Author: Niks Editor: KBJ



“After that, I think you already know about the imprint.”


I nodded my head roughly. In order to enter the Northern Duke Castle, I studied earnestly the techniques for shapeshifters’ treatment.


Learning from a good master along with the vicious treatment from the director, I became proficient in all kinds of chores and practical treatment.


Thanks to that, I could now be proud of being a very capable healer.


“Because it’s my job as a healer to know these things but… right now that’s not important…”


As I hesitantly said that, the Duke’s private doctor’s expression changed, switching from one that looked like a dead fish to one gleaming with excitement. 


“It doesn’t matter. It’s rare for a healer to even know about imprints these days!”


“No, all the healers know-“, I smiled awkwardly and waved my hand.


“No! Nowadays, healers don’t even study about shapeshifters, because it was considered useless knowledge.”


He reached out to shake my hand with glistening eyes.


“I’m so happy that there was such a smart mortal among humans!”


‘Uh, weren’t you the one who’s talking about imprinting?’


Anyway, I have to match this atmosphere! It was a bit awkward, but when I reached out to shake his hand, the Duke grabbed my hand to stop me.


“Enough of that. Get to the point.”


The distraught physician hid his hands behind his back.


It was a cold, relaxed attitude. Still, if I can be so honest in front of the Duke, I think it’s been a while. 


That’s right… Even to those close to you. The Duke, who looks like that, must be truly cold-blooded.


“Yes. Then we’ll have a detailed explanation.”


The doctor, who was glancing over the Duke’s gaze, opened his mouth carefully with trembling lips.


“That means you know all the basic information about imprinting, right?”




I answered blinking as if it was only natural, the attending physician made a proud expression and whispered in a friendly tone.


“You say you know the basics, so let’s move on to the next part.”


Nervous about the next story, I nodded in moderation and shrugged.


“Ahh, ye-yes…”


I couldn’t keep up with the rapidly changing situation.


‘After becoming a life saver and entering the Duke’s Castle, I planned to somehow find the spy by sticking around here, but I woke up to find myself in this strange situation…’


There was no such content in the original!  The story was developing in a weird direction.


However, Duke Anais’ face was still as iron-walled as it was. How can you not be surprised by this situation? This is why you are called the Duke of iron blood.


While I was admiring the Duke, the attending Doctor spoke.


“In the early stages of imprinting, a slight fever called imprinting fever occurs frequently, and if this condition is neglected, it may lead to death. Didn’t you experience something like narcolepsy on the way here, Lady Astel?”


NOTE: NARCOLEPSY- is a chronic sleep disorder characterized by overwhelming daytime drowsiness and sudden attacks of sleep. People with narcolepsy often find it difficult to stay awake for long periods.




The doctor heaved a sigh. 


“It’s a sign of death. As it is, Lady Astel will be dead in less than three days. If so, your Excellency…”


The Duke responded to the doctor, whose face looked like he was about to be buried.


“Not in three days.”


‘Wow, I’m so fortunate to not die within three days…No this can’t!’


It means I’m going to die anyway! It was a mountain beyond the mountains. 


NOTE: “Mountains beyond mountains” means that just when you solve one problem, another one shows up.


I didn’t want to die, so I went to Duke’s Castle, but now suddenly I’m dying…!


“Oh, what do I have to do to not die?”


I stared at the doctor with a keen interest in this unknown situation.




The doctor hesitated for a moment.


“I don’t want to die after Astel. Answer me.”


“Well, I mean…There’s only one way to calm the imprinting fever. Somehow, as much as your companion’s imprinting…”


Why are you talking like this and avoiding my gaze?


“To increase each other’s intimacy…”


It was when I looked at him with a doubtful expression.


“So…There’s a way of doing physical contact, that is, skinship.”


After the word skinship, my face turned red.


This is too much, in the back of my head this sounds like a striking development. I, who only knew about the imprint, was puzzled when I heard that the treatment method was skinship.




“Yes. Since it’s a pain caused by a companion’s imprint, it appears to stabilize when the intimacy of each other deepens. Because the symptoms are due to incomplete imprinting.”


