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    Loves Error

    *** 

    When Liev regained consciousness, he found himself staring at an unfamiliar ceiling. The interior inner walls, which appeared as if stacked with logs, were made entirely of timber. 

    “Where am I? Did I die again?” As he lost consciousness, he felt a similar sense of déjà vu—that he had given up on everything. How did he live? No one would ever pass by a place like that. With this in mind, he tried to get up, but he didn’t move. It wasn’t like he was tied up or anything but all he could do was toss and turn. As Liev made a rustling sound in the blanket, someone spoke from a little distance away. 

    “Are you awake? I found you collapsed suddenly and brought you here,” the man said nonchalantly. 

    The person who spoke was a middle-aged man with a bushy beard who looked like a hunter from a typical fantasy novel. 

    Liev widened in surprise and tried to sit up but failed. Observing this, the man explained, 

    “It looks like you’ve consumed Pladerium. You are having trouble moving due to side effects. But you will get better in a day or so. 

    As Liev stared at the man in surprise, he continued,

    “You can tell by looking. If it weren’t for Pladerium, you wouldn’t have survived. It’s tough for someone to enter the forbidden forest and not only survive but also show symptoms of paralysis. 

    The man then sipped warm tea from a wooden cup. Liev, unsure of how to react to the situation, was left in bewilderment. Should he express gratitude for the help? Can he trust this person? What if he was sent by the Count? The Count might have discovered his identity, especially after Liev was exposed in the city where he bought herbs. 

    Unable to speak, Liev continued to gaze at the man with a confused expression. Sensing the uncertainty, the man spoke again,

    “I won’t ask about your reasons for ending up there. Take a good rest. I’ll be outside.” 

    With that, the man closed the door behind him, leaving Liev alone. Who is this person? Can I really trust him? Could this soon be a sudden betrayal? Numerous clichés from fantasy novels flashed through Liev’s mind. 

    When you are into fantasy novels, you read about settings like, after receiving help from strangers, you find yourself in a village full of cannibals. This isn’t a brutal fantasy novel, but a boy’s story close to traditional fantasy, so I guess it’s okay? But he can’t be at ease because giving a twist like that has been popular for a while. 

    “……” 

    Liev thought of all sorts of random thoughts and then laid his head back on the pillow and closed his eyes. What does it matter either way? His role had ended long ago. An extra who wouldn’t be surprised even if he had died changed the fate of the final boss on his own and survived longer than the original, so what’s the point of regretting now? Now that Renard was out of his hands, it didn’t matter what happened. 

    “…That’s funny.” 

    Until recently, he had been contemplating what he should do with his life—whether he should take up a trade or enter a workshop to become an apprentice. 

    However, after successfully completing a major task, all his motivation disappeared. It felt as if not just his chest but the important parts of his survival had been cut away. It was natural. For the past ten years, Renard has been everything to Liev. He was my only family member, friend, younger brother, and child.

    He had been with him every step of the way, from when his egg first cracked to speaking for the first time, his first steps and learning how to fly. They had gone through every process together. It was strange that he had separated from someone whom he had never been apart from, not even for a single moment.

    “…….” 

    Still, Renard would probably live well there. The inside was filled with magic, an area ordinary people couldn’t approach no matter what they tried. Renard has someone who could truly protect him and would go on to live a different fate. Not as a monstrous final boss sentenced to death, but as an ordinary dragon with a new life. 

    Yes, that should be fine. I’ve done everything I can, so it should be okay now. As Liev envisioned the moment Renard would thrive on his own, warm tears trickled down, following the curves of his cheeks. 

    “Ah…” 

    In reality, it wasn’t okay. The vivid scars on Renard’s arms kept flashing before his eyes. Why did he rush at me? Even though he was holding a dagger, wasn’t it frightening? No, in truth, he already knew the answer. It was the conviction that no matter what happened, Liev would never harm him. But Renard couldn’t avoid the sharp blade. In that moment, he ended up inflicting visible wounds on Liev. 

    “…It’s okay. He knows healing magic, so he probably treated it right away.” 

    Even though Renard was the one injured, Liev’s heart felt as if it had been torn to pieces. Despite desperately trying to keep his mouth shut and avoid crying like a child, beast-like cries continued to escape, echoing the pain. You knew it would hurt. Why did you give him affection, knowing that? When it comes to parting, he could pride himself on having experienced more than ordinary people. 

    As a veterinary school student, he watched hundreds of animals die every day. Among them, there were some that had to be euthanized right away because there was no possibility of recovery from the beginning, as well as those he believed could be saved, and he spent sleepless nights caring for them, thinking they might survive. However, death always lingered on Suhyuk’s side, mocking his efforts. There had been cases of animals for which he felt proud that they would survive but were found dead the next morning or were road-killed immediately after being released and returned as corpses. 

    “So, it’s time to get used to it now. Though there was some trouble, he should consider myself fortunate to have safely returned him to his habitat. But the empty space they shared together for so long made him cry like an idiot.” 

    You’re not really fifteen, how old are you now?

    Even if he mocks himself as pathetic, nothing changes. The missing piece won’t fill just because he wishes it would. After crying for a while, the man knocked lightly again and came in. 

    “Are you feeling better now? You’ve been down for over a day, so I thought you should start eating something.” 

    The wooden tray in the man’s handheld is a porridge-like dish. Liev, who by now could move a bit, reluctantly got up from his spot, groaning. 

    “Leave it here. Once you finish, put it back here. I’ll come to clear it later.” 

    He left the room again, and although he was still suspicious of him, he hated himself for having no choice but to doubt him. Liev slowly reached out towards the porridge, then crouched again in nausea. Do you want to live like this? After causing such pain to that kid like that, Liev hunched over again, closing his eyes. 

    He couldn’t bring himself to end his own life like this. He needed to confirm whether Renard had really been taken by Mahatra. He had to make sure that his plan to change his fate was successful. He lived because he could not die, he needed to fill his stomach with whatever was necessary to live. 

    Liev got up again, holding a spoon made of wood. He chuckled and spoke while staring at the spoon, which was crafted skillfully as if carved by hand. To be honest, the porridge was tasteless. Maybe because the seasoning wasn’t as good or because the person who made it couldn’t cook. 

    Still, eating the porridge that someone had carefully prepared for him made him feel a little warm inside. As soon as he regains his strength, he should properly thank the man for saving him. Liev made up his mind and managed to empty the bowl. 

    A special destiny waited for special beings, and a small life as a supporting role awaited extras. 

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