Lots of love to Sahsahsah for the kofi~ Here’s one chapter for now! Will post the second one soon.
Confusion filled me.
No… Wait… Don’t tell me I was having a runny nose like a damn embarrassment in front of my husband’s friend—oh, thank God, it wasn’t actually a runny nose. The liquid dripping down my chin was red.
It wasn’t snot, but a nosebleed—wait, a nosebleed?!
Even if I was in bad shape because of my yearly illness, something like this had never happened before. “Oh…”
“My Lady, are you all right?”
No, I’m so confused that I don’t know what to do.
Just as I was acting like some half-witted fan, I had to show them this sorry sight. I tried to stem the blood flow with my hands, but my head was spinning. I lost my footing and stumbled backwards, but someone quickly caught me.
“You…” Izek was fast in stretching out his arms to prevent me from falling. He suddenly paused. I didn’t think he could furrow his brows more than he was already doing, but he did.
Look, you stubborn b*stard, I’m fine with your rude behavior, but there’s no way I did this on purpose.
“Why are you so hot?”
Huh? Hot? Me? That can’t be true.
No doctor ever could figure out what was wrong with me when these mysterious symptoms acted up. I felt this pain twice a year, but the burning heat seemed to be so much worse than previous years. This was also the first time that I had a nosebleed.
“I-I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to show you this appearance—”
Izek cut me off, in spite of my embarrassment. His red eyes glowed with something unfamiliar, something I’d never seen before. “Who did you come here with?”
“O-Of course, I came alone…”
“I’m really about to go crazy.” It looked as if he couldn’t believe his own ears. “You mean to tell me you came out here all alone while you’re in this state?”
The vertigo got worse because my body was lifted into the air. Izek had put his hand around my waist and was hugging me tightly, like he was carrying some kind of sack. I wondered if a mouse captured in an eagle’s claw would have felt the same way as I was feeling right now.
I wanted to tell him to put me down, but I held it in because I thought he’d just cruelly drop me on the hard ground.
Sir Ivan’s light-green eyes looked very serious as he hurriedly searched his pockets. “My Lady, did anyone call for a doctor?”
No one would have called for one even if I had asked.
“It’s not something worth calling the doctor for. I’m sorry, the sunlight was just so bright that I became dizzy…”
“Ivan, give me your handkerchief.”
“It doesn’t matter. Damn it, she’s burning up.”
“No sh*t… I’m sorry, My Lady. Hey! How long has she been living in your house? Does it make any sense that nobody knew about her condition?!”
It did make sense. This illness was unusual and no doctor could diagnose the symptoms. Even the most renowned physicians called upon by the Holy Pope thought that it was just a side effect of overworking my body. But right now… My husband was telling me that I was as hot as a boiling pot? Even wiping the blood off of my face for me…
It was both confusing and fascinating.
My head spun madly. My vision faded and my body soon grew limp in Izek’s arms.
A strange noise woke me up from my slumber. As I opened my eyes, I was greeted with the familiar canopy of my bed.
I was lying alone in my room in Omerta Castle. The fireplace crackled with green flames, warming the entirety of the chamber.
What had happened?
I tried to recollect my vague memories. Waking up in pain, the semi-annual illness, visiting the Port of Elmos by myself… It all felt like a dream.
I pulled back the canopy curtains and tried to look out of the window from afar, but I couldn’t tell whether it was dawn or dusk.
The symptoms had already disappeared, but my head still ached and I was thirsty. The moment I came down from the bed and tried to grab the carafe filled with water on the nightstand—
“… Huu… Huuuuu…”
The sound of sobbing.
The sound of a woman sobbing made me stop dead in my tracks.
I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from, although it did come from nearby. The wailing became louder as I walked closer to the door. So I opened it and looked out into the hall, but no one was there.
It was a rather sorrowful, forlorn sound. Who was crying? Was it Ellenia? Or a maid? I crept along the wall, in the direction of the cries. Bright lights were emitting from the end of the long, dark hallway.
There was no way a maid would cry hiding over there, so was it Ellenia? Did something happen?
“—So for the time being… My Lady?”
I blinked, my hands still stuck to the wall.
No one was crying in the brightly-lit hall leading to the stairs. The only ones standing in the corridor were an unfamiliar man I hadn’t seen before and my husband. He looked even more dangerous at night.
The three of us stared at one another for a moment.
While I was trying to come up with a clever excuse, the two kept studying me from head to toe, as if my appearance was unexpected.
