When I woke up, I saw a familiar ceiling.
I think I had a dream. I just can’t remember anything except for a vague feeling.
My throbbing head felt like it was going to break. So I clenched my teeth and took a short breath. I only felt better after a couple of repetitions.
I was the only one in the spacious room.
Ian, who barely came to his senses, raised himself at the sound of firewood burning.
Why am I here?
As I fumbled through my dizzy mind, something came to mind immediately.
I’m pretty sure I fell down in the snow.
He thought, but something was wrong and he flinched.
Ian slowly unfolded his hands, but all he saw was his smooth skin without any scars.
His palms that were supposed to have been torn had a sensation of blood dripping. He frowned at the corners of his eyes and lifted up the thick futon which had been covering him in a hurry.
The feet on the sheet were no different. It was as if it had been stained with paint and what was blue from the cold was now white and clean.
There were two things that one can assume from this situation.
One, he has been lying down for months.
Two, there is more advanced medicine here than in modern times.
Of course, he knew both didn’t make sense. Because he would have healed right after he hurt his neck.
More than a month later, Ian still had a scar on his neck.
I didn’t know until I took a closer look at it. I mean, there wasn’t any reason to be able to explain my condition anyway.
It was time for him to stare at his hand with that thought.
The door opened with a knock. It was obvious who it was.
“You always fall down.”
It was a scolding administration, but on the contrary, he looked cheerful. He nodded moderately, wondering if something had happened. Edward, who came near the bed, bowed his head.
“You must be tired, but you slept well for a day.”
The first guess was also a failure. While he was drawing a big X in his heart, he noticed that Ed’s gaze was directed towards his hand. He tapped his finger quickly as if asking for an explanation, but Ed only smiled and said nothing.
[T/N: Here it’s not the letter “X”. It means the cross sign “X”. Because his guesses were wrong he was as if drawing a cross sign in his heart.]
He understood everything.
He was very quick-witted like a monster, so it was clear that he was doing it on purpose. I got more and more annoyed because I couldn’t speak.
I heard a gentle voice.
Ian blinked his eyes, shrewdly figuring out that something else was mixed in that smiling face.
If he was asked whom he had met most since he woke up here, he would point to Edward without hesitation. Every little thing went through him. However, Ian has never felt friendly to him. Even though he was using honorifics, eating meals, and made every convenience possible.
But now it’s a little different.
Ed opened his mouth as his handsomely wrinkled eyes curved once again. I kept my mouth shut because I felt like he was trying to bring up something important.
Suddenly, Ian and Ed’s eyes turned at the same time towards the sudden noise from the door. The woman who appeared and received the attention of the two, was bleeding from her head and acted as if she came to the right place.
“There you are.”
“I can tell from your fair skin. No wonder nobody came out even after searching all the underground prisons.”
It was a nuance that seemed to have wandered for a long time, but that was not the problem. The blood dripping from her forehead, wetting her clothes, and entering the room with a calm face was obviously not normal.
She also interpreted Ian’s expression of looking at her with a hesitant face for about two seconds and her face blended with blood seemed grotesque.
“Ah, it wasn’t a discriminatory remark. That is the most intuitive distinction. I apologize if I offended you.”
That’s not the problem.
But even Ed, who trusted in her, grinned and said,
“Ian-nim, this is Ailee, the maid of honour.”
What’s the reason for a maid coming in bleeding from her head?
Is this a routine situation here that I don’t know of?
Ian, who had already given up on common sense after several experiences, looked at her cloudy eyes as she calmly introduced herself.
“Yes, it’s Ailee. It’s my first time seeing you since I just got back. I would like to skip shaking hands and say hello, and I want to start with the main point. Is that okay?”
There was no reason not to.
When he nodded, Ailee, who took a beat off out of courtesy, immediately brought up the main point.
“From tomorrow, I would like to inform you that you will be a member of the knights.”
That was a problem because the main point was so out of the blue.
“You’re here in the name of cultural exchange, so it’s not a bad idea to experience what’s going on with the Knights of the Sheltians. Our Northern Knights will have a very good experience with systematic hit-and-run or a meritocratic evaluation system which will not be bound by training and status.”
Apart from Ailee’s precise explanation, I couldn’t keep up with the progress. From what I have learned so far, I am the Prince of an enemy country.
So why am I joining the knights?
Ed, who was next to him, raised his eyebrows as if he had never heard it before.
