He sat on the carriage, covered in a few blankets, and yet he was gasping for breath.
In fact, it was tough to sleep, for his nightmares had woken him up several times. Whenever he opened his heavy eyelids, the girl’s worried look would enter his eyes.
Surely those eyes were those of one who feared he would depart for the afterlife at any given moment. It was a rare experience to be given such a look. While he was poisoned to the point of near death, and was completely worn out due to arduous work nights, no person would kick the bucket that easily. No matter how he reemphasized this repeatedly, she would not listen.
In any case, he was unable to pry aside the pile of heavy blankets, and it was thus obvious he was feeling really weak. Perhaps he was woken due to the same nightmare lingering vividly, resulting in him seeking help from reality. The nightmare did not happen however, and luck returned to him.
And thus, he found that once he got used to it, it was not a bad thing to be treated as a patient. He could open his mouth, and all the food and wine would be brought to his mouth. Once he yawned, the bed would be laid for him. When he found it hard to sleep after sleeping for long periods, there would be an outstretched hand to comb his hair.
While he had a fear that if this kept up, he would be domesticated, he consoled himself into thinking it was an assignment of roles.
At this point, he should enjoy her care and let his thoroughly weakened body recuperate, to find his usual form, and the moment he recovered, to protect her.
Not simply because the fingers combing his hair were overly fine.
But that a few days ago, he realized how gaping a hole his heart had when he lost this girl.
The moment he met her eyes, she blinked her green eyes, beaming happily.
He had to protect this smile.
And for this reason, he had to rest.
The carriage continued to shake.
Despite closing his eyes, her beaming face remained vivid.