Chapter 12. The Identity Of the Man

 

 

Translated by Rae

***

 

 

The woman’s cry grew louder each time the man said so, but she was supposed to cry when she felt sad.

 

She had to let out sadness as much as she could in order to stand back on her feet again.

 

“It’s okay.”

 

The man wanted the woman to open the door and come back inside, but she didn’t.

 

The sound of her cry outside the door gradually stopped.

 

Why did she cry? For what reason….

 

The man clenched his fist. He clenched it so tight that his veins protrude out on the wrist.

 

‘Why am I so angry? Why am I so curious about the reason why she’s crying?’

 

“Sigh… Are you okay?”

 

The man eventually asked.

 

He couldn’t do what the woman did to him before, comforting her continuously while saying she would be fine.

 

He was worried about a woman he couldn’t even see right at that moment.

 

“Don’t you want to answer me?”

 

The woman didn’t answer.

 

She didn’t cry anymore, but the sound of something moving could still be heard.

 

The man nervously swept his hair up at the sound of something rustling outside.

 

“Do whatever you want. Because I’m going to do whatever I want, too.”

 

The man grabbed the doorknob right away without thinking any further.

 

Also, a strong spark began to occur and the wind blew.

 

There was a great wave as if not letting the man go out of the room.

 

At that time, Helen felt strange as she stayed outside the door. When she was looking at the door, it began to squeak.

 

As if the man was grabbing the doorknob.

 

Helen sprang up to her feet and opened the door, forgetting the fact that she was still in a state of crying.

 

“N-No way….”

 

Did he do it again even when he knew his hands would be burned and looked unsightly?

 

When the door opened, she caught sight of the weak man, and then the library which was already in a mess.

 

Did he really try to open the door?

 

“I can see you now.”

 

The man let out a faint chuckle. What is he smiling at?

 

“H-H-How can you smile right now?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

The man reached out and grabbed Helen’s hand.

 

He was only touching her weakly, but Helen easily followed suit.

 

She was actually surprised and dumbfounded at the same time.

 

“Why did you do that? Your hands will be hurting again!”

 

Helen asked worriedly. A man frowned as he looked at Helen’s face, which was stained by tears.

 

“Why did you cry? Why didn’t you cry in front of me and go outside instead?”

 

“….”

 

Helen was nervous.

 

Is this guy really out of his mind?

 

Or is it me who had gone crazy because my heart was pounding for a man I’ve just met three times?

 

Helen looked at him as she was trapped in her arms, surprised by the man’s words, and he raised his hand to sweep away her tear-stained cheeks, unaware of Helen’s stiffened body.

 

“If you want to cry, do it in front of me. I’ll comfort you. Because you just walked out of the door recklessly, I had no choice but to open it.”

 

The man smiled mischievously and wiped off Helen’s face.

 

It didn’t feel like a smooth and gentle handkerchief, but the man’s harsh hand treated Helen’s face as if a pottery that was about to break at any time.

 

After wiping her cheeks off, his hand slowly came up and eventually wiped her eyes off as well. The man’s hand stopped when he was trying to wipe off the tears that gathered around her lips.

 

Uh… Helen’s heart began to pound so fast that she thought it could not beat normally anymore after this.

 

She was so close to the man, their faces were too close with each other.

 

Helen felt dizzy.

 

“You comforted me. Now it’s my turn to comfort you.”

 

Helen stiffened when she realized that she had forgotten the fact that she was crying a moment ago, but the man hugged Helen tightly and put his head on top of Helen’s head.

 

He didn’t mean to put his head on top of her head, but it was just because of the height difference between them.

 

H-He’s too close…!

 

She tried to push him, but the man didn’t budge.

 

She pushed his arm, and even tapped his back to ask him to let go, but he just ignored it.

 

She was stunned by the man’s remark.

 

“That’s….”

 

“You can’t bring yourself to say it?”

 

This time, Helen couldn’t answer again.

 

“It’s nothing.”

 

“…What?”

 

“You don’t have to talk, do it only when you want to.”

 

The man patted Helen on her back. Like she did it to him the other day.

 

Pat pat.

 

Helen calmed down a little due to the constant pats on her back.

