Dahlia’s eyes opened upon the dawning awareness of someone’s breath tickling her skin.
Beyond her bed’s canopy drawn around her, her obscured view of her familiar room reassured her.
She seemed to have lost consciousness due to her high fever.
Damn it, Rodrigo. You never told me it would hurt this much!
Dahlia lifted the man’s arm laid across her waist and then sat up. The arm belonged to Gerald who was lying behind her, still soundly asleep. To the servants who did not know the full story, it seemed so scandalous enough to faint over, but for her, it was everyday life. [t1v: um who’s going to tell her?]
Now, regardless of the time or place he seemed to appear so how could she think of it as surprising?
Especially, on the days that her seals were revised Gerald stayed by her side all day. They never knew when she might have a seizure.
My kind, cunning brother.
Dahlia smiled faintly, carefully stroking his handsome eyebrows. Gerald was obsessed with her because he was a sentinel.
Sentinels were instinctively drawn to guides that were compatible with each other. Dahlia took off the shirt he had draped over her and looked down at him. She felt a little lonely and had an impending sense of melancholy.
‘Shall I go for a walk?’
Stretching her arms, she pushed aside the bed’s curtains and left the mattress.
She was now fully awake; feeling stuffy, hot and sweaty.
In the dim moonlight, there were traces of nursing around the bedroom. There was a basin of water and towels on the table, and there were also several vials of antipyretics to relieve fevers.
Dahlia slowly walked around the room, took out her gown and put it on. Because her body hadn’t cooled down yet, she still felt dizzy.
It was early in the morning when everyone was asleep but in the still air, she could still feel an unfamiliar energy and a strange atmosphere.
After passing through the water-colored carpet, Dahlia headed to the balcony on the second floor.
Dahlia loved the view from the eastern balcony of the mansion. Beyond the small plain, an endless sea that reached the horizon could be seen from there.
Tezeba is the only place in the central empire of Marcania where you could witness the sea.
The high-ranking nobles of the Empire would often visit Count Howell and ask for permission to build a villa on the shores of Pyrenees Beach.
Count Howell, however, did not accept any bids or pleds. It was to protect her.
Dahlia sat down on the sofa covered with a white cloth, looking at the awe-inspiring scenery. When she tilted her head back, she took in the view of the Milky Way, enveloped in a blue brilliance.
Beautiful, but terrifying. As if with a slight glance, the stars could fall and pour down on her head.
Dahlia was half lying on the sofa on the terrace. Her hand was on her solar plexus, sensing the uncomfortable heat that persisted from the engraved seal. Parts of it were so hot that she couldn’t leave her hand on it for long.
‘What happened… .’
She peeked down and lifted the front of her pajamas. The seal, which had been blue when it was first engraved, had now changed to a shade close to pink.
“That’s strange… .”
Absorbed seals never stayed on the skin for so long, except in special cases. The only special case was when her father or Gerald appeared in front of her right before they were about to go amok. When that happened, her seal got so hot that it felt like it was about to break.
But Gerald, who had been sleeping by her side a moment ago, had no aura of risking a runaway at all.
“Miss Von Klose is fearless.”
As her uneasy sense of trepidation rose, a waft of cigar smoke rose along with the voice of a strange man. Dahlia, startled, pulled her robe down and got up.
“Who are you sir?”
Wary of strangers, Dahlia lifted up her sentinel energy. Her hair began to sway as if submerged in water from the power that started from under her feet.
“Weren’t you informed that guests were visiting?”
It wasn’t due to happenstance that she had been unable to detect the man’s presence.
Like the blue night sky, a source of darkness that covered the earth, the man’s form was extremely black. A raven silk shirt with jet-black hair that lightly obscured his forehead and eyes. Even his pants and shoes were all ebony.
The only pigment on the man was his red eyes. Dahlia adjusted her gown a little more and took a step back from him.
Then, the man leaning against the balcony railing tilted his head at an overt angle, as if observing something highly amusing. In the back of her mind a flash of a thought found the similitude between the glowing embers of the cigarette between his fingers and his eyes.
When the rising smoke broke their connected gazes, the tense silence between them also cracked.
“If you are a guest, you should retain the manners befitting a guest. Who are you sir?”
[t1v: she’s using a polite tense appropriate for strangers and he’s talking down/casually to her before even introducing himself—hence why he’s coming off even ruder]
Dahlia had a premonition that she should still address him with care, so as she glared at him she maintained her composure.
The man rubbed his shortened cigar in the crystal ashtray that was on the railing and stood up straight. His bangs that had slightly shrouded his stare before now swayed, so his red eyes darkly watching her was more starkly scrutinizing her. It was as if he could see through her.
She was instinctively wary of men. Combined with his blatant irreverence, his intimidating aura was overwhelming.
Unmistakably, he was a sentinel.
At the very least, a high-ranking sentinel, above even a royal rated sentinel… . Was that why the seal reacted?
“The introduction is overdue.”
The man who emanated a heavy perilous and menacing air just a moment ago was now gracefully introducing himself politely as if he was a completely different person.
“My name is Jurgen Axel Edelred, master of Altera, my dear lady.”