. She chuckles saying that’s true, because women of high social status usually don’t cook or do any housework by themselves.
Fiona didn’t realize this sooner, because she never had a woman like that around her. Normally girls from a noble family would learn from how their mother or older sister behaves, but Fiona’s mother died when she was small. The same goes for Nesso, so he doesn’t know much about this either. Both Fiona and Nesso lost their mothers when they were really young, and she turns silent upon thinking about how their father must have felt to lose the woman he loves twice in a row. Beside them, Julian mentions that his mother never did anything either. She ate the meals brought by servants, and for her it was natural for the servants to do the cleaning up. Julian sadly says his mother can’t be used as a standard measure, but Fiona points out that his mother was the queen — the difference between their social status is way too high. However, Nesso recalls that a noble lady in the palace used to give them sweets. Maybe some of them do love cooking as a hobby.
This reminds Zara that a long time ago, Fiona also tried making some sweets. Julian says he’d love to eat the sweets she makes, but both Nesso and Zara suddenly turn silent — followed by her nervous protest. When Julian asks them what’s wrong, Zara chuckles saying they just remembered Fiona’s first cookies. Nesso adds that her cookies actually didn’t taste bad. They’re just… strange. Fiona stops them saying there’s a first time for everyone, and she smiles when Julian says it’s not weird to fail on the first attempt. She then calls Nesso and Zara mean for teasing her, because she doesn’t think it’s that much of a failure. Just as Nesso said, her cookies didn’t taste bad. They were normal and edible. They were just a bit strange. Julian is curious about this, and he asks what kind of failure it was. Nesso and Zara start chuckling, while Fiona closes her eyes out of embarrassment. Julian says she doesn’t have to say it if she doesn’t want to, but she tells him it’s nothing much. She’s just a bit embarrassed, since it was a stupid failure. If she hated the memory that much, Nesso and Zara wouldn’t tease her like this.
As she stirs the soup in the pot, Fiona explains that the first sweets she tried to make was chocolate chips cookies. She read in books that girls often make chocolate chips cookies for their first time, so she decided to do the same thing. When Julian asks what happened to those cookies, she says they looked like cookies. After hearing this, Julian can predict the end of this story. Fiona can see the surprise in his eyes, so she puts on a sad expression and continues. Her chocolate chips cookies did look like cookies, but they tasted like… bread. Julian blinks in surprise, while Nesso teasingly comments that it was really weird. Zara wonders how did they end up like that, but Fiona has no idea either. She followed the recipe. Julian tries to hold back, but laughter is leaking through his voice. When she adds that her father praised her for baking such a delicious bread on her first try, he completely bursts into laughter.
Fiona admits that she still doesn’t know what went wrong, and Nesso says her expression upon receiving their father’s praise was priceless. Back then Zara had a hard time holding back his laughter, so much that his stomach hurt. Edgar looked really happy as he praised her, and so she couldn’t tell him that they were actually cookies. Nesso says the best part was Edgar’s words at the end though: “But Fiona, if you’re going to bake bread, make it bigger next time. These look like cookies.” (○´ﾟωﾟ｀):;*.’:;ﾌﾞｯ They burst into laughter upon hearing this, including Fiona herself. The four of them are sitting around the fire, having fun as they talk about their past. It’s a nostalgic memory for Fiona, Nesso and Zara, while for Julian, it’s a funny story of a friend’s failure. Even if the temperature is low, it feels really warm when they sit by the fire like this. Under the cold sky, they’re spending a peaceful and relaxing time together.
After dinner, everyone puts their beds around the fire and goes to rest… but Fiona can’t sleep. The parts of her body which are facing the fire feel warm, but the others are silently turning cold. The chilly temperature is creeping onto her back, and it’s still cold even if she covers her head with the blanket. She needs to sleep because they’re going to walk again tomorrow, and the largest obstacle in their journey is waiting ahead — crossing the border. Weblin is tightly surrounded by nature. The forests, valleys, mountains and ridges are protecting the kingdom from other powerful countries. Sadly while the geography makes it hard to invade Weblin, the same goes for the opposite. It’s just as difficult to leave the kingdom. Fiona knows that she has the lowest stamina in the group. She needs to rest and heal her fatigue, but she can’t sleep. She also knows that it’ll feel even colder if she moves around, but she ends up getting up and blows breath to warm up her cold hands. Soon she hears someone moving as well. Maybe she’s not the only one who can’t sleep.
Fiona wonders if it’s Julian, and it’s proven true when he quietly asks if she’s still awake. Their surroundings are dim and they only have light from the fire, but when Fiona lowers the blanket from her face, she can see Julian looking back at her. She tells him that her hands and feet are cold, even though she knows she needs to sleep. He gives her a sympathetic smile saying it must be tough, though he doesn’t feel as cold. He asks if she wants to trade places since his side might be warmer, but she says it’s fine since her bed is just as close to the fire. It’s probably because of the difference in density. Since Julian seems confused, Fiona points out that he’s sleeping with Nesso and Zara… while she’s all alone on the other side. It’s not that they’re leaving her out, but simply because they’re men and she’s the only girl. Julian realizes that Fiona is right, because it feels warmer when someone stays beside you. Then he wonders about what to do, because she’ll only get cold if they leave her to sleep alone.
Fiona says there’s nothing they can do, but Julian replies that’s not exactly true… and both of them falls into silence. They’re thinking of the same thing, but none of them can say the words. She can’t just invite him to sleep beside her. Fiona knows Julian won’t do anything to her, not to mention Nesso and Zara are sleeping nearby, but she can’t bring herself to say it. No matter how they look at it, it’s a deeply suggestive sentence. Fiona pulls her blanket tighter and curls up, but then Julian blushes and nervously speaks up. He stutters as he asks “Um, uh… C-Can I stay beside you…?” ﾟ+.(*ﾉωヾ*)ｬﾝ♪+ﾟ Fiona is surprised. He said it. She thought it was a sentence they could never say, but Julian managed to say it with his trembling voice. As he averts his gaze, Julian adds that Fiona is a Lobeira. It’d be bad if she catches a cold here, so he asks her to use him as a windshield. Since he already said it, of course she can’t refuse. It was a sentence she couldn’t say, but he gathered up the courage to put it into words… so she smiles at him and nods.
When Julian’s eyes widen in surprise, Fiona thinks it’s just like him. He was the one who asked for it, but he’s still surprised when she said yes. Julian carefully moves over so he won’t disturb Nesso and Zara, and Fiona soon feels his warmth on her back. He asks if she doesn’t feel cold now, and she quietly nods. She doesn’t feel the cold wind blowing onto her back anymore, but now she’s worried about him. He’s sleeping behind her, so she’s blocking the warmth from the fire. Julian tries to denies this, but then he sneezes… which only proves Fiona’s point. She tells him that he’ll catch a cold if he doesn’t sleep near the fire, but he replies that he came here to shield her from the cold wind. If he moves closer to the fire, she’ll be cold again. She can’t argue further because she does feel warmer this way, but then she can feel him moving closer towards her back — subconsciously seeking warmth.
Fiona hesitates for a moment, and she pushes the embarrassment away as she asks Julian to come closer. She thinks it would be warmer for him too if they lie closer to each other. Julian is obviously surprised, and Fiona quickly adds that it’s okay if he doesn’t want to. She apologizes for suggesting such a weird idea, but he answers that he doesn’t mind. In fact, it actually makes him happy. This only makes Fiona feel even more embarrassed, while Julian panics and goes “Uwah! U-Uhh, umm… I didn’t mean it that way…!” (❤ฺ￫艸￩) She nervously replies that she knows. It’s Julian, so Fiona knows he didn’t mean anything weird, but her heart is racing. She’s glad it’s dark right now, and the dim light of the fire is hiding her red face. Julian then excuses himself, and he moves closer to put his arms around Fiona.
Up until earlier Fiona only felt Julian’s warmth as a presence, but now she can directly feel it on her back. At the same time, he also whispers that she’s warm. The slight embarrassment melts and blends into one with the comfortable warmth wrapping her from the back. She can also hear the sound of heartbeat echoing in a slightly quick rhythm, though she doesn’t know if its his or hers. Fiona’s night with Julian passes slowly.
