Roa checked Yi-Gyeol’s condition one more time due to Sethian’s threat, left the words that he had enough vitality, and quickly went back to the tower with Eda.
Lenox also went out the door and stood with Kirsty guarding the bedroom with a puzzled expression on his face, and, as always, only Sethian and Yi-Gyeol were the only people who remained inside.

Yi-Gyeol had a slightly angry expression on his face, which is rare.

“Sit down.”

Sitting cross-legged on the bed, Yi-Gyeol tapped the sheet in front of him with his hand.
As soon as Sethian sat down, Yi-Gyeol warned in a stern voice.

“Don’t do that in front of other people.”

“Which one are you talking about?”

Yi-Gyeol’s brows furrowed a little more.

“Don’t…kiss me.”

This time, Sethian’s forehead wrinkled as if copying him.

“The reason is?”

“Of course it’s because it’s embarrassing.
No matter how you look at it, that…, Even if it’s to give vitality, kissing in front of others is kind of weird.”

Sethian carefully watched Yi-Gyeol’s blushing face – who didn’t know where to put his eyes – reached out, and put his hand on his cheek.
A pleasant warmth is felt, and Yi-Gyeol’s face relaxed as if it was never scrunched up just a moment earlier.

“I’ll think about it.”

“Don’t just think about it…!”

“It doesn’t matter if it’s just the two of us like now, right?”

Surprised to see Sethian’s fast-approaching face, Yi-Gyeol abruptly put his palm between his and Sethian’s mouths.

“Roa-nim said earlier that I have enough vitality already.
You don’t have to do more.”

Sethian’s eyes sharpened in an instant.
Yi-Gyeol’s act of drawing a line, saying they don’t need to kiss anymore made him feel quite dissatisfied.

But soon, as if nothing had happened, he calmly pulled Yi-Gyeol’s arm down.

“Now get some sleep.”

“But I’m not sleepy.”

“Didn’t the wizard say just now that you’ll need to rest even after moving a little?”

“I don’t have to sleep anymore though….”

He could tell that he wasn’t sleepy just by looking at Yi-Gyeol’s twinkling eyes, but Sethian thought that there was nothing much better than sleep to replenish his physical strength.
Especially, if you have a weak body like the current Yi-Gyeol, you need more sleep.

Seeing that Yi-Gyeol doesn’t want to go to sleep easily, Sethian took off the cloak from his shoulders and threw it under the bed.
He laid down together with Yi-Gyeol, then pulled and held him in his arms.
He flinched because of the close contact at first but quickly relaxed his body with a comfortable expression on his face.
Even so, his eyes roll around to the point where Sethian thinks he can hear a rolling sound.
“I think it’s kind of weird…to sleep while hugging like this.”

“It’s so that you can sleep quickly.”

“I can fall asleep quickly even if you don’t do this.”

“This’ll make you sleep even more quickly.
Stop fussing and just sleep.”

Sethian naturally patted Yi-Gyeol’s back and stroked his hair.
Even with such trivial actions, Yi-Gyeol’s whole body and expression quickly came loose, but still complained that he is like putting a child to sleep.

Looking at Yi-Gyeol who closed his eyes to sleep, Sethian was full of complicated thoughts that the other person was not aware of.

“If someone else ascends the throne, the Crown Prince’s position will be naturally stripped, and Joo Yi-Gyeol’s body will disappear completely.”

Recalling what Roa had said, the hand that was patting Yi-Gyeol’s back froze and stopped.
Yi-Gyeol’s eyebrows, who wasn’t fully asleep yet, shook slightly as if he would open his eyes just by the distraction, so Sethian continued patting his back.

Unlike the Crown Prince’s title, which is only a position in name, the official position of the emperor differs greatly.
It is a position that Sethian could not make up his mind to climb hastily, but it was worthwhile to do because he had the necessary cause and enough power to take the throne, and he was also prepared to bring down his other siblings.

If there is anyone who would try to threaten him like his siblings after becoming emperor, he plans to set an example by brutally executing them in front of everyone, and he will not hesitate to make various cruel preparations to prevent them from climbing in the first place.
He’s going to make sure that no one dares to threaten his position, and he’s even considering waging a war just to create something to enjoy.

There are a number of paths that he can take if he wants to become a tyrant.

But Yi-Gyeol can never be a part of that.
Due to the psychological wounds he has received, he’s fragile enough to tremble at even the smallest things, and he’s also naive enough to believe and follow whatever he says.
He is even sensitive to others being hurt or killed, so he is the least compatible with ‘The Tyrant’s Government of Terror’ that he designed.

