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A low voice coldly rang.
It rarely contained emotion, but it was not that different from the original so it was not immediately noticed.
I laughed slightly at Caesar’s words.
To me, he wasn’t a liar.
His words sounded hopeful and positive, which made me feel better.
“Have you ever stepped on the ground barefoot?”
“There was a time.”
He bent over immediately following me and shook his head as if not to do it.
I was quite surprised by his answer.
I thought it was a joke to ask, ‘Hasn’t this ever happened to you?’ I asked that because I never thought that he would have such an experience.
Ordinary aristocrats did not do that. If Caesar’s words were true, he had had a rather unusual experience that aristocrats would not have.
“How did you feel?”
I asked in a slightly cheerful voice. I felt a sense of unity to have someone by my side who had done something I liked.
“At first I was afraid and after that I felt nothing.”
“……The act of stepping on bare ground?”
“I was very young so I was afraid of anything. I have a vague memory of the rustling of leaves and the tingling of the grains of sand that I stepped on.”
“You must have been thin during that time.”
“Yes. So be careful too.”
“I’m all grown up. I like to step on it barefoot, when the soil is moist.”
“Your feet will get dirty.”
“I can wash them.”
I have already decided to walk barefoot in the garden.
As I took off my shoes and lifted them up, the tips of my shoes swayed lightly.
Hmmmm. A slow hum sounded pleasant.
“……The wound on your foot will hurt.”
Caesar’s tone was strange and did not sound like a warning or a threat.
“You can look ahead. Don’t fall. Don’t get hurt.”
“I’ll walk slowly so I can see well.”
I jokingly took the first step.
* * *
Caesar overlapped his steps with Nineina’s.
– Catch that bastard!
Hallucinations were heard. Hallucinations, muddier than the sound, invaded his brain.
He cut his foot on a sharp object and left traces of his escape due to the dripping blood.
When he was very young, that wasn’t enough.
Now, he wouldn’t make that kind of mistake.
If it was now, he would have killed them all back then.
Unfortunately, there were times when he was young and weak.
And it was a pretty terrible experience.
Unlike Nineina’s garden, which was beautifully managed without a single tool in sight.
He realized then.
In the garden where Nineina stood, there was hardly anything that could harm people’s feet.
The soil was smooth and the sprouts were soft.
Nineina’s feet were probably the weakest among them, but the gentle nature didn’t seem to harm her.
He was just worried that the glass beads seemed to roll over the rough surface.
(TL/N: referring to Nineina’s feet, she’s as delicate as glass.)
Oh. he remembered what to do.
The autumn sun was as hot as it was then.
He looked up at the clear blue sky for a moment and then followed the precious glass beads again.
His mind was quickly melting away.
* * *
I thought he was chasing me, but he wasn’t there.
After looking around a few times, a cool shadow fell over my head.
“The autumn sun is hot.”
I looked around while pressing the bonnet on my head.
I was going to say it’s okay because I’m wearing a hat, but the moment I saw it, I burst into laughter.
It was because the flower-patterned parasol, which was supposed to be mine, did not match Caesar very well.
Caesar seemed to guess why I was smiling, but there was no reaction.
He didn’t want to push me or get angry.
“It’s hot, so come here.”
He urged and tilted the parasol a little more towards me.
As soon as he stood quietly, I stopped laughing.
“Sorry. Did I laugh too much?”
“It’s fine. Laughing is good for the body.”
“You’re a lot more cooperative these days.”
“It’s good for you to be healthy. It’s a pity that you stopped laughing so quickly.”
I thought of the other family members.
“Actually, everyone will be comfortable when I’m healthy, including you.”
“I want to go over there.”
I took the lead and walked again, and he followed.
“Are you not sick today?”
“Oh. Yes! I seem to be in good shape. I think I can walk for a long time.”
“But don’t walk too much. It’s important to do everything in moderation.”
As I spoke playfully, his face darkened.
Without looking at him for a while, I walked forward again.
It was a very nice day so I was in a good mood. The white clouds seemed to be shaking as if in a cradle.
“Do not run.”
He nagged again and tilted the parasol towards me. I felt sorry for being the only one using it so I leaned a little next to him and walked with him.
When I took two steps, he took one slow step with a large stride.
“Are you bored because of me?”
He quietly followed me without getting tired of it, but I felt sorry for him.
The furrowed brows were hard to understand.
I gently pushed the parasol on my face that was still in the sun.
“Then I’m fine too.”
“Are we going to use it together?”
He stiffened his cheeks.
I am used to taking care of myself, but taking care of him seemed much more awkward.
“If only you could be as healthy as me.”
The parasol leaned towards me again.
“That’s completely unfair…!”
Wait! Is that guy kidding me?
Believe it or not, his mouth was slightly loosened.
The sun burst brightly over the faintly curved lips, which I couldn’t tell if it was from laughing or crying.
I was staring blankly because it was so hard to believe, and he suddenly hardened his face and blocked my view with his arms.
“Hold on… ”
I meant don’t go any further.
I was told not to move, but I looked up reflexively.
I could see the wall on which the butterfly fell. The yellow butterfly on the delicate beige wall sat still. Even though there is a person standing right behind it.
He was wearing a hat over his head, but our eyes seemed to meet.
There were some people standing behind him, but strangely I couldn’t see. He was the only one who kept looking as if his eyes had lost their bearings.
Caesar’s arm, which had blocked the front, slid down.
That was weird.
3. Where the Wind Stays
Rubenio rarely fell asleep in peace.
It was because the most comfortable and peaceful position was just painful and agonizing for him.
After tossing and turning a few times, he finally gave up sleeping, got out of bed and walked to the window.
“I wish we were just as close.”
That’s what he thought when he was looking at the dense night sky.
A star that couldn’t be reached was rather close.
Because you can see that.
He was under the sky where he waited anxiously, but nothing changed and then he turned away.
When he couldn’t sleep, he always sat at his desk.
He took out a golden pen and picked it up.
When he paused for a long time without writing anything with a pen in his hand, the ink that had been hanging dangerously fell off.
A smudge of ink in the middle of the white paper made the paper unusable, but he didn’t show much of a reaction.
He just changed it to another piece of paper as if it were something normal.
He erased the letters that he had stuttered down.
The word, which should be soft, looked like it was torn by a knife.
Rubenio, who scratched the paper roughly, threw away the broken paper and put down a new piece.
Eventually, he looked at the same white paper with a bitter face and wrote down the letters so quickly that they now looked incomparable to before.
It was the only name he didn’t have to worry about.
Rubenio looked at the name written in black for a long time.