Updated: Aug 21
Walter catches on that something has happened while Tara and Kyle catch their breath.
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Episode 218. About 10 months (95)
I flinched at the sound.
The first part of the dinner was probably over.
Kyle jumped up, took off his jacket, wrapped it around me, and quickly picked me up.
"I'm taking you to my quarters."
"You're saying you're going to take me to the Castle? Like this? Now? People will surely think it's strange if they see us."
"It will be fine if you cover your face."
I grabbed the front of his shirt and looked up at him. "I'll walk. This jacket is big, so if I wear it over my dress, I can walk."
He looked down at me silently with a stubborn expression on his face.
Kyle's deep eyes seemed to be scrutinizing my expression.
When I looked up his jaw seemed to stiffen.
"By any chance... Does me touching... I mean, does a man touching you..."
I quickly shook my head.
"It's not that."
A small sigh of relief escaped him.
"Then we'll go like this. You're still shaking. I'll go down the back route as quickly as possible. Just hang in there a little bit longer."
I nodded quietly at his stubborn expression. At that acknowledgement, he hugged me tighter and went straight into the hallway.
I pulled the jacket up to the top of my forehead and shoved my face into his chest.
I heard voices around us.
"Oh my, oh my."
"Well... Someone is having a good time."
"Is someone injured..? By the way, I've never seen him before. He looks like a knight..."
"Even so, hugging like that... Hmm... Look at the aura around that man. My God."
"Right. The way he's holding them. Wow. He must be strong as well…"
Kyle's physical appearance seemed to be helpful once again.
After hearing those pieces of conversation our surroundings quieted, and now all I could hear was the sound of his footsteps, his breathing, and the steady thump of his heart beating against his chest.
Meanwhile, Walter, who was waiting in front of his Master's room, was surprised to see Kyle holding someone in his arms and ran towards him.
"What's the matter?"
It must have been a woman tucked in his Master's arms and wrapped in his jacket. The hem of a rich dress fluttered and hung under the Master's arms.
Walter was very surprised because it was the first time in his life that he had seen his Master holding a woman like this, but he hardened his expression upon seeing his Master's serious face.
"Was it handled?"
"Yes. First of all, I can call the castle physician to administer first aid. Were you injured in the fight? Your body is very valuable. Let me..."
Walter took a step closer to accept the woman the Lord held in his arms.
"Don't touch her! I'll do it."
His voice and eyes sharpened in an instant. Suddenly Walter felt the bloodlust once again, and without realizing it, he took a few steps back.
"Th–That was rude. Forgive me."
The Master's reaction was very abnormal.
‘What kind of woman is she? Perhaps…?'
But he erased that thought at once.
Walter couldn't recall a single instance where the Master held a woman like that in his arms, and he didn't have a history of showing that kind of interest in the opposite sex.
So Walter speculated internally, but didn't ask about it. Perhaps this was related to the accident in the annex. It appeared she had been seriously injured.
Therefore, he must be holding her because he judged that moving her could make the situation worse.
"That's enough, go and rest. We're leaving early tomorrow."
"Yes. The 2nd Ai–No. The accountant in the annex said she was leaving early tomorrow...!"
At first he thought about going to the annex and trying to coordinate the schedule with the 2nd Aide. But then a realization flashed through his mind.
Walter's eyes widened and he stared intently at the woman in the Master's arms.
Walter's gut was telling him that this series of events was clearly linked to the 2nd Aide.
Earlier, the Master had dragged that man out of the annex, which was the same place the 2nd Aide was staying. The person in his Master's arms was similar in size to the 2nd Aide. Then… The person who was currently in his Master's arms was...
It was highly likely that she was the Second Aide. And crucially, the Lord had called that man ‘trash’.
Before Walter could speak, the Master looked into his eyes and answered first.
"It's the Second Aide."
"Oh no, what...?"
It was Tara, the Second Aide herself, who shrugged off the jacket and answered Walter's question.
The 2nd Aide shifted slightly in his Master's arms and showed her face, smiling awkwardly as if she was embarrassed.
"Are you going to put me down?"
"Only if you ask."
He immediately wanted to refuse and continued holding her. Embarrassed, The 2nd Aide blushed and frowned.
"Well, Sir. Th–This is starting to get a bit awkward. You should probably explain the details...!"
Walter wasn’t even paying attention to the Second Aide's words. From the moment she had pulled down the jacket he'd been so shocked that he couldn't take his eyes off of her face.
A messy face, red handprints on her neck, dishevelled hair and eyes swollen with tears. Walter came to a conclusion immediately.
"Then that bastard...!"
Walter turned around and was bewildered when he saw the Second Aide flinch. He forced himself to endure the simmering anger and turned back around, clenching his jaw tightly as he spoke.
"Second Aide, I'll kill him."
“… I've dealt with it all. So don't get your hands dirty because of him."
The 2nd Aide's voice was quiet. It was obvious that her usual vitality was completely absent and that she was forcing herself to pretend that she was okay. That made him even angrier.