My husband was always the same. Stoic and rigid. But why was this stranger staring at me like that?
“… My Lady, are you feeling a little better?”
Thank you for asking. I know I look bad.
As I was about to answer him with a nod and a smile, Izek, whose eyes were boring into me, approached me slowly.
He came up to me so suddenly that I blurted out while flinching away from him, “I’m sorry, b-but I keep hearing someone cry…”
“I could hear someone crying, so I got worried, thinking that it might be Ellen…”
Izek gave me a strange look, only to turn back to the stranger, who was also giving me that same strange look. Looks like they thought I was high on dr*gs.
“Nobody’s crying,” he said in a low voice.
No, I’m sure someone was right up until a moment ago… Wait, why can’t I hear it anymore? What perfect timing for it to stop.
“Well, I’m not lying to you. I’m sure that a while ago—”
“I didn’t say that you were lying.” The tendons in his neck turned taut as he spat that out.
Huh… He believes me that easily?
“Sergei, you can go now.” As dreadful as always, Izek easily dismissed the stranger who seemed to be a doctor.
“Very well, then I shall come back in the afternoon. I will see you later, My Lady.”
I tried to bid him farewell, but my husband stepped in front of me and lifted me off the floor. With his arms around my back and knees, déjà-vu washed over me and my head grew light again. “You’re too rough…”
He said nothing as he walked down the long corridor towards my room.
“What happened after my nosebleed earlier?”
After contemplating what to tell me for a moment, he said, “Not earlier, but three days ago.”
“That can’t be true…” He jostled my body as he tried to reach for my bedroom door. “Ah, I must be heavy, so please put me down.”
I could see his brows twitch out of the corner of my eye. “Seems like you still have a high fever.”
A high fever? Did I have one?
Seeing as he didn’t heartlessly drop me down to walk on my own, I moved my arms around his thick neck to secure myself. He flinched as if he had been burned.
“I’m… sorry I keep bothering you… Please don’t hate me.” I didn’t know what to make of the look on his face. “I really thought Ellen was crying…”
“Ellen won’t cry.”
“Ah, that’s right… She’s not like me. But there’s still something I’m good at, though.”
“What the… Haa,” he sighed as he put me down on the bed. “There you go.”
I’m good at acting. I held my tongue cheekily and grinned at Izek’s profile while he retracted his arms. His scarlet ruby-like eyes were gazing at me, glossy with a strange light.
“… Never mind. I’ll talk to you later.”
He was still the same.
That’s how my husband left the room. The door shut softly, but I couldn’t hear any footsteps.
While I was slowly falling asleep, a loud sigh suddenly rang out from close by the door and a moment later, a thud, as if something had hit the wall.
What was that? Did Izek hit his head against the wall? What was he doing? Was he standing right outside the door?
Why didn’t he walk away?
After that, I was sick for two more days.
It wasn’t the semi-annual illness that had made me so sick, but a normal fever. The doctor, Sergei, was very kind, but he hadn’t given me any detailed explanation to any of the questions I had asked him about my condition. It was unclear whether he was hiding something or not.
However, he did emphasize that I should never skip a meal and eat a lot, because I was too skinny. Anyhow, I came to the conclusion that my mysterious illness and the fever I got from falling into a cold pond coincided. So that explained why I suddenly had a nosebleed and how Izek could feel me burning up.
In addition to what happened that day, the attitude of the servants had changed. They became more polite, and I was not able to adapt well to that.
“It’s a new recipe for porridge, My Lady. I ground the potatoes to make it more appetizing.”
Yes, what an honor. It’s already very hard to adjust to your change in personality, but I also have to continue smiling brightly all of the time.
Another disadvantage of being sick was that I had to be stuck in bed all day and eat my meals.
To make matters worse, Ellenia came to visit me during every meal, so it was impossible to secretly throw everything back up.
However, my fever was steadily going down, so everything should go back to normal soon.
“I hope you don’t misunderstand that day,” she spoke up.
“I just wanted to see him for a little bit to discuss something.”
I slid the spoon I was clutching tightly down, scraping the porridge stuck to the sides of the bowl in my lap. She was sitting upright in an armchair next to my bed, her gaze fixed on my hand.
“There is nothing to misunderstand, Ellen. I heard why you two went there, so…”
The finest flower of the North, with her lips pressed together, fixed her uniquely colored eyes on my face.
Ellenia was, after all, the one that would be in trouble the most if a disturbance were to happen.
Don’t worry. I don’t have any interest or time to waste on things like that, anyway.