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    “Listen carefully. From now on, you will stay here and conduct very important research for the Count. Be grateful that the Count rescued you from being sold as a cheap slave in the market, where you almost ended up living worse than a dead dog.” 

    “If it weren’t for my attribute constitution being right, I would have ended up in the same situation. Suhyuk muttered a complaint to himself and nodded his head.  

    “Anyway, it’s a good thing for me.”  

    As the woman closed the door after saying she would come again tomorrow, Suhyuk began to realize how unrealistic the situation was. He had died, closed his eyes, and woke up as an extra in a novel he used to read when he was younger.  

    I still vividly remember the immense pain of my head getting hit and the feeling of my body falling. If I had died, I should have filed a complaint properly before dying. It would have been good if I had immediately sent the photos to the journalists emails as soon as I took them. Regret began to surface, but it was already too late.  

    “Anyway, I’m alive now.”  

    Whether this is a dream or not, this was something that he had dreamt of dozens and hundreds of times. What should he do now? As everything around him became quiet, it occurred to him that raising a dragon was not always a positive thing.  

    The Count planned to raise a dragon as a weapon to threaten the entire country. During this process, the dragon would go berserk, destroying the laboratory several times, and before launching a full-scale attack, the Count would use the dragon to burn down several villages as practice.  

    In the end, the dragon, who lost its intelligence due to the Count and left with its instincts, would meet its death at the hands of the protagonist and his party. From the protagonist’s point of view, the dragon would be nothing more than an enemy to be defeated, but…  

    “I can’t let it die like this.”  

    Suhyuk had no intention of leaving the coolest and strongest extraterrestrial creature with shiny scales to a fate like this.  

    “What should I do, then?”  

    Suhyuk thought for a moment, with his fingers holding his forehead. Kevades goes on a rampage after the Count removes his intelligence. If he could intervene to prevent the removal of his intelligence, then take advantage of the explosion to fake his death and then release Kevades to where the Count couldn’t find it. The next problem was obvious.  

    “How and where should I release Kevades?”  

    According to the special feature on dragons that Suhyuk obtained by begging the author about dragons, when a dragon hatches from an egg, it recognizes the first thing they see as their family and follows it as a companion. This was called imprinting.  

    My decision was made. First, let Kevades imprint on me. Then, gradually, pretend to raise Kevades as a weapon while teaching it how to live in the world like a normal child. Finally, at the right moment, I release Kevades in a place where the Count cannot find him. The most important step was the last one.  

    “Where should I release it? …….I think I know.”  

    In the original work, the protagonist and his party sought out the Divine Dragon to confront Kevades. Mahatra, a great ancient dragon who was said to have existed since the beginning of time, directed Kevades to be attacked and killed. 

    If Mahatra is a wise being that knows all truths and lends power to a virtuous warrior, wouldn’t he take in Kevades, who doesn’t pose a threat to the world? Since Kevades has not killed anyone or committed wrongdoing, he would be nothing more than a young and weak baby dragon in Mahatra’s eyes.  

    Alright. Perfect. As Suhyuk nodded in satisfaction after formulating a somewhat satisfactory plan, a sudden wave of overwhelming drowsiness engulfed him. Despite being in his thirties mentally, his body was that of a six-year-old child, so there was an unavoidable limit to his body.  

    “For now, I’ll sleep… and see how the Count’s minion comes out tomorrow.”  

    Before he could finish the sentence in his mind, his eyelids became heavy, and his eyes closed. While the surroundings were silent, the only sound that echoed like the wind was the distant noise of animals fleeing as if running away.  

    ***  

    The next morning, Suhyuk, who opened his eyes with a disheveled appearance, quietly waited in his room for the woman assisting the Count to arrive.  

    How much time had passed since the morning sun had risen? With a yawn, the little boy, who would probably be lying down and making loud snores, was awake. The woman who came in to wake the child was expecting to see a child sprawled out on the bed. But instead she was met with the sight of a neatly arranged bed, with only a child sitting on top, looking at her with a nonchalant expression.  