The next morning, they have breakfast while preparing to continue their journey. It’s a simple meal, as they only heat up the soup from last night. Nesso says they will leave after they’re done eating, and they should reach the border today or tomorrow. They just have a bit more to go, and they can leave the kingdom after that. Noticing that Julian seems concerned, Zara asks if he’s feeling emotional about this… and Julian admits that he is. Weblin holds a special place in his heart, but he has no regrets. His existence was already erased from this kingdom, so it’s fine even if he leaves. Julian turns around, looking back at the path they’ve walked on with a painful look. They can only see a thick forest behind them, along with a narrow path leading into it. When Nesso says they should go now, Julian gathers up his determination and follows them — turning away from the path behind. They resume their journey towards the border after that.
In the afternoon of the next day, they finally reach the end of the forest. The trees gradually grows sparser, but the narrow path continues on. However, they stop walking at the very end of the forest. Fiona wonders what’s wrong since the border is just ahead, but Nesso says that’s exactly why they need to be careful. The path there might be guarded. As they observe the area outside the forest, Nesso points to a mountain pass in the distance. It’s the border. They’ll be in the neighboring country after crossing the pass, so Mejojo and Auger wouldn’t be able to do anything to them once they make it there. Zara is surprised because the pass isn’t as harsh as he imagined, and Fiona agrees since Weblin is described as a kingdom guarded by nature. Julian even thought the border would be something like a perpendicular cliff that blocks everyone’s way.
Nesso says Julian’s expectation isn’t exactly wrong though, because most of Weblin’s borders are like that. However, some of them have narrow paths leading out of the kingdom — like this one. The borders which have paths are the only ones that have guards. When Zara comments that Nesso knows a lot, Nesso replies that Greif Ritter got assigned on border security once. Fiona is surprised to hear this. She always thought that it’s a job for soldiers of lower ranks, because the only ones who can become a knight are men from noble families. The knights serve and fight for the king, and so they have high social status. That’s why she always thought a knight’s job is mainly to guard the royal palace, or to help the mayors guarding other cities in the regions. Nesso averts his gaze upon hearing this, as if he’s searching for words. Eventually he answers that Mejojo and Auger don’t like him that much, so they often pick on him by giving this kind of work.
Zara adds that Nesso is the eldest son of the Galland family, not to mention he’s also a leader of knights. A knight like him should be working in the royal palace, so by sending him away to remote areas… that means Mejojo and Auger must really hate him. Nesso only smiles, but knowing that it happened before the twins captured her, Fiona asks why Mejojo would do such a thing to him. Nesso says Mejojo doesn’t like him for a lot of reasons, but Julian thinks it must be related to Arles. Since Fiona looks confused, he reminds her that Arles was a great leader of knights — just like Nesso. Mejojo got his fiancée, Elvira, stolen by that Arles, and that’s why he doesn’t like Nesso right from the very start. It doesn’t help that Nesso is also involved with his other fiancée — Fiona. Each time Mejojo and Auger asked for her to move into the royal palace, Nesso and Edgar refused. There’s no mistake in that. Mejojo definitely doesn’t like him.
Fiona never knew about this, and she feels bad for causing so much trouble. When Nesso was assigned to guard the remote areas, she thought it’s simply a part of his job. She thought that because he’s considered young for a leader of knights, he has to start from working in the regions. Fiona apologizes, but Nesso says it’s not something she should apologize for. It was him and their father who decided to refuse the princes’ request, and so she doesn’t have to feel responsible. Fiona tries to argue because Nesso is throwing away the kingdom for her sake, but again, he tells her not to feel concerned. Besides, they can make a strategy to leave Weblin thanks to that… and he’s enjoying the experience. When Fiona finally smiles, Nesso laughs and ruffles her hair. Zara then asks how tight is the border security, and Nesso explains that it’s usually not that heavy since not many people use the border.
There are only two guards assigned at a time, and they stay in a small hut at the entrance of the pass. The rest are staying in nearby villages and towns, so they can provide backup whenever necessary. Two guards are no match for them, and so they should be able to enter the pass by force. They just have to do it before reinforcement comes. Even if the guards call for help, they’ll be fine if they can cross the border in time. On her side, Fiona has Nesso, Zara and Julian. Nesso is the strongest knight in Weblin, so there’s a high chance of victory for them. However, Nesso says the problem would be how far Mejojo and Auger can predict their moves. They didn’t meet any pursuers so far, but they’re not sure what it means. Is it because they’ve been walking through the forest? Or is it because Mejojo and Auger have another plan? Of course it’d be best if they just give up, but after seeing their obsession towards the wolves, Fiona seriously doubts it.
When Zara asks if the princes already know about Edgar’s escape, Nesso says he’s not sure either… but by now they must have found out that Edgar is no longer in Scharlmessen. It should be the first location they would check after Fiona escaped from the palace. Now that Earl Galland is no longer in Scharlmessen, and the rest of his family are missing, Julian wonders what Mejojo and Auger would do next. It’s either to think that they’re hiding somewhere in the kingdom, or find out that they’re trying to reach the border. It’s hard to predict. Once they leave the forest, they wouldn’t be able to hide. It’d be dangerous if they suddenly get ambushed along the way, but of course they can’t stay in the forest forever. Zara then asks there are other routes that can get them to cross the border without getting noticed, and after thinking for a while… Nesso says they actually do have another route, but it’s a dangerous one.
Julian then asks if it’s a cliff, and Nesso says it’s not something to that extent. It’s a path, but the ground is fragile. If the path crumbles when they’re walking on it, they’ll fall into the valley below. Zara agrees that it’s dangerous, but he feels that going straight towards the border is just as dangerous. He can’t help but feel concerned about the lack of pursuers. Mejojo and Auger might not send any pursuers because they have blocked the last escape route — the border. It might be to give them hope, leading them to think that they can escape, only to crush that hope in the end. Zara says it might only be his imagination, but he feels that kind of malice waiting ahead of them. Upon hearing this, Fiona’s body suddenly starts trembling. She feels like Mejojo is watching them somewhere, grinning as he waits for them to fall into despair. Both Fiona and Julian think the border is indeed too dangerous. Even if the other path is just as dangerous, it’d be best to avoid Mejojo and Auger at all costs.
Nesso says he understands, and he’s going to lead them to the other path. When Fiona asks if people know about the path, Nesso says they probably don’t. He found it by coincidence when Greif Ritter was guarding the border. He wondered if they should report it since the path a hole in the security, but Elza said nobody would use that dangerous path anyway, so they just ignored it. Zara smiles saying they should be thankful to that decision, and Nesso laughs as he guides them to the path — warning them to be careful. Just a little bit more and they can be free. Following Nesso, they arrive at a place with a less stable ground. Once again, he warns them to be careful since a little tremor might cause the ground to collapse. Just when Zara asks if it’s really that fragile, some of the rocks crumble and fall off the cliff. Σ(´∀`lll) The path’s already crumbling even when they didn’t do anything, so it won’t be strange for it to collapse when they’re walking on it.
Julian wonders if they can really cross the path, but Nesso explains that wild animals are using it just fine — pointing to a deer’s footprints nearby. If a deer can cross it, the path might not be as fragile as it looks… but Julian thinks it’s still impossible for all of them to cross at the same time. Nesso agrees, and so he suggests walking through the road in pairs. When Fiona asks him why, Nesso explains that it’d be too heavy for the four of them to cross at once, but on the other hand, it’s also dangerous for them to cross alone. The rest of them wouldn’t be able to help if something happens. If they walk in pairs, they can support each other.
Fiona turns to Julian, asking if she can go with him. Since he clearly looks surprised, she wonders if he finds her unreliable. Nesso or Zara would be able to help him if it gets dangerous, but it’s just impossible for her. Fiona then apologizes to Julian, saying it’s okay if he doesn’t want to. She will go with Nesso or Zara, and so he doesn’t have to force himself. However, Julian quickly says that’s not true. He was just surprised that she wants to rely on him, so it’s not that he wants to refuse. When Fiona asks if she can cross the path with him, he smiles and nods happily. Nesso then decides to go first and test the path with Zara. Before leaving, they both ask Julian to take care of Fiona — a responsibility he accepts with a slightly nervous nod. As Nesso and Zara make their way through the path, Fiona can see the cliff crumbling little by little. She feels really scared, thinking they might disappear if she takes her eyes off them. Noticing that Fiona is clenching her fists, Julian gently holds her hand — assuring her that Nesso and Zara will be alright.
