It was Fren who had turned the men into such a disastrous state, he had used his energy to deal with them.
It was to protect Yuria, though brief, her actions were enough for Fren to open his heart, although not fully opened yet, he wished to keep the smiling Yuria from ever getting sick or hurt.
No one was allowed to hurt Yuria.

Yuria was his light, without her he would fall into the darkness again.

Fren wondered if when Yuria told him to run it was actually an excuse to throw him away.
Regardless of her intentions, he would be separated from her and be left alone.

Yuria couldn’t hide her trembling, she clenched her fists so tightly her knuckles turned white, her expression betrayed her thoughts.
Fren knew that expression, he’d seen it before on the faces of those who’d ignored him and treated him as a weak child, becoming scared in the face of his energy.
Even in the midst of the mens’ threats, Yuria tried to protect him, despite being absolutely terrified.
It was impossible for such a person to abandon him; it was simply because of those men that she let go of his hand.

Then if I just got rid of those men, she wouldn’t have let go of me.

At that thought, Fren released the energy he’d been hiding from Yuria.
His body and eyes became pitch-black, his pupils completely indistinguishable from his irises.
A dark, creepy energy emanated from his body and wrapped the men, squeezing the life out of them.

Now, we can be together.

Fren vaguely thought.

Fren still didn’t comprehend what this feeling he had for Yuria was exactly.
At first, he only knew that she wasn’t a bad person, which then turned into the possibility that she could be a good person, and finally, he came to the conclusion that she is a good person.
The time he spent with her was both exciting and fun.
He met her and experienced a new world, so he wanted to stay with her.
He thought he could continue feeling that way if he was beside her and eventually feel, realize, learn, and live a life he didn’t know before.

He didn’t want to miss this soft, tickling and pleasant sensation that encircled him.
He followed her impulsively of his own accord, because she seemed different, but he didn’t know what was different about her – it was small but there was definitely something particular about her.
Thus, he assumed he wouldn’t care if she abandoned him – he was already familiar with being abandoned, but it was different now.
He didn’t want to be abandoned by her, he just wanted to hold her hand.
She approached him and held his hand when no one else did, the feeling of warmth and comfort was something he’ll never forget.
From that moment on he was never alone.
With Yuria, he realized how lonely it would feel to be alone again, and he hated it.

So… I won’t let go of you – I won’t lose you.

It was a blind and simple statement containing strong emotions.

I don’t want to nor will I lose you – because I haven’t fully grasped the meaning of these deep and complex emotions that were buried inside me.

He looked up, noticing one man was still alive and wriggling about.

No, if he’s still alive Yuria will be scared.

Yuria would be afraid and try to let go of him again.
Fren escaped from Yuria’s arms and leisurely walked towards the men.

Unaware of what Fren was going to do, Yuria urgently called him worried about his well-being, “Fren!”

Fren glanced at Yuria and shook his head, meaning he was alright.
Then directly yanked out the heart of the struggling man, there was no hesitation as he crushed his heart, blood gushing through his fingers, staining his face red.
After confirming they were all dead, he turned around, stepping closer to Yuria.


Reflected in his questioning eyes was Yuria who, despite all the men now being dead, was still trembling.
Fren tilted his head in confusion.

“…Fren.” Yuria spoke in a quivering voice.
What did she see just now? It was terrifying to see a little kid ripping out the heart of a living person, crushing it with his bare hands.
Drenched in black, Fren looked like the Grim Reaper wearing a child’s mask rather than a little kid.
Her body trembled instinctively.

“Are you… scared?” Fren asked.

What is this?

“….” Yuria tried to say something, but couldn’t make a sound as if something had sealed her mouth.
The unexpected situation came as a huge shock to her.

“Are you scared… of Fren?” All the men had died, so he was the only one left.
If she is trembling in fear, then it must be because of him.
When he realized that, Fren felt as if he was falling into an abyss.

It was strange.
It wasn’t the first time he had seen people afraid of him.
The people who hurt him eventually cowered in fear, scared of his power and Fren never felt anything particular before.

So, why is it different with Yuria?

