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Nineina gently put her hand on the bed. I mean, I’m always in bed, what danger could there be?
Her glass-like eyes shone brightly.
Caesar replied with a great look of pity for Nineina’s innocence.
“You will find out soon enough.”
There was no remorse in his actions. Caesar was a man with no benevolence to all things.
Watching the baby sparrows fluttering in the spring sun warmly. Such was benevolence.
One lives with benevolence, which is different from ‘mercy’, that is more direct.
(QC/N: being kind is different from showing mercy.)
This did not apply to him, as there were exceptions everywhere.
Maybe he wouldn’t even do it for his own sake.
So, to Caesar, the actions that will be carried out in the future were based solely on promises and contracts.
“What? What do you mean I’ll find out soon enough…”
Nineina’s words were cut off by the sound of glass shattering.
Broken window shards fell violently over her startled, hardened head.
“Excuse me for a moment.”
Caesar hugged her and backed away. His feet jumped and slightly floated in the air as an arrow flew through a crack in the broken window.
She was stunned by the speed of the arrows that went by unnoticed.
Caesar glanced intently at the flying arrow.
Just as a falling shooting star leaves a long arc, the arrows that came scattering the vitality of the corridors, were not ordinary.
It could not be avoided as a normal being.
Caesar clasped his hand in front of Nineina’s forehead.
He tightened his hand and seized Nineina, leaving only room for the arrowheads to pass.
He grabbed the arrow that was passing by at such a speed that no ordinary person could see.
Even if his natural reflexes were that good, he had an unbelievable reaction speed.
In Nineina’s eyes, an arrow appeared in the empty air where there was nothing a second ago, as soon as Caesar grabbed her hand.
It was only when she saw the fiery arrow in Caesar’s hand that she seemed to realize why he had raised his hand in the empty air.
“It’s an assassination magic that only targets the specified target.”
The arrow that failed to pierce her skin crumbled in his hand.
If he had been a little later, Nineina’s brain would have been crushed. However, this time, it wasn’t her brain that was crumbled, rather, the arrow that was aimed at her brain.
“The need to protect you seems to have been sufficiently demonstrated.”
Nineina could no longer refute Caesar’s words.
It wasn’t just because he was right.
It was because Nineina had already fainted from the moment the arrowhead came upon her.
His dead eyes gazed at her pale face.
Caesar picked up Nineina, who did not answer, and left the room.
Nineina was lying in another room while the maids cleaned up the damaged room, and Caesar was washing himself in the bathroom nearby.
No one was quite happy to find out that he, who had severe mysophobia, didn’t rush to the bathroom right away and stayed by Nineina’s side.
Nineina’s life has been threatened thousands of times in the novel.
When Nineina was a fetus, she was in danger due to her mother’s poor health when giving birth, and she was so weak that she could not overcome her frail body and nearly passed out several times.
But this situation has never happened. Ever since Nineina came to this villa when she was a baby, she had always been sick and ill, but had never received any external death threats.
‘But why…. As if it wasn’t enough to endanger my life by transporting me into this shabby body, now you’re even threatening me with death by humans!’
I thought I could live as long as I became healthy.
However, even three months of conviction were jeopardized overnight.
Yes. Passing away from health complications was not the only way to die. Death existed at any time and everywhere.
It was only natural that I found Caesar as soon as I woke up.
“Please explain what’s happening.”
“Rubenio is about to become Duke.”
“It seems that the Duke is angry at Rubenio’s defiance.”
“…So, are you saying that he’s venting it all out on me?”
I felt mistreated everywhere, but instead of being angry, I tried to think rationally.
In the original book, Rubenio couldn’t become a Duke until Nineina had died. This is because Rubenio had a fatal weakness.
His precious sunfish daughter, Nineina, who will die coughing even if she takes one wrong breath.
She was Rubenio’s absolute weakness.
Thus, Rubenio did not rebel against the Duke until Nineina passed away.
Originally, Rubenio was anxious that he would get caught expanding his rebellion against the Duke, so he did it step by step. While waiting for the day to back-stab the Duke, he acted cautiously, and even avoided Nineina in fear of the Duke finding out and hurting her.
Rubenio, who was destined not to become a Duke until Nineina’s death, his prudence and worries only poisoned himself.
Such Rubenio is about to become a duke.
His pure love for his daughter would never have cooled down. The many deprivation in Nineina’s life as soon as she was born only nurtured Rubenio’s obsession and devotion to his daughter.
