“But Erzen…… We need to get the child out quickly.
I don’t even know if he’s alright…….”


As Herace tentatively spoke in a crying voice, alternately looking between the lock and her son trapped in the cage, Ezekiel crumpled his brows and stared at her.


“Don’t look so anxious.
If you do that, I’ll throw this key out immediately.”


“What, what do you mean…….”


“Literally what I just said.
If you don’t want to see me throw the key away, just stand there and watch.”


Herace froze on the spot. How can you say that…….
However, seeing the child’s body in the corner of the cage, she stopped speaking.
Ezekiel was a man who would keep his words.
Recalling how indifferent and cruel he had been to Erzen over the years, Herace bit her lips.




The lock was opened after a sixth attempt.
As soon as it was opened, Herace rushed in and took out Erzen before holding him tightly in her arms.
The child with his eyes closed was breathing, but he looked unusually pale.
Feeling like her heart was going to stop, Herace turned around.
It was when her arm were grabbed.


“……where are you going?”


However, Herace couldn’t move a single foot from the hand that grabbed and dragged her back.
Herace, who was going crazy worrying about her child, shouted in a fit.


“Get out of the way!”


“Herace, you’re not going anywhere.”


“Can’t you see Erzen’s condition? I need to bring him to the doctor! I have to go!”


Ezekiel looked at Erzen with more indifferent eyes than before.
Herace, who was caught and struggling to free her arms, was startled when he suddenly took the child away from her and hugged him.


“What are you doing?”


“The doctor who followed me would be better than a quack in the countryside of this mountain valley.”


Ezekiel took Erzen and headed toward the broken door.
Not far from this room were some knights whom Herace was familiar with.
Ezekiel handed Erzen over to Edgar and told him to bring the child to the doctor.


“Erzen! Let go! Let me go! I’m going too! Let go!”


“…don’t worry, Madam.”


Edgar, who held Erzen, tried to move quickly, but couldn’t help but let out a voice of reassurance to Herace, who was crying and caught by Ezekiel.
Ezekiel raised his eyebrows as if disapproving him talking to Herace, but did not say anything.
Herace struggled until Erzen disappeared, sitting down on the ground when her son was not visible anymore.


“Huh… Erzen…….”


“……It’s been a few years since we met, but you’re always only looking at your child.”


Ezekiel said in an unpleasant voice, looking down at Herace, who sat randomly on the floor.
Herace glared up at his words without wiping her tears.


“Did you expect to find me without the child?”




“How did you find me! Why did you find me me again! What are you going to do to Erzen!”


Herace, shouting and wheezing, was like a mad woman.
She didn’t look like the woman who was pale and worried about her child a while ago.


As if something had burst out that had been pressing her down, she sat down, hugged her knees and buried her face in both hands.
The rough shabby dress tore around the shoulders, which was wrapped around the skinny body, and showed the white skin.


“Get out.”


Ezekiel’s expression, who was silently watching Herace, suddenly became ugly.
He spoke harshly to the knights behind him, so the knights quickly withdrew.


Ezekiel, who lowered his gaze along his wife’s exposed shoulders, frowned seeing Herace’s hand.
Herace’s hands, which were white and fair, had changed a little before she knew it.
The smooth skin became a little rough, the long and well-managed nails were cut short, and the tips of the knuckles were scratched red as if they were stabbed by something.


‘Even though she lived like that…….’


His wife must have known.
He hoped that his aristocrat wife will suffer the moment she left his side, who lived like a plant in a greenhouse as a daughter and wife.


However, his wife lived like a commoner wearing a straw mat, and was almost forced to be drunk by a man who would not have seen her toes before, but did not look for him.
If he didn’t get in here in due course, she’d have given herself up to the punk in that room.


Ezekiel couldn’t stand it.
The question of ‘why?’ lingered in his mind. You could have lived even more luxurious life at Serpence Castle.
Then why…….


‘What am I to you?’


The words that had been in his head all the time looking for his wife came to mind again.
However, he could not ask his wife the question, so Ezekiel forced Herace to stand up and pushed her against the wall.


It wasn’t a strong force, but the hard wall caused enough pain for Herace.
Herace groaned in the pain that climbed up her back.


“Let go!”


“Herace, you seem to be mistaken…… This is no time for you to cry and complain.
Rather, you should thank me.”


“Let go! Let go of me!”


“I’m not punishing you for running away like a rat.
Besides, I’m trying to save your son’s life that I don’t want to see.”


