Author: Eica Editor: Eica

Chapter 17

 

 

At Dane’s words, Liv nodded.

“Yes…… I don’t like meeting and talking to people, and I don’t like the loose dresses I wear to balls because it’s uncomfortable.”

Liv urgently added, remembering whose gift the dress she was wearing was now.

“Um…… This is fine, though. It’s not particularly uncomfortable…….”

The fragile-looking fabric that wrapped around the entire dress was beautiful, but no one looked at it. Liv couldn’t think of anything to say, so she just rolled her eyes.

“I’m sorry. I should have asked you about your taste beforehand.”

“No! It’s not like that. That…… I also like purple. And since a day like today is more special than any other, it’s natural to wear such a fancy dress. When I tried it on, it was so beautiful that I was satisfied with it too…… And…….”

“It’s okay. Now that I know you hate balls and uncomfortable dresses, that’s enough. I’m sorry I sent you the dress as I pleased.”

“It is really true that the dress is beautiful.”

“Next time, I’ll prepare more comfortable clothes. By then, we’ll be a couple and share the same bedroom, so it’ll be easier to get to know your tastes.”

When he said they’d be sharing the same bedroom, she felt embarrassed.

The image of him rubbing his face while clinging to her legs came to mind. His eyes that looked at her as if they were eating her, tinged with desire, and the crude hands that brushed her legs down without permission.

‘Actually, what he wants is my body.’

She didn’t know if he loved her or not, so she kept having terrible thoughts.

The carriage stopped, and Dane grabbed Liv as she was about to enter the mansion.

“I probably won’t be able to come to Hale for a few days. I tried to clear my time, but I couldn’t. I’ll finish my work as soon as I can.”

Liv nodded, trying to hide her regret. Then he brought Liv’s hand to his face with a slight anguish on his face.

“Aren’t you sad? I am very sad.”

Liv couldn’t keep her mouth shut as he rubbed his cheeks on her palm and kissed it occasionally. She didn’t know what to do when he became like this.

When Liv couldn’t find anything to say, Dane smiled bitterly and let go of Liv’s hand.

“Don’t forget me just because I won’t be here for a few days.”

“How can I forget you?”

“Is that so…….”

Dane trailed off.

“I’ll see you go in.”

Liv headed for the mansion, feeling his presence behind her back.

It had been so long since she had been close to him, and she already missed him at the thought of not seeing him for a few days. A human’s heart was truly cunning. The voice that was pushing him away changed in an instant.

Before opening the door, she looked back and saw that he was still standing there without going. Liv took one last look at him, opened the door and went inside.

 

 

“You’re here. Miss.”

“Where did father go?”

“The master is in the study.”

‘Still in the study? What in the world is he doing without coming to the ball?’

Liv headed to the study. As she approached her father’s space, which had always frightened her, she swallowed her saliva and knocked on the door with trembling hands.

But there was no response from within.

“F, father?”

On the right side of the stairs was Liv’s room, and to the left was Anton’s bedroom and study. It was a study that made it difficult for her to be on the same floor. But today, she did not leave.

Liv mustered up the courage to carefully open the door and step inside. There was no one inside to the extent that the tension was palpable.

A wind blew from somewhere and dropped a piece of paper on the desk. It was the wind coming in from the window at the end of the study.

Why was that door open in the middle of the night? With the chilly air, Liv entered deeper into the study to close the window.

Tak.

When she closed the window, the wind that had been blowing her hair stopped. Liv lifted a piece of paper that had fallen to the floor.

 

                   It’s in Hale.

 

It was a unique handwriting that was scrawled hastily.

‘What, it’s in Hale?’

Dudududu. A gust of wind shook the window violently, begging her to open it. Looking at the window with anxious eyes, Liv found herself reflected in the window.

A woman wearing a purple dress and standing in front of a desk holding a paper. Naturally, her gaze was fixed on the five paintings that she saw over her head.

Liv’s hand holding the paper strained.

It happened before the scars appeared on her face. Anton suddenly removed all the bookshelves from one wall and started nailing them by hand.

Bang! Bang!

The books on the bookshelf shook with the sound. Young Liv watched from behind as the nails were hammered in. One, two, three, four, five…… Anton nailed five nails into the wall and hung each of the paintings he had prepared in advance.

It was a portrait of the predecessors of Ragnell. Whenever a portrait with only the upper body was hung on the wall one by one, Liv stepped back.

All five portraits were hung, and Anton looked back and smiled brightly. Liv had no choice but to flee on the spot. The ten eyes behind Anton were horribly frightening.

