Incompatible Interspecies Wives - C.111: Approaching Shadows (1)

Incompatible Interspecies Wives

C.111: Approaching Shadows (1)

Arwin turned her horse around and approached Gale.

It was an action mixed with complex emotions.

Partly, she cared for Gale for Bergs sake, and partly, she couldnt stand to see Ner and Berg together.

Recently, Arwin had been feeling turmoil in her heart.

Was her dislike of seeing Ner by Bergs side merely because she hated the thought of Berg being deceived?

She now felt that was no longer the case.


Despite consciously trying not to love Berg, a short-lived being, she couldnt control her heart as easily as her words.

She wondered if she felt so special about him just because he was the first person she met after leaving Celebrien territory.


She knew the answer to that question.

No, it wasnt because she had regained some of her freedom that she felt special about Berg.

Rather, Berg was simply a special existence to her.

A being she might not meet again even if she lived for hundreds more years.

The sight of him getting hurt and sacrificing himself for her was vivid in her mind.

The moments when he made choices that elves could never make, shining brightly, came to mind.

The thought of such a being disappearing one day was already suffocating.

Perhaps that was why she was consciously trying not to give her heart from now on.

To avoid greater hurt, drawing a line and thinking within those bounds.

Though she couldnt be sure if she was truly keeping to that line.


As Arwin approached Gale, he brightened up.

You are kind. Taking care of me like this.

Arwin explained to him.

...Berg asked me to.

Upon hearing those words, Gale laughed. After his laughter, he spoke.

You dont have to lie. I have no intention of delivering strange messages to His Majesty over such a trifle.


Besides... I understand why Berg is angry. Perhaps my words were too harsh.

At this, Arwin furrowed her brows.

This confirmed to her that Berg was indeed angry. Berg, who would usually be tolerant as long as boundaries were respected.

...What did you say?


Gale just smiled.

Then he quietly walked on.

Arwin, unable to ask any further, simply rode alongside him.

Gale then changed the subject.

Anyway, its been a while, hasnt it? Your expression seems much softer than before.

Is that so?

Arwin found it somewhat uncomfortable to discuss her changes.

Inevitably, it made her recall the past.

I never thought Id see the day when Arwin-nim would be free. Oh, but perhaps its not complete freedom yet?


How is it, then? The outside world. Is it as you imagined?

Gale asked, seemingly curious.

Perhaps, given Arwins past longing for freedom and her numerous escapades, her impressions were of particular interest.

Arwin let out a short sigh.

The surrounding landscape was indescribably beautiful.

Verdant meadows under a clear sky.

A gentle breeze and the chirping of birds.

The place was even more peaceful as the war hadnt reached here.

The scenery she had longed for all her life was now right before her.

...But Arwins eyes were fixed solely on one being.

Even with everything she desired and dreamed of nearby, her gaze followed only one person.

Huh? Arwin-nim, your thoughts on the outside world-

...The figure of Berg riding a horse in the distance.

-Its beautiful.

Arwin whispered.

Her heart momentarily spilled out.

...So very. So very beautiful.

Gale smiled at her words.

He empathized with Arwins sentiment and responded.

I agree. Its a beautiful world. Im glad that I could see you enjoying it before I die.


Arwin realized she was gripping her reins tightly.

Although Gale hadnt meant it, Arwin had recently become sensitive to any mention of death.

Due to the difference in their lifespans, Berg would one day die at a different time from her.

She could hardly believe that even this reality would eventually end.

What would life be like afterward?

Would learning archery... make her feel protected by Berg?

Or would his absence feel even more pronounced?


For the past 170 years, she had only wished for time to pass quickly.

But for the first time, Arwin wished for time to slow down.

Wasnt it passing too quickly?

It felt as if she wasnt even given time to think.

She hadnt yet decided what kind of life she wanted with Berg.

Afraid that loving Berg would lead to regret, she still hesitated.

A mere 60 years.

Such a short time compared to the pain she had endured so far.

And at this moment, time seemed to be getting even shorter.

Was it right to entrust her body and heart in such a brief span?

While riding through the meadow deep in thought, she saw a few children watching them.

An elf!

One child shouted from a distance.

Arwin looked at them expressionlessly.

Gale, seeing the children, smiled.

Cute kids.


Looking at them, Gale seemed curious and asked.

Arwin-nim, have you considered having children?

She frowned.


Yes. Children.

Arwin had never thought about having children before.

By elf standards, she wasnt even of age yet.

Physically mature enough to bear children, but... it was something she had not contemplated.

Struggling to find her own happiness, Arwin wondered if she even had the capacity to concern herself with a child.

No. I dont.

Ah, I should have asked that first.


Gale then asked in a hushed, serious tone.

...What does Berg think?


Arwin blinked and then closed her mouth.

It was an answer even she couldnt discern.

She chose silence in response to that question.

Instead, she diverted to answer his previous question about having children.

...Having a child would only be a tragedy.

