Translated by Vivian of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
“Hey, do you even know what you’re doing? We’ve been walking for almost an hour now. There’s not even a single bird around, much less a person! I’m not walking anymore!” Wen JinHan sat down underneath a tree, expressing his unwillingness to move.
The Duke, whose abilities had been doubted for the first time in his life, turned and glared at Wen JinHan.
Wen JinHan didn’t even glance at him. “If you want to keep going, you can carry me or something, I won’t mind.”
The Duke really felt like drawing out his gun and shooting this infuriating and irrational person; he was clearly an evildoer sent to displease him. However, the Duke was ruthless but not cruel, and he had to admit that he couldn’t bear losing this person.
“Anyway, you’re an important person, so how come you didn’t even keep a bodyguard with you?” Wen JinHan continued to complain. “In case there’s an accident, you won’t even have time to cry. Say, exactly where are you supposed to meet them, do you really have a sense of direction? You didn’t get mixed up, did you? Are you walking further and further away? You didn’t even bring a GPS with you——”
Thunk. A wisp of smoke curled from the spot on the tree trunk right next to Wen JinHan’s ear.
“…Calm down. If you aren’t careful, you could kill me. That wouldn’t be too big of a deal, but then you would be left alone in this dark forest, and it wouldn’t be cost-effective if you became depressed…” muttered Wen JinHan.
The Duke suddenly turned away and left, leaving behind only a trail of trampled weeds, as if there was some terrible monster behind him.
Wen JinHan put away his innocent expression and stood up; he knew not to take it too far. However, that Duke’s bottom line was even lower than he had estimated. Smoke had practically been coming out of the Duke’s ears, yet he still hadn’t shot him. Wen JinHan stuck out his tongue. Anyway, in his current situation, it was best if he continued following him, or else it wouldn’t be worth it if he became food for a wild animal here.
“Don’t move!” Wen JinHan suddenly shouted.
The Duke paused.
“There’s a colorful snake in a tree ahead and to the left of you, at ten o’clock. It looks venomous.” Wen JinHan’s tone seemed to be both gloating and pitying.
The Duke didn’t move and merely glanced in that direction.
Just as Wen JinHan was thinking about how to lure the snake away, he noticed the Duke suddenly move, his left hand closing and opening. In the blink of an eye, the snake lunged toward the Duke.
“Care——” Before Wen JinHan could even finish, the Duke leaned to the side, and the snake, whose head had been severed off, fell to the ground, its body still writhing convulsively. The Duke stepped on it, flattening the head.
Wen JinHan tsked and grabbed his left hand, inspecting it. “Where was your knife hidden? You were so fast…”
The Duke withdrew his hand coldly and ignored him as he stalked off. Wen JinHan couldn’t help but laugh inwardly: Please, who are you putting on this noble and arrogant act for?!
The Duke seemed to be very experienced in traversing through the jungle, and he walked at the front with relatively little effort. Wen JinHan followed him closely, but his shirt and casual shoes were a lot more inconvenient than the Duke’s leather shoes and hunter clothes, causing him to stumble a lot.
“Hey, can’t you go any slower?! Do you think everyone’s legs are as long as yours?! We’re walking through a jungle right now, and it’s not like I was in the marines, I’m not as fast as you…” Wen JinHan’s voice once again sounded among the dense trees.
The Duke suddenly stopped and quickly walked back, stopping in front of Wen JinHan. “How do you know I was in the army before?”
“You really were a marine? No way, someone like you even had to be ordered around by people, saying ‘yes, sir’ and all that? I can’t imagine that…”
The Duke silently turned back around; how could he have expected to get a serious answer from him?
“Slow down! The visibility is very low here, I’ll get lost. Hey, Duke, I—— Ah!”
After this shout, the jungle resumed its silence. The Duke, who was feeling happy because of the disappearance of the voice, but after a few steps, he felt that something was wrong. The footsteps behind him had vanished.
The Duke frowned, but he patiently looked back to see what Wen JinHan was up to this time. However, after walking around a dozen meters backwards, he still didn’t see him.
“What are you doing?” The Duke’s voice became low, and he scanned his surroundings alertly.
Only his voice sounded in the air, and there was no reply.
The Duke closed his eyes, sensing around. Suddenly, he opened them again and walked toward a bush with large leaves. He pushed some leaves to the side and abruptly stopped. Underneath his feet was a ditch, and it was filled with dense plants so its depth couldn’t be seen. Wen JinHan was lying at the edge of the steep cliff of the ditch, one hand full of dirt and the other desperately holding onto some weeds.
His grip was very shaky, and even if he just opened his mouth to call for help, he would tumble down, which was why he could only lay there quietly.
The Duke looked around and resolutely pulled down a thick vine from a tree, pulling out his dagger as if performing a magic trick, and cut a length of the vine.
