I Am Young Again - Chapter 3
Translator and Editor: Skye and Grass
Chapter 3 – [Can I Touch You?]
Everything felt like a dream.
I had come to the academy on a whim, accidentally took some strange experimental drugs, met the man I had admired and had been attacked by a monster.
It was hard for my mind to believe that all of that had happened in such a short period of time.
When I regained consciousness, I heard some people talking near me.
“Why did the monster suddenly go so berserk?”
“I don’t know.”
I didn’t know whose voice was asking the question, but I could recognize that it was Theansis who answered. His husky and low pitched voice was so charming that I could recognize it by just listening.
Theansis had answered with a hint of bitterness, but he switched his tone when he asked a question. “But the tree that suddenly fell down. Did you check why it fell?”
“Yes sir. The tree fell due to natural circumstances. A few days ago, someone had even said that the tree would become dangerous if the city would be hit by a storm. Its fall wasn’t related to the fight.”
“Even though someone said that they still just left it like that? The Academy Management is a mess.”
“I know. The manager made an excuse saying that he was busy with some festival. It was a horrible excuse. Speaking of which, do you know what the alchemy professor is trying to do with the monster?”
“No. We’ll just have to find out what that person is thinking later.”
I couldn’t fully understand what they were talking about, and I wanted to listen to their conversation for a bit more, but my eyelids were closing and I had no control over them.
So I fell asleep again.
Then I woke up again and opened my eyes.
How long has it been?
The first thing that I noticed was that the back of my head was hurting and my whole body felt heavy with a body ache. But as I spent more time awake, I began to feel more refreshed.
The last thing that I remembered was that something had suddenly hit me in the back of my head, so I couldn’t tell where I was lying right now.
I sat up in the bed and looked around with a hint of surprise.
“Oh my! You’ve finally regained your consciousness.” A maid nearby saw me raising my body and spoke to me in surprise.
“Where am I?”
“This is the Duke of Acruge’s dorm in the Academy. I’m Emily, a maid who works here.”
Even though Theansis is the youngest Duke to rule the North, he still had a dorm just like any other student. It was a bit shocking to me.
But no matter where I looked in this room, I couldn’t say it was like a student’s quarters. The decorations and furniture here could be compared to any wealthy aristocratic mansion.
Well, it made sense that an Academy for prestigious aristocrats would not have ordinary dorms.
“So this is the Duke’s quarters,” I murmured.
I pulled myself out of the bed, clearing my head for a moment. Then Emily, who was next to me, hurriedly assisted me and exclaimed, “You just woke up. Where are you even going? You probably don’t know anything because you passed out, but you’ve been asleep for three days!”
“Oh.” I was surprised that I had slept for so long. “But now that I’ve regained my consciousness, I have to leave. Can you just please tell the Duke that I really appreciate him saving my life?”
I actually wanted to meet him in person and say hello, but it would probably be impolite to waste his precious time just for that. I’m eternally grateful that he saved my life, and someday I will get an opportunity to show him my gratitude. But for now, I know that my only position is to watch him from afar.
“You have to tell him yourself. He asked me to let him know immediately when you wake up. Please take your time and get comfortable here.”
“What?” My eyes went wide with what Emily said.
I won’t have to come to him, he’ll come here instead?
I couldn’t help but be surprised that Theansis would be coming here in person.
I am just a young Baroness, the lowest rank among the nobles. Theansis has one of the highest ranks in the entire Empire. Even though we are both aristocrats, our statuses are like heaven and earth.
Before I could say anything, Emily rushed out. She looked like she was about to report it to Theansis.
What am I going to do?
I’ve collected his photos and watched him like a fangirl for a long time, but this will be the very first time I’ll meet him up close.
A rush of memories flooded my mind. I remembered his voice when he called me “Lady,” and how he had asked me if I was okay with a worried look on his face.
My face blushed.
When I remembered the scene when he held me in his arms before I lost my consciousness, I felt a sudden joy inside me.
