Author: Niks Editor: Niks



Merria rolled her eyes around, unable to face Deston’s face full of expectations.


Meanwhile, the image of Reukis, with his head down, caught her eye. His eyes slowly opened.


“Are you not feeling well?” Merria whispered, looking into his face.


It’s time… Reukis didn’t miss the opportunity to win her attention.


A little conscience held him back, but it didn’t last long. Reukis glanced at Merria for a moment and then quickly nodded.


Merria recalled what she said when she got off the carriage.


‘If you’re sick, please tell me! I should have noticed when the person I was supposed to meet on the terrace showed up here.’


Feeling sorry for keeping her sick lover waiting, Merria rushed to end her conversation with Deston.


“I’m sorry, but I need to go quickly. See you next time.”


“Ah… Then could I write a letter to the Lady?”




The answer came not from Merria, but Reukis’ lips. Deston raised one eyebrow at Reukis’ intercept, who was very wary.


Merria’s head was filled with only medicines, a clinic, and a nearby break room, so she couldn’t understand the atmosphere between them.


Merria thought that it was just that Reukis was in trouble, so she nodded her head and looked at Deston.


“It was nice to meet you again. Well then bye!”


Merria eventually drifted away from the hallway, with the hem of her dress fluttering without even hearing Deston’s name.


Deston smiled bitterly as he looked at the back of Merria leading Reukis’ arm.


“Ah, of all things, my opponent was the Grand Duke Frederick.”


Deston’s shapely shoulders sank. He shook his head and moved toward the banquet hall.



Merria led Reukis by the arm and walked endlessly through the long hallway.


It was common to prepare a room that could be used as a break room near the banquet hall. She was planning to find such a room as soon as possible.


Somehow, when I saw Reukis who became sullen and pale, I wanted to rush and have him rest.


Merria thought she was powerless against sadness and disappointment. She hurried along, admiring Reukis, who followed without a fuss and endured pain.


“Oh, I guess it’s empty here.”


Merria opened the door as soon as she found an unmarked room on the doorknob.


After letting Reukis in first, she didn’t forget to hang a sign on the doorknob before closing it.


Reukis, who entered the room, was moved by Merria’s touch.


Reukis, who was sitting on the bed as if he was sick and powerless, rolled his eyes and looked up at Merria standing in front of him.


Then as soon as he realized that the final place was the bed, his face began to heat up.




Her face was serious.


“Take it off.”


As the heir of the Grand Duke, Reukis, who had been educated in all fields, remembered a subject that perfectly suited the current situation.


Darkroom, lovers, bed, undress.


Even though he denied it wouldn’t be in his head, as soon as he remembered the possibility, his eyes began to shake violently.


Even if he looked up to ask Merria for an answer, she just stared down at him.


Reukis reluctantly shook his head and began to unbutton his jacket. Taking off his clothes was something he used to do every day.


The mere presence of Merria in front of him was strange like it was the first time he had ever done it.


Reukis would sometimes watch the members of the knights’ fight in front of his nose whenever he had time.


Whenever that happened, it was strange that even the talented people couldn’t use their bodies, but the Altairs’ commander only understood their feelings today.


Reukis carefully unfastened the buttons one by one so as not to mess around with them.


As soon as he took off his jacket, Merria snatched it up like a squirrel and threw it into the bedside chair.


Then, as he was about to take off his shirt, Merria smirked at him and stopped his hand.


“Do you only like to wear this much…?”


At the thought of his insidious thoughts, Reukis’ face became red.


Merria, who was paying close attention to his white skin, which turned red, and a somewhat uncomfortable expression on his face, sighed, and she pushed his chest down.


Reukis collapsed onto the white sheet without any resistance. He bit his lips and closed his eyes tightly.


Black eyelashes trembled along his eyelids. Merria looked at his expression with a worried face, then pulled out a thick blanket and draped it over his neck.


Only after she had arranged his pillows so that Reukis wouldn’t be uncomfortable, did she stand up.


