Home Post 1249-chapter-113


Jiwoo inadvertently reached out to touch the oppressive magic on his shoulder and forehead.


Just the touch of Akarna’s hand was enough to purify and dissipate the magic.

The Second Prince clenched her hand that was touching him. He grasped it tightly like a lifeline, and brought Jiwoo’s hand to his cheek.

Then his lips parted, and a low, hoarse voice emerged.

“Haa… Akarna…”

His voice sounded desperate and earnest. Jiwoo’s hand trembled slightly at the touch.

Her slight movement caused his closed eyes to open, revealing the deep orbs that seemed to contain a long period of time. His gaze, that was as hot as lava, lingered intensely on her. He looked at Jiwoo without any hesitation as if fearing she might disappear from his sight.

Jiwoo felt increasingly embarrassed under his gaze and called out the name he had taught her.



Surprised as if woken from a dream of falling off a cliff, he abruptly released Jiwoo’s hand, which he had been holding tightly, and stood up quickly.

In his confusion, he saw Jiwoo’s hand still hanging in the air and his eyes shook wildly.

“Ah… I’m sorry. That was…”

Unable to finish his sentence properly, he hastily left the scene. Watching his retreating back, Jiwoo idly touched her wrist where his hand and cheek had been, feeling a lingering warmth.

* * *

For some urgent reason, the carriage continued without pause, arriving at a large castle by dawn.

Compared to the luxurious and splendid castles of the imperial capital or the serene beauty of the clean temples, this castle looked infinitely more modest. However, the rugged but fortress-like grandeur of the castle suited the harsh northern lands well.

She had come under the impression that there would be special casualties to attend to, but no such individuals could be seen. The castle was relatively warm and well-organized for the North.

Grand Duke Neseph Leveion ordered Akarna and the knights to standby.

“Standby, you say? But we…”

The party looked around in confusion. The Second Prince, who had been standing by, casually said.

“I believe the mission duration was said to be about two months.”

“Yes, but… If there’s no immediate task, we thought to survey the land and then return…”

“Who said there’s no immediate task? There might have casualties soon, so be ready at all times. And…”

Prince Aleph’s demeanor had become familiar by now. Though he avoided eye contact, he was clearly conscious of Jiwoo’s presence. He addressed her indirectly this time.

“It would be good for Akarna to learn the language here while on standby.”

“What? But getting close to Akarna is…”

“It’s not you knights who will be teaching. It’ll be someone not from the temple, so there shouldn’t be a problem, right?”

The knights looked at each other, puzzled, but couldn’t come up with a counterargument.

“Well, that is true but…”

The knights were often lost in unexpected situations as they were used to the strict disciplines of the temple.

“Is there a reason Akarna shouldn’t learn the language?”

“No, not at all! It would be an honor for us if Akarna could learn the language of the mortal world.”

In fact, some were puzzled why the temple hadn’t made any effort to teach Akarna the local language, knowing that it would be inconvenient for her.

Eventually, they had to agree with the prince’s suggestion.

The knights were shown to their rooms by the castle’s servants, while Jiwoo was personally escorted by the prince.

“Then, rest well.”

The prince didn’t wait for a response and hurried off after showing her to her room.

‘…Is it okay to stay in such a place?’

The temple, though outwardly lavish, enforced a life of frugality. Unless on a mission, Jiwoo lived with a single maid in a modest room with little decoration.

But here… the room was too spacious and luxurious for a room within the rugged castle. The bedding looked clean and soft, and the fireplace was generously stocked with firewood.

As Jiwoo stood in the middle of the room, unsure of what to touch.

Knock, knock.

“Akarna, I’ve brought something for you to eat.”

“Ah, yes…”

Having not felt hunger often since becoming Akarna, the rich scent of the food suddenly made her mouth water.

“You may speak comfortably, Akarna. If you need anything, just pull this cord, and a servant will come right away. And… thank you.”

What was there to be thankful for? Jiwoo hadn’t done anything here yet.

But that thank you felt like an appreciation for all the forced duties she had performed under the guise of obligation in this world so far, softening her sharp edges. After the servant politely left, Jiwoo sat down alone in front of the table.

There were simple biscuits, raspberry jam, and sausages glistening with oil from being fried. It was not too heavy for the coming bedtime but not lightly prepared either. Moreover, they were some of her favorite foods.

Inside the cozy room, holding warm food, Jiwoo’s body, which had been strained during the long carriage ride, seemed to melt away.

The only sound in the quiet room was the crackling of burning logs. The white bird had been with her since yesterday, but it didn’t seem like a living bird. It felt warm to the touch but had no weight, and it didn’t chirp.

As she observed the bird on the dining table, a soft knock sounded.

“…Akarna, may I have a moment?”


Jiwoo quickly got up.

Opening the door, she found Prince Aleph standing there. He had been hiding something behind his back, which he now presented upon seeing that Jiwoo had touched the food.

“Does the food suit your taste? This…”


“…I thought you might like it, so I brought it. It should taste good.”

What she received was an elegant glass bottle. Judging by the cork stopper, it seemed like a high-quality wine.

Alcohol. She welcomed the alcohol. It felt like encountering this world for the first time.

The Second Prince seemed to watch her expression brighten a bit as if observing her reaction.

“Wait. Stay here for just a while. I’ll make sure to send you back after.”

Was he talking about sending her back to the temple?

That wasn’t necessarily good news.

But upon seeing Jiwoo’s expression, Prince Aleph seemed to realize the misunderstanding and shook his head.

“No, it won’t be bad news. In fact, you might find it welcoming.”


It felt as if he had read her thoughts just now.

“Really. Trust me.”

His eyes, which Jiwoo had thought were sharp and fierce, were now looking at her with a warmth that could melt all the snow in the North.

“Ah, you don’t have to answer. I know speaking is still uncomfortable for you… It will get better soon. For now, rest well.”

The Second Prince, unsure whether he didn’t want an answer or just saying it was okay not to respond, hurriedly left the place.

Left in the room were Jiwoo, the bottle of wine, and a sense of perplexity.

The white bird on the dining table gazed intently at Jiwoo. When she reached out her hand, it nuzzled her palm.

…It was warm.