Home Post 1500-chapter-49



His next action caused my eyes to widen.

Without hesitation, Pogos knelt on one knee. He placed his arm on it and bowed deeply.

It was like a person of lower status showing respect to someone higher.

“Thank you for saving Felicia Melvin El Oakley’s life. Oakley and Sitz will never forget this.”

I stammered in surprise.

“Stand up, Pogos. Felicia is… also my friend. I just did what was natural.”

I hadn’t intended to form such a bond, but before I knew it, that’s what had happened.

I had vowed never to need or desire such soft, gentle relationships. But there was no helping it. A soft smile spread across my face.

His eyes shone with firm determination as he lifted his head.

“But the fact remains that you saved her. Felicia is the heir to the Oakley Family. She will one day lead the entire eastern border region.”

His voice was low and loyal.

“Not just Oakley and Sitz, but every family based in the east owes you a debt that can never be repaid.”

With tear-streaked cheeks, Felicia nodded vigorously. Her voice trembled as she spoke.

“Khalia, I will never forget that day. You supported me when I was at my weakest. …Thank you so much.”

Then Pogos’ solemn vow echoed through the room.

“Khalia Estelle, we pledge to be your loyal allies from now on. We will always be your reliable supporters, and anyone bearing the name Estelle will always find a place to rest in the east.”

It was a promise far beyond what I deserved. Though it felt burdensome, I quickly changed my mind.

I didn’t want to refuse my friends’ kindness. I simply nodded and smiled to show my gratitude.

Felicia clung to me, expressing her gratitude and affection with tears several times.

She promised to visit both the marquis’ residence in the capital and the main estate in the east. Even then, she kept looking back with regretful eyes before finally leaving.

Then it was Aila and Reedmore’s turn.

“My heart almost stopped being next to you, miss!”

Having calmed her tears, Aila was still very angry.

“Please don’t make us worry. Don’t get hurt. Don’t get sick. Just stay healthy, please…”

She glared at me, trying to hold back tears, but they soon overwhelmed her.

No matter how hard I tried to lift her up, wipe her tears, and console her, she wouldn’t budge.

In my distress, I looked to Reedmore for help.

But he just stood with his arms crossed and seemed to have no intention of helping me.

“Aila is right about everything.”

He agreed solemnly.

“You heard the young master! From now on, don’t even glance at dangerous things. Just avoid them! It’s too nerve-wracking. Whenever we take our eyes off you, you disappear, get hurt, or end up in trouble.”

“I, I didn’t do it on purpose… How was I supposed to know the dungeon would…”

I tried to protest meekly. Aila’s gaze was sharp. In the end, I couldn’t refuse and reluctantly agreed.

Once Aila calmed down, she explained what had happened while I was unconscious.

“The entire empire was in an uproar. Just the investigation team sent to Mount Medina had over a hundred people. The academy felt deeply responsible for the accident and promised to do their best to uncover the truth. And…”

Reedmore gently placed a hand on Aila’s shoulder before she could say more.


Aila looked up and asked.

“We should go now.”

“But, aren’t you curious about what happened since the lady returned? I think we should tell her…”

She was right. I was curious and had been listening intently. I wanted to see their faces and hear more.

Reedmore shook his head and glanced back silently. I followed his gaze.

And there he was.

When had he entered? Claude was sitting quietly in the most secluded corner of the spacious room.

Even with all the commotion, he had been sitting silently without making any sound.

“I’ll visit again tomorrow,” Reedmore said. Aila also stood up with a regretful expression.

“See you tomorrow, miss.”

I waved a small goodbye from my position, leaning against the pillow. They quietly closed the door as they left.

Only the two of us were left in the room.

Claude still didn’t move. He sat in the chair with his arms crossed and legs crossed and just stared at me.

His expression was unreadable.

I called out to him softly.

“Your Highness.”

There was no response. I cleared my throat and spoke louder.


Finally, he reacted. Slowly, he unfolded his arms and legs and approached me.

The last time I saw him, he looked exhausted. His complexion was pale, and his lips were dry and cracked.

Now, he looked every bit the imperial prince. His clothes were buttoned up to his neck, and there was no trace of blood or beast fluid on him. He was immaculate.

He looked healthy, with no sign of injury.

Only then did I fully relax. Leaning back into the pillow, I sighed with relief.

Unlike me, who was now completely at ease, he stood silently beside the bed, looking down at me.

I spoke cautiously.

“What happened after that?”

I was sure he was dead. The cave was collapsing.

The floor I had stood on moments before had, three seconds later, been swallowed into the depths along with spider carcasses and broken debris.

From the ceiling, the pillars and rocks that had supported the dungeon for so long had fallen like sharp rain.

“I got out of the passage and removed the rocks that were crushing you.”


It must have been a life-or-death moment.

I could easily imagine him desperately clearing the rocks from my broken body surrounded by all that disaster and life-threatening danger.

“I dragged you into the cave, then activated the teleportation magic circle at the end of the passage.”

I bit my lip lightly.

He could have died. If just one thing had gone wrong, all four of us could have been buried in that cave.

I wished he hadn’t done it. I had closed my eyes, hoping that the three of them would escape the dungeon even if I was almost certainly going to die.

I squeezed my eyes shut, imagining the horrible outcome that could have happened. My voice trembled.

“I’m glad it turned out well…”

“Do you really think it’s fortunate?”

The coldness in his voice made me open my eyes. I looked up at him.

The face that had been blank and expressionless finally showed some emotion.

Unexpectedly, it was anger. He seemed desperate.

He was overwhelmed with fear, anxiety, doubt, and guilt.

He practically growled as he sharply questioned me.

“Tell me. Did you think I would be happy if you sacrificed yourself instead of me? That I’d sing songs of joy and live the rest of my life in peace after killing you to survive?”

“Your Highness.”

“You could have warned me! I could have used my aura to cut the rocks, or dodged to the side. There were other ways, instead of you getting crushed by that damn thing in my place!”


“Instead of bleeding and dying in front of me! Giving up on your life and shouldering everything without even asking to be saved, just closing your eyes like that!”

“How could I help it when my body moved on its own? In that moment, when I thought Your Highness might die, I acted without thinking. It wasn’t something I could control…”

Full of resentment, my face collapsed at what I saw next.

‘It wasn’t a hallucination.’

The last thing I saw before closing my eyes in the dungeon, the scene I never wanted to see again, was repeating itself now.

A tear ran down Claude’s cheek. His face was uninjured, unlike before.

But the pain on his face was no different from then.

“What do you think I felt, watching you die? Seeing you, who saved me and was crushed under the rocks in my place…”

My heart ached. It hurt more than being crushed by the rocks.

“Don’t ever do that again. Promise me you won’t try to save me again, Khalia.”



He pleaded, tears streaming from his light blue eyes. He was showing me all the sincerity he had hidden away, everything he had been trying not to show me.

“I’m begging you.”

His trembling voice was pitiful. I couldn’t resist.

“…I promise.”

“…Thank you.”

He lifted his hand to wipe away his tears. A suppressed sob escaped from his throat.

He tried not to make a sound, but the effort wasn’t working. His shoulders shook occasionally.

I looked away from him and stared quietly at the blanket covering me.

After a moment, I heard the sound of a chair being dragged. Claude sat on the four-legged chair where Aila had been, spreading his legs and clasping his hands.

His face was composed again, except for the redness around his eyes. I pretended not to notice and asked carefully.

“Can you tell me what happened? How much time has passed, and where we are… I’m curious.”