In the past, the voice would bother Lakis excessively for no reason in particular, and then one time, it went through having no conversation for almost a year straight, so it seemed to have learnt to moderate itself before that incident repeated itself.
With the annoyance now as quiet as a graveyard, fatigue once again rushed to his body.
‘I have to leave before that woman gets back…’
Lakis tried his best not to fall asleep but he eventually lost to the drowsiness that washed over him like a flood. He was soon swallowed up by a quiet rest like the dead.
* * *
Time flew by fast.
After getting off work, Yuri went back to the alley she had stopped by this morning.
The man was already dead.
Yuri’s brows creased slightly. The situation was certainly unexpected but she approached the corpse calmly. The man died from a specific organ of his body being ripped out.
Under the afterglow of the sunset, her eyes shone with an even darker shade of red as she scanned the dead body. The injuries before her eyes was somewhat familiar to her. So she knew that this wasn’t done by the ones who sent this man after her in an attempt to cut off their tail.
In the first place, there was only one person who would come to this obscure alley that only she knew about, and do such a thing.
“I’ll have to scold him later…”
Yuri softly clicked her tongue then she wrapped the corpse in front of her in thread. She had planned on interrogating the man about who sent him, but it looked like she would just have to change her method.
Yuri plucked a black feather from the bracelet on her left wrist. Then she clenched it tightly and black smoke rose from her hand. The feather disappeared without a trace. Right now, the person Yuri was thinking of should have received the signal.
And it would seem she would have to reduce her time as ‘Arachne’ for a while.
* * *
When Yuri returned home, she found Lakis Avalon just as she had seen him this morning. She thought he might have left already but apparently not.
She was a little disappointed because she had expected something different. She took off her shoes in front of the door, changed into slippers and walked inside.
Lakis was fast asleep with his arm dangling lazily by the couch. To think he was lying here defenseless, not even hearing the door opening or sensing her approach. He looked like he wouldn’t wake up even if he was put in sack and carried away.
Wasn’t he sleeping too peacefully in someone else’s house?
Yuri idly thought to herself for a bit, but when she drew near to Lakis, she changed her mind. She placed her hand on his forehead, feeling his temperature. The sensation was so hot that it was hard to tell whether she was touching a person or a fireball.
Yuri was about to call out Lakis’ name then she stopped. After all, it was normal for her not to know who he was.
“Hey. Get a hold of yourself.”
She shook his shoulders slightly, trying to wake him up but Lakis did not get up. The sight of him breaking out in cold sweat and lying like the dead was quite bleak.
When she saw him open his eyes in one day despite the huge wound he had, she thought it was somehow amazing. Still, since he seemed pretty okay when she saw him this morning, she figured ‘as expected of the king of the dark world, he’s no ordinary guy’…
But it looked like she had thought of him as too much of a superman.
Yuri thought his injury might have worsened so she checked the affected area. But she was startled to find that the wound was healing faster than expected.
It was strange. In the span of two days, the wound had healed at a rate visible to the naked eye. Of course, in Yuri’s case, no matter where she was hurt, she would be almost fully healed in half a day, but that was definitely not the norm here.
However, Lakis was, in a sense, the novel’s main villain, so maybe he shouldn’t be placed in the category of ordinary people like she had first thought.
Like her, Lakis had also absorbed the ruin’s fragment.
She didn’t recall seeing such an explanation in the novel but there was no way of knowing whether she had missed a part. In addition, there was no guarantee that everything would flow like it had in the novel, just like how the variable called Yuri had come into being. When she thought about the Lakis who came to personally destroy the research institute a few years ago, it didn’t seem completely unreliable.
Yuri took a brief look at the man lying on the couch then she went to grab an ice basin and a wet towel. It might be too cold-blooded of her, but she did in fact think that if he were to die like this, then it was his own fate. Perhaps this was because she had always lived in such a manner since she reincarnated in this world.
Whether it was in the back alleys where she spent her childhood, in the research labs where she spent her adolescence, or in the underworld where she was involved in afterwards, everyone was on their own side, and adding onto it, was a heartless neighborhood where no one knew when you would draw the short straw and be stabbed to death.
