༺ Clean Up ༻
Rubbing her sore eyes, Yuriel glanced at the clock.
Ferzen, who was resting peacefully on his bed, had his body covered in ointment.
He wasn’t sleeping peacefully by any means.
Even in his sleep, he appeared to be suffering from the pain of his injuries as his face was contorted into a tight frown, and as he turned, he would sometimes let out a painful groan.
“So you’re still here……..?”
The doctor who entered the room looked at Yuriel in astonishment.
“I’m here so that I could call on someone just in case his health deteriorates.”
“It’s not like he is in a critical condition…….”
The doctor then came to his side and applied an injection, probably full of painkillers.
Then, after a while, Ferzen’s face relaxed.
“You should also get some shut-eye, as you will probably be busy tomorrow morning with the interrogation and investigation…….”
“I’m well aware.”
“I must’ve overstepped my bounds…..I apologize.”
Bowing his head to her, the doctor left the hospital room.
Now left alone, Yuriel put her hand on Ferzen’s bed and sighed.
“Why would you, of all people, do something so useless like that……?”
No…..It wasn’t useless.
It was just something unnecessary.
“Why…..Why….! I will give you a piece of my mind when you wake up.”
Yuriel suddenly flinched as a pair of crimson eyes stared directly at her.
A simple and intuitive request.
Usually, Yuriel would be angry if someone spoke to her like this. However, this time, she just pouted and glared at him. She then got up, poured water into a glass, and brought it close to his lips.
Yuriel felt a strange feeling budding in her chest as Ferzen quietly drank the water with her help.
In a spur-of-the-moment action, Yuriel reached out her hand and swept the bangs of his hair that were obstructing his eyes.
Because of this sort of contact, the owner of those captivating crimson eyes frowned at her……
But this time, his gaze didn’t scare Yuriel as there was nothing he could do to her with both of his arms like that.
Feeling a little bolder, Yuriel then put her finger on his forehead to forcibly smooth his frown.
But while she was doing this, the glass of water became slightly more tilted, making it so that more water rushed into Ferzen’s throat, causing him to cough.
“Ah, I’m sorry. It was my fault. Here, let me wipe it off for you…….”
Yuriel hurriedly got up from her seat, grabbed a towel, and carefully wiped the water that had stained Ferzen’s neck and shirt collar.
“You can’t even serve someone a glass of water…….”
“Hey, it was a mistake.”
“Yuriel, don’t you think it’s pathetic to keep hiding behind excuses like this because you aren’t capable of doing something so simple?”
“Your mouth is quite lively for someone with two broken arms……!”
“Perhaps it’s exactly because of that, but if you think you can tease me when I’m like this, you are certainly mistaken. Even a wounded beast bites back when driven to the corner.”
At Ferzen’s words, Yuriel snorted and pouted her lips a little as she wiped his neck.
“That’s enough. You should also try to sleep for now.”
“…….I was going to do that anyway, since you don’t seem to be groaning all the time anymore.”
Setting the wet towel aside, Yuriel got up and went to bed next to Ferzen. She then lied down and covered herself with a blanket.
However, after tossing around for a while, Yuriel turned her head towards Ferzen and opened her mouth.
“It’s not like I’m ungrateful or anything, but……Why did you do that? Are you putting on that ‘changed man’ act?”
“Funny. The maiden of the Claudia Family asked me the same thing recently.”
“Lizzy did what?”
“How do you even define a changed man?”
“Why are you suddenly spouting philosophical questions……As if I would know that.”
“Well……First of all, one must have to practice the exact opposite of his original actions.”
“I’m not following…….”
Ferzen smiled softly upon hearing Yuriel’s grumble.
“I didn’t change……I’m just doing things I’m not used to. I can’t change the way I act.”
Having said that, Ferzen closed his eyes.
Knowing that he wouldn’t talk anymore, Yuriel turned her back against him and prepared to sleep too, but……
“No…..Wait a damn second……Why did you add the act of harassing me to your list of actions then?”
“Hey…..Say something, you bastard.”
Yuriel didn’t understand his words completely.
So she didn’t have anything to say about his reasoning, but after a moment, she realized that the act of harassing her was also included in the ‘things he didn’t do before’……
Therefore, she could only perceive his words as a pervert’s articulation wrapped eloquently.
