Home Post 916-chapter-63


“No way.”

Archen muttered as he rubbed his bleary eyes.

“What do you mean, ‘no way’?”

“That you liked me.”

“Should I flick you?”

As Carinne wiggled her thumb and index finger in front of him, he flinched and leaned back.

Did she pinch him too hard before?

She did pinch him with all her might. Still, if she had pinched him lightly, he would still be arguing that it was all a dream. After kissing for so long yesterday, sleeping in the same bed, and waking up together, he thought what he was experiencing now was a dream.

He wasn’t stupid, so how could he think that?

They were sitting on the bedside, half-covered by the blanket. Carinne approached him, got on her knees, and caressed his face with her hand. Even though she had been touching him since earlier, she didn’t get tired of it. He didn’t resist her touch and remained still.

“Actually, I can’t believe it either. That Archen liked me…”

Carinne whispered and lightly brushed his cheek. He didn’t say anything. Even though she pinched him once, he still looked at her with a dazed look, as if he was still dreaming. The expression ‘lost in thought’ fit him perfectly.

Seeing that, she had a thought.

“How much do you like me?”

She asked, this time tucking his hair behind his ear. His hair, soft and smooth, was like silk. She should touch it whenever she has time.

“…I can’t express it with the words of this world.”

He answered after a while.

His body was in this world, but his mind was not. He was that lost in his dream. He said he liked her so much that he couldn’t express it in words. Despite the fact that she should feel good after hearing such a sweet confession of love, she didn’t. She was incredibly annoyed and resentful.

“Then, tell me why you acted like that all this time.”

Carinne pouted her lips in front of him, who looked puzzled, as she had a lot to say.

“You acted so indifferently. I asked if you liked someone, you linked arms with me, you even hugged me, yet you just talked about some strange shrimp story. I thought you didn’t like me, so I almost gave up. Tell me. Why did you act like that? You didn’t think I was joking, did you?”


He seemed a little flustered by the barrage of questions. He hesitated and lowered his eyelids. His blue eyes held a forlorn look.

She felt anxious, wondering what he was going to say this time.

“What do you like about me, Princess?”

…Huh? What was he talking about? Carinne sat blankly, unable to guess what he was going to say next. He looked up, saw her curious face, and then looked down again.

“I’m not as influential as Duke Lucas nor as wealthy as you, Princess. I come from a humble background and don’t have much. There’s no reason for you to like me, Princess.”

Oh, so that was what it was.

Carinne realized it then. The reason he didn’t show his affection for her and hid it was, to put it simply, because he was being insecure.

‘There’s no reason for you to like me, Princess.’

His insecurity must’ve pierced through the Earth’s core.

She knew it but didn’t know it was to this extent. He was so prickly, but his mentality was as soft as tofu. If she had to compare him to an animal, he would be a hedgehog. Why? Because if we turn a prickly hedgehog upside down, we’ll find a soft belly hidden underneath.

So, he was acting tough to hide his soft heart.

The problem was that his heart was too soft. Carinne knew very well what to do at times like this from her long experience.

“Archen, why do you like me? You don’t like me for my money, do you?”


“Or because I’m a princess?”

“No, that’s not it.”

“Me neither. I like you for who you are.”

It must have been obvious, yet he only realized it after she pointed it out. She pushed his hair behind his ear as she rose, and he stared at her as if he were seeing a mirage in the desert. He looked like a child who had been unexpectedly given a gift he had desperately wanted.

His face, flushed with surprise, looked so innocent and boyish that she couldn’t help but smile faintly. Then, she realized something.

“Wait, does that mean you thought I was a shallow person who only liked people with money and power?”

Wasn’t that it? He thought she wouldn’t like him because he had no money or power. That meant he believed she would only like people who were wealthy and powerful! She crossed her arms and glared at him with narrowed eyes.

“That’s shocking. I never would’ve thought you’d see me that way.”

“That’s not true. I just didn’t know.”

He suddenly came to his senses and looked incredibly flustered. His gloved hand ran roughly through his hair, messing up the carefully styled locks. She decided to give him a chance to explain himself.

“What is it?”


“It’s okay. Tell me.”

