Evan Youliya: Miya Empire’s third prince, the second successor.
Jonia Youliya: Miya Empire’s second princess, commonly known as the Rose Princess.
The night was extremely quiet. For Xi Wei and Zeno, the warm bonfire and hot soup were a pleasure that they could only dare to hold extravagant hope towards. However, the atmosphere around the bonfire was somewhat strange.
Evan was holding a fist-sized bag filled with snow against his injured cheek, trying to reduce the swelling on his face. Xi Wei looked more pathetic in comparison. His eyes were bruised and he resembled the national treasure panda.
The four people just sat around the bonfire surrounded by the silent forest; no one opened their mouth to speak first.
Zeno seemed to be lost in thought, but he had actually begun to recall the story line. Although five years had passed by and some details were no longer clear in his memory, the main thread of plot development was still present. In the ordinary course of events, by some fluke, the protagonist managed to kill the boss. As he fled from the trouble that followed, he was picked up by a mercenary group and travelled with them for a year and a half. It was only then that, through a fated opportunity, he was recommended to attend Prault Institute.
Now, owing to the fact that they were aware of change the boss went through ahead of time, Xia An did not die. It also seemed that they were somehow transported by the strange magic array to the distant Prault Institute.
Anyways, this was also good. One simply had to omit the part of the plot where Xi Wei travelled with the mercenaries and skip directly to Prault Institute. For the protagonist, the benefits definitely outweighed any harm.
Since the part of “Curse” that took place in Prault Institute could be classified as the most conscientious passage in the entire novel, Xi Wei was able to spend five years of peace and tranquility during his brief stay in school until his graduation.
This was an excellent turning point. In fact, the one and a half years that passed after the mercenary group picked up Xi Wei were a very painful experience. The consequence of this period of time he experienced was that his popularity at the school was very low. Therefore, despite being quiet and peaceful, it was actually equivalent to squandering many important resources.
Zeno, who figured out the entire process of development, decided that Xi Wei must now attend Prault Institute.
Xi Wei had secretly been on the alert and his unfamiliarity with the surrounding environment made him more on edge. The siblings in front of him were seemingly innocuous and friendly, but he had threatened them with a knife only a moment before. Could they truly ignore that former hatred?
Xi Wei, who grew up in a distorted environment, did not understand that there was this type of ordinary kindness within the world.
Zeno, who knew the identity of the two, was much more relaxed. After all, the prince and princess of a country really had no need to make life difficult for two beggars they just happened to encounter.
Something cold was affixed to Xi Wei’s eyes. He frowned, but still allowed Zeno to put the cold snow on that bruised area.
Zeno’s actions were very serious. He vaguely remembered that it was good to use ice-cold compresses for this type of injury. At this time, he had none of those so he could only make use of the abundant snow, hoping it was effective.
Evan rubbed his face while looking at this weird bald ‘little girl’s’ actions. The more he saw, the more interested he became. He could not help asking, “Little girl, from watching I can see you’re so sensible. Your older brother is really lucky.”
Zeno resembled Xi Wei, and according to his age, Evan’s guess was quite reasonable.
In that moment, Zeno glanced at the somewhat awkward Jonia and secretly made a decision. The Rose Princess must not develop a close relationship with the protagonist; he would keep her far away from him starting now.
Unlike Xiao Wu, Jonia was the princess of a country. Just like the princesses in so many similar novels, the distinctive protagonist immediately attracted her attention. She felt that the protagonist had not treated her the same way other men did. It came to pass that she secretly paid closer attention to him. If they did not initially fight, they would not make friends, since familiarity bred fondness.
It seemed that the author of the novel was the most fraudulent one here. Every suspected harem member that appeared in his novel was basically the same as others in any stallion novel—there was nothing special about them. They had all the characteristics of a beauty that the general public liked to hear and see. Naturally, that was pretty much in line with an ordinary otaku’s fantasy. The crucial point was that the author’s bad habit should not be allowed to start again, instead perhaps he could be helped to accomplish something interesting and fresh.
Jonia and Evan were typical examples. The protagonist, who originally lacked warmth, eventually somewhat softened after long-term exposure to the twins. The story was only a moment away from a sweet first love that would lead to a HE1 (regardless of who his first love was in the end), but who would have thought that there would be upheaval that caused a sudden change in the royal court. The queen mother of the twins died amidst the court conflict. In order to seize power and take revenge, Evan forced Jonia to marry the son of the Duke of the Empire.
At first, Jonia resolutely refused. Evan used the opportunity to put a plan in motion and sent Xi Wei to a dragon’s cave. There were no narrow escapes from that cave—all died without exception. After Xi Wei returned alive with great difficulty, it was too late. Jonia had a change of affection and shift of love; she fell in love with the Duke’s son.
The reader’s discussion was in full swing, lamenting that the first love could end without leaving a single remnant. Since then, Evan had gone down a hostile path with the protagonist that he could not turn back from. Jonia was already the wife of another man, so of course they no longer had any kind of relationship.
Zeno thought with a little bit of a melancholic mind. Since the Rose Princess could immediately fall in love with someone after she thought the protagonist was dead, she may not be appropriate as a candidate for healing the protagonist’s heart. Also, if the protagonist and Jonia had no emotional connection binding them, then it was only natural that Evan would not make life difficult for the protagonist.