 

She eventually neglected the idea to get out of the man’s arms and wriggled her hand quietly in his embrace.

 

‘What is he up to? Why is this guy acting so affectionate towards me?”

 

When she didn’t even visit him a few times in the past days.

 

It was more difficult for her to push him away heartlessly because he was being so affectionate towards her.

 

“You promised me. Let’s talk properly next time.”

 

“W-What?”

 

The man chuckled and smiled, feeling delighted when she promised him next time.

 

***

 

“You eventually use this medicine….”

 

She sat back on the sofa and opened the lid of the box which contained medicine in it.

 

She scooped up a spoonful of medicine before holding the man’s left hand, and applied it on his hand.

 

“W-What’s wrong? Does it hurt?”

 

“It feels cold.”

 

The man frowned. She couldn’t tell whether it was really cold or he was just holding back because of how painful it was.

 

She knew for sure that the man was tough.

 

“Were you trying to break through it just because you can’t see me? Even though you clearly know you’re going to get hurt!”

 

Helen applied the medicine neatly while scolding the man.

 

She had never wished to help someone applying medicine in their hand before. The cold medicine eventually felt warm and mild.

 

The bitter smell of medicine stung my nose.

 

She felt strange when applying the medicine on the man’s hand, which was burning.


His fingers were entwined and there were medicines in between.

 

“Euh….”

 

The man suddenly let out an erotic sound. He seemed to be surprised by the strange sound that was coming from his own mouth.

 

“Ah, I didn’t let it out on purpose….”

 

“Stupid….”

 

Helen muttered, but the man was too flustered by himself.

 

In other words, this was the first time he felt this sort of feeling.

 

The feeling of her blood rushing fast where he touched made her feel dizzy.

 

She even imagined there was a spark in the place he touched.

 

“Sigh…..”

 

The man couldn’t figure out the meaning behind this sort of feeling, so he only let out a deep sigh.

 

“Does it hurt a lot?”

 

The woman must have applied the medicine on his hands, so she was now applying the medicine to his wrist.

 

She liked his gentle voice, and also his clumsy hands that seemed to have never been treated by anyone else.

 

“It hurts.”

 

“Does it hurt?”

 

“Yeah. Very much.”

 

Actually, it didn’t hurt that much. He thought it was the same reason as why he didn’t really feel cold.

 

His senses had become dull. It wouldn’t even hurt when he was stabbed, so he thought something was wrong with his body.

 

He already knew his body didn’t feel like a normal human being in many ways, but the woman worried a lot about him when she looked at her because she didn’t know that.

 

He liked that gaze.

 

And if he could touch it a bit more….

 

With insidious greed in mind, the man grabbed Helen’s fingertips slightly.

 

Helen was startled by his craving touch and pulled her hand away. The man’s disappointed gaze landed on her hand.

 

“D-Don’t do it next time!”

 

“Why are you crying?”

 

“It was because you seemed to be in pain….”

 

The man also liked it when she cried for him.

 

Cute.

 

She was so cute. She looked cute when attempting to talk back to him because she looked so small, and he was also amazed when the woman immediately felt dejected when he said something.

 

It amazed him how he was able to act like he was hurting because the real problem was that he didn’t know how it felt to be in pain.

 

“It’s okay. It’ll get better by tomorrow.”

 

The man stroked Helen’s head with his right hand, the one which wasn’t injured.

 

He even tickled her chin, as if stroking a pet bird gently.

 

“What are you…. doing….”

 

At this rate, she clearly looked like a little girl playing house with a man.

 

She really has to go back now.

 

Helen returned completely to her senses because of the faint sunshine that came through the window.

 

“I should get going now.”

 

Actually, she wasn’t willing to leave the hurting man here, but there was nothing she could do about that.

 

A contented smile spread across the man’s mouth when he found her stealing a glance toward him several times.

 

He thought it was worth it to hurt his hand over and over again because it made the woman only look at him the entire time.

 

Watching Helen, who was gathering her things hurriedly, the man hid his disappointment.

 

“Okay.”

 

She was starting to get sleepy by now. She was supposed to be asleep at this time.

 

After packing her things, Helen waved her hands before leaving the library.

