Chapter 4: Cassis is Awake

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I went back to the dungeons the next day.

My second visit got off to a better start than the first.
The guardsman remained the same.
As soon as he recognised me, he opened the door for me.

I gave the guardsman a curious look before walking into the hallway.
“Since I came, has anyone else visited the prisoner besides me? Jeremy, Charlotte, or someone else…?”

He said, “No, Lord Agriche told me that none shall pass.”

“I did.”, I grinned. 

When he heard what I said, the guardsman paused before laughing.

He said, “You are the only one I gave permission to enter.” He appeared to be telling the truth.

I asked, “What’s your name?”

“Yes, Miss?”

“What’s your name?” I asked again.

The guardsman reddened as though I had spoken sweetly even though I was younger and spoke casually.
He gave off the impression that I was favouring him and seemed to be the kind of man who wasn’t used to good treatment.

“Miss, my name is Yo-an.”

“I’m thankful, Yo-an.
I sincerely hope my visits won’t cause you any difficulty.” I said.

“Yes, Miss!” When I had called his name, his face had become a deep red.
He started laughing again.
Along his neck, red spots were appearing as if he were getting drunk.  He shivered in excitement.

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“It’s my honor to see you, Miss Roxana, whom I have only heard about through rumors I am happy to assist you…”

I gave him a smile.
When the guardsman stopped speaking, I took the chance to go into the prison.

The dungeons annoyed me.
I frequently excused myself from going because of the foul smell in the air.
Since Cassis Pedelian was imprisoned inside, it was impossible to avoid it this time.

Creeeaaak.

The prison door squeaked as if it hadn’t received any oil in a century.
Were prisons always this way? The majority of prison doors were portrayed as rotting wooden doors with rusted iron bar panes in books, movies, and dramas.
The prison in this location was the same.
The poor upkeep was evident, or perhaps the humidity made it impossible to avoid it.

Strong golden eyes the colour of a blazing sun gazed back at me as I entered the prisoner’s area.
He seemed to not be reserving even the slightest amount of his anger at me from his almost blinding gaze.

“Oh, I see you’re awake today,” I said.

I had anticipated that he would once more be unconscious for whatever reason.
I paused.

He appeared to have been holding his breath when he heard me approaching, just as I had.
Finally, he broke the silence.

“You..” he frowned.

Did he know who I am? He seemed unsure, as if I were a person he had dreamed of.

When I entered his prison cell fully, he became stiff.

“What did you feed me yesterday?” Despite the tremble in his voice, he maintained a steady look.
Should I describe him as heroic or foolish for maintaining his pride while having his limbs restrained? I was interested.
I’ve wanted to ask him a question since yesterday.
Would he respond to me?

I answered coolly, “I detoxified you using a chemical reagent for your liver to nullify any poisons.
You may have been fed a paralyzing drug.
You wouldn’t have been able to think clearly for the next five days if I hadn’t stepped in.
The drug distorts the mind.”

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I noticed that he had more wounds compared to yesterday.
Usually, prisoners who were whipped had teeth marks over their lips; a memento of their valiant efforts to bear the lashes.
I had no intention of healing him if he had been whipped.
Too many whiplash injuries were visible.
If I attempted to close the gaping flesh on his back, someone would notice.

“Why do you think I will believe you?” Cassis said.

I remarked, “You look more alert than yesterday.” “Now we can actually have a conversation”

His lips tightened as he took in my words, his mind still unsure whether  to believe  me or not.
He appeared to be a cautious person, but his eyes glistened with eagerness as though he wanted to ask more questions.

He was careful with his words.
“Is the antidote you gave me supposed to completely heal me? What sort of medicine did you give me?”

“Not completely,” I replied.

I had a glimpse of his tortured emotions behind his eyes.
His expression grew sterner once more in an instant.
He licked his lips.

“Who in the world are you?” His scratchy voice echoed against the floor and drifted off.
Although his tone was impressive, his face was still closer to the floor than anywhere else.
I wanted to tease him a little.
Why not introduce yourself first if you wanted to find out who someone was?

“Cassis Pedelian,” I said.

He flinched as I uttered his name.

“Am I correct?” I spoke quietly.
“I’m glad to have met you.
What could my name be? Hmm”

The possibility that this man was not Cassis Pedelian and that I had not actually been reborn into a book was still something I entertained up until this point.
It’s possible that the prisoner wasn’t who I had anticipated, or that the plot changed after I was born.
My stream of thought was interrupted by his stern tone.