Julian’s hand is a bit colder than usual. Probably because he’s feeling nervous. It feels that he’s also trying to reassure himself with the words he whispered to her, which makes Fiona realize that she’s not the only one who feels afraid. He’s just as scared and nervous as she is, and yet he’s doing his best to make her feel secure — giving her more courage. Fiona squeezes Julian’s hand saying they will be okay, and he smiles as he returns those words to her. When Nesso and Zara safely make it to the other side, both Fiona and Julian sigh with relief. They exchange smile saying it’s really bad for the heart, but soon they hear Nesso saying it’s now their turn to cross the path… and they realize that it’s not over yet. In fact, it’s time for them to take the real challenge. Fiona gulps as Julian leads her to the cliff, holding her hand as they step onto the path. They decide to only think about moving forward, blocking out any unnecessary thoughts. They only have to walk normally. They must not think about the cliff hanging beside them. They have to ignore the sound of rocks crumbling nearby. Fiona looks straight ahead as she walks, only thinking about Julian’s hand holding hers.
However, halfway across the path, Nesso suddenly tells them to hurry. Zara says there are pursuers behind them. When Fiona and Julian turn around, they see hoards of mounted cat knights coming their way — the royal guards of Mejojo and Auger. They were planning an ambush after all. Fiona quickly says they need to hurry, but Julian warns her to be careful. It’d be dangerous if they panic and move carelessly. She nods and calmly speeds up her pace, and they continue walking while only thinking about their steps… but soon they hear the knights shouting behind them. One of them commands that they shouldn’t let witch Fiona Galland escape with her cursed followers. Julian yells at them to stop, because the ground will collapse if they come with such violent footsteps. At the same time, a piece of the path crumbles behind them. One of the knights immediately orders the others to stop, while another one curses since they can’t go further.
Julian uses this chance to continue walking forward with Fiona, but the knights are still making a commotion behind them. A knight asks what they should do since the witch is escaping, and Fiona knows they won’t let her get away. They will surely do something, though she doesn’t know what it is. She’s scared, but she can’t stop walking. She can only move forward with Julian holding her hand, but soon an arrow flies right beside her face — the knights are shooting them from behind. Knowing that they’ll only get hit like archery targets, Fiona quickly informs Julian about this. They’re walking on a straight path right beside a cliff, and so there’s no place for them to hide. Upon hearing this, Julian silently slows down. Fiona wonders if there’s something wrong, but he only pushes her forward and turns to stand behind her — shielding her from the arrows.
Fiona panics for a moment, but Julian looks straight at the knights and exhales deeply. The next second, his voice turns low and dangerous as he asks “Who do you think you’re aiming your bows at!?” Fiona is utterly surprised. Right now, the Julian who’s standing before her resembles Mejojo a lot. The knights are shocked by the tone in his voice, but he continues: “My name is Julian von Garibaldi! I am the heir to the throne! By pointing your bows at me, you are showing rebellion against the royal family!” Most of the knights fall into silence, but one of them warns the others not to get deceived. He points out that Julian is only a gardener, but he flinches in fear when Julian shouts “Silence, you lout!” … Σ(ﾟ A ﾟ ) His voice is clearly echoing through the tense air around them. This Fiona’s first time hearing such a voice from Julian. The soft, gentle tone he usually speaks in feels like a lie. Up until now she never really thought about how he’s related by blood to Mejojo and Auger, but even if they have different mothers… he’s still their brother. The way he’s haughtily standing right now resembles them a lot.
Under Julian’s pressure, the knights are lowering their bows. They know. Their instincts are telling them that Julian is really a prince. Julian only responds with “…hmph. Let’s go.” as he gives the knights a cold stare, as if they’re worthless insects, and then he turns around. The mask he’s putting on nearly falls off when his eyes meet Fiona’s, so she cheers him on in her heart. The knights can only see his back right now, but they can’t drop the act here. They only have a little more to go. Julian quietly exhales, and he starts walking in majestic, proud steps — showing the characteristic of a king. He makes it as if it’s only obvious for him to escort Fiona through the path, but suddenly, they hear someone laughing behind them. A familiar voice says he just saw something interesting. Both Fiona and Julian are startled. It’s the voice they don’t want to hear the most.
Slowly, Fiona and Julian turn around towards the voice behind them. The voice that sounds as if the owner is having so much fun. Just as they expected, Auger is now standing among the knights, with an unpleasant smile on his face. Fiona is shocked, and she asks why he’s here. It’s understandable for the knights, but she doesn’t get why Auger would be in a remote area like this. Auger smiles, saying he’s obviously here to chase after them. Since the castle in Scharlmessen was empty, he thought they must be planning to run out of the kingdom. That’s why he strengthened the defense around the border, though it was luck that brought him here today. Or so he says. If it’s a matter of luck, then Fiona and her companions are terribly unlucky. There are a lot of paths leading out of the kingdom, but they picked the one that comes with Auger. He then adds that only the knights are guarding the other routes, while he wanders from one place to another — he’s so lucky to meet them here. Auger is giving them a friendly smile that looks absolutely harmless, but Fiona and Julian remain silent. Julian’s hand, which is still tightly holding onto Fiona’s, is shivering.
Still grinning, Auger asks what they just did earlier. Was that an imitation of Mejojo? He laughs saying it was interesting, and he praises Julian for learning a new trick. Julian tries to deny this with a hoarse, shaky voice that’s completely different from the charismatic tone he used earlier. Auger tells Julian to speak up since he can’t hear it, but Julian is only trembling in silence. Auger says he knows Julian is doing his best to act tough, but even though it was really interesting… he finds it disgusting. It must be a joke for someone like Julian to impersonate Mejojo, and Auger tells him to know his place. Then he laughs, asking if Julian wants to kill his brother and take the throne. His laugh is mocking and malicious, filled with the intentions of hurting Julian. Through their joined hands, Fiona can feel Julian’s body shivering. She squeezes his hand, trying to tell him that it will be alright, but he doesn’t return it.
Auger then takes it further. He points out to how Julian calls the knights earlier, and he says “The lout is you, right? You tried to kill my brother, lost your right of succession and fell so low into a filthy gardener.” Auger reminds Julian that the people he insulted earlier are fine knights. They work for him and Mejojo. They have rank. They’re not children that someone like Julian can look down upon. Fiona can feel Julian’s hand losing strength, and eventually he stops trembling. He’s just standing silently with an empty stare — like an empty puppet with no soul. Realizing what’s going on, Fiona calls out Julian’s name. She asks him to get a hold of himself, but his eyes have turned lifeless. They’re like a pair of hollow glass beads, looking straight at Auger. No matter how many times she calls his name, he doesn’t turn to look at her.
On the other side of the path, Nesso and Zara start calling out to Julian as well… but he doesn’t react. Earlier Julian was holding Fiona’s hand so tightly it hurts, but now his strength is completely gone. Ignoring Fiona’s attempt to bring him back, Auger laughs saying Julian is a good kid. Julian is his toy, so Julian has to listen to everything he says. Auger then asks if he prefers to be punished instead, and Julian quietly answers “… N… No… I… don’t want to be… punished… Forgive me. Forgive me please. Please forgive me.” Fiona begs him to open his eyes, telling him that he’s got her — she’s right here by his side. During their journey, she has seen different sides of him. She learned things about him that she never knew before. She thought the distance between them has grown closer, and yet he’s leaving her again. He’s breaking down again. Pain is crushing Fiona’s chest, and frustration brings heat to her throat. She wants to cry. She thought that Julian has slowly regained himself during his journey with them, but Auger destroys everything they built in an instant. Once again, Auger has broken Julian.
Auger grins saying punishments are indeed scary and painful, mentioning that Julian hates to be punished. Julian responds by asking Auger to praise him. To accept him. To forgive him. Auger nods and says he’ll give Julian an order. If he follows the order, there will be no punishment. Auger comments that he’s such a kind person, to which Julian answers with “Yes, Prince Auger is truly kind and wonderful. Thank you for being so kind to a helpless rubbish like me.” Then he goes on about how he’s just a trash, a gardener. His life has no value, and he causes them trouble just by staying alive. When Julian repeatedly says that he’s a trash, Auger smirks saying he finally learned his place. Fiona is horrified by the sight. Each time he exchanges words with Auger, Julian is turning more and more broken. He’s turning into someone she doesn’t know.
As for the order, Auger tells Julian to bring Fiona over. Julian gladly accepts the order, and strength returns to his hand… but this is exactly the opposite of what Fiona is wishing for. Nesso and Zara are asking him to stop, but Julian ignores them and drags Fiona back to where they came from. Auger grins saying Julian is a good kid, and that he loves toys who listen to him. He then calls Julian to come over, promising to give him lots of praises and affection. Julian smiles as he asks Auger to praise him, to accept him and to forgive him. Fiona desperately asks Julian to let go, but despite her attempt to resist, she can’t win against his power. He continues dragging her, and she wonders why he became like this. As despair flows out of her heart, Fiona starts crying. Then Julian suddenly stops, confusing both Fiona and Auger. When she looks up, Fiona finds Julian looking back at her with his broad eyes. They’re hollow, as if he’s not thinking of anything. They’re like glass beads. But he stopped.
