7589-chapter-23

The doctor nervously licked his lips.

It felt like Aiden was secretly watching her with a venomous gaze from somewhere. If he was going to give her an answer, he should at least explain the reason behind it. But she couldn’t think of any convincing excuse that would satisfy him.

After hesitating for a while, the doctor spoke in a slow voice.

“Well… it’s because I have only one daughter like you….”

There was a moment of silence at his somewhat unconvincing reason. The doctor glanced at Asralda out of the corner of his eye. Then he quickly added,

“She died at your age after suffering from an illness. So whenever I see young women around her age, I can’t help but worry about them.”

Of course, he had never been married, let alone had a daughter with blonde hair like Asralda’s. But it was too late to take it back now.

“…I see.”

For some reason, Asralda couldn’t say anything and looked quite uneasy. She was frozen with the fact that she had been exposed as a woman and her expression was quite suspicious. After staring at the doctor for a long time, Asralda opened her mouth.

“So you’re saying that Lieutenant Kyle checked on my condition and left without realizing that I’m a woman?”
“Y-yes.”
“And you’re saying that you’re covering this up because you have a daughter like me?”
“Y-yes.”

Staring intently at him, Asralda asked again.

“So Lieutenant Kyle checked on me, but he didn’t realize that I’m a woman?”

Repeatedly asking the same question made him uneasy. He added hastily,

“That’s right. I checked first and then explained it to him.”

Asralda stared at the doctor, feeling helpless. He was wearing a long brown coat over the white uniform that medical officers and nurses wore in the knight order. There wasn’t even a drop of blood on his clothes.

Asralda remembered the beautiful uniform she had seen in front of her eyes before she passed out. She even remembered the feeling of holding hands.

It was obvious that he was lying.

Finally, she got off the bed. As soon as she put her feet on the ground, she felt a sharp pain from the wound that had been grazed by the sword. But she gritted her teeth and endured it.

Asralda just bowed to the doctor without asking anything else.

“Thank you for keeping this a secret.”

 

***

 

Asralda walked out of the room without hesitation. She heard voices behind her trying to stop her, but she paid no attention.

And then Asralda started wandering around the knight order castle, looking for someone.

There were no major injuries, but she was still in an unhealed state. Every time she moved her body, she felt pain, but she couldn’t just sit still.

As she was going down to the first floor of the castle, she saw two knights who were climbing the stairs and muttering something as they saw her. Asralda approached them without delay.

“Do you happen to know where Lieutenant Kyle is right now?”

The knights, who seemed momentarily surprised, answered.

“…I think he was heading towards the watchtower.”
“Thank you.”

After a quick greeting, Asralda left the castle. And she headed straight towards the watchtower located in a corner of the castle.

Eventually, she spotted Kyle standing under the watchtower in the distance. He had his arms crossed and was talking seriously to several knights.

Suddenly, his gaze, which had been pouring out nagging words, turned to Asralda.

“!”

Kyle’s blue pupils widened. He ran to her in a single breath, leaving the knights behind.

Kyle urgently grabbed Asralda’s shoulders and examined her condition while asking.

“Are you okay? The medical officer said it would take a few days to fully recover.”
“I’m fine.”

Asralda nodded her head nonchalantly.

But Kyle was not convinced at all. He nervously searched her body up and down as if he couldn’t be relieved at all.

“Nonsense. What if you get hurt while wandering around like this with an unhealed body? I heard you had a major injury on your back.”
“Lieutenant, I have something to ask you.”
“?”

Kyle’s gaze, which had been frantically searching Asralda’s body, turned to her pupils.

Asralda said.

“Can you put your hand on my chest?”
“……”
“Just try it once.”

Kyle’s face was momentarily stunned, and then gradually became embarrassed. He stepped back as if he was surprised. Asralda repeated her request.

“Just once is enough.”

His face quickly changed colors with uncertainty.

Asralda looked through his ambiguous attitude and took a step closer.

The moment Kyle tried to step back again, Asralda quickly grabbed his wrist.

“!”

Finally, he couldn’t stand it anymore and shook off her hand. His usually relaxed face was now red.

“Why, why are you doing this? All of a sudden.”

Yes, now he couldn’t be sure anymore.

As Kyle stumbled and asked, instead of answering the question, Asralda quietly asked him back.

“Are you the lieutenant?”
“What…?”
“I mean the person who knew I was a woman and stopped the medical officer.”

Asralda stared at Kyle who was taken aback.

He continued to mutter his lips as if searching for words to say.

Asralda calmly said.

“I saw it in a dream. Someone in a black uniform was taking care of me next to me.”

She thought it might be Aiden, but it couldn’t be. He wasn’t the kind of person who would help someone.

“Surely it couldn’t be the knight commander who took care of me. Plus, there are no traces of blood on the medical officer’s clothes. These reasons offered as excuses are simply difficult to comprehend.”
“….”
“No matter how much I think about it, it seems like you’re the lieutenant.”

Kyle looked down at Asralda, meeting her gaze as if to confirm.

This situation probably wasn’t what Aiden intended. If that were the case, he would have told the truth before stopping the medical officer from talking. At least he would have been honest enough to say that it wasn’t me who took care of you.

But for the first time, looking at Asralda, who was looking straight at him, he couldn’t lie.

‘Could it be… that it’s not Kyle?’

Meanwhile, Asralda was gradually becoming confused by his face, which was staring at her without expression.

“…No?”

No matter how much she asked, Kyle remained silent as if he was being urged to confess. The moment she thought he had lied, his lips opened.

“Yes, that’s right.”
“…Yes?”
“I did stop the medical officer because I knew you were a woman.”

Asralda was taken aback.

“Why…?”

Kyle answered nonchalantly.

“I told you, you look like my friend.”

He did all that just because of that? It was hard to believe, and Asralda was more surprised than anything.

“Just because of that?”
“It’s not just that.”

He was different from the clumsy medical officer. His pupils were focused solely on Asralda. He spoke earnestly.

“Because I liked her, that woman.”
“….”

A strange feeling overcame Asralda for a moment.

It was because Kyle’s eyes were so clear that she had a momentary illusion that he might confess his feelings for her.

‘I thought his friend who looked like me was a man, but she’s a woman….’

Asralda looked at him for a moment, lost in thought, before coming back to her senses. She quickly avoided his gaze.

Recently, while learning swordsmanship, Asralda had realized that Kyle was a much more serious and good person than she had thought.

So if he was overlapping the girl he used to like with herself, it was better to firmly cut it off here.

Asralda spoke in a slightly colder voice.

“I told you before, I may look like her, but I’m not her. So please, if you have any feelings for her or anything similar, please don’t direct them towards me.”
“….”
“And if you could keep the secret, I would appreciate it if you could continue to treat me as a man as you have done so far.”

Asralda finished speaking and bowed her head quietly. She had drawn a clear line and politely said goodbye, but then, “tak!” her wrist was grabbed.

It was Kyle who was holding her wrist tightly.

“That’s not possible.”

It was the first time he had spoken so firmly. Asralda looked at Kyle’s face and then at his hand. She heard his low voice again.

“I can treat you as a knight.”
“….”
“But I can’t treat you as a man even if I die.”

When he realized he had been sent back to the past, he immediately went to find her.

He begged her desperately to not be just a cold corpse, no matter what form she took. And when he finally found her alive in Aiden’s estate, he made up his mind.

He would keep Asralda by his side no matter what happens.

Kyle held Asralda’s hand tightly. Her face was brought close to his.

“I’ve never treated you as a man even once, not before and not in the future.”

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