I stayed up all night in the lab. I was very tired, but working was better than having nightmares.
Knock. Knock. Knock
There was a knocking sound. I guess it was a meal time.
“You can leave it there and leave.”
“That’s not it…”
I wondered why Mary was bothering me, but I was in the middle of an important work. Without taking my eyes off the workbench, I raised my finger and pointed to the shelf.
“If it’s a vitality drug, then it’s over there.”
This was not the voice of Mary. No matter how busy I was, I had no choice but to turn my head.
Count Hyrn walked in. I adjusted my appearance in quick spur of panic.
It was the first time he came into my herb room.
“What are you doing here?”
As I asked that question, there was only one thing that came into my mind. There must have been a problem with the potion I gave it to him through Mary last time.
Otherwise, there was no way the Count would have walked up to my herb room.
“I wonder if the advanced recovery potion I gave you last time…”
Before I could finish speaking, a flash of light suddenly appeared in front of my eyes.
Before I even realized what was happening, my body stumbled and fell on the ground.
“What on earth are you doing here!”
As I was processing what has happened, A thunderous shout coming from Count felt unfamiliar, the count’s hand which slapped my cheek, caught my attention.
Only then did I feel a stiff pain running down my cheek and ear.
My jaw didn’t move properly. I felt a fishy liquid inside my mouth.
“You said you wanted to draw, so we built a studio for you. Are you secretly making drugs in here without informing us? I admire your little talent, but I never thought you would do something like this.”
“What are you saying all of a sudden?”
He rubbed his chin with his hand and barely opened his mouth. As soon as I said that, the Count poured out words as if he had been waiting for me to say that.
“Okay, I’m going to get you out of this house. You still haven’t been able to let go of your old habits and only choose to do ugly things. What can I even do, having raised such an unruly daughter until now? Have you not thought that you have tarnished the reputation of the Hyrn County?”
It was stupid. No, I was definitely stupid. I should have realized a long time ago why the Count was suddenly putting on a show like this.
I shouldn’t have lost my mind just because I got punched on my face.
“Please stop. Count.”
A cool voice like the midwinter wind was heard. Only then did I realize that there was someone other than Count Hyrn and Mary who was watching the entire show.
“I’m sorry. I never thought something so unpleasant would happen into my family.”
As the Count stepped aside, unfamiliar shoes caught her eyes. For some reason, I had a bad feeling.
I slowly moved my gaze from the bottom to top, as if I was trying to draw a person.
The black cashmere coat and watch chain sticking out of the pocket passed by meaninglessly. Maybe I already have sensed the identity of the other person.
I was wasting my time and only wanted to complete the upcoming year out of fear of having to face someone I didn’t wanted to meet.
My efforts to ignore and avoid the original story ended the moment I saw the earring shaking from the man’s left ear.
‘Earrings that look like long silver threads which was hanging down.’
Is it a coincidence? It must be a coincidence. I desperately hoped it was a coincidence.
I hoped that earrings like that would become popular among socialites while I was living in seclusion.
I took my eyes off the man. And then he lowered his head. I knew very well that the person in front of me wouldn’t disappear just because I didn’t see him.
Still, I didn’t have the confidence to check any further.
It was then.
For the first time, a familiar face came into my view.
‘The purple eyes smiled sweetly, like the edge of darkness, but for an instant they gave off a cruel light.’
He was a person who immediately reminded me of the description I had read in a book.
“It’s the Magic tower lord. He found out that you were illegally distributing potions and came to my house.”
The Count’s words felt distant. I tried so hard, but was eventually caught by the killer. And that too in my hideout, which I considered the safest.
‘For what reason have I been stuck at home all this time? I just wanted to make sure that I would avoid him at any cost but we were meeting like this? Seriously? All my efforts was in vain.’
“Hello. Miss Selinia.”
His voice which was calling my name sounded like a death sentence.
“This is Éon de Grand Noir.”
(*Aeon for our convenience and pronunciation)
Aeon gently squeezed my left hand and lightly kissed the back of it. Lips which should have been warm were like snowflakes in the middle of winter.
My blood seemed to have harden at the place where his lips landed.
“Do you know me?”
Did she know him? I’m sure he’s not asking if I knew his real identity as a murderer.
While I was hesitating, the Count answered for me.
“Is there anyone in this empire who doesn’t know the Magic Tower Lord?”
As if the Count’s answer was not important, he spoke to me again.