Fiona then asks Julian to be free together. She tells him that he shouldn’t return to Auger’s place, because none of them would be happy. She calls his name once again, asking him to come with her. At first Julian is still expressionless, but soon his eyelashes start shaking… and when he finally whispers Fiona’s name, light returns to his eyes. She squeezes his hand, and he returns the grip weakly. While Auger stares in surprise, Fiona’s tears are running down her cheeks. Julian has returned. He has escaped from Auger’s curse. Julian then opens his mouth, and he raises his hoarse voice. He squeezes Fiona’s hand tightly, and she returns it with an equally powerful grip. Then finally, Julian tells Auger “I’m no longer your toy…!” — which obviously pisses him off. A lot. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Julian then turns to Fiona saying they should go. He apologizes for giving her such a scary experience, but she doesn’t mind. As long as he stays as himself, she will be happy. Julian says he feels happy too, and it’s all thanks to Fiona. She’s the one who brought him back.
Meanwhile, Auger is screaming in rage. He yells at them not to mess with him, since they’re doing whatever they want with his toy. Ignoring Auger, Julian and Fiona turn around to cross the path together. They walk towards the cape on the other side, where Nesso and Zara are waiting for them. When they finally make it to the end of the path, Julian is free from Auger’s curse — the curse that’s been torturing him for too long. From there, they safely meet up with Edgar. Pearl and Richie are safe too, and they start a new life together in a new environment.
One day, Julian finds Fiona thinking alone in the living room. He asks her what’s wrong because she has a difficult expression, and she answers that she’s wondering about what to do from now on. Upon hearing this, Julian’s face immediately turns sad. He says that’s for him to think about, and so Fiona doesn’t have to worry… but she refuses. She can’t just do nothing forever. After moving to a new land, everyone starts their new lives. As a former royal knight, Nesso is seeking a job that requires his swordskills. Zara’s knowledge in pharmacy helps him in gaining income. Edgar, as a former Earl in Weblin, receives many invitations to teach the local nobles as a tutor. Everyone is moving on with their new lives, but Fiona still can’t take the first step in this new country. The same goes for Julian. Both of them sigh as they exchange looks.
Even if they had to start over from scratch, Edgar actually took a lot of things when he left Weblin. They can live a good life thanks to him, but Fiona knows they can’t rely on her father’s wealth forever. Of course both Nesso and Zara are completely against the idea of her working, because she’s a Lobeira. They’re afraid that she might catch an unknown disease in this new land. She actually feels grateful for their concern, but she’s no longer the daughter of an earl. She can’t stay at home and act like a noble lady forever, but she doesn’t know what to do. If she accepts all kinds of jobs, she should be able to find one in no time. The problem is if she falls sick, her family will blame themselves for it. In order to save her, they threw away their kingdom and everything they had in it. She doesn’t want them to regret that. She doesn’t want them to think that she falls sick because they moved into this new country. That’s why she needs to look for a job that she can do without forcing herself too hard, though she’s not sure if such a nice job exists.
At the same time, Julian is holding a similar problem. Basically, Fiona and Julian are similar. She didn’t know about the outside world because she was raised in a tower, while he was born and brought up as the first prince of the kingdom. After losing his right of succession, he was confined in the hanging garden. Both of them know pretty much nothing about the outside world. It didn’t take long until Nesso and Zara blended in with the people of this country, but Fiona and Julian are still stuck at the starting point. After letting out a heavy sigh, Julian leans forward and puts his head on the table. When Fiona says he doesn’t have to hurry, he points out that she’s contradicting herself. She answers that she’s pampering him, since he’s always so hard on himself, but he pouts and asks her not to spoil him any further. She reminds him that everyone is telling him not to force himself, so he can take his time to search for a job he wants to do… but he sighs and asks if she’s telling him to rely on their support in the meantime.
Fiona says she’s in the same position, but Julian replies that she’s a girl. She returns the argument by saying that he’s a former prince, and she combs through his black hair with her fingers. His ears tremble when she touches them. Fiona thinks it’s cute, but then Julian opens his eyes saying “I don’t want this.” She asks what he means by that, he pouts and turns silent. It seems like he wants to say something, but he can’t put it into words. Or maybe he’s reluctant. When Fiona asks him what’s wrong, Julian gets up and looks straight at her. He tells her that he might be a pathetic man who can’t find a job at this age, though she points out that it’s a really faulty expression. It’s not something he should say, since he spent his life in confinement after losing his right of succession… but then she wonders what’s happening. Julian values himself really low thanks to how Auger treated him. It’s not unusual for him to insult himself like this, but he looks so determined right now. Still looking straight at Fiona, Julian then adds “…I want to be able to support you.”
Fiona’s eyes widen in surprise, and she wonders if Julian means it that way. She can feel her cheeks burning as she looks back at him. Julian says that he can’t promise to give Fiona a luxurious life like the one she used to have, but he wants to be a man who can give her a happy life — a life in which she doesn’t have to force herself to work. Julian then holds Fiona’s hand, and he leans closer to ask “I’m still pathetic and jobless, but will you walk together with me from now on?” She nods saying they’re free now, so she doesn’t mind even if takes time. As long as they can walk on their own feet, she wants to stay with him. Julian’s voice shakes as he thanks Fiona. The two of them just escaped from their cages. They’re still trying to find their direction in the free world that lies endlessly before them, but…
Fiona squeezes Julian’s hand. If he’s with her, she feels that they can support each other — they can keep walking on. Julian then kisses Fiona, whispering that they will always be together.
While dragging Fiona back to Auger’s place, Julian keeps repeating the words “I am Prince Auger’s toy.” She begs him to stop and tries to resist, but she can’t win against his strength. His eyes are empty, and he’s not thinking about what will happen to her after this. Fiona is terrified. She screams out that this isn’t the Julian she knows, and she pushes him away with all her strength. He blinks in surprise for a moment, then he lets go of her hand. The next second, the ground under their feet crumbles. Julian, who was walking beside the cliff, is thrown into the air. He lets out a small gasp which sounds like a mix between shock and acceptance. When he blinks in disbelief, Fiona recognizes him as the Julian she knows… but he’s disappearing from her sight. It’s like everything moves in slow motion, until he’s finally gone.
Fiona screams out. She pushed Julian. She killed him. She has killed Julian. Once again, Fiona screams out — so much that she thinks blood might come out of her throat. Fiona knows time won’t turn back even if she screams, but she can’t help it. Her mind will burst if she doesn’t scream. At the same time, Auger bursts into laughter. He says they’re the best, and what just happened was truly entertaining. He didn’t expect that she would kill Julian, and he’d to show it to Mejojo if he could. Auger’s laughter is blending into Fiona’s scream. Nesso and Zara are calling Fiona to come to them, but she doesn’t move. They’re only separated by a short distance, but she can’t move anymore. Her hand is empty. She’s not holding anyone’s hand, and no one is holding onto hers. She can’t move. Julian has fallen. Julian is gone. Fiona has lost all strength from her feet, and she can only sit on the ground.
From the corner of her eyes, Fiona can see Nesso coming towards her. On the other side, Auger orders the knights to bring her over… and they reach her before Nesso does. The knights pull her arms and drag her to Auger’s place, while Nesso and Zara are screaming out her name. She can hear their voices from afar, while Auger laughs saying they can escape without her. He’s going to take a good care of Fiona, though he thinks she’s already broken. She wonders who he’s referring to. Is it her? As the knights continue dragging her, she can hear Nesso and Zara screaming her name. The distance isn’t that far and she can hear their voices, but nothing enters her head. She doesn’t care anymore. She doesn’t care about what will happen. The only thing that’s certain is the fact that she killed Julian with her own hands.
Fiona’s tears flow out as she calls Julian’s name in her heart. In his last moments, his eyes were like a pair of broken glass beads. Those eyes are eternally burned into her mind, and they never disappeared.
