Home Post 499-chapter-11


On her way back to the orphanage, Rayna encountered Maya, who had come out to find her.

“Milady! Are you alright?”

Maya was also taken aback by the sudden appearance of Lucius.

Rayna promised to explain the details later and focused on Calyx’ whereabouts.

“I hid Calyx.”

“Hid him? Where?”

“There’s a secret compartment in your room, Milady.”

Rayna widened her eyes at this new piece of information.

“When you bought and renovated this orphanage, I asked for it to be prepared.”

The orphanage didn’t have strict security like the Krollot mansion. A safe place to hide in case of danger was necessary.

“I apologize for proceeding without your permission, Milady.”

“No, you did well.”

When Rayna spoke sincerely, Maya felt relieved. She decided that details about the weapons hidden throughout the orphanage could be discussed later.

The two women went to the bedroom together.

Maya headed for the wardrobe, opened the door, and pushed the clothes aside.

As she did, a small groove where fingers could fit was revealed on the wall.

The maid grabbed that groove, like opening a sliding door, revealing a staircase leading into darkness.

Rayna swallowed hard.


Maya called her as Rayna hesitated in front of the stairs.

“…A lamp.”

Rayna, swallowing, reached her hand to Maya.

The maid brought a lamp with a handle and handed it to Rayna as they stood before the stairwell.

“Just in case, I’ll keep an eye on the outside.”

Rayna nodded and closed the wardrobe wall, leaving a slight gap.

The lamp was insufficient to completely dispel the pitch darkness.

With cautious steps, Rayna descended the stairs, breathing through her mouth.

Even taking a deep breath felt stifling in her chest. Her hands trembled, and a cold sweat broke out.

‘I can’t stand dark and stuffy places.’

As she reached the bottom of the stairs, she saw a tightly closed door. Turning the doorknob, the door creaked open.

The secret space, though a bit dark, was arranged to be cozy and comfortable.

However, Calyx was sitting on the floor instead of the sofa.

With one arm supporting his weight on the floor and the other gripping his chest, he seemed to be in distress.


Calyx turned his head abruptly to look at Rayna. Meeting his gaze, she was shocked.

The child’s condition was strange. His face was soaked with tears, and his body trembled violently. Moreover, black stains were oozing from his chest.

“Don’t come near!”

Rayna tried to approach, but Calyx shouted.

After seeing Lucius, the child was overcome with fear.

It was because of the thought that Rayna might be in danger because of his older brother.

Despite Rayna returning safely, Calyx couldn’t feel relief.

Perhaps due to his uneasy heart, he was on the verge of a fever.


Calyx gasped for breath. After a moment of determination, he spoke.

“I am the younger brother of Grand Duke Ingerson. The person who was with Rayna earlier is my older brother.”

“. . .”

“I ran away to escape from my family.”

Calyx’ voice trembled thinly.

“They will be angry with Rayna for taking me.”

“. . .”

“They will harass and make things difficult for Rayna.”

In his tear-stained eyes, Rayna appeared blurry.

“Please send me back to the Ingerson family.”

“. . .”

“I will go and speak. I often do foolish things. I will make sure they don’t blame Rayna.”

“Do you really want to return there?”

Calyx gave a half nod before stopping. Then he lowered his head and spoke honestly.

“I don’t want to. I hate it there, but… I hate it more if Rayna is in trouble or sad because of me.”


“So please don’t show kindness to me.”

Rayna’s eyes widened slightly.

“Don’t give affection to someone who won’t live long. I…”

Calyx swallowed hard.

“I’m terminally ill.”

Calyx bowed his head deeply.

Rayna watched him silently as he cried, then took a step closer.

When she approached, Calyx quickly moved his body backward.

“Don’t come close—!”

“It’s okay.”

Rayna reached out her hand to Calyx.

Then she gently brushed away the black spots on his chest.

The child couldn’t understand her actions and gradually opened his eyes wide.

As Rayna’s touch reached him, his body began to calm.

Finally, after clearing away all the stains, Rayna looked at Calyx.

“Are you alright?”


“I did the same thing when you had a fever last time. Clearing away the black stains on your body brought down the fever.”

“Black stains?”

Calyx looked from Rayna’s hand to his own body alternately, as if he couldn’t believe it.


Rayna spoke in a calm voice.

“Tell me what illness you have, so I can help you.”

* * *

Rayna stared at the object on the desk in her study as if she were trying to see through it.

She was looking at the statue of Bomar with a serious expression.