“Yes, that is my name” Cassis replied.
“So you recognised who I am and ambushed me with your shady numbers.
You captured me on purpose to detain me here.

Oh, sh*t, I was right.
I had been transported to an R-19 novel.

“You seem really reluctant to reveal your identify.
Are you a filthy Agriche henchman?” he said.

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This pitiful bastard.
He appeared to be aware in some way that an Agriche had kidnapped him.

Then again, my father lacked the personality necessary to hide his true identity or his involvement in a crime.
He carried out his plans regardless of what the general public thought and just laughed at disdainful or disapproving remarks.

I remained still and sighed lightly.
I said, “I’ve been curious for a while.”

“I asked who you were.
Answer me first,” he said.

I inquired what I had been wondering since yesterday, ignoring Cassis Pedelian’s fury.

“With your eyes, you can’t see anything, can you?” I spoke quietly.

In the dungeon, silence hung in the air between us.
When he responded to me, Cassis did not let his pride slip even for a moment.
“That’s right.
I’m blind.”

I moved up to face him.
His gaze precisely matched the sounds of my steps.
Cassis seemed to instinctively follow my motions and make eye contact with me as I unlocked the jail door.
It wasn’t surprising why I hadn’t been sure if he was disabled or not.

“How many fingers do you see?” I checked.
I waved at him while holding out my hand.

“Stop it,” he said.
Naturally, he didn’t directly respond to my question because he was unsure.
I was beginning to comprehend his character.
He was too righteous to lie outright.

I remarked, “It makes sense.
You were a bit unresponsive when we met yesterday.”

He would have displayed the tiniest hint of hesitancy when he first set eyes on me if his eyes could have seen me clearly.
Despite the fact that our noses were virtually in contact, his eyes wouldn’t dart back and forth like they were doing just now.
I was the first to realise how powerful my beauty might be, and besides..Cassis hadn’t recognised me.
I almost knew for sure he was blind once he thought I was a henchman.

His vision was clear when he first arrived at the castle.
Before being brought to the dungeons, he stared at my father, my siblings, and I.

One of the guards must have struck him with a club, impairing his sight.
He must not have been fed a paralyzing drug after all.
I paid special attention to his restrictions.
He still had heavy rope tying his hands and feet together.
Strips of nearly unbreakable demon leather were woven into the rope.
If the guards had to use superior restraints to hold Cassis, it must have been difficult to contain him.

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The glare he gave me yesterday in this cell struck a chord with me.
Had the fact that we had previously established eye contact merely been a coincidence given that he was blind?

I lowered my gaze to his physique,, looking for other signs of major injuries.

Observing something, I ripped his shirt off without thinking twice, exposing his entire chest.
At my touch, his eyebrows sprang up in surprise.

Over his stomach, a little swirling tattoo had been engraved.
The black lines followed the ridges of his abs as they dipped up and down.
I was knowledgeable about this magic.
The spell’s target experienced extreme pain.
Cassis’ ability to still act rebelliously shocked me.

I muttered, “Don’t worry, the spell is only temporary.” As I spoke to him, I lowered my eyes and fixed them on his face.
He appeared to make precise eye contact with me once more.

It was impossible to miss his domineering presence.
When he was unconscious yesterday, he had made a nice and soft impression on me.
Today was unique.
His powerful demeanour and golden eyes exuded the presence of a nobleman rather than the aura of a seventeen-year-old boy.

“We’ll leave your eyes alone for now,” I said.

He didn’t appear frightened or anxious.
His eyes only observed me coolly.

I answered, “I know this spell.
“After two days, your eyesight should gradually start to return.
It would be foolish to try to heal you earlier.
The hex may worsen if I try to interfere.”

Cassis remained silent, as if he was questioning the truth of my words.

I quietly said, “You might not believe this, but I don’t want you to die.”

“You…” he said.
When he sensed the honesty in my voice, his expression changed.

I said “Please excuse me now” 

“Wait!” Cassis reached out to me blindly, but I easily avoided him and left the dungeon.

Jangmi – This chapter was fun to translate and it  feels like the start of something good.
Seeing Cassis helpless and tied up, yet still retaining his pride in his weak moments is just so hot. 

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