Author: Nikss


Fortunately or not, he didn’t even realize it until I passed right by him.


No wonder everything was so quiet.




I stopped walking at the word he muttered out of habit, my body reacting on its own.


Just as I was about to resume walking as if it were nothing.


“Le… en?”


He must have sensed me. Or, as Kun had said, he had smelled the faint earthy scent of my body.


In an instant, Carson’s eyes brightened and locked on mine. His pupils twitched violently. He didn’t blink, and then his eyes moistened.


My breath caught in my throat. He was the one with tears in his eyes, so why was I finding it hard to breathe?


Unable to look at him anymore, I pulled myself away and heard his muffled voice.


“Sorry. I’m sorry…”


And I would have ignored him, if it weren’t for those words that followed.


“I’m sorry for showing up in front of you again.”


That was the last thing he said, in a voice full of tears.


…Idiot, you’ve got the wrong thing to apologize for.


I turned my head once more to look at Carson’s face. He was sobbing silently.


Come to think of it, you were in tears when I didn’t see you for about a month because of summer vacation.


What should I say to you?


As I stared at him in silence, he suddenly sank to his knees.


I jerked back, panicking, “Are you crazy?”


This may be an academy, but a Duke’s heir kneeling before a commoner.


And in such a public place. It had no place in a hierarchy, nor should it.


While I hesitated, wondering if I should help Carson to his feet, he spoke, his face filled with anguish.


“I’ve tried to keep your word and stay out of your face as much as possible.”


I thought there was a lot you wanted to say to me.


But you couldn’t seem to open your mouth. You kept tearing up, as if you were trying to say something.


Tears poured down Carson’s face like rain, and uttered only this plea.


‘…Please save me.’


It was the perfect expression of his implied emotion. I could feel how much Carson had been struggling with his plea for help. I knew I could reverse those feelings with my words. Likewise, I didn’t even have to force myself to speak.


The mere act of reaching out would free him from his tormented feelings.


If Rex Begonia had said what words Carson said and given those emotions, there would have been hardly a laugh.


I could have slapped you on the cheek without batting an eye.


But because it was you, being you, I couldn’t.


I met his eyes and pursed my lips.


“Carson. This is not the place for begging for your life.”


He looked away, then brushed past me, as if he didn’t care.


I clamp down on my lower lip. If I didn’t do something, tears would well up in my eyes.




“You’re here, Leen.”




Kun greeted Leen in a brighter tone than usual as she entered the clubroom.


He was conscious of the fact that she had run into Carson in the hallway today.


She looked around the empty clubroom blankly, as if nothing had happened.


“Kun. Where’s everyone else?”


She hadn’t gotten here early, so she’d expected at least a few others.


“There’s something I forgot to tell you yesterday. Today is our regular day off from club meetings.”


“…You can just randomly take a day off from clubs like that?”


“As long as we don’t get caught.”


“You’ve got more balls than I thought.”


Kun grinned, a faint smile tugging at the corners of his lips.


“That’s why I’m staying behind. If we get caught, well… let’s just say that we went to the merchants’ district for club activities.”


In truth, members of the Leli-Club had been making the rounds today, hoping to turn the rumors of what had happened between Leen and Carson to their advantage.


But Kun lied without a trace of spit in his breath.


Not because he wanted Leen’s praise, but because he didn’t want her to be reminded of the morning’s events again.


“So, Kun, you’re staying in the clubroom for the rest of the day?”


“Yep. It’s my turn.”


At that, Leen sighed. If she had gone straight to the dorms on this day, it would have prolonged the dreaded time.


Leen climbed onto the roll away bed the club members had made for her and laid down.


The hardness of the desk bed had its own charm once she got used to it.


Kun pulled a dark navy blue blanket over her.


It was such a natural gesture that Leen glanced up at Kun.






“You must have been really popular in Abascanthus.”


“What? What do you mean…”


“I was saying you were sweet.”


Carson had done the same thing for her.


Thinking of him suddenly made her feel better, so she pulled the blanket up to her head.


Meanwhile, Kun felt his face heat up at Leen’s sudden compliment.


And again. This unknown emotion stirring inside him.


He sat back in his chair and pressed the back of his hand to his face to attempt in some way to cool it.


‘I need to calm down before Leen sees me.’


But why?


Why did he feel the need to cool his face before she saw?


It was time to try to figure it out.


With his half-elf’s natural acuity, Kun caught a glimpse of something black that crawled across the floor and quickly disappeared.


His eyes locked onto a shape that would have been impossible to see with ordinary eyesight.


Six hairy legs and antennae longer than his own torso.


A fleshy belly. Wings that glistened like they’d been painted with fire.




As a nature-loving elf, Kun loved insects.


But, ironically, he didn’t just hate cockroaches. No, he didn’t just dislike them, he loathed them.


