Chapter 3. Can dreams last this long?

 

While staring at Ed, the butler, who was putting a wooden tray on his lap, Ian couldn’t hide his doubts about the absurdity of the situation.

 

It was a scene that had been repeating for almost two weeks.

 

Ed’s appearance is very friendly when he serves the warm soup and stew made with finely chopped dried vegetables at the exact time every day, but that’s the only expression he ever showed. He was the same when he heard from the doctor that my vocal cords are so damaged that I cannot speak.

 

Even fools can understand when someone says “It’s too bad” with an expression that doesn’t look like he is sorry at all.

Indeed, Ian, who was around when the doctor announced his condition, had the same expression without any interest, so maybe it’s the same.

 

It was the doctor who was flustered as Ian looked so calm for a person who was diagnosed with a disability.

 

Perhaps the shock was unacceptable.

 

On the first day, I wanted all of this to be over, but when I opened my eyes again, I was still in the room.

 

As the high ceiling was the same as the chandelier hanging from it, Ian rose from his bed feeling half puzzled.

 

If you wake up in the same place again and again, does that mean it’s the reality? 

 

As I took a step down from the bed, the pain was everywhere and it was certainly vivid. 

 

First of all, I have to know where I am.

And if they really tried to save me, I have to know the reason for it too.

 

After confirming that no one was in the room, he drew up the layers of curtains. The glass windows, large enough to exceed the height, led to the small terrace. Ian opened the door without hesitation, took a step, and looked forward.

 

The cold air swept across his cheeks and laid out the scene clearly before him.

 

There’s nothing over there.

 

It’s just a dark-leaved forest, forest, forest……

 

“……?”

 

Can trees be so dark?

 

Ian kept his mouth shut at the sight of the scene and blinked again. It was not simply an illusion caused by light reflection. If that was the case, it should have been around sunset or midnight.

 

But it was noon, full of sunshine.

 

Contrary to the bright sky, darkness fell, and the foresforest-coveredwhole area endlessly, like a black sea.

 

I was expecting a desolate cityscape when I opened the window, but when I did, I didn’t know how to explain the sight. Surprised by the fresh visuals, I tried to focus on the mansion, but in fact, the view of the mansion I looked down on was also difficult to see.

 

There was a stable that looked almost like a castle.

 

Not only the spacious grounds but also the walls surrounding the estate were mysteriously at a far distance.

 

No matter how many times I look at it, it feels so far away from where I am that I have to narrow my eyebrows to see. 

 

When Ian bowed his head to the blatant gaze, his eyes met with the person below him. The general public would never be able to jump, but the opponent seemed to affirm that Ian would jump at any moment.

 

“The wind is cold, so please go back in.”

 

The sentence itself was polite, but there was a clear hostility in the cold gaze. But what bothered Ian more than that was the outfit that the man was wearing.

 

If his eyesight is normal, that was definitely armor.

 

In the 21st century, when he saw several people wearing those clothes casually and holding spears, there was only one conclusion that Ian could make.

 

As expected, you’re still dreaming.

 

In addition, it was unnecessarily delicate and ridiculous.

 

I opened the door to the hallway just in case, but there were also people there. The way they told me to go into the room without expression was not much different from the ones I saw earlier.

 

“You need to take a rest.”

 

Ed, who brought the meal soon after, added on like a broken machine. It was a good choice of words, a rest, a virtual confinement.

 

“……”

 

It was a spacious room, but Ian didn’t have much to do in a room without anything much there.

 

It’s the first time I’ve ever had a good rest in such a luxurious place without working, so I think I slept soundly for a few days.

 

When was the last time I took a good rest without caring about anything?

 

I gathered my thoughts, but I couldn’t remember anything. My mind was blank.

 

Sometimes, when I wake up at dawn, I hear strange noises from afar.

 

I thought it wasn’t a big deal because it was windy, but it wasn’t long before I realised it wasn’t.

 

Bang!

 

One night, I was awakened by a loud, teary noise in the window.

 

I blinked hard because I couldn’t catch the blurred spirit properly, the “sound” leaked in again, squeezing through the window. It was the first time I heard it. I opened my eyelids that kept closing, again and again, confused whether it was a dream or not.

 

……I hardly woke up.

 

Ian, who came out of bed shaking his heavily sunken head, took a step closer to the window where the curtains had fallen. Squeak, a torsion came from a neatly finished window frame. Maybe it broke because of the wind.

 

What was that noise?

 

It seemed to come from the forest, but it wasn’t accurate.

 

It’s a place surrounded by nature, so anything strange can live there. There may be bears, foxes, or even larger animals living there.

 

But it’s different from animal voices.

 

Ian muttered to himself, raising his hand slowly.

 

Rather than that, it’s a little bit more…

 

“Ian-nim.”

 

Even in my dream, my name was Ian.

 

After hearing the voice coming from behind, Ian stopped trying to open the window and turned back. Ed was smiling gently as he came in without knocking.

 

“The lord will be back soon.”

 

It’s the same thing again. 

 

Ian’s lips were trembling with a slight frown on the corners of his eyes as he had heard it several times already.

However, it was impossible to ask questions with the damaged vocal cords.

 

He shut his mouth and stared at him blankly, and in turn, Ed advised him to go back to bed.

 

Standing upright, Ed did not look away until Ian returned to bed and covered himself with a futon. He smiled motionlessly even when the shadow shook from the swaying candlelight. 

 

I could feel the gaze for a while even when I closed my eyes. 

 

After controlling his breathing and pretending to be asleep, he heard the door close a few minutes later.

 

So Ian lived like a shadow for the next two weeks. The fact was that he acted like he really didn’t exist because he didn’t treat anyone as if they were there.

 

However, as time went by, the certainty of whether this was really a dream became blurred. 

 

Perhaps, all the thoughts that came to his mind were nonsense, but there was no way to explain the reality that didn’t change no matter how much he slept and woke up.

 

There was no mirror and the face reflected in the window remained the same.

 

If my growing hair is different, am I still the same?

 

It was soft and shiny as if it had been well maintained, but it was just troublesome for Ian, who had never grown his hair under his shoulders before. Even if he wanted to cut it, the tools in the room were not enough.

 

I thought I’d hurt myself, but all the sharp tools had been cleared away. 

 

Ripping the curtains and hanging myself was enough, but the next day, Ed, who brought his meal, murmured, “The pins are loose.” Of course, the window has been empty ever since.

 

“…….”

 

Looking at Ed acting as if nothing had happened, Ian gradually began to have a pile of questions. It was not frustrating that he was not able to communicate because he was not talkative, but he also wanted to ask how long he would have to keep playing as the unbothered captive.

 

And that’s what he was thinking in the evening.

 

It was exactly in the afternoon 15 days later.

 

The quiet mansion became strangely noisy, the window frames were forced open and there was a large crowd. Ian, who was half asleep, at the sound of the trumpet was forced to open his eyes.

 

When I turned my head to see what the sound was, I saw vaguely that the tightly closed castle gate was open, through the curtainless window. 

 

What could it be? 

 

Ian, being surprised, dispelled his sleep and approached the window. 

 

Before I knew it, there was foggy dust rising along with the overgrown trees, behind the open gates.

 

I have never seen that gate open before.

 

The distance made it impossible for him to see, but the dust suddenly penetrated and dozens of horses flew into the house. When he opened the window, there were loud noises of hoofs. The people in black Armor rode the horse shaking the ground.

 

At that moment the silent mansion was as if livened up like a lie.

Notes

N/A

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