Chapter 102 – Those People Who Think Of You (1)
Translator: SKAIS Editor: Eyeful Solstice
“Hear anything strange?” the guard tilted his head.
“Yes, like the ground shaking or something. Even rocks falling not far from here. Like an unexpected occurrence? Anyway… I know it sounds a little weird.” I said.
“Well, I don’t know… …I’ve been at the entrance all this time, but I never felt anything like that at all.” The guard stated.
The guard scoured Ricdorian’s prison cell as he was talking, and grappled the metal buckle of his belt as he walked slowly back and forth. His eyes were scanning the entire place as if looking for something hidden. All the while, he displayed a plain suspicious look on his face.
“Well, it’s deep underground, so the sound of the water chamber wall falling apart and the sound of some small stones falling down would make a loud sound. I understand that you might be surprised. It’s a cave here after all.” The guard added.
Following his eyes, I saw a huge and deep hollow. Within it was a puddle that didn’t dry out since the last rain. There were some pretty large stones next to it which was probably a result of the successive wall-splitting and wall-colliding that had happened here.
Well, I guess I was just too conscious of what took place here.
I didn’t say another word. If I say any more things, the guard might get more suspicious. I tried to make myself relax and took some time to calm my breathing.
Right now, everything made sense to me…nothing was detected outside, right? Hmm, it seemed so, given the guard’s reaction and response.
Clearly, the earth tremor was remarkable and intense. Scores of gigantic stones fell from the ceiling and even from the walls. Even if we were all the way down here, that doesn’t mean that people from the outside wouldn’t know about that. They surely must have felt even a little vibration. I’m pretty sure of that.
Suddenly, my eyes diverted back to where the deep hollow was… and thought to myself ‘What in the world is going on here?’
I blinked my eyes repeatedly and even shook my head a little briskly, to register in my brain what I just witnessed. Now the place where the giant hole opened was now just a plain wall. Everything that’s been happening in this prison cell has never failed to blow my mind. I’m surprised I never had headaches from all of these things.
What the hell is this…this cell? I thought.
While my head was rumbling with countless questions that were still left unanswered, I struggled to keep my composure. The guard must not be given any slight clue of the mysteries Ricdorian and I witnessed down here. I had to keep myself together.
Please try to relax, relax. Calm down and breathe. I thought.
“Ms. Iana?” The guard called, whisking me out of my jumbled thoughts. I quivered at his call, trying to pretend that I was feeling a little somnolent.
“Oh, yes.” I turned my head at the call. And smiled slightly at a guard with a puzzled face.
“I’m going to have to leave you now. I have to go back outside. Everything seems perfectly fine down here. These falling debrises are normal, given that you’re underground.” The guard suggested, and turned his back at us as he was about to leave.
“Wait! I’m going. I’m… and uh, by the way…” I said to the guard and he turned his head as soon as he heard my call.
“What is it?” He asked.
I held Ricdorian’s hand slightly out of sight to the guard. I don’t know if he’s awake or exhausted, or if he’s fainted. But for sure, I wasn’t going to break my promise with him anymore. Because once is enough.
“I think this prisoner is very sick.” I spoke. “He has a very high fever.” I lowered my eyes with a wistful expression.
“He was with me, and he suddenly collapsed and…” I added.
The guard took some time looking at me and at Ricdorian as if he could not believe it. As soon as he let out a deep sigh, he held his chin, thinking, and made a grim face.
“Oh… that’s a big deal. He is a prisoner who needs special care.” He uttered.
The guard was rubbing his chin this time as if he was really having a hard time.
“Well, for now, I’ll report this to the superiors. Can you wait for me?” He added.
“Yes, I’ll wait here.” I answered, giving the guard a hopeful nod.
I tried to hide my smile inside as I continued to nod at the guard, and turned to look at Ricdorian. It would have been good for me if he would report this to Lenag. But the most important thing, for now, was for the guard to report this right away.
This was what Jair and I had talked about. He told me very specific instructions. Jair also said that it is very important that this should be heard by those with higher positions.
The guard moved away as soon as silence broke into the air between us. I kept holding my breath until I saw that he had climbed the stairs completely.
The breath that I held for the longest time finally escaped my lungs as I exhaled it out of my mouth and nostrils. I imagined it spreading throughout the prison cell, even though I could not see it at all.
I gave out a giggle—almost laugh while listening to the echo of my breathing resonating back towards me. Soon, I turned my sight and looked at Ricdorian, who breathed laborly and violently. The sight of him makes me sad and feel sorry.
“… I kept my word, didn’t I?” I patted his palm and held his white fingertips short. I could feel a little heat from them. His fever must be getting really serious.
I felt his fingertips twitch. He must be having a bad dream. I felt a pang of worry at the back of my head. Then, I exhaled for a long time. I moved my hand from his fingertips to his forehead. I rested my palm deliberately on his forehead drenched with sweat.
It was scalding hot, as if I was holding a kettle fresh from the cinder.
But I resisted from the burning sensation for a while. I must have only imagined it being too hot. Then, I let go as soon as I couldn’t take it anymore. He must be feeling literally like hell. No wonder his breathing seemed unpleasant and throbbing.
“Hang in there, Iana. You’ve passed this task over.” I whispered in a hushed tone.
With everything that has happened, I could see the next thing coming: I will be the male lead’s caretaker… and I’m getting a hang of it.
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The plan that Jair and I schemed had worked perfectly. Archduke Harnim gave up his visit. Of course, the news didn’t come to me right away, but Lenag gave me the announcement.
Furthermore, the guard who ran to us that day seemed to have delivered the news very well. In the meantime, Ricdorian’s state was examined immediately from head to toe. Every little bit of progress would directly be reported to Lenag.
I stood in the corner of the prison cell now full of guards. I looked at them one by one, each displaying serious looks on their faces.
One of them was probing Ricdorian, as if he was a little boy patching a broken toy. He even changed Ricdorian’s worn out shirt that was torn on all edges.
In spite of myself being too uptight about Ricdorian’s condition, I have seen the problems being resolved quickly, but I couldn’t tell that he’s getting any better.
On another note, I never thought their system was better than I imagined. Here, having just two harmless-looking prisoners like Ricdorian and I, they still managed to allocate a number of guards down here to watch us, and there would be a couple more guards outside, waiting to spot a deserter.
They were not even just guards. They look like real knights or soldiers. They looked really scary to me. If anyone tries to escape this prison, they will surely be caught immediately.
As days went by, I managed to take care of Ricdorian. There were guards to do that, but still, I insisted on doing most of the task of taking care of him. Because I didn’t want to break the promise this time. This will probably be my last promise to him, so I better not break it.
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