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    Translated by alyalia
    Edited by RANA


     

    In the spacious bedroom.

    “How is it going?” A serious voice came out in a low tone as if it would break through the floor.

    Archen bowed his head, apologizing to his master.

    “I am sorry, my lord, we are trying our best to find it.”

    “You can’t even do your work properly…” The master’s mouth was filled with criticism.

    Archen bowed his head lower while repeatedly saying, “I apologize, my lord.”

    “Why, didn’t you say you were in a hurry?”

    The master, who was sitting on a spacious single-person sofa, stared with sharp eyes towards Archen. There was not even a single sympathy in his fierce, dark purple eyes.

    “We’ll try to find it as soon as possible.”

    If it was a different person, they wouldn’t be able to answer the question without shaking. Archen was used to it because he had known his master for decades. But he couldn’t help but feel a chill go down his spine. While dealing with his master, even after a decade, he was still the same.

    It was because of his trait of not showing kindness, not even to his children. For his master, people were divided into 2 parts. Were they useless or useful to him? It was a rule that was also applied to his children.

    “Useless.”

    Archen’s master clicked his tongue at the man lying on the wide bed. He wrinkled his expression, full of dissatisfaction. Archen carefully moved his gaze to the bed.

    There was one man on the king-size bed, which had room for five people to lie down. With his eyes closed as if he were dead, he was the owner of the room. He was not healthy, so a new white, fluffy blanket was covering him until the end of his neck. His pale-skinned lips had already lost their color and took on a bluish tint. His bony face was exposed through the two slender cheeks. It looked like he hadn’t eaten in a long time. However, his lips and skin were glowing, showing that they had taken good care of him.

    Black hair was loosely scattered on a white pillow like a blanket. The same way autumn leaves die out and fall to the ground, the faint sound of breathing coming from him was so weak that he could have died at any moment. It wouldn’t be strange if he lost his life that night.

    Verdic.

    When the bright sunlight dimmed with the setting sun, Archen’s master got up from the sofa and called the butler.

    “Yes. Did you call me, sir?”

    When he called for Verdic, Verdic hurriedly opened the door and came in.

    “How much time does he have left?”

    “Yesterday, the doctor said it would be at most a year or two.”

    When he glanced at the bed and asked, Verdic understood his question and answered it.

    “…”

    Archen wanted to cover his ears. He closed his eyes unconsciously, but he couldn’t believe that his master talked about the time left in front of the person who would die. The cruelty of his master, who didn’t change over time, was creepy.  

    “Archen.”

    “Yes, my lord.”

    Archen hurriedly bowed down to the call of his master.

    “Bring that person in front of me at any cost.”

    “Yes, I understand.”

    “If they refuse, you can bring them with a moderately broken limb. But don’t cripple them. They’ll be useless.”

    “…I accept your order.”

    In response to his master’s vicious remarks, Archen swallowed dry saliva and took the order. He quickly left the door after saying goodbye. His pale face showed how nervous he felt when he was in front of his master.

    Archen left the mansion and began investigating again. He was a subordinate belonging to this family. The right to refuse his master’s orders was not an option in the first place. He had to find that person as soon as possible and bring them to his master.  That’s what his family and his master wanted. So, he had to bring that person, even if he had to break that person’s limbs. 

    * * *

    Cersinia opened the kitchen cupboard to prepare a simple bread for lunch. She pushed the plates and grabbed the large bowl of flour, and pulled it out. Normally, it should be heavy, but what’s with the weight as light as a feather? It was strange.

    ‘Oh, crap…’

    The inside was empty. She was embarrassed by the unexpected food depletion. Food that could have been eaten for more than a week if she was alone was insufficient now as the number of mouths to feed increased. She didn’t have money to buy it on the market because she spent all her money in the gambling house.

    ‘If only, I had received the money properly.’

    This wouldn’t have happened if she properly got the money from the chips filled in the sack. No, If she got the money, she wouldn’t have brought Ben with her, so she wouldn’t have run out of food.

    *BANG*

    Putting aside all the thoughts, she put the bowl back into the cupboard and closed it.

    “What’s wrong, Cersinia?” Ben asked as he looked at the closed cupboard.