In fact, she was so distressed by his constant teasing that Yuriel even dreamed of Ferzen touching her bosom while he lectured her about her supposed vulgarity.
However, since the man was strangely silent……Yuriel gave up and went to sleep.
And as such, the tumultuous night……
Finally came to an end.
* * * * *
As the new dawn arrived, I could notice a sudden influx of people coming and going.
“Did Her Highness request my presence?”
“Good, then let’s go.”
The Imperial Knight acting as my escort, brought me to a huge makeshift tent.
Inside it, a line of knights stood proudly by Her Highness, the First Imperial Princess Elizabeth, who was seated at the center of the tent.
“You are here…….”
“Ferzen Von Scheiwg Louerg has answered Her Highness’ summon.”
Since I couldn’t move my arms, I tried to be as respectful as possible.
“Relax, Ferzen. There is no need for such ceremony…..How’s your body?”
“You don’t need to worry about this servant, Your Highness. It’s surely uncomfortable that I can’t move my arms, but as a Warlock…….”
“Is that so……”
Her Highness Princess Elizabeth got up from her temporary throne, then approached me and bowed deeply.
This was something that I vaguely anticipated.
I heard that there was a lot of damage dealt to Education Building B, where the commoners were staying, but aside from that, there was no casualty to the aristocratic students.
However, this doesn’t mitigate the fact that the incident happened, and also, it was naïve to think that everything was handled cleanly……
Some will use this incident as an excuse to degrade the Imperial Family’s prestige.
But it’s precisely because of that these knights were lined up like this and the Princess herself bowed her head to me.
Even if it was foolish to take their children out of the Imperial Academy, after all the effort some aristocrats had put into matriculating their children in the first place……
But making the Imperial Family public apologize and possibly reducing the number of days until graduation was quite feasible.
“Your Highness, please, you don’t have to do this. I just did what any loyal subject of the Empire would do, and since I suffered wounds in the line of duty, it’s only right to reward me rather than apologize.”
I was the only one who was injured in the battle – A Brutein, no less.
The gravity of this situation was such that the Imperial Family decided that it would be only appropriate that their representative act quickly and apologize.
This makes it difficult for any aristocrat to complain unless I gather them to pressure the Imperial Family.
But at the same time, it would be strange if I, the one who suffered the most in this incident, didn’t make any moves.
Since it was none other than me who had a definite cause.
The Imperial Family also made this move of humbling themselves because of their debt to Brutein……
They must be very confident that I wouldn’t stab them in the back.
Besides, If I, the one who suffered the most, received such an apology from the Imperial Family, how could the other aristocrats even stir trouble and demand more compensation?
‘Since things have reached this point anyways, I should just continue to act as a loyal servant of the Imperial Family.’
In fact, I wasn’t acting per se. I was just letting Ferzen’s innate loyalty guide my actions.
“Yes, a reward……If you wish for something, the Imperial Family will provide it to you.”
“Then, please reduce the tax on my territory for a year.”
While I wanted to ask for more, considering Brutein’s obscene amount of yearly income, it was actually something substantial to reduce it for even one year.
“Is that it? I’ll exempt your territory from any sort of tax for three years.”
“……You were talking about Louerg, right?”
When I refused to meet her gaze, Her highness Princess Elizabeth seemed to have noticed that I was talking about Brutein.
“……I shall speak to my Lord Father, the Emperor, so that Louerg’s tax will be exempted for the next three years. Does this qualify as a sufficient reward?”
Even after noticing it, Princess Elizabeth stood her ground and pushed for the exemption of tax to Louerg and not Brutein.
Yes, I was being too greedy.
I won’t deny it.
That was something that would be quite difficult to accomplish…..even in a situation where my arms were broken.
Still, this wasn’t so bad……
“Your Highness, if I may be so bold, I would like you to grant me one more thing.”
“Sigh…… Let me listen to your request first.”
I whisper in a way that guarantees that only the Princess heard my request.
“That……Is that all you wish?”
It was such a lowly request that it was almost unfitting to be a reward for my ‘loyalty.’ As Princess Elizabeth shot me a suspicious glare, but after contemplating for a while, she nodded her head.
Leaving the huge tent, I walked along with some Imperial Knights that waited for a detailed account of what transpired the night before.