Julian’s true end happens in the cats’ path, so Fiona returns to the royal palace with him — hoping they can save the kingdom. When Julian tries to convince the twins to reconcile with the wolves, Fiona notices Auger slipping his hand into his pocket. She has no idea what he’s planning to do, but she has a very bad feeling about this — she needs to stop him. Fiona quickly yells at Auger to stop, and Julian turns pale upon noticing what Auger is planning to do. At the same time, Auger smiles saying it’s such a shame they noticed. He takes out a jet black dagger from his pocket and shows it to them, admitting that he was planning to kill Julian by surprise. Fiona is horrified upon thinking about what would happen if she didn’t stop him.
From the throne, Mejojo laughs saying this is interesting. He wouldn’t care even if Auger killed Julian, but he noticed that Fiona and Julian are sharing an intimate relationship. Auger also noticed this from the way she stopped him earlier, since she must have done so out of her love for Julian. Noticing that Fiona is confused, Auger asks if she didn’t think that he might turn to kill her instead. Julian tries to help by saying that she was only trying to save him, but Auger knocks him down — pointing out that he doesn’t like it. Fiona belongs to his brother, and someone like Julian isn’t allowed to protect her. Auger then starts kicking Julian with all his strength, and Julian cries in pain as he curls up on the ground. Fiona panics. What should she do? Auger is using violence on Julian because Fiona protected him. If she stops Auger again, wouldn’t it be the same as adding fuel to the fire? Auger laughs and asks if he can kick Julian to death, to which Mejojo says he doesn’t mind. Julian is just their toy, and Mejojo was thinking of disposing him anyway.
Turning to Julian, Auger grins saying he’s no longer needed — even as a toy. When Auger kicks Julian again, Fiona can’t bring herself to stop him. If she stops Auger, would he do even more cruel things to Julian? She doesn’t know what to do, and her gaze flies everywhere before eventually meeting Mejojo’s. He’s watching them quietly with an amused smile, and that’s when she realizes their intention. After seeing how close she is to Julian, they’re forcing her to watch him die without helping. They’re expecting her to abandon him for her own safety. Fiona can’t bear the thought, and so she finally yells at them to stop — hoping they’ll target her next. She throws herself to shield Julian from Auger, begging them to stop before he dies. Julian tries to move Fiona out of the way, asking her to stop with a weak voice, but she refuses.
Upon seeing this, Auger smirks and asks if Fiona is willing to replace Julian as their toy. Beside him, Mejojo laughs asking if she wants to be played around by them. He says she’s weird, and he decides that she can receive Julian’s share of punishment as his replacement. Auger chuckles and asks if Fiona loves pain, since she’s willingly asking to be punished. Fiona doesn’t answer. They’re looking down on her, and she knows they’re trying to scare her. It’s similar to how real cats kill their prey just to have fun, not to eat them. Mejojo and Auger are trying to corner her with mental pressure, and she knows it — that’s why she keeps her lips shut. Mejojo comments that Fiona is pretty tough, and he’s curious about how long she can last. First, they have to start by washing and purifying her body since she went to see the filthy wolves… and after that, she can tell them about the location of the wolves’ hideout.
As Mejojo says this, Auger grabs Fiona’s wrists and drags her through the hallway. She doesn’t know where he’s taking her, and she doesn’t know what they’re going to do. She feels scared, but she feels a bit relieved because she’s not alone. Julian is also being dragged beside her, whispering that she’ll be alright. When she gives him a questioning look, he says the one who’s going to get tortured will be him. Fiona’s eyes widen in shock, but Julian only adds “…I think you’ll see a pathetic side of me, but… please don’t scorn me.” The truth is he doesn’t want her to see it, but they don’t have a choice. Fiona looks straight at Julian as she shakes her head, because she would never scorn him. She knows Mejojo and Auger are going to break him again, and the only thing she can do is to watch everything.
Fiona is surprised when the chain on her wrists is pulled forward, and Auger laughs asking why the two of them are having a fun chat by themselves — they have to let him and Mejojo in too. Mejojo grins and asks if they’re trying to make him jealous, and he says Fiona is a bad, bad girl. She has to be punished just in case. Ignoring her attempt to protest, the twins keep laughing while dragging them along. Mejojo also mentions that he prepared a beautiful hanging garden just for Fiona, but she didn’t seem to like it since she ran away. He apologizes for not understanding her taste, and he promises that she’ll love her new room. Here, Fiona realizes that they’re not heading towards the garden… and there’s no one nearby. It’s only them walking in this hallway, and she feels scared upon thinking about where it leads to. Especially when Mejojo and Auger say it’s their favorite room. Mejojo then turns to Julian, gently saying that he should know this hallway really well. Julian flinches in fear, and the next second, realization hits Fiona.
They’re going to the room where they used to torture Julian. The room where they broke him. They’re going to break him again — in the same place. Fiona doesn’t have the courage to rebel against Mejojo and Auger, but even so… her feet stop walking. Auger grins as he asks her what’s wrong, and he says it can’t be helped since she doesn’t seem to like being treated nicely. Mejojo tells Fiona not to be selfish, since this is the result she’s been asking for. She needs to accept it obediently. In contrary to Mejojo’s gentle voice, Auger roughly pulls Fiona’s arm and drags her along — telling her not to trouble them so much. Fiona prays for someone to come and save her, but her prayer never reached anyone. Their destination turns out to be the dark and humid underground research chamber, which Auger proudly announces as their secret laboratory. Based on Mejojo’s wish, Auger then ties Fiona onto the ceiling and lifts her up. Her body is hanging in the air, and her toes barely touch the ground. It’s the most painful position.
Meanwhile, Julian is watching this happen with a dumbfounded expression. It’s only until when Fiona has been hanged that he finally opens his mouth, asking why they’re doing this to her. It’s supposed to be him. They’re supposed to torture him — not her. The moment she hears Julian’s words, Fiona suddenly realizes what’s going on. They misunderstood everything. Right from the beginning, they thought that Julian will be the one to receive the punishment. They thought the twins will break him… and they were wrong. The twins have been planning to torture Fiona all along. Fiona instantly turns pale, while Julian begs them not to hurt her — asking them to punish him instead. Mejojo coldly tells him to shut up, and Auger adds that he’ll only be watching for today. They’ll play with him later, if they feel like it. Julian desperately pleads them not to do anything cruel to Fiona — saying he’ll play with them in her place — but Auger shoves him away and locks his chain onto the wall. However, Julian keeps protesting while pulling the chains… so Auger kicks him down and pins him to the floor.
Fiona gasps out Julian’s name, and she can hear him saying “please… stop…” as the reply. Since Julian is that desperate to stop them, Fiona feels extremely terrified upon thinking about what kind of cruel things they’ll do to her. She doesn’t want to show her fear, but when Mejojo steps forward in front of her, her shoulders begin trembling. Mejojo grins asking if she’s frightened, and Fiona answers by asking him to let go — which, of course, doesn’t happen. Instead, he points out that it seems like she doesn’t know her place. Fiona is no longer a daughter of an earl. Her family — her father and brother — have thrown their title away when they left the kingdom. She has nothing left. She’s just a worthless little girl, and yet she’s speaking as if she’s in an equal position to them. When Fiona starts crying, Auger asks Mejojo to give her a chance. She can atone for her crime through a punishment, and she can choose to receive it from one of them.
Fiona chooses Mejojo. Auger tried to kill Julian right in front of her eyes. If she didn’t stop him, Julian would be dead by now. She feels incredibly terrified to get a punishment from such a person, and so she took the other option — thinking that Mejojo would give a better, more suitable punishment. Mejojo is delighted to be chosen, and he goes to grab a whip from the wall. On the other side of the room, Julian begs Mejojo to whip him instead… but Auger kicks him again. He says Mejojo is busy playing with Fiona right now, so Julian should be quiet. Despite the pain, Julian continues clinging onto Auger — pleading for Fiona’s safety. Fiona is surprised, but the sight only strengthens her determination. She’s ready to take a punishment in Julian’s place. That’s why she protected him to begin with, and everything would be meaningless if she gets scared and seeks for help — it will only hurt Julian. She has decided to protect him, and she needs to be prepared. Fiona tells herself that she’s fine, gritting her teeth to stop her body from shivering. Auger is amused to see this, because he knows it’d be interesting to see her breaking down later.