 

The man stood at the door while listening to Helen’s footsteps, then he ran straight to the window.

 

Throughout the window, he could see Helen running and stepping on the grass.

 

“Goodbye.”

 

Helen didn’t even look back. It would’ve been nice if she looked at him even just for once.

 

He was disappointed, but Helen never showed her face until she disappeared from his sight.

 

The man clenched his fist and swallowed his disappointment.

 

“See you tomorrow.”

 

***

 

  1. The Man’s Identity

 

The man, who fell asleep as if he was losing consciousness in the library, opened his eyes again.

 

His eyes were so empty that they couldn’t even be compared to the middle of the night.

 

His eyebrows were furrowed in an irritated manner, weary expression, and drowsy eyes which were still half-opened.

 

Furthermore, the man got up and immediately began to fix his manner, he seemed very different from last night.

 

“Sigh… Why do I keep sleeping on the floor?”

 

He didn’t even want to sleep on the sofa either. But at least he should stay seated. He couldn’t understand why he found himself falling down on the floor in front of the window and sleeping there.

 

The man, who let out an irritated sigh, then found a strange medicine with a lot of stuff on his left hand out of nowhere when he was about to run hand through his hair roughly.

 

His hand was injured again, and what he assumed as medicine was applied all over it.

 

He scooped up the medicine with his right hand and rubbed it against his thumb and forefinger.

 

“What is this?”

 

He really had no idea.

 

Moreover, his arm was not the only thing that looked different.

 

The messy library, a pen and ink on the sofa, cookie crumbs remained on the sofa, and empty bottles of medicine.

 

And then there was also something which he assumed as a burlap bag.

 

“And what’s this?”

 

Then, he finally saw the message left on the shirt he was currently wearing.

 

[Who are you? Why did you lock me up?]

 

“Ha…. Haha….”

 

The man, who was bewildered, burst into laughter.

 

Did his night self think that someone else had locked him up in the library?

 

“Stupid.”

 

Tsk, he clicked his tongue and got up from his position.

 

He couldn’t believe that he was sleeping on the floor, rather than the sofa he had prepared.

 

The man looked around coldly once again.

 

“There seemed to be someone who was helping me….”

 

The man’s eyes moved around coldly. His dry eyes changed as if the sun were rising early in the morning.

 

Who was helping him?

 

They had been stepping their feet into the Emperor’s library. They seemed to have a big guts.

 

They were definitely not an assassin because it seemed like there was no wound on his body except for his hand.

 

And because he didn’t find any dead bodies, that person must have left some time ago.

 

Did he let them escape?

 

He was confused because this kind of incident never happened before. The man swept his chin with a suspicious gaze.

 

“Oh, a candlestick.”

 

A few days ago, a candlestick was placed on the table.

 

He seemed to have forgotten about it after bringing it to the library.

 

“He never thought that someone else had come in.”

 

It’s been as many as ten years.

 

It’s not like he hadn’t met anyone else while doing this thing repeatedly for nearly a decade.

 

But it’s been a long time since then, so no wonder he had never thought about it.

 

“I have to find that person.”

 

The man left the library after spitting out his words without having any particular expression on his face.

 

He held the door of the library, but nothing happened, so he headed toward the Lion Palace.

 

Sir Viester, who was waiting in front of the library, greeted him.

 

“You come.”

 

He draped the embroidered outer garment, which was owned by the Emperor, around his shoulder.

 

“For a simple breakfast. Let’s go to my office.”

 

“Yes. I understand.”

 

As the Emperor’s aide, he answered once again.

 

Viester, who was following the emperor, realized that the Emperor’s left arm was blackened, as if it had been burned.

 

“I will call for the priest.”

 

Hearing Viester, the Emperor rubbed his left arm which was injured.

 

The Emperor stopped and spoke up again.

 

“Get the Commander to come as well.”

 

The security had been weakened lately.

 

When the Emperor spoke up again, Viester suddenly had a sweat running down his back. He found it difficult to play up to the very sharp Emperor in this particular morning.

 

The Emperor frowned and had an unpleasant look on his face.

 

Viester had a hunch that the palace would be in a turmoil.