When Ezekiel talked about Erzen, Herace opened her eyes wide.
Thanks to this, the tears that were hanging on her eyelashes roll down her cheek.
Ezekiel did not like his wife, who looked anxious whenever he talked about her child.
So he said a terrible thing with a mean smile on his face.


“Considering the time I’ve spent looking for you over the years, I want to throw your child on the street right away.
That way, you will be as distressed as I was.”


Herace’s eyes were filled with sparks when she heard that she would have to abandon Erzen.
Who says such a thing to their child? For Erzen, her senses had long since disappeared.
Herace screamed again and jumped at him.


“I never told you to look for me! Why do you blame me for being selfish! Why do you always bring Erzen in!”




“You don’t even deserve to talk about my child.
So get away from us! Give me back Erzen and go away!”


For Ezekiel, the appearance of Herace now was very unfamiliar.
He didn’t know this woman could say such harsh things.
His wife, who had changed so much after living away from him, was unfamiliar and disorganised.


‘Because of him…’


The urge to murder the child who was sent out to be seen by the doctor rose.
It was all because of the child, the product of the sin of a small and tender wife with another man’s seed.


But he couldn’t kill or harm the child who he hates so much right away.
Then his wife..….
He curled his lips and whispered in Herace’s ear, barely grasping the reason that seemed to disappear.


“……that’s not going to work, Herace.
You’re mine.
I will never lose you.
If anyone takes you away from me, I’ll make them like the corpse in the room…… No, I’ll slaughter them more brutally than that.
So that they can’t even think about you even if I die.
I’m going to rip their body and soul apart with a sword.
Of course……”


The moist tongue almost reached the ear and then returned to its original place.
Ezekiel held both shoulders of his wife, who was shaking with fear while giving him a poisonous look.
And he said softly, bending his golden eyes.


“……your little boy is no exception.”


He meant it.
Ezekiel, who said so, and Herace, who heard it, understood the sincerity in the words.


Herace remembered William’s body in the room.
If Erzen were to be like that, she would certainly not be able to bear it.
Eventually, thinking the end of the sword directed at the child, Herace clung to his neck and pleaded like a victim.


“Please, don’t do that.
Please don’t… don’t, okay?”




“I’m, I’m sorry.
I was just speaking nonsense.
I’m just… hah, I’m embarrassed right now.….”




“I didn’t mean to offend you! So don’t do that to Erzen.
Eh, Erzen is…… Ugh.”


His wife, who came back to her senses, hugged him just like before.
Ezekiel, who was satisfied seeing her obedience, held his wife’s soft body in his arms and smelled the body he had missed.
He felt rewarded for all the days when he hugged a piece of cloth on the bed and acted pathetic.


“I’m glad you’re still smart.”


The tyrant, who became merciful to the fullest, breathed a pleasant sigh and hugged his wife preciously.
Herace leaned her head gently against his chest.
However, unlike her obedient posture, her expression was somewhat empty and her eyes were blankly directed toward the air.
Tears formed on her eyes and rolled down across her cheek again as she fell weakly on Ezekiel’s arm.


Ezekiel, who looked at her wife’s face for a while, bowed his head and kissed her white forehead. Yeah, it’s fine as it is.
If only my wife would be by my side.
It was enough to live this life with her and be buried in a grave together. He said to himself as he moved his steps.


“Let’s go.
Time to go home, Herace.”






“Erzen, what happened? Do you still have a headache?”


Erzen shook his head, but Herace put her hand on the child’s forehead in case.


The child’s forehead was normal and his temperature was also lukewarm, but Herace carefully examined Erzen’s face here and there.
He was a child who had been through several rough things in a short period of time.
At this time of year, one of the most dangerous things for the child was having a fever, so Herace was nervous all along that her son would suddenly fall sick even though he was fine.


“Can’t Mom stay with Erzen? Why can’t Mom stay with Erzen?”


The child mumbled and whined, burying his face deep in Herace’s arms.
There was a clear sign that he didn’t want to be separated from his mother in his complaining voice.
Herace held back the tears in her eyes and stroked her son’s head.


“……It’s because your Mom has to work.
You’ve seen it before, right? When I’m working, I can’t see Erzen because I’m busy.”


She could spend only three hours a day with his son.
Moreover, even that was barely obtained in exchange for the freedom of both legs.
Underneath the dress, Herace’s ankles, though invisible, were shackled together.
She was careful so that Erzen wouldn’t notice this by the clashing sound of the shackles.


It was none other than Herace herself who was shackled her.
Of course, there was someone else who made her make that choice.
Herace sighed sadly as she thought of the man who would be riding a horse in front of the carriage going to the North.

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