Amid a life-or-death crisis, is it impossible for me not to sleep at all? Although it seemed like there was not a trace of tension, major events unfolded throughout the day. While others must have been sleepless due to anxiety, I, who had been nestled in my brother’s arms, fell asleep with a pout.

I had intended to sleep for just a moment and wake up, but when I awoke, a single ray of light was seeping into the pit.

“Oh, brother?”

Certainly, I had been in my brother’s arms when I fell asleep, but when I woke up, I was on a haystack. Startled, I jumped to my feet. My brother’s coat, which had covered me, fell to the ground.


Even Ciel, who had always been by my side, was nowhere to be seen. I was so shocked that my eyes widened.

“Brother! Ciel!”

I called out to my brother and Ciel, but no one answered. My whole body shook with the fear and pain of being alone for a moment. The shock of being left in a place that was not even a home paralyzed my rational thinking.

I called out for my Brother and Ciel. Even after calling multiple times and not sensing any response, I bit my lip hard. As the moisture slowly crept into my voice and quivered with fear, I heard the sound of something urgently approaching.


Ciel revealed himself in the darkness and was about to jump into my arms when my brother quickly pushed him aside and changed the landing spot.

“You’re awake now? You must have been surprised.” 

“Oh, where did you go, Brother?”

“Sorry. I went with Ciel to see where this pit leads, and then I hurried back when I heard you calling.”

He must have sprinted here like a maniac because my brother’s heavy breathing made my hair stand on end. My brother, who held me tightly, kept patting my back, reassuring me.

“I was so scared.”

Realizing the pain of being left alone, I clung tightly to my brother. Although he was only thirteen years old, he was like an indispensable oasis in this place.

“It’s okay. Your brother is here.”

To reassure me, my brother whispered for a while and emitted warmth, then smiled broadly after a moment.

“I would have been scared if I were alone, too, but since we have our Rafi, it’s okay, I guess.”


“Yeah. It’s true. Knowing that there’s someone we need to protect makes me feel stronger.”

“Heh, I’m strong too. Brother!”

“Yeah, yeah. Rafi, you’re strong too. Just enduring and not crying in this situation at your age is already impressive.”

With me finding stability by his side, my brother contemplated the passage leading from the pit. He said that the passage continued with a size suitable for people to move through.

It seemed that this place was indeed where the Anti-Imperial Faction had stationed itself.

“I went there with Ciel and came back. I want to keep going, but Rafi, do you want to stay here? If you don’t want to go, I’ll stay here with you.”

I thought for a moment in response to my brother giving me the decision-making power. Rather than waiting for a family who might never come here, it seemed better to take action.

“Let’s go, Brother.”

Until yesterday, we were chased by the Masked Ones, but we couldn’t hear their voices. They had either left this place or were hiding, clearly searching for us.

“But there seem to be quite a few bugs up ahead. Will it be okay? Should I carry you?”

“Uh, if my legs hurt later, then you can carry me.”

“Alright, let’s do that. Shall we go now, Princess?” 

“I’m not a princess. It’s just sister Vina!”

“I don’t know who Sister Vina is, but let’s go. Come on, hold my hand.”

Yesterday, he had shown such aversion, but now I looked at my brother’s hand, which suddenly seemed more mature. I raised my hand to his, which appeared steadier than ever. His hand, though still a bit trembly, entwined with mine.

“Let’s go.”


Relying on the Cat’s Eye fastened to Ciel’s head, we ventured into the darkness, but I wasn’t as scared as I thought I would be. I had my brother by my side, and Ciel in front of me. I missed and wanted to see my father, but at this moment, I kept it to myself. We walked and took short breaks when we got tired. When the stomach clock chimed, we pulled out the roasted glutinous rice cake from the bag and ate it while resting.

We quenched our thirst by sharing one of the bottles of juice that Agape had given me. 

“Brother, have some.”

“I’ve had enough, so Rafi should drink.”

The bottle of juice was still heavy. When I saw the same amount of content as the first time, I knew he was lying in good faith.

“Brother, it’s juice, so it won’t last if we keep it too long.” 

“Huh? Uh, yeah.”

“That’s why you should drink it.”


Since it wasn’t water, the juice wouldn’t last long. I didn’t want to waste it just by keeping it, so I handed the juice bottle back to my brother. Only then did he finally take a sip, and I followed suit.

Although we ate smaller portions than adults would, we tried to consume what we had as sparingly as possible. We didn’t know when we would be leaving this place, so we rationed our supplies.

As we walked, we took breaks when our legs hurt, and when Ciel stopped, we wordlessly embraced each other as if it were natural. We endured the cold together, sharing our warmth.

I never asked when we might be able to leave this place. I had no way of knowing, and I couldn’t expect my brother to know either. Soon, my brother reassured me that we would go out and eat delicious food to our heart’s content. It must have been a way of encouraging me to keep going, even with the tiniest glimmer of hope.

I didn’t know how many days we had been walking in this place. We had no idea where this path led. The only silver lining was that we hadn’t seen any of the snake-like reptiles or venomous insects I had encountered on the first day.

“Should I carry you?” 

“No, Brother, you’re tired.” 

“I’m okay because I’m your brother.”

As my brother leaned forward to offer his back, Ciel, who was in front of us, suddenly started howling, unlike his usual self.

Meow, meow, meow.