It was the same as then. The five pairs of eyes reflected in the window looked at Liv.

Thud!

Then a loud roar was heard over the bookshelf. Liv came to her senses, as if she had woken up from a dream.

As she turned her head towards where the sound came from, she felt a slight vibration. Before she could grasp the situation, she heard a loud bang again, and the bookshelf was pushed toward Liv.

“Ahhhh!”

Liv slammed her body against the pushed out bookshelf and slumped in front of the desk next to her. Unable to come to her senses from the strong impact, she crouched down.

Eventually, the leaning bookshelf fell over and spat the books relentlessly over Liv, who was underneath. A thick book hit her on the head. Liv couldn’t come to her senses as she was flooded with books. Her whole body ached. She could only hear a beeping sound from her deafened ears.

A portrait fell to the floor. The gaze of the fallen portrait was strangely directed at Liv.

It was not over yet. An explosion was heard again through the overturned bookshelf. The sound of someone screaming, breaking and smashing could be heard over and over again.

‘What is this…….’

A bookshelf was blocking her view, so she couldn’t see anything. In the midst of the chaos, Liv lost consciousness.

 

 

***

 

 

“Don’t get up.”

As she raised her body, Liv groaned at the pain she felt all over her body.

‘Where is this?’

No matter how much she blinked, her blurred focus wouldn’t return. Feeling anxious, Liv tossed and turned.

“It’s okay.”

Someone gave her a small pat on the shoulder. It was Dane.

“What…… happened……”

Every time she spoke, her head rang, so she couldn’t keep her senses.

“There was an explosion at Ragnell’s mansion.”

She remembered the sound of bursting and breaking.

‘An explosion…….’

“It’s safe here. Close your eyes a little more.”

Dane covered the corners of Liv’s eyes with his palm. His warm warmth led her to sleep.

Liv opened her mouth with a sudden thought.

“What happened to everyone else besides me…….”

“All employees have been evacuated to a safe place.”

It was a relief. There were many other things she wanted to ask.

Liv overcame the pouring sleep and gave strength to her eyelids, but her half-opened eyelids could not resist gravity and trembled.

Come to think of it, she didn’t meet her father who was said to be in the study.

“Father…… Where is father…….”

There was a clear trail of blood on Liv’s neat forehead. Dane wordlessly wiped her blood-stained forehead with his hand.

“Shhh…… Close your eyes a little more.”

At the gentle touch, Liv’s eyelids eventually lost their strength and surrendered.

 

 

Dane looked at Liv as she fell asleep and then lowered his hand and lightly rested it on her left chest.

The small rise and fall of the chest and the deep throbbing proved that she was alive. He was so grateful for it that he buried his face on Liv’s hand that came out of the blanket.

Even as she fell asleep, Liv stroked his face with her fingers. It was a very fragile force, like a willow puppy brushing against him. He was grateful for her small movements.

When he heard the explosion in the carriage going back after taking Liv home, he prayed that it wasn’t there. Please grant this absurd request of mine.

But against the wind, beyond the hastily turned carriage stood the miserably ruined Ragnell mansion.

‘No……. No…….’

Dane entered Ragnell’s mansion with an ashen and frightened face.

Inside was a complete mess. Dane climbed up to the second floor, pushing away the employees running around with confusion.

The explosion occurred on the left, so the right side looked relatively intact.

When he first visited Ragnell’s mansion, Liv had climbed the stairs and disappeared to the right. So her room was definitely on the right. She must have headed to her room as soon as she arrived to take off her uncomfortable dress.

Yet, his anxious heart kept turning to the left.

Dane ran to the left and opened the door that he could see right away. As soon as he saw the horribly ruined interior, he immediately knew that this was the site of the explosion.

 

‘Liv!’

 

Dane called out to Liv anxiously. After frantically scanning the room, Dane found Liv lying between the desk and the bookshelf.

Dane pulled Liv out of the gap urgently.

Blood was dripping from her head and her beautiful dress was a mess. When he checked the tip of her nose, he felt a faint breath.

He, who had never believed in God in his entire life, finally acknowledged the existence of God.

‘God, thank you! Thank you!’

He hugged Liv with a vehement face and constantly expressed his gratitude to the God he had denied.

Author's Thoughts

Hello, everyone~! Eica, here. If you find any mistakes, please do not hesitate to inform me. And, I'm sorry in advance for any mistranslations that might occur.

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Eica

A lazy cat who wants her honied indolence back. NOTE: Updates will be sporadic. Any of my novels will be updated randomly.

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