Because she loved you.
The poison was stronger than expected.
My body stiffened and my vision blurred.
No, not because of the poison, but because of the cold?
At least my body was frozen, so I didn’t feel any pain.
Maybe it was because my mind was weakening, but I kept thinking about the old days.
I had never been like this in my previous life.
There was a time when I waited endlessly for someone, expecting someone who used me and abandoned me.
In divorce court, my parents fought fiercely to have me.
It was a tough fight that lasted 9 months.
After winning the custody battle, my father held my hand.
I can still clearly see the father who was elated as if he had won the lottery.
After the trial, I thought I would return to a normal, ordinary house.
But on the day of the trial, instead of returning home, Dad left me at my grandmother’s house.
He didn’t come back.
All I could hear was that he had remarried a few months later.
When the long and long dispute ended, my parents turned off their attention to me as if I had never existed.
Custody was just a battle to bring the property to its advantage.
I was left unchecked.
That was the reason I didn’t like ‘The Duke Who Drinks Blood’ well.
Because, dimly, I realized that my life was nothing but extras.
I couldn’t handle characters who were exploited, used, and easily forgotten.
Still, reincarnated, I thought I was going to live a decent life now.
The hospitality here was no different.
I am destined to repeat the life of waiting for someone, being abandoned, and being frustrated all my life.
Besides, Leonie’s body is too fragile.
It looked like it would crumble if I moved a little.
It was also because she was quick to bleed, but he seemed to have been naturally weak.
As a result of living with her body for a few days, it was not simply a problem caused by a lack of nutrition or blood donation.
The basic stamina given was just too weak.
Her skin was so fragile that even if someone grabbed her wrist, it easily became bruised.
It was only after possessing her body that I realized what a blessing it was to be born into a strong body.
I’m at a loss.
How am I going to live with this body?
I don’t know if I can survive now.
Did he arrive safely? He must have sent reinforcements by now.
What decision would he make if he couldn’t come back?
Will you be back though? No, are you going to throw me away?
My mind was complicated.
Negative thoughts crept in.
The Duke still needs me.
I’m still worth it to him.
Get your head right, Leonie.
You’re the only one who can save yourself in this crazy prologue.
As she dozed off, she raised her right hand and slapped her cheek.
There was not even pain in her frozen cheek.
My tired eyelids grew heavy and drowsiness set in.
‘I can’t sleep.
Maybe that wolf is waiting for me to sleep to make hunting easier.’
I thought so, but I couldn’t help but fall asleep slowly.
I closed my eyes.
The past that had been put in the other side of my memory came to mind one by one.
In fact, it was not the first time I saw him that he failed to play hide and seek.
My friend woke me up from sleeping on my desk.
The book handed to me by a friend was thick because it was bound in hardcover.
When I flipped the cover, I could see his face without going a few pages.
Next to him was a woman’s line.
The first and last name of a woman who had been killed by a loved one was spat out instead of a polite address.
Words were spoken like a will, only before she died after giving up all her positions.
Yeah, that’s what the name is…
I whispered his name with my frozen lips for the last time.
And I closed my eyes.
I opened my eyes to a familiar voice.
A large wolf was sticking its nose in front of me.
Now, wolves can even imitate human voices.
I woke up.
I fumbled next to myself in amazement.
There must still be branches piled up next to it as firewood.
However, no matter how much she stirred the place next to her, she could not catch the branch she had picked up before.
A cold sweat broke out.
“Leoni, wake up!”
At those words, the blurry front began to appear gradually.
The shape that looked like a wolf gradually became clearer.
The elongated nose returns, and the eyes of the wolf, which seemed to be harsh, gradually return to the man.
It was Deon.
He clasped my cheek in both hands.
The temperature warmed my cheeks.
He blew his breath into my hand.
With a very desperate look.
The mouth, which had always been expressionless, was twisted.
It was a look I’d never seen before.
After confirming that I had opened my eyes, he bent over and hugged me tightly.
Then he buried his face around her neck and inhaled heavily (then tilted his face toward the nape of her neck and inhaled deeply).
The sound of heavy breathing rang in my ears.
A languid breath spreads across the nape of my neck.
I let out a sigh of relief along with him.
White breath came out in the form of fog and scattered in the air.
“It’s here! The Duke and the young lady are here!”
I thought it might be a dream, but I heard the voices of soldiers in the distance.
People from the duchy filled the entrance, holding torches in one hand and daggers in the other.
I let out a short breath.
When the tension is relieved, I feel sleepy.
I sighed and closed my eyes.
Even with my eyes closed, I could clearly feel his warmth as he hugged me.
My prologue isn’t over yet.
I coughed dryly and sat down against the bed.
After returning to the duchy, I had to lie down still for ten days.
Although it was a minor problem that touched the lungs, the whole body was in a bad condition due to the cold and the wounds on the arms.
The red hair, which had been trimmed with effort, was also cut off in the wind of the harsh north.
“We’ve neutralized the poison, but we can’t help the lung damage.”
The doctor who was checking the pulse said.
“… Are you saying it’s a time limit?”
He jumped up at my calm words.
“It’s not that! There may be times when it’s just hard to breathe, if you walk for a long time or do strenuous exercise, never run or overdo it.
I have already told the duke, so he will pay attention to the young lady’s health.”
Somehow, it felt like I was a few steps away from escape.
I only realized this after coming back.