He was not very interested in the throne, so he thought he’d just let anyone become the emperor, but if that happened, it was obvious what would happen to Yi-Gyeol.
Once the Crown Prince’s position is withdrawn and the brooch is recovered, Sethian’s record will be deleted for the next owner of the mana stone to be written in it.
As a result, the power of the mana stone will vanish, and Yi-Gyeol’s body will disappear as if it never existed.
His soul might return to its original place as well.

Strength entered the arm that was holding Yi-Gyeol in his arms.
Yi-Gyeol, who had just fallen asleep, groaned a little and dug deeper.

A dying body from another world.

If he goes back to that body that was in a state of coma, then he may not be able to see Yi-Gyeol again.

Sometimes, Yi-Gyeol would have this nightmare.
He seemed to see his family every time that happened.
Tears would hang from the corners of his tightly closed eyes, and he would repeatedly say sorry to his family with his small lips.
Occasionally, when Yi-Gyeol mentions that he misses them and that he wanted to meet them again, he wanted to make him unable to speak even if he was sleeping by pouring kisses on him.

‘I get increasingly ridiculous as time goes on.’

Has he ever been this obsessed with someone? To his parents, siblings, or subjects; no one has ever made him so obsessed.

It feels like something is pressing down on his chest.
Even though he has Joo Yi-Gyeol by his side as he wanted, it doesn’t seem like he has the initiative.
It still seemed that Joo Yi-Gyeol had all the upper hand, and he was terribly savoring the end of an incongruous emotion of anxiety.

It’s been a long time since he had to think about which option was the right one.
On the surface, the object of his concern would seem like the imperial throne, but when you look further into it, it is entirely dotted with Joo Yi-Gyeol.

Was it wrong to have him by his side in the first place?

Did it become an issue that he let him sink too deeply inside of him?

When he heard that the vitality he gave was lost in the aftermath of his soul withdrawal, the first thought that came to him was ‘So?’.
If there’s a loss, it’s enough to just make up for it.

Roa’s intention was to refrain Yi-Gyeol from leaving his body to preserve the vitality, but Sethian had a different idea.
After so many years, he was able to finally walk properly and no longer has to suffer under the pressure of having to sleep for 22 hours.
It was as if a bird, which had been unable to fly due to an injury to its wings, was finally in place to fly one more time.
Just like the bird who has a desire to fly again because of the memory of once flying freely in the sky, the same will be true for Yi-Gyeol.

Nevertheless, Yi-Gyeol never urged Sethian even once.
While estimating the time when it will be possible for him to go for a walk, he didn’t say a word that he wants to go out, even for a moment.
Instead, he is satisfied with feeling the outside air through soul withdrawal, visiting the place where Sethian works, and watching the interesting sight of the knights moving roughly from time to time.

Yi-Gyeol’s ability to escape from his body serves as his eyes to satisfy his yearnings and desires, so he never thought that he should block it.

Thinking about it, Roa deserved to look at himself strangely.
It was because he, who was never interested in other people’s emotions and had lived a life centered on his eccentric interests, paid attention to Yi-Gyeol’s every action and did not care about how much vitality he lost for his sake.


How much of his lifespan has already been shaved off? How much vitality is needed in the future to maintain Yi-Gyeol’s body?

Honestly, that never mattered to him.
What’s important was the fact that Joo Yi-Gyeol was moving with his own vitality, not anyone else.

A maddening desire for possessiveness soared inside Sethian.

As soon as he thought that it was not his own vitality that was moving inside Joo Yi-Gyeol, the front of his eyes seemed to be dyed with vivid blood.

It was as if a strange sound that he had never heard before was ringing inside his head.
That sound was an instinctive warning related to the person in front of him.

He slowly lifted his arm from Yi-Gyeol’s back, who had already fallen deeply asleep.
He was lying on his side and resting, not budging an inch, as he held his neck in his hand.
It’s much better than before, but it hasn’t changed the fact that it’s a neck thin enough to be twisted without a pulse if he just puts a little force.

The strange sound that he heard for the first time gradually grew louder and uproariously reverberated inside his head.

His instinct was saying that Joo Yi-Gyeol was a poison to himself.

He knows it even without a warning.
It is an object that takes away his vitality, so how can it not be considered a poison?

He thought it was a weed that could be trampled on mercilessly once he lost interest any time, but it was actually more like a bewitching poisonous herb that confuses his mind.
It was such a quiet poison that he didn’t even realize when or how he got poisoned.

Sethian wanted to take complete control of such a poisonous herb.
That way, the unpleasant feeling of anxiety seemed to disappear.
Having anxiety never suits him, so he wanted to put it all in his clutch and hold it tightly somehow.

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