Killian’s complexion was pale.
His dark, dangerous eyes were like sunken shipwrecks.
Patience stuck bitterly in his throat, and he turned again, placing his hand on the doorknob of the bathroom.
“I’ll go wash up.”
His voice was tight and he was trying to keep his composure, but he was clearly struggling.
I heard the bathroom door close and a stream of water gush out.
The sound made my hair stand on end.
Had she fed him enough to make him gag?
Could it be Mrs. Gisela?
Vomiting meant that Katherine Harman Gisela hadn’t just fed him the black magic powder, she hadn’t even kept the dosage.
In the original book, if she didn’t follow the dosage, she would become psychologically depressed, suffer from a high fever, and vomit.
After months of watching Killian not stir, Mrs. Gisela switched gears and started giving him large doses of black magic over a long period of time.
And that’s when Killian was……. nineteen.
He’d gotten off that addictive powder so easily that I’d assumed he was eighteen and hadn’t had it for days.
Nineteen. He was about to reach adulthood, which meant that the original story, set in a world after Killian’s ascension to emperor, would soon unfold.
For some reason, I felt a mixture of confusion and impatience.
The bathroom door opened and a drenched Killian walked out.
He made his way to the couch, dripping with water and unable to hold anything in his empty pupils.
His steps were heavy as if they were going to snuff him out.
He collapsed onto the couch and twisted his head to stare at the ceiling with eyes that had lost all light.
It contained nothing.
Even the despair was gone from his fiery red eyes.
He made sure I was here without a single groan, like a human accustomed to pain, and then he sighed and turned toward the ceiling.
He covered his eyes with the back of his hand.
I looked past him.
Everything around him.
A lump of misery rose to the back of my throat as I looked at Killian with my eyes closed.
He couldn’t believe he’d been eating Lady Gisela’s food for months, and that no one in the imperial household had noticed until this moment of agony.
I shuddered at their indifference.
Could they be human? Are there even any normal humans here?
And what had happened to Killian to make him take all of this so calmly?
Later, when Mrs. Gisela died, no one would ever know of her adultery, and I resented that.
‘He’ll never get hurt.’
‘It won’t happen.’
Killian’s words echoed in my ears as he stroked me in the carriage.
For all his cavalier behavior, at least he wasn’t a bad person to me.
He was the only human being who had ever protected me from a man who could have killed me at any moment.
Even the upstanding Duchsen, portrayed as a saint in the original story, had shied away from me when confronted.
He was my one and only protector, for now.
I searched for a towel to cool Killian’s feverish, ragged breathing, but it didn’t look like it belonged up high.
Grabbing a blanket and climbing up to the table by the window to soak it in a large dish of water was also impossible for my tiny body.
I looked around and saw the chemise he’d put out for me to wear to bed.
‘If you don’t like these, pick another pair and try them on.’
It was Killian who was churning out new chemises every day.
Right now they’re ridiculously large, but…….
but if I put them on, they would shrink to fit my body.
I turned around and pushed them off with my back paws, hoping to get them under the bed first.
Luckily, the smooth silk of the chemise flowed effortlessly and huddled under the bed.
Off the headboard, onto the cushions, and onto the carpet.
I scrabbled with my toenails to get my head into the dropped chemise.
Curiously, each time I put them on, they shrink to fit my body.
All that remained was to carry the now shrunken clothes up to the table by the window.
I grabbed the biggest pair of chemise I could find and climbed the cushions on the carpet, then the chair, then the mountain of cushions, and finally the table.
All the while, the mind of a cat (?) is so shallow.
I was so tired that I forgot to thank him.
I had lost my mouth, my teeth, and my jaw because of my chemise.
It was the crown prince who picked me up. What am I doing?
I told you not to eat it, so why do you eat it?
The complaints poured out as I soaked the chemise in a dish of water.
I shook myself vigorously, shook off the water that soaked my entire body and tried to pop the cheesecakes back into my mouth.
It was impossible to pull the soaked and heavy chemise out at once.
If I pulled them out one by one, I’d have to climb up and down the hill again.
If it happens, I’d be dead before Killian.
An internal scream echoed in my head.
Whether I was in pain or not, he was still lying there, unconscious.
Well, it looks like he’s going to wake up again……. Should I just leave him alone?
Killian rolled over, exhaling in pain.
