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“Sir George. She has a bad cold. It’s not a disease that would kill her. Go out and get some fresh air. Roll the knights or something.”
Chaers couldn’t help but pull his hand off of his forehead. He flew into a rage when he heard the doctor giving George a pep talk.
“Doctor! You’re going to make the knights riot!”
The knights would speak of their harsh training under George.
The men in the north are scary. I’m scared of the men in the north…
The only time I closed my eyes last night was when I remembered Duke Kyron.
Ah… He told me to come to his office in the morning. Will he come to my room with his sword and cut my legs off?
“Arielsa, does it hurt a lot? Can you stand it? Doctor, please do something!”
George’s yelling voice was so loud that my ears ached. I couldn’t even help but frown. He even got more agitated when he saw me frown as he created a bigger fuss.
The doctor started to get annoyed too. The door suddenly burst open when Chaers, who couldn’t take it anymore, shouted ‘Sir George!’ loudly.
The three of them respectfully called out to Duke Kyron, who suddenly appeared in my room. I couldn’t help but shiver in fright.
George saw that my face looked like the world was collapsing. However, Duke Kyron was smiling amiably at me.
[ Sometimes, he would have a very warm smile. But his vassals and retainers knew that this was the most dangerous moment for someone facing Kyron Harpel. ]
A passage from the original novel suddenly flashed in my head. I couldn’t help but shriek loudly in my head.
But for some reason, no one noticed that this was a dangerous moment. Instead, everyone was looking at him blankly.
‘Dad! Dad! George! Do something!’
Duke Kyron spoke kindly as he looked straight at me.
“I came here because I heard that Arielsa was sick. It seems like the room is very cramped.”
What was worse was that George’s eyes looked moved when he heard his words.
“Since she was a kid, she had no advantage except for her strength. This is embarrassing…! I’m sorry that we have let the Duke come here.”
“Don’t say that, Sir George. Arielsa stayed up all night in the East and nursed me diligently. No, up until some point. But she did her best while she was at it.”
‘Please shut up!’
I quietly pulled the quilt to avoid eye contact with Duke Kyron who was very blinding for some reason or another. Meanwhile, George, Chaers and the Doctor all vacated the room. I wanted to hold them in the room, but it was an impossible feat.
When only the two of us were left in the room, Duke Kyron went and sat on my little wooden chair. He even crossed his long legs and leaned back.
“I was very troubled on my way here. Arielsa.”
His tone of voice was still amiable and friendly. Perhaps that was the reason why my hair stood on end.
“Should I cut your leg or your head… but it’s very embarrassing when I see you like this. I’m not fond of taking back my words. Hmm. I’ll be too lazy to teach you what I’m like in the future.”
‘Don’t teach me!’
After roaring loudly in my head, I answered him tearfully.
“B, but I’m really sick now. It’s not that I did not want to go but it was because I have a fever and I can’t move…”
“You treated me but you couldn’t even treat yourself?”
I answered him as I continued to hide under the covers. I felt really sad.
“I’ve used up all of the medicine that I made back then for the Duke… Sob, sob, sob.”
I wanted to tell him that my body’s immune system, my only advantage with this strong body, had collapsed after experiencing life and death under his sword. However, it was something that I couldn’t do.
The fever even made it easier for me to feel the sadness so my tears kept on flowing down my cheeks.
When I began to sob, Duke Kyron just frowned deeply. Not even a fleck of sympathy could be seen in his face. Thinking about how he treated his enemies and how he punished the heads of the female lead’s family in the original novel, it seemed like he had not even started yet.
He uncrossed his legs and stood up before looking down at me from above. I could see that he was smiling.
“Fine. I’ll let you off the hook just this once. I’ll punish you if you get sick again without my permission.”
“I’ll give you three days. Come to the office after you get over this sickness.”
Duke Kyron turned and left. It seemed like he did not need any answer from me.
I just took some medicine so I felt like my body was being dragged down as I buried myself deeper under my covers after hearing his ridiculous threat.
What? Get sick with permission? I can only get sick in the period that he had set for me?
He had just said earlier that I stayed up all night when he was sick before. He did not even know how sick he was back then. Chaers was even pissed off.
But right now, this man!
However, instead of those words, the words that came out of my mouth were different. Perhaps it was because of my desire to survive.
“Hic, hic. Duke…”
I fell asleep crying like that. Perhaps this was what it felt like for the world to collapse.
