Chapter 4

 

It was the first word that hurt Ethan terribly.

 

It broke the air in the room that had been quiet for a long time.

 

In the meantime, the gap between her eyelids opened and her red eyes were completely revealed.

 

Originally, Ruelli’s eyes were so intense that he could almost feel the fire in them, but now they were blurred as if they had faded, and Ethan was very surprised. 

 

“Ruelli.”

 

As she blinked her eyes, a drop of her accumulated tears fell down her cheek. Only then did Ethan realize that the blurred vision was due to sadness in her eyes.

 

At Ethan’s call, Ruelli slowly closed her eyes and opened them. For a fleeting moment, Ethan was very nervous because he thought she wouldn’t open her eyes again.

 

 “Ruelli, have you come to your senses?”

 

Despite his determination to not show anxiety, Ethan could hardly remain calm in front of the conscious woman.

 

He didn’t even know if it was because of her first word.

 

“Here, it’s …….”

 

Ruelli managed to open her lips and narrowed her eyebrows as if even that was painful. Immediately afterward, her pure white skin turned red as the pain surged through her.

 

Ironically, Ethan felt a sense of relief that Ruelli had finally come back to life.

 

“Don’t say anything.”

 

Ethan whispered quietly and looked at Ruelli. Then the tip of her nose turned red, and the corners of her eyes began to moisten.

 

“This is….where……?”

 

Ruelli was a strong woman. Despite the pain and lethargy that seized her whole body, she had to know what had happened to her and where she was now.

 

Ethan spoke cautiously, hoping she wouldn’t be too surprised.

 

“It’s a safe place.”

 

“…… I’m alive…”

 

“Yes.”

 

Ethan wondered if Ruelli remembered the moment when she was struck by the sword. It was painful just to recall the memory of the day, so Ethan gave a short answer and placed his hand on her forehead.

 

“What happened….?”

 

“I don’t know exactly yet. But don’t worry, I’m going after the ones who tried to hurt you.”

 

Ruelli didn’t show any reaction to those words.

 

Her eyes, which were soaking wet, finally let go of their pain. It was only a single tear, but Ethan couldn’t bear it.

 

It was then that he reached out to her, unsure of what his emotions were.

 

“……!”

 

Ruelli quickly ducked her head and dodged his hand. Due to the fact that she still couldn’t move her body properly, she showed her will once again by squeezing her eyes shut.

 

Ethan knew very well that she had moved by reflex.

 

His heart ached as he told himself over and over again that she turned away because of fear, no other reasons.

 

Ethan retracted his hand, which floated in the air, and gave strength to his lips.

 

“I’ll call the doctor.”

 

Ethan tried to calm his emotions as he rose from his seat. A whisper came from behind him, like a dry tree branch, and he stopped.

 

“Lord Clarke.”

 

The sound was small but he could hear it. And, the mosquito-like voice flew in and stung his heart.

 

He stopped abruptly and closed his eyes slowly. He was debating whether he should go straight out and call the doctor, or turn around and face her.

 

He wanted to turn around right away and ask her why she called him that. But it was a question he could not bear to ask a woman who just woke up after ten days.

 

It was a moment that felt like an eternity. Then, he heard a pounding on the door, followed by brisk steps.

 

It was O’Connell, who had gone out searching in the morning.

 

“We’ve searched everywhere deep in the mountains, but there’s so much snow that it’s hard to find. But we can’t afford to lose sight of it…….Sir?”

 

O’Connell looked at Ethan and hesitated for a moment. It was because Ethan looked very pale.

 

“Get the doctor.”

 

“Sir, are you all right?”

 

Despite what O’Connell had said, Ethan didn’t move an inch. It seemed that he was barely able to say the word to summon the doctor.

 

As if he had forgotten how to open his mouth, his tightly closed lips looked precarious.

 

Sensing that Ethan’s expression was unusual, O’Connell leaned sideways and glanced at the bed.

 

He could see the weak movements of a woman lying on the bed in the distance.

 

“Oh my god.”

 

O’Connell made a short noise that sounded like a cheer, but retreated.

 

It was strange. His Lord hoped so much that Ruelli would wake up, but why was his expression so gloomy now that she finally woke up?

 

Ethan was not one to show his true emotions. He had a cold temperament that didn’t quite match his green eyes that seemed to encompass the earth.

 

O’Connell witnessed his Lord guarding Ruelli’s side tirelessly. 

 

He felt pity for the young Lord who lived with his hot heart hidden and earnestly hoped that his Lord’s sincerity for Ruelli was not too late.

 

‘But why isn’t he happy at all?’

 

The emotion that landed on Ethan’s eyes was indeed dreary.

 

Perhaps it was because he was tired from guarding her for so long. But Ethan’s reaction was inevitably too frozen to understand.

 

“I’ll go get the doctor as soon as I can.”

 

O’Connell, barely able to contain his wonder, turned away.

 

Nonetheless, it was fortunate that Miss Bedivier woke up.

 

***

 

Notes

N/A

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