“Duke, the blood……Are you alright?”

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Duke Cassiar vomited blood with a dry cough after drinking the tea from the tea leaves I brewed.

Then someone unexpectedly blocked me as I was about to go all out to support the Duke.

“Please step back.”

He was a man with skin and hair as white as the snow on a snowy mountain.

His eyes were gentle, but his gaze on me was as bitter as a thorn in his eyes.

He appeared to be a knight, given that he was armed with a sword, but I had never seen his face in the duke’s residence.

Don’t tell me you think that I harmed the Duke?

I mean, I’ve been looking for tea that will help him sleep.

All of this was unfair to me, but I couldn’t say anything as if my mouth was frozen.

I took a step back, startled by the blood stain on Duke Cassiar’s hand, and the white-haired man examined his condition calmly.

“Kyle, the doctor….”

While still supporting the Duke, who was constantly vomiting blood and had a pale complexion, he called the man named Kyle.

“Duke! Have you taken any sleeping medication recently? Please move the Duke to the bedroom so that I can call the doctor right away.”

Kyle’s face became solemn when he saw Duke Cassiar’s condition.

Kyle quickly moved forward, thinking he was going to call the doctor.

Kyle’s shoulder was grabbed and pulled up by the white-haired man who was watching him.

“Sir, what’s the matter with you?”

“Fanny.”

“Could you tell me why you’re looking for Fanny? Even if it’s something you need to do on your own…….”

I was taken aback when Duke Cassiar suddenly vomited blood, and it was only then that I noticed the broken pieces of tea scattered in front of me.

Did he tell me to take a step back not because he doubted me, but because he was afraid I’d be hurt by shards of broken glass?

I carefully avoided the shards of glass as I looked at the spot where the white-haired man had stood.

I averted my gaze for a brief moment, and then the man and Duke Cassiar disappeared.

“Oh no, lady, are there any injuries?”

Kyle approached me, standing in the gap between the sharp teacup pieces, and inquired concernedly.

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“Yes, I’m fine.
Instead of that, how about the Duke?”

“He’s often like that.
He takes strong sleeping medication to go to sleep.”

“You say he’s vomiting blood due to sleeping medication?”

Did you say you slept using sleeping medication yesterday, Duke Cassiar? What kind of sleeping medication did you take to induce vomiting?

“Yes, wait a minute.
First of all, I’ll call the doctor.
Please don’t be surprised.
Lady.”

Don’t be surprised?

Kyle’s hand erupted in red flames, and his head sprouted wolf ears while I stood guard.

“You have ears on your head, Kyle!”

“After sending the messenger bird, I will explain everything about myself in detail.
Please send a doctor to the Duke’s house, Firebird.”

The fire flower transformed into a bird and flew out the window when Kyle blew the sparks in his hand.

“Did you used to be a wizard like Duke Cassiar?”

“I know how to use magic, but I’m not a wizard.
I’m half wolf, as you can see.”

Kyle’s plump red tail fluttered in the same way his ears did.

Kyle was a wolf?

I’d heard that beasts existed in the Empire, though they were rare.

But it was the first time I’d seen them in this state.

I’d heard that beasts usually live in groups, but that humans treated them like animals.

As a result, they were mistreated and treated as a toy.

I didn’t understand why people regard their lives as valuable assets.

“Are you disappointed in me?”

Kyle, who appeared to be depressed, gave me a sidelong glance.

Perhaps he was afraid that I would treat him the same way that other beasts were treated.

“Unfortunately, it makes no difference to me whether Kyle is a wolf or not.
You still appear to me to be a talented person who is trusted by the demanding Duke of Cassiar.”

Kyle needed to feel secure, so I wanted to reassure him.
At the same time, I wanted to back him up.

To be able to appreciate his life a little more.

“You accept me just the way I am.
Madam is a nice person as well.
I, Kyle, swear to you that I will put my life on the line for you until the day I die.”

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Kyle looked at me with tears in his eyes as I was just being honest with what I thought.

“You don’t have to risk your life for me.
Because your life is precious.
It’ll be enough if you just work hard at what you’re doing now.”

“Did your mother come down from heaven as an angel?”

“Unfortunately, I am a regular person.
Instead, could you tell me why the Duke vomited blood?”

Kyle confidently nodded when I inquired about the Duke of Cassiar.

“Duke’s condition worsened after he took too much of a poisonous sleeping medication.
Unlike ordinary sleeping medication, the sleeping medication he takes is highly toxic.
I heard it puts a strain on his heart if he takes it frequently, and if it gets worse, he could die.”

“How can the Duke sleep when he’s in so much pain?”

Even the average person can go a whole day without sleeping.

You can use my help now that I’m here. 

I didn’t understand why the Duke of Cassiar was attempting to force himself to sleep until he hurt himself.

