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    Translated by alyalia
    Edited by Láthos


     

    Unlike the first day, she felt strange in his somewhat changed appearance. It wasn’t his face or behavior. She couldn’t put a finger on it.

    He just seemed to have changed a little.

    “Haa…” Ben placed the medicines back in the drawer and took a deep breath. He stood in front of the drawer for a while, trying to calm down. He approached Cersinia after regaining his composure. She stared at him.

    ‘What the hell has changed?’ Cersinia rose from her chair, looking at Ben suspiciously. She met his gaze and knew what this strange feeling was.

    “Did you get taller?”

    The first day she brought him in, his head came till her shoulder. But now, they stood eye to eye.

    “I guess. My legs feel sore every night.”

    But can someone grow this fast in three days? She compared Ben’s height with her own. As expected, they were about the same height. ‘I’ve heard men grow faster than women. I guess that’s true.’

    He’s only grown tall. His cute face and high pitched voice haven’t changed at all. He looks more like a boy than a man. He didn’t really eat a good meal, but eating three meals a day has helped. She feels happy seeing him grow up like this.

    It was just like how she took care of Tamagotchi when she was younger.  Feed, wash, and take it for a walk. She felt proud and satisfied looking at Ben growing up. A smile of satisfaction appeared on Cersinia’s face. Looking at her smile, Ben smiled back, unaware of her thoughts. It’s just that he liked the way she smiled.

    “Cersinia, let’s bake bread for today.”

    Cersinia grinned, grabbing Ben’s back as he tried to run into the kitchen.

    “Yes, just stay still.”

    * * *

    “What? That doesn’t even make sense!”

    Viscount Montene snarled at Lewis’ absurd report. Lewis looked down in apology.

    “Sir, believe me! No one knows about her.”

    Three days had passed since he ordered Lewis to find the woman. But, Lewis came back empty-handed and had to endure Viscount’s rage. Viscount Montene threw his jacket onto the sofa. Lewis shook his head, continuing.

    “The villagers say they’ve only seen her a few times, and no one knows where she lives.”

    Viscount Montene narrowed his eyes at those words. A woman whose identity was unknown. She must have been hiding something huge. Viscount Montene sat cross-legged on the sofa, deep in thought.

    ‘What the hell is she hiding? Did she really have a strange power like Lewis had told?’ Viscount Montene frowned, massaging his temples with his fingers almost like he had a headache. There were only four days left to give the slave to Count Enitio.

    ‘Like Lewis had informed, the woman would definitely come to get her money exchanged.’ But, he didn’t want to pay her anything and didn’t want the slave taken away from him. Before that happened, he needed to know where she was and deal with her. But things don’t always go as planned. Viscount Montene bit his lips in anger, veins throbbing in his clenched fist.

    “Find her, even if it takes more people.”

    “Yes, sir.”

    Lewis bowed and left the room after giving the report. All alone, Viscount Montene recalled red hair like the flames of the sun and purple eyes like the sunset. 

    “A mysterious woman with a secret.”

    No matter what strange power the woman had, he vowed never to give in.

    * * *

    Uh, ah… Help me,” the sound of someone struggling rang through her ears.

    “Please…”

    Cersinia opened her eyes to a voice pleading. She had been asleep and woke up swiftly. She raised herself, trying to smooth down her disheveled hair. She sat on the edge of her bed and saw Ben lying on the floor, groaning and turning because of what was bothering him.

    The yellowish moonlight entered the room through the window. The light made it easier for Cersinia to look at him. Cold drops of sweat formed on Ben’s forehead. He grimaced in pain. The blanket which covered his neck was now by his feet. He seemed to have kicked it off because of his nightmares.

    Cersinia sat on the floor, away from the bed, examining Ben’s complexion intently. She brought her face closer, observing him.

    “Uh, uh…”

    She could see that his lips, which used to curve into a beautiful smile, had turned pale. His lips were trembling, as if they were cold and his teeth chattered loudly. She quickly placed her hand on Ben’s chest without hesitating. It was something she had been doing the past few days, so she was used to it. The cold hit her as her hand rested against his chest. It wasn’t an average body temperature.

    His body was cold, enough to cool her warm hands. He would get hypothermia if left like this, she had to warm him up quickly. Cersinia closed her eyes, concentrating her power into her fingertips. The dark room shone with a bright red light emanating from her palm. It was almost like the sun’s rays filling the room.

