Chapter 1. Who are... all of you?
Even though he was skinny, his glowing and clean skin was dazzling, as if it contained light.
Elusiana, who was staring blankly at Astein’s face, belatedly flinched and parted her lips.
“I-I’m going to get some water.”
Astein, who smiled slowly, leaned his body against the head of the bed and spoke with a smile, “…you don’t… have to.”
After he had finished speaking, Astein showed something the size of a palm, then smiled faintly.
‘What is that? Huh? That round shape…’
Elusiana’s eyes trembled slightly as she carefully looked at what the boy had shown her. This was because the calling artifact, which was supposed to be in the bedside table’s drawer, was in the boy’s hand.
‘No, why is he holding that?’
Elusiana, who reflexively turned her head to the bedside table, pondered her question for a moment, and the boy pressed the button of the calling artifact.
The light on the surface flickered with a low vibrating sound. When the calling artifact was being used, the maid would come to you in less than a minute. Elusiana, who had blinked her eyes, shouted belatedly.
“Boy! What are you doing?!”
At that moment, a sneer crossed Astein’s face.
“I already… said… you don’t… have to go.”
The round artifact in Astein’s hand shook mocking her. As if he already knew what she was thinking from the beginning.
‘What’s wrong with this brat?’
An indifferent expression that didn’t suit a child’s face. The cool eyes didn’t seem to have any emotions. And those …. raised decadent lips.
‘This brat, he noticed what I’m trying to do…?’
Instantly goosebumps raised on Elusiana’s back. She thought she had picked a weird person.
* * *
Meanwhile, Simon was spending time drinking tea in his office.
“What is that child doing now?”
The old butler poured the tea into Simon’s teacup. Then he stepped back gracefully and answered.
“After dinner, he fell asleep.”
“Hmm. That’s a relief. It is safe to say… the treatment went well.”
He said he felt relieved, but the worry on Simon’s face didn’t go away.
Simon pressed his temples once and said, “Where did that child come from? Haven’t you found his origin yet?”
The butler hesitated to speak.
“Actually, I have something to tell you about it.”
“What is it?”
“The child’s origin seems unusual given that his past has been erased so neatly.”
“That’s what I was thinking too.”
But that made it even more difficult to guess. The high-ranking noble who knew the preciousness of their bloodline would never make their son like this.
Simon pressed down the wrinkles between his forehead and looked at the butler.
“Is that why you’re telling me to let the child go?”
“If you want my honest answer… that’s right.”
“Lord, the movements around you are unusual. We should refrain from drawing attention.”
Simon’s expression darkened sharply when the butler pointed out what he was worried about. There had been a rapid decline in safes that seemed to never dry up over the years. From the first Viscount until he, his wife, and his daughter. They used a huge amount of gold to treat everyone.
Everything about it was a bizarre coincidence. But even that was only a part of the whole. Nevertheless, Simon cared so much about it.
‘This is not the end.’
Many consider the Waieos family as a thorn in the eye. They had no choice but to complain as he was from a low-ranked family but gained authority.
‘Maybe even that child is a trap they designed.’
They were smiling in front of him, but they were ready to take him down at any time because it was their true intention as nobles, including Count Eragost.
‘I should have held onto the position of Minister a little longer.’
He was blocking them somehow now, but if he couldn’t fill the gap, they would be bound to run like a fire moth. They would try to chew Waieos up to the bone and then swallow it.
The butler pointed out the problem.
“I understand what you mean. But it’s a matter of someone’s life that he came to my mansion to be saved. Ahem, it’s also my only daughter who picked him up.”
“As expected, it’s because of the young lady.”
“Don’t be too harsh on him. Let’s wait until that child’s treatment is completely over… then let him go.”
Simon, who blushed with embarrassment, waved his hand.
The butler, nodding his head, then left the office.
Simon, who was left alone, took a sip of cold tea. His embarrassed expression turned cold.
“Butler, I can’t help it either,” Simon muttered to himself.
It was because the conversation they had in the past at the temple came to his mind.
“Keep your promise to God, Viscount Waieos. If you don’t prove your faithfulness, your beloved daughter will return to his arms again. Such a sad thing… shouldn’t happen again, right?”
