“…I’m the one who’s sick, but you’re the one who’s more concerned about this.”
Albert said this with his eyes closed. Urk, I’ve been hit. I set Blanc down and approached Albert again.
“Prince, can you stand up?”
Albert finally opened his eyes.
And his red eyes were focused on only me.
Regardless of his physical condition, the look in his eyes was still clear.
Like the day I cut his hair.
The day we kissed.
“You must think I’m a joke, Rosé.”
He stood up with a faint smile on his lips. I checked his temperature and his forehead was definitely burning, but he didn’t stagger at all.
I wonder if this guy’s really human.
What kind of life did he live to have that much mental fortitude? How did he live for him to be equipped with that much grace and dignity?
I knew only a fraction of Albert’s past. He lived a life so ridiculously different from King Impotent’s opulent life. And it was in Albert’s childhood that he lost everything.
It was too tragic to put into words.
Even so, he’ll ascend the throne and gain everything.
As if to urge me, he spoke.
“Let’s go downstairs.”
Albert went down the ladder first, then I followed behind carrying with me the pouch and Blanc.
Coming down to my room, Albert lay back on his bed. Literally, he just plopped down without even going under the covers.
Since this wasn’t something he normally did, I suddenly came to my senses.
I won’t be able to sleep tonight.
“Prince, I’ll get you some water so we can wash your face.”
It’s clear that he won’t be able to stand up in his current state, so he won’t be able to take a bath. I’ll at least wipe his face clean and place a wet towel on his forehead.
So, I went to the bathroom and turned on the faucet. The tower was complete with the basic essentials for people, so of course, it was also equipped with a clean bathroom that had plumbing.
I looked for a piece of cloth that was the right size, soaked it in water and then squeezed it out. Then, I filled a basin with water and prepared the towel.
Returning to the room, I tried to show the basin to Albert and placed it down on the table next to the bed.
With his eyes still closed, Albert was sweating.
If he’s left like this, it’ll be hard for him to move for a while.
Albert saw me return and tried to get up, but I just shook my head and spoke.
“What is it.”
“May I touch you, Your Highness?”
A person’s well-being came first before the contract. It’s not time to play hot and cold.
“I know that this sounds really weird, but it’s not like I’m doing this out of self-interest…”
“Why are you trying to make excuses?”
“Even a fool would know that you’re only trying to take care of me.”
Strangely, those words stabbed at me. Right. I don’t have to make excuses. Why did I do that?
Then, offhandedly, Albert added.
“Do whatever you want.”
“Yes, thank you.”
I answered right away and picked up a wet towel.
I placed the towel on his forehead that was trickling with cold sweat, and Albert’s eyes gradually closed.
With the distinct feeling of wiping a saint’s statue, I slowly wiped off the cold sweat.
It’s absolutely difficult to think that these eyes, nose, lips belonged to a human.
It seemed like only yesterday that I signed a contract so I could survive our cohabitation, but I can’t believe that we’ve reached this point here, where he trusts me enough to leave his face to me.
While wiping him down carefully, I asked a question that I’d been itching to ask him since we left the north.
“Why did you hide your condition?”
Obviously, Liam would tell him to rest before we left. Schubert was a loyal follower, so if Albert said he was sick, Schubert would have taken action.
That place was a castle, and this place was a tower with only two inhabitants. The environment here was much worse.
He chose to go back to the tower even though there wasn’t any medicine here, let alone a doctor we could call to treat him.
“Even when we left for the tower, Your Highness hid your pain. I knew you were pushing yourself, but… Why did you do that?”
I felt regretful again.
“If you let me know earlier, I could have brought back medicine with us…”
As I wiped his forehead once more, Albert spoke with his eyes closed.
“Because I shouldn’t do that.”
The moment I asked back, Albert opened his eyes.
He stared at me for a moment, then calmly answered.
“I’m someone who mustn’t do that, Rosé.”
His words had many connotations. And it was just as Albert said.
With a bitter smile, he continued.
“Even considering the expectations I’m burdened with, I shouldn’t do that even more because of who I’ll be in the future.”
“It’s better to be sick alone.”
There was nothing as sad as being sick while living alone.
I still remember crying in sorrow because there was no one I could tell while I was sick.
But in Albert’s case, this was for his own good.
He was someone who would need to be numb from the pressure and the loneliness he was saddled with.
No, it might be more accurate to say that he was someone who’d grow used to this numbness rather than thinking he ‘has’ to be numb.
“If he knew I was sick, the Duke wouldn’t be able to rest.”
“…That’s because it’s Duke Masen.”
I still didn’t think it was right, but I understood why.
“Your Highness used up a lot of mana and you’re probably in a worse condition because the black magic must have gotten stuck on you. Why are you overdoing it?”
Liam also expected him to be sick. But I didn’t know that he’d be this sick.
“…What about when you leave this tower?”
I recalled his face when we left yesterday, and I was nervous from then on. At what I said, Albert nodded.
“It’s the same. The farther away from the tower, the more I’ll be in danger.”
Comments for chapter "Chapter 45"
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