Raven forced his eyes open.
His vision blurred. He couldn’t find anything to focus on!
Something in his body twisted and realigned. The sound of his spine snapping started to spread, and his whole body felt the movement.
Raven closed his eyes again. He wanted to scream but no sound came out. It wasn't the first time his body had experienced something like this. He soon clenched his teeth in anticipation and silently bore the changes that took within his body.
It was the sound of bones aligning and organs reforming. He had a similar experience before when he almost died.
Then, the sound stopped, and Raven felt a different sensation than before. In his semiconscious state, he had a fuzzy feeling and a warmth covered his abdominal area before spreading to his chest, neck, and shoulders.
‘Wha.. What’s going on…?’
Someone was touching his body with extreme care.
Raven felt his body being raised, along with somebody’s voice. A sweet but unfamiliar scented spread. Raven opened his eyes and turned his head. His vision was still blurred and unfocused. He saw bountiful breasts resting inside white lace -- a woman.
Was this a dream? Or was he seeing things? Maybe he was already dead, and this was heaven?
It didn’t matter which one it was. Raven couldn’t even remember the last time he came into contact with a woman. He followed his instincts mindlessly. His hands moved toward the white, voluptuous chest in front of him.
Raven once again lost consciousness which was accompanied by someone’s shriek and burning pain in his cheeks.
Raven came to, this time hearing someone’s sobs.
“No… really I swear... His Grace really…. me…”
He started to hear the words a bit more clearly. It also seemed like there was more than just one person.
“What nonsense are you sprouting? How can you even say such things? Can’t you see his condition right now?”
“No re.. really I swear, miss. He really stretched his hand and touched my... my breasts…”
“Oh how can you even say such a shameful thing? Oh my my.”
“Please wait a minute, head maid. Lindsay, you’re sure that His Grace moved?”
“Yes, yes! I swear on the heavens. I was about to clean his back when he suddenly stuck out his arm...”
The four people in front of him slowly came into focus.
There was a meticulous-looking middle-aged woman, a middle-aged gentleman in a black tailcoat with a well-groomed mustache, and a maid who looked to be about eighteen with tears in her eyes. Her tear-stained cuffs were gathered in front of her chest. Finally, an old lady with a pale face contained in an old-fashioned purple dress stood a distance from the other three, and stared in Raven’s direction.
“Well then, how do you explain how he is now? I don’t see any differences from any other days.”
“Hmm. I think it’s better to call for Sir Illaine. It’s better to be careful than to be sorry.”
“Well, okay then. It probably is better to check up on His Grace’s condition.”
Hearing this conversation with zero context did not help with Raven’s headache and only confused him further.
He was dead. His heart was pierced by Baltai’s halberd, and his head chopped off.
The last thing he saw was Baltai’s mocking eyes and his yellow teeth.
What Raven heard from Baltai before his death made him clench his teeth. A groan escaped from his lips.
The middle-aged woman who was looking at Raven with worried eyes jumped in shock.
“How can this be!?”
The gentleman also backed up several steps.
Raven struggled to open his lips and spoke to the three people who looked as if they had seen a ghost.
“Where… where am I…? Who are you people?”
His speech was slurred and his words came out muddled gibberish. He used his hands as support to rear himself up on the bed. Even with small movement his breathing became ragged.
“Y.. your Grace!!”
The middle-aged man exclaimed while assisting Raven.
“Ohhhhh merciful goddess. Benevolent goddess Illeyna I thank you! Thank you!!!”
The middle-aged woman turned her head to the maid and exclaimed with an ecstatic expression, “What are you doing just standing there!? Hurry, go and get Sir Illaine! No wait, we need to let the mistress know!”
“Yes! Yes of course!”
“Your Grace, Your Grace! How are you feeling? Do you recognize me??”
The middle-aged man said as the two women ran about in a flutter.
‘What’s… going on?’
Nothing made sense. Never mind the fact that his head was cut off, there were people in front of him that he had never seen before in his life making a huge ruckus, pretending they knew him.
However, he decided to satisfy his primitive needs as he didn’t feel any hostility emanating from then.
“Some… w… water.”
“Here, here it is, Your Grace,” The middle-aged woman hurriedly poured water into a cup and brought it to Raven’s lips.
The cool water slid down Raven’s throat and he felt it soak his dry lips. Only after finishing the cup of water did Raven realize that he wasn’t dreaming nor in an illusion. This was reality.
Alive. He was alive.
‘How, how can this be…?’
The unfamiliar surroundings combined with the fact that he was somehow alive caused him to instinctively look around. The bedroom was the biggest and the fanciest he had ever seen. One of the walls was covered with windows larger than the door, and elegant wooden furniture decorated with gold were placed around the room. The golden insignia around the bed finished off the bedroom with a gorgeous yet proper feel.
As Raven looked around the room his eyes stopped upon a particular person. It was the old lady who had been standing in the corner of the room since he woke up, not saying a single word.
