Author: Byuon

Cesare kissed my forehead and got up from the bed.

Then he picked up the clothes he had thrown on the floor and put them on.

He looked around and took my clothes from the closet.

It’s a thin dress with little embellishment, which made me move easily.

I slipped into the dress under Cesare’s watchful eye.

I didn’t forget to take the book of Revelation.

But then, I remembered one thing.

“Shannet!”

She’s still downstairs in the maids’ quarters.

“What about Shannet?”

I asked Cesare as I closed the door to the road.

To get to the room where the maids were staying, you had to take the central staircase down to the first floor and then go to the building next to the main building.

The route was too long, and it was open to the public.

It was obvious that we would run into a knight out there.

“I can’t take Shannet. Daphne.”

“But I can’t leave her. She’ll be in danger without me. If Gabriel threatens Shannet…”

“I’ll also come to rescue Shannet. But not today.”

Cesare had promised me, but that alone didn’t reassure me.

Shannet came here because of me.

I had to make sure she was safe.

Then the doorknob that had been closed suddenly turned.

I opened my eyes in shock. Cesare pulled me back and drew the sword from his waist.

“Mad…hmph!”

“Shannet!”

The person who opened the door was Shannet.

Cesare quickly shut her mouth.

The door closed in an instant.

As if she was surprised, she hiccuped with her eyes wide open.

“Shannet, shh.”

Shannet nodded her head hurriedly.

I winked at Cesare. Cesare, who had been covering her mouth with his hand, released her.

Shannet turned around and shouted in a low voice.

“Duke! How can you..”

“He came to pick us up.”

“Hic…!”

She cried as if she was moved. She went through a lot of hardship while here, too.

Gabriel was cheap, Shannet had a hard time working in a place where she had no one on her side and receiving the attention of other servants.

“I was worried about how to take you, but I’m glad. Haven’t you slept yet?”

“I was worried that madam would stay up all night again…”

“Thank you, Shannet.”

I gently stroked the back of the sobbing Shannet. I had so many people on my side.

After Shannet stopped crying and calmed down, Cesare checked around with the sword in his waist for one last time.

He carefully opened the door and looked into the hallway.

It was already late at night, so the hallway was quiet.

I could see the knight standing on the central staircase nodding.

He didn’t seem like he would wake up if we moved quietly.

I saw hope.

We can really escape!

 

*****

 

It was this afternoon that Cesare visited Lee Jong-woo.

 

‘Gabriel, I want you to lure him out of his house tonight.’

‘Yes? today? What are you going to do?’

‘I need to see Daphne.’

 

Lee Jong-woo was worried that Cesare would complicate things, but Cesare promised that he would only come to see Daphne.

So Jong-woo Lee was pushed by a reckless man and headed for Gabriel’s house.

He tried to get the word out, but he wasn’t confident either.

Lee Jong-woo also knew that Gabriel’s obsession with Daphne was not normal.

So he was surprised when Gabriel followed him out, although he was semi-forced.

“My friend likes me so much,it makes my heart beat.”

“Don’t be silly.”

“Yes, Yes. Oh, there it is! We arrived.”

The place where Lee Jong-woo took Gabriel was the inn where he was staying.

It was not only a place to stay, but also a restaurant, and Lee Jong-woo boasted that the lamb here was the best in the world.

As they opened the door to the inn, they were greeted by the sound of people chatting freely and informally.

Gabriel couldn’t adjust to the noisy atmosphere and was awkward.

Lee Jong-woo dragged Gabriel and sat him down.

“Auntie! Two beers here and two servings, such as skewers, grilled potatoes, and three lamb, please!”

“Okay!”

Gabriel sat down and looked around.

People eating, drinking and chatting seemed happy.

He suddenly thought that he had not heard such laughter in a very long time.

When the food and alcohol were ready, Lee Jong-woo smiled kindly and offered a toast to Gabriel.

