Odin groaned softly and opened his eyes. His body ached all over like his organs were being poked with a hot iron.
‘What the hell?’
He didn’t understand why he was in so much pain. His head was heavy, his vision was cloudy, and he wasn’t able think of anything. Because of this, it was naturally difficult for him to grasp the situation he was in.
However, he could clearly hear someone gasp next to him.
“Are you awake?”
Someone quickly walked up to Odin. Hearing the question which seemed to be checking his condition, Odin frowned, still in a half-conscious state.
He blinked a few more times, then his vision cleared up a little. Soon, when Odin saw the person who appeared in his sight, he unconsciously uttered something stupid.
Before him, was an unrealistically beautiful woman with dazzling silver hair and caring light-green eyes.
For a moment, Odin wondered if he was dead.
But if that was the case, hell might be possible but there was no way he went up to heaven, so he felt doubtful.
As a matter of fact, Odin had been lingering around Yuri for quite a while, so it was impossible for him not to know how Anne-Marie looked. However, this was the first time he was seeing her face so close to himself. And because he was so out of it right now, he made a stupid mistake.
Regardless of Odin’s stupid utterance, Anne-Marie went on to check her patient from head to toe, then she quickly rushed to the door, opened it, and stepped out.
“Ms. Yuri, the patient is awake!”
A while later, another person came in through the door.
Only then did Odin come to his senses.
He looked at the familiar face with much clearer eyes and opened his mouth slightly.
Hestia, who quietly followed Yuri inside, widened her eyes when she heard the strange name referring to Yuri.
Yuri heard Odin’s feeble voice and hurriedly walked up to him.
“Odin, are you alright?”
As usual, there wasn’t much change in Yuri’s expression. But somehow, Odin felt like he knew she was worried about him.
“I’m fine…what about you? Did you get hurt anywhere?”
“No. I’m fine.”
Odin studied Yuri with his eyes which were still a little unfocused, and soon enough, he looked relieved. Then he suddenly seemed to remember something and looked around before asking:
“What happened though? We…we got out of there, right? Where is this?”
Although Odin’s condition still looked pretty bad, the fact that he was talking clearly made Yuri feel relieved.
Right then, Anne-Marie picked up on the mood between the two and said she would step outside but they can call her when necessary, took Hestia, and walked out the door. She was being considerate towards Odin and Yuri.
“Don’t worry. We got out safely. We are at my neighbor’s house. The person who just went out, Anne-Marie, treated you.”
“Oh, okay. That’s good…”
Perhaps hearing Yuri’s explanation made him completely relieved because Odin’s eyelids began to grow heavy again. His vision blurred again, and his voice faded softly.
Yuri noticed it too.
Even though Anne-Marie had been considerate, it looked like Odin would soon fall unconscious again. But his expression was more at ease this time.
Yuri didn’t bother trying to keep Odin up.
“Get some rest.”
At the soft voice flowing into his ears, Odin closed his eyes again. And after a while, Yuri left the room quietly while Odin remained asleep.
* * *
Around this time, the Crawford mansion was swept up in a small storm.
“What? The Salvatore’s Alchemist was brought in injured for treatment and Kalian was the one who brought him in?”
While Dominic, the head of the family, was away, Bastian heard the report in his stead and unconsciously raised his voice. He was almost on his feet as he asked:
“Where is Kalian now?”
“That…he said we should transport the injured and quickly ran off somewhere with the other men. It seems he found a band of heretics.”
Bastian’s face fell with displeasure.
“Is Kalian the only one in the search team? How come there’s never a day where he just stays at home! He always has to step out and deal with everything the higher-ups order.”
Hearing that, the person who came to report lowered his head like he was embarrassed.
Bastian clicked his tongue then he asked another question.
“And Kalian? Did they say he was fine?”
“Yes…I believe so.”
Actually, he heard Kalian was bleeding but was afraid Bastian would be worried, so he replied evasively. Thankfully, Bastian didn’t seem to suspect anything.
“How is the search for that person going?”