And as I had requested from Her Highness, the investigator responsible for collecting my recounting was the eldest son of the Claudia Family – Roer Poliana Claudia.
* * * * *
“……That’s all I know.”
“Thank you for your cooperation…….You can go back now.”
After about half an hour of explaining what transpired in the night before, Roer organized his documents and said in a composed voice.
I could go back after finishing my tale, but if I were to do that, there would be no point in asking Her Highness for Roer to be my investigator.
“Has your life been enjoyable as of late?”
At my sudden question, Roer simply nodded his head as he frowned, perhaps because there were other knights waiting outside.
“If that is the case, let us bury our grievances.”
“You wouldn’t want to lose something only to realize how important that was, right?”
“You have accomplished some rather intriguing feats. It would be a shame to have them all crumble before your very eyes.”
“Why don’t we make a bet.”
Roer had a murderous look on his face as his fist were clenched tight.
“If you fail to bite my neck with your pitful fangs……I will even be merciful and won’t kill you.”
“I will cut off your limbs, pull all of your teeth out, gouge out your eyes……And as a bonus, I will leave you in this pathetic state where you can die at any time. Of course, some surveillance will also be necessary since we don’t want you committing suicide, right?”
Leaning comfortably on my chair, I pursed my lips as if threatening Roer to take action against me.
“Oh, and since your dearest sister has such strong compassion, she would surely come to me and beg for your life…… She might even plead for your freedom in the form of death.”
It’s not just Roer……
If I remember correctly, there was also Lizzy’s second brother, the current head of Claudia.
“Of course, since I’m so merciful…. I will grant her wish. But I shall embrace her in return. Can you imagine? Since that child has such a deep-rooted trauma, she would be trembling and crying through it all.”
“She wouldn’t even be able to run away from me since I smashed her ankle…..Though she might soil herself again.”
Roer’s eyes turned bloodshot as his knuckles became white.
“Ah…..But I won’t simply leave it at that, so Lizzy might even become pregnant with my child. And when that happens, I think I might just throw her away like the trash she is…….Do you think you have what it takes to bear this future?”
“You could find a way to kill yourself as soon as you fail, but are you truly confident that I won’t go after your dear sister? Oh, and how would the current head of the Claudia Family react? Isn’t he your little brother?”
“Your vengeance is nothing more than a pipe dream. Because you are not committed to it, you wish to live a tranquil life after all. Otherwise, you would surely try to kill me right now, since this would be the perfect opportunity for it.”
Roer got up as he uttered my name in a faint tone.
“Are you afraid? You’ve been quite talkative until now. As for the reason, I choose to not end you now at the cost of my honor and the lives of my family……is that trash like you is simply not worth that sacrifice.”
“Do you wish for this to end soon? I refuse to grant that. A gentleman’s revenge is never too late. Therefore, live your pathetic existence under the constant fear and anxiety this brings to you.”
After gathering his documents, Roer bowed formally.
Then, with his bloodied hand, he turned the doorknob and left the room.
Now left alone, I stared at the ceiling while being immersed in my thoughts.
In a vulnerable state where I can’t use both of my arms……
I even tried to bait him by mentioning Lizzy, but he didn’t fall for it.
‘He has quite the temperance…..I will give him that.’
My heart blistered with endless regret.
If only I had managed to ally myself with that man I encountered in the cellar of the Education Center……
Of course, I would have done this as a means to understand how one could enter the ‘stasis,’ and I would be able to get rid of everything that ails me.
It seems that Roer has no intention of giving up.
And I had no intention of running into him.
Because everything that ceaselessly runs…….
Will either be stopped by a wall.
Or will destroy it.
And since there was only one way for me to survive this.
I…..will have to become the sturdiest of walls.
TL Note: Bold and Sassy Yuriel is cute too~~~
Btw didja galls noticed dat clown who commented on ch 44 demmm boys, I got shooo sad imma drop this novel…..
Ohhhhh poor me…..I’m inconsolable………. the only way to cheer me up is if by some miracle some hand pics land on my dms…….
BTW fr now – the reason I went a little radio silent is because my uncle suffered an accident and he craked his skull and is on life support, so I had to get into a plane and travel half of the country and stay with the family, and couple with my shitty mood I didn’t had in me to translate. But I’m back now and thing should come back to normal. I apologize for the delays
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