I just couldn’t believe it. It all just felt so dreamy.
What should I do?
When I was facing the monster my heart had stopped in fear, but now my heart was pounding readily at the mere thought of him meeting me.
I stood up in a hurry and fixed my disheveled hair. I wanted to dress up, but I didn’t have anything to change into, so there was nothing more I could do about my shabby appearance.
I laid down on the bed in anticipation, unable to sit or stand.
There was an incoming sound of footsteps steadily approaching. My heart began to throb.
Soon after, the door opened and Theansis entered the room.
In my eyes, it seemed like every move he took was in slow motion, as if time had stopped just for him.
What happened before I lost my consciousness was like a dream, but this scene with him was like a fantasy to me now.
“You are finally conscious, Lady.”
The way he said “Lady” was just so sweet, that it felt like there was a spring breeze that had enveloped my heart. My heart and mind melted at the sound. I couldn’t even say anything in response, so I just nodded my head instead.
Just then, I felt something dripping down my nose. I wiped my nose with my hands and saw blood.
Yes, that’s right.
My nose was audacious enough to bleed in front of Theansis.
“Ahh–” I panicked and froze. At that moment, Theansis quickly pulled out his handkerchief and held it out towards me.
Even though my nose was bleeding, all I could think about was how pleasant his handkerchief smelled. This handkerchief was probably very precious and valuable. It looked like it was worth a lot.
I just stared at it blankly, unable to muster up the courage to use it on my bleeding nose.
“Please take it,” Theansis said softly.
“I-it looks expensive, so I feel sorry to use it.”
The handkerchief had a white background that helped bring out its colorful pattern in the center. If I used it to wipe my nosebleed, the handkerchief would get stained and would look ugly.
“In that sense, carpets are more expensive than handkerchiefs,” Theansis answered.
“Ah.” I was looking down at the floor when he said that, and that’s when I noticed that my nose had begun to bleed onto the carpet. I quickly accepted the handkerchief from Theansis, slightly embarrassed.
“The doctor said that there shouldn’t be anything wrong after you woke up. Are you still feeling sick? Are you ok?” He was probably worried about my pale complexion.
“Ah, I’m not feeling sick at all,” I replied, pressing the handkerchief against my nose and waiting for the blood to stop.
I knew he was probably worried because my nose had started bleeding all of the sudden, but I couldn’t bear, to be honest. My nose had begun to bleed because I had finally seen him in person. It wasn’t because I was sick.
Just looking at his bright appearance made me feel like I was dreaming.
Even now, looking at his eyes which held worry and concern for me made me feel guilty for lying to him. But since I couldn’t just blurt out the reason behind my bleeding nose, I changed the subject.
“Why did I faint?”
I was certain that the monster’s arms had been cut off and had been overpowered and defeated right in front of my eyes. But suddenly something had hit me from behind, causing me to faint.
What hit me?
Did any other monster show up?
I couldn’t figure it out.
“You fainted after being hit by a flying fruit.”
“A flying fruit?!” Of all things to get hit by.
The tree that fell down earlier bumped into another tree, and that tree had fruit in it.”
Getting hit by a flying fruit…
I am surprised again.
I imagined myself automatically falling down after being hit by a fruit flying to my head.
How ugly and weak did I look when I was fainting?
The entire ordeal was just so embarrassing.
I wanted to hide in a rat hole.
“The doctor said that you have a bump on the back of your head, but that it wouldn’t be a big problem. If you do feel any discomfort, you can always file a claim in the Academy.”
“Okay, thank you.”
I carefully touched the back of my head after putting down the stained handkerchief. I could feel the bump on it.
Despite my embarrassment, I was also extremely grateful for how worried Theansis was about me. He was so polite to someone who was just a low-ranking aristocrat.
Theansis has been rumored to be cold-tempered. But here he is, right in front of me. Not a single part of him seems to be cold-tempered.
