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    Flash.

    When Abel opened his eyes, he saw the familiar canopy of the carriage. Melmond, with a furrowed brow, came into view. Judging by the swaying of the carriage, it seemed the coachman was urging the horses on. Abel smiled, recalling the moment right before he collapsed.

    “Did you see? It took me a whole hour!”

    Melmond casually retorted to Abel’s bragging.

    “And you woke up in just one day.”

    Abel’s eyes shook with shock.

    “Ha, hahaha…. It will get better if I’ll just walk tomorrow.”

    “We’re going to get on a ship tomorrow.”

    “Then swimming….”

    “You can’t swim.”

    “….”

    “….”

    “Do you want to drink snake wine?”

    “….Yes.”

    “That’s dangerous!”

    The butler strongly opposed the barley wine with a snake in it. Melmond frowned at his opposition, as he had brought the precious wine just in case, and Abel blinked his eyes.

    “If I drink alcohol, will I faint again?”

    Unexpectedly, the butler shook his head, as if there was no reason other than that.

    “Not fainting is the problem!”

    What nonsense.

    Melmond strongly urged, thanks to his rare snake wine, he even had a second one at this age.

    “Drink it. You’ll drink it and then you’ll have a second… ahem, you’ll gain strength.”

    Abel nodded with a determined expression and gulped down the glass of liquor. But moments later, Melmond blamed himself for not following the butler’s advice.

    It was dangerous! It was too dangerous, even for him!

    “Haa, haa, it’s so hot. Hehe.”

    Flushed cheeks, moist eyes, sweaty forehead, and a white chest visible through the unbuttoned collar.

    ‘Gasp! It’s, it’s d-dangerous!’

    Melmond quickly turned his body, holding his pounding heart. The drunken fairy was so charming. Melmond forcibly grabbed the wooden pillar in the cabin and tried to calm his heart, but his eyes ignored his will and kept looking back. There, Abel was calling him with a sticky sweet voice like a siren’s song that bewitched men.

    “Haa, Melmond, isn’t it really hot, haa?”

    ‘Ugh!’

    In the end, Melmond eventually burst out screaming and ran outside. No matter how much he reminded himself that he had a wife and child, the blonde enchanting fairy had seized his heart.

    Just as he managed to close the door, the butler, who had been waiting outside, tapped Melmond’s shoulder as if he had expected it.

    “If necessary, I can push you into the river.”

    The butler’s eyes shone not with sincerity but with madness. Realizing that his life was in danger, Melmond immediately regained his senses. He barely made it through that day, but unfortunately, the next day another crisis came.

    Abel demonstrated astonishing stamina and managed to walk for more than 2 hours without fainting. The most astonished person was the butler. His young master was naturally inclined to snake wine.

    After getting off the ship and taking a carriage again for a few days, Melmond felt that it was time to gradually tell the important story he hadn’t been able to tell. At this rate, they would reach the camp directly commanded by the emperor by tomorrow. He had to tell the story when they had time, as they would be entering a dangerous area devastated by war, filled with enemy remnants and thieves.

    Fortunately, thanks to the effectiveness of the snake potion, Abel’s stamina had improved remarkably. Although he still appeared weak to ordinary people, compared to before when he would collapse after a few stumbles, it was like night and day. Of course, it was the result of Melmond and the butler’s tireless efforts.

    “There are a few things you should know.”

    Thanks to the pass that Melmond had, they were able to pass through the rigorous interrogation of the soldiers and were resting in an empty village. Like the other places they had seen for the past few days, most of the buildings here were half-collapsed and burned. Nevertheless, they managed to find a place where the roof was still intact and settled there to avoid the dew. While the butler prepared dinner as usual, Melmond cautiously opened his mouth to Abel.

    “First of all, you know that the prince has almost unified the continent and ascended to the throne as the emperor, right?”

    “Yes. He has been on the battlefield for six years…”

    Abel tried to say something more, but Melmond stopped him with his hand and added.

