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    Translated by alyalia
    Edited by 5uyash


     

    “Thank you.”

    Ben put the spoon down, emptying the bowl full of soup. She gave the biggest bowl in the house, but it was quickly emptied. Unlike his bowl, more than half of the soup remained in Cersinia’s bowl. She was not really hungry because she had already had breakfast. Ben, who ate all the baguettes, still looked as if he wasn’t full. Cersinia pushed four pieces of her baguette in front of him.

    “Ah, it’s okay.”

    As he spoke, Ben couldn’t take his eyes off the baguette. He must have never eaten properly.

    “I’m full. I don’t want any leftovers, so help me.”

    Cersinia was gradually getting to know Ben. One of his traits was not being honest.

    ‘You still look hungry, so eat more.’

    He had never eaten like this. And Cersinia didn’t need it anymore. She didn’t care whether he ate it or threw it away. Because she understood his situation.  Perhaps being unable to claim his own became his habit during his enslavement. Ben glanced at the baguette and Cersenia alternately. She nodded her head as she gave permission. Ben looked at the Baguette and Cercinia alternately.

    “Then… thank you.”

    He carefully reached out and picked up the baguette. Cersinia stood up. She noticed that there was still some soup left in the pot when she poured soup earlier. If he only eats baguettes, it won’t be enough. So she’ll have to bring more soup. Holding his bowl, which had been emptied, she headed to the pot that was still on fire. The soup in the pot was reduced to less than half the amount leftover from breakfast.

    Well, it’s good that he ate well,’ she thought that was a good thing because the weather could ruin that day. With a ladle, she scraped the pot until the bottom was visible and put it in front of Ben.

    “Ah, thank you…”

    His voice trembled slightly as saying thank you. Ben looked at the soup that was still steamy in front of him. He was about to burst into tears. He couldn’t even remember the last time he had a hot meal like today. The food occasionally served to him was hardened bread. Even when he ate it, he was always hungry because that was not enough.

    Lived without a roof, if it rained, he ate bread soaked in the rain, and if it snowed, he ate bread with snow as a side dish. He even grabbed his stomach because of lack of food. Ben hastily scooped out the soup and brought it to his mouth. He thought he would burst into tears if he didn’t put food in his mouth right away. The warmth of the heart-warming food and the comfortable cabin made his eyes tingle.

    “Eat slowly.”

    Cersinia sat back across from him. The soup she boiled in the morning must have been a little salty because she had to cook it again, but he was emptying the soup and bread without a word. She understood what it meant to be full just by watching him eat.

    “Sorry, I’m eating too much…” Ben said with his head down. He didn’t want to show Cersinia the tears that formed around his eyes.

    “I had to throw it away anyway if I couldn’t eat it all today.”

    She shrugged as if she didn’t care. It was true, and she didn’t want to make him worry while eating. She was a little happy to be reincarnated as Cersinia and have a meal together for the first time rather than being alone. After a long time, the warm meal ended with Ben eating two bowls of soup and eight pieces of baguette.

    * * *

    It’s been the third day since Ben lived with her.

    *CRASH*

    “I-I’m sorry!”

    Cersinia was welcomed by the sound of breaking tableware every morning. She entered the kitchen.

    “I told you to let it go.”

     She wasn’t even angry anymore. There were a lot of broken bowls. It had only been three days since he had been staying in the house, but Ben had broken four pieces of tableware. Now, five of them were broken.

    ‘Huu…’ she sighed deeply inside. Ben didn’t leave the room.

    “I just wanted to help…”

    “Yes, just staying still also helps.”

    It wasn’t that she didn’t know his mind. The problem was to clean up what things he touched. Cersinia grabbed the dustpan and broom then headed to the kitchen.

    “I-I’ll do it!”

    She gently handed over the cleaning tools to Ben’s hand, who rushed her. If she didn’t even let him clean it, it was clear that he would be feeling down all day. Ben was very anxious without work. He wasn’t the kind of slave that aristocrats play at home. He said that he had been exploited to construct and repair luxurious spaces of aristocrats.