"How dare he... He dares touch one of our people. One of our people...!"
The Master cut off Walter's words and strode towards his quarters.
"Stop it! If you kill him, I'll kill you."
Walter hurriedly caught up and said, “I’m going to call a doctor.”
"No. I'll personally request my cousin's doctor. So in the meantime, go. You should rest."
After saying those words, the Master immediately opened the door to his quarters and went inside.
After watching the closed door for a moment, Walter muttered under his breath.
"...I swear to God. I want to kill him... But, it seems that His Highness is treating the Second Aide a little differently than usual?"
But soon after, he shook his head.
If anyone had been involved in such a terrible thing he would've protected them with the same degree of respect.
The Master cared about his subordinates in particular.
"Actually, I bet it wouldn't just be me. If it was Nick, tsk tsk. And if I'd known earlier, I would have found that son of a bitch..."
Having brought Nick to mind out of the blue, Walter continued down the stairs, swearing to himself with unresolved anger.
After receiving treatment from the doctor, Tara lay in bed, curled up like a shrimp. He had ordered a servant to bring her a set of women’s pajamas, but she had just fallen asleep.
It was likely thanks to the tranquilizer and pain medication Diane's doctor had given her.
He brushed his hair back roughly.
Why had he told Tara to attend the banquet?
If only he had just explained it properly to Diane in the first place.
If only he had negotiated an exception to the secrecy agreement he made with her in the first place.
If only he hadn't brought her here in the first place.
He kept constantly rebuking himself.
He kept recalling the scene when he burst through the door of her room in the annex.
Every time he remembered it, the back of his neck chilled and his hair stood on end.
Kyle had only felt the dizzy feeling of falling off a cliff a few times in his life.
‘In those moments where I have no control, I'm afraid...'
He couldn't finish that thought because he was terrified that something similar might happen again.
Kyle was waiting for her irregular breathing to even out.
She must’ve been so anxious that she couldn't completely relax.
He dragged a chair to the side of the bed and sat down, leaving only one of the lamps illuminated, and watched her sleeping face.
Her face was pale, there was a frown on her forehead, her lips were tight and her small fists were clenched in the sheets. She looked more fragile and weak than ever before, like a small wounded bird.
"Never again..." His words were low.
He couldn't finish the sentence.
The only thing that cooled his anger was the pain from his clenched fists.
He repeatedly opened and closed his hands, squeezing his fists so tightly that his nails dug into his palms.
He stared at her face and her small, curled up fists unblinkingly. He was deep in thought.
‘What can I do to make John Hutt suffer the most?'
That was what currently occupied his thoughts.
As if wandering through a mental maze, Kyle constructed and overturned several scenarios in his head, trying to find the solution that would result in the best outcome.
After a while, he slowly closed and then opened his eyes. His eyes gleamed.
“Is that the best way?”
His voice was quiet and slow, and the corners of his mouth lifted.
Kyle smiled for the first time today as he took the time to finally release his accumulated anger. But that smile was dark.
Before he knew it, her breathing had become regular.
Kyle listened to her even breaths for a moment, then carefully pulled the blanket up to her neck and quietly stepped out.
I woke up because my throat was strangely stuffy, as if I was thirsty. For a moment, I didn't realize where I was, so I blinked dully and looked up at the ceiling.
I instinctively touched my neck because of the soreness and tensed when I found the choker necklace.
I sprang to my feet. Only then did I remember that this was Reese Castle, and that I had met John Hutt at a dinner and fought him off in the annex.
‘Ah... that bastard.'
My sides were tingling. My muscles aching now that I had rested.
Still, I thought it probably didn't hurt as much as it could’ve, assuming the medication I took before falling asleep had been effective.
When I turned on the light next to the bed, the clock indicated it was just past 10 p.m.
Dinner had been at 6 o'clock, and I had gone to the annex around 7 o'clock.
“I must've slept for two hours…."
Now I felt a little more at ease. After those moments of surprise and urgency had passed, my head had calmed again.
And once more, I was struck by the desperate realization that living in this world was never going to be easy.
Was the life of a possessor truly meant to be this hard?
"There's a lot of horrible people out there. Damn it... Haaaa.... When I get back, I'll focus on learning more self-defence from Bernard. Haa... I need to be more careful from now on."
I decided to untie the restrictive choker necklace.
I took a deep breath at the state of the necklace in my hand.
“Because of that bastard, I've been such a nuisance again…”
The choker necklace was ruined, the butterfly pendant had fallen off and the small ring was broken.
As soon as I returned to the Capital, I needed to make this a priority and return it to Diane. I sighed again. "Ugh..." The sound came out automatically.
That was because of the uncomfortable dress and the stiffness all over my body.
Fortunately, there were pajamas next to the bed. At first glance they appeared to be sized for women, so I changed into them.
I quickly washed my face and approached the water bottle on the table by the door to moisten my dry throat. But my pajamas proved to be a problem.
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