    “Because the prince continued to stay on the battlefield even after ascending to the throne, there has never been a new Regas by his side. However, there was never a time when a Regas wasn’t by the king’s side, so everyone was taken aback. Probably because they thought His Majesty couldn’t forget someone. So, they sent a type of Regas that had never been seen before to His Majesty’s side. He looks just like you.”

    “……”

    Melmond quietly asked, “Is your heart okay?” without forgetting to check.

    “I don’t know how they found out, but not only your appearance, but also your way of speaking, laughter, and even the habit of blinking your eyes, they all imitated exactly. In severe cases… there were even those who pretended to be you by putting the words you said in their mouths, saying they were your reincarnation.”

    Abel’s face turned pale. After giving him enough time to accept the shock, Melmond concluded.

    “So, I want you to hide your name, Abel. Do you understand?”

    Abel slightly nodded, signaling that he understood, but his eyes had a complicated look. He realized that this was not just about hiding his name, but also a warning not to act like himself.

    “Should I hide everything about myself?”

    When Abel asked in a low voice, Melmond sighed and nodded his head.

    “The king hates your name or anyone who pretends to be you. I know you want to see him, but if you really want to, you’ll have to hide yourself. Are you really okay? If you think you might faint, take the medicine beforehand.”

    Melmond now could gauge when Abel would collapse by looking at his complexion. Abel, too, seemed to have gotten used to his body, as he tightly held the red bottle of medicine to be taken when his heart raced too much. He had already received all the medicines from the butler.

    “I’m still fine. I don’t mind hiding myself. However…”

    Abel swallowed his saliva and asked a difficult question.

    “Then who is the person that the prince trusts and relies on? It must be Ashler, right? And Melmond, he must also trust Melmond because you gave him the antidote, and also Serene… He must have also trusted his father, so the prince trusted and relied on everyone, right?”

    Trusting and relying. Melmond thought it was a very difficult word.

    From Ashler, who had served him for 12 years, to Serene, who risked her life to steal the black potion, to Melmond himself, who used his own body as a dangerous experimental subject to find the antidote.

    They all guarded the prince’s side with a sense of urgency that one wrong step would send them falling off a cliff, but there was no one who had gained the prince’s trust.

    But he didn’t feel resentful.

    If he were the prince, just being alive would be overwhelming enough to drive him crazy. So, to them, the prince was an amazing existence, who seemed like someone who couldn’t feel any resentment. Moreover, he was calmly and wisely crumbling his enemies in that state.

    Even while drinking that damn poison. Crouching down, waiting for his claws to fully grow, and then silently longing for the moment to tear everyone apart.

    Can there really be someone who can be trusted and relied upon by such an existence?

    If there is, it would only be someone who had tamed the prince in his childhood.

    “He’s a sacred being who has inherited the power of the dragon. He’s different from ordinary people.”

    “But…”

    “I understand. You only remember the young prince. But now, he has become an adult. He is not the prince you once thought of.”

    Abel wanted to ask more about the prince’s current appearance, but it seemed that tonight was already the limit. Abel was exhaling rough breaths through his mouth. He also trembled as he drank a sip of the medicine with his shaking hand.

    Melmond asked the butler, who was far away while waiting for him to calm down.

    “Butler, would you mind telling me the young master’s real name?”

    I had thought that if I couldn’t use the name Abel, I could just use the original owner’s name.

    Unable to use the name “Abel” anyway, he had thought that using the original owner’s name would suffice. Perhaps changing the subject had been helpful, Abel looked back at the butler with a somewhat calmer expression. The butler, squatting by the fire and stirring the soup, turned to him. Yet his expression was oddly triumphant as if something long-awaited had finally arrived. While Melmond felt an inexplicable sense of unease at the sight, Abel asked cheerfully, seemingly oblivious to it all.

    “That’s right. I was curious too. I wanted to know what kind of name this beautiful person has. Hehe.”

    The butler stood up from his seat, straightened his neck, and first explained.

    “Our young master chose his own beautiful name that suits his also beautiful appearance.”

