Author: Byuon

Daphne’s body slumped and she stood by gripping the couch. Gabriel’s hand to support her was coldly slapped away.

“I’d do anything to have you.”

At Gabriel’s words, Daphne turned and left the room.

Shannet, who was waiting impatiently outside, rushed to her side.

Shannet embraced Daphne, who was collapsing.

“Madam!!”

Gabriel stared at Daphne, her face was pale.

“Daphne…”

Gabriel tried to wake her, but Daphne, who had lost consciousness, did not move.

At that moment, something inside Gabriel shattered.

 

*****

 

Daphne sighed and exhaled. Gabriel sat next to her and stared at Daphne.

Daphne’s fever went up and down repeatedly throughout the day. Shannet looked at Gabriel with resentment the whole time.

Gabriel still doesn’t know what he’s done so wrong.

Gabriel did his best to save Daphne from Cesare.

But by the time he realized that wasn’t the case… His heart had already grown too big to give her up.

Gabriel only loved Daphne in his own way.

“Everyone says I’m wrong about everything, Even you… Daphne.”

Gabriel let out a laugh. How did this happen?

All he wanted was one person.

“Daphne… Is it really not possible?”

Tears ran down Gabriel’s cheeks.

When I saw Daphne, I wanted to cry. From the moment I found out that Daphne wasn’t smiling anymore.

When Daphne sees Gabriel, she vomits only sharp criticism and struggles to let her go. She’s screaming at the top of her lungs that it’s not me.

Standing next to Daphne like this, Gabriel felt like he’d been cut by a knife.

He wanted to cry.

The sadness that filled my chest was so full that it seemed to pour out just by tapping it. It was an emotion that could only be vented in a place where no one knew.

Gabriel took Daphne’s hand desperately. A cry like a beast broke out.

“Gabriel…”

Daphne, who opened her eyes faintly, called out his name. Gabriel looked at Daphne with tears in his eyes.

“Are you awake? Are you hurt….”

Daphne shook her head slightly. Through dry, white lips, Daphne whispered.

“Why are you crying? Why are you crying? I was the one who should be crying…”

Daphne smiled faintly.

Daphne, who coughed for a moment, raised her weak hand and wiped the tears from Gabriel’s cheek.

Gabriel’s face was wet with tears.

“Look. You are not happy.”

Daphne said so and closed her eyes again.

She felt drowsy and sleepy. Her head felt hot enough to make her head spin.

Daphne sighed and spoke again.

“… Don’t cry, Gabriel. I want you to be happy too.”

Gabriel’s pupils dilated. It was a kind word I heard from Daphne in a long time.

Gabriel called out Daphne’s name in a hoarse voice, but the only thing that came back was a wheezing breath as she fell asleep again.

Gabriel stared blankly at Daphne.

“You didn’t hate me…?”

His heart was pounding. Gabriel smiled vaguely.

Daphne was a very different person from Gabriel. Gabriel only knows black and white. Hate is hate, love is love.

However, Daphne had forgiven Gabriel several times and was wishing him happiness.

Daphne was like a great ocean. No matter how many stones are thrown, the sea will only be shaken for a moment before it embraces the stones.

“You really….”

How could I not love you?

Gabriel laughed through his tears.

 

*****

 

“I… I would like to ask you a few words.”

Kazakhstan has all kinds of people. Some of them were looking for people. So this was all too familiar.

“Who are you looking for?”

The merchant lightly asked a question.

“How did you know?”

“There is only one person who will ask that. I’m in a hurry, so go ahead and ask.”

“… Are you selling green glass bottles of clear alcohol here?”

“Ah, that. Was it called soju?”

The merchant stroked his chin and nodded.

“We do bring it in occasionally.”

The man breathed a sigh of relief.

At first, Kazakhstan suddenly appeared and disappeared in the form of a sparkling market.

It was only at the very end of the last minute that he heard a hopeful answer from Kazakhstan, which he finally found after scouring the market that was supposed to be held within the Empire.

Today was the last day in Kazakhstan, so his heart shrank. Fortunately, it seemed that the people could be found before Kazakhstan was over.