Wen JinHan slowly shifted his gaze to the vine dangling next to him, sucked in his breath, and quickly let go of the weeds and grabbed onto the vine with both hands.
After finally getting out both by climbing and being dragged, Wen JinHan laid on the ground, panting.
“Talk less, walk more,” the Duke instructed condescendingly.
Wen JinHan slowly got up, his face a little pale, and wobbled.
The Duke suspiciously examined him and saw an area of dark red on his right calf.
“I should have let you stay down there.” The Duke picked Wen JinHan up and placed him down under a tree before retrieving a small first-aid kit from his waist bag.
“You really brought that kind of thing along?” Wen JinHan widened his eyes.
The Duke ignored him and roughly rolled up his right pant leg, pulling out splinters.
“Hey! Oww! Can’t you fucking be more gentle?!”
“…” Heartless bastard.
After picking out all of the splinters, the Duke poured some disinfectant onto his leg.
“A-Are you trying to kill me——” Wen JinHan said through gritted teeth.
“You can either wait for it to get infected and become plant fertilizer here, or you can shut up.”
After the Duke finally finished wrapping his leg in gauze, Wen JinHan was already sweating.
The Duke stood up and picked up a thick tree branch from nearby, tossing it on the ground near him. “Lean on this and walk quickly, we have to get out of this jungle by nightfall.”
This time, Wen JinHan unexpectedly didn’t complain nor ramble. He merely picked up the branch and used it to stand up slowly.
The Duke’s gaze flashed, and he turned around, leading the way again.
Wen JinHan limped along, using the tree branch as a cane, but he wasn’t slow, and he didn’t fall too far behind the Duke.
The Duke didn’t turn around, but his voice drifted backwards. “Your pain tolerance is quite high, have you trained it before?”
Who would train that kind of thing on purpose?! Wen JinHan thought darkly, though he didn’t have the energy to retort out loud; he felt like he was practically about to faint from the pain.
Having not received a reply, the Duke slowed down and waited until Wen JinHan hobbled up to him.
“Ah——” Wen JinHan had been looking down, focused on walking, and he bumped into the Duke’s chest.
The Duke rubbed his back; it was soaked as if he had just been fished out of the water. When he looked down, he saw that Wen JinHan’s face was as white as paper.
He hadn’t expected that this little thing would usually be so pestering and unreasonable, yet at crucial moments, he was quite understanding and shrewd, albeit stubborn.
The Duke lightly pushed Wen JinHan out of his arms, turned around, and bent over slightly.
…What does this mean? Wen JinHan was taken aback.
“If you walk by yourself, you’ll get eaten by wolves.”
Wen JinHan felt like not accepting his offer would be a waste, so he hopped onto the Duke’s back.
The Duke continued to walk forwards, asking the person on his back, “Does it hurt a lot?”
Only heavy footsteps and breathing could be heard in the forest.
When the sky started to darken, they seemed to have reached the edge of the dense jungle.
“Are you tired?” Wen JinHan finally remembered to ask.
“Don’t you think it’s a little late to be asking that?” The Duke’s tone was a little dissatisfied.
“It’s not like I would’ve become lighter if I asked earlier. It would only remind you that I’m heavy, so that would be arguably worse.”
“…At least you know that you’re heavy.”
“It’s a good thing I’m 180 centimeters, then.”
After finding an elevated slope, the Duke let Wen JinHan down. “We’ll stay here tonight. I’ll go refill the water and make a fire, you just stay here.” Then, he handed him a knife.
“Where are your people?”
“They always pick me up at the rendezvous we set, so they probably encountered some trouble. We’ll have to go to another place tomorrow.”
“Does your leg not hurt anymore?”
“Even the pain can’t keep your mouth shut.”
“Are you this sensitive to pain?” asked the Duke as he saw Wen JinHan frown and unable to sleep.
“My nerves are very sensitive.”
“But you can bear it.”
“True, I’m basically like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.”
“Superheroes who save the world.”
Wen JinHan dazedly felt something touch his forehead.
“You seem to have a slight fever.”
“Your wound might be inflamed. Go to sleep, we’ll set off early tomorrow morning.”
“Ok… Whatever you say…”
The hard rocks underneath him seemed to become soft, and Wen JinHan felt his pain subside a little. He had originally wanted to use the mutiny to negotiate terms with the Duke, but he hadn’t expected that things would turn out this bad. However, their relationship seemed to have improved marginally, though he wasn’t sure whether it was a good or bad thing for the time being. He supposed he would have to wait and see…
The Duke watched as the breathing of this person in his arms gradually slowed as he fell asleep, and he couldn’t help but also feel calmer. This little thing only garnered affection in his sleep; when he was awake, he was infuriating. Seeing his pitiful state right now, once they got back, he would have to teach him a lesson!