Raven was a little taken aback by the old lady’s gaze. Her face was pale. Unnaturally so even.
“Are you sure you’re alright, Your Grace?”
The worried voice of the middle-aged man caused Raven to turn his head towards him. The gentleman and the woman were both looking at him with concerned looks. Their heartfelt gaze caused Raven to lower his guard by a bit.
“Where… am I?”
“Excuse me? What do you mean where…”
“We are in your room, Your Grace, located in Conrad Castle.”
The man answered calmly, unlike the woman who seemed to be in disarray.
Raven was confused.
Conrad Castle? Your Grace?
He had no idea what they were talking about.
“Where is this Conrad Castle located? And who is Your Grace?”
The man’s face darkened, and the woman’s eyes widened a little as she covered her open mouth.
“I think His Grace is still in a daze. Well, it makes sense seeing how he was in that condition for several years…”
“Well of course! Three years. Three whole years! He regained consciousness after a long period of time… Well, please relax and stay still. The castle’s doctor Sir Illaine has been called for. He will be here soon so please rest assured.”
The woman wiped the tears off her face before covering Raven with a blanket and placing a damp cloth on his forehead. Raven was perplexed at her attitude in treating him like a child. He was 29 this year, and he had spent 10 years fighting like a dog in the battlefield.
His face was painted with all kinds of wounds and scars, as many times as he had been standing on the crossroads of life and death. It probably wasn’t something a normal person could look at with sweet smiles. Even his subordinates, who were murderers and villains, could not stare straight into his face.
“Now now, please rest comfortably.”
Raven felt the sincerity coming from the woman’s words, and due to the fact that he felt weak, he could only let her do as she wished. At that moment, the door burst open and someone hurriedly ran into the room.
“My son! My son has finally woken!?”
A lady in her early thirties ran into the room, wearing a gold crown with jewels over her shiny, blonde hair. Her face was tinted red from the running. Behind her followed eight maids, who similarly all had red faces.
“I greet the duchess.”
“Oh my son! My son! Finally, you have…!”
As if she hadn’t heard the two people’s greetings, she ran forward towards where Raven lay. But between her and the bed stood the old lady who had been silent all along, and the noble lady ran, not paying the old lady any attention.
“Hey be care... hmm!?”
Raven was about to warn her when the unthinkable happened. The noble lady ran straight through the old woman. The lady then wrapped her hands around Raven’s bewildered face.
“My son! My beloved son…!”
He didn’t hear her words. His gaze was affixed on the old lady. He had not seen wrong. The noble lady had passed straight through the old woman. All of a sudden, the old woman slowly turned her head towards the window and walked towards it.
Raven’s eyes widened once more. The old woman had passed through the maids as she had just done so with the noble lady. Now standing in front of the window, she turned her head towards Raven. Their gazes met.
She slowly raised her hand and pointed a finger to the outside of the window.
“My son! Do, do you not recognize me? It’s me, your mother! Oh, my son…”
Raven raised his head at the exclamation. A noble woman who could be considered one of the top beauties he had seen in his life was raining down kisses on his forehead and cheeks. She then proceeded to embrace his face into her chest. He couldn’t get a grasp on reality.
‘Wh, what is this … Am I really dead? What the hell is wrong with this woman? What about that old woman?’
A piercing pain ran through his head once again.
“Oh, oh! What’s wrong?”
The lady who was still holding Raven’s face tightly in her chest looked at Raven’s face with worry.
“My lady, please calm down. We do not know what condition His Grace is in right now. I think it is better for us to let him get some rest.”
Upon hearing the middle-aged man’s words, the lady repeatedly nodded her head.
“Yes, yes, of course. Where is Sir Illaine? Is he not here yet?”
“We’ve sent Lindsay to fetch him. He’ll be here shortly ma’am.”
“Yes, yes, of course, of course.”
The noblewoman was still fidgety, clearly not knowing what to do. She kept on staring at Raven with worried eyes.
“Sir! Sir, Sir!”
Someone opened the door and burst into the room. It was the maid that Raven first saw when he came to.
“Lindsay! Where is Sir Illaine? Why have you come without him?” The middle-aged woman said in a stern voice.
“N, n, no! Please! Take a look outside. Look! Look outside!”
“What is all this fuss about!? Now let’s…”
The noblewoman froze upon turning her head to look out the window, while the middle-aged woman fell onto the floor with a dazed face. The maids did not move to help the woman as they were all staring outside with vacant looks.
Raven also turned his head and stretched his upper body to look outside, directly where the old lady was pointing to.
Raven’s eyes widened as something came into his field of view outside the window. Something enormous was staring in his direction with its giant wings folded.
It was a majestic white dragon covered in silver armor from head to tail.
The name unconsciously escaped Raven’s mouth, even though it was a name that he had never heard of before.Previous Chapter Next Chapter