    “He chose his own name?”

    When Melmond asked with a frown, the butler nodded his head vigorously.

    “Of course. Ordinary names would only blemish our young master’s beauty. Our young master wanted the most beautiful name. That is…”

    The butler, who raised curiosity about the name with the background explanation, smiled and revealed the name.

    “Lilaiaretrenchloride.”

    “…What?”

    “Liliah Aretrin Chloride.”

    It was clear that the butler didn’t make up the words he said twice in a row. Moreover, he was already in a mode of boasting about the young master.

    “Hoho, it was a miracle that our young master, who was so foolish, memorized the name he made in just nine tries. Thanks to that, our moved master changed the name of a village in his territory to ‘Liliah Aretrin Chloride’…”

    A curse must have fallen upon the village. Melmond could feel the pain of the villagers without even looking at them. The butler was excited and told various stories about the name, but what was important right now was the name that Abel would use.

    “Abel, what should we do? That name is too lo…”

    “I will go by Liliah Aretrin Chloride.”

    Was this guy a genius?! Melmond was amazed that he had already memorized the name and asked, “Why?”

    Abel scratched his head in response.

    “It seemed like a polite thing to do for the people in the village who uses this name.

    It was a courtesy that no one wanted.

    The next morning, when Abel and his party were heading towards their final destination which have a cursed name. Before reaching their destination, they came across a group of people lying wounded and bleeding. It was still a little far from the soldier’s camp. What made it impossible for them to pass by was the insignia embroidered on their clothes, indicating they were allies. Melmond hastily stopped the carriage and got out. One of the soldiers was still alive. Abel and the butler quickly followed suit and prepared bandages and necessary medications.

    “Hey, are you awake?”

    Melmond asked the soldier who barely opened his eyes with a serious look. It was strange. This place was not a dangerous area as Melmond had already occupied it for a long time. That’s why he had deliberately come this way.

    But why did he have wounds as if they had been attacked suddenly?

    The strange thing didn’t end there. As soon as the soldier saw Melman, he gasped and uttered in a panting voice.

    “Th-this is a t-trap… Ugh! His Majesty… is in danger… Ugh! I must… inform…”

    “What are you talking about?! A trap and His Majesty is in danger? What kind of trap?”

    “I-i-inside…”

    The soldier seemed to be trying to tell the location, but passed out just as he raised his hand. Melmond realized the urgency of the situation and immediately stood up. Hesitating as if unsure what to do, he alternated his gaze between the carriage and the soldier.

    Calling for help was important, but saving the soldier was also important. He needed to hear the important words that the soldier hadn’t been able to say yet. However, judging by the soldier’s condition, it seemed more dangerous to move and worsen the injury. Unsure of what to do, Melmond hesitated, but Abel, who was far away, quickly approached.

    “Sir Melmond, please detach the horses from the carriage and call the soldiers. I and the butler will protect the soldiers. Hurry!”

    “But what if the enemy appears?”

    “If the enemy was going to come back, they wouldn’t have left the bodies like this to leave traces. And didn’t you say this area was safe?”

    Melmond bit his lip as if contemplating and then detached the horses from the carriage.

    “I’ll bring the soldiers right away!”

    As Melmobd hurriedly left, Abel approached the soldier and examined his wounds. Though he didn’t know much, the soldier seemed to be in significant danger due to severe bleeding. Fortunately, he was still conscious enough to speak a little.

    “Haa… Ugh… W-wa…ter…”

    “Butler, please bring some water.”

    “Oh! That…”

    The butler stood up from his seat and replied hesitantly.

    “The water jug is empty. We will arrive at our destination soon, and there are many abandoned villages nearby where we can easily get water from wells.”

    When he explained as if making an excuse, Abel calmly requested.

    “I’m sorry, but could you go to a nearby village and fetch some water?”

    “No, it’s not possible! I can’t leave the young master alone.”

    “I’ll stay here. Mr. Melmond will soon return with the soldiers, and there won’t be any danger.”

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