“I am looking for the person who brings it.”

“Why are you looking for that person?”

“Someone wants the goods he delivers.”

“Aha. That person used to bring a lot of unusual things. If he didn’t have money, he sold everything he had. Hmm… He had a unique name.”

The merchant patted his chin, trying to remember.

“Lee… Woo… Lee Jong-woo. That’s right! That was the name. Lee Jong-woo! A man with a name like that brings those things!”

The merchant clapped and said. The man mumbled his name with his mouth.

“Lee Jong-woo, Lee Jong-woo…”

“He went here a while ago, but now he says he will stay in the Imperial capital. I think it will be quicker to find him in the capital.”

“Thank you!”

“Wait. I’ve given you this much information, but you’re just going? I think I helped you out of trouble. Now, look at the stuff. Wouldn’t it be nice if you buy any of this?”

The man laughed awkwardly. It’s said that business shouldn’t be easily trusted.

The man was only able to escape from Kazakhstan after spending half of his money.

 

*****

 

After a whole day of being sick, I finally felt better. I never thought I would be so sick.

Somehow, the condition of my body was not so bad…. I’ve been under a little bit of stress these days.

It was as if the accumulated stress had exploded upon learning of what Gabriel had done.

“Eat this too… Eat this too.”

Shannet suggested something to eat. There was also something like black potion.

“Ugh. I think I’m all better. If I eat this…”

“You must eat!”

Shannet shook her head.

“You know how surprised I was? I thought my heart was going to fall. So, eat well and sleep well. In a situation like this, you have to take care of your health, madam.”

“Okay…”

Shannet was about to burst into tears again, so I took the bowl and ate it up. Not knowing what was inside it, I covered my nose and ate.

Why is it that all of the things that are good for the body taste bad and smell bad? After I finished eating, Shannet offered me a sweet snack.

“Now lie down and rest.”

“I’m really fine.”

Still, I quietly lay down.

Shannet opened her eyes and looked at me.

I got scared of her…

I rolled up the blanket and lay down on the bed. Shannet put her hand on my forehead to measure the fever and left the room.

Being alone brings back memories of the past.

“Gabriel…”

What should I really do with him?

Even the memories of finding him crying were clear.

Why are you crying? You worked with Count Peliard to play tricks on me, and I can’t bear to think about it again.

I kicked at the blankets, then stopped in frustration.

Why are you doing this to me?

Gabriel was a hateful yet ironically pitiful existence.

He clings to me like an idiot and looks only at me, and there is nothing I can do for him. If I did anything, it would be to give him some space.

When I didn’t know how Gabriel felt, I didn’t care, but I can’t do that now.

It is said that sick people do not get better easily.

I buried my head in the pillow. I thought it would be better to sleep than to think complicated thoughts.

Soon enough, a wave of medicinal energy washed over me.

 

*****

 

After confirming that Daphne was asleep, Gabriel sneaked into the bedroom and measured her temperature.

Gabriel, who had been sitting quietly for a long time, got up when he heard someone looking for him.

Gabriel placed the back of his hand on Daphne’s forehead and measured it for the last, then cautiously walked out of the bedroom.

“His Majesty the Crown Prince.”

The man who was waiting for Gabriel bowed his head. He was the man he had sent to Kazakhstan to find what Daphne mentioned.

“Oh, did you find it?”

Gabriel asked in a cracked voice. He hasn’t said a word since he went to Daphne yesterday and his throat was dry. This is also the aftermath after crying yesterday.

The man nodded his head.

“Yes. I was able to find a merchant selling alcohol in Kazakhstan and I knew the name of the person who supplied it.”

“And you didn’t find that person?”

“Since he’s staying in the Imperial capital, I can find it there. Because the name is unique, and I thought it would be faster to find him with others than alone, so I went to see His Highness first.”

“I see. What’s his name?”

“Lee Jong-woo. A man named Lee Jong-woo.”

“… Lee Jong-woo?”

Gabriel rolled his eyes. The name was familiar to him. The name of a man who calls Gabriel ‘My friend’ and approaches him without hesitation.

Gabriel knew where that man was now.

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