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My Male Lead was Building up an Impenetrable Wall (1)
It seemed as though I had slept for quite a long time. Maybe I had accumulated a lot of fatigue. I really didn’t feel like waking up. After tossing and turning for a while I reluctantly opened my eyes. As I did so, I met the eyes of someone who had been watching me.
“You finally woke up.”
“Adele… no. Mother?!”
A blurry shape came into focus as I blinked.
I saw a striking woman with silky hair and dark brown eyes who exuded a simple, yet self-possessed aura.
A faint smile crossed her lips.
“I’m sorry for entering as I pleased. I became worried because you wouldn’t wake up.”
Is this real?
I rubbed my eyes and looked at her again. It really was Yevgenia Sinclair.
“Oh, when did you get back?”
I checked the time. It was past midnight, moving into the early hours of the morning. Even though I had slept for a few hours, my body felt strangely heavy.
“What about Father and the Duke?”
“They’re still throwing up. They’re both so weak. What would they do if they weren’t nobles?”
She let out a light sigh as if she couldn’t understand them at all. No matter how I looked at her, my mother showed no signs of fatigue.
“I’m glad that you’re okay, Mother.”
She should probably go get some sleep now.
I sat up while my mother bored holes into me with her eyes.
“How do you feel?”
“Not too bad.”
There was a loud cracking noise as I stretched.
Wh-what the…? That sound was no joke.
Flustered, I instantly froze in an awkward position.
Without a single change in her expression, my mother helped me up.
“Let’s move slowly for the time being.”
I was hit with a sense of foreboding. There was no way that my body would feel this sluggish after only a few hours of sleep.
“How long did I sleep?”
“It’s alright. I’m just glad that you woke up safely.”
I was stunned by her perfectly composed demeanor as she comforted me.
Is it really alright?
With my mother’s help, I washed my face and went downstairs.
“Where is Father?”
My mother pointed to a room that was usually empty. It seemed he hadn’t had the strength to make it to his bedroom.
“I’ll go say hello.”
Anxious and a bit worried about my father, I peeked into the room. The door was half open, so instead of knocking, I quietly slipped in.
“Hand me some of the medicine over there,” my father said without even glancing at me.
I poured some water into a glass, grabbed some of the pills that were on the table, and brought everything over to him.
He immediately swallowed the pills.
“It’s no problem… What?”
Hearing my voice, my father’s eyes shot wide open.
I took a step back from the unfolding catastrophe. He coughed violently after spitting out all of the water. I started to wonder if I should pat his back a few times, but my father managed to lift his head slightly to look up at me.
“Are you okay?”
“… Sorry. I thought you were Oscar.”
“Should I call for Oppa?”
My father chuckled.
“No, this isn’t the time to worry about me. Will you come a little closer? Let me see your face.”
I scurried forward and took a seat next to my father, who was sitting on the edge of the bed. At that moment, the door swung wide open and the Duke entered. The Duke collapsed on top of the bed.
Both my father and my godfather looked utterly miserable. I stared worriedly at Duke Friedrich, who seemed to be on the verge of passing out.
“Are the side effects of teleportation magic usually this bad?”
“Some of it is due to the long distance. I also skipped applying reinforcement magic to my body because I was in a hurry.”
A question suddenly popped into my mind.
Nothing much happened when I teleported with Adele. Was it because Adele was the one who cast the magic?
“Mother as well?”
“We’ll be in trouble if Yevgenia gets any stronger,” the Duke muttered.
The Duke said a quick hello and goodbye to me all at once before receiving a swift kick from my father.
“I’m glad that you woke up, Anastasia. Let’s talk about everything else tomorrow if I’m still alive then.”
“Go to your own house to sleep!”
The Duke refused to budge despite my father’s blatant hostility.
“I’m sleeping. Don’t wake me up.”
I placed a blanket over my godfather, who was being abused by my father.
He hurried back for my sake, so I should show him at least this much kindness.
“Can’t you use recovery magic?”
My father, who had been watching my actions with a frown, gave me a brief explanation.
“Magicians who know how to use recovery or healing magic properly are uncommon and, considering how much magic needs to be put in, it’s not very effective. After pouring out a bunch of magical power, throwing up 10 times will be reduced to 9 times.”
“It seems like pretty tricky magic to use.”
I glanced down at my palms.
“Then, would you say it’s impossible to heal an injury that leaves a permanent scar?”
“Essentially, that would be the case.”
I was suddenly reminded once again that my male lead was an extraordinary munchkin. 
“That guy seems to have passed out, so let’s leave.”
“Ah, yes. Good night, Duke.”
My father openly showed his displeasure when I bid the Duke farewell.
“Don’t be too nice to him. He might start to believe that you really are his daughter.”
I laughed awkwardly. My father stopped abruptly in the hallway and looked me over. He seemed to be having trouble smoothing out his expression.
“Why are you so thin?”
I glanced over my body.
“Am I? I’ve been eating a lot these days.”
Taking a firm hold of my shoulder, my father said in a completely matter of fact tone, “Anastasia, keep in mind that our body structures are different from Yevgenia’s or Oscar’s. I’m sorry to say, but since you take after me you probably won’t grow very tall. Although you should try to put on a little more weight.“
W-why do I feel like crying all of a sudden…?
