It seemed like he thought I was talking nonsense.
Or, no—with his eyes hooded and vision seemingly blurred—maybe he couldnt react or make any precise judgments because of the pain wracking through his body.
Duke Blois called for Viscount Hyle Bilph.
In the meantime, the black fog on me loosened, perhaps because the hostility he had for me faded a little.
Seeing my chance to escape, I wrenched myself away.
As if he hadnt just tried to hurt me or as if I never felt pain from the strange fog at all, I approached the Duke.
“I have the ability to heal.
If what Im saying is a lie, then you can do whatever you want with me.”
He raised his brows and looked at me.
“Dont come near me.”
“It will only take a minute.”
To prove that I had nothing in my hand, I reached out and showed him my palms—slowly, so as not to alarm him.
But then he suddenly grabbed my hand.
Suddenly, I could feel a soft duvet beneath me on my back, helpless as I was thrown onto the bed.
It was only a short moment, but I was pushed with a tremendous force.
Dumbfounded by the situation, I thought I could deal with it easily, but I couldnt help but wince at the tight grip on my wrist.
It felt like he was going to break it.
Tears welled up in both fear and pain.
Peering down at me from above, he was close enough that I could feel his breath.
His pupils were wide open.
It was the gruesome glint of a predators eye upon its prey.
“I gave you a warning.
I told you to stay away.”
With his body pressed against my chest, he buried his face onto the curve of my neck.
His nose and cheeks touched my ears lightly.
Perhaps because it was the heat from his fever, but his hot breath tickled my ears.
Duke Blois whispered in a low, seething voice, as if he was growling.
“I want to swallow up this scent.
What exactly is this”
He spoke in a slower, but sharper tone.
Even though he was speaking human words, at this moment, he emanated the air of a beast.
Every time his breaths traced over my sensitive nape, goosebumps rose and I couldnt help but shudder.
His teeth were so close to piercing my throat at any moment.
‘This guys driving me crazy.
Even though the heat he exuded was overwhelming, I felt strangely chilled.
“It feels good.”
His eyes were languid as he raised his head, as if he was drunk.
A low, growling vibration could be heard from his throat.
Duke Blois rubbed his face onto me in slow, gentle circles—on my cheeks, my shoulders, my hands, like a cat smearing his pheromones to mark his territory.
His skin was burning, his temperature overtaken by this fever.
With him being so engrossed, I held my breath and froze my movements so that he wouldnt be provoked.
I did so desperately, but my heart continued to pound heavily because of the embarrassment gradually setting in.
‘Why is he doing this
I still couldnt understand what scent hes talking about.
I didnt like having perfumes or artificial scents on my body, so I never sprayed anything on myself.
The previous Rowaine had collected a lot of perfumes, but I myself never wore such things.
The pain that the Duke felt must have been excruciating, which was why he could have started hallucinating just now.
But even so, I calmly took a breath and cleared my thoughts to concentrate.
‘Lets use that ability.
He pulled my hand and buried his face into it, taking a deep breath.
Touching another persons face was an unfamiliar and bizarre feeling—his flimsy eyelids, his sharp nose, his soft lips.
Hot breath tickled my palms.
I tried to concentrate, but I shivered as the back of my neck tensed up.
‘Ive tried it a few times and practiced it, so I know I can do it.
Soon, I could feel a refreshing and warm aura surrounding my body.
I condensed that energy onto my hand, then passed this energy onto the cheek that I held.
I could feel the energy connect to him as it coursed over his veins.
With his cheek as its starting point, the energy flowed through his head and circled down to his body, piercing through all obstructions as it spread to every corner.
At that moment, he opened his eyes.
Unlike earlier, his gaze was now clearly focused.
He grabbed my wrist and removed my hand from his face.
The Duke frowned, his gaze switching from my eyes to my hands, then back again.
“I felt something inside me.
What did you do”
It was a calm voice.
I responded only after I realized he had regained his senses.
“I told you I had the ability to heal.”
With confusion clouding over his eyes, he stood up and spoke, his voice shaking slightly.
“Get off me.”
“Its not over yet.
A little more and…”
“Do your ears not work I told you to leave!”
At his sudden outburst, I flinched in astonishment.
Duke Blois got up from his bed, walked over to the window, and took a few deep breaths of the air outside.
I was at a loss for words.
Who was it exactly that pinned me down and rubbed his face all over me
At that moment, a knock could be heard from outside.
Though there was no answer, Viscount Bilph came without any prompting.
“Why are you standing… Miss Rowaine”
Viscount Bilphs expression hardened as he set his eyes on me.
“The butler has been looking for you downstairs.
