After a while, Iris’s body was wrapped in a blanket, and a furnace was placed in front of her.
Seeing that she had not been brought into the house, it seemed that Ritero was about to go through the process of confirming who she was.
Iris, who deliberately entered the center of the typhoon, asked while pretending not to know.
“Why are you staying here?”
“Isn’t this the annex?”
“I was originally going to ask the head of the family for help, but… You two are a bit too much.”
Iris made a look of discontent on purpose.
It was a clear-cut alienation.
However, Ritero—who was the head of Asheri—and called the white fox for a long time among them, smiled kindly.
“Young people naturally don’t know what to do.
It’s probably because they didn’t get taught.”
“No way, there are rumors about how passionate the Asheri family is about their children’s education.”
“Apart from the passage of time, what else would this old man regret?”
Ritero said, and had a table placed between them.
He was about to serve her tea.
Iris knew it meant listening to more of her story.
Iris, who was looking at the garden, pointed to a fountain modeled after the goddess of alchemy in the distance.
“What a beautiful fountain.”
That fountain was brought here after finding it with difficulty in the garden of Ritero’s house when he was young.
Ritero smiled silently.
In the meantime, all the white foxes with dazzling white fur and dark red eyes in the garden ran towards the two, perhaps because of the warmth.
Ritero asked Iris, who was not surprised at all, but stroking the fox sitting on her lap.
“He seems to like it.”
“Because this kid likes me.”
“Would you like to feed him?”
Ritero spoke and gestured, and the servants who were taking care of the foxes ran to him.
And when the skinned lemmings piled up in the barrel, Ritero said.
“You can cut it and serve it.”
Usually, at this rate, the nobles would scream and run away.
Iris used to be like that.
And it was quickly regarded as disrespect for the Asheri family.
Knowing that, Iris immediately reached out to the servant, took the knife, and cut the meat in half.
“Come and see.”
Blood dripped from Iris’s white, beautiful hands.
One of the foxes, who had been faltering since she was a stranger, approached and took the meat from her hand and moved away.
“This kid is the most fearless.”
“He’s called Con.”
Con perked up his ears, as if he knew she was calling his name.
Iris lifted the remaining half and threw it to Con, and Ritero laughed as she kept feeding the rest only to Con.
“You have to distribute it evenly.”
“Doesn’t it make you weak if you stay inside the fence? They have to compete among themselves.”
“If they’re hungry, they’ll rush in and take it.
Don’t you have to be hungry to appreciate the hand that feeds you?”
Your children don’t know how to be grateful.
Ritero, who had settled on the ground, noticed the meaning in Iris’s words, but only smiled as if he didn’t know.
After filling his stomach, Con ran to Iris and licked the blood on her hands, and the rest of the foxes ran to the servants, as if they were asking for food.
Con, who had a full stomach, rubbed his head in Iris’s hand, and followed the others when the group set off again.
“Con was Hayer’s child.”
When Hayer’s name came up, Iris briefly thought of him.
She remembered the man who was smiling until the last minute.
Maybe he could have everything in the world.
Leaving Hayer on the snowy field at the northern end where no one would go remained in her mind.
She couldn’t erase this loneliness until she saw his living face.
“Did you come to Asheri on purpose?”
To get help from the head.”
He nodded slowly and got up.
“Since you’ve come a long way, I’ll prepare a room for you.
I’ll give you a nice room in the annex.”
Iris rose up after Ritero.
* * *
The Asheri’s annex, located on the border with Siere, was a mixture of cultural assets of the two countries.
Ritero, who was walking ahead at a slow pace, said.
“I don’t think my grandson deserved that.”
The question was, why did she make things so complicated when it would’ve been simple if she married Sid Lepos?
Iris stopped and said.
Hearing her tone, Ritero motioned.
Then the butler left the key to him, bid farewell, and disappeared.
Iris continued in the corridor where only the two of them were left.
“It is only natural that the Asheri family supports the first prince.”
“But is it true that the head thinks the same way?”
Ritero narrowed his eyes at her question and stared at Iris.
“He is the first grandson you have, so I know you love him exceptionally.
Ritero didn’t open his mouth so that she could say everything.
Iris went on, alert, not to be swayed by the foxy old man.
“The question is whether that lowly Sid Lepos can break this situation.”
At her words, Ritero pretended to think for a moment.
It was clear that he was pretending to be worried, even though he must have already organized it in his head.
It wasn’t that Luwan suddenly went to ruins.
Six years ago, it was already crumbling and collapsing everywhere.
It was the families on the border, like the Asheri, that felt the weakening of national power the most.
The first thing you would have felt was that there were more people fleeing from Luwan to Siere than those who fled from Siere to Luwan.
“Do you think there’s something wrong with Sid?”
“He seemed too closed off.”
“I already see no way for Luwan to survive without the pagans.
But he would never be one to join hands with a pagan.”
“Ah, you’d better go to bed now.
This old man is not energetic enough to stand in one place for a long time and talk like young people.”
He deliberately interrupted the conversation.
Then he turned around and said in front of the room he was about to give.
“Come to think of it, this room doesn’t get much sunlight.”
“Is that so?”
“Let’s go to the third floor.
I’ll give you a room in the south.”
He took the lead on the stairs to the third floor.
Iris looked back at the room she was almost about to get.
It was a dark room piled up with baggage.
It was clearly used as a warehouse.
The new room on the third floor was not very good, but it was well-lit and tidy.
There was also a separate room for the maid to stay on one side so that the room owner could call the maid even at dawn.
During the conversation, it was conveyed in the state of the room that the hospitality was raised from an uninvited guest to a guest.
She looked around the room and rang the bell, and a maid appeared from the adjoined room.
“Hello, my name is Annie, my lady… Oh my gosh, why are you so wet!”
While saying that, Iris suddenly fell down, feeling like her body’s muscles broke.
“Ah, my lady!”
The maid, Annie, came running.
When she grabbed Iris’s arm to support her, she freaked out.
“Y-your body is a ball of fire, my lady!”
“…I’ve survived, so it’s fine.”
“What nonsense is that? Are you talking nonsense because you have a fever?”
What a foul-mouthed maid…
Annie called the servants while Iris was thinking.
Soon a servant carried Iris on his back and took her to the bathroom where the water began to heat up.
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