Why was it so painful when Yuria was afraid of him? Because she was different from everyone else? Because she was the first person to have shown him fondness and affection? Because she didn’t hit him but treated him with kindness instead, even giving him a blanket to sleep with on a bed and eating together, not to mention, hugging him? Was it because she gazed at him with such warm eyes?

Countless reasons popped in his head.
He thought she couldn’t possibly be afraid of him.
It’s impossible.
He didn’t want her to fear him, and he didn’t want her to see like that, it felt as though someone was viciously and repeatedly stabbing his heart.

Didn’t you tell me I am not a monster?

“Is Fren now… not a treasure anymore?” Fren asked, remembering Yuria’s words when she gave him a name.
Now, he could see it clearly.
At first, his eyes were void of any emotion, but now they were shaking exposing all his scars, as unfamiliar and terrifying anxiety took over.
He felt like Yuria would crumble if he touched her.

Seeing her face, Fren knew Yuria was as terrified and scared of him as those people who had called him monster, and it pained him.
He was abandoned, and hunted like an animal.

Then, will he become a monster again after she had just said he wasn’t? Would he be unable to ever hear her sweet voice calling him her treasure again?

Just why – why, does it have to be like this?

He didn’t want to let go of Yuria – he liked her.
Fren finally admitted it, Yuria was different from the beginning, and it was natural to fall in love with such a Yuria.

That’s all.

I didn’t mean to do anything bad – I didn’t do anything bad.

The bad ones were those people who were trying to hurt Yuria.
They definitely wanted to do something bad to Yuria.
He was just trying to stop them, in turn preventing her from abandoning him.
So why does he have to receive such gazes everytime? Why does he always have to be treated like this?

Thinking in that manner, Fren felt a deep sense of despair and anger overflow within him.

It’s unfair.
It’s disappointing.
So just hate me and throw me away.

It was then that Yuria, who was struggling to move her immobile body, ran to Fren and hugged him.
The energy swirling around Fren’s body cut Yuria’s skin, but she didn’t care.
As she hugged him, she could feel his shaking body.
He wasn’t angry – he was hurt, lonely, pained, and crying.

“F-Fren… is a treasure.” Yuria, who could barely open her mouth, spoke in a friendly voice just like before.

“…” Fren didn’t answer.

“I’m sorry, Fren.
I hurt you.” Yuria shed a tear as she apologized, she promised to protect Fren and never hurt him for all her life, but she hurt him with her own hands.
Instead of protecting him, she was being like this….

A child who could not cry was crying without tears.
He couldn’t cry so he was angry instead.

Didn’t she promise him he wouldn’t be in pain anymore, that she would always be by his side, that she would always be there, that she would always be with him.
She thought too lightly of her words’ impact and meaning for Fren.
She didn’t realize how heavy of a responsibility it was to be the guardian of a wounded child, to be on his side no matter what and make him laugh.

Fren’s pain – the pain that Arnen had to bear – I will take it away so please be happy, Fren.

After learning Fren’s identity, Yuria blamed herself for what she had said to him.

“Pain? Is this… pain?” Fren asked with trembling eyes.
“My chest feels strange.
As if someone is squeezing it.
It’s hard to breathe, and my throat hurts.”

Fren felt like his throat was clogged with something preventing him from breathing properly.

As if answering Fren’s question, Yuria nodded her head with gloomy eyes.
In response, Fren put on an expression that he didn’t understand this emotion.

So this is pain.

Again, he learned something new from her, but this person wasn’t happy for him.
He didn’t want to know this feeling.
If, as she said, this was pain, then Fren was sure, of all the pain he’d felt so far, this was the most painful.

“I-I’m sorry, I’m really sorry,” Yuria repeatedly apologized while tearing up.

“Yuri hurts too? So you’re crying?”

Yuria couldn’t answer.
What confidence did she have when she promised Fren would never be hurt again, how can she cause Fren to be hurt again and again? She felt so apologetic towards him, and frustrated in herself that her tears fell as if a dam had been broken, nonetheless, and she struggled to hold them back in front of Fren.
However, Yuria couldn’t help but sob hearing Fren’s following words.

“Do not hurt.” Fren wiped her face with his fern-like hands.
Her crying face held a surprised expression that didn’t fade no matter how many times Fren wiped her tears.

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