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How much time had passed?
Arien opened her eyes.
“Where am I?”
She thought she was going to be in terrible pain. Arien fell and passed out in the cafe. Then… … . She couldn’t remember anything.
‘How many days have passed?’
Her outfit was the same as she had worn to the cafe, and her head hurt. Arien came out. Other than herself, there was only an old wagon in a secluded forest. She studied her surroundings.
[Welcome to the resort city of Yurif!]
An old sign was creaking in the woods.
‘Yurif… … . then… … .’
Marco’s hiding place was nearby. Then suddenly—
Again came that maddening pain that ran through her body. It was the effect of the ‘Devil’s Smile’ poison. She was rolling on the ground, foaming at the mouth and crying.
‘I need to find Marco. He has the antidote!’
When her seizures stopped, Arien stumbled and began to walk. She was born with a weak heart. She took a poison that even a healthy person couldn’t tolerate, so she probably wouldn’t be able to withstand it unless she took the antidote right away. Arien was sure of it.
Panting in a cold sweat and her pale lips cracked, Arien began to walk on the ground with the help of a branch she had picked up. Finally, she reached Marco’s hideout, a cabin lodge.
She opened the door to the hut where Marco was hiding. The cabin door was not locked. At that moment, she saw Marco slurping up the antidote.
“No, Marco! I’ve been poisoned! You have to give me the antidote, Marco!”
Arien cried. However, Marco had already swallowed the last antidote. Upon hastily taking the cure, he looked just like a pig. Tears flowed from her eyes.
“Arien, how… … .”
“No. You can’t—!”
Arien’s seizures started again. She was sprawled out in front of Marco, chafing her body against the floor.
“Save me— save me!”
“Arien! You took poison? No, that can’t be. Apparently Lucerne poisoned me.”
“There was only one pill on the ring. I’m sure I was poisoned,”
“But obviously my stomach hurts.”
“You mean you were hungry?”
Arien burst into anger as she struggled with the waves of agony. Pain made people desperate and angry.
“The pain of this drug is not just some ache—it’s the level where you want to die! You idiot! Coward! Stomach pain or heartburn is something everyone has! You fool—Ah, it’s starting again—it hurts so much!”
Arien struggled in misery in his arms. Then she coughed up blood.
“Arien, are you okay? Ah, you… … .”
Tears flowed from Marco’s eyes.
“Ah, that damn bitch—ruined my life! Elisha that witch! I knew it, I didn’t like her from the first time I saw that wrench. Oh…… . Marco, what should I do?”
Arien resented and blamed Elisha even up until her last moments.
“We were deceived. Marco, you… … . If you could have saved me if you had just given me that one pill… … . by any means… … . you… … . It’s because of you!”
Arien’s eyes grew wild and popped out as she screamed,
“… … .”
And she said one last time as if she was spitting:
“Help me, Marco.”
And then Arien died in his arms. Marco’s eyes grew wide, tears streaming down his face. At that moment, he looked like he was ten years old.
“Arien, open your eyes. Arien?”
“… … .”
Marco shook her, but she didn’t respond. It was then that Marco realized. Lucerne deceived them. He never took poison in the first place.
He poisoned Arien and imprisoned Marco to feed him. He made him think he had consumed poison.
‘I was tricked into wasting the antidote by my own hands. What a foolish thing to do… … .’
Marco felt a new sensation for the first time in his life. It felt like the sky was spinning and falling, and his vision was turning gray. He staggered out.