Sorting it out that far, Zeno’s eyes were shining. It was as if everything became clear at once and he found the crux of the issue.
As he thought over those matters, the movements of his hands slowed. Xi Wei grasped Zeno’s hands and pulled them down from his face. Once he felt the freezing temperature of the little one’s red, ice-cold hands, he paused and then naturally pressed them up against his own neck.
The frozen fingers that had lost feeling began to slowly warm up again. Beneath his fingertips he could feel his protagonist’s carotid artery beating rhythmically and then suddenly it began to pulse vigorously.
Evan was dissatisfied and said, “Little girl, why won’t you speak?”
Zeno turned to look at him and said faintly, “Because I am not a little girl.”
Finally able to speak this sentence he had wanted to say for such a long time, Zeno spat out the words with a touch of melancholy anger. How could any great man endure being treated like a young girl all day long? If he was an ordinary child then he may not understand that it was a problem, but he was not. Sometimes ignorance was bliss.
Evan choked for a moment and then sized Zeno up sceptically. Jonia was astonished and straightforwardly asked, “If you’re not a girl then why are you wearing a skirt?”
As soon the words left her mouth, Jonia herself realized that the question was inappropriate. In any case, it was a family matter and it was no place for a stranger with whom they had only been acquainted for a few hours to intervene.
Actually, Zeno did not mind it. He felt that Jonia had asked exactly what he was thinking. Showing a look of feigned confusion, he looked at Xi Wei and asked unctuously, “Baba, I should not wear a skirt?”
Xi Wei remained taciturn even thought he was confronted with such a ‘naïve and innocent’ look. He did not know how to explain, so after a brief moment of silence, he spoke a few words, “If you don’t wear it you’ll just be naked. ”
The brother and sister were once again dumbfounded. Firstly, by Zeno addressing Xi Wei as ‘baba’, and then they were defeated Xi Wei’s powerful answer.
Evan’s mouth dropped open—looking at Xi Wei’s face, there was no way he was much over 18 years old. In any case, he could not accept that he was already a father to this four or five year old.
Various thoughts were streaking through Jonia’s mind when she heard ‘baba’, such as ‘maturing too soon,’ ‘scum’, ‘abduction’ and other inharmonious words. Ultimately, she could only smile reluctantly and laugh.
Zeno was quite proud of himself in his heart. Which girl would be inclined towards a man who has a child? This possible series of events could be fundamentally eliminated from the start.
He gave himself a ‘like’ for being quick-witted.
Due to the unusual turn in the conversation, the group around the bonfire once again sank into silence. The simple pot over their fire had come to a boil, and the magic red-eyed rabbit meat simmering within was finally cooked thoroughly, causing an increasingly tantalizing aroma to drift out. The hapless rabbit died in the aftermath of Evan and Xi Wei’s scuffle when it was kicked and sent flying into a tree trunk. In that moment it became a four-person dinner.
Jonia produced four silver bowls from seemingly nowhere, filled them, and placed two of them in front of Xi Wei, indicating that he should take them.
Xi Wei first swallowed a small spoonful of soup and waited a bit. When it seemed like nothing peculiar had happened he handed the bowl over to Zeno.
Zeno wolfed down his food, then stuck out his tongue when he was unable to deal with the heat. Although none of the people here were skilled in the culinary arts, this was still the most delicious food he had eaten in recent years. Zeno was so happy he could weep.
Due to everyone minding their own business, coupled with the fact that they were all tired, after dinner they each leaned against a tree trunk to fall asleep.
The two siblings had originally intended to reach the city that housed Prault Institute before dark. Due to their accidental encounter, they could only sleep in the forest. Since they were, after all, members of the nobility, it was no problem at all for them to lay down a simple array to protect against the cold wind.
Zeno stalled for a while until he felt that everyone should have fallen asleep. He examined Xi Wei’s face in the flickering light of the bonfire. He did not dare to forget the words that Xia An had spoken, for even a moment.
Xi Wei should have fallen asleep, but a trace of greenish-black air still lingered about his face. Xia An’s secondary personality had said that he just needed to drink Zeno’s blood three times; Zeno could only hope that it was not a scam.
Zeno sighed, how could they be plagued with misfortunes to this point?
Then he frowned and took up Xi Wei’s knife in secret, cut along the already healing wound on his wrist, and tried to lift it up to Xi Wei’s lips.
He swiftly found that his approach was stupid; Xi Wei fell asleep, how could he take the initiative to drink it? He actually wanted to wake him up and tell him to drink it—he could act like he was a silly but amusing person.
Zeno clutched his wrist and thought briefly, then decided to act first and report later2. Anyways, this matter was not something he could ignore, so he lowered his head and sucked on his wrist for a while. Once his mouth was filled with the taste of rust, he placed his mouth on Xi Wei’s lips and fed it to him.
When he was about to starve to death, Xi Wei saved him in the same way. This time it was his turn to save Xi Wei, even if he truly became a human blood bank.
Well. I kind of feel like Zeno is doing some serious crowd control here. This is myyy protagonist, don’t touch!
- I assume most know, but HE = happy ending ↩
- This was originally an idiom, ‘first decapitate then present your trophy’. It makes sense, and I usually try to incorporate the idioms as they are, but to me it made it seem like he was going to cut his hand off hahaha. Soooooo, I will just put it down here. ↩