“……I feel like I’m starving to death.”


A weak, groaning sound escaped.
Dry lips, untouched by a sip of water, were as parched as a withered rice field in a drought. 

But Dianel didn’t flinch.
As if checking on me every night, he would come to my room and sit beside me, covering me with a blanket, and casually reading documents without paying any attention to the uneaten food.

‘Why is he acting like this?’

I had developed a habit of grumbling to myself inside the blanket. 

Even if he remembered the version of me when I was a savior, I couldn’t understand why he suddenly started confining me.
We didn’t have any kind of relationship.
Even during the subjugation, he had an independent nature, and I had never properly conversed with him.

But now, suddenly resorting to tampering with evidence and making threats, the situation was incomprehensible.
Above all, starving myself was reaching its limit.
It felt like I would starve to death this way.
But I had to endure.
I swallowed a deep sigh.

‘Let’s see who wins.’

That’s what I resolved, as I lay back on the bed with a weary body.

Knock, knock―

A familiar knocking sound, as if part of my daily life, reached my ears.
It meant mealtime.
It was when I covered myself under the blanket, not wanting to even smell it.
I could hear a familiar voice from outside.

“It’s time for a meal.”

I barely suppressed the urge to scream.
It was because it was Therid’s voice.
He stood in the doorway, his voice shaky.

“Is this how it’s done?”

“Yeah, just give three meals a day.”

“But who stays inside?”

“You’ll find out later.”

“I see.”

“Well, I’ll be going now.”

Then I heard footsteps going down the stairs.
I, who had been standing by the door as if glued to it, sat down on the floor.

It was because I had perfectly understood Dianel’s intentions in sending Therid to me.

This was a warning.
If I continued to resist, it might harm my family.

“Coward.”

Pretending not to see the tray on the floor, I climbed back onto the bed.

* * *


Since I refused to eat, at first, I didn’t feel sleepy due to hunger.
But after about a week, I started feeling drowsy all the time.

When you spend more than half of your day in a dream, there are times when you can’t distinguish between dreams and reality.

It was the same now.
Someone stroked my head a couple of times and played with it.
Then I heard a voice filled with longing.

“Do you know how long I’ve been waiting for you?”

“…”

“There’s no point in starving yourself.
I won’t let you go again.”

Then he gently pressed a wet towel to my lips.
Thanks to that, I woke up slightly.
I still had a hazy mind as I thought.

‘Dianel wouldn’t do such pointless things.’

If that’s the case, who is the person stroking my head right now?

Subconsciously, I reached out my hand and grabbed the hand of the person playing with my hair.
Then I lifted my heavy eyelids in one go.
The owner of the hand I had grabbed slapped my hand away.

Blinking, my eyes were accustomed to the light scanning the room.
It was a quiet room.
With only one candle dimly illuminating the room, Dianel was flipping through documents.
With an indifferent gaze, he glanced at me briefly and said.

“You’re awake.”

“…Was it a dream?”

“Well, you were sleep-talking.”

Then he fell silent.
Still, with a relaxed tone, I tried to lie down again with a dazed mind, but I remembered the events of the day and spoke up.

“…Why did you bring Therid here?”

Then, as if discussing the lunch menu, he spoke in a casual tone.

“If you continue to starve, I might start killing people.”

“…What?”

“If you’re curious whether my words are true, starve yourself again tomorrow.”

With that, he rose from his chair.
I glared at him as if I wanted to kill him and shouted, 

“What is the reason for treating me like this?”

However, Dianel didn’t offer any response and left the room. 

The hallway outside the door was surrounded by knights to the point where no passage could be seen.
It was evident that there was no use in trying to escape. 


Frustrated, I cursed under my breath while looking at the firmly closed door. 

“Damn it, you crazy bastard.
Why are you suddenly doing this?”

But, as usual, there was no response.

* * *

Eventually, the day brightened, and breakfast arrived once again.

“It’s mealtime.”

It was Therid’s voice.
He entered with the food and left as if being chased away.
As I listened to the fading footsteps, I immersed myself in my thoughts.

‘I can continue starving for as long as I want.’

Strangely, I no longer felt hungry.
The problem was that Dianel was threatening my family.

‘Is Dianel going to try to kill Therid?’

Considering Dianel’s personality, he didn’t seem like someone who would make empty threats.
But this was my protest against Dianel.
By accepting the meal here, I was condoning his actions.
And there was no telling that I wouldn’t be permanently confined in this tower.

I couldn’t back down like this.

But I wasn’t sure if it was right to continue resisting.
My head was in turmoil.
As I pondered, lunchtime passed, and dinner time arrived.

