When I felt the claws of the huge bird on the skin my head, the White Deer King suddenly raised its head up and roared. The huge bird in the sky reacted as though something hit it, causing it to wobble and almost crash into the ground. It flapped its wings with fear desperately to try to fly back up. The White Deer King whipped its head, and then looked at the bird again. The bird cawed with terror and swiftly fled similarly to a moth being driven away.
The White Deer King shook its head, ignoring my surprise as though the creatures were the same as insignificant flies and mosquitoes that annoyed humans.
I patted its head then quickly grabbed Philes by his belt. His body jerked vigorously. His eyes moved a little. He desperately tried to look at me. I pulled him up. Tanya, who was in front of me, then grabbed him. Philes had a shocking hole in his chest made by the grim reaper’s scythe. A huge amount of leaking blood drained Philes of his life force.
“Philes, Philes, hang in there! Hang in there! We’re heading back now! We’re heading back now!!”
I took my scarf off and pressed it on his wound. The huge amount of blood instantly soaked my scarf, turning it bright red. Tanya pressed her hands down firmly on his wound. Philes struggled around to grab my arm. He trembled as he raised his head up to look at me.
“Don’t speak. Don’t speak. Philes, these won’t be your last words. You have a future. You still have a future. You’ll be fine. Just hang in there. You can say whatever you want once you’ve recovered! Philes, believe me. Philes, believe me!!”
I kicked the White Deer King. The White Deer King ran to the rear at full pelt. I was now gladder than words could do justice that I changed my steed. Philes grabbed onto my arm tightly. He looked at me and spoke with difficulty, “I… I… do not regret it… Your…”
He struggled. He looked at me and spoke as if he had no strength. His clear and somewhat cute face that I often mistook and teased was now covered in blood. I looked at him. I saw the reflection of my face in his eyes. He gripped my arm tightly. His arms gradually weakened as though his trembles were leaking out his energy. He coughed out a mouthful of blood and gradually relaxed.
Tanya pressed down on his wound with all her might. My scarf got so heavy from all his blood that it couldn’t flutter in the winds.
“Don’t say that sort of stuff! Don’t say that sort of stuff! I order you!! Philes! Philes! You’ll be fine You’ll be fine!!”
Our camp was right ahead. We had retreated. The huge birds behind us were afraid of the White Deer King’s majestic aura. They circled around the valley, not daring to fly out. The soldiers opened the gates to our camp.
“All of the soldiers are waiting for us. The doctor is ready. There is fire, food and a comfortable bed at the camp. Your Shusia is there, too. Philes, Philes, hang in there for a bit longer!!”
“You’ll be fine! You’ll be all right! Philes! You’ll be all right!!”
“Please. I beg you. Open your eyes. Grab onto my arm tightly. Just a little more. Just a little more, my Philes. Don’t do this! Don’t let go! It’s right in front of us. We’re very close now. You’ll be fine! You’ve been with me for a long time and travelled half the continent with me. I saved you once, so I can save you a second time! Don’t die! Don’t die!!”
The wooden gates to the camp opened from the rear. The soldiers around ran over, shouting out and gathered around us. The doctor carrying his equipment box was there, as well. I was covered in blood, so my guess was that they thought I was hurt.
My arm no longer felt heavy.
I lowered my head. The White Deer King stopped moving. It did its best. It ran back as fast as its legs could take it, which was faster than the speed the army retreated. It was the fastest runner. No steed could outrun it. Alas, the speed that Philes blood left his body was faster than the White Deer King.
I looked at the ground. Philes body landed with a heavy thud. His blood melted the snow on the ground. His blood that got on me continued trickling down onto the ground as if it was keeping time.
I didn’t cry. I didn’t even dismount. Instead, I looked at Philes, who was on the ground. It was too fast. It all happened too fast. I remembered speaking to him just half an hour ago. I watched him charge up the city wall, but he was now lying on the ground in front of my eyes with no blood left to bleed.
Shusia’s scream tore through the condensed air. She staggered as she came running over. She knelt down in front of Philes’ corpse and trembled as she hugged him tightly and cried. Her wails sounded akin to a sad song from hell, irritating my ears so much I felt an urge to puke.
“Your Majesty… Your Majesty…”
I left the White Deer King and staggered over. Tanya watched me from behind without knowing what to do. I staggered over and knelt on the ground. All of my feelings blasted forth from my body along with the pain and despair I suppressed.
I couldn’t hold back my tears. I started to vomit a little afterwards. My tears smothered my entire face. My body shook intensely as though all the pores on my face were releasing my pain and suffering. I knelt on the ground and cried out in a voice unlike a human being.
“AAAAHHH!!! AAAHH!!! AAAAHHH!!!!”
I cried and screamed, releasing my final breaths. My vision got foggy due to my tears. I had moments where my vision went dark. My body wobbled as though I was going to drop to the ground. A few men grabbed me, but I felt that I had lost contact with all of my senses. I couldn’t hear anything other than Shusia’s wails.
“His Majesty has lost control of his emotions! Give him a tranquilizer! Hurry!!”
“Your Majesty! Your Majesty! Calm down! Your body will not be able to handle this…”
I felt a cold liquid run down the sides of my mouth. I coughed hard and spat out a red liquid. The doctor placed me on the bed and gave me another dose of the liquid.
I seemingly couldn’t make a sound. My vision became hazy as if the entire world was seemingly collapsing.
‘Let this world collapse. Just let it collapse. Will a new world be formed in its place after it collapses? Can it bring my Philes back? Can it bring my Mera, Luna and Philes back…? I would trade my Philes for ten Marvels. I want my Philes, right now!!’
Shusia wiped her tears. She stood outside the tent. She took in a deep breath and forced herself to steady her tone, “How is His Majesty?”
“His Majesty has fallen asleep after taking the drug. However, he cries out every now and then. The impact of Philes’ departure is too big of a blow to His Majesty… The same goes for you.”
The guard looked at Shusia in front of him hesitantly. He said, “Sorry… I am very sorry… Instructor Shusia… I know that you two intended to get married… Umm…”
Shusia wiped her tears and sobbed, “It’s all right. He died for His Majesty. He definitely has no resentment and won’t regret it… That was his glory. I… I am proud of him… I… I… Ugh… Ugh… Aaahhh!!! Aaahh!”