Rubenio wasn’t the type who could ever stop loving his daughter.
(PR/N: a rare time we have a loving father but then we have a horrible grandfather 🥲)
He had to resort to extending only one yardstick of ‘paternalism’ in his movements.
The one he treats as most absolute valuable could not have changed so easily.
I could tell just by looking at Rubenio’s most regarded bodyguard, Caesar, next to me.
‘Then why? Why did you suddenly change your mind?’
There’s not much I’ve done here. I only tried to eat well and sleep well. I thought it was too minor of a change to alternate the flow.
However, so many things have changed.
‘Why did Rubenio change his mind? When Caesar stated ‘For the time being’, did he mean until Rubenio succeeded as a Duke? And If….. What will happen to me if Rubenio fails to become Duke?’
Fortunately, it’s unlikely that Rubenio would not become Duke. Excluding his one weakness.
From the Duke’s point of view, Nineina was Rubenio’s weakness and obstacle. As soon as the obstruction disappears, Rubenio will be able to show off his original capabilities.
Originally, since Nineina was already dead, the assassination magic that the Duke had installed on her was useless.
‘Ah! So this is the arrow!’
I can see why arrows suddenly attacked.
As long as Rubenio and the Duke are still falling-out, such threats will not end with that. I didn’t ever think that this would be what Caesar meant when he said, ‘for the time being’.
‘The reason Rubenio didn’t strive to become a duke despite Caesar’s presence was probably because Rubenio didn’t know how powerful Caesar was. So to speak… Did he gamble on Caesar?’
No. It’d be absurd to think that Rubenio gambled on the possibility of his daughter’s death.
Rubenio must’ve believed that Caesar could dispel the assassination magic. It was right to assume that at least 90% of his belief was true.
Let’s think again.
The moment Nineina dies, Rubenio’s reason to live disappears.
This becomes Rubenio’s shackles and causes him to be unhappy in the original.
‘Then why now…….? Ah…….?’
The moment I realized that, I felt a little sad.
It was because of Rubenio’s fear.
The hesitation that Nineina might die due to the wrong choice.
It became a formless shackle that bound him.
I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Rubenio.
A man of such good judgment was so afraid of his daughter’s death that he couldn’t do anything. Eventually, he lost his daughter. And in the end, he couldn’t overcome that sense of guilt and committed suicide.
After struggling, how desperate and regretful were you?
‘You can’t just throw away your useless daughter. For what are you….. huh?’
When I thought of Rubenio’s pain, my heart ached so strangely.
The intensely imprinted word burned in my heart, then disappeared in a hurry.
My mind was soon organized as if someone had arranged it on purpose.
I immediately fell into a completely different thought.
‘But why did Caesar request for the two of us to be alone? Only because you don’t like crowds? Because it’s easier to protect when we’re together?’
He would have known in advance that we would be attacked, but…
Well. If I were to move, I’m sure I’d prefer the former.
(QC/N: the former as in the first option – ‘only because you don’t like crowds?’)
It’s probably due to his mysophobia, which made him detest breathing in the same room with multiple people.
Whoever is to be protected or not, the best prize is having a bodyguard that’d be able to protect you entirely. Just as it was for Meia, and for me who became Nineina.
‘Ah…… My head hurts.’
It wasn’t something I thought about for a long time, but my brain was thumping and struggling to stop overusing my weak body.
I could not think properly because I was in poor health.
‘My health! My health!’
I quickly changed my mind. There was only one thing that mattered to me.
First of all, I need to rest.
“You know what?”
“What do I need to know?”
I laughed a little at Caesar’s answer.
“I haven’t asked you to find out yet.”
“I thought you were asking me to find out.”
“You have good intuition.”
Caesar said nothing more. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting an answer either.
However, if I really had something to say, he’ll definitely listen.
He said, ‘It’s about guarding.’
“This body will die if it falls off the bed…”
I emphasized, pointing under the bed, which was only two spans apart.
He grimaced a little.
“……Humans are not tofu.”
There’s tofu in this world, too.
Tofu is a food made and eaten in the eastern part of the world, initially made by conversation magic.
Currently, it’s called non-fat cheese and is usually enjoyed by the upper class, so it was uncommon, but it was popular enough for Caesar to know.
“That’s a good analogy. Think of me as a tofu doll from now on.”
“Understood? Think of me as a tofu doll!”