Play Audio
1

I didn’t know how to react to Kim Woo-jin’s strange reaction.

“…it’s good that there are no injuries.”

In the end, I said awkwardly and let Kim Woo-jin go. There was no other way because Cheon Sa-yeon kept staring at me.

“Are you all okay?”

“Shed-nim!”

Min Ah-rin and the soldiers, who heard the commotion, ran into the room as well. Min Ah-rin, who saw me getting up awkwardly, shouted in shock.

“Your face…!”

Face? It was then that I realized that blood was running down my cheeks. I thought I was hit by an arrow earlier.

When I lowered my head, my left shoulder was torn and bleeding just like my cheek.

‘My shoulder is injured very often in this space.’

Looked like I had to change clothes again. I sighed and explained to everyone.

“The witch’s minions suddenly attacked us. They shot an arrow at Shed-nim from the rooftop on the other side. They’re all gone now.”

“Wh, what did you say? Shed-nim, are you okay?”

Kim Woo-jin, who looked at me with complicated eyes, responded slowly to the soldier’s cry.

“…uh. I’m okay.”

“If you have any injuries, treat them immediately…”

“No. I’m not hurt. This man has protected me.”

At Kim Woo-jin’s words, the soldiers who rushed into the room and Min Ah-rin’s eyes all turned to me.

This was an unwelcome interest. Moreover, the fact that I saved Kim Woo-jin wasn’t so important now.

“The fact that the witch’s minions are targeting this place means that the location has been completely discovered. Enemies may attack us at night later.”

Since the bow was aimed precisely at the back of Kim Woo-jin’s head from the rooftop opposite, they must have understood not only that we were here but also what the room was used for.

“We don’t have much time. An all-out war will be unavoidable now.”

I roughly wiped the drops of blood running down my chin with the back of my hand and told Kim Woo-jin.

“Do you still remember the suggestion I made? Don’t you need at least one more person to fight the witch’s minions?”

“……”

“There’s no room for further hesitation. We have to go to the mansion before the opponent attacks first.”

Maybe it was because his life was saved, Kim Woo-jin opened his mouth with much less vigilance.

“…yeah. I’m of the same opinion.”

“But Shed-nim, you can’t move with the suspicious ones.”

“They’re not suspicious. If they had been on the witch’s side, he wouldn’t have had to save me.”

Kim Woo-jin, who resolutely responded to the soldier’s dissatisfaction, hesitated, then looked into my eyes and added.

“But there are still doubts, so stay by my side.”

“Pardon? Me?”

When I asked stupidly, Kim Woo-jin made excuses with his cheeks stained red.

“N, no other reason… just in case. Stay by my side at all times so I can know right away if you do something suspicious.”

“It doesn’t have to be next to Shed-nim…”

“You… have to be by my side so that if there’s a problem, I can figure it out right away. This is a matter of safety and trust, so I can’t make any decision in hurry.”

“……”

No, it just sounded weird when you said that with a blush.

I felt like the eyes of the team members and soldiers who had entered the room turned to me and to Kim Woo-jin.

‘It’s true that Kim Woo-jin was trying to let his vigilance toward me.’

I didn’t expect to succeed so easily. Feeling awkward for no reason, I scratched my forehead and nodded inevitably.

“I understand. When are you going to leave?”

“Tomorrow morning. It’s impossible to move at night, so it’s better to put up a few guards and hold out today.”

“Until then, I will be with my colleagues.”

It was difficult for me to stay with Kim Woo-jin because I had something to talk about separately with Cheon Sa-yeon. Kim Woo-jin’s shoulders drooped slightly upon hearing my words.

Everyone looked at me again with a complicated expression at Kim Woo-jin’s appearance, who gave off a slightly sullen face. Driving me crazy, really.

I was healed by Min Ah-rin while the soldiers cleaned up the messy room for me. Cheon Sa-yeon, who came to the treatment room, said to me, regardless of Park Geon-ho and Woo Seo-hyuk, who followed.

“You’ve managed it very well in that short span of time.”

“I didn’t do anything.”

I immediately retorted it because I felt unfair, but Cheon Sa-yeon’s expression didn’t change.

“You seduced a nobleman at once. That’s great?”

“Be quiet, please.”

Even Park Geon-ho intervened and made fun of me. It was fine though. Because I had a question to ask Park Geon-ho anyway.

“You said your purpose was to enter the city in the first place, right? You were just dragged along because of us.”

“That’s right.”

“The atmosphere is better than before, so if you explain it well, they might send you.”

“Are you kicking me out now?”

“That’s not…”

Kim Woo-jin, who suspected us as enemies and moved with the soldiers, was also a problem, but Park Geon-ho, who didn’t even tell us his name, was also a problem.

He said he would only join to the city, so I had to convince him again.

“We must fight the witch from tomorrow. You have good skills, so I’d like to ask you for help if possible.”

“Um.”

Park Geon-ho, who thought for a moment as he touched his lips, smiled.

“Not bad. If you just promise me one thing.”