“Perhaps because the Duke does not want the Duke’s people to be endangered as a result of his actions.”

Was the Duke afraid that he’d lose control? But I thought he’d be able to make it through a day or two.

Even when Duke Cassiar went insane at the end of the original story, he endured it for three days.

I mean, he didn’t have to force himself to sleep.

“The Duke is living under the pressure of losing loved ones again for the same reason.”

Is ‘again’ a reference to the Duke having already lost a loved one in an explosion?

Even in the novel, Duke Cassar’s insomnia was described as causing an explosion, but there was no detailed description of the past when it first appeared.

I wondered if the Duke was under the influence of sleeping medication while risking his life because he had lost someone.

“It’s a well-known story, and I’m sure Madam already knows it.”

Kyle’s face darkened as he was about to continue speaking.

 

***

 

‘Looking at his physical condition, the Duke seems to have been taking sleeping medication several times a day, putting a strain on his heart even if he only eats once a week.
The poison has reached the organs of the heart.
He would not be alive today if the Duke’s powerful mana hadn’t protected his heart.’

The doctor, who was using magic to examine Duke Cassiar’s condition, made a tragic diagnosis.

He was lucky to be alive.

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How much suffering had this man endured on his own?

The doctor had left the Duke of Cassiar’s bedroom, which I was guarding.

The Duke’s brow occasionally narrowed in pain, possibly due to the poison that had spread through his heart.

As Kyle had told me, I suddenly remembered Duke Cassiar’s past.

‘Due to the overflow of mana at the time, the Duke had to lose all of his parents, whom he loved.’

Duke Cassiar’s parents claimed that he was loved from a young age.

They stayed by the Duke’s side until he fell asleep, read a storybook, and sang a lullaby, even when he had insomnia.

Duke Cassiar’s first mana explosion occurred as his young body weakened and he became insomniac, and his parents tried everything they could to suppress his power, but they died.

In despair, the Duke of Cassiar attempted suicide, but the remaining duke’s employees barely managed to stop him and told him that he was the current Duke after a long period of comfort.

The transformation of a dead Duke into a living person was said to take a long time.

I understood the Duke’s feelings better than anyone else after hearing about his predicament.

For the Duke, his people are more valuable than himself.
To the extent that it was acceptable for him to suffer to the point of death in order to ensure their safety.

Was this why he was so obsessed with Milter in the first place?

In my previous life, I was once like the Duke of Cassiar.

‘Joo Hye, I have never regretted having you born into this world every time.’

My mother became ill after giving birth to me.

Since I was a high school student, I’d thrown everything I’d got at saving my mother, who was worried about me even when I was sick, making me heartbroken.

After becoming an adult, I worked more and earned money at all hours of the day and night, but my mother’s illness worsened over time, and the hospital bills piled up.

It was physically and mentally exhausting, but as long as there was a chance of saving my mother, I could do more.

My mother was unable to overcome her illness and died as a result.

To me, who had dedicated my life to curing my mother’s illness, her death rendered my life meaningless.

It was a novel that consoled me after I stayed in my room for days and nights without eating or washing and only cried.

While reading, I was able to forget reality for a while.

This world in which I was possessed was one of those novels.

Perhaps Milter wasn’t the only reason I got into this novel.

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“It can’t possibly be……”

The nightmare might have tormented Duke Cassiar.

It overlapped with me, who couldn’t accept my mother’s death and spent the night crying.

I placed my hand on Duke Cassiar’s forehead.

I knew the Duke had been in a lot of pain for a long time, so I wanted him to sleep peacefully for the time being.

The Duke, who appeared to have his condition quickly stabilized, breathed evenly as soon as my hand touched it.

“I can’t help it; seeing that you’re still fast asleep by my touch, I don’t think I’ve lost my power.”

I have to be caught by him until the Duke recovers from his sleep.

Is it possible that it’s because I’ve been looking for Romaine since the early hours of the morning?

I fell asleep after checking to see if the Duke was awake.

Is it possible that I’ll fall asleep for a while? Just a little bit because it’s still early.

I closed my eyes and rested my aching head on the Duke’s bed.

 

***

 

Chirp Chirp Chirp.

In my ears, a clear chirping of birds could be heard.

The warm sunlight streaming in through the window glistened brilliantly.

Oh, I had a great night’s sleep!

I stretched and my body felt lighter, probably because I slept well.

But how did I get home yesterday?

I remember putting the sick Duke to sleep, but I couldn’t remember when I got home.

Come to think of it, didn’t I fall asleep next to Duke Cassiar?

But I couldn’t remember waking up.

The place where I was lying down right now…

I opened my eyes and took a careful look around before removing the blanket and ruffling my disheveled silver hair mercilessly.

This is Duke Cassiar’s bedroom, dammit!

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