“Come on, shall we have a drink, my friend? The first one is… Yeah. How about ‘For friendship’?”

“No.”

“Yes. For friendship!”

Lee Jong-woo, who had gotten used to Gabriel’s rejection, exclaimed, clinking his glasses together.

Gabriel frowned slightly, but then sipped without saying a word.

The cheap beer was a bit bitter and ran down his throat.

“My friend needs to relax a little.”

Lee Jong-woo handed him the skewer and said.

“A man should know how to have fun. If I ask you to go play, you say no. What’s the rush?”

“I…”

Gabriel swallowed hard.

He wasn’t sure if leisure had ever been a part of his life.

When he wandered the streets alone after losing his one and only mother, he’d been too busy trying to keep his stomach from going hungry, and then when he’d discovered he was the Emperor’s lost son, he’d been too busy running away from his fate.

He doesn’t want to remember the time when he was a slave after losing his memory in an accident.

Lee Jong-woo looked at him sadly.

“There are so many fun things in the world. To be honest, if you have the wealth and power, my friend, you should be able to enjoy them, right? Why are you living in such a complicated world?”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“What else do I know? My friend tends to ignore me, but I have more life experience than you thought, and I’m smart.”

“Yes, you are.”

Gabriel snorted bitterly.

In his view, Lee Jong-woo was the most leisurely person in the world.

“Anyway. What I mean is, don’t be so stuck in a rut, take a break, look elsewhere. Because there’s a lot of times when you think you’ve got the most precious thing in the world, but in reality, it is not. Or maybe you’ve got multiple things that are important to you, because there’s not one right answer to life.”

Gabriel stared at Lee Jong-woo.

He sounded uncharacteristically serious.

Lee Jong-woo, who seemed like a meddler who suddenly appeared to Gabriel, and he couldn’t imagine what he was really thinking.

“For example, this mouth-watering lamb here is very, very precious to me! Before I tasted this house’s lamb, I thought the skewers from the stall down there were the best food in the world, but they’re not! That’s why I’m so afraid of people’s prejudices.”

It’s correct. He seems to live without thinking.

I am ashamed of myself for thinking that, for a moment, Lee Jong-woo has an idea.

Whether or not he knew Gabriel’s heart, Lee Jong-woo held a beer mug to him.

“Let’s make a toast! Let’s do our best today!”

“Ha.”

“Cheers to the most delicious lamb in the world!”

With the noisy atmosphere and delicious food in the background, the two of them had a deep night.

 

*****

 

When Gabriel opened his eyes, the first thing he saw was an unfamiliar ceiling.

Startled, he quickly got up.

His head was spinning and he felt a pounding headache.

Gabriel was the only one in the room.

It was quiet and calm.

Where am I? Why the hell am I here…

I reached for the creaky old bedding.

Running a hand through his hair, Gabriel realized that this was the room on the second floor of the inn he had visited with Lee Jong-woo yesterday.

At that moment, Gabriel lifted the blanket from the sudden pain.

There was a blue bruise on his knee.

‘No way…!’

But he soon realized that the bruise was from last night’s fall down the stairs when Lee Jong-woo was carrying him upstairs.

He didn’t go down the stairs as it was, and if he did, Lee Jong-woo would be accused of insulting the Imperial family.

Gabriel stood up, determined to ask the man responsible for all the right questions of this when he returned.

He opened the window and the morning sun was shining brightly on him.

Gabriel blinked at the dazzling sunlight and could see the lively street scene.

Even though it seemed quite early, there were many people on the street and everyone was busy walking around.

Every morning, the man who delivered the ingredients handed over the fresh vegetables in the wooden box to the woman.

The child delivering the newspaper was running, carrying a large bag.

A young girl carried a wooden pail full of water in each hand as she fetched water from the well.

It was a morning for the people of this Empire that he had never seen before.

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Comments (1)

  1. Come on, Gabriel, open your eyes to the rest of the world 😭