Since Lakis Avalon had also grown up in such an environment, his mindset was no doubt the same as hers. So if he died in her house, that was also part of his luck.
Well, who asked him to go to the wrong house…
Besides, he had definitely told her not to call a physician with his own mouth. Plus, it wasn’t like she hadn’t done anything, be as it may, she had done whatever she could in the treatment department. Even now, she was nursing him because his fever was so high.
Yuri had already figured out where to dispose the body in case Lakis died but this was a secret. Of course she couldn’t say ‘I’ve prepared your grave in advance’, to the king of the dark world. Plus, it had already become the grave of the man from earlier. But like she said, it was something she prepared just in case, nothing more…
“If you want to live, you’ve got to try a little harder, Mr. Villain.”
In her mind, Lakis Avalon would get up soon, with a life-force like that of a weed. And then later, she could confidently ask for compensation for her troubles. If that was possible, of course. Rather than leeching money off the king of the dark world, it might actually be faster for him to rip her head off.
Suddenly, Yuri’s gaze fell on Lakis’ clothes. Everything he wore was covered in blood and torn in several places, so she figured they needed to be changed, at least for the sake of hygiene. She had clothes from the dolls she controlled when she did her side job and the sizes were seemingly an approximate fit.
Dressing someone who was both unconscious and limp was definitely not an easy task, but it was made simple using her threads. She also took off the gloves that encased Lakis’ hands from the moment she saw him till now. Because they were black, she hadn’t realized that they were also caked in dried blood.
After that, she wiped off the blood that was still on his body with a wet towel, dressed him in new clothes, and only then was he somewhat clean to her satisfaction. However, now that he was clean, leaving him on a bloody couch felt a little…
So she threw a cover over the couch while she was at it.
There was a lot of laundry at the end, but tomorrow was thankfully her day off from the coffeehouse, so it was fine.
As she changed the wet towel on Lakis’ forehead, her hand brushed against his hair. Her indifferent red eyes temporarily hovered over Lakis’ golden hair.
Her hair used to be this color. That is, before she was subjected to experiments at the research institute. Of course, her hair was not the same shade as Lakis’, it had been more of a faded gold but perhaps because there were no blondes around her, seeing Lakis made her think of her childhood.
Even so, that didn’t mean Yuri sank into futile sentiment or was gripped by nostalgia. After all, it had been a long time since she became unable to feel such emotions. But seeing as she was suddenly having such trivial thoughts for the first time in a long while, it certainly felt strange to be in the same room as someone else like this.
As Yuri nursed Lakis till late, she dozed off.
* * *
Yuri abruptly woke up from sleep to find someone touching her head. But the strength being used was so minuscule it made her actually wonder whether the touch was just her imagination.
Her resting lashes gently raised as her eyes opened to see the new cloth she had put over the couch last night and her arms resting on it. From the looks of it, she had falling asleep with her head on the couch.
Yuri quietly lifted her head, relieving the arm she had been leaning on.
Then her fingertips lightly touched something warm nearby. That very moment, something unusual happened.
Something other than body temperature began to flow into Yuri. In an instant, something mysterious deeply invaded her body, promptly filling up her heart. At first, Yuri didn’t know what it was.
But soon her mind was struck with an instinctual realization. The things that had flooded into her were her lost emotions. It was a piece of her humanity that had been forcefully stripped away in the research lab. The warmest, most beautiful, and happiest feelings among them poured into her uncontrollably, filling her chest to the brim, like they would overflow at any moment.
Her heart felt so unbelievably full that she didn’t know what to do.
 No gender mentioned, assumption is male. Will change if I’m wrong.
*Author uses two different words for ‘dark world’ and ‘underworld’, although I’m not really sure what the difference is, pardon me. Either ways, I left the distinction.
T/N: I think I’ll just leave out the sfx when I have no idea what it’s trying to convey or when it makes no bloody sense. I mean, a good example is the one I translated as [Tap]. It’s obviously for skin touching skin but that shouldn’t make a sound? Right???