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    Dragon Forest.

    Ashler walked down the long corridor with the permit in his hand. Did Abel wait for this?

    After the first day, Abel didn’t have much to do. Perhaps it was because his first day’s performance was so intense that expectations were high, but Ashler had been disappointed to see Abel quietly by the prince’s side for the past few days.

    As expected, his appearance was the only thing that set him apart from the other Regas. Still, when evening came, he would take the prince, who shed blood with his nails and teeth, to bathe. This was the only thing he did properly. However, as Ashler approached the prince’s bedroom, he corrected his thoughts.

    No, doing nothing might actually make a big difference. While other Regas showcase the songs and dances they have learned to win the prince’s favor, there were also those who spent the whole day reading books by his side. None of them received the prince’s attention and eventually ran away.

    However, Abel was different.

    He just stayed inside the room, in the prince’s bedroom. Strangely enough, nothing happened during that time. The prince was not chained and all the windows in the bedroom were open, yet there were no dead animals or injured people.

    Of course, Abel does bleed every time he touches the prince to bathe him. But thanks to a few days of peace, the air here has changed. Ashler opened the door and entered, receiving the soldiers’ greetings with a nod.

    Bright interior with sunlight coming through a large window. It seemed like this place had completely changed with just one ray of sunlight, compared to a few days ago when it was gloomy and smelled foul. Even though he looked around the spacious bedroom, he couldn’t see the prince. However, he could tell where the prince was.

    After taking a look under the huge bed, Ashler moved his steps. The prince also seemed to sense a difference in Abel from before. Perhaps fearing that even his attacks wouldn’t penetrate Abel, the prince crawled under the bed and wouldn’t come out if Abel was in the bedroom.

    Abel was near the bed, but he didn’t show any interest in the prince. He just sat on the floor and diligently made something every day. Literally, all he did was just be near. Familiar with trimming trees, he easily peeled off the bark with a knife and carved it into his desired shape.

    Just a few days later, around them were arched round cages and thin wooden poles set up like window frames to make the inside visible, and he was making something again now…

    Ashler’s gaze turned to the long stick in Abel’s hand. Whether he knew it or not, Abel stood up and greeted him.

    “Sir, you’ve come.”

    Abel’s face was full of small scars as he bowed his head. Nevertheless, he faced people with a consistent smile in his eyes. After greeting Abel, Ashler looked back towards the bed.

    “The prince…”

    “Oh, yes. Well, you see, as soon as I entered this place in the morning, he went back under the bed again.”

    His innocent face was filled with regret. At first, he seemed rugged like a bandit, but now he appeared gentler to Ashler than anyone else. However, despite the change he had achieved over the past few days, the people of the palace mocked his appearance, likening him to a fierce monster that even the devil would flee from under the bed. But to Ashler, it didn’t matter whether he was a monster or an innocent person; anyone who could transform the prince for them and give him a chance would do.

    “I have something to tell you.”


    Abel nodded his head with shining eyes. Ashler looked back at the bed and turned his gaze. Was he suggesting they talk here? As if understanding his thoughts, Abel quickly looked at the bed as well.

    “Oh, if it’s difficult to talk about…”

    With his words, he leaned closer to Ashler and whispered in his ear.

    “Please speak softly into my ear.”


    “Yes? What did you say?”

    “I didn’t say anything.”

    Why should he whisper something to him when he hasn’t even done it to a woman before? Abel’s face turned puzzled as he moved his large face away from Ashler’s cold voice. Then he fiddled with the stick in his hand and glanced up for a moment.

    “Well, then what you wanted to say…”

    “Would you mind stepping outside for a moment?”

    There’s an easy way to do this, he said in a pitiful voice, but Abel’s reaction was strange. He turned his gaze to the bed and looked at it silently as if thinking for a moment before closing his mouth. Ashler finally realized that Abel didn’t want to leave the prince’s side.

    After all, they weren’t doing anything together, they were just staying by each other’s side. What’s the problem with stepping out for a moment? He didn’t understand, but soon Abel’s bright voice came as if he had made a decision. He spoke loudly as if exaggerating.

    “Yes, Sir Knight. Shall I step outside for a moment? I actually needed to test something I made. And I’ll be back soon! Right away! I will come back quickly.”

    “…So, although a permit has been issued for entry into the Dragon Forest, there are a few things you need to take responsibility for. I don’t know if you’re aware, but only the person chosen by the royal family, who has inherited the abilities of the dragon, and one Regas chosen by them can enter the Dragon Forest. So if Abel were to go in with the prince and something were to happen… Abel?”

    Ashler called Abel, who kept looking at the door with a blank face while explaining.

    “Mr. Abel!”

    Startled by the loud voice, Abel turned his head, his shoulders twitching.

    “Oh, yes? Um, well, I understand.”

    “What do you understand?”

    “Yes? Is it… that I can go to the Dragon Forest?”


    “Isn’t that right?”

    Ashler realized that his explanation was completely ineffective. Why does he keep looking at the door without any interest in what he is saying? Ashler glanced at the door and asked.

