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    After finishing the makeshift treatment by washing his wounds with clean water and applying herbs found in the forest, Liev entered the bedroom. Renard, wrinkling his nose at the unfamiliar smell, woke up from his sleep. 

    “…I hurt you, right?” 

    Liev smiled bitterly at Renard’s gloomy voice. 

    “It’s okay. It’s not like you did it on purpose.” 

    Despite trying to comfort him, Renard, with a face still full of sadness, lazily snuggled into Liev’s arms. 

    “Oh, wait. The bandages are not” 

    Just as Liev was about to push Renard away, a bright light started to emanate from Renard’s hand, holding Liev’s injured arm. 

    “….!?” 

    Before Liev could ask what Renard was doing, a refreshing and warm, strange sensation came over him. When Renard removed his hand, the stinging pain that had been lingering on Liev’s entire forearm until a moment ago seemed to have disappeared. 

    “What? What did you just do.?” 

    As Liev hurriedly unraveled the bandages with one hand, to his surprise, the ugly, distorted scar was almost gone. Whether Liev was shocked or not, Renard, who had been looking at Liev’s wounds, answered with a disappointed expression that the scar was not completely gone.  

    “It seems this is as good as it gets. I tried my best.” 

    Then, as if dissatisfied with himself, he hit the sheet with his thick tail. 

    “Sorry. Because I’m still not good enough…”  

    When did Kevades have the ability to heal? Suhyuk, who had read the original work over and over again, also found this out for the first time. Now that I think of it, the description of Kevades recovery ability has come up at a very formidable level, even considering a dragon. However, whether that exceptional recovery ability was his natural resilience or his ability to heal himself was not properly explained and was left vague. 

    “You can use healing magic!?” 

    When Liev asked with wide eyes, Renard titled his head as if he didn’t know. 

    “Is this healing magic?” 

    “Yes?” 

    “It just works. I didn’t know I could do it to Liev too.”  

    It seemed that Renard, who had not received proper education, did not have any awareness of the terrifying things he could do. If he hadn’t been raised in human hands from the beginning, this wouldn’t have happened. It was bitter to see a young dragon, raised by human hands instead of dragons, not knowing what kind of being he was. Anyway, it would be better not to inform the Count about this. If he finds out he can heal himself, he will probably go crazy and make a fuss about making the experiments more intense than they are now. Liev couldn’t determine whether to be pleased or worried about this, so he sighed quietly. 

    “Thank you for healing me. But don’t mention this to the Count or Lady Priscilla. Let’s keep it our secret for now, okay?” 

    Renard nodded his small head, looking up at Liev with sparkling eyes. 

    “Okay! I won’t talk about it!” 

    “No, you can talk about it when you need to. If you want to heal someone who’s injured, you can do that. 

    “No! I don’t want to heal anyone except for Liev!” 

    “Well, isn’t that a bit of a problem?” Renard’s cheerful and cute response seemed oddly out of place. Liev was initially dumbfounded but eventually burst into laughter. Renard, hugging Liev, tightened his grip on Liev’s hand. How long could they maintain this fragile peace? Despite the daily unease and anxiety, couldn’t they just hold on a little longer, just a bit more? However, Liev knew that his time was running out.

    “Isn’t it time for the Antium Empire’s internal strife to begin soon?” 

    Looking at the date written in the letter he secretly checked without Lady Priscilla’s knowledge, it was around that time. The novel’s main setting, where Suhyuk transmigrated, was an old kingdom called “Airen,” oppressed by the Great Empire. The main protagonist, although not originally from the Empire but a warrior from Airen, was revealed to be the hidden prince of the kingdom. It was a typical adventure fantasy plot where he gathers the strengths of his comrades to confront the Empire threatening his homeland. So Count Vasil, who played the role of a mid-boss, was a noble from Airen as well. 

    “Count Vasil’s ultimate goal was not just to go beyond the kingdom of Airen but also to place the Antium Empire under his feet.” 

    When the Empire’s situation fluctuates, conflicts will arise among the nobles of the kingdom of Airen. As a result, Count Vasil, too, would be affected. The kingdom would demand the support of the nobles to face the threat of the Empire, and those nobles who did not listen would be kicked out of central power. It was a difficult situation for the Count, who was preparing for a rebellion but could not yet completely abandon the royal family.

    In the original work, the Count created the ultimate weapon called Kevades to combat this. Then, two years later, taking advantage of the rebellion by the third prince of the Empire trying to oust the crown prince, the Count sparked a civil war aiming to swallow the Kingdom of Airen. So, there were less than two years left for the Count to begin his plan. Within that time, he had to take Renard and entrust him to the Divine Dragon. 

    “Haah….” 

    He sighed because his head was pounding from his thoughts. Renard, who had been breathing softly with closed eyes, opened his eyes again and asked,   

    “What’s wrong? Does it still hurt?” 

    Reiev shook his head as his innocent eyes were full of worry. No matter what the Empire or Kingdom was planning, those issues had nothing to do with Renard. He took his hardship himself to save him from being caught up in the greed of humans and becoming a weapon. Liev immediately shook his head. 

    “No, I’m fine. Thanks to Renard, it doesn’t hurt.” 

    Liev held Renard in his arms again while contemplating. Within the next year and a half, no matter what happens, they must escape from this mansion. While he had managed to gather some money for the carriage, he still wasn’t sure how he would survive being wanted by the Count. Although he had acquired the ability to read and write, there was no place that would hire a child without a guardian. Should he pretend to be an orphan and enter a monastery or workshop as an apprentice? Although he was not certain about physical work, he was in no position to do anything to survive while hiding his identity. 

    “It was truly like a dream.” 

    As he planned for the future, the everyday life he had spent with Renard felt like an unrealistic dream. Now, it was time to prepare for the moment when he would truly wake up from this dream. Renard, on the other hand, was returning to his ordinary existence as a dragon, not as the evil dragon in the original work and I will return to the life of an ordinary extra possessed in a fantasy novel. 

    I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed. Even though he kept thinking about the moment when leaving him would come, a small lump remained in his heart. Liev had to calm his nerves. 

    Nothing was going to change. Renard would continue to grow step by step, and he would leave Renard when the time came for the situation. Cherishing the present was the best he could do. 

    “Let’s go to sleep quickly. We need to wake up early tomorrow.” 

    The important thing now was to help Renard become stronger in the remaining time, so he could survive without him in the future. 

    “Yeah, Liev, sleep well. Hnng.” 

    After Renard bid farewell with a slightly slurred pronunciation due to a yawn, he tightly hugged Liev. The warmth within the embrace was not only comforting but also brought sleep to Liev before long. The next day, Liev woke up to Lady Priscilla’s yelling and took Renard with him to the laboratory. As always, he injected venom into his small, delicate arms, and he hated himself for wishing this moment would last even just a little longer. All the self-blame and worries seemed meaningless, even though he knew it. 

    *** 

    Finally, the time came after more than a year and one month had passed. One day and nine years have passed since he suddenly entered the novel’s world. The moment when the Count and Lady Priscilla both left their positions arrived. 

    “What can you possibly do? You’re just a spoiled brat who eats the food given to him and has never done anything on his own.” 

    The Count did not anticipate that Liev, who had consistently kept his head lowered and never displayed any resistance even when beaten, would be planning to escape.

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