Kun’s scream startled Leen, who seldom freaked out, so she hastily kicked off the blanket.


“What’s wrong!”


Kun shuddered, covering his face with his hands as if he had seen something unseemly.


His long legs crumpled over the narrow chair, as if he was worried that cockroaches would crawl up his legs.


A little thought would have told him that, as a winged cockroach, his ploy wouldn’t work.


“Co— a cockroach!”




“There’s a cockroach in here!”


Leen felt a bit dumbfounded, but eventually composed herself and stood up.


But as soon as she did, Kun called out urgently, “It’s dangerous, Leen!”


At Kun’s exclamation, Leen couldn’t help but chuckle.




Leen’s tone could have been mistaken for a venomous snake.


It’s a cockroach, it’s gross looking, and it might be scary.


‘…I was trying not to make a big deal out of it.’


Well, that’s a little too much.


She shook her head and quickly looked around the clubroom. It wasn’t long before she spotted a cockroach wriggling its antennae in the corner of the wall.


Leen grabbed the first book she could find and walked over to the cockroach without hesitation.


Then she said, “Goodbye, Mr. Kroach.”




With a typical nonchalant expression, she sent the cockroach to heaven and dusted off her hands.


“After all, nothing hits harder than a major book.”


Leen nodded a couple of times in agreement, then turned back to the bed.


It was a quick and complete defeat.


‘…Uh, now that I think about it, I don’t think it was one of my majors.’


Leen was just about to apologize to the unknown owner of the book.


Kun gaped open-mouthed and stared at Leen in a daze. He silently placed his hand over his heart. It was beating faster than it had when he’d seen the cockroach.


‘This… isn’t an arrhythmia.’


Realizations sometimes came suddenly, out of nowhere. Such was the case with Kun at this point.


Funnily enough, he had realized his feelings while watching Leen squash a cockroach.




Biting my lip in impatience. I paced around the room, unable to stay still with my foreboding.


This felt strange. Surely it was long past time for Dobby to come home.


Dobby was a big fan of treats, so maybe that’s why he was never more than a minute late coming to me.


I couldn’t believe how precise Dobby’s timing was.


Today, it was over half an hour later, and he hadn’t even come to me.


And I knew I shouldn’t be freaking out over something that was only 30 minutes late.


But this morning, I couldn’t calm my nerves when I found a meaningful note in the cabinet.


<It’s dying because of you.>


It was in the same handwriting as the note that accused Jane. I had brushed the note aside, thinking that murder was unlikely in an academy protected by the Empire.


But when the target was Dobby, a beast, it was a different story. I had a bad feeling. 


A sinking suspicion I couldn’t explain.


“Oh, this won’t do.”


I hurried out of the dorm, wearing only a thin shawl over my dress.


Dobby’s place was located near the entrance to the mountains behind the academy. I had no idea if I would find him by wandering around.


I rushed to the back mountain.


“Dobby, where are you!”


I scanned the area around the entrance, calling Dobby’s name.


I called out to the air, “Let’s have a snack,” just in case, but he didn’t appear.


By the time, the sun had set, and the sunset had turned the area into a blur. I gave up and headed back to the dorm, wondering if I should wait until tomorrow.


Dobby would be even harder to find after dark, especially since he was all black.


“Dobby, where are you?” I called out.


Then it happened.


With my heightened senses, I could faintly hear the sound of an animal whimpering.


It wasn’t just a whine, but a gasp that sounded like it was about to fade away.




Slowly, I walked toward the source of the cry. It was very close.


As I pushed through the grass, I saw the black creature I had been searching for.


It was Dobby, lying there like a corpse, covered in blood.


“Dobby!” I screamed and ran to Dobby.


The first thing I did was check to see if he was breathing.


Fortunately, he was still breathing, albeit faintly. Up close, Dobby’s condition was even more dire.


His wings were askew, and his body was riddled with wounds that looked like they’d been inflicted by something sharp.


It was a miracle he hadn’t bled to death by now.


I decided there was no time for this, so I pulled off my shawl and wrapped my trembling hands around Dobby.


I had to cover his wings so no one would see them.


It was horrifying.


Tears welled up in my eyes at the thought of what I had done to innocent Dobby.


I felt like I had glimpsed the Count’s future when I rejected Rex Begonia.


Without thinking, I started running, determined to save Dobby.


Herbs would take a long time to heal. That meant there was nothing I could do for him now. I could use alchemy to make a simple healing potion, but I didn’t have time to brew it.


Besides, there’s no guarantee I’ll have all the ingredients in my dormitory.


Since Dobby was a magical beast by birth, he couldn’t be taken to the physicians and priests at the Academy.


“What do I do…”


In the midst of my panic, a voice popped into my head.


A wizard who knew of Dobby’s existence and could heal wounds in an instant.




Table of Contents
Reader Settings
Font Size
Line Height

Ko-fi Ko-fi

Comments (0)