Chapter 19.
If you touch it…


“My lord, the documents you need to look at right now are….”

“Shh!”

Opening the door and entering the room, Pavel, who had spoken up, went muted at Altair’s gesture.

Altair was sitting leaning against the head of his bed with a bandage wrapped around his body, and Nadia was lying on her stomach in an uncomfortable position next to him.
She seemed to have fallen asleep while nursing Altair in the chair next to the edge of the bed.

Altair didn’t even look at Pavel, his eyes were fixed on Nadia, stroking her hair that was strewn across the bed.

Pavel swallowed his saliva, feeling a strange tension at the scene that seemed not that much of a big deal.

Should he go inside or should he just go back?

Seeing Pavel held onto the door hesitantly, Altair lightly clicked his tongue and silently sent his aid a gaze, signaling him to come in.

“You, don’t open the door so recklessly.
It’s not even my own room.”

“I don’t do that when I visit the Madame.
It’s just because the lord is here.
You can notice my presence even in your sleep.”

Embarrassed for some reason, Pavel cleared his throat and stepped inside.

“The Madame must be very tired.”

“Well… she has been busy nursing me for a few days.”

“You know all that, and yet you still act like this?”

Pavel squinted his eyes at Altair’s wound, meticulously wrapped with bandages.

Altair lived with injuries big and small.
Of course, the injury this time was quite serious, but it wasn’t to the extent that he couldn’t get out of bed for days.

Considering Altair’s usual resilience, he would already be running around the training ground and swinging his sword.

But this time…

Pavel’s gaze moved to the sleeping Nadia.
After the lovely mistress appeared in the gloomy achromatic Aylesford, the lord, who was once stiff and cold, seemed to be changing little by little.

“I just wanted to take a break this time.
Dealing with the dragon was truly exhausting no matter how much strength I have.”

Altair grumbled and made excuses, but failed anyway, since he was very bad at lying.
It wasn’t an excuse that would work for Pavel.

“What are you so embarrassed about? Taking a rest is a good thing.
It’s just that you never listened to me when I told you to rest, and then you suddenly do this, so I just couldn’t get used to it.”

“…Anyway, why did you show up with a bunch of papers?”

“That means it is urgent.
From the mine development to Count Gallard’s protest… These are the documents you must see.”

“Count Gallard?”

Altair, who was not really taking Pavel’s words seriously, frowned and gestured for him to hand over the documents.

Altair easily found a piece of paper with Count Gallard’s handwriting inscribed on it from the stack of papers Pavel gave him.


“The Count wants us to pay for insulting him? The price is a partial stake in the mine?”

“It’s nonsense.
But Count Gallard is quite influential in the East… so it’s been quite a headache.”

“He’s quite good at barking considering how he ran away shivering just a few days ago.”

“Even though he is a coward, a count is still a count.
The title is absolute.
I was relieved with what happened that day, but now that we have something to protect, I think it’s better to be more careful about our actions than before.”

“Something to protect…”

The reason Altair was able to recklessly rampage all around so far was that he had nothing to lose anyway.
Thanks to this, he was able to stand above many people.

But now, Altair had had something to protect.

For example, like this person who took really good care of me and fell asleep exhausted.

Altair looked at Nadia with mixed feelings.

He did not know that a situation such as this would come when he said he would bring in a wife to get an heir.

Perhaps it was because of the prejudice that girls from the capital would be coy and haughty, but he thought it would be an obligatory and formal marital relationship.

However, the woman who came to Aylesford as his wife was so different from what he had thought…

“Umm…”

Altair’s shoulders flinched as Nadia tossed and turned, probably because the sleeping position was uncomfortable.

Pavel swallowed a laugh at the sight.
Altair, who has lived without a moment of hesitation in his life, was restless at the toss and turn of a small woman who could easily be overpowered by him if he wanted.

Well, isn’t it a good change?

Seeing Altair throw himself into dangerous situations without hesitation, he had become anxious many times as his subordinate.
At least now his lord had had a minimum braking system.

“Ignore Count Gallard’s letter of protest.
He just has ways with words, but he doesn’t have the courage to take action.
And about the mine development…”

Altair muffled at the end of his words as he carefully slid out of bed.

The feeling of being taken care of wasn’t too bad, so he refused to leave the bed for days, but he couldn’t be lazy any longer as he had things to do.

Besides, she seems to be at her limit already.

Altair picked up Nadia, who was sleeping uncomfortably, and laid her down where he was lying a little while ago.

Perhaps she liked the cozy bed, Nadia burrowed into the warm blanket even in her sleep.

I can’t make her go through more hardships just to have her treat me nicely… Huh?

As Altair carefully covered her with the blanket, he frowned at the handprints left clearly on Nadia’s wrist.
Nadia said it was no big deal, but it looked like she still ended up with a bruise.

Altair, lost in thought for a moment, straightened his posture and quickly left the room.
Pavel hurriedly followed him.


“…Pavel.”

“Yes.”

“I’ve changed my mind.
I think I need to properly crush Count Gallard.
That way, he will never do something like this again.”

“But he is a Count… What are you going to do?”

“Don’t worry.
I have something in mind.
And…”

“Yes?”

“Get an ointment that works well for bruises.”

“Sorry?”

