“Seri, I love you the most. So don’t cross the line.”
“I think this will be enough for punishment.”
The Duke let me go.
I leaned against the wall and exhaled.
I seemed to have become a rat trapped in a closed box. When I compared myself to a mouse, I felt miserable.
She got up from her seat and left my tunnel vision.
Along with the sound of shoes, I heard the iron door closing with a rusty croak.
As my head fell, she turned to her side.
I frowned at the bright light coming through the open door.
“Stay here. If I see signs of reflection and remorse, I’ll let you go.”
So I will never be able to leave?
I had such a hopeless thought.
My eyes gradually closed.
Now I didn’t have the strength to lift my eyelids.
In addition to the Duke, one more person came in when my trembling eyelashes started to obscure my sight.
It was my mother’s personal maid.
The light entering the room was gradually fading.
I heard a sentence as the Duke was closing the door.
“The Duke of Agernia is here.”
The door was closed, and the light was cut off.
Why did Alastair come here?
I wanted to hear what Marina was saying, but it was impossible.
The door was sealed shut, and I felt I became mute.
The only sound I heard was the flickering of a small fire.
I struggled to move my body, but it was useless.
My body fell on the floor, limp—I couldn’t move forward.
Giving up was quick.
Even more so because the scent wafting in the air was dulling my mind.
A tiny corner of my mind hated to think the sweet scent of the incense was penetrating my head.
I closed my eyes.
I wanted to fall asleep and pretend I couldn’t feel this cold numbing pain anymore.
* * *
I think I’m half awake.
I’m half unconscious, and a corner of my mind seems present.
My eyes are closed, but there’s an excruciating sensation intact.
My skin throbbed and burned as if thousands of needles stabbed me.
But it wasn’t as painful as before.
Soon I could open my eyes, and I repeatedly blinked.
The weapons displayed on the wall visible through the iron bars disappeared and appeared repeatedly.
“Did you do it?”
A voice entering my ears surprised me. It was undeniable.
“You……..Why are you here?”
My tongue was stiff before. I didn’t have full facilities, but now at least I could move my tongue, but my pronunciation was horrible.
Sadly, it wasn’t the time to be surprised by my improvement.
“Because I asked. Please let me in.”
“Because you are here.”
Unlike me, who was full of misgivings, he was calm and collected.
Come to think of it, I think Alastair may have arrived here before I closed my eyes. I thought I heard the sound of Alastair coming in. There, my memory was cut off, and when I woke up, I was in Alastair’s arms.
As I stirred, a coat fell to the floor.
‘Did you cover me?’
As I rolled his eyes up, I saw Alastair, with his eyes closed and leaning his head against the wall.
I rolled my eyes again and scattered my shaky sight around.
I noticed one more difference.
I was leaning against a wall, but now… We’re surrounded by iron bars, so we must be in prison.
I have no idea what is what. I’m disoriented.
“Alastair, I don’t understand what’s going on.”
“I’ll tell you later, so now it’s better to save your words and strength as much as possible right now. I know from experience, but it’s less painful to breathe in as little scent as possible.”
“I put out the candles, but the scent still remains strong in the room.”
“Scented candles ……?” [as in, she lit more than one?]
“Don’t worry; I can light it again before I leave.”
He kissed my forehead and tried to reassure me, but……
As I looked around again now, without the tiny candle lights, the surroundings were even darker than before.
I was better now than before I fell asleep.
My stiff tongue was slightly loosened, and my body, which was difficult to control, is now moving according to my will.
“Just go back to sleep.”
He pressed my head against his chest.
It was a more comfortable alternative than the ground.
However, unlike what he wanted, sleep did not come easily.
Pain blurred and forgotten for a while with a short nap, came back and stabbed me like a wave.
I bit my lips hard.
I’m not the only one having a difficult time.
Alastair’s breath was also rough.
He pretended to be calm, but he couldn’t hide the cold sweat flowing along his jawline.
His heartbeat was also not normal.
Leaning my face on his chest, I heard his fast-beating heart.
The sound of his heart thumping so hard it was threatening to explode.
Sleep fled a long time ago at the resounding of such a psychotic noise.
“…… It’s loud.”
But I didn’t hate it.
It was like the sound of an alarm that awakened my increasingly dazed head, like a drum.
“What, do you mean?”
“The sound of your heart is so loud. I can’t sleep because of it.”
He looked at me at the absurd remark.
“I can’t just stop a beating heart. Well, if you want, you can stop it.”
“……Meaning. Did you taste it too?”
It seems that I’m not the only one who has a blank head and spits out everything that comes to mind.
Even his face showed his sincerity.
He often said extreme things, but this was just crazy.
He seems perfectly willing to disconnect his head from his body to solve the problem quickly.
Of course, I had no intention of giving up this comfortable position.
My vision distorted, and my head was becoming dizzy again when I struggled to open my eyes.
I couldn’t help but close my eyes.