Home Post 404-chapter-21-1


Ariel closed her lips with an expressionless face. It took her a moment to comprehend the words thrown by the man. Not because it was confusing but because the situation was beyond baffling.

“Are you telling me to run away?”

“It seems like you wanted to go.”


The wide-open door awaited her escape.

As the man withdrew his arms and leaned back in his seat, he observed her face, waiting for her decision. Even though he mentioned that she could leave, he said he would catch her within five seconds.

Ariel sat in her place, staring at him like she had turned into a stone*.

Even though he told her to leave and let her go, the thought of escaping didn’t cross her mind. There had to be a possibility of escape, and how could she run from a man who had cut her off in front of a moving car?
[ T/N: The author used the word ‘망부석,’ which means legendary faithful wife, turned to stone waiting for her husband: (figurative) A person who waits with great longing for someone else. ]

As she sat still, the man’s expression changed. He raised an eyebrow as his eyes widened.

“Aren’t you going?”

“There’s no chance of me succeeding. If the outcome is already determined, I see no reason why I should try it.”

“You have a good sense.”

The man slumped as if he had lost interest or was disappointed. As he brushed back his hair and untangled his crossed legs, boredom was evident in his series of actions.


The car started moving again as he tossed a quick command.

As a chilling breeze seeped in through the creaking door, the creaking of the car door was menacing.

She was the only one who suffered because of the man who broke the door without asking.

The wind grazed across her face like a knife. While Ariel pressed down the fluttering hem of her clothes and fidgeted uneasily in her seat, the strong stress from the chaotic external circumstances clouded her mind.

‘I’m tired… I want to sleep…’

The destination wasn’t far off.

However, it felt like she was going to collapse from exhaustion before reaching it as her upper body tilted to the side in exhaustion. If there hadn’t been a hand to catch her, she might have fallen out of the car onto the ground.

Just in time, the man’s arm wrapped around Ariel’s shoulder and pulled her close. She looked at him with drooping eyes.

“Why are you such a weakling?”

Despite the fact that his eyes seemed to say that she was pathetic, his arm kept her from falling. It wasn’t a gentle touch, more of a slightly kinder gesture than handling objects.

‘His favorability rating must be at its lowest…’

Ariel, who grasped the situation, explained a bit awkwardly.

“I took a little swim in the river…”

“And just that made you lose your stamina?”

“I guess I’m lacking a lot of basic physical strength because I’m only staying inside the house.”

“You really are insignificant.”

The man said without a smile as his hand reached out and pulled Ariel towards him.

As the distance between them shortened as she moved away from the door, the proximity between them became uncomfortably close. She somehow ended up sharing a seat with him. A solid, muscular body touched her shoulder and her side. Strangely enough, it felt quite reassuring.

The sound of the outside wind rushing through the crack in the door was still strong, but it didn’t seem like they would be blown out.

“Thank you. If it’s not a bother, could we stay like this for a moment…”

“Sleep. Don’t make a face like you’re going to die of exhaustion.”

The man’s low voice resonated soothingly. Immediately, Ariel’s vision became hazy, and as if she had taken some kind of indication, her eyes closed right away.

Her consciousness remained blurred until the car came to a stop and entered the Count’s mansion. Although she was only vaguely aware of being held and carried by someone, her mind couldn’t fully wake up because her body felt heavier than just tired and sleepy.

She couldn’t get up, and she didn’t want to. It felt as if she had blindfolded her eyes, forcibly imposing drowsiness on her mind.


The sound she could hear was faint, lingering in her memory like a distant echo.

“—Young Lady…”

‘Why are you calling me, Canon?’

Even though she wanted to respond, Ariel’s lips wouldn’t move as her whole body felt compressed, as if it were trapped under a pair of scissors. It was a stifling feeling, as though she was being trapped, unable to break free from something formless and dark.

‘Ugh, I hate it.’

As she struggled to break free, the darkness gradually receded little by little.

“Young Lady!”