“Umm, excuse me, Sir Lenox.
I’m curious about something….”

A knight stepped up and spoke cautiously to Lenox.
However, his words were interrupted just before he could even finish them by Kirsty, who was next to them.

“It’s best not to ask anything about that young man.
Else you wouldn’t even realize when your neck disconnected from your torso.”

The knight quickly shut his mouth at Kirsty’s words.

“Tell everyone to treat him politely if ever he talks to others by chance.
And remember not to touch him directly.
That’ll get you taken to the torture chamber.”

“Yes, I understand.”

For the sake of his neck’s well-being, the knight quickly shirked his brimming curiosity, and covertly conveyed it to others in a lowered voice, following Kirsty’s words.
It was clear from Kirsty’s reaction that this was an extremely important issue.

Kirsty watched the knight go and pass his message, and asked Lenox, who never took his eyes off Sethian and Yi-Gyeol.

“How about you, what do you think?”

“About what?”

“His Highness the Crown Prince, isn’t he acting strange?”

“No doubt, he is.”

Lenox calmly agreed with Kirsty’s question.

Sethian doesn’t only seem strange to his two close aides but certainly to the other knights as well.
Not only was it strange that he forcibly occupied the crown prince position just to make a body for a young man who was said to be a ghost with the golden arts, but the caring and pampering image he is showing right now is to the point that one will wonder if he was still the same person.

To Lenox and Kirsty, Yi-Gyeol was the next most important person they needed to look after,  second only to Sethian.
Completely incomparable to when they first saw him, he had already gained some flesh and his face had brightened up as well to the point where he was pleasant to look at.
Sometimes, like a small sneaky hamster[1], he would hushedly poke his head out the room’s closed door and ask if it is difficult to keep standing as they guard or worry about them, and every time that happens, his heart inevitably warms up.

Just a brief look into his eyes was enough to tell how kind his character is.
Perhaps that’s why even though he has countless kiss marks on his neck or collarbone, he doesn’t look lewd or vulgar.

If the person who left such marks was anyone other than Sethian, he might have cursed inside, thinking that person was a beast.
But as such, without any exception, all the traces engraved on Yi-Gyeol’s body contain a clear message.

A seal that shows he belongs to someone.

It was the first delirious possessiveness that Sethian, who had never been obsessed and coveted anything in his life, had shown.
The red traces look as if he had been desperately trying to suppress himself from chewing and swallowing the person whole.

“…Is it perhaps love?”


Kirsty choked on Lenox’s murmur.
He contorted his face and the end of his eyes lifted up.

“Don’t be ridiculous!”

“But I think that’s the most reliable picture with the current situation.”

“It’s not just anyone else but the Crown Prince, that’s never going to happen.
He’s probably keeping him by his side because of interest.”

Kirsty’s words were the most plausible for ‘People who have a bit of knowledge about Crown Prince Sethian’ could say.
Lenox had no intention of denying it either.

“Interest, you say….”

Is the discordance that Sethian only shows to Yi-Gyeol really just because of simple interest? He imagined the prince quickly losing interest and throwing Yi-Gyeol away as if he doesn’t matter what happens to him.

It was a nowhere near possible picture for Lenox, who had been closely watching Sethian and Yi-Gyeol for over a month.


Yi-Gyeol was semi-forced to have bandages on both hands once he returned to the room.
And within the bandages, the palms, which were only slightly chapped, were carefully coated with an ointment made from high-quality crushed herbs.

‘It’s not even to the point that he should make a fuss….’

He couldn’t even swing the wooden sword a few times because he was busy panting, but seeing the bandage wrapped around his hand made him look like a person who had wielded the sword for days.

‘Let’s keep your sword practice to a minimum.
It’s much better to do other exercises to build up your stamina instead.’

Sethian must have said that because he keeps failing to properly grasp the sword and his movements were also awkward.

He had a pretty good stamina and exercised regularly just before he got bedridden, but now he has no energy and his stamina is at the bottom as if those times were nonexistent.
Yi-Gyeol’s mouth tasted bitter with the helplessness he yet again realized.

After having those thoughts, he immediately gathered himself and clenched his fists.

‘No big deal! I’ll surely get better after doing it a few more times.
Let’s not dig the ground[2] for nothing.’

He should also correct this habit of his soon.
His exhausted self-esteem and the depression he had suppressed for a long time would involuntarily stick their heads out if given the slightest gap.
This was by no means good.
To himself, and to Sethian, who is always beside him.

He patted his cheeks with both hands and woke himself up.
Then his gaze turned to the books piled up on the table.
Before Sethian could come back from work, he had to organize the parts he wanted to ask him to read.
That way, there’ll be no embarrassing mishap in which he reads the entire book like the last time.