Why? Theyre so adorable. Arent children the future of the world?

Well, that may be true for other children. But a child of mine and Bergs... would be a half-elf. Surely, it would die before me.


Ive never had a child, but Im certain the pain would be immense. Thats why I wont even consider it.

Her response was emotionless and matter-of-fact.

It was possible for her to say this because she hadnt yet contemplated having children.

In fact, if emotions were removed, even the idea of entrusting her heart to Berg seemed foolish.

...Yet, Arwin was contemplating it.

Would she be similarly conflicted about a child in the future?

Gale, breaking into a smile, then said.

Happiness comes only when you take risks.

This spontaneous advice was offered.

Arwin looked at Berg, pondering those words.

There was the man who had chosen dangerous paths all his life.

...She began to understand what it meant to take risks for happiness.

It seemed like the difference between elves and humans was precisely this.


As Arwins heart grew heavy with complex emotions, she blinked, prompting Gale to sigh and say,

Anyway, youll have to make a choice within 10, or maybe 15 years.


Surprised by the short timeframe, Arwin reflexively asked, and Gale explained,

Berg will age, after all.


Her heart ached again at those words.

She realized that it wasnt just Bergs death in 60 years that was the issue.

He would grow old.

He would gradually lose his current radiant youth.

Arwin bit her lip.

Her anxiety deepened.

The more they talked, the more palpable the brevity of time felt.

Perhaps even this moment was being too carelessly squandered.


She exhaled a sigh.

Her worries deepened, and there was no thought of improvement.


Halting the Head Hunter unit, I ordered to set up camp.

Lets dismount.


Upon asking Ner, she slowly untied her tail.

Having freed herself, she was the first to dismount.


Looking at Ner, I saw her extending her hands towards me.

I naturally placed my hand on her waist, and Ner gripped my shoulder.

Then, I helped her down from the horse.

-Thump thump.

I brushed off the tiny specks of dust and bits of grass that had clung to Ners clothes.

Stay here.

Then I turned around.



Ners tail had somehow wrapped around my thigh.

...Where are you going?

She asked.


I ran my hand over her tail, and Ner, startled, quickly untied it.

Hey, I told you not to do anything risqu... Berg...!

I have no idea what youre talking about being risqu.

I responded with a smile, though I said that, I was trying to understand her perspective to some extent.

Ill go check on Arwin.

I told Ner, who was blushing as if embarrassed.


Ner didnt say anything.

Ever since she had revealed Arwins secret to me, she had been acting like this.

Seemingly unable to understand my desire to be close to Arwin.

I didnt bother to add any explanation.

We had already discussed this.

Arwins matter was to be left as if it never happened.

As I turned to go towards Arwin, I saw Gale walking by her side.

We didnt talk, but his presence was noticeably uncomfortable for me.

I felt nothing but gratitude for Arwin, who had made an effort for my sake.

Arwin, thank you.

I said as soon as Arwin approached.

Arwin nodded her head and extended her hand towards me.


It didnt take long to understand the meaning behind her gesture.

I reached out my hand as well, and Arwin intertwined our fingers, leaning into me.

As she was about to dismount, she lost her balance and buried her face in my shoulder.

I naturally supported her waist and helped her off the horse.

...Thank you, Berg.

Arwin said, grateful for the help.

I nodded and let go of her, but she didnt release our interlocked fingers.

Looking at her, she still wore that dry expression.


Yet, believing that affection lay beneath it, I smiled.

I turned to look at Gale.

How about a sparring match? Itd be good to stretch our muscles.

He suggested.

I couldnt hide my blatant discomfort.

I furrowed my brow and sighed.

Arwin, standing beside me, looked at me with concern before gently rubbing my back.


She called my name and looked at me quietly.

Though I wasnt sure what it was about, it seemed as if she wanted me to calm down just by looking at her face.

Her caring gesture helped to soothe my mind.

...Lets go.

I decided not to get entangled in unnecessary conversations.

Holding Arwins interlocked hand, I turned away.

At that moment, the loud cry of a large hawk echoed around us.

Gale brightened up at the sight of the hawk.

Oh, here it comes. Lintley!


Gale called out its name and whistled, prompting the hawk to circle around before descending towards him.

Gale extended his arm.

The hawk landed smoothly on his arm, calming its wings.


Tied to the hawks leg was a note.

For some reason, my heart sank again.

Perhaps I had a premonition of where this news was coming from.

Well done, Lintley, Gale said, stroking the hawk with his fingers.

Arwin asked,

Is it from the hero party?

Gale gazed at me intently.

His expression was not mocking but faintly sympathetic.

He nodded.

Yes. Its from the hero party.

I gripped Arwins hand more firmly.

The more I did so, the steadier my wavering heart became.

Gale inhaled deeply before asking,

A letter has arrived... Would you like to see it together?

Though he asked Arwin, the question was directed at me.


I looked at Arwin by my side, then glared at Gale... and without responding, turned away.

The End of The Chapter

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