“It’s hot…” Komatsuhime frowned. An unbearable burning hot seemed to engulf her body...She opened her eyes and saw a bunch of elves were surrounding her. Struggling to escape, Komatsuhime was tied to a wooden post. There was a pile of burning firewoods underneath her. With the fire spreading upward, the situation was imminent.
Facing such a great danger, Komatsuhime tried hard to untie herself but failed. Sooner or later she would burn to death. Looking at the menacing flames, she crouched down to put her hands close to the fire; the flames burnt the ropes immediately. At the same time, she could feel the burning pain of her hands. In order to survive, Komatsuhime had to endure it. Finally, the ropes were burnt off; she successfully broke free before the flames pounced on her. At this moment, the elves spotted her escape and gave chase to her in no time, forcing Komatsuhime to go backward until she leaned against a tree. An elf swung his blade, leaving a cut on her right arm. “Will I die here...No, I can’t give up!” Suddenly, her pearl necklace glittered and a magic staff was conjured on her hand. An endless flow of power was sending to her fingertips. Komatsuhime raised the staff to float some small stones nearby, casting a dark magic sphere over the elves. However, reinforcement came immediately and surrounded her again. Komatsuhime tried to attack, but she was exhausted, kneeling down on the ground, as if her energy had drained away. The floating stones fell down, and the magic staff turned back into her pearl necklace. As the elves knew she was unable to fight back, they began to approach her——
“Dad, where are you? Please save me!” Echoing with her call, a figure showed up. He cut off the elves with his long blade, leaving a pool of blood on the ground. Another batch of elves was already on the way; the figure dashed towards Komatsuhime promptly. However, her consciousness started fading away, and with a blurred vision, she could hardly recognize the identity of that person. All she knew was a tall man standing in front of her.
“Pardon me,” the man lifted her up with his right hand. Komatsuhime felt something dropped from her, but she was fainted as she tried to pick it up…
“Komatsuhime! Komatsuhime!” someone patted her cheeks. She woke up and saw a man with worried-looking eyes.
“Yukimura...Why are you here?”
“I’ll talk about it later. Are you alright? You have sleep talks…” Yukimura asked concernedly. Komatsuhime flung his hand away with an angry stare, “You haven’t changed, and always love to escape from the reality!” “No, I’m not——” “I can’t believe you’re still a coward as usual after all these years. You should have followed the example of Nobuyuki!” Nobuyuki, Yukimura’s elder brother, was Komatsuhime’s husband. He was killed by Nobunaga’s army in the battlefield two years ago.
“...Your hands are severely wounded. Let me help you with the herbs.” Yukimura pulled a long face without saying a word. He ground the herbs and applied it on her wounds with care. At this moment, Komatsuhime’s heart was inundated with mixed feelings. “I married Nobuyuki because of some misunderstandings. Since then, I’ve turned a blind eye to Yukimura. Now we’re meeting in this strange place. What a joke...”
“Maybe this is the farthest our relationship can go,” Komatsuhime murmured. Yukimura was heartbroken. He hugged her tight; Komatsuhime was shocked, trying to push him away, but she failed as Yukimura was stronger than her.
“Let go of me!” “No, I won’t!”
“Why didn’t you say these words before I married!” “I…”
Komatsuhime pushed away Yukimura when he was distracted, and ran out of the cave to the forest. Yukimura followed her immediately——