Thinking about that moment automatically put a smile on his face.

Sethian is overly thoughtful, to the point that sometimes Yi-Gyeol thinks it’s too much.
He devotedly takes care of him without saying a word, and he wanted to know everything about his every move.
His tone of speaking was far from being sweet, but what was contained in it was apparent affection and interest, and it was enough for Yi-Gyeol to feel happy most times.

It was the same reaction his family had when he unexpectedly got an incurable disease 5 years ago.
Despite the sudden misfortune, they were infinitely warm and kind, and their love for him did not waver.

Everything just started to fall apart when his illness persisted and the house started accumulating debts.
It all began to collapse very naturally.

Dark clouds overshadowed Yi-Gyeol’s face once again.

‘Is my family… Is everyone… Living well?’

Since completely setting foot in this world, there hasn’t been a day where he hasn’t thought of the faces of his family.
His family was the only ones who remained next to him while he was lying on the hospital’s sickbed, so it was only a matter-of-course.

At first, he thought it would be nice to somehow find a way and go back to them.
Thinking that maybe there’s a way to bring this body back with him.
Although vitality is a problem, there must be a solution somehow.
But once he thought of Sethian’s disappointed expression, feeling betrayed if he knew, he was afflicted and distressed over it inside his heart for a while.

Conversely, when he recalled their cold eyes and piercing words, those thoughts expeditiously disappeared in no time.
The fact that he was a burden to his family would never change, and even if he goes back and meets them, will he be able to smile at them again like before he had gotten sick?

The only place where he can laugh to his heart’s content is the spot next to Sethian.

Arriving with that conjecture, he abruptly wanted to see Sethian again, who had just split up with him only a while ago.
If he was with him, just looking at his current expression, from his thoughts to his emotions, he would see through everything and would probably gently stroke his head.

‘Since when have I began acting so child-like?’

A jeer heedlessly flowed out of his visage.
He seems to have become too accustomed to Sethian’s touch.

Tok, tok.

Thinking of Sethian with his eyes down, Yi-Gyeol flinched at the sudden sound.
As he rolled his eyes around and concentrated, he heard another tapping sound.
Turning his head towards it, he saw a crow knocking with its beak attached to the closed window.

Not only because it’s been watching over this place every day recently, but also because he knew that the crow was possessed by a soul that followed Zair, so his listless heart, which had finally settled down, tensed all over again.
On the other hand, he was carrying a natural and friendly smile on his face.

As soon as he opened the window, the crow flew back for a bit, then shyly landed on the window sill.

−Did you sleep well?

Yi-Gyeol radiantly smiled at the crow who greeted him with a bright voice.

−What’s wrong with your hands? Did you get hurt?

The crow alternately pointed at Yi-Gyeol’s hands with its beak.

“No, my palm got a little chafed so I bandaged it.
I’m more worried about Prince Zair than myself.
Is he still unable to use his hands?”

To divert the crow’s pouring attention towards him, he smoothly inserted Zair into the conversation.

He doesn’t want to reveal information about him as much as he could.
Because the more the opponent knows, the more it becomes a weakness.

Fortunately, the crow responded correspondingly.

−That’s right.
He was even frowning like this several times while eating today.

As if mimicking Zair, it tried to curve the small bird’s forehead as hard as it could.
He burst out laughing saying that it was cute, but in actuality, Yi-Gyeol was still as apathetic as ever deep down inside him.

“Did you tell him that I’m sorry?”

−Of course.
He said it wasn’t your fault, so you don’t have to worry.

“How can I not worry when it’s true that it’s my fault….”

Even as his words continued, his head spun rapidly.
Zair didn’t ask anything from him just as he expected, and for some reason, only words that it was okay came out of the crow’s mouth.

‘I don’t know if he really doesn’t have any designs or he just noticed something….’

He opened his mouth as he rolled the hunch and Zair’s disposition that he had briefly grasped around his head.

“I would have done anything if I could just apologize.”

−Hmm, anything you say….

The crow’s head tilted habitually and his voice rang a little low.

−Zair-nim didn’t say much, but since you said that, would you like me to give you some advice? I frequently watch Zair-nim even on regular days, so I know everything, even the littlest personal thing.

A bright smile appeared on the corner of Yi-Gyeol’s lips.

What do you think should I do?”

Compared to the arc around his lips, Yi-Gyeol had a smile of satisfaction carrying a different propensity within him.

Look at our gorgeous babies! 

TL Notes:

The word that should be used is ‘MOUSE’ but I don’t think everyone will find mice cute so I used ‘hamster.’ Hehehe.  Digging the Soil – Doing something foolish, a fruitless attempt. 

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