The frozen branches were pointed in the fierce winter wind.
The marks on her cheeks and legs tingled.
A stone beak hiding under the snow snatched her foot.
However, Luce’s gaze was directed to only one place.
Even though Rev, who was stumbling, closed the door and went in, the light in the small mansion in the forest didn’t turn on.
“Rev, open the door.”
Rev’s voice, which had always greeted her and called her name, didn’t return.
Luce knocked repeatedly.
Three times, five times, eleven times, and fifteen times.
Her hand stopped because they had promised that she would open the door after sixteen knocks if no one answered.
“…I’ll go first, Luce.
See you tomorrow.”
What kind of expression did Rev make when he spoke in an unusually thin voice and didn’t raise his head or look at her at the end
Did he not want to show his face If he didn’t want to show his face—.
Can she forcefully look into the expression he wants to hide
Luce’s hand, which had been stuck on the door because she couldn’t bring herself to touch it, fell down.
There are two explicit rules between Rev and her.
One is 16 knocks that Rev has to protect, and one is ‘no entry to the second floor’ that she has to protect.
They were friends who would have no problem as long as they kept two things, but unfortunately, Luce knew that relationships often go wrong due to implicit rules rather than explicit rules.
“I told you, don’t be late today.”
“Ah, sorry, I’m sorry.
The bus is a little late.”
I can forgive this.
“…I heard you told the other kids that I was an orphan.”
“I’m sorry, Jisoo-ya.
I didn’t know I shouldn’t say it.
I told them to be careful of what they say, but I didn’t know they were spreading rumors.
I said it’s a secret… I’m so sorry.”
Things that are hard to forgive usually happen in not ‘paying attention’ events.
Luce felt an intuition that opening the door would break the implicit rule.
Seeing the crescent moon coloring the night sky, the shadow of an oak tree casting over a quiet door, and the crocus necklace sparkling in the moonlight, Luce let out a long sigh.
And she raises her hand.
‘Even if you hate it, even if it becomes an opportunity for you to distance yourself from me, but just not today.’
Thinking of his thin voice and strangely red ears, Luce knocked the last sixteenth time.
‘I can’t pretend I don’t know you’re sick.’
His dimly lit house seemed to be submerged in deep water.
The living room without Lev, who always greeted her with a candle and a smile, was terribly cold.
The smell of the book, which she thought was good because it was heavy, seemed to weigh down her body with every step.
Except for a couple of hours playing with him, Luce’s forehead frowned thinking about Rev, who would have always been with the dark.
It’s me, Luce.”
Luce’s eyes were not used to the dark, so it took her a while to figure out how to turn on the lamp.
Luce walked past the neatly arranged snowballs and scarves on the shelf and went to his bedroom.
She couldn’t see him.
Only the clean, white bedding, which was neatly arranged to match his personality, greeted her.
“Rev, where are you….”
Luce looked at the closet, kitchen, and even the bathroom with a puzzled expression.
She obviously saw his back going into the house, but where did he go
Luce, who was looking inside the empty house with lowered eyebrows, looked up at the second floor.
Luce, who kept her mouth shut, moved slowly.
A loud sound came from the stairs.
It was like an alarm that an intruder had entered, and it seemed like a warning to an intruder who wasn’t afraid to climb the stairs.
The chilly air was heavy and frightening.
I bit my lip so hard that now it tastes fishy.
Climbing the stairs carefully, Luce called for Rev with a trembling voice.
“Rev, where are you Huh Where are you Am I going up to the second floor now”
Still, no answer came back.
“This is where you told me not to come.
So…come quickly and tell me why you did that or don’t do that.
Do something whether you get mad at me or scold me.
I’m sure I saw you go into the house, but no one’s there, so I’m scared.
Luce stepped on the landing to the second floor.
She felt like she was about to cry.
Rubbing her eyes, Luce said in a trembling voice.
“…How can you live alone in a place like this….”
It was then.
A faint groan was heard mixed with the sound of her stepping on something.
Luce’s hand, which was hurriedly stirring the lamp, stopped.
Rev was lying alone in the stairwell.
Luce, who casually put down the lamp, hurriedly headed towards him.
His body, illuminated by the dim light, was trembling so violently that it was noticeable even under that hazy light.
“Rev! Rev, why are you like this Rev, wake up!”
“Ugh, ha… you can’t…”
Luce whispered anxiously as she grabbed his shoulders that trembled aimlessly.
“Yeah, I’m sorry.
It’s my fault.
I’m sorry that you told me not to come, but I came up on my own. So, don’t stay here, let’s get down quickly…it’s cold here.
The wind blows in too.
Ugh, what should I do, look at the fever.”
Luce’s hand, which was trying to lift him up without knowing what he was talking about, touched Rev’s forehead.
He looked like he was on fire.
Rev’s body temperature, which was usually colder than his own hands, was now unbelievably hot.
The panic Luce covered her mouth.