Rayna thought about the illness that Calyx finally revealed the day before.

“In the Ingerson family, a child born with red eyes like me is said to be cursed. It’s because of this that all of them die early.”

Contrary to Rayna’s expectations, Calyx didn’t know much about the curse.

He only knew that he had been treated as an undesirable and ominous child due to his red eyes since a young age, and that he was terminally ill.

“But it’s okay now. Since I have Rayna, my ‘special person,’ I can get better.”

“‘Special person’?”

“He said that if I have a ‘special person,’ everything will be restored to its original state. So I’ll get better.”

“Restore everything to its original state.” Hearing those words, Rayna realized that the curse was not born out of the resentment of the people the first Grand Duke killed.

Well, if that were true, all the war heroes of the empire would have faced death covered in black spots.

The curse upon the Ingerson family was different. Whatever it was, everything had to be restored to its original state for the curse to be lifted.

“Well, how do you restore everything?”

“Bomar will tell you that.”

When Calyx proudly showed Rayna the statue he took out of his pocket, she could only be baffled.

A seemingly ordinary wooden statue unrelated to the Ingerson Grand Dukedom was supposed to know how to lift the curse?

Moreover, Bomar, who used to move on his own, no longer responded to Calyx’ call.

Rayna became silent due to the unexpected information, and Calyx, sensing her confusion, spoke.

“Rayna, are you going to send me back to the Ingerson Grand Duchy when I get better?”

Despite being pleased that Rayna was a special person, Calyx didn’t want to return to the Ingerson household.

“If Rayna allows it, I want to stay here. I won’t be a bother.”

Rayna couldn’t bring herself to refuse. She couldn’t fathom the child’s feelings behind that plea.

Becoming a beloved child overnight just because the curse was lifted wasn’t guaranteed.

Nevertheless, the priority now was to figure out how to lift Calyx’ curse.

“Calyx, sooner or later, your brother will come to the orphanage.”

Rayna told Calyx that she would take care of everything as long as he hid in the secret place.

Calyx’ face finally brightened at her promise.

Additionally, Rayna wanted to confirm something with him and borrowed the statue for a while.

Like that, she came to the current situation.

“Great hero, Sir Bomar.”

She held her hands together as if praying and spoke to the sculpture.

“Please answer me.”

Rayna had been pleading with Bomar from yesterday until now.

“What needs to be undone for the curse to be lifted? What can I do?”

“. . .”

“I won’t tell anyone. Please be my secret friend. Okay?”

As Rayna earnestly pleaded, a knock was heard. She lifted her head abruptly as she heard the sound.

Rayna quickly hid the statue and put on an expressionless face.

“Come in.”

At her command, a child entered.

It was Bill.


Rayna pointed to the chair on the opposite side of the desk.

Bill sat down, fidgeting nervously.

‘Why did she call me when she said she would let it go?’

Bill thought Rayna had called him because he had entered Calyx’ room without permission.

There seemed to be a reason why that child was hidden in that room, and Bill wasn’t going to inquire too much about adults’ affairs.

Knowing too much about adults’ business could only put him in danger.

With that thought, Bill spoke first.

“I didn’t tell anyone.”


“That I saw a kid in that room. Even if Olivia hadn’t told me not to, I wouldn’t have said anything.”

“I know.”

“Really, I swear—what?”

“I believe you.”

Bill looked at Rayna in wide-eyed surprise.

“Bill, I know why you went into that room.”


“Whenever a new kid comes to the orphanage, you always approach them first. Thanks to your welcome, the kids adapt quickly.”

“. . .”

“So, you probably went into that room to talk to him. Since he’d be lonely by himself, you’d strike up a conversation and gossip about me.”

When Bill looked frightened, Rayna curled up her mouth.

The child’s eyes widened.

The witch smiled.

And she looked very pretty when doing so.

Bill was shocked and found his ears turning red.

“I also knew you wouldn’t tell anyone about that kid.”


“You value this orphanage as much as I do, or perhaps even more. You’re quick-witted and smart, so you must have decided not to cause unnecessary trouble.”


Bill pressed his lips, unable to finish his question.

How did she know everything?

He thought she had shown no interest in him.

‘Whenever our eyes met, she always looked at me with cold eyes.’

That was why he always avoided her first.

Then, why…

“So, Bill. That’s why I want to ask you for a favor.”

“A favor?”

Looking up, Bill did not avert his eyes and met Rayna’s.

Strangely, she no longer seemed like a witch.

“Can you help just once for that kid’s sake?”