“Promise?”

“When you find all your colleagues in the city, I want you to help me with my work. Lend me your wind power. Let’s help each other.”

“You said you had a different destination. Is that what you are talking about?”

“You’re quick to understand.”

He leaned leisurely against the wall with his arms crossed.

“My name is Roald (로엘드). I came from a kingdom at the end of the western sea. There’s a forest beyond this city, to save the sleeping princess there.”

“The sleeping princess… you said?”

“Ah, I know about that story.”

Min Ah-rin said with a look of surprise at me.

“Are you talking about the forest cursed by witch? It’s said that a long time ago a cursed princess slept with the forest.”

“You’re right. If you save the princess, you will be able to gain a lot of benefits in future exchanges with this kingdom.”

I wondered if Park Geon-ho’s true identity was the prince from the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty.

‘Isn’t the reason too realistic?’

The princess or the children would cry when they heard it. Well, there was no need for a prince from another country to come all the way here unless it was for such a reason.

“Then, wouldn’t it be beneficial for you to participate in this fight too? The witch who cursed the princess could be the same witch who took over this city.”

“You’re smart. That’s why I didn’t want to reveal my identity, but… I can’t help it. I didn’t like being called that way either.”

I looked at Park Geon-ho, who was talking nonsense, pathetically and answered.

“Anyway, I understand. Let’s solve the problem in the city first and think again. If we deal with the witch here, it might change the forest.”

“It will.”

This resulted in a total of three stories.

Cheon Sa-yeon was Rapunzel and Woo Seo-hyuk and Min A-rin were the main characters in Red Riding Hood and the wolf. Park Geon-ho was from the Sleeping Beauty.

‘Then what is Kim Woo-jin?’

The heir of the county who was kicked out by the witch. I had never heard of such a fairy tale.

Come to think of it, Kim Woo-jin was a slave, not the main character in Cinderella’s fairy tale… was this a similar case again? Woo Seo-hyuk was also an ordinary assistant.

‘We’ll have to see what kind of roles Ha Tae-heon and Kwon Jeong-han, who I haven’t met yet, to make it clear for sure.’

This space was completely arbitrary, with no rules in sight, as if it was created by a child. As a result, no matter how much I guessed it, most of it was useless, and it was difficult and complicated.

“Cheon Sa-yeon. From Kim Woo-jin’s attitude, it seems like he’ll take the soldiers from the mansion too, is there any way to stop it?”

“Well. That looks difficult.”

They were all ordinary museum visitors, so we couldn’t take them to the place where the battle with the Abel dolls would take place. I didn’t know if they could fight properly.

Kim Woo-jin, who believed that he was a soldier, and gave orders to them, was also under mental control, so he couldn’t be told to not take them.

“We have no choice but to go in the direction that we can protect as much as possible.”

“As expected…”

There was nothing we could do. However, if my wind ability and Cheon Sa-yeon were together, we could have killed any doll right away, so I had no choice but to fight in the direction of protecting them as much as possible.

‘When the worst comes… I might have to use my intervention ability, so I’ll have to prepare in advance.’

It was our responsibility that ordinary people entered this space. So if someone was in danger of dying, I wouldn’t hesitate to use my intervention ability.

“If it’s okay with Maria-nim, can you come with me?”

“Okay. To be honest, I was really concerned.”

If Min Ah-rin was with us, the risk of casualties was significantly reduced. As expected, just having Min Ah-rin here was very reassuring.

* * *

The next day, the soldiers who listened Kim Woo-jin’s order finished preparing for battle and gathered. Fortunately, the number wasn’t much.

I told Kim Woo-jin separately so that people around me wouldn’t hear it.

“If you run into the witch’s minions in the mansion, why don’t you leave the soldiers behind and then I and my collagues take the lead in fighting?”

“What?”

Kim Woo-jin, who heard my suggestion, reacted as expected, asking what kind of bullshit I was talking. But even so, I had to explain it like this.

“We are all the Chosen Ones and our skills are good, so fighting ahead won’t do any harm.”

“That would put you and your colleagues at risk. Doesn’t it matter?”

“Yes. Rather, everyone will welcome it. We can fight without worrying about our surroundings.”

As I worked hard to persuade Kim Woo-jin to agree to it, Kim Woo-jin, who had been silently listening to me, suddenly blushed and opened his mouth with a shy expression.

“Why do you care so much about my soldiers?”

“Pardon?”

“You are so… ahem, you seem kind.”

“…yes?”

“I get it. I was also worried about the soldiers. I will leave the soldiers behind.”

“……”

What? I thought Kim Woo-jin just made a huge misunderstanding. But now that it went the way I wanted it to, it was vague to say no.

I swallowed dry saliva at the sight of Kim Woo-jin staring at me with twinkling eyes in anticipation of something and finally answered with difficulty.

“As expected, Shed-nim, you understand my feelings.”

Kim Woo-jin smiled shyly when I quickly praised him with an awkward tone. Ah, it’s really hard.