“When there are bad cards and good cards in this world, it means that there’s still a chance for me to draw a black card.”

Ah, that was a sentence that succinctly summarized his life experiences. He fell into a depressed mood after saying that. She felt a little sorry for him as she looked into his deep-set eyes. She had only said it half-jokingly.

After some deliberation, she said sincerely.

“While you’re with me, I’ll make sure you only draw good cards.”

At that, a faint light returned to his deep-set eyes. He blinked slowly, his eyes still glazed over. She smiled at him again. What was he getting so emotional about?

It felt like she had picked up a starving kitten from the street and given it a bowl overflowing with tuna. Speaking of tuna, she was starving. It was no wonder, considering she hadn’t eaten anything since lunch yesterday. It was strange that she hadn’t felt hungry until now.

“Let’s go down and have breakfast. I’m starving.”

“Please go ahead. I’ll be down shortly.”

Was he planning to stay behind and make the bed? She started to tell him it was fine, but then she realized it would take a while to prepare breakfast, so she decided not to say anything. The only servants in the house were an old maid and a chef, so she would have to go down and help out if she wanted to eat breakfast sooner.

“You need to come down quickly.”

After she left the room and the sound of her footsteps descending the stairs faded away, Archen took a deep breath. He consciously inhaled and exhaled, then picked up the coat hanging at the foot of the bed. However, the glass vial he found in the coat pocket was empty. He searched the other pockets, but there were no more pills left.

If only he had known, he would have filled the bottle before leaving the mansion yesterday.

Eventually, the groan he had been holding back escaped his lips. He clutched his chest and bent over. It was the aftermath of yesterday’s events. He had felt a nagging pain since he woke up, and now it had finally gotten the better of him. He realized he would have to endure the pain, and his vision blurred.

Still, there was nothing else he could do. He had to hold on.

He closed his eyes and hung his head, waiting for this moment to pass. The pain came and went like the ebb and flow of the tide.

Nevertheless, as time went on, the waves grew stronger.

He was afraid of how high the tide would rise. He desperately tried to suppress his groans, but even that was too much. His lips parted involuntarily as the pain shot up uncontrollably. He grabbed the bedsheet and barely managed to stifle a scream.

His throat tightened, and his face flushed with a burning sensation. He bit his lips, then bit the inside of his cheek, realizing he couldn’t show any weakness. He could taste the familiar flavor of blood as the flesh inside his mouth tore. The pain was rising beyond his limits.

His mind was clouded, and he felt like he was going to lose consciousness if he moved, but he couldn’t do that.

What happened yesterday shouldn’t happen again. Gritting his teeth, he repeated the mantra that this, too shall pass, waiting for the symptoms to show him mercy. The waves of pain that had been surging near the breaking point began to subside after reaching their peak.

His chest, which had been heaving erratically, returned to its normal rhythm.

As the pain receded, he collapsed onto the bed, utterly exhausted. Only one thought crossed his mind at that moment: How much longer? He didn’t know exactly, but yesterday’s incident must have significantly shortened his lifespan. A month? Three months? How much time did he have left?

He probably had no more than two years left, at most. And he’d likely spend more than half of that time bedridden.

He thought of Carinne, smiling brightly at him, her cheerful voice promising to draw only good cards from now on ringing in his ears as if she were right beside him. Carinne didn’t know anything. Even if he had gone to the doctor, no matter how skilled they were, they wouldn’t have been able to diagnose his symptoms in a few minutes.

At best, they would have thought it was severe heartburn. And even if they had somehow figured out that it wasn’t heartburn, very few doctors would know about mana leaking syndrome, so there was no way Carinne could know that he didn’t have much time left.

He should have told her in advance. Why couldn’t he? It was too late for regrets now. He couldn’t bear to see Carinne’s heartbroken face. He came to his senses as he lay there staring blankly at the ceiling.

Carinne was waiting for him.

There was no point in delaying it any further, so he reached for the glasses on the nightstand.

Holding onto the bedpost, he shakily got up and shook his head to completely erase the traces of pain from his face. Archen quickly made the bed as he always did and left the room with brisk steps as if nothing had happened, crossing the hallway.