For a long time, Calix looked down at Regina, who was sleeping without moving a muscle.
It still felt like a dream—being able to find her.
This was what he had been hoping for the past five years, but now he felt nervous because this reality didn’t feel real.
If this was all just dream, he hoped that he would never wake up.
He’d rather die while in a sweet nightmare like this.
‘I will greet a nightmare like this with a smile over and over again…’
At that moment, there was a faint knock coming from the door, awakening Calix from his thoughts.
The knock was quiet, as though the person on the other side of the door was being considerate of the person sleeping.
Calix looked at Regina’s face one more time before getting up to greet the visitor himself.
The person who entered was one of the knights of Duke Hertrio.
“Did you bring it?”
I was able to find the healer’s house quickly by asking the villagers.”
Calix took what Ishar had brought.
“As you had ordered, I brought all of her personal belongings aside from her clothes.
There wasn’t that much, but…”
At a voice that seemed to have more to say, Calix raised his head, shifting his attention from the belongings to the knight.
There seemed to be a hint of hesitation in the knight’s voice.
“What is it?”
“…Among the trash that was put out to be thrown away, there was hair dye.”
At that moment, Calix could clearly feel the joy bursting out from his body.
I understand it was rude to look through the lady’s trash, but my lord had ordered to not miss even a single hair and look through everything…”
Calix hastily interrupted Ishar.
He turned around with her belongings before calling for Ishar, remembering that there was something else he wanted to say.
Ishar bowed his head in response.
“Yes, my lord.”
“Tomorrow morning, as soon as the sun rises, we’ll be leaving.
“…The carriage will only be taken for half of the journey.
As soon as we arrive at Pensir, we’ll transfer to the train, so be aware.
Relay this information to the rest of the knights as well.”
“You mean you’ll be taking the train at Pensir?”
Ishar asked back, trying to confirm whether what he just heard was what was really being said.
He continued with a questioning tone.
“Don’t you know that if you take the train from Pensir to Hertrio, you’ll have to turn around before actually reaching your destination? How come…”
“I’ve changed my mind.
The carriage will be left to the knights, so go to Hertrio first.”
Though Ishar felt differently about this matter on the inside, he did not express any disagreement on the outside and bowed his head.
All of the vassals of the duke knew that their young lord hated looking at the sea.
On more than one occasion, he had refused invitations from the imperial palace, citing that between the capital, where the palace was located, and Hertrio, there was a road that went along the coast.
Apparently, the duke’s patience seemed to have reached its end, and he was now going to take a train that was going to run inland, out of sight from the sea.
Ishar made sense of the situation in his own way.
Then, without realizing it, he glanced sideways at the dark-haired girl, who could be seen through the door.
He couldn’t stop his curious gaze that was travelling to her face.
He didn’t realize before that she was the owner of the belongings that he’d been searching through the trash for.
It was the first time that his master had brought a woman into his room.
Ishar couldn’t believe that his lord brought a woman that he met for the first time today into such a space, especially when there’s been no previous connection.
Calix, who saw Ishar’s gaze go to Regina, turned slightly and blocked Ishar’s gaze.
Ishar, who realized that he had been caught, bowed his head in embarrassment.
“She’ll be coming with me, too.”
Without any warning, Calix had blurted those words out.
Ishar looked at him with a startled look for a moment before quickly bowing his head again, answering, “Yes.”
He should have vaguely expected this from the moment he was ordered to bring back all of the belongings from the lady’s house.
He just hoped that this time, his lord would be able to escape his long solitude.
After Ishar had left, Calix returned to the chair beside the bed and looked through Regina’s belongings.
After bringing Regina with him, he secretly ordered Ishar to bring all of the belongings from the healer’s house in the neighbouring village.
There was nothing special in the things Ishar had brought back.
There were only simple things, as they had been retrieved from a house where a woman lived alone.
There were a few books on magic, miscellaneous trinkets here and there, and a handful of valuables.
And a loaded pistol.
That was nothing special, too.
There was something else that was more important than that.
Calix pushed all of Regina’s belongings aside and became lost in thought.
He could tell what colour it was without needing to ask.
Calix looked at her pitch-dark black hair.
Her coral-coloured hair, which shone every time the sunlight illuminated her hair, was nowhere to be found.
But from the moment he first saw her again, he knew that she was the Regina he had been looking for.
Nevertheless, it was inevitable that there was still some anxiety in his mind.
What if this person wasn’t Regina? What if this person wasn’t Rena?
But now there was unmistakable evidence, and all he’d have to do is take her back with a light heart.
If he took her back to his estate and kept her hidden so well that no one would be able to see her, it would be fine.
But why was he feeling so anxious even though he knew this fact well? It felt as though he was deceiving the Grim Reaper by pulling wool over its eyes and forcibly fulfilling his own desires.
Calix bowed his head over Regina’s face, who was sleeping on the bed.
Regina was laying on her side, fast asleep.
When he first saw her again, she pretended not to know who he was and was on edge because of that, but as soon as she decided to come along with him, she quickly fell asleep with a relaxed face, like that of a kitten’s.
“…Should I take you away now?”
If he decided to do so, he could be able to find a piece of land where two people could live without any difficulty.