“Your green jewel-like eyes are beautiful. It goes really well with your gorgeous brown hair.”
Aeon’s eyes were on me, but he was never looking at me.
To him, I was just a doll with brown hair and green eyes.
“How can you treat such a beautiful lady so roughly? the Count is more extreme and aggressive than he looks.”
“I’m sorry. It was just to discipline her…..”
“Did you just say that it was a disciplinary action?”
Aeon’s hand went to my cheek and I flinched without realizing it. But his hands stopped in midair.
Something warm reached out from his hand and covered my face.
The throbbing pain on my jaw disappeared.
Her tongue carefully traced the inside of her mouth. It healed completely as if it had never been torn.
“You don’t have to worry so much about sinners.”
“Because she is a sinner. Is that so. A sinner…..”
Aeon muttered the word sinner as if he were filtering sand out of his mouth.
“Then will you entrust me with the disposition of this sinner?”
“But she is from the Count Hyrn family. If you want to defend her then, I will allow it.”
“The person who broke the law can no longer be considered a member of the Count Hyrn family. I will leave everything at the disposal of the Mage Tower Lord.”
Count Hyrn said, bowing his head to the point where he looked servile.
“Please just remember that this was an arbitrary act of that girl.”
What is this?
While I was acting like a fool, I ended up taking on all of the sins of Count.
‘Why do such things always happen to me?’
In my previous life, I was also an orphan. I could accept not having parents. But not even having friends was miserable.
At our first meeting, everyone was briefly interested in my exotic appearance, but that was all they said. There was no case where the relationship progressed to the level of being called a friend.
I thought it was because I had nothing. Therefore, I studied diligently, received a scholarship, and entered a prestigious university.
Living expenses were covered through various part-time jobs. In no time I accumulated qualifications such as foreign language scores and competitive awards.
When I started working, my situation improved enough to save money.
Still, there was no one by my side. I am the type of a person who can accept even if someone approaches me with an impure purpose.
I was starving for love. But it wasn’t there for me.
It felt like the whole world was pushing me away, as if there was no place for me.
After my desire to be loved and loneliness crossed the limit, I completely lost my will to live.
I quit all the medications I was taking to try to survive somehow. The preparation to die was perfect. That night, my car crashed into a guardrail.
‘I thought that was the end. But I was brought here.’
If life was the same again, there was no point in being possessed. This time too, I was an orphan and there was no one by my side. Horribly, even this face was similar to my previous life.
Only the hair color became brighter and my eyes turned greener.
‘What kind of person am I…?’
Just as the word resignation was about to dominate my mind, resentment and depression burst out from deep within my heart.
Overlaid on the Count’s face were the faces of the people whose affection I had longed for.
“You can’t say that! Wasn’t this all something the Count ordered me to do? You were the one who ordered the potion to be made and the one who sold it somewhere, right?”
“Uh, this….Ungrateful thing!”
The Count’s face turned red at my unexpected counterattack. Since I was always obedient, I guess he thought I would silently let him blame me for his sins this time too.
“That girl is an orphan I sponsored. There is no need to listen to what such a baseless girl says.”
“I heard you told me that we were a family! You have been saying that since the very first day I came into this house. You always told me that we’re a family now, and I just have to do whatever I’m told, isn’t it?”
The Count turned his head from me and looked at Aeon and appealed.
“Maybe she needed some more money without me knowing about it.”
“I’ve never got any money from selling potions!”
A petty argument followed. It was surprising that we could argue like this even with a murderer in front of us.
The Count’s mouth closed with a cold word from Aeon.
“I have something to talk with Miss Selinia, so would you please leave for a moment, Count?”
It was a polite statement, but the way that was conveyed was full of an irresistible order. Eventually, the count left and the door closed.
As a result, the cozy air of my sanctuary became frozen solid.
She could feel the lingering scent of a burning fire. It was the same smell she had smelled in her dream.
I spoke even before Aeon started his interrogation.
“I’m guilty too, so I’ll get the punishment I deserve. I’m ready to go to the prison.”
I thought that the safest place right now might be prison.
The weight of the word “prison” became infinitely lighter as the laughter escaped Aeon’s mouth.
“How about we stop talking about such nonsense now?”
After taking a couple of steps, the gap between him and I quickly narrowed. I hesitated and took a step back, but was soon blocked by the desk.
Aeon bent his waist slightly and placed his face next to my ear.
“I have come here to take you away.”
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