Based on Auger’s suggestion, Mejojo whips Fiona really hard right from the start. The whip leaves a painful, burning sensation on her back, and her body twirls around with each hit. Mejojo and Auger enter her sight in turns, and she can also see the chained Julian — who’s watching her with a blank expression — from the corner of her eyes. After taking a hit on the stomach, Fiona completely loses her willpower. She doesn’t care anymore even if Julian is watching. She only wants to escape from the pain. In the end Fiona is forced to call Mejojo formally, which then becomes the proof that she has succumbed to his power. When Mejojo orders Fiona to never leave him again, she has no choice but to obey… while Julian remains pale, silently looking at her from the corner. After what just happened, Fiona finally understands why Julian asked her not to scorn him. With her heart shattered, betrayed by everything she had and believed in, she knows how disgraceful and pathetic she looks right now… but even so, she doesn’t want to suffer any further. She doesn’t want to feel fear, pain and heartbreak anymore.
After shattering Fiona’s heart into pieces, Mejojo and Auger brand their crest onto her nape — engraving a proof that she’s their possession. Fiona can’t stop her tears due to the pain, but then she notices that Julian is still looking at her. His breath is trembling, and his eyes are hiding a heat she doesn’t quite understand.
It doesn’t take long until the wolves learn about Fiona’s failure, and so Arles leads them to attack the palace — along with Nesso and Zara. Their plan soon reaches the ears of the twins, and Auger brings Fiona out of the underground prison just to inform her about this. When Auger comes to pick her up, Fiona notices that Julian is standing behind him. Ever since that day, Fiona’s and Julian’s paths are completely reversed. Julian has returned to his former position as their servant, while Fiona is chained and locked underground like a pet. Right now she’s curling up on the ground, and he doesn’t avert his gaze away from her — he’s looking straight at her. Obviously the torture she received from Mejojo and Auger are painful, but what Fiona can’t stand the most is actually Julian’s eyes. Whenever her weakness and disgraceful side are being exposed, he always looks straight at her. In her heart, she wonders why he’s looking at her in such a way. It’s not hatred nor sympathy. He’s just looking at her with his dark-colored eyes, as if he’s trying to burn her image into his mind. Fiona wonders what Julian is thinking after seeing her in such a terrible state, but he doesn’t answer. He’s only staring straight at her.
Auger then brings Fiona to the throne room, and Julian continues watching her along the way. Before they enter, Auger whispers something to Julian — who then leaves them to go somewhere. This causes Fiona to feel lonely, but at the same time, she also feels relieved. This way he won’t see her when she break down in front of the twins. Upon entering the throne room, Fiona is welcomed by a happy Mejojo on the throne. He tells her that the wolves are planning to attack the palace soon, and a familiar human man and rabbit man were spotted among the wolves. Fiona gapes in shock upon realizing who Mejojo are referring to, and she starts pleading for their lives. Even when the twins refuse and keep insulting her, looking down on her, she doesn’t give up. Just then Fiona notices Julian entering the throne room, pushing a cart with a tea set on it. It seems like Mejojo and Auger asked him to do it, though she wished he’d never come. The fact that Julian saw her crying, pathetically bowing her head to the twins, hurts Fiona’s heart.
Upon seeing the tea set, Auger suddenly gets a nice idea. Or at least that’s what he says, since it’s obviously a lie. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ He asks Fiona to show her cute, miserable side, and he adds that he might spare Nesso and Zara’s lives if she does that. Auger smiles as he pours the tea into one of the cups, then he spills it onto the floor and tells Fiona to drink it. From the floor. (╯ﾟ□ﾟ)╯︵ ┻━┻ Mejojo laughs saying he was wondering why Auger ordered for tea, but this is quite an interesting idea. Then he turns to Fiona, asking what she’s going to do. If she indecently sip the tea off the floor, she might be able to save Nesso and Zara. She knows it’s a lie. They’re just trying to give her false hope, because even if she gives up on her dignity, it’s impossible for them to forgive Nesso and Zara. No matter what she does, Mejojo and Auger are going to kill those two. She knows, but she ends up kneeling anyway — though she can’t bring herself to kiss the floor. While she’s shivering on the ground, Fiona can feel Julian pouring more tea for Mejojo and Auger.
Once again, Fiona reminds herself that Nesso and Zara won’t be saved. She knows, but she can’t give up on the very slim chance to save them. As she lowers her face to the floor, Fiona hesitates for a moment. Even if the royal palace is sparkling clean, the floor still has footprints from everyone’s shoes. Fiona closes her eyes and slowly bows down, but suddenly… she hears the sound of something heavy falling down. Something is happening, but she can’t seem to lift her head. If she makes them angry, Mejojo and Auger would do more cruel things to her. However, the next thing she hears is Mejojo gasping in pain — followed by the sound of the throne shaking. Then she hears Julian’s gentle voice asking her to lift her head, and she looks up to find a shocking sight in front of her. Auger has collapsed onto the floor. Mejojo is sliding down from the throne, clutching his chest in pain. In the middle of everything, only Julian is standing gracefully.
When Fiona asks what happened, Julian explains that he laced their tea with poison. He assures her that it won’t kill them though, and her shoulders start trembling when she caught herself thinking “why didn’t you kill them?” — as if it’s only obvious. Julian admits that he was thinking about killing them, but he has a lot of other things to consider. Fiona gives him a questioning look, but he only smiles at her. His voice is as gentle as usual, and his gaze is comforting her. It’s like he never changed, but… she can feel a strange, great aura from the current him. Holding back the pain, Mejojo asks what Julian is planning to do with Auger and him. Fiona gasps in fear, but Julian tells her it’s okay. Both Mejojo and Auger can speak since they’re conscious, but they won’t be able to move. Fiona nods, but she moves closer to Julian — avoiding Auger on the floor. Auger only laughs saying this is interesting, while Mejojo asks if he’s going to kill them both. They both grin saying Julian and Fiona are going to die too. They’ll become criminals for murdering the royal family.
Fiona is shocked. Mejojo and Auger are right. Even if they kill the twins here, they won’t be able to change Weblin. In fact, the kingdom might be thrown into chaos if their king dies. If they get captured after killing the twins, they only have execution waiting ahead. Fiona panics and asks Julian what to do, but he calmly smiles and hugs her shoulder — telling her that everything will be just fine. Then he orders “come in”, and a large number of soldiers rush into the throne room — shocking Mejojo and Auger. Fiona freezes in place thinking they’re here to capture her, but once again, Julian smiles saying it’ll be alright. She keeps flinching since she doesn’t know what’s going on, and he keeps patting her shoulder to calm her down. The soldiers don’t even look at them, as they head straight up to Mejojo and Auger — excusing themselves before lifting the twins off the ground. Auger tells that they won’t get away with this, but then Mejojo notices something. These soldiers are not the palace guards.
While Fiona is just as confused, Julian calmly explains that they are the private soldiers of Marquis Galland — Fiona’s uncle and Elvira’s father. Marquis Galland is the head of the main Galland family, and just when Fiona wonders why he would do something like this… Marquis Galland himself walks into the throne room, saying it’s too bad they have to meet under this situation. Fiona doesn’t really remember his face because they didn’t get much chance to meet before, but Marquis Galland resembles her father a lot. He has a tense expression, though it softens the moment he sees her. Then he apologizes for coming so late to help her. The gentle smile on Marquis Galland’s face reminds Fiona of her father, and she runs over to hug him. He wraps his strong arms around her, and he gently pats her back when she cries on his chest — assuring her that everything is already over. His voice is trembling too, and Fiona realizes that her uncle might be seeing Elvira in her too. After all, both Mejojo and Arles said that she resembles Elvira a lot.
Elvira moved to live in the royal palace as Mejojo’s fiancée. That’s also where she died, and Marquis Galland didn’t even know the truth. It happened 10 years ago, and all the blame was pinned onto Arles — who was then declared as dead. Marquis Galland lost his daughter without knowing what truly happened, and Fiona can only imagine how deep his sorrow would be. When Auger asks why Marquis Galland would do this to them, Julian answers that he explained the truth. He already told the Marquis about what really happened 10 years ago, as well as what they should do to cure Zodiva. Both Mejojo and Auger are shocked, especially when Julian asks if they ever thought that he would go against them. They never thought that a broken doll like him would act on his own will. Upon hearing this, Fiona thinks about how Mejojo and Auger controlled Julian with fear. Up until they escaped from the palace, he was an obedient existence who could never defy them. That’s why they underestimated him. They thought he can’t do anything, and so it’s okay to leave him alone… but that was a mistake. Julian is no longer a toy they can treat as they like. He moved in silence.