This time, I could hear the footsteps of several people.
With a tense expression, I glared at the closed door.

Knock, knock―

With the familiar sound of knocking, the person who had been fine just a few hours ago spoke in a terrified voice.

“D-Dinner time.”

“….”

“…If you don’t eat, I will die.”

Simultaneously, Dianel’s voice reached my ears.

“You have one hour.”

Thump! Along with the sound of something being struck, Therid’s groaning could be heard.

“Ugh!”

Only then did I realize the seriousness of the situation and rushed towards the door.
But the closed door didn’t budge an inch.
Even the small door through which the food had been brought was firmly locked.
I pounded on the door until my hands felt like they would break.

“Hey! Dianel!”


“….”

“Why the hell are you doing this?”

Then, my brother’s voice came from behind the door.

“….Is it Siara?” 

“….” 

“It sounded like Siara’s voice just now, damn it!”

After that, Dianel calmly spoke as if he hadn’t heard my words.

“Already five minutes have passed.”

“Gah!”

After the sound of another strike, there was nothing but silence.
The ticking of the clock’s second hand seemed to echo in my ears.
As my lips dried up, I heard the sound of the door opening along with a chilling voice.
I hastily shifted my gaze toward the door.

“Ten minutes.”

In front of the door stood Dianel, towering with an imposing presence, and two knights supporting Therid, who had collapsed.
He was completely unconscious, with two streaks of blood flowing from his head.

The sight of Therid in such a pitiful state caused my thought process to come to a halt as if my cognitive circuits had shut down.

“….Brother?”

“….”

“Brother!”

He didn’t recognize me, and it felt like my foolish brother, who couldn’t even read a book properly, but he was still my family.
The person who had been my family since the day I was born until now.

That person might die.
It was more terrifying than when I was covered in demon blood.
Trembling, I reached out my hand toward him.
The yellow healing power flowed into his body.
At the same time, a cold voice came from above.

“Fifteen minutes.”

I lifted my head and stared at him.

“….You’re not human.”

“….”

“Even if I don’t know the reason why you’re doing this, I will never forgive you.”

“….”


“Dianel! Say something!”

Upon hearing that, Dianel bent his knees and met my gaze.
He reached out and pulled my flowing hair out of my face and spoke in a frighteningly simple voice.

“Siara, my dear.
You seem to have a misunderstanding.
I don’t expect anything from you.
Those hopes have long been buried.”

“What?”

It was a behavior and voice that seemed to hurt me, but I had never had any connection with him. 

Perplexed by the incomprehensible situation, I frowned, but he still didn’t provide any answers.
He just continued to impose the same behavior on me.

“Don’t you intend to continue the meal?”

Dianel nodded toward Therid, and the knights struck Therid’s head once again.
Therid, who was still unconscious, collapsed to the ground, and the carefully healed wound on his head burst open, causing blood to flow again.

At that moment, I couldn’t hold back my anger and shouted.

“Hey!!”

“Are you going to kill him, Siara? If you want, I can burn down your parents, your estate, and everything within it.”

“What on earth…”

“Even if you hate me to the point of wanting me dead, it doesn’t matter.
If you still haven’t grasped the situation, I can bring the entirety of Astita to your doorstep.”

As Dianel spoke, his eyes flashed with a glimmer of life.
Even I, who was filled with anger, felt the intensity of the venom to the extent that I wanted to step back.

I couldn’t understand why he was acting like this.
As someone who couldn’t find a reason, nothing made sense to me.
When I remained silent, Dianel opened his mouth again.

“So, eat up.”

“….”

“Chew and swallow, even if you feel like vomiting, Siara.
Otherwise, your brother will die.”

An intense emotion unlike Dianel surged around him.
Perhaps because his composure was broken, I felt as if I had found the answer.
So I obediently sat on the floor and took the food in my hands.
Somehow, a bitter laugh escaped me.

“Is that all you’re asking for, as a prince?”

I mechanically chewed and swallowed the food.
Although it was supposed to be appetizing, I couldn’t taste anything surprising or enjoyable. 

Nevertheless, I followed his words and swallowed.
If I eat, my brother lives.
It was a simple problem, and I surrendered to it.

“There.
Is it done now?”

If he were to raise me, it was necessary to muddy me first.

As I expected, the vividness in Dianel’s eyes, tinged with crimson, subsided.
In the silence, I mechanically swallowed a piece of bread.

点击屏幕以使用高级工具 提示:您可以使用左右键盘键在章节之间浏览。

You'll Also Like