The following day Sir Shubart left again. He’s a very busy person, so he usually goes at night or early in the morning, but he left a little late, saying he had something to find out more. The house, which had been noisy, was silent again. And from now on, it’s going to be quieter. It had only been one day after Sir Shubart left this house.
“Mother, where are you going?”
Lucellai has been busy packing since morning, then showed up with her outdoor clothes. I was a little surprised because she rarely goes out in the winter.
‘Ugh, I don’t want her to go out.’
“I will be away for a few days.”
“Are you going to go alone?”
“Shubart will be back. Don’t make a fuss.”
A little translation is needed to understand my mother’s words, ‘don’t make a fuss’ means that someone might be looking after this house when my mother is away, so be as careful as possible. Even though nothing dangerous had happened to me yet when I was alone, my mother never forgot to tell me about it.
“Of course. Have a safe trip. It looks like there’s going to be more snow, so you’ll have to get out of the North quickly.”
‘If you’re going out, please get out of the North sooner.’
I said it with a hope that she didn’t meet the prince.
My mother went out shortly afterward.
I decided to stay at home alone and enjoy my time thinking. Even though the two of us were here, we only made a bare minimal conversation. There were times when I didn’t even say a word to my mother. I’ve never felt awkward, and I wasn’t bored either. Nevertheless, my mother and I knew what each other was doing and where we were. This is because I lived by following my mother’s words since I was young, so the radius of my life was not that big in the first place. From the beginning, I was a child for my mother’s needs. Of course, I enjoyed just being like this. That’s why I can survive this kind of life now.
The blizzard stopped as soon as Sir Shubart left, and it was very quiet. I don’t know when it will snow again. The weather in the North changes dozens of times in a day. It is even dark because of the curtains that are always drawn. But it was an excellent time to relax and enjoy the tea quietly. After a while, my time to relax was quickly broken. I heard a dull sound of knocking from the door. It made me annoyed because it disturbed my quiet relaxation.
“Ah… Is mother coming back?”
It has not been long since my mother left, but no one is coming here. She may have left something behind or canceled her outing. But it was a little strange, so I swung the curtains open.
‘There was nobody outside.’
I must have misheard. Even if I look further toward the front door, I can’t see anything. As soon as I tried to dismiss whether I had heard it wrong, someone knocked on the door again.
I pulled out the dagger with its scabbard. Although it was a dagger the size of a fist, it would be a fine weapon to stab at any vital point. There are quite a few weapons in this house, under the table and between the chairs so that I can hold them with one hand at any time. There’s also a weapon behind the curtain. They were prepared to anticipate if northerners wanted to expel us or deal with people who wanted to get rid of Lucellai Rudbihi.
I’ve never used it in the North or the capital, but I knew how to use it to some extent. It wasn’t special, but it was enough to easily subdue an ordinary adult. I hid the dagger inside my dress so I could get it out right away and walked closer to the front door. I couldn’t hear it very well when eavesdropping, but I felt someone’s presence. If they really came to kill me, they would have come in even if I hid, and they would have hidden their presence. But they didn’t do that, so I opened the front door right away. As soon as I opened the door, I felt a cold winter wind.
‘Huh? There’s no one here?’
However, the snow piled up on the way to my house was wet with red. It was blood from somebody. I checked that the blood ran all the way to the front door. As soon as I turned my head to check the side, I felt my heart drop.
I was so startled that I couldn’t even manage my expression. For me, who lives carefully, something unexpected happened. Without realizing it, I faltered and took a step back.
‘Why is he here?’
I only thought of that.
‘I didn’t even intervene, so why is he here?’
The second prince, Valery Ahibara Kasinev. The man I really didn’t want to meet was leaning over by the door, with a lot of blood all over his body.
‘Why are you here when I didn’t even go out and hide like a rat on purpose?’
Then, with a groan of pain, the man opened his eyes. I could clearly see that he was a member of the Imperial family. Disheveled wet blonde close to ivory hair and good face. No, the word ‘beautiful face’ suited him more than ‘good face.’ His eyes were more intense in comparison with other features.
‘I guess you can find someone with a look like this only in the novel.’
Although I’m not moved by the appearance of others, it was different with him. It was to the point where I couldn’t think of anyone else’s appearance. He was so angelic that it seemed like I would commit a great sin if I couldn’t save him. They said someone who had an angelic face also had a good personality. Even though I didn’t know his personality, his face seemed exactly as described in the novel.
‘What should I do? Save him?’
The cold wind blew in and woke me up. Thanks to that, I was able to think calmly.
Being involved with him was like going into a pit of fire on my own.
‘How long have I been living like a mouse trying not to get involved?’
His family only wants my mother to die. However, the prince’s death on this spot was like calling for bloody fight again. I looked at the bloodstains soaked in the snow.
‘I will be troubled if there is a corpse here.’
As soon as I thought about it, my head throbbed.
I’m annoyed. If a real corpse was found here, I might raise a death flag in the North instead of the execution site. The news will be like this: ‘The daughter of Lucellai, the villainess, had killed a prince!’
“Why did you have to come here?”
It felt like a cliff was in front of me, and a beast was approaching to eat me from behind.
‘Yes. Let’s save him and let him go before mother comes back.’
If I just treat him without giving my name, I won’t get involved with him again.
“…Wake up. If you don’t want to die.”
I tapped his leg with my shoe. Then the man opened his eyes.
* * *
I looked into his purple eyes and thought, ‘If I look into those eyes a little longer, it might be really dangerous.’
“Pull yourself together!”
The man who tried to close his eyes again nodded with difficulty.
‘He’s terribly heavy, really.’
I helped the man into the food warehouse, which connected to the dining room in the house. I couldn’t ever take him to the living room as my fear of getting caught would become bigger.
He groaned in pain with every step he took.
After barely laying him down in the food warehouse, I entered the dining room through the small sliding door that followed. Then I went back to my room, picked up a bunch of neatly folded cloth used for towels, and headed straight to the dining room. My footsteps were mixed with annoyance. As soon as I arrived at the dining room, I opened the pot filled with boiling water. After that, I pour the hot water into a large container with a little cold water. Then I put all the towels I brought with me there. After squeezing it with a stick so they were all wet, I lifted the container’s handle.
But what can I do about what I just did?
With the container of warm water in my hands and towels in my mouth, I put the herbal pouch I always have on hand in the dining room display case. In the North, it’s not easy to call a doctor even if you’re sick. Especially in the house where I live. As I’ve said before, there are cases where even if I call them, they won’t come. So, if someone is sick, you have to deal with the pain at home. Heading back to the food warehouse where I took him while swallowing the curse words that rose to the tip of my tongue, I hoped that my mother wouldn’t come back soon.
I roughly pushed the door with my foot. The man was still groaning and unconscious.
“You can’t die here.”
‘If you die here, I will die too.’
Putting the water container in front of him, I said something threatening, whether he listened or not, and headed out right away. To get rid of the red bloodstains on the snow, I brought the sand that had piled up for the winter, sprinkled it on the snow, and then went back inside.
‘Please, don’t let my mother come back right away.’
“Ah, it’s cold.”
I’m sure nothing could go wrong when I’m gone for a while. Fortunately, I could see the man was trying to sit up straight as if his consciousness had come back. Sitting in front of him with one knee bent, I stopped him, and he raised his head.
“It will only open your wound more if you do that.”
I warned him and pressed the wet towel against him.
“I’ll mash the herbs, so wipe off your blood and apply this on your wound when I’m gone. It will be effective in stopping your bleeding and disinfection. It will also reduce the pain. But you can’t stay here long. This isn’t a hospital.”