Recalling when he was receiving something like a threat but not a threat from the High Priest, Simon let out a long sigh.
“Give everything I have.”
If he hadn’t heard it, he wouldn’t know, but once he heard it, he couldn’t ignore it. Even if all those words were false.
“I can’t put my daughter’s life on the scales.”
Simon smiled bitterly and swallowed the last remaining tea. The taste of the last remaining tea was bitter.
* * *
Elusiana frowned, carefully examining her eyelids that had left marks on each.
“The swelling is gone, but why isn’t the bruise gone too?”
After visiting Astein’s room, Elusiana was unable to enter his room for a while because her eyes were bruised. It had been ten days already. That also meant she had been stuck in her room for ten days.
“It was boring.”
Lying down, reading a book, and looking out the window without any reason once or twice, she thought her brain had hardened after three or four days. She probably would have become a fool if she hadn’t heard about Astein the other day.
“But why all of a sudden, he doesn’t eat what he used to eat?”
When Astein’s cold gaze, who had been sneering at her, came to her mind, Elusiana unwittingly touched her wrist. She couldn’t feel any pain, but she seemed to feel the grip of that boy.
“Anyway, he’s so stubborn.”
‘Well, I could understand.’
He grew up being exposed to all kinds of oppression and violence, so it was natural for him to be cold and hostile. Furthermore, the place where he came to his senses wasn’t familiar to him.
‘He can’t help but feel anxious.’
He must have been scared too. As he couldn’t tell if this place was the place of the enemy or an ally.
It seemed like Elusaiana had said everything he wanted to say.
‘Ah! Was it because I was also a kid that he was being less wary?’
From that point of view, it was pretty convincing.
He was reluctant to approach people, which made all the maids who brought his meal feel that reluctance.
‘Well, those eerie red eyes… were too much for the average person to handle.’
She would feel the same if she were an 8-year-old girl who had nothing to worry about and didn’t have the soul of her past life in her body.
“In the end, I’m the only one who can help him, right?”
Elusiana’s face, which recalled Astein, who was acting like an angry hedgehog, smiled with satisfaction.
Elusiana, staring into the mirror, suddenly made a serious face. She had marshmallow-smooth skin and vivid scarlet eyes. She had a face with common brown hair but looked so pretty, which made her look special.
“What if he doesn’t recognize me because I’m so pretty?”
She visited the boy when her face was swollen, so he might be unfamiliar with seeing such a pretty face.
“He’s already a child with a strong sense of vigilance.”
As if she was worried, Elusiana once again captured herself in the mirror and gave strength to her eyes.
“Eii, there’s a saying that even if you do plastic surgery, your appearance won’t change drastically. Don’t tell me he really won’t recognize me? It doesn’t make sense.”
Elusiana smiled and waved her hand.
“Well, I will find out about it when I see him in person.”
* * *
Elusiana left her room with something for Astein.
‘Did they say he is awake at this hour?’
Arriving in front of Astein’s room, Elusiana briefly looked down at the blue ointment bottle for a moment.
He was refusing to eat, so she thought it might be because he was sick, that was why she brought the largest bottle of it.
‘Because there can be wounds even in places you can’t see.’
It could be that he still has some wounds left, or he didn’t have any appetite.
Elusiana grabbed the blue ointment she had gotten from Trisha and knocked on the door.
There was no response.
She knocked a few more times, but there was no answer from inside. Elusiana hesitated a little, then opened the door carefully.
Just as expected, Astein was leaning against the head of the bed, looking out the window. He didn’t move at all, even though he must have felt the presence of a person.
‘Ummm. It’s a bit different from what I heard?’
Despite the fact that he was extremely reluctant to approach people, Astein simply looked out of the window indifferently. It was as if he was in a space completely separated from where she was standing.
Elusiana took her gaze from Astein and looked at the table. The lamb soup served for lunch was still there.
‘He didn’t even touch it.’
It was the same for the glass of water next to it.
Elusiana’s gaze turned to Astein again. Ten days had already passed, but he was still skinny.
Elusiana sighed unconsciously. It was then, Astein’s head moved. His blood-red eyes stared straight into her eyes.