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    Zachary looked much more mature than he had a few years ago. Of course, if one looked closely, there were still traces of youthfulness, but the unfamiliar feeling was undeniable. It was definitely the Zachary I knew, yet something was different. However, there was no time to stand idly by and admire.

    Pant, pant.”

    Zachary was breathing heavily, gasping for air. The way he twitched and convulsed in agony was distressing to see.

    During my time in this mansion, I had never seen any of the servants in pain. Of course, they are human, so they can get sick, but…

    ‘He shouldn’t be able to feel pain.’

    I had heard that through basic training, almost all sense of pain is eliminated. This meant that no matter how excruciating the pain felt, it couldn’t be expressed.

    ‘It’s hot.’

    Zachary’s body, which I was holding, was as hot as a ball of fire. My mind went blank from the boiling heat, but I couldn’t just stand there doing nothing.

    I hurriedly carried Zachary to the bed. He was so heavy that even moving this short distance left me breathless.

    ‘I’m going to die…’

    After moving Zachary, I was drenched in sweat. Zachary was the one who was sick, but looking at me, you’d think I was the patient. I barely managed to support my trembling body and successfully laid Zachary on the bed.

    Zachary continued to gasp for breath without showing any other reaction. It was indeed strange. Wondering if the wet clothes were the problem, I struggled to remove them. However, the fabric, already soaked, clung tightly to his body, making it difficult.

    “Zachary, can you hear me?”

    Despite my repeated calls, Zachary remained unresponsive. In the meantime, his body was getting hotter, as if on fire.

    ‘Could there be a problem with the magical sigil?’

    Suddenly, I wondered if this pain was related to magic. Perhaps there was an issue caused by the magical sigil I had broken a while ago.

    As I reached for the bandage around Zachary’s neck to check the magical sigil,


    A strong grip suddenly seized my wrist. Before I could even react in surprise, I felt a burning heat on my skin. It was Zachary who had grabbed my wrist. When I looked up, I saw Zachary staring at me with half-open eyes.

    “Are you awake? Are you okay?”


    Leaning in to take a closer look, Zachary merely stared at me intently, without uttering a word.

    His eyes, almost navy in their depth of blue, were fixed on me. He seemed to be trying to grasp the situation, slowly opening and closing his eyes. His face was so flushed with heat that it felt like it could emit warmth just by looking at it.

    ‘What should I do? He must be in real pain.’

    How severe must the pain be to penetrate through spells meant to numb pain and end up bedridden like this? Even now, beads of cold sweat dotted his forehead as he lay in bed.

    Is it really an issue with the curse, or is it just a common cold? It was frustrating not knowing the reason. I wanted to hurry and unwrap the bandages, but I couldn’t move because Zachary was holding onto my wrist so tightly.

    “You’re too hot……”

    Sighing, I reached out with my free hand and gently placed it on Zachary’s forehead. I slowly wiped away his sweat with the back of my hand. Throughout, Zachary remained silent. He simply kept his eyes fixed on me, quietly observing my actions.

    ‘Is it because it’s been so long since we’ve seen each other’s faces?’

    Why… I’m not sure why, but strangely, the gaze Zachary had on me no longer felt colorless like that of someone drowned and dead.

    It was vivid. It was so vivid that just looking at him made my mouth go dry from an inexplicable heat.

    “This won’t do.”

    I muttered as if to flee.

    “I’ll get some medicine.”

    Right. This wasn’t the time to be doing this. No matter how the spells are designed to prevent feeling pain, the foundation is still human. I felt it would ease my mind to give him painkillers and fever medicine, and just in case, a few cold medicine pills.

    I withdrew my hand from Zachary’s forehead and tried to get up. But once again, my attempt was thwarted.

    Suddenly, Zachary grabbed my wrist again. I turned around with a small groan as my body awkwardly twisted, and he was still desperately holding on to me, panting heavily.

    “What are you doing? I said I’m going to get some medicine.”

    I wondered why he kept doing this. Preventing me from unraveling the bandages to check the curse, and from getting medicine. Just as I was thinking that he was acting out of character today.


    I froze, my eyes wide open. Zachary gently held my clenched fist and began to unfold each finger slowly. This action was incredibly slow and embarrassing. Because all the while, his gaze was fixed on me as if nailed in place.

    But if it had stopped there, I wouldn’t have been frozen stiff, unable to do anything. With his face still flushed with fever, he brought my wrist up to his nose. And then, as if smelling something, he took a deep breath.

    “You, now, what are you.”

    He rubbed my wrist against his nose. His expression was very strange.

    He was supposed to be under a spell. He shouldn’t have been able to show any emotion on his face. Yet, it looked as if his expression was crumbling.

    Seeing this, I felt as if I was witnessing something I shouldn’t have, and my face heated up with embarrassment.

    “Young master.”

    I twitched, my body involuntarily shuddering.

    Zachary, with his soft and low voice, looked at me.

    “Now, I can smell you, young master.”

    A strange light danced in his deep blue eyes.

    I wanted to know what he meant, but it seemed Zachary could no longer maintain consciousness. With those cryptic words, he closed his eyes as if his light had been extinguished.

    His long, dense eyelashes completely covered his blue eyes. Even as Zachary breathed unevenly, I remained stiff, merely opening my mouth slightly in confusion and staring blankly.


    Zachary asleep, and I awake.

    Watching Zachary, so peacefully with his eyes closed, made the recent events feel like a dream. They seemed so unreal. The atmosphere was… hard to explain, but more than that.

    “……Did he just speak?”

    Zachary’s words had always been limited to “Young master,” “Please have your meal,” “Please wake up,” and other such phrases for my benefit. He never spoke beyond what was necessary for my daily life. But hadn’t he just said, “Now, I can smell you”?

    ‘Could the spell have been lifted?’

    A possibility suddenly struck me. What if Zachary’s ailment was a side effect of the spell breaking? And what if the breaking of the spell allowed him to speak freely?

    I sat up abruptly and clung to Zachary’s wrist. I quickly unraveled the talisman to check, but the curse mark I had previously seen on one wrist remained dark, almost turning to gray. The other wrist seemed to have darkened slightly more than before, but there was no significant change.

    ‘Then, has there been some change in the curse mark on his neck? After all, that’s the main one.’

    I cautiously approached Zachary’s face. Thankfully, he seemed less feverish than before, but there was still a warmth to his sleeping body. I felt guilty about unwrapping the bandages before giving him any medicine, but checking was necessary.

    With nervous hands, I slowly unwound the bandage. Hoping that the curse mark had been even slightly dispelled, I looked at Zachary’s neck with great anticipation, but……

    “It’s the same.”

    I let my shoulders sag.

    All the tension I had felt was for naught, leaving me deflated. The curse mark on Zachary’s neck remained as vividly red as ever, shining brightly even in the darkness. A sigh of disappointment escaped me, feeling like there was still a long way to go.

    ‘No change after all.’

    I had weakened the curse mark on his wrist in hopes of breaking the one on his neck. I had hoped that this change might have been the reason for Zachary’s suffering, but it was just a vain fantasy. There was no easy way, after all.

    I covered the bandage again and thought about getting up to fetch a wet cloth to reduce his fever.

    ‘Wait a minute. That means……’

    A thought flashed through my mind.

    When bound by a spell, one cannot move freely. One must obey the master’s commands. In Zachary’s case, he is supposed to move only for me……

    However, Zachary tried to wash me against my wishes. And just before, he mentioned he could now ‘smell’ me. That must mean he can now ‘properly’ smell me. So……

    ‘How bad must I have smelled for him to say such a thing, despite being under a spell?’

    ……Wow, this is really embarrassing.

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