Pavel, who was nervous at the serious conversation and had been waiting for him to continue, was left dazed.
But Altair’s expression remained solemn.

“Not the cheap ointment used by the knights, get something decent, understood?”

❈❈❈

It smells good…

She smiled happily as she buried herself in the pleasant coziness, but soon opened her eyes when she realised something was not right.

Cozy bed.
Serene atmosphere.
A dark room.

Ugh! When did it turn out like this?

She desperately searched for memories.
She remembered soaking a towel in warm water and wiping Altair’s face, then taking a breather on a chair nearby for a while, but her memories after that were completely blank.

Besides, when did I get in bed again?!

She hurriedly got off the bed thinking that she had taken the patient’s place, but Altair was nowhere to be seen.

She was dazed, not knowing what was going on, when the door opened just in time.
As she turned her head, Altair was seen about to step inside but halted as soon as his eyes met hers.

“Uh…”

“Are you going to kick me out for not knocking?”

“Oh no! I just wondered if it’s okay for you to walk around like that…Does your wound not hurt anymore? No blood coming out? The doctor said you might have a fever.
He also said you would need to take antipyretics if that’s the case.”

She cautiously approached Altair, intending to look at his abdomen.
As she hesitated because she couldn’t see the wound properly from him wearing a top, Altair let out a sigh and pulled the top up.

“I’m fine.
I don’t even need a bandage anymore.”

It was as Altair said.
The bandage that had meticulously compressed his wound had already disappeared.
It was hard to believe that the wound had healed this much in just a few days.

“Because of my aura, I recover faster than normal people.
So you don’t have to worry.”

So that’s how it is!


Now she could understand why the doctor and other people were so unconcerned with the big wound.

“…”

“…”

After the short conversation, they ran out of things to say.
Altair and Nadia kept their mouths shut and continued their strange confrontation in front of the door.

“Uh…”

Thankfully, it was Altair who spoke first.

“I brought ointment.”

“Ointment?”

Instead of answering, Altair handed her the bag he was holding.
Looking inside, as he said, there was ointment in a large glass bottle.

Ah! Is it medicine for wounds?

Although his wound had healed, he would still have to take care of it for a while.

“I’ll apply it!”

“…What?”

“It would be inconvenient to apply it on your own anyway, so please take off your top and lie down on the bed, I will apply it!”

Her eyes lit up with joy at the thought that she had found something to do as the wife, and Altair’s mouth was left halfway open, at a loss for words.

I guess I’m not that trustworthy to him after all, huh?

She felt like her shoulders would droop, but she decided not to give up.
Were she to give up easily on things like these, she could not be called his wife.

“I can do it! I’ll apply it carefully so that it doesn’t hurt.”

“…”

“Are you still worried? Sure I’m clumsy, but I can still do well…”

Though she might still be lacking, she worked hard to take care of Altair for the past few days, but was it still difficult to earn his trust with that alone?

This time she couldn’t help but lower her head sadly.
Then Altair’s voice was heard from above her head with a groan.

“So…I just need to lie down on the bed? And take off my clothes?”

Nadia raised her head at the positive answer and saw Altair walking towards the bed in abnormal patterns.
Seeing him walk around like that, it seemed the wound had healed, but wasn’t completely better.

That’s why applying medicine is very important!

She hurriedly approached the bed with even more enthusiasm.
Promptly, Altair hesitantly took off his jacket and carefully lay down on the bed.

As she sat on the bed and opened the lid, the unique smell of the medicine tickled her nose.


She took some of the ointment onto her hand and carefully spread it around the wound.
Unlike when she touched her soft skin, something hard was felt on her fingertips.

It feels weird.

But it wasn’t the time to be thinking about that.
Every time her hand touched his abdomen, Altair flinched and shuddered.
At that, Nadia thought he was in a lot of pain.

What should I do….

She tried to move her hand a little more carefully to avoid irritating the wound, but Altair’s trembling didn’t improve much.
His face was red from how painful it was.

“Uh… I think we can stop now.”

The moment she met Altair’s eyes, he reached out his hand to stop her from applying more medicine.

“Yes? But I still need to apply a little more.”

“It’s fine.
It’s really fine, so I don’t think you should do it anymore.”

As she blinked blankly, not knowing why, Altair bit his lip and lightly pulled her wrist.

“You have applied it to my wound, so I will put it on yours too.”

“I’m not hurt though.”

“It left marks on your wrist.”

“If I leave it alone, it will go away.
Besides, the medicine isn’t even prescribed for me…”

“It’s a medicine that can be used anywhere.
This will work too.”

“Pardon? Are there magical medicines like that in the East?”

Wow.
That’s miraculous.

As she stared at the glass bottle curiously, Altair began to apply ointment to her wrist.
His large hands felt rough, but his touches were soft.

“Pft!”

She burst out laughing at the ticklish sensation.

Perhaps, feeling like it was a mockery, Altair stopped.
And the moment she hurriedly raised her head to explain, Altair’face filled her vision, inches away from hers.

Why is he so close…?

They were so close that they could feel each other’s breath on their skin.
As soon as she realised that, her heart started pounding like crazy.

She did not know exactly why her heart felt like about to explode, but one thing’s for sure…

It’s not because I’m afraid!

To her, Altair at that very moment was not scary at all.

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