That guy. Doesn’t he know what he’s doing……?
For the umpteenth time in my life, my eyes fell on a golden vase.
It looked pretty thick and heavy.
I climbed up the three-tiered tray and jumped down to the vase.
As soon as I landed on the vase, the recoil tipped it over and it fell with a thud into the dish of water.
The dish tipped forward, spilling both water and chemise onto the table.
I hopped on the vase and stomped over to the plate, and the cylindrical vase rolled out from under the table.
I kicked the wet chemise out with my back paws onto the carpet.
Catherine, that crazy bitch!
That XX who thinks she’s going to be so powerful with her black magic potion!
You must have a hundred ravenclaws in your head, that X.
The more I struggled, the more my insults toward Mrs. Gisela blossomed like a bouquet of flowers.
After struggling down from the table to the carpet, I wondered how I was going to get the dropped chemise to the couch and decided to use a cylindrical vase.
I dunked the chemise in the vase and rolled it around, which made it much easier to move and I was soon in front of the sofa.
Thanks to Killian’s many cushions on each piece of furniture, we were able to move the chemise after a few trips up and down.
By the fourth climb, all the smaller chemises were on the couch.
I clambered onto Killian’s shoulder with a chemise in my mouth, stepped on his chin, and stopped with an unintentional squeeze of his eyebrows.
I spit the wet chemise on his forehead with all my might.
I pushed it off with my front paw again to spread it out less.
The nape of his neck was already red from the heat.
As if one sheet wasn’t enough, I grabbed another and placed it on his forehead.
Don’t get me wrong I stepped on your face I was just trying to help you.
I looked down at his closed eyelids and tried to figure out what to do, then slid off his face.
After a while, I got the hang of it and developed the skill of asking for two, which made it much easier.
However, I soon ran into a problem.
I had gotten wet from the water on the plate earlier, and the air felt chilly.
I looked out the window and realized it was already night.
I slid off the couch, my muscles tired and slow.
I thought about climbing into bed and pulling the covers over me, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it anymore.
The carpet felt like a swamp around my swollen soles.
My jaw was tingling and my legs were numb.
I fumbled around in the pile of chemises I’d dropped off the bed and couldn’t get to until I found a dress with long arms.
I slipped it on and it snapped into place.
Haha. A cat in a chemise.
It was hard, but it was funny, so I laughed.
I wondered if Killian had asked me to wear it because he wanted to see this ridiculousness.
I walked back over to where Killian was lying and plopped myself down on the cushion under the couch.
I figured it was better to sleep close to him because if he moaned in pain, I’d be able to hear him.
As soon as I lay down, I felt like my body was melting.
* * *
A bright light shimmered across the eyes.
I must have laid down to take a break from nursing Killian…….
I opened my eyes to find Killian lying on the couch.
The low, hushed voice sent a shiver down my spine.
Killian was sprawled out on the carpet, facing me.
I wondered when he’d woken up.
He was lying on the floor, obviously asleep on the couch.
“Did you sleep well?”
His usual clear, laid-back tone flowed from his mouth.
Ha, did you sleep well? How anxious I was last night.
My breath caught in my throat as I looked into his eyes, which had been so empty before.
The red, pomegranate-red pupils of his long eyes glistened in the morning light.
His black hair cascaded down his forehead, his eyes a dull, languid red, his lips redolent of blood.
It was the usual Killian.
Was he okay?
I quickly rushed to Killian’s side and touched his forehead to check for a fever.
Luckily, I didn’t feel the boiling heat of yesterday.
I took a step back and realized Killian was watching me intently.
His eyes lengthened, and his usual arrogance seemed to darken with a mixture of emotions I couldn’t quite place.
“I have something to tell you.”
A thoughtful Killian stroked my hair, breaking the silence.
The silent touch made me feel better, and I closed my eyes and stretched.
Feeling as if the stiffness would blow away with the breeze and my tired body would spread like melted butter on the floor, I kept my eyes closed and waited for him to speak.
“When you fall asleep.”
If I fall asleep?
I opened my eyes, startled by the unexpected topic, and looked up at him.
“You become a person.”
For a moment, time seemed to stop.
“When you fall asleep. You turn into a person.”
He added once more, staring at me.
I stared at him blankly, still in disbelief.
As if gauging my reaction, he calmly added, as if delivering the final blow.
“Without a stitch of thread.”