Marquis Galland says he will be taking back a member of his family, stating that Mejojo and Auger’s reign is over. Mejojo snarls asking who will claim the throne if he’s gone, and Julian calmly says he will. When Auger reminds him that he’s been disinherited, Julian replies that it’s true. He got disinherited, but the father who took his right of succession is no longer around — killed by them. Mejojo and Auger gasp in shock, and so does Fiona. She can’t believe they murdered their own father. When Mejojo insists that they have no proof, Fiona remains silent. His reaction is just like a proof, confirming that it’s really the truth. She remembers the first time she was brought to the palace. King Garibaldi VI was pushed by Mejojo and Auger’s suggestions, but he was kind to her. He assured her that they won’t do anything bad during her stay in the palace. Now that gentle king is gone — murdered by his own sons. Fiona wonders why they have to go that far. Even if they didn’t kill him, Mejojo would still raise to the throne. She can’t understand their methods, and they did the same thing to deal with her and the wolves.
She doesn’t understand, and she will never understand them. For eternity.
Similarly to Mejojo, Auger points out that they have no proof. Julian says that’s true, but the doctor who was in charge stated that King Garibaldi VI shouldn’t have died that suddenly. Plus, Mejojo and Auger were the only ones who came to nurse him — it happened in a closed room. Mejojo objects because they still don’t have a proof, but Julian says that’s not everything. Even if they don’t have any proof, all the nobles around Marquis Galland have refused to follow Mejojo and Auger as their king. Murdering their father, persecuting the wolves, and hiding the cure for Zodiva to justify their actions… they have gone too far. They’ve crushed Earl Galland’s family without any reason, only using people’s confusion over the witch rumor. The Marquis asks if they know how terrifying it is for the nobles, because they might lose their everything for no reason. All the nobles who were bound by fear have moved to support Prince Julian as their hope.
Mejojo is utterly shocked to hear how Marquis Galland addresses Julian, but the Marquis replies that Julian is the rightful heir to the throne — Mejojo and Auger are usurpers. Auger starts screaming that his brother is the king of this kingdom, but the Marquis only sighs and orders the soldiers to take them away. When the soldiers drag them out of the throne room, Mejojo growls at them to let go and asks if they don’t know who he is. Auger yells at the soldiers not to touch him, calling them lowly beings, but their voices grow distant as they get dragged out. Fiona then asks what will happen to the twins, and Julian says he’s not sure either. He will discuss that with everyone later, so they’re under arrest for now. After thanking the Marquis for saving her, Fiona asks if Julian is really going to take the throne — to which he says yes. There’s no one left to raise to the throne aside from Julian. Marquis Galland only told a limited amount of nobles about this, but those who already knew are supporting him. Even if it spreads to the public later on, nobody would refuse Julian as their king. The people of Weblin have been living in fear of Zodiva, and the nobles are no exceptions. If they find out that Mejojo and Auger were ignoring the disease on purpose, nobody would take their side.
On the other hand, Julian knows how to cure Zodiva and reconcile with the wolves. He can release Weblin from these deadly problems, and so nobody would oppose him. Once everything settles down to a certain extent, Marquis Galland is planning to reinstate Julian’s right of succession. The Galland Family is going to give Julian their full support. When Julian thanks him for everything, the Marquis also thanks Julian for telling him the truth. Thanks to Julian, the Marquis finally learned about what happened to his daughter 10 years ago. Fiona asks if everything is solved now, but Julian admits that he’s not sure. He doesn’t think everything will go that well. Besides, he’s not as good as Mejojo and Auger. Fiona tries to deny this, but Julian says it’s true. As a prince, he’s not as marvelous as the twins. That’s why he got disinherited, and also why the twins did whatever they wanted to him.
Julian then turns to Marquis Galland, admitting that he’s an immature prince. He will become an immature king as well, and he asks if the Marquis is willing to support him. Marquis Galland gladly replies that he will. The Galland family is his good friend, and the Marquis will serve him as a vassal. When Julian shakes hand with her uncle, Fiona smiles. He might not be as smart as Mejojo and Auger, but she knows he will be just fine. The nobles are going to support him, including Edgar and Nesso. Now that Mejojo and Auger already lost their authority, her family doesn’t need to leave the kingdom anymore — they can live in Weblin again.
Suddenly Fiona remembers about the wolves’ plan to storm the palace, and she tells Julian that they have to do something about that. She feels relieved after what just happened, but everything isn’t over yet since Arles is still heading towards the palace. However, Julian asks Fiona not to worry. He already did something to stop the wolves. Marquis Galland then explains that all the palace guards have been sent out, since they have to prove that they’re not wishing for war — the wolves wouldn’t stop otherwise. Right now it’s just the three of them in the palace. Fiona is surprised. She didn’t know that when she was dealing with Mejojo and Auger’s torture, Julian and the Marquis already did so much. She wonders how they did everything without getting noticed, and Julian says it’s because most people didn’t trust Mejojo and Auger. They mainly receive information directly from the CCK, so they can easily block the flow by suppressing the CCK — who are also arrested for now. Fiona actually feels bad for them, since the CCK took a good care of her in the garden. It might be naïve of her to think this way, but she doesn’t want them to receive a cruel punishment.
Back to the issue at hand, Julian says he wants to wait for Arles and the wolves to arrive at the palace gate. Marquis Galland thinks it’s a bit too dangerous, but Julian says they wouldn’t trust him if he doesn’t do that much. The Marquis is reluctant since Julian is their future king, and even more when Fiona says she’s going to wait with him. He wouldn’t know how to face Edgar if anything happens to her, but she assures him that everything will be okay. After all, she was the one who asked Arles to wait for them. When Fiona asks if she can go, Julian smiles saying he feels encouraged to have her with him. Julian holds out his hand, and Fiona firmly holds onto it. They were together when they escaped and returned, so they have to end everything together too. Marquis Galland sends them off as they walk towards the palace gate.
When the wolves reach the palace, they’re surprised to find the place open and empty. They only find Fiona and Julian in the center, standing together while holding hands. Eventually, Arles walks out of the pack with Nesso and Zara — who call her stupid and scold her for making them worry so much. They hug her so tight it hurts, but it also feels warm. Fiona is instantly taken over by her emotions. Tears are rising to her eyes and she apologizes to them. She didn’t think she’d seen them alive. Not too long ago, she was about to kiss the floor to beg for their lives. Fiona cries saying she didn’t think she can see them again, while Nesso and Zara repeatedly call her stupid… but they keep hugging her tightly. While Fiona is having her tearful reunion with them, Julian explains everything to Arles. Guillan is obviously disappointed, but Rath is glad they can avoid a useless war. When Guillan complains that he was ready for a massacre, Rath only replies with a sigh. Fiona feels bad for Guillan, but she’s also glad they can stop this war.
Then finally, Arles — who’s been listening in silence — opens his mouth. He wants to know what’s going to happen to Mejojo and Auger, so Julian explains that they’re no longer a part of the royal family. Most likely both of them will get disinherited. Their status will be removed, and they will be imprisoned in the palace. Arles turns silent, while Guillan says it’s too troublesome. They should just drag the twins to his place, so he can finish them in an instant. Rath agrees that imprisonment is too light for them, but Arles remains silent. Fiona wonders what happened, since Arles is the one who has the deepest grudge against them. His lover was killed. He was blamed for it. His race was judged and hunted down. After a long silence, Arles confirms if Mejojo and Auger will be imprisoned and have their status removed. When Julian says yes, Arles asks if it’s just like Julian himself in the past. Fiona is confused. It seems like Arles’ words hold a deeper meaning, and he’s looking straight at Julian with a strong light in his eyes. Julian is looking back at Arles, and he eventually answers: “Yes. Just like me in the past.”
Here, Fiona feels a strange sensation. Julian isn’t threatening anyone, but for some reason… his words send chills down her spine. On the other hand, Arles chuckles and orders the wolves to pull back. They have no more reason to fight — much to Guillan’s disappointment. Rath asks if it’s okay not to kill Mejojo and Auger, but Arles only says he doesn’t mind and takes the wolves away. Before leaving, he says the wolves will stay in Zanan. If Julian ever needs to contact them, he can send a messenger there. Julian says he understands. As the wolves leave the capital, Nesso wonders if they should go home too. Zara adds that it will take more time until everything settles down, but for now, he wants to rest back in their mansion. Fiona agrees since a lot of things has happened since she left the tower, but her expression turns dark when she thinks about going home… and she notices that Julian is glancing at her with a sad look.
