Author: Niks Editor: KBJ


The slight fever and the cold flowing through his hand. I instinctively thought that something was weird.


But since it’s my only option to get to Duke Castle safely I tried denying this strange feeling.


This opportunity that happened today wouldn’t happen again. Though it’s a lie if I say that I wasn’t scared.


The Duke of Anais was known as notorious. I don’t think I would always be safe after entering the castle. Even if I’m the Duke’s benefactor, my life was my responsibility. 


I have to survive on my own against the people that lived in the castle who hated humans.


However, if I let go of his hand that was holding mine like this, everything would fall to the same story as the original, and I’d have a miserable end.


For a happy future with my brother, I have to follow him at this moment. And when I finished organizing my thoughts, I happily replied.




He politely escorted me. When I came out of the house holding his hand, I could see a carriage waiting in advance.


At this point, the Duke seems to have prepared something as soon as he wakes up.


Since when did this person have been awake…?


“Get on, Astel.”


An elegant and noble attitude that’s angled to each of the cold expressions and movements.


I nodded and climbed into the carriage. Yet with a side glance, I looked at him closely.


Duke Anais, even in the original, living in hiding without a presence, is A man who’s unlikely to have a lifelong relationship with a commoner like me.


Duke Anais, alone, looked like a man made of ice.


I turned my head to stare at the window of the carriage. I felt like I was out of my mind, but I was fortunate that I didn’t forget to lock the door of my house before getting on the carriage.



‘Duke of Anais.’


Dozens of spiked spires were visible as I looked through the window of the carriage. The top of the castle was covered with ice caps, that’s why it’s called the ‘Winter Castle’.


The Winter Castle was a natural fortress with a unique shape on its own.


At the same time, it was also the center of the Northern Territory where shapeshifters lived. However, the biggest reason why the Duke of Anais was famous was because of the current Duke.


What kind of person was the current Duke of Anais living in this Castle?


A monster slayer and beast of the war, a person who shakes the entire content beyond the Empire, and an arrogant noble that even the Emperor couldn’t touch so easily. 


However, no one knows the origin of where he was born. 


One day he suddenly appeared and joined the predecessor of Duke Anais’ family.


Also, there’s another one. Although he’s a beast of the beasts, his race or real name wasn’t known, so he was simply called Duke or “Duke Anais.”


To wipe out the monsters at once and kill anything you didn’t like right away…


…I think he’s a person with all sorts of horror.


‘He’s manners are better than I thought, but I’m still not sure. Because he was called a dangerous beast, so I have to be extra-careful.’


There must be a reason why those who destroyed the Vietry family were driven into the dangerous Castle of Duke Anais.


The possibility that Duke Anais was the final villain couldn’t be ruled out. But right now, I need to fully adapt to the Duke and observe him as much as possible.


As I looked out of the window, I turned my head and glanced at the Duke’s sculptural face.


It was an unusually handsome face, but it looked so cold that there was no emotion.


Even though I stare at him like this, it seems like he was not interested in anyone…




…I thought it was, but it wasn’t. It seemed that I was staring too intently at him.


“Haha!”, I hurriedly swept my forehead and laughed out loud.


“Because you’re exceptionally handsome, Duke. So I couldn’t stop staring at your face.”


“I guess you like my face.”


I thought it was a joke and looked at the Duke distantly.


However, his face was still emotionless as the cold wind blew. I just took it for granted, and I was like, ‘Why do you keep staring at me?’


‘A person who couldn’t even be controlled, No, it’s a beast…’ Still, when I think of an answer, it seemed that he was treating me nicely as a benefactor.


He even took out a piece of candy from his coat and handed it out. As if he prepared in advance…






Like a timid hamster, I, with a sharp ear, pretended to eat candy carefully and put it in my pocket.


‘Astel stay alert! Don’t let your guard down!’


As he stared at me, he uttered, “It would be better to eat it.”




Have you noticed my vigilance? However, the Duke’s expression was still subtle enough to make it difficult to understand.