We both turned our attention to where Ciel was, following the sound of his urgent cries. Faint light seeped in, and then we heard voices. Just when I was starting to worry if the Masked Ones might be searching for us, familiar voices filled my ears like a spring breeze.

“Find my children right now! If those young ones are still trembling in this treacherous wilderness, I’ll burn this place down!”

“I’ll never see my daughter if I lose my babies. Hurry up and find them!”

“My little angel sister-in-law must be sticking close to her big brother. So, run quickly! Erica and Colin said not to return until we find their sister and aunt!”


* * *


Upon receiving the report of Eugene and Rafi’s disappearance and rushing to where the incident happened, Duke Panteur noticed the carriage that seemed to have been forcibly opened and bit his lip.

“I’m sorry. We couldn’t rescue the young master and the young lady.”

Max, originally a courtier, had only learned swordsmanship for social purposes. That he had survived and managed to make contact was fortunate enough.

“No, it’s not your fault. I know it’s not your fault, but… ugh, this is maddening.”

The absence of the siblings who should have been in this carriage paralyzed Duke Panteur’s thinking. He hadn’t wished for them to get along, but he never expected them to disappear simultaneously.

If he had known, he would have sent knights with them. The face of Duke Panteur, who had never imagined such a situation occurring in his domain, turned pale as he inspected the carriage, listening to Max’s report.

“I should have killed those brats back then.”

When Seraphina went to heaven, he should have gone to the palace and massacred the nobility and the regency. It never occurred to him that sparing them would lead to such a disaster.

“They had their faces covered with masks, but they had the skills of knights.”

“How foolish! For an incident like this, we should have sent assassins instead of knights. Those who receive such a stupid order are also pitiful.”

It was midnight, but Duke Panteur instructed the knights to thoroughly search the surroundings with the help of the Cat’s Eye. Not knowing where the children had gone, the despairing Duke Panteur was on the verge of sitting down right there.

But he couldn’t collapse like this. Even if he did, it would only be possible after finding all the children.

“Immediately contact the northern and southern regions.”

It was midnight, so those who received the message were likely to relay it only by the next morning. However, Duke Panteur was too anxious to wait and had them contacted in advance.

“What’s the probability of the children suddenly disappearing like this? How could the children…”

“They may have torn apart a magic scroll.”


Duke Panteur immediately lowered his head upon seeing Duke Tigris, who he had assumed wouldn’t come here at this hour.

“I gave Rafi various items just in case, and among them was a warp scroll. She might have torn it when trying to hold them back.”

“In that case…”

“They probably didn’t move too far. You need a sufficient amount of mana to move a long distance, and our little angel’s mana is probably minuscule, so she likely moved somewhere nearby.”

A familiar voice interrupted them from behind. He turned around to find Jerome, leading his knights, seemingly using a warp gate to arrive.

“Thank you so much for coming all the way here, Father, and thank you too.”

“There’s much to be thankful for. I naturally came to find my children.”

“Father, we need to find our little angel and Eugene as soon as possible. We received a message at night and were chased away by Erica and Colin, who told us not to come home until we found them.”

Jerome, who grumbled about being chased away from his own home, fixed his expression and gathered his knights to search for Rafi and Eugene.

“If it were in the beginning, we could have roughly detected where Rafi’s mana moved through the warp scroll connection. But now, we can’t know. So, we have to confront it ourselves.”

Naturally, the command fell to Duke Panteur. He ordered Max and the injured knights to receive treatment first and then began searching systematically from the nearby areas.

“Looking at the curriculum, Eugene hasn’t received any survival-related training yet. So, we need to find him as soon as possible.”

“I know that too.”

Kai’s words made it seem like Duke Panteur might lose his sanity at any moment. He couldn’t afford to lose the two children Seraphina had given birth to. He had to find them, no matter what it took.

“They probably withdrew early. So, it’s better to focus on finding my brother-in-law and sister-in-law rather than their tracks.”

If those scoundrels had even a shred of sanity, they would have run away when they realized that Duke Panteur was coming for them.

“Ugh, I’ll search this area. Father, please take care of that side. And you…”

The three of them divided the tasks and set off with search parties to find the children.

“Rafi, Eugene! Where are you?”

He kept shouting until his throat was sore and his voice could barely come out, but the children didn’t appear. How many days had passed? Panting heavily and with a swollen throat, Duke Panteur continued to shout without pause.

“We couldn’t find them on our side. Let’s try searching that side now.”

Four days had already passed. What were the chances of the children surviving in the wilderness for four days? Even thinking about it sent shivers down his spine.

“Seraphina… no. Even if you’re lonely, you can’t take the kids now. Take me instead. Please…….”

Seeing Duke Panteur, tears welling up in his eyes, Duke Tigris comforted him by patting his shoulder.

“Let’s gather our strength one last time.”

Jerome, who had been scolded by Erica and Colin through the communication stones, clenched both his fists. They hadn’t been able to properly wash or sleep, but they were giving their all to find the children.

The morning search yielded no results. Duke Panteur, feeling guilty about even eating lunch when the children might be starving, consoled the search team members.

As they encouraged each other and took a brief rest before resuming the search, they heard a strange sound.


Hearing the sound of a cat accompanying Rafi, they turned their gaze in that direction.

Hidden behind leaves and rocks on a small hillock, a voice they longed for and missed so much trembled in excitement.

“Father, Grandfather, Brother-in-law!”


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