    “Huu…” Cersinia blew the heat she had gathered onto Ben’s body. The heat escaped from her hands and went into his body. His red flag disappeared at an instant. Darkness returned to the room once again. His purple lips turned a light pink once again. His temperature also returned to normal.

    ‘Thank God,’ Cersinia’s chest breathed in relief. Ben relaxed his brows, becoming comfortable. However, his nightmare still went on and he recoiled in pain.

    “Help me…”

    “It’s okay. Everything’s fine.”

    She placed her hand on his chest, feeling his heartbeat. She was quite skillful at caring for others. It was something she had been doing since Ben was brought here.

    ‘What the hell was Ben dreaming about? He ached with pain every night.’

    He even spoke in a dialect, begging for someone to save him. He could never sleep well because of his nightmares. At first, it irritated her, but she couldn’t bear to see him in pain. She tried to wake him up but Ben wasn’t able to open his eyes. He got sobbed and trembled instead as if he was sinking deeper into an abyss.

    Every time this happened, she shared her heat into his ice-cold body. But, even that wasn’t enough. She patted his chest reassuringly as he trembled in fear. After that, he would sleep just like a baby, just like now. His steady breaths echoed through her ears like a lullaby. He slept with a peaceful face, as if at ease.

    It was already past midnight. It was a time when everyone was asleep. The cabin was located in the forest, so it became dark earlier. But, the cabin didn’t have any lights and was dark. If she had been by herself in the past, she would have stayed up all night on her phone. But, there was no television, phone or even a stove in this novel. You had to light a fire. There wasn’t anything to do in the night except sleep.

    Sleeping was the best way to spend the night quickly. She had always been a night owl and after reincarnating into Cersinia’s body, sleeping at night was hard the first few days. She tossed and turned. But, as she got used to it, she was able to sleep as soon as the sun went down. But, Ben disrupted this routine.

    “What the hell are you…”

    She wasn’t angry because she couldn’t sleep. She was just worried. What kind of past did Ben have that made him have nightmares every night? It was a pain ordinary people couldn’t possibly fathom. She brought him as collateral, but seeing him struggle in pain every night, how can she make him go back to his old life?… It was cruel. But she needed money.

    To avoid a the tragic ending, she needed to do something different from the original novel. But, she needed money to do that, so she couldn’t give that up. Still patting Ben, she closed her eyes, guilt filling her heart.

    ‘Let’s make him comfortable while being here.’

    The result would remain the same. Cersinia shook her head, opening her eyes to calm herself down. She couldn’t shake off this feeling of guilt.

    “Umm…”

    a trace by the touch of Cersinia. 

    Ben bit his lip as he talked in his sleep. Sitting down in thought, Cersinia stared at Ben’s face. Looking closer, she fixed her gaze on his eyes. His eyes were moist. She reached out carefully, in case he woke up. Her slim fingers brushed against his eyes. His tears disappeared once she touched him.

    She took care of him from one to ten, almost like a nanny. She grinned at that thought. She hadn’t brought him here for this, but living together wasn’t bad either. Well, good things are still good. Cersinia picked the blanket at his feet and draped it over Ben. Ben raised the corners of his lips and grabbed the blanket with both his hands. 

    “Ummm…”

    Ben’s face, which seemed to have fallen asleep, twitched. Cersinia was nervous, wondering if he was having another nightmare. But his behavior was different from when he had a nightmare. He twitched the bridge of his nose and around his eyes, acting like it was itchy somewhere.

    ‘What’s wrong with him?’

    She looked carefully at Ben’s face. Then figured out that the cause was his bangs that covered his eyes.  Ben was flinching secretly as if the hair that covered his eyes was itchy. Cersinia swept his bangs that covered his sleeping face like a child. 

    Ben’s hair was trimmed nicely with her fingertips. His messy hair was surprisingly soft in her hand. It was as soft as touching silk fabric. An itchy sensation penetrated into her hand. She’ll have to cut these stuffy bangs tomorrow. If it’s itchy enough to twitch your nose, it’ll need to be trimmed. His messy hair was annoying for her, so she thought it was time to trim it.

    “Cersinia…?”

    Ben was staring at her with his blank eyes when he opened his eyes.


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