    “Do you dislike this place?”

    When Ashler pointed to the room Abel temporarily used in the prince’s palace, Abel quickly shook his head.

    “No. No, I just want to go back quickly.”

    Ashler looked down at the long stick in Abel’s hand.

    “Are you in such a hurry to make a fishing rod?”

    *Dori-dori* [T/N: I don’t understand this part. I guess this is the sound effects of Abel while swinging his lovely stick?]

    “I said I would go back quickly. So I think I should go now.”

    Ashler finally remembered what Abel had said loudly while on the bed. Is he stupid? It’s not like he made a promise to the prince. Ashler couldn’t help but frown and blurted out.

    “As expected, you are truly a Regas. He didn’t hear anything, but I guess you thought the prince heard it and is waiting for you.”

    Abel blushed and quickly shook his head.

    “No, I didn’t say that the prince is waiting… I mean, that… “

    “It’s okay. I’m done talking, so if you have nothing else to say, go back to the prince.”

    And Ashler opened the door first and waited. Instead of going out hesitantly, Abel opened his mouth.

    “Since the prince is so scared, I thought I should stay by his side.”

    Ashler barely held back a laugh. He thought the prince was scared because he hid under the bed. Ashler thought the prince wasn’t scared, but was just hiding his claws and waiting for another opportunity. He must have just taken a step back.

    “If you’re scared, do you attack your opponent with your claws and teeth?”

    It was a sarcastic question, but Abel nodded vigorously.

    “Yes. That’s right.”

    “Is that…a joke?”

    After answering like that, Abel looked at Ashler strangely. As if asking why he considered it a joke to say the obvious.

    “Weak animals attack only when they are scared. They do it as their defense mechanism.”

    Weak animals. As Ashler walked back to the prince’s bedroom, he continued to be bothered by this word. However, his thoughts were interrupted when a startled soldier rushed out of the open door.

    “What’s going on?”

    “Well, um….”

    The soldier couldn’t speak and pointed inside. Abel, who was standing next to him, jumped into the room first. The interior was a mess, even though they had only been gone for the time it took to have a cup of tea. The floor, walls, and ceiling were covered in scattered red blood, flesh, and feathers. It was clear that a creature had been torn and scattered into pieces.

    The prince’s figure was not visible, but bloodstains on the palm of his hand remained near the bed and on the floor. That was enough evidence. He, who went under the bed was the culprit who killed the bird. A weak animal, huh? The prince was simply obsessed with blood. As Ashler came to this conclusion, Abel, who was standing next to him, blinked his eyes.

    “Are you surprised?”


    Abel turned his truly surprised eyes to Ashler and asked.

    “Wow! How did he even catch the bird?”

    Ashler frowned immediately. That’s not important right now… Huh?

    ⊹˚. ♡.𖥔 ݁ ˖

    Thump, thump.


    Thump, thump.


    Walking, sighing, walking, sighing. For the past few days, this was all Melmond did in the palace. Even though he was called a “librarian”, all he did was dust off books, but now he couldn’t even do that.

    He wanted to run to where Abel was several times a day to see if he was doing well, but he barely held back from shouting at the attendants. He was afraid that if he wandered near the prince’s palace, he would be suspected of something strange. He didn’t want to hear another complaint about not trusting Abel’s abilities.

    Fortunately, Nanny, who came to patrol the library every day, was giving him news about the prince’s palace. As Ashler was Nanny’s former superior, who had become the prince’s new bodyguard, he was also very interested.

    “Huff, huff, Melmond!”

    As expected, today, just like every other day, he heard the voice he had been waiting for, and Melmond ran to the entrance.

    “Ah, why are you so late?!”

    “Hoo, I came here as fast as I could. There was a sudden emergency summons…. No, more importantly, he went in this morning!”

    “He went in? Where?”

    “Well, to the Dragon Forest!”

    Dragon Forest. Did Abel really go there? Melmond’s expression hardened with worry. Nanny, standing next to him, also had a worried look on his face.

    “Sir Ashler shouldn’t go in there. I’m worried that he might get hurt if he goes in out of a sense of responsibility. After finishing the escort mission, he should come back to our side quickly. Haah.”

    Nanny sighed but soon smiled as if he had thought of something.

    “By the way, it seems that both of us are worried because of the prince. Hehe, I feel like I’ve become comrades with Melmond.”

    Melmond also felt like Nanny was a comrade, who came every day to deliver news, so he gently patted his shoulder.

    “Yes. Both of us are worried for them but I’m sure they will come back safely. Don’t worry too much.”

    “Yes, it must be so. If Sir Ashler is not there at the swordsmanship competition next month, our team will be in trouble.”

    “Yes. In trouble at the swordsmanship competition… What?”

    “Ah, I have so much money at stake there. By the way, should I include Melmond in the bet?”

    Holding up the thick book next to him, Melmond responded to Nanny without saying a word,

    “Ack! Ouch, why are you hitting me with a book all of a sudden? Comrade?!”

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