He turned around for a moment and wiped Jiwoo’s face with a cloth moistened with cold water.
He wiped away the sweat from her forehead and the medicine that had spilled under her chin, and put a hand on her forehead to check her temperature one last time.
And he let out a shallow sigh.
“…You seem to be getting better.”
Jiwoo, who had become accustomed to the neglectful treatment she received at the temple, did not understand why this man was desperately trying to lower her fever.
Still, it was reassuring.
Jiwoo opened her heart for the first time in front of him, closed her eyes as she felt the heat in her body begin to lower.
Her consciousness fell into a much more comfortable darkness than before.
* * *
For the next few days, Jiwoo continued to be bedridden, and so he fed and would put her to sleep.
He took off her wet clothes and personally changed them.
Jiwoo was so ill that she didn’t even care about showing her naked body to someone else.
After a few more days of being sick like that, she finally regained her senses.
The thin coat she wore as the Akarna was washed by him, but it was not comfortable, so it went into his bag.
Even though she was wearing much lighter and more comfortable clothes than before, he still carried her in his arms.
“…Where are you taking me?”
“You’re going to stay with my colleagues for a while.”
Jiwoo looked at him, and he explained before she even asked.
“You can’t always watch the progress from the outside forever.
Don’t you also need a place to recover safely?”
Even though she was the Akarna, she must recover.
She had to rest.
She needed a break.
The crown prince was the first one who had said that.
So that was why she fell in love with him from the beginning.
But when she thought about it now, those were words that even people unrelated to her could say.
Even this being, who knew that she was no ordinary person.
She had already saved him from the miasma.
Although she had shown him such a transcendent power, it was strange for her to be treated like this.
“I can walk on my own now.”
He shook his head.
His head moved in big motion, and his long ears caught her eye.
“Your body… It was amazingly quick to recover from trauma.
That’s why your broken ankle got mended incorrectly.
Your recovery power is rather poisonous.
It’s going to be difficult for you to walk.”
“It’s the first time I’ve ever heard such words…”
Her recovery was poisonous.
Everyone said that this was an unlimited useful power and a blessing from God.
So she should be willing to serve mankind.
When Jiwoo looked perplexed, he sighed regretfully.
“Of course, every power has a bane.”
“But… I will recover quickly anyway…”
“Because you’re going to recover anyway, so is it normal to cut off your arm to the point of death? Say something that makes sense.
Then, how would you describe the pain you had from your fever for several days? It seems that there were only naive people around you.”
It was a harsh evaluation, but Jiwoo had nothing to say.
It was true that she cut her arm to the point of death, but because she really wanted to die, not to use her strength.
She didn’t even want to correct his statement and she didn’t want to excuse the temple from her point of view.
So she just shut her mouth.
Anyway, in other words, her body turned wrong.
She fell from that height, but just being alive was a miracle.
‘I’ve never been outside the temple for so long…’
It was the first time that she had been away from the temple for so long, and it was only now that she could look at the priests of the temple through the eyes of an outsider.
Even when she lived in the temple, she did not want to live there, but she couldn’t easily gather the courage to run away from there.
Even if the temple induced people to have these notions, she couldn’t see how wrong it all was as she was looking from the standpoint of a victim.
There were some things that can only be looked at objectively if you were a little far away and a bit more impartial.
No, but still.
If she had known, what would have changed?
There were several guards where she was dispatched.
If it hadn’t been for a natural calamity that had befallen her, she wouldn’t have been able to leave in the first place.
As Jiwoo sighed and remained calm, he hesitated for a moment, perhaps misunderstanding her reaction.
“I told you.
I’m not taking you by force.
I’ll send you back anytime you want to go back.”
After falling into this world, Jiwoo was used to being dragged around.
He seemed to have read that she was afraid of being dragged somewhere.
His tone of voice was quite blunt, but he was obviously considerate of her.
He stared at her.
His blue eyes reminded her more that he was a different person from the crown prince and that he was of a different race.
“Call me Lanceil.”
It was unlikely that this person would forcefully take her now, but she still wanted to be confirmed once more.
“If I really want to go back, will you send me back?”