“Your Royal Highness.”
However, with that one word, all the questions seem to have been resolved, and Ed’s face turns into a kind one again.
Ian opened his mouth in an atmosphere that seemed to be concluded immediately.
I wanted to ask what kind of nonsense it was, but all I could say was the sound of the wind blowing. Ah, it’s annoying.
“Are you in trouble?”
Ailee, who seemed to have read Ian’s ridiculous expression, asked. Although he wasn’t aware of it immediately since she was covered with blood, she was a beautiful woman with a thin chin and cool eyes.
I nodded as it was only natural. Ailee, who shut her mouth, was speechless for a moment.
“Then you shouldn’t have done anything noticeable.”
The smile that was being laid down disappeared in an instant. One step closer, Ailee bowed her head and muttered quickly in a level less tone. Ian heard everything without difficulty and blinked even though it wasn’t quite loud.
A few seconds of silence.
A moment later, Ailee, who sighed quietly, returned to her expression and continued.
“I’ve heard everything since I came into the Grand Duchy. From the start of the self-harm exhibition to grabbing the sword to fight in the procession. Was it not enough to only grab the collar of the Grand Duke?”
It was similar at first glance, but all points were far off. He didn’t grab him by the collar, and the self-harm exhibition was like something else, but it was like she was talking about what he showed to the soldiers by cutting his wrist the first day he met Kyle.
“It’s an act that I don’t think matches a royal family of a country, but we all understand it considering you were unexpectedly brought to Sheltian. But Ian-nim, I’m sure you don’t know that the things you’re enjoying are too much. You’ll know when you see the dungeon.”
After figuring out the situation, Ian was the first to think. Perhaps the calm response was a little surprising, Ailee stopped talking for a while and looked at Ian.
She thought he would slap her in the face because she couldn’t calm down.
“Let’s stop there.”
Ed, who had been standing without saying a word, finally opened his mouth as if he had decided that mediation was necessary from here on out. However, Ailee didn’t even lift an eyebrow even at the words of Ed and continued what she was trying to say. The whole house was noisy because of this man who returned after hiding in a garbage dump for months.
“Looking at the situation, no one is talking directly, just from behind, so I’ll draw my sword. Rox is Sheltian’s enemy, and Ian-nim is a hostage from the enemy country.”
“Everyone here knows it doesn’t matter what happens if you don’t kill them.”
Now Ian knows the objection. Ailee, who realized that silence was a positive thing, turned her eyes all the way into the room, saying that killing is not necessary.
Expensive chandeliers, thick bedding that the common people couldn’t even think of, a fireplace full of firewood.
“But I can’t believe it’s such a big room. It’s natural for those words to come out. No one dares to comment on the Grand Duke, but instead, all the complaints will be directed to Ian-nim.”
Now that the Grand Duke’s favour is given, it will be treated lavishly, but if the favour is taken, it will be a different story.
Logan Hyer was a more fickle man than the weather in Shuen. It was a sudden change in the dry weather, and as soon as there was a light rain, it turned into a rainy season.
Even if it’s a matter of life and death for others.
“Choose whether to live like an idiot who can’t do anything as he’s stuck in this room for the rest of his life, or to go out and live properly when you have a chance.”
That’s all Ailee could say.
She had a hard time investigating the flow of funds in the Luchton mine, and she couldn’t figure out what she was thinking about putting him in the Knights all of a sudden.
He looked like a corpse and listened to the report with a bored expression. He doesn’t know what intrigued him, but Ailee could do anything for the lord if he wished for it
It was neither respect nor loyalty. It was just the taste of your own food. Fortunately, the prince, who understood what was said, looked lost in thought. It was a success just because there was no negative reaction.
Of course, it’s hell there.
Not bound by status meant that there were also knights from commoners and slaves. Manners are wasted on stews, resistance to aristocrats is terrifying.
Moreover, he was from Rox.
In the future, which can be drawn without seeing, Ailee guaranteed that the white, soft prince would not last a week. She could bet her own three month’s salary on this. Fortunately, he didn’t bury his face in the pillow with a pool of tears.
And exactly a week later.
Ailee had to face the scene where her three-month worth salary disappeared.
[T/N: The last part is my favourite. Haha Ailee XD. I saw a reader saying how cute Ian’s chibi will look. I got two pictures of some chibi merches from Author’s official Twitter, so I wanted to show you all. THEY ARE SO CUTE XD]
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