    Naturally, slaves that became the property of the nobility were not paid. Furthermore, many slaves fell down due to malnutrition because they couldn’t even eat on time. On the construction site, they were called hey, you, oi, this bastard, that bastard, and there was no reason to name them because there was no need for a name. Even if you slowed down a little, you would be beaten, and when the construction was over, and they didn’t need labor, they would be sold back to the slave market. Eating fast was also due to the habit of that time. Meals provided once in a while had to be eaten when they were given. So it was a habit to eat a lot while the food was still there.

    “Ah…” at his short groan, Cersinia turned his head. When she handed the broom to sweep the broken plate, Ben was holding his bleeding finger.

    “What’s going on? Are you okay?”

    Why did his finger bleed when he just had to sweep it? There is no one sloppier than this boy. She became concerned and moved closer to Ben.

    “I-I’m sorry…”

    Ben panicked and quickly hid his bleeding hand behind his back.  She wished she hadn’t heard his apology for even just a day. Cersinia rubbed his throbbing forehead.

    “You’re the one who got hurt, so why are you sorry?”

    Ben’s apology was a habit. It was not easily fixed even if she said that he didn’t have to apologize. Cersinia took the broom from Ben’s hand. If he let him, it seemed likely his other hand would be bleeding too.

    “Give it to me. I’ll do it.”

    “N-No. Cersinia, I…!”

    “Ben, I will do it.”

    “Yes, I’m sorry…”

    Ben stepped back with his head down. Cersinia swept up the pieces of tableware scattered on the floor. She swept the floor once more, in case Ben would be stabbed by a broken piece she hadn’t been able to find.

    Ben was sloppy when he was motivated to do something. She appreciated his willingness to help, but wherever he went, the sound of cracking and breaking was always with him. The title ‘Minus hand’ was the most appropriate word for him. She threw the pieces she had collected into the trash can. As she moved to put the cleaning tools back in place, Ben followed her.

    “Go and sit down. I’ll treat you right away.”

    “Yes…”

    He sat on the table chair with his shoulders down. She immediately grabbed the medicine box and sat in front of Ben.

    “Give me your hand.”

    Ben carefully extended the hand he was hiding. The long cut on his index finger had dark red blood. She held his hand for treatment. Then Ben flinched and trembled. It’s his specialty to flinch and tremble, so Cersinia didn’t mind it, and she rubbed the disinfectant on his hands.

    “Uh… It stings, doesn’t it?”

    She didn’t know why she felt stung when she saw disinfectant penetrating between open flesh. Cersinia frowned and disinfected his wound.

    “No, I’m fine. I’m sorry, Cersinia…”

    Ben stared at her, who was still treating his wounds. The skin with shadows under the eyelashes were not white but shimmered to the point of being transparent. Her red lips, which were slightly open from concentration, looked thick and desirable. Her long red hair looked soft enough to dissipate between the fingers. She was a beautiful person by all accounts. Maybe that’s why he kept making mistakes whenever he stood next to Cersinia. He wanted to show how well he did, but he doesn’t know why he kept getting nervous when she was by his side.

    ‘Haa…’ Ben sighed quietly inside. He wanted to help her, but he was upset that it didn’t work as well as he thought.

    “Just apply the medicine, and it’s done.”

    After disinfection, Cersinia was carefully applying medicine to treat the wound. Ben’s eyelashes quivered at the touch of her hand that tickled his heart. It made him feel warm to see her, who only focused on his wound and treated him. It was the first time in his life.

     A person who worried about his wound as if it was their wound. The warmth, he felt for the first time, shook his heart which pounded several times a day. Her hands were always warm. Her eyes and hands all felt warm that he thought he was about to cry. She was like a ray of sunshine in his life full of despair.

    Cersinia blew the wind towards his wound so that the disinfectant would permeate well.  Ben wiggled his hand as his fingertips tingled when her breath brushed through his skin.

    “Why? Does it hurt?”

    “N-No. Nothing.”

    Ben replied, waving his hands with one hand. Contrary to his words, he felt the heat rising all over his body, and blood circulated quickly. Ben’s face was slightly distorted by unknown symptoms. Cersinia looked at Ben’s red cheek and thought it was just because his wound stung. The treatment was completed, and the band-aid was neatly attached.

    “Thank you, really.”

    Ben rushed to the drawer with the empty medicine box. He needed to cool down the heat a little. Cersinia stared at Ben’s back as if he were running away from his seat.

    ‘Something’s changed…’

     


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