By the time Alastair began to speak, the carriage had already set off, with the sun setting in the distance.
Looking at the darkness spreading over the reddish sky, I thought it was beautiful.
However, the story I heard from him was not beautiful like the sky.
I couldn’t distinguish whether it was the rumbling of the wagon that was making me nauseous or his story.
I was so exhausted that I forgot to hand over the incense candle to Igelto and fell asleep as soon as I arrived at the mansion.
I hibernated all day long, but still, even when I woke up, my body was weary and depleted as I had not slept a wink.
My whole physique felt like an old wet rag.
Like a corpse in a grave, I felt I could sleep forever.
After a while of struggling to get up, I saw the sunset in the distance.
It was a habit of mine to look out the window when I woke up and check the time.
Did I only sleep for a few minutes? When I fell asleep, I was aware of the sun setting.
It seemed so.
“Did you sleep well? You slept for two full days.”
It was Igelto.
Igelto was sitting on a chair by my bedside.
“What time is it now?”
My throat was hoarse, and my voice sounded strange and husky to me.
“It’s seven o’clock in the evening.”
I slept for two days. This was my first time I had done such a thing.
What would have happened to me if Alastair didn’t turn off the scented candles at that time? Or if I had inhaled a thicker, more powerful candle?
I could have easily died; I shuddered at the thought.
“He was adamant that if you didn’t wake up, my neck wouldn’t be safe.”
He touched his neck with an expression of fatigue.
“I understood that this place is also not safe.”
He acted as if it was a light joke with a smile.
“Is your body okay? No, of course not.”
He reached out his hand and rubbed the center between my breasts.
His hand went down little by little, and he pressed down on one spot.
“Ugh! It hurts….”
He didn’t press hard, but a dull and acute pain pierced me as if I was slowly stabbed.
“Are you in pain? Of course, you are.”
He lifted his hand and leaned a little closer to me.
“Remember. If you breathe Amalion, it hurts there for a while.”
I recalled when after Alastair came out of the Hall of Hallucinations, he always clutched the center of his chest.
His shirt would be so crumpled that it was hard to excavate its original form for how much he clenched it.
Even so, I had remained ignorant.
Even though his wrinkled shirt was telling me about his pain, I hadn’t recognized it.
My obliviousness could only give rise to a self-disparaging laugh.
“Haaaa *sigh*……. I wouldn’t have asked you to bring me a scented candle if I knew this would happen. I’m sorry.”
His face was blank as usual, with a shadow cast over it.
“You don’t have to be sorry. I did it because I wanted to.”
If I wasn’t prepared to risk to this degree, how could I even have started?
This was just momentary pain necessary to taking one step closer to releasing his brainwashing.
“……For the time being, you’re going to be drowsy and sleepy. You’ll be too fatigued to carry on as usual.”
I had the same symptoms as Alastair.
When he inhaled a lot of incense, he had shown the signs Igelto illustrated.
He had looked at me with blurred eyes and slept a lot, recovering after a few days.
“Can I get better in time for the banquet?”
“Banquet? When is that?”
“It’s about a week from now.”
“I’m sorry to say I think that you’ll get better before it,”
he smiled, joking in reassurement.
“Oh, and I have some good news.”
“I analyzed the composition of the scented candle while you were sleeping, and it looks like I can make a remedy.”
It was indifferently delivered, but there was an underlying joy.
Igelto gazed at me, smiling.
When I didn’t respond, he called out to me in worry.
But I couldn’t say anything.
Talking should be easy, all I had to do was move my tongue, but nothing came out.
I’m happy. I’m so happy.
My eyelashes trembled as I looked down, trying to contain my joy.
After a moment, I raised my trembling eyes and I brightly smiled.
“…What’s wrong, Igelto?”
He blinked his lids as if they were heavy, looking dazed, his face looked blank as if he fell asleep at my words. [t1v: looks like he’s fell in a different way]
“…… I’ve never seen you smile like that.”
As he felt happy, I felt the same way.
“By the way, I don’t remember delivering the scented candle to you. How did you get them?”
“He gave it to me, didn’t you know?”
I never thought that Alastair, who always had a displeased look at my work with Igelto, would deliver incense candles in my stead.
He’s always helping me with what I do, and I often took it for granted, but this time it seemed a little strange.
* * *
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