Author: alyalia

It was a dark dawn when everyone slept soundly.

 

Charelize couldn’t sleep today either. Her insomnia, which usually tormented her, got worse after she regressed. She led her tired body out of the bedroom and headed to her office. A candle was lit to brighten the dark space. And she was carefully going through the papers, which she couldn’t even finish.

 

In the meantime, a cool breeze came in through the open window and spread a cold temperature. Startled to think there might be a spy, Charelize pulled a small dagger from her bosom. For a long time, she was ready for the battle and didn’t let go of her tension. She even held the black string in her hand to summon the knights if necessary. Even after a long time, she couldn’t feel any presence.

 

Charelize cleared her mind, assuming her nerves were on edge because she hadn’t slept in days. The moment she tried to close the slightly open window with a sigh of relief, a red flower petal, which she didn’t know came from where, brushed her cheek. The scent of that fragrant flower tickled the tip of her nose.

 

“What kind of flower is it?”

 

“I don’t know what to call it. If you like it, take it.”

 

“Instead of taking it, can I give it a name?”

 

“I’ve felt it since last time. Why do you like me calling yourself by your first name?”

 

“My mother doesn’t call me Charelize… She calls me Princess. I guess that’s why I felt frustrated.”

 

“…I’m sorry.”

 

“I’m just kidding. When you call me by my first name, I feel like our relationship builds up with affection. I like that.”

 

“…Lize.”

 

“I can’t hear you because you talk so softly. Say it again.”

 

“…it’s nothing.”

 

“Sleepy.”

 

“You must be lying that you have insomnia.”

 

“When I’m with you… my tension… relaxed…”

 

“…sleep well.”

 

“…”

 

“…Lize.”

 

With a headache that seemed like her head would break, she sat down and touched her head involuntarily. No matter how many times she thought it was okay, she felt unbearable pain.

 

“…I will protect you like that day.”

 

“…”

 

“…for today, may your night be peaceful.”

 

Strangely, when she heard that, drowsiness flooded her eyes.

 

“Your Highness! Oh my gosh… did you sleep here all night?”

 

“,,,Lari?”

 

When she came to her senses, it was a morning with the sun rising brightly and birds chirping. When she woke up at the sound of someone waking her up, Lari was in front of her. Her body was wrapped in a fairly thick blanket.

 

“You covered it up for me. Lari, thank you.”

 

“I just came in…”

 

“Did you close the window?”

 

“It wasn’t even long since I woke up.”

 

Lari said, tilting her head as if she couldn’t understand at all. She didn’t seem to be lying.

 

While Charelize was asleep, she felt like someone had been there. The memory of her smelling the mysterious flower made her feel something familiar yet unfamiliar. She decided not to think about it anymore as her thoughts were already complicated.

 

Besides Lari, there were Hailey and Martin. At least other servants kept vigil. Charelize concluded that the person had chosen to close the slightly open window and cover her with a blanket rather than wake her up. Charelize felt her nerves were sharpened over trivial matters, adding to her tiredness.

 

“Your Highness, why don’t you go to the bedroom and get some sleep if you’re tired?”

 

“I’ve had enough sleep.”

 

“But…are… you feel sick anywhere?”

 

“Look at my body. How long have I been feeling better? Are you sure you’re not the one who feels sick?”

 

“You’re… too strong. That’s the problem.”

 

Lari smiled wide as she said that. Lately, she has been more concerned about Charelize’s health than anyone else. In case something unsavory happened, she personally tasted and monitored the chef’s cooking process. When Charelize woke up, she prepared several types of hot tea that were said to be good for the body. In case the sun was hot, she drew the curtains quickly and opened the window to change the mood with a refreshing breeze. At some point, her day started and ended with serving Charelize.

 

Just as Lari did those things out of concern for Charelize, so did Charelize.

 

Hailey was supposed to become Countess Kabe and live as the head of the household. Martin was also the only daughter of Viscount Rale. Since she was the exclusive maid of the little Duchess, she could marry at least into a family above the count. On the other hand, Lari had limitations because she was a commoner from an orphanage.

 

“Lari. With my authority, I think I can give you a title of baron or a fief. Which do you like better?”

 

“…Your Highness.”

 

“Yes?”

 

“I don’t need that. I just want you to stay by my side for a long, long time… No, I want you to live healthily… and… become happy.”

 

Lari, who was always bright and innocent like a child, felt a little calmer today.

 

“Did… something happen?”

 

“What do I have to worry about?”

 

From childhood and having spent a long time with her, Charelize knew Lari’s behavior well. When she was in trouble or lying, Lari unknowingly frowned with one eyebrow and showed a puzzled look.

 

“… if you say so, then it’s probably nothing.”

 

It was the same today too. She seemed to have hidden something, but Charelize didn’t ask further. Because there was a good reason not to say it.

 

“Your Highness, actually… I was a little sick.”

 

“I fell and scratched my knee. I’m sorry for not telling you earlier. I’m really fine now!”

 

Lari would always tell her as long as she waited, even if it was belatedly.

 

“Your Highness, I’ll prepare some warm water in the bathtub.”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Then, please wait a moment.”

 

Lari said she would prepare the bathwater, avoiding Charelize’s gaze. Charelize didn’t mean to perplex her, so Charelize nodded her head. She watched Lari’s back as she hurriedly exited, then looked away from her.

 

“…Your Highness.”

 

“…”

 

“Lauren is already dead… but if I can protect Your Highness… I don’t think… I… will… regret it…”

 

“La…ri?”

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Comments (1)

  1. So she’s always sick because some fker from whoever is trying to off charli…gdamn…