Erna had silently wept as she hugged Kalion well into the night.
The soup she’d decided to prepare for him had already gotten cold. But Kalion, saying it was fine, told her to give it to him.
“Isn’t it better warm?” Erna asked, feeling the cool bowl.
Kalion shook his head saying, “It’s harder for me to eat warm things. The sores in my mouth and throat burn.”
She felt his pain.
His hands still lacked strength and she took pleasure in putting the bowl of soup to his lips.
Kalion, however, made no attempt to eat it.
“Should I eat this first, too?” asked Erna, taste-testing the food.
“Alright,” she continued, “say ‘ahhhh’. That’s enough.”
Kalion frowned at being spoken to like a child.
Seeing him that way, she giggled as if the situation were comical while running her fingers over the wrinkles between Kalion’s eyebrows.
She smiled brightly, but her eyes betrayed the tears she had shed during the night.
On top of that, her face registered the exhaustion that she had unsuccessfully tried to hide.
He has slept here for two days.
She couldn’t trust anyone else, which is why she, herself, had taken care of him for 48 straight hours.
Kalion twirled his tongue.
The wizards used to burn out after casting a mighty spell—even if they knew nothing of their own magic. Just like Erna had done at the lake the last time.
But no matter how much power she borrowed from the Piece of the Sea, she had to rest after having put a new protective spell on the Grand Castle. Without rest, she couldn’t go on to other things.
Kalion looked at her then grabbed her waist and sat her on his lap. Then he caressed her waist and bre*sts.
She hit his forehead with the spoon in her hand, making a loud clacking sound.
“Ow! What are you doing hitting a sick person?”
No matter how much of a strong knight he was, his forehead would feel pain like anyone else’s. Tears welled up in his eyes at the stinging pain.
“Is a sick man supposed to behave in such a way?”
She looked at him incredulously, but his hands were still feeling her body. He mumbled, not even thinking of rubbing his forehead, “You haven’t eaten either.”
“You’ve lost weight over the past two days. On second thought, your face is as stressed as mine. Eat with me. I don’t like when you’re skinny.”
“What does it matter if I am skinny or not?”
Kalion’s hands wandered over her arms, bre*sts, and stomach. She answered him by striking his hands. Normally she would simply say, “Not a chance,” but not today. His hands fell away at her slap.
“You touched me when I was young. Are you a pervert?”
Kalion didn’t succumb to Erna’s grumbling. Erna didn’t stop him anymore, effectively allowing him to do as he pleases.
Kalion’s hands only touched her carefully on the soft spots of her body.
That’s what happened when they first started sharing this room in an effort to closer to each other. He grabbed her leg, and she smacked his hand as if she’d touched a flame. And then he soon caressed her all over her body.
“Why do you always touch me like this?”
Although, it wasn’t a question that warranted a reply, Kalion answered, “Because you are the smoothest and squishiest.”
She simply looked at him.
“I don’t like firmness,” he explained, “it hurts every time I touch it.”
He glanced at his arms. Plenty of time had already passed, but there was a different skin color around his elbows. At first glance, it made one wonder if he had gotten hurt during a war. But it had happened during his childhood.
“Treatment was an ordeal when I was young, so my mother put me in a corner of our home. We had a servant, but—” His voice trailed off.
He had been nothing but skin and bones because he hadn’t eaten properly. It hurt when someone touched him in one spot for a prolonged period. Therefore, he had had to lie in softer spots, but the servant said “The more you do that, the weaker you’ll get,” and changed Kalion’s bed to a hard one and removed the sheets.
Kalion had fired back, but all for naught.
As for his mother, she was caring for his newborn younger sibling, so it was difficult to see her more than once a month, and there was no one else who looked after him. No one had cared about the completely dejected prince, third in line for the throne.
After laying on his wooden, sheetless bed all day, the protruding parts of his bones had begun to grind.
Kalion had bullied his servant into using sheets again, but he’d treated his words like the bluffing of a weakling, saying “I’m praying to the Lord, so you’ll be fine.”
Kalion later learned that the servant connected the healing of his sick child to the power of prayer. The servant thoroughly believed that by employing these methods, he was helping Kalion. The other servants entrusted all Kalion’s care to this one servant, as it lightened their workload.
Any parts of his body that touched the bed ached every time he breathed. Then, one day the servant left a tiny cushion behind after taking care of laundry in a different room.
Kalion desperately reached out and wrapped his arms around the soft and squishy pillow that didn’t hurt him. He joyfully rubbed his face in it and put it under his body—until the next day when the servant removed it.
Two months later, until his mother saw his condition and shouted, Kalion continued to miss the fluffy cushion and the comfort it brought him. Shortly afterwards, he came to Hessenguard.