I glanced at the Duke with drooping eyes. If I were to carelessly touch him to stay alive, I’d surely die on the spot


‘Because, from what I know, the Duke didn’t like anyone touching him.’


Contrary to my worries, the Duke’s attitude was somewhat strange.


He gaze at my small hand, and whispered, “Can I just hold her hand?”


“Oh, yes. For now, you can just hold hands, it’s in the early stages.” 


“That’s right, Astel.”


I was a little anxious, but the Duke tapped the back of my hand with his rough finger as if to reassure me.


Even though that was all, my heart, which was beating as if it was about to burst, calmed down a little.


“I’m glad for now…”


I just need to hold your hand…


“Then, about the imprinting. How do we solve it?”


“Ah, There is also another way. Wait…”


Seeing that the situation had been cleared up a little, the doctor jumped up and looked around the bookshelf.


After pulling out a few books from the shelf, he returned quickly and started rummaging through the pages.


The pages fluttered in front of us, blowing dust. The eyes of the doctor turned dark.

He deciphered the old book and muttered what it was. 


“Look at the ancient findings here”


He turned to the page of the old book to us and read it urgently.


“In the case of imprinting with unknown cause, most of the imprinting effect disappears within one year.”


The Duke gently patted the table several times dryly.


A long silence followed. Likewise, the doctor of the Duchy, who seemed to have a pretty timid personality, was stiff, unable to open his mouth due to the cold flowing silence.


Only the Duke could break this silence.


Fortunately, a few minutes later, the Duke spoke softly.


“Then, Astel, for a year, you will be my weakness.”




I was just trying to be your lifesaver, but suddenly my shoulders became very heavy.


As the Duke emphasized, he spoke, “That’s the only way.”


“Since it’s a unique case.”


This…was a big deal!!


“You should stay in Duke Castle for about a year.”


“That…As the Duke’s imprint?”


If I’m known to be the imprint of Duke Anais, I think the risk of being assassinated would be higher.


‘Because simply being favored or being Duke’s companion imprint and weakness is definitely different.’


That arrogant noble man had quite a few enemies.


He also shook his head as if he had noticed what I’m thinking and replied.


“No. Let me put it together as a guardian. It would be nice to say that it was a reward for saving me from collapsing.”


The countermeasures came out smoothly as if all of these situations had been prepared.


After finishing the talk, Duke Anais tapped the table. Then the doctor made a sound like his breathing was tightened.


“The only witness has been restricted with a spell, so you don’t have to worry about any of this being leaked.”


I swallowed my surprise. Swinging his fingers a few times makes bondage magic. The Duke’s magical power is great…


Although it’s a spell that doesn’t change his life, I have always lived with a commoner’s mindset, and my shoulders trembled at the situation of the doctor who felt strangled at the moment.


I straightened my shoulders and looked at them pretending to be fine.


“Yes,  Yes…”


Originally, after catching the three spies that had been hiding in the Duke’s Castle, I was thinking of quietly leaving Duke’s Castle after finding out the identity of the villain.


However, the situation was twisted because of an unexpected imprint.


‘It could have been worse. I became the Duke’s weakness, so no one can touch me in this castle, including the Duke.’


I looked at the Duke with wide eyes full of energy. He was also staring at me and observing.


It was as if he were reading something.


It was an embarrassing gaze for me, with a stabbing pain in my heart, but I tried to laugh cheerfully.


Soon he spoke again. “I heard you have a request earlier.”


At that, I glanced at the doctor. I decided that it wasn’t a request to do in the situation where I even had a doctor.


Fortunately, Duke Anais was quick to notice. 


He made a brief chin gesture at his doctor.




“Yes, sir.”


The attending doctor ran out without saying anything. It must be because of me that he looks so stiff and tense…


However, there was no time to worry about the doctor’s feelings.


As soon as the two of us were seated, Duke Anais took my hand naturally.


“How amazing.” 




“It’s so small, it looks like it could break any second.”


‘Saying that with such a look in your eyes and this ferocious tone… It makes it sound like you actually want to break it…’


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