Yes, if it could only be two of them together…
But that couldn’t happen.
Regina had to go to Hertrio, and eventually back to Troxia.
Calix climbed onto the bed and gently raised Regina’s head and pulled out the pillow from underneath her.
He then quickly put his arm in the spot the pillow formerly occupied.
Following that, he wrapped his other arm around Regina’s shoulder and hugged her closely.
He wanted to feel her breath closer to him.
Regina, who was slightly disturbed in her sleep, frowned and made a murmuring sound, but Calix was even pleased with that.
How many times has he dreamed that he could only hug a cold body, one that couldn’t give him an answer when he was begging her not to be dead? If he could, he wanted to take in all her breaths.
The person in question had a comforting warmth, proving that she was alive.
It was also clear that her chest went up and down regularly with each breath.
Nevertheless, Calix, unable to resist the rising anxiety, tightened his hold on Regina, embracing her.
He didn’t want her to be taken away by anyone.
Even if it was Regina herself who was taking her away from him.
With his lips buried in Regina’s hair, Calix quietly opened his mouth.
“If you want to forget everything and pretend you don’t know, I’ll gladly follow your lead.”
“Well, it’s great in its own way.
When else would I be able to marry you, right? When we were younger, I had proposed to you but you rejected me.
I was serious back then… haha.”
Regina did not give him a reply.
Knowing that she was asleep, Calix glanced down at her face for no particular reason.
He was scared for a moment at the sight of her eyes closed quietly, and he could not find any peace until he heard the sounds of her breathing regularly.
“When I get back, I’ll start preparing your room first.”
It was easy to imagine Regina there, living with him in his estate.
He’s pictured that scene countless times over the past 5 years, after all.
But the difference is that this time, instead of it being his imagination, she would be there next to him, alive and well, and knowing that filled Calix with a sense of fulfillment.
With deep satisfaction Calix closed his eyes, hugging her as she was.
Calix Axel Hertrio first met Regina Rohelo Troxia in the year he turned 12.
A letter came in a few days after his parents’ funeral.
The sender was someone he knew.
The Count of Troxia.
He had come to Calix’s parents’ funeral and greeted him.
When the previous Duke and his wife asked their son to visit the county of Troxia sometime in the near future, Calix quickly set off on a journey without much consideration.
It wasn’t because he was curious about what his parents had asked him to do; It was just because he didn’t want to think and worry about anything in the face of an unfamiliar concept of death.
At the end of his journey, he met a girl who seemed disinterested in all that was going on in the world.
Her bored eyes held nothing in them as she stared off into the distance.
‘Regina, this is Lord Hertrio.’
Regina’s head turned around at the words of Count Troxia.
She blinked, and at that moment, Regina’s eyes reflected Calix.
Her dull eyes sparkled with life.
It was as though she had known about him all this time.
And she opened her mouth.
‘You’re Calix Axel Hertrio.
Life has become very tiring for both you and me.’
For Calix, there had never been a more intense first meeting.
There wouldn’t be anything like that in the future.
Regina Rohelo Troxia.
That name was immediately imprinted into Calix’s head.
As soon as I woke up the next day, I realized something was wrong.
I was in someone’s arms.
A firm arm was wrapped around me.
I must have gone to bed alone last night.
When I slowly looked up, my eyes met with blue eyes looking down at me.
Calix’s eyes narrowed gently.
He had a low voice in the morning.
“Did you sleep well, honey?”
At that pet name, yesterday’s events quickly flashed through my mind.
I finished remembering and analyzing the situation in 0.1 seconds.
His absurd lie, claiming that we were married.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that what Calix is doing made sense to me.
‘Has he really gone crazy?’
Is he determined to continue this ridiculous play?
Regardless of this absurd situation, I had no intention of losing, so I looked up at him and smiled.
“I slept well.
Honey, did you sleep well?”
Unlike his nonchalant countenance, I could see that Calix’s ears were red.
I got out of bed, internally celebrating with a snort of victory.
Calix then rose from the bed and opened his mouth.
“As soon as we eat breakfast, we’ll leave.
I’ve already informed the knights.”
“Before that, I want to go home and get my belongings.”
“You don’t have to.
I’ve already sent my knights to get your belongings.”
“You brought it here?”
I looked back at him in amazement.
Calix was pointing to my belongings, currently placed on the bedside table.
I immediately recognized my belongings in the large bag.
Small valuables and personal items, books, and so forth.
Fortunately, there was no hair dye in that bag.
Thankfully, I used up all of the hair dye I had bought a week ago and threw it away into the trash.
“…You didn’t bring my clothes?”
“When we arrive at the estate, you will be bought new clothes.”
“What will I wear on the way?”
“You can buy clothes on the way.
I’ve already prepared a simple outfit.”
What the hell did he do while I was sleeping last night?
I nodded, tongue in cheek at his immense power, which I had realized the scale of again just now.
“Wash up and come out.
I’ll be waiting on the first floor.”
Calix, who had finished speaking, left the room.
When I entered the bathroom attached to the room, I saw neatly folded clothes.
There, I caught a glimpse of Calix’s sword-like personality.
“You must really mean it.”
Somehow I felt like I had crossed a river that didn’t have a way for me to return back.
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