As expected, without the stone of warmth, it was impossible to leave the duchy.
The harsh cold was worse than expected.
I returned to the guest room after a week.
Tears welled up in Suren’s eyes.
At the bedside was a rare flower in a ducal family.
The white flower was filled with water, as if it had frosted at dawn.
“Lady, I almost got kicked out again.”
Suren held onto the sick me and wept bitterly.
The corners of her eyes were red.
The wound on my arm hurt again, and I barely pushed her away.
“When I’m gone, you can have a better master.”
“Don’t say that.”
Suren blew her nose and said.
“I actually thought that the lady had run away.
The duke, who came back in the middle of the night, looks very urgent, and his complexion is pale.
While the lady was in the cave, the duke’s castle turned upside down.
Looking for you.”
Suren murmured as she watered the vase.
“Young lady, who wants to wait, was not there.
The ground is full of wolf tracks.
If there were torn clothes or bloodstains around, they would have given up earlier.
Everyone was exhausted and was about to give up, but the duke suddenly climbed the mountain, as if he had a feeling, and you were the cave!”
Suren slapped his palms together.
“They hurried in because there was a sign that the fire was turned off.
The young lady was there.
When they shook you, your head dropped… It was like a scene from a tragic play.”
Tears filled her eyes.
Suren chattered incessantly as if she were present at the scene.
“I heard the young lady’s head falling helplessly.
Oh, of course, not me, but the Duke.
I thought you were dead.
I thought we would all die because we couldn’t take care of the young lady properly, but His Highness said.”
Suren cleared her voice and said.
Suren was talking like a one-man show.
Although she had to stop her chatter as she was pushed by the medics who came after her.
My story spread well among the Knights.
It seemed that she was rumored to be a brave young lady who made a firm decision for the wounded soldiers.
I felt a little guilty.
To be precise, it was more of a decision for the Duke’s safe end of the prologue and for Leoni’s petty-citizen life.
“But what is all this?”
In one corner of the guest room, an armful of firewood was piled up to last for several years.
The firewood was carved into small pieces to fit into the fireplace.
“The Duke gave us firewood.
Don’t catch a cold again.”
That’s very thoughtful, isn’t it?
After saying that, Suren placed a cold towel on her forehead.
Suren continued to talk at length about how friendly the duke was, but I thought of one thing as I looked at the pile of wood.
If Suren or the Duke found out, they would be terrified.
‘Oh, I’m going to make scarecrow arms with this.’
The maids changed my clothes, but fortunately, the map in my pocket was not found.
I took out a map that was quietly stored in my folded clothes.
I was glad I found the map before washing it.
‘If the snow gets on it, the painting will definitely be smeared… The map should be hidden inside.’
Looking for a place to hide the map, I opened the drawer by the window.
Something was pushed into the drawer and fell.
I recognized it at a glance.
A bracelet tied with small stones and transparent green emeralds engraved with the patterns of dukes and barons.
It’s a bracelet made by Leoni.
Thinking of Deon.
Is it a love letter that couldn’t be delivered?
I turned the bracelet that was tangled together.
The two stones facing each other without reaching each other were like Leonie’s heart.
I went out to the garden to get some sun.
In the garden, Viter and Deon were having a conversation.
The two met eyes.
Bitter, who ran fast, stood in front of me.
“How can a person be so reckless?” “Why did you come out here when you haven’t warmed up yet?”
After choosing his words for a while, Viter suddenly got angry.
“Although things went well, the Young Lady’s body is not the only one that belongs to the Young Lady.
Without blood, the power of His highness is at stake and the safety of the Duchy is also threatened.
Where’s that principleist going? I heard that if something big happens, you will have camaraderie, but this guy must be a cold-blooded person who does not correspond to it.
His nagging was colder than the northern weather.
In fact, it’s your fault that I ended up there!
“Don’t do that again.
I won’t even listen to you.”
He let out a deep sigh.
“Young lady… the result of the failure of a successor who once challenged the throne to usurp the throne is not just a setback.
Honestly, I don’t like it, but…While the lady is at the duke’s residence, we’re on the same boat.”
Viter barely even uttered the word ‘one boat’.
Whether there is
Please, let me stay on that boat for a long time.
It’s not the case to throw it into the sea before you even set off because you don’t need it.
Deon suddenly interrupted as she let his words flow through one ear.
“Viter, stop it.
The young lady’s body hasn’t recovered yet.”
“… I will leave, Your Highness.”
Viter disappeared, and Deon and I were left alone in the garden.
Deon, who had been looking at me for a while, spoke up.
“… Are you feeling well? Where is it inconvenient?”
“Except for the strain on my lungs, they say I’m fine.”
He asked again and again what he had already heard from the doctor.
“From now on…”
After a long pause, he said:
“Just think of yourself.
I won’t leave you, either.”
“It was a hasty decision.
The tense situation clouded my judgment.
Normally, I would never have left anyone.”
I pulled the corner of my mouth up and smiled.
It was understandable to say such a thing.
It was a medicine brought to the ducal family at a high price.
To die without completing her bloody mission was a great loss and neglect of duty to him.
He stopped and said.
“Only… I’m not talking about blood.
I don’t want anyone to die on my estate.
I will never miss it again.”
If new blood appears, you will kill me without remorse.
To bury me in this garden.
As if he heard my thoughts, he brushed my cheek with the back of his hand.
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