Zoemi woke up at dawn two whole days after the accident.
His whole body was hurting but arguably the worst pain was concentrated in the right side of his face extending from his chin, through just under his right eye, and reaching all the way to his ear.
The boy shifted under the covers, sniffled, and carefully checked his body.
He was covered in thick bandages basically from head to toe making him look like a short mummy.
"...ugh... what... happened...?"
The black-haired boy's head felt heavy and he wasn't really able to recall either what happened or why.
When he turned his head to the side he saw Miriette in a deep-green dress sitting by his bed and engrossed in a book to such a degree that she didn't hear his whispers and shifting around at all.
"My lady!? Are you alright! Did the fire reach you!?"
Not caring about his wounds Zoemi lifted his body from the bed and asked her in an urgent voice right on the verge of panicking.
The sudden action spooked Miriette and she dropped the book.
"Zoemi! You're awake!"
She raised her voice and tears show up in the corners of her eyes forgetting about her book, but Zoemi's hazy mind misunderstood her expression and the boy's heart filled up with crippling fear and guilt.
|So she got hurt after all!? No, no, no! Everything but that! How could I let that happen!?|
Zoemi had almost lost it, witnessing the girl's tears welling up in her eyes.
He threw the cover aside and while trying to get out of bed to kneel down before her, but both his hands and legs gave out and he fell crashing onto the floor.
"Zoemi! Stop! You'll hurt yourself"
Miriette panicked hearing the pitiful sob escaping the boy's mouth even though he was trying his best to not let that happen.
Coincidentally, the duke Espine and Mizoe were just about going to enter the room that Zoemi was. Mizoe was returning from the morning practice and wanted to check up on his son and duke Espine wanted to talk to his daughter who spent her every waking moment of the last two days by the black-haired boy's bed as if guarding him. 𝒾𝗻𝓃𝐫eα𝚍. 𝒄𝐨m
When they've heard Miriette's panicked voice they stormed into the room just to stop in at the doorstep seeing flustered Miriette's back as the girl was standing over kneeling Zoemi trying to get him up.
But the black-haired boy had a different idea...
"My lady, I'm so very sorry! Please forgive this lowly servant that he wasn't strong enough to protect you!"
The boy's shoulders were shaking as big tears of honest sorrow fell from his eyes.
"I should have been stronger...!"
Zoemi was in such deep grief over allowing harm to happen to Miriette - even though it was just his own misunderstanding - that he failed to notice two grownups entering the room.
Though, to his defense, Miriette missed the two as well.
"No, it's not like that! And your wounds! Please don't move so much and return to bed...!"
Miriette didn't know how to deal with this situation.
Her words seemed to have no effect on Zoemi so she tried to pull him up from the floor.
But as she was afraid of using her enchantments to boost her strength in fear of hurting the boy even more than he already was, Zoemi managed to free himself and crawled back - away from the Mireiette's hands - and pressed his forehead to the floor.
"I'm sorry...! I'm so sorry I failed to protect you!"
The black-haired boy apologized wholeheartedly, too ashamed of himself to even look up at the flustered girl.
Miriette felt like crying - she wanted to thank Zoemi but the boy just kept on begging for her forgiveness and she could not understand what was she supposed to forgive him since he did nothing wrong.
If she had to point fingers at the people that had to apologize it would be herself and that awful Grazio, but definitely not Zoemi!
"...now, now... it's okay now."
"Wh-what..?! Ah...! Father...! I...! I failed to protect lady Mirieeetteeee...!"
After witnessing the whole thing Mizoe walked up to his son and gently picked him up from the floor - at first, the boy flinched but when he recognized his father he clung to him and started wailing with his hand on Mizoe's chest.
"Shh... Don't cry Zoemi, you're a good boy."
Mizoe started lulling the boy while caressing his head.
"But... But even though I tried so hard, and it hurt so bad, lady Miriette got hurt anyway!"
Miriette exclaimed in shock.
Since when was she hurt?!
She hasn't even scraped her knee when Zoemi pushed her away from the danger!
"Silly boy, the little lady wasn't hurt. You did a good job. You protected her."
Mizoe explained in a soft voice.
The boy pulled away from his father's chest and looked him in the eyes, still with big tears gathered in the corners of his obsidian eyes..
"Really? I protected her...?"
Zoemi asked in disbelief and twisted his body to look at Miriette.
"My lady, so you're...?"
He asked in a trembling voice.
"Yes! I'm completely fine so don't try to ask for forgiveness ever again!"
Miriette shouted and stomped her foot showing the glimpse of the character she had in the game, and she ran out of the room.
Mizoe put his son back in bed at patted his head.
"Try not to get up from the bed if you do not need to. The wounds you suffered were very serious for someone your age so you shouldn't strain yourself and rest."
This time it was duke Espine, he stood by Zoemi's bed and smiled at him.
"M-my lord, duke...! I-I'm not...!"
Zoemi gasped only then realizing the red-haired mans' presence and immediately tried to get out of the bed to kneel down – but was stopped both by his father and the duke.
"There's no need to do that, boy. You did a good job, and besides, how could I demand something as trivial as the traditional greeting from someone who risked his life to protect my daughter?"
He smiled at the child.
"T-thank you for protecting me!"
Everyone in the room turned towards the door and saw blushing Miriette shouting out words of gratitude.
When she realized everyone was looking at her, her face turned completely red from embarrassment and she ran off - this time for real.
If you want to read more chapters, please visit AllNovelBook.com to experience faster update speed. You can also log in to your account there.