A question mark came to Reukis’ head as he closed his eyes and observed Merria’s presence.


He slowly opened his eyelids and looked up at Merria.


Merria said with a worried face. “It’s like a cold, so you have to cover yourself with a blanket for the fever.”


Soon the question mark turned into a bigger exclamation mark.




Only then did Reukis realize why Merria had brought him into the room and laid him on the bed, and Reukis was embarrassed.


The appearance of Reukis with his feet stretched to the nape of his neck and ears was enough to make Merria worried that she should put him in iced water right away.


“I’m going to ask someone outside to get medicine, so wait for a minute.”


Merria brushed his messy hair carefully before leaving. Reukis, who was rustling at first, also gently lowered his eyes.


A small word leaked out of Merria’s lips, fiddling with his fine hair.


“Maybe I should have sent you home earlier.”


Reukis’ eyes began to tremble when he heard Merria whisper to herself.


It was good to have her affection, but he didn’t want Merria to blame herself for his lies.


Reukis grabbed her hand near his head and pulled it over his forehead. Reukis’ large, straight hand, which was placed over her hand, covered his eyes.


Reukis, who held his breath for a moment, spoke out in a dry voice.


“It was a lie to be sick.”




Merria didn’t know what kind of emotion was on his face, which was only half exposed, but somehow she looked at him in silence in an atmosphere that she could not speak carelessly.


Reukis bit his lips so strongly that his red fruit-like lips became white.


“It’s just, that I wanted to be touched by you.”


“I mean… It’s a fake disease.”




“You… I didn’t see it that way, but it’s more cumbersome than I thought.”


She wondered what a great story it was, but Merria smiled because Reukis confessed his illness.


Reukis spoke in a half-stuck voice, like a man with a lot of overflowing emotions.


“To be more precise, it’s painful, but… it’s not an ordinary disease.”




“You heard something about me at the banquet hall.”


“What do you mean?” 


“It means being cursed.”


“…How could that be?”


She had checked the location of Reukis before going to Riley.


I did it unconsciously because I was worried that he would hear it. I thought you didn’t hear at all because the distance was quite far and you were looking elsewhere.


Just as Merria thought, Reukis listened and pretended not to know.


Like someone familiar with such words. She frowned slightly as she looked at Reukis, who covered his eyes.


“There’s something I want to tell you.”


Reukis grabbed Merria’s small hand as if it were a rope. As if he were telling her not to run away from him.


The palm of my hand was curtly dry, but somehow I felt that Reukis was crying.


Merria patted him on the chest with her other hand.


“Could you tell me?”


Then Reukis began to speak slowly. “When I was a child, my father trained me to deal with the darkness. I liked it, so I’ve been practicing hard on my own, and I’ve been able to deal with the darkness to some extent since I was around the age of ten.”


Reukis, who spoke only incomprehensible words, seemed urgent as if he was being chased, and rather, he seemed to be an empty person who gave up everything.


Reukis held her hand on the blanket and continued. “One day, I went to my parents’ room to show them what I practiced… Suddenly, this darkness…”




“It just couldn’t stop.”




He spoke emotionlessly like a broken cassette tape. For someone who talks about painful memories, his voice was rather calm, so he was even more worried about Merria who heard it.


‘I wanted him to make eye contact and calm him, but I couldn’t because he’s holding both of my hands.’


Meria continued to call Reukis, waving her motionless hand. However, Reukis, who had already lost his sanity, did not stop.


“I’m right to be cursed. This pain was all my fault. I didn’t use my strength properly, so, because of me, my father and mother-


Reukis couldn’t finish his words at the strange feeling he felt.


A heavy drop of water began to fall, one drop or two, incessantly. Reukis, somewhat awakened by the tears dripping down the cheeks, pulled his hand from his eyes very slowly.


His pure gold eyes, which were finally revealed, swayed aimlessly. It was because he faced an unexpected situation. Merria was crying…


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