My father’s painfully realistic advice left me speechless. Eventually his expression softened.
“… I missed you. Although I’m not sure if you felt the same…”
Not wanting him to be consumed by feelings of unease, I quickly dispelled his doubts.
“O-of course I missed you too! Waiting for letters from you and Mother was the greatest joy in my life. Even now, I feel more happy than sorry that you rushed back home because you were worried about me.”
My father asked playfully, “Isn’t hanging out with Adele the greatest joy in your life?”
I should have denied his question right away, but I hesitated long enough for my father to become suspicious. Luckily my mother, who had been waiting for me, came into the hallway.
My mother called out to me in a calm, monotone voice.
“I brought you some food.”
I was confused.
“I can just go to the dining room…”
“But wouldn’t it be better to eat in a comfortable chair?”
My mother reached out to me and I moved towards her as if I were being drawn in. At the same time, my mother looked over at my father.
“Will, how’s Rich?” 
“Until that door is opened, we won’t know if he’s dead or alive. If possible, I’d like to seal it shut forever.”
“Someone’s awfully irritable… Oscar just left to send word to the Duke’s residence. Adele will come pick up Rich tomorrow, so we’ll have to take good care of him until then.”
My mother spoke calmly while my father grumbled.
“He isn’t a child, so why should we take care of him?”
“He hasn’t slept properly since he’s been with us.”
“That’s not my probl… I mean, let’s take good care of him. I’ll go cover him with ten blankets.”
As my mother’s expression started to change, my father quickly backpedaled.
Hey. Rather than taking care of him, aren’t you trying to smother him to death?
I watched anxiously as my father reentered the room where the Duke was sleeping. My mother placed a hand on my shoulder and I followed her out of the hallway.
“So um, did Oppa go without a fuss?”
Even though we made such dark and shameful memories over there?
“Of course. He seemed reluctant at first, but eventually he agreed to go.”
He must have given up because he was afraid of our mother. There was no doubt.
Sitting me down on the sofa, my mother asked kindly, “Anastasia, won’t you try to eat a little even if you don’t have an appetite?”
“Ah, yes! I’ll eat something!”
I hadn’t eaten for two days, so there was no menu to speak of. The only food on offer was a soup that was easy to digest. My mother spoke to me in her characteristic monotone voice while I diligently ate the soup.
“In the past I found it strange that you would occasionally cough up blood even though your kidneys weren’t particularly damaged. Should I say, it was a relief to find out, albeit belatedly, that it wasn’t due to a disease. So rather than periodic medical checkups, Will and I were thinking of making some changes in our lives. What do you think?”
When my mother tucked my hair behind my ear, I noticed some faint scars on her long fingers. They were marks from being pricked by a needle.
“Let’s do that.”
My mother carefully scrutinized my complexion.
“I’ll be busy for a few days, but once I’ve finished sorting some things out, I’ll have time for a long conversation.”
I emptied the bowl of soup and then got up from my seat.
“Well then, I’ll go up to my bedroom.”
The butler and the head maid, who had appeared in the room without a sound, were patiently waiting for our conversation to end. However, my mother didn’t take her eyes off of my face.
“Thank you for needing us, truly.”
I answered in a tiny voice. Feeling my face heating up, I stepped back.
“I’m going upstairs!”
I wanted to vault up the steps, but that was impossible due to my abysmal stamina. I knew my legs weren’t strong enough, so I went upstairs with Ilina’s help.
I lay down once again and loafed about on the bed.
I… I can’t sleep…
The night was long and there was nothing to do at this hour. I wanted to walk in the garden and get some fresh air, but I knew there was no way that I’d get permission to do so.
With nothing better to do, I did some stretches accompanied by the sound of my joints popping. While I was lying down and clumsily stretching, someone tapped on the window.
At first I thought it was just a bird pecking. But outside of my window was a handsome boy who showed no regard for the well-being of my heart in more ways than one.
Opening the window wide, he stepped through saying, “Please don’t scream.”
“I heard that you woke up, so I wanted to come see you even if it was just for a moment.”
It seemed as though he had come over as soon as he had heard the news from Oscar-oppa. At this late hour and in secret… I was confused by his uncharacteristic behavior.
“What if you get caught?”
“Then I guess I’ll be punished.”
Those words would have been completely unimaginable in the original story. I glanced sideways at Adele, unable to look him straight in the eyes.
We had only exchanged a few words, but I was already feeling guilty. I was anxious about being caught by my parents or Ilina, who was just outside of the door.
Making eye contact with me, Adele smiled with his eyes.
I-I should send him back immediately, right? That would be the smart thing to do.
I was going to tell Adele that we should have a wholesome and respectable meeting once the sun had risen, but my hands, which were overly faithful to my desires, were already pulling him inside the bedroom.
It’s so thrilling! It’s a hundred times more exciting than normal!
 In Korean a ‘munchkin’ describes someone who is vastly overpowered.
 These are the nicknames for Count William ‘Will’ Sinclair and Duke Friedrich ‘Rich’ Magnus. Of note, the German pronunciation should be used for ‘Friedrich’ and ‘Rich’ rather than the English one.