“You’ll know something amazing soon.” 




Even to my question, he didn’t answer anymore and looked away. But he was still very elegant and I couldn’t stop admiring it.


Anyway, what would that surprise be? My mind was full of questions.


Maybe because Duke Castle was so beautiful? Or maybe because of the discrimination against humans by the shapeshifters?


However, it was a fact that I had already felt and prepared firmly after working in the treatment center for over three years.


I carefully calculated the contents of the original, learned healing techniques, and entered the North.


For three years, I worked at a treatment center in an effort to cut bones, and I collected information about the Shapeshifters in my spare time.


So, I won’t be surprised when I enter Duke Castle.


“Don’t worry. It’s the first time I’ve ever had a mountain war, and I’ve been through it!”, I said confidently.


Well, I could assure him that at some point I would be able to help if anything happens.


After going through everything, as much as my heart could take, almost at the level of a grandmother, the wait was it at the level of an Old Man?


(N: Astel meant that she experienced all kinds of things in life, treatments, etc.)


“Are you serious?”, The Duke asked.


“Yes, of course!”, I answered cheerfully.


He stared at me again. There was a strange heat in his gaze.


“I’m curious if you’re in good shape right now.”




“You might have a fever.”, He said as his hand touched mine.


Even though it’s only a light touch, the corners of my chest where a throbbing pain felt calmed and my body with a slight fever cool down after the warmth came up from his touch.


As a healer, my gut tells me that this was a bad sign.


“You’d feel a little comfort now.”


I was surprised and opened my mouth slightly.


Unlike me, with a tilted head, it’s like he noticed something and put a sweet candy in my open mouth.


“I told you to relax,”


…I thought it would be bitter if it was the candy The Duke carries.


But strangely it tastes like strawberries…?


Before the candy even rolled in my mouth a few times, the Duke looked satisfied, staring at me, who had swallowed the candy.


As soon as his hand fell, I closed my eyes tightly. The moment my eyelids were closed, I fell asleep like fainting.



“Well, does that make sense?”


Surprisingly, I was very shocked by the serious commitment I had earlier, my mouth was wide open.


As soon as we arrived at Duke Castle, I expected him to discuss the reward.


However, Duke Anais woke me up from sleep, feeling tired he put me straight and called the Head doctor of the Castle.


And this was the result of that…


“There, there’s an imprint!”


Imprinting was a kind of “ancient magic” that existed among the Shapeshifters a long time ago.


The exact name of it was, ‘An Imprint of Companion’.


Imprinting symptoms varied from mild fever to heart attack, so it was difficult to diagnose in random cases.


But one thing was certain. Usually, there’s power only felt between the ‘hand and hand’ contact, and it was extremely rare for it to be engraved between a human and a Shapeshifter.


In order to hold a ritual of swearing eternal love between men and women, most of them used magic with the consent of the two.


But this was a ritual that has almost disappeared in recent years.


Of course, if you look back on the contents of the book I read in the past to study healing, There are rare cases where the imprint was suddenly engraved for no reason like what happened to us now.


‘What’s important was the effect of the ‘companion’s imprint’ on me.’


Regardless of how it was imprinted, once it was engraved…


The two become a ‘companion of destiny’ during the imprinting period. Beyond sharing each other’s pain, when one dies, the other dies.


In other words, in an imprinted relationship, each other becomes one another’s a fatal weakness.


“I was also surprised.”


The Duke said with an expression that did not look surprised at all.


‘How could you say that you’re surprised at this situation? with that face that didn’t look surprised at all.’


As soon as his words were over, the old library of Duke Anais was frozen.


The Duke’s physician, who was sitting across from me and the Duke of Anais, replied with a grim expression.


“The specific diagnosis was ‘temporary imprint of unknown cause’.”


Temporary imprint? What, it doesn’t make sense we didn’t do any ritual together?


“Oh, this was really nonsense…”


What the hell was going on? The doctor’s eyes were wide open, staring at me in confusion.


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