    “Huh…”  

    Surprised by the unexpected appearance, the woman was silent and the child asked in a calm voice.  

    “What should I do now?”  

    Suhyuk’s heart fluttered at the thought that he could meet the dragon egg right away. The woman, with a stern expression, took Suhyuk outside and asked,  

    “What’s your name?”  

    Suhyuk thought about it for a moment. This body’s owner had neither a name nor a surname. He was simply called “you,” “hey you,” or sometimes “lazy bastard.”

    The child’s face resembled his mother more than the father, who was already overflowing with children and had no features resembling himself. I suspected the mother may have committed adultery. That was the reason why she didn’t even bother to give a name to the youngest one, the owner of this body.  

    Should I answer that I don’t have a name? The moment Suhyuk opened his mouth, a sentence that appeared in the original work suddenly came to his mind.  

    [Do you happen to know someone named Mr. Liev?]  

    [“Well, almost every five houses have someone named Liev, so wouldn’t it be difficult to find someone based on that name alone?”]  

    It was a conversation that appeared during a chapter where the protagonist’s party was wandering to find a client. It was such a common name. Instead of saying he didn’t have a name, Suhyuk thought it would be better to use a common Korean name, like Minhyung or Jaehyun. But it would be suspicious if he had such a strange name.  

    “It’s Liev.”  

    “Liev. A common and bland name.”  

    The woman, as if understanding, turned her gaze away and walked across the hallway.  

    “From now on, your job is to put firewood in the brazier. The firewood for fuel is piled up over there, so bring it. Keep an eye on the fire to make sure it doesn’t get bigger or smaller and if it looks like the egg is about to crack, ring that bell to call me and the Count. Do you understand?”  

    Suhyuk nodded quickly. The woman, who brought Suhyuk to the room where the egg was yesterday, gave him a demonstration and then watched to see if Liev, the child, would make any mistakes.  

    Since Kevades was born from the bloodline of a fire dragon, it required maintaining a consistent temperature of flames to create an artificial incubation environment. It was quite a demanding task. Liev quickly got used to it since all he had to do in the end was throw an endless pie of firewood under the brazier.  

    It became his daily routine to sit in front of the fire all day, except when he turned off the fire for a while to let the eggs cool and sleep.   

    One day, while Liev was absentmindedly staring at the flame, there was a small cracking sound from somewhere in the eggshell.  

    “……!”  

    Startled, Liev’s eyes looked at the egg as expected, a thin crack was slowly getting longer and longer from the upper right corner. The egg was hatching. Should he call the Count and the woman? Liev, who was about to get up to ring the bell, suddenly realized what he had been waiting for.  

    Until a dragon grows to a certain size and gains intelligence, it only follows the target it has imprinted on. If it loses the imprinted target or is separated from it due to an unfortunate accident, it will feel anxious and lose energy.  

    That means that if Kevades imprints on the Count, no matter how many times Liev tells him that he wants Kevades to be set free, Kevades may reject it, saying that he cannot leave the Count.  

    So, what should he do? What should he say to make the Count understand that he was imprinted on by the dragon?  

    After a moment of thinking, Liev came up with a very childish solution. Yes, that would work. After all, once imprinted, the baby dragon who loses his imprinter would be very anxious. Whatever happens, the Count won’t do much harm to him.  

    After a while, when the Count heard the bell ringing by Liev, he came running and couldn’t help but be shocked by the scene unfolding before his eyes.  

    The egg he had been eagerly waiting for, by sacrificing countless children, was completely hatched. Moreover, it seemed that the baby dragon, which must have been born inside the shell, was clinging to the boy and chewing on his eggshell.  

    “How did this happen? I told you to ring the bell if it looked like it was going to crack.”  

    To this, the child, with tears welling up in his eyes as if he were about to cry at any moment.  

    “I’m sorry, I feel asleep.”  

    “Ugh, you little rascal.”  

    The moment he saw the hatchling clinging to the child and snoring, he knew what he had said to be true. The Count, looking at the cute snout blowing out hot air, felt like collapsing on the spot. 

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