“We have gotten some reports of sightings of people that look similar but the person you’re looking for is still…”
“Ah, why are you so slow! This is why everyone keeps going to Kalian!”
Eventually, Bastian lost his temper.
Tatiana, who was watching everything from the side, clicked her tongue as Bastian did earlier. From the looks of things, the search for the child known as Yuri wasn’t going as smoothly as he wanted. Even so, blaming the workers wouldn’t do anything.
This is why they say: Old habits die hard. Sure enough, just because he was getting older didn’t mean his nasty nature from his youth was going to vanish.
“It is one guy after the other, all of them are useless honestl…”
Tatiana watched Bastian grumble unhappily after sending out the man who came to report, then she put down her teacup.
“When is that child you call a caretaker coming again?”
“What? Why are you looking for my caretaker?”
“I’m old too, you know, and I have some achiness here and there. I’d love to check myself how talented this caretaker of yours is.”
“What? Don’t even think about bossing around my caretaker as you like!”
And so, the two of them bickered once again, making it hard to discern whether they had a good relationship or not.
Just then, the man Bastian sent out earlier came back panting.
“What is it?”
“Kalian-nim is back!”
“Ah, is that so?”
“But he is heavily injured…!”
“What did you say?”
Bastian bellowed, springing to his feet.
This was the first time Kalian had ever gotten injured outside.
“And? Where is Kalian right now? Lead the way, quickly!”
Bastian, who cherished his grandson more than his son, left the room in a rush. Tatiana also left the room after Bastian.
That Kalian was hurt. It was certainly a surprise.
But even though it was, the situation seemed hectic and it didn’t look like something a guest like herself should intervene in.
So instead of following after Bastian, Tatiana headed back to her room. Her brows were knitted slightly as she walked down the hallway.
‘I’m sure of it, that child gives me a strange feeling.’
Tatiana was thinking of Anne-Marie, Bastian’s caretaker.
Since she first met the girl, it had been on her mind, but she felt something was strangely familiar about the girl.
‘That adds to the things I have to look into.’
After a while, a white butterfly fluttered and flew down from the window in Tatiana’s room.
It flew out of the Crawford mansion and into the area where the general public lived. And a while later, a white butterfly arrived where Yuri was, in order words, Anne-Marie’s house.
* * *
Yuri’s eyes narrowed when she saw the white butterfly flying outside the slightly open window.
The butterfly-shape flew till it was right in front of Yuri then it unraveled. It quickly reorganized into a small, square shape. The person who sent Yuri a mark was the person who often commissioned her to do things.
‘But this is…’
Yuri’s brows furrowed when she saw the words written on the paper.
Right then, a call came from the side and Yuri squeezed it in her hand like she was hiding it.
“Hestia? What is it?”
“Sis said I should ask you if you’re going to sleep here today.”
Yuri considered it for a moment.
Although the patient Yuri brought was here, her house was right next-door anyway, so it might be more polite to return home while Anne-Marie and Hestia were getting some rest.
But if you think about it in a different way, no matter how restricted the patient was mobility-wise, it could be ruder to leave a strange unknown man in their house alone.
Of course, in the novel, Anne-Marie took care of Lakis at home without any issues but…
Yuri figured it would be better to talk about this in person, so she took Hestia and went to see Anne-Marie.
“It doesn’t matter to me. We can go with whatever you prefer, Ms. Yuri?”
Anne-Marie said, looking at Yuri with clear eyes like she was really fine either way. Hestia was the same.
And so, Yuri decided she would go home, wash up and change while thinking about it some more. For her, she didn’t really care whether she stayed at Anne-Marie’s or her own place. She was planning on staying up again anyway so that she could get moving immediately if anything happened.
Yuri left Anne-Marie’s house and went next door.
And as she came out of the bath, she suddenly heard a small noise at the window. Her steps heading towards her room came to a quick halt.
A moment later, she started walking towards where she heard the sound. And when she finally saw the person reflected in her eyes, Yuri couldn’t help but come to a stop again.