“I, I will call someone.
You can’t stay here like this!”
It was just as she was about to stand up.
He was holding the hem of Luce’s clothes, just like the day after her birthday, when she fell asleep without trying the wine.
He couldn’t hold it properly, but he couldn’t let it go, so a bloody vein stood on his hand.
“You don’t want me to call someone You don’t like it Yeah, all right.
But just let me go.
I’ll bring a wet towel or a blanket—”
Luce’s face, which had been speaking as if persuading a child, hardened at his words.
“You can’t leave me behind, mother….”
Luce held up the lamp with her trembling hand.
Only then did Luce see Rev’s face properly.
A painfully contorted forehead drenched in a cold sweat, traces of heat rising like a stigma on the pale skin, and the reddish eyes stained by those traces.
He wouldn’t have fallen down if he had been crying like he was letting out something he had been hiding his whole life.
“What should I do”
Covered in darkness and sick with a fever, he can’t even cry as he searches for his mother.
He was crying as if his tears had stopped long ago.
“It’s all right.”
A drop of tears fell over his breath.
“…I’m not going anywhere.
I’m not going.”
It was Luce’s tears.
“That’s why I’m here…that’s why I came.”
“It’s all right.”
Everything is fine.
Luce, who was barely able to calm her trembling heart and wiped away the tears vigorously, grabbed his hand that was holding the hem of her clothes.
Even in the midst of suffering from fever, Rev seemed to hear that voice clearly.
His grip on his hand grew stronger, and his breathing, which had been fluttering, became a little calmer.
Even the trembling eyes became quiet.
Luce, who was looking down at him with a complicated mood, turned her gaze to the lamp.
A familiar bottle of medicine fell beside the lamp.
‘Is this what was rolling earlier However, the kick was so light that I couldn’t feel the weight, but now it’s full.’
Did she get confused because it was dark
If so, did Rev come to the second floor to get this medicine and collapse before opening it
Luce picked up the medicine bottle with the hand that Rev wasn’t holding.
It should have been cold, but surprisingly, the bottle was lukewarm.
After whimpering and pulling the cork off, Luce tilted the bottle and tried to give him the medicine.
‘The texture is so stick….’
It was a green medicine that was not as watery as juice or water but as sticky as mucus.
Even though Luce tilted the bottle’s opening, the liquid couldn’t get to Rev’s mouth and kept flowing in a mess.
Luce, who nervously wiped his face with her sleeve, bit her lips.
‘I think I need a spoon or a cup.’
However, the strength of Rev holding her hand was beyond my imagination, unlike before.
She could neither escape nor want to escape from his hand, which was giving her so much strength as if he would never let go.
Because she knows why he is doing this.
But besides the fact that his trembling had stopped, his fever hadn’t gone down at all.
So she needs to give the medicine right away.
She can’t give Rev the whole bottle, and she can’t bring a cup or spoon because Rev grabs her and won’t let go.
Luce, who was stomping with regret, took a deep breath.
‘I can’t help it.’
Luce guessed how much he was drinking and took the medicine.
The lips that touched the medicine were numb, but it was not a matter to worry about.
The medicine that filled her mouth felt really strange.
It was slippery and dull like the mucus of seaweed, but it felt somewhat dry like grain powder.
Luce frowned because the taste was so bitter and sour, and she carefully turned her face away from Rev.
I’m really sorry.’
She will have to say sorry when he wakes up.
Luce bent her upper body.
The breath that escaped between the bloodless lips was a mess.
After looking at him for a moment, Luce kissed him carefully.
Rev, who hesitated at the new sensation, quickly opened his mouth as his cold lips contacted hers, which had risen in heat.
As he breathed and swallowed the medicine, his long eyelashes tickled around his eyes.
Listening to his blurry sounds, Luce gave him the medicine right up to the last drop.
She was out of breath.
However, Luce looked at Rev’s face without paying attention to that fact.
It was as she thought.
After swallowing the medicine, Rev’s face looked a little more comfortable than before.
When she touched her forehead, the fever seemed to have gone down a little.
Luce murmured with half relief and half concern as she brushed his hair.
“You know it takes a lot of work, right” (t/n: 손이 많이 가다 actually means that you have to put in a lot of effort and care.
So the other one needs to help someone.)
“But why do you want to be out of my hands when you really need it Pretend nothing is wrong.”
Rev’s forehead slowly relaxed as he listened to Luce whisper.
Still, it’s a relief.
Her whole body lost all strength.
It was when Luce, who had been taking a long deep breath, was about to stand up to close the cover of the medicine bottle.
There was no strength in her hands.
No matter how relaxed she is, how can it be like this
Luce’s eyes, which had been staring at her hand that didn’t listen to her from afar, began to blink slowly.
Why am I so sleepy
Why do my lips feel so hot much…
Before her eyes closed, the last thing Luce saw was Rev’s hand holding her so tight that it turned her hands white.