Chapter 113.1

Chapter 113.1

As soon as he opened his eyes, Ruben felt the most excruciating headache in his life. It felt as if someone had mercilessly hit the back of his head with an iron club. He groaned agonizingly. Not only was his head throbbing, but his cheek was burning as if it had been repeatedly smacked by someone. However, Ruben couldn’t care less about his cheek as searing pain radiated all over his body.

Ruben tried to get up, but he couldn’t move a finger at will. What’s going on here? Before he could even grasp the situation, he tasted blood. He coughed instinctively to spit out the pool of blood in his mouth. He opened his eyes with difficulty, and the light from the lamp was painful for his eyes that had become accustomed to the darkness. He blinked several times to adjust to the brightness.

“Ruben! Open your eyes!”

Suddenly, it was several times brighter.


Ruben shut his eyes tightly, writhing in pain because of the blinding light. Above him was Erna, who glared at him coldly.

“Put it away!” Ruben begged while he squirmed like a worm and floundered his arms. Erna put the lamp away with regret. She had wanted to make it many times brighter and put it right in front of his eyes. Ruben breathed in relief, perhaps recognizing that the light had faded.

Erna spoke, masking her voice in as much concern she could muster, “Ruben? Can you hear me?”

“Eh, Erna?”

What a shame, Erna thought, I guess his hearing is fine.

Erna swallowed her spite. Ruben’s condition was miserable enough to earn sympathy from anyone. Since he had been put to sleep by magic and medicine, he was not able to receive proper nourishment which caused his previously fit body to thin. In particular, the area around his eyes had become hollow and dark.

It was evident that even if he would return to his senses, he would not be able to move properly. Moreover, the poison he ate should have taken away some of his sight.

But despite everything, Erna didn’t feel an ounce of pity for him. You should taste your own poison.

The poison that Ruben had consumed was the same poison that hurt Kalion. It wasn’t fatal enough to take a life; it only caused all kinds of pain and inconvenience to the consumer to the extent that it was painful to be alive.

Far from feeling apologetic, when Erna thought of Kalion writhing in pain from the poison, her fists clenched even more tightly. I just gave it back to you.

“Yes, do you know who I am?” Erna asked, breaking free from her angry thoughts.

“Why do you, no, why do I…”

Erna brought a glass of water to Ruben’s mouth as he struggled to breathe. He trembled unconsciously when the cold glass touched his lips, but immediately gulped the water as soon as he realized.

However, Erna kept pouring water into his mouth nonstop, causing Ruben, who was still lying down, to almost choke. But she didn’t care. If it was Kalion, she would have fed him with her own mouth so as not to waste a single drop, but there was no reason to show such kindness to this man.


Ruben exhaled heavily. The sensation of cold water spreading throughout his body felt uncomfortable. He could barely catch his breath, but his mind was still clouded.

Ruben desperately tried to recall his last memory. He had been eagerly waiting for the night to come after receiving Erna’s invitation. Then… Poison! He had collapsed after eating the food his servant had brought him. The servant then delivered the words of the first prince. Right after, he lost consciousness.

For once, Ruben was relieved he had survived, but soon his body would tense again.

What had happened after that? Why was he alive when he should have died? Even more, why was Erna next to him?

Maybe I said something.

He had many things to hide from Erna. When he lost rationality, he didn’t know what he was going to say to her.

But… Ruben recalled Erna’s voice when she was talking to him a while ago. As soon as he regained consciousness, the first thing he heard was her voice, which was oddly unfamiliar. Ruben wondered why he thought so, and not long after, he knew the answer.

Did her tone change?

The Erna he remembered until he collapsed, never spoke so kindly to him. Erna treated Ruben thoroughly, as if not to forget that she was Grand Duke of Hessenguard. Even after thinking that they had become quite close, her condescending tone remained.

Ruben opened his eyes again with difficulty. Everything seemed blurry; he could only make out the silhouette of objects.

“Don’t move, you’re still a mess.” He heard Erna say.

“This… what happened…”

Ruben had always been conscious of his surroundings since he was born in Aether. His instincts were telling him to comprehend the situation foremost.

“Don’t you remember? You collapsed after consuming poison.”

At Erna’s words, Ruben fell silent for a moment before asking again, “How could that happen? Your magic is evident within the Grand Castle.”

“Yes, so I could tell right away when you lost consciousness.”

Erna then explained to Ruben what had happened:

She came running to him as soon as she noticed something strange, but he was already poisoned and on tiptoes to death. Fortunately, Erna had memorized the magic she had used to treat Kalion before, and doctors at the Grand Castle had plenty of medicinal herbs ready. However, when she found out that he would still make it out alive, she hid him out of the reach of others.

“Of course, we haven’t found the culprit yet. And another problem arose,” she paused and looked Ruben straight in the eye before continuing, “Aether crossed the border of Hessenguard with an army, looking for you. They’re camped right in front of the capital right now.”

Ruben was at a loss. What’s going on here? Aether had sent someone to assassinate him. But was that really Aether? Or was it someone else? But there was no one else who knew about his relationship with the first prince.

Erna explained further. Ruben could barely hold it together. His head was spinning.

“Aether kept trying to check your condition. Strangely enough… it seems like they are aware of what happened to you. They kept telling me to let you go. Of course, I didn’t say that you were poisoned. I thought that there would be war with Aether any moment if I said so.”

Ruben swallowed his dry saliva. Perhaps Aether was that worried when they lost contact with him? Otherwise… They were making sure I’m dead.



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