Nothing can be sadder than your favorite male lead being mean to you.
Perhaps it was because I took the doctor’s medicine well, or maybe it was really just like George had said and I was really born with a strong physique, but my fever dropped after a good night’s sleep.
However, I still had to stay in bed at all times thanks to the chills and slight fever that coated my entire body. George even fed me some tasteless mushroom soup as he chattered until my ears bled. Perhaps it was because he was too agitated that he needed to do something like this to be rest assured. I’m sure that the food would not taste this bad if there weren’t any mushrooms.
George just continued to speak without knowing what was going on.
“How grateful we are to the Duke. That man gave us these precious mushrooms. Eat a lot.”
But right now, I was already starting to think about confessing the truth to George and bidding everything in this place goodbye.
“I’m really moved by what the Duke did. Everyone says that he’s cranky and bad tempered but the Harpel Family had long been known for their warm actions towards their vassals and retainers.”
I couldn’t bear to listen to his words since they were all too far from the truth. I just felt sad since I hated everything right now.
“Arielsa, why? What’s wrong? Are you feeling sick again?”
“I’m not, Dad.”
“So why are you crying?”
“I’m just very thankful to the Duke. Hic.”
“This brat… Good girl.”
If I could die because of irritation and annoyance, I would definitely be dead right now. However, irritation and annoyance would definitely not kill anyone.
I just kept on opening my mouth to eat the porridge. George looked very happy.
I’m just glad that at least, someone was happy in this situation.
Exactly three days later, I got out of my bed before washing and grooming myself. I did not know if it was because of that weird mushroom but I recovered much faster than I thought.
Before going to the Duke’s office, I made sure to wear a dark dress. It was dark enough that blood would not be obvious even if it was spilled with it. This was my consideration for George. My final consideration for him was to make his daughter look less terrible as much as possible.
I headed towards the Duke’s office with this determination in mind.
“Good morning, Duke.”
He did not even pay me any heed as he continued to sit on his desk. It was the same behavior that he had before. So I had no choice but to act as usual.
“Should I make you tea?”
I still did not hear any answer. But at times like this, steeping some tea seemed to be the best answer. When I was on my way to the console table, I heard his dry and dreary voice from behind me.
“Do it. I need some tea in the morning to kill my dog-like personality.”
I stood there with my stiff limbs as my lips trembled.
Romance Fantasy was just fantasy with the male and female lead going off on a romance point. This world was rough and cruel. And this stunning Duke Kyron, my favorite character who kept me awake even if I did not study for my university exam, had a wretched personality if he was not in front of the female lead.
And right now, he decided to pour that extremely wretched talent of his all into me.
My plans had to be revised. If my previous goal was to protect Duke Kyron and influence reality so he could be safe, my goal right now was to prioritize my safety and survival. There was nothing I could do.
I got out of my daze as I moved forward to the console table. I could feel that someone was coming up behind me while I chose the tea.
Duke Kyron, who suddenly appeared behind me, quickly turned my body around as he pulled my chin. He brought my face close to his. I could feel him looking at my face like he wanted to eat me alive but I just held on with my eyes shut tight. I even needed to hold on to the corners of the console table to keep my balance.
The voice that he used to speak to me was low and ferocious.
“It’s completely perfect. No matter how I look at it, you’re Arielsa.”
“Th, this is Arielsa. It’s her body.”
He sighed for quite some time before he withdrew. Then, he brushed his face as if he was distressed about something. Only then did I realize how terrified I was. I did not know and I could not understand but I was terrified at the prospect of him taking this situation wrongly.
He had also lost Arielsa. The only childhood friend that he was kind to.
I easily forgot about the tingling sensation left on my jaws after he had grasped me tightly earlier.
I spoke carefully.
“I’m sorry for your loss. She was a good child… She really cared about you.”
“If I had a sister, I’m sure that she would be like her.”
He turned his back towards me as he sat on the sofa. I suddenly remembered how he said ‘My Arielsa’ in the garden last night. He loved her much more than what she thought. I could see that Duke Kyron was deeply distressed by the loss of Arielsa.
His silence had a strange power. For some reason, I could hear his heart roaring loudly like the reverberating sound of a woodcutter chopping wood in the middle of a forest.
“Duke, please have some tea.”
I carefully placed the cinnamon tea on the table in front of him.
He stared at the white steam blowing from the tea before looking up at me.