When Fiona asks him what’s wrong, Julian turns red and looks at her — as if he wants to say something. He exhales and looks away, but she patiently waits until he can say it. Julian hesitates as he searches for words, but then he finally says: “Fiona, I need you…!! Will you stay with me from now on…!?” Fiona feels heat rising up to her cheeks. She can hear Nesso groaning in the background, while Zara only chuckles as he pats the poor guy’s shoulder. Their reaction is making Fiona feel even more embarrassed, but then Julian asks if she doesn’t want to. She thinks about how he was oppressed by Mejojo and Auger for so long, and his heart broke as the result… but in the end, he gained support from the nobles. Aside from saving her life, he also saved the future of Weblin.
When Fiona answers that she wants to stay with Julian as well, Nesso lets out a sad sigh behind them. Julian happily asks if she really means it, and Fiona says she does. She wants to be with him. She wants to be able to support him, even if it’s just for a bit. Julian blushes as he takes Fiona’s hand, deeply thanking her for the answer. Behind him, she can see Nesso letting out another sigh while Zara comforts him with a smile.
Meanwhile, Guillan asks why Arles didn’t kill Mejojo and Auger. Rath can’t accept this either since they could ask for it and have their request fulfilled. However, Arles then asks if they didn’t listen to what Julian said. He clearly told them: “Just like me in the past.” Rath immediately understands what it means, though Guillan is completely lost. When Guillan asks him to explain, Arles says those two will have to face something which is more painful than death — that’s what it means. Then he orders them to keep moving. Guillan reluctantly obeys, while Rath follows them with a dumbfounded expression.
A few days after that, Edgar returns to Scharlmessen with Pearl and Richie. News about the preventive and cure for Zodiva are spreading, gradually erasing the rumor about the witch from the area. Nesso and Zara told Fiona that in just a little while, Scharlmessen will be back to normal. As for her own life…
Fiona wonders why Julian is so late, and she gazes at the scenery outside. She has decided to remain in the royal palace to support him, and so she returned to her house in the hanging garden. The place holds a lot of scary memories, but it’s also the place where they first met. It’s a place he’s been taking care of for a long time, and he continues spending most of his time there. Julian has to work in the palace as the new king of Weblin, but he spends his spare time in the garden with Fiona. They view the flowers together as they have tea, and they also take care of the flowers together. Their days are peaceful and relaxing, so much that the days they spent in fear — the days where they could die anytime — seem like a lie. She never thought she’d be able to spend such a peaceful life in the palace.
When Fiona wonders out loud about Julian, a maid answers that he has left his office. Another maid offers to check the palace for her, but Fiona says it’s okay. Julian probably got caught by someone and is talking to them somewhere. Whenever Julian is away, the maids take care of Fiona and keep her company. She’s not confined to the garden like before, but she doesn’t feel like entering the palace too much. After everything that happened to her, it seems like she has grown to dislike the palace. She’s already satisfied with her time in the garden, where she can gaze at the scenery as she waits for Julian. Soon Fiona hears some footsteps, and the maids exchange smiles as they stand up. When Julian comes, they’re going to return to the palace. They’re giving time for Julian and Fiona to be alone.
The next moment, Julian enters the room and tells Fiona he’s home. When she asks about his day, he says it was okay. Somehow he managed to do his job as the king, with the help of Marquis Galland and everyone else supporting him. He wouldn’t be able to do everything alone. The maids politely welcome him back, and they teasingly mention that a certain someone was impatiently waiting for him. The maids ask them to enjoy their time, and Fiona blushes as they leave the garden while giggling. While it’s true that she was waiting for Julian, she feels embarrassed to have it revealed in front of him. Julian apologizes and asks if he kept Fiona waiting, but she tells him it’s okay. She knows he has work, so she can’t be selfish. However, Julian answers with: “It’s okay… If it’s you, I’m happy even if you’re being selfish.” Fiona turns red again upon hearing this, and he jokingly points out that she’s blushing.
Julian laughs when Fiona pouts, and he walks towards the kitchen. After working as a gardener for so long, he prefers doing things by himself rather than being served. Fiona offers to make the tea for him, but Julian says he loves making tea — pointing out that she loves the tea he makes too. When she reluctantly admits it, he smiles and asks her to sit down. For a moment Fiona wonders if it’s okay for the king to make tea for her, but she gives up upon seeing Julian’s smile — he looks so happy. As she waits for the tea, Fiona then asks if Julian dropped by somewhere on the way to the garden. He seems surprised, so she explains that he came later than usual. She heard that he already left his office, and so she was wondering what took him so long. Julian still looks surprised, but then he answers: “Ah, that… I was caught by a noble in the hallway.” They’ve finally gained the wolves’ cooperation to do further research on Zodiva, so the noble had some questions about that. Fiona happily asks if they can finally do a full-scale research now, and Julian smiles saying they can finally do it. His smile is gentle and filled with satisfaction. While Fiona, Julian, Nesso and Zara reached an immediate understanding with the wolves, it’ll take a little more time for the whole kingdom to reconcile with them. It’s the scar that Mejojo and Auger had engraved on Weblin for 10 years.
After pouring the tea, Julian hands a cup to Fiona. She happily accepts it, but then she notices something. There’s a stain on the cuff of his sleeve. It looks like black water dripped onto it. Somehow she feels like she just saw something terrible, and so she averts her gaze.
The stain looks like a bloodstain.
Fiona knows she’s thinking of something terrible, and she forces herself not to think about it. When Julian asks if there’s something wrong, she smiles and shakes her head. She accepts the teacup from him, saying she just remembered a scary story she heard from the maids — the seven wonders of the royal palace. He gets curious and asks her to tell him too, but she refuses since it’s scary. She regrets hearing the story, and she wants to forget it as soon as possible. Julian chuckles saying that’s too bad then, but he doesn’t sound disappointed. When he sips tea from his cup, Fiona thinks about how she really regrets hearing the story.
Back then, one of the maids said a lot of scary rumors are floating around the royal palace. The other maid reminded her not to bring it up in front of Fiona, and the first maid apologized… but Fiona got curious after hearing that much. If such a rumor can float around, it must be because the palace is so peaceful now. She excitedly asked the maids to tell her about this rumor, and they asked if she knows about the underground prison — the room used by Mejojo and Auger to torture the wolves. The room is completely locked and no one is allowed to enter, but they can hear voices from the inside — groaning, crying, begging for someone to let them out. Fiona turned pale upon hearing this, and the maid immediately apologized for sharing this story with her… but she said it’s okay.
Back in the present, Fiona tells herself that it was just a rumor. She closes her eyes and sips her tea, tasting the warmth and the comfortable sweet scent. When she says it’s delicious, Julian smiles saying he’s glad to hear that. Fiona is living in a beautiful garden, with the gentle Julian beside her. She feels happy. That’s why she doesn’t want to think of anything that could destroy her happiness. The black stain on Julian’s cuff. The blank time gap after Julian left his office. The voices from the locked underground prison. The whereabouts of Mejojo and Auger. She heard that Mejojo and Auger are imprisoned somewhere in the palace, but she has no idea where they are — she’s too afraid to find out. That’s why she closes her eyes, only seeing the things she wants to see. She knows it’s unfair, but still… Noticing the look on Fiona’s face, Julian gently asks her what’s wrong. She tells him it’s nothing, and the two of them peacefully smile as they exchange looks.
When Fiona draws closer to Julian, she closes her eyes to the faint scent of blood.
…and then he laughs.
Good Lord, I just can’t express how creepy that laughter at the end was. ｳｿ━━Σ(-｀Д´-;)━━ﾝ!! His voice is so gentle and soft, but THAT LAUGHTER was incredibly terrifying. That aside, I love Julian a lot. He might be broken, but he does his best to recover and improve for Fiona’s sake. Their romance is 100% normal, even though both of them grew up sheltered from the outside world. Or maybe it’s normal because they were sheltered? Considering there are people like Mejojo and Auger out there? Σ(´∀`lll) Speaking of the twins, even though they were terrible… I actually feel sorry for them in the true end. It’s heavily implied that Julian is torturing them underground, just like what they did to him in the past. Maybe they do deserve it, but the twins had a harsh past too. It’s like an endless revenge circle. Julian was a victim of their revenge, and they end up receiving his revenge (for Fiona) in return.
It’s also ironic that while Julian used to love Mejojo and Auger, what he did in the end is pretty much similar to what Rayleigh did to them. The difference is that Julian has a good reason to do it, while his mother did it out of jealousy. Despite what he said, I do think Julian will become a good king — just a different kind from how Mejojo was. Anyway, I’m pretty much satisfied with Julian’s route. I can’t help but feel that this game is messing up my senses though. Romantic scenes actually make me feel weird, even though BWS is an otome game. Or at least that’s what Rejet says. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