Why are you here”
With his back still facing us, the Duke spoke in a low, incensed voice.
“The manors security is pathetic.
You cant even take care of one woman who took it upon herself to come and hide in my room”
Viscount Bilph shut his eyes tightly.
“Please allow me to correct my errors, sir!”
“Lock her away.”
“Yes, Your Grace.”
The fact that the Duke was ill was confidential, and because I had trespassed into his room, this type of punishment was only to be expected.
Presenting an obedient demeanor before the Viscount would grab me, I said one last thing to the Duke with a clear voice.
“I showed you my cards.
If you want my help, I hope you dont take too long to decide.
I myself am a bit fickle, too.”
* * *
Locked up in the guest room at the annex that had been initially assigned to me by the Dukes behest, I had nothing else to do but lay flat on the bed.
Even if I was confined here, there was only a guard standing in front of the door, and for the most part, I was glad that they didnt take me to the dungeon.
‘It had a temporary sedative effect, but the curse couldnt be lifted that easily.
With my eyes shut, I remained still as I felt the warm aura swirling in my body.
Not long after I opened my eyes in this world, I realized that I had healing powers.
Rowaine didnt originally possess this power.
As far as I know, no one else in this novel, not just Rowaine, had such abilities.
‘A new ability bestowed upon me.
I clenched and unclenched my fists, hands still warm.
‘Maybe God felt sorry for giving me just an empty bottle, so he gave me some medicine as well…
Perhaps his conscience was prickled after making me die at a young age, then reincarnating me as a villain in a novel
I hadnt the slightest idea.
Even if God really exists, how can a mere mortal understand his will
It was just a little disappointing.
‘It would have been nice if I had this ability before.
If I did, I would have been able to save my cats, and they wouldnt have passed away far too early.
After my mothers demise, I had only two wishes.
To live happily with my cats for a long time.
And to have the ability to heal the sick.
That was all I ever hoped for.
* * *
At daybreak, Dimitri found himself tossing and turning because sleep wouldnt come to him.
‘What the hell did she do to me
He couldnt remember properly.
As his mind was hazy due to his pain, he became drunk on the scent that she exuded.
No rationality was left to prevent himself from latching onto her.
After that, as if he had been drugged, his body wouldnt listen.
It felt like he was on the brink of madness.
The pleasing scent that wafted through the air broke Dimitris vigilance and lulled his sharp senses.
The fresh smell of grass.
It wasnt enough to get it all over his body, so he wanted to lick, chew and swallow it all down his throat…
‘Is it a scent that induces hallucination Not seduction magic
But then the scent itself didnt feel like it had any magical effects, and human magic didnt work well on him, especially because of his connection to demons.
He wasnt used to this body that was free of pain.
He had felt that excruciating anguish more than a hundred times, but after going under that hallucination and subsequently coming back to his senses, he knew that the pain should have come back by now.
Nevertheless, he felt lighter than ever.
After being afflicted by that magic poison, the pain had continued to be a daily occurrence.
He had only been suppressing it with the demonic powers he had somehow.
Whenever the agony wound up after being suppressed, it would explode all at once and hed fall ill just as he did earlier.
It was the first time Dimitri felt refreshed after a very long time.
‘The ability to heal…
Hed never heard of such a thing.
There were historical records from the distant past about people who used the power of God to heal people, but nowadays it was only a myth.
There wasnt any kind of magic that could cure a disease.
‘I dont know what it is that she did, but its too bad.
Anyway, he thought it would be best to dig up her background and research that strange scent and energy that permeated his body.
After much thought, Dimitri did not fall asleep until daybreak.
Then, he had a dream.
In his dream was Rowaine.
No, looking closer, it wasnt Rowaine, but a stranger.
Dressed in clothes he had never seen before, it was a woman who smiled at the four cats that surrounded her.
The cats were biting some green leaves on her lap, and the fresh grassy scent that emanated from Rowaine surrounded the area…
One of the cats that had been diligently biting the leaves suddenly locked eyes with him.
At the same time, a faint voice flowed into his head.
‘We sent her to you.
Another voice chimed in.
‘She left this world too early.
‘Well grant you a wish.
‘As long as shes happy.
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Suddenly, the cats were all staring at him, those glinting eyes clear with anticipation.
It was a strange dream.
When Dimitri woke up, the sun was already high up in the sky.
Brushing it off as a strange dream, he didnt think much about it.
He assumed it must be a peculiar aftereffect from what he went through last night.
He promptly shook off thoughts about dreams and whatnot, then began his routine.
The next time he met Rowaine was at around lunchtime, when Dimitri heard that someone had arrived from the Larscel County.