    It was only then that Cersinia felt wrong. She restrained her facial expression as much as she could before turning around to face him. She could never say that she ran out of food. Furthermore, she was sure that Ben would blame himself and feel sorry for her.

    “I want to eat meat after a long time, so I want to go shopping.”

    “I’ll join you!”

    Ben raised one arm with his eyes shining brightly. He was like a student who was anxious to do a presentation during class.

    “Stay home. I’ll go alone.”

    Unfortunately, Cersinia shook her head and refused. She was thinking of getting money by selling any accessories she had. There’s no need to show such a pathetic appearance to Ben. For the week she brought him as collateral, she wanted Ben to be comfortable without caring about anything.

    “I want to carry your groceries…”

    Ben lowered his arm, a pitiful look in his eyes.

    “No, no,” Cersinia quickly said, avoiding Ben’s gaze. She almost fell for his puppy eyes. There was something about those eyes that made people feel bad. Obviously, if she kept looking at him, she would’ve taken him as he wanted, so she avoided his gaze.

    “Cersinia…”

    “No, I will go alone.”

    Cersinia was moved again by the earnest way he was calling her name, but she refused to fall for it due to her determination. Cersinia quickly headed to her room. She didn’t want to show Ben that she was selling her accessories because she ran out of money.

    She saw a dressing table boasting the end of splendor in the corner as she entered the room. A silver dressing table with a gorgeous gold pattern that contrasted with the old cabin. Although Cersinia liked to dress up so much that her house looked like a beggar’s house, she didn’t spare money for clothes, cosmetics, and jewelry. Luxury items were always new and shiny, even if the house was not repaired. There was a reason for her to waste the wealth left by her parents.

    Cersinia opened a drawer of one of the fancy dressing tables. There were only a few jewels left in it. The drawer was full of jewels at one time, but they were all sold out, and only a few were left. Before she possessed Cersinia’s body, she sold jewelry with tears in her eyes because she had no money to live due to her impulsive spending habit.

    ‘It’s a relief. If it weren’t for this, I would have starved.’

    She picked up the lone silver ring that was lying in the empty drawer. ‘This will probably be enough to buy food for two weeks.’ She placed the ring on her long, white index finger. She only wore one ring, but it looked so glamorous that her hand resembled that of a noble lady. As expected of Cersinia, who made everything look good.

    Cersinia closed the drawer and picked up the black cloak hanging on the wall. She remembered the piercing glances in the gambling house, so she needed to take care of it. Even in the story, Cersinia hid by wearing a black cloak when she went out. The reason was that she had a striking beauty that made people swarm around her like flies.

    A few days ago, quite a few people were flirting with her at the gambling house. Their gazes on her while pretending not to see her were disturbing.  She was going out just for shopping, so it was best for her not to face such annoying ordeals. She pulled the hood closer to her face.

    “Isn’t it too dangerous to go alone?”

    Ben, who entered the room with soft steps, had a gloomy face.

    “I’m more worried about you being alone. Stay still. Don’t break a plate again.”

    Ben couldn’t refute and shut his mouth.

    “I’ll be back soon.”

    She smiled at Ben, who came to meet her and said it would be fine. Ben seemed to give up, knowing that she wouldn’t take him no matter what. She wished her plates would be safe when she went out.

    “Yes, I’ll be waiting.”

    Ben had a faint smile as Cersinia went through the door he opened. The breeze that gently brushed her skin was refreshing. With light steps, she slowly went down the hill. It took a little time to get to the village from her cabin, which was located in the forest. If one walked diligently, they would get there in 20 minutes.

    As she was going down the hill, Cersinia turned her head, wondering if Ben had locked the door well. Then Ben smiled broadly and waved one of his arms, perhaps waiting for her to look back. Seeing his innocent look, Cersinia laughed and hurried in her steps.

    The word ‘waiting’ made her feel pretty good. Whenever she entered the cabin, cold air always greeted her. Now that someone was waiting for her in the cold cabin that previously had no single hint of warmth, was something she was looking forward to.

    ‘Beef would be better than chicken stew.’

    The farewell from Ben made her decide to buy beef rather than chicken because of her good mood.


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