“I swear to Elandos, I will not lie to you.”
She didn’t know what kind of oath that was, but she was relieved to hear him say that.
When she put her mind to it, several things caught her eye.
When she first met him, he looked like he was going to die right away, but now he’s pretty stable.
‘Looks like the last time I used my power, it worked well.’
His body, which had been eroded by the miasma, became clean, and his complexion improved a lot.
Above all, he showed no signs of getting tired while he was carrying her, even though she was quite tall for a woman.
And, he looks unrealistically handsome.
The crown prince was handsome, but he was handsome by human standards.
He had the looks, stature, and lean body that her world would have thought he was a movie star if they had seen him.
But it was more correct to say that this man looked unrealistically handsome.
Above all else, the light colored his hair that way.
He seemed to be as tall as the crown prince, and he had a slender body line at first glance, but as she was being carried by him now, she found that he was quite muscular.
How did he get this hair color? It didn’t seem to be dyed—it looked too natural… Like a flower.
It’s strange to put this term for such a well-built man, but this description suited him so well.
And his long ears could be called his biggest feature.
Jiwoo was embracing him in a rather embarrassing position, but she had her arm wrapped around his shoulder, not knowing where to put it.
So she could see better.
His cut ear would be able to regenerate quickly if she dropped just a little blood on it.
There would be no need to cut deep.
Just the tip of her finger would suffice.
Jiwoo was accustomed to harming herself while living as the Akarna, to the point that she could easily injure the tip of her finger with just her teeth.
She bit her thumb so hard that it bled.
She touched his ear with a hand dripping with blood.
But as soon as her hand touched his ear, Jiwoo almost fell out of his arms.
It was because Lanceil let go of her in his surprise.
After a while, his expression looking at Jiwoo was colored with astonishment.
“You, you, you’re a, an adult woman…! Don’t surprise me like that!”
He seemed more embarrassed than when she unintentionally intermingled her tongue after chasing the sweetness when he kissed her to give her the medicine.
Jiwoo was more surprised as Lanceil suddenly raised his voice.
“I’m, I’m sorry.
I didn’t know I was being rude.”
Lanceil coughed with a face flushed red.
“…No, no, I don’t mean to say it, to that extent…”
Having said that, he looked around and put Jiwoo down on a moderately flat surface.
Lanceil looked away for a moment and coughed a few times, then spoke again with a calm face.
“You didn’t even tell me your name.”
“Is that important?”
“Then, is it… not important?”
Lanceil’s voice shook tremendously.
The expression on his face looked like he was really mesmerized.
She thought they were going to separate soon anyway, so should he be so shocked that she didn’t give her full name? There was nothing she could not do.
But should she say the name Seo Jiwoo? People here couldn’t pronounce her name properly anyway.
It’s been a long time since she’d heard that name.
In fact, even thinking of the name Seo Jiwoo now seemed awkward to her now.
So Jiwoo said the name that was familiar to her.
“…Call me Akarna.”
“Akarna, I thought that… you didn’t like me.”
Lanceil stood in front of Jiwoo, arranged his hair and checked his attire once.
A proper introduction was a bit late because of a number of things.
But she doesn’t know why he was so pretty even if he doesn’t dress up like that.
He came closer to Jiwoo and held out his hand.
She wondered if he was going to hold her back up again, so Jiwoo took hold of that hand.
“It is an honor to have been chosen by you.”
But he didn’t lift her up, he grabbed Jiwoo’s hand and kissed the back of his hand.
It happened in the blink of an eye, so she couldn’t even react.
And Lanceil grabbed Jiwoo’s cheeks as she was spacing out and narrowed the distance without hesitation.
In an instant their lips met.
A nice scent wafted in and wrapped around Jiwoo.
A sweet scent rose from the back of his neck, saliva sweeter than honey.
Accidentally mixing her tongue in surprise, Jiwoo pushed Lanceil away.
Lanceil’s eyes were trembling when pushed back.
He looked a little hurt.
“Why? Have you changed your mind?”
Jiwoo’s face was bright red as an apple.
It was as if this man was saying that she had seduced him first.
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