Every time there was a controversy about his personality, I always believed it. I feel like his care for me now was punishment for believing those kinds of rumors.
“Do you feel any pain in your ankle?” He asked me, still worried.
“My ankle?” I moved my ankle a few times.
“Oh, I’m fine. It doesn’t hurt.”
“The doctor told me that in normal circumstances, you would have broken it.”
“The monster’s grip on your ankle would’ve broken it, and severely affected your leg as well,” He stated. “It amazes me, especially when I remember seeing how strongly that monster was holding onto you.”
The thought that I might have broken my ankle or leg gave me chills.
I remembered the time that the monster had come towards me, and the squishy feel that I felt when the monster caught my ankle as I was trying to run away.
I got goosebumps.
“If you don’t mind, may I take a look at it myself?”
Take a look at it himself?
As I sat there silently with my mouth agape, Theansis came one step closer to me.
I hurriedly shut my mouth before I could drool at the weirdly sexy scene.
“May I?” He asked again.
I didn’t know if it was a reflection of light, but it seemed like his eyes were shining.
“T-That’s not it—.”
“Even though the doctor has already examined it, the Acruge family are experts when it comes to monsters. I’d better examine it just in case.”
He wasn’t wrong. He’s an expert when it comes to monsters. It really would be better for him to look at it. There could be some trace of something left behind by the monster, but . . .
“I-I am not saying that it’s not a bad idea. It’s just that it shouldn’t be something done by The Duke—.”
It would be sinful to let his pretty purple pupils see my lowly leg.
Theansis tilted his head. He looked like he was wondering about what I just said. After a silenced moment, he pointed to the bed, as if completely disregarding what I said earlier.
“If you don’t mind, sit over there.”
“What? There’s a sofa I can sit on, and I don’t think I have to sleep again—.”
I knew he didn’t have any malicious thoughts. A courteous guy like Theansis wouldn’t tell me to sit on the bed for reasons to harm me. But the bed made me embarrassed. I thought that he was old enough to understand, and couldn’t help but think a little naughtily.
“You’ve just woken up, so I thought that it would be easier for you to sit in a big bed than on a sofa. Anyways, you can sit wherever you’d like, Lady.”
I nodded and sat on the sofa with a throbbing heart at the use of “Lady” again. He kneeled with a serious face in front of me.
My face heated up. The way he was positioned made it seem as if I was receiving a vow or a proposal.
I was lucky to have met him. But I would never expect that something like this would ever happen to me.
I lifted the hem of my dress with trembling hands and raised it high enough so he could see my calves. Theansis stared at my leg with an expressionless face.
For a short while, he didn’t move and I wanted to jokingly say that his stare was going to pierce through my leg, but when I opened my mouth, I didn’t dare to say it. I wanted to tell a joke to calm my nerves. But since I didn’t say anything, my nervousness only heightened. I was unconsciously holding my breath, and my heart was pounding.
“Can I touch it?” He asked suddenly.
“What?” I didn’t need to look in a mirror to know that my face was tainted red.
I am fully aware it’s just a contact for medical treatment, but it’s because something more than that when the person doing the contact was Theansis.
“I know I am making an impolite request to you, but I’d like to confirm it myself. I’ve never seen a case like yours.”
When I didn’t say anything, he looked up at me again.
I wanted to refuse, but when I looked into his eyes, I nodded unknowingly.
At that moment, happiness flashed and tainted his eyes, but when I blinked, his eyes turned expressionless once more. The change was so quick that I doubted if I had truly seen his face full of happiness.
You acted kind to get my permission, didn’t you?
But then I shook my head to erase my nonsensical thoughts.
Then, Theansis reached into his pocket and pulled out gloves.
If anyone saw his gloves, they would’ve thought that he was being rude.
But I knew that no matter where he goes, he is always wearing his gloves.
There was a rumor a while ago that he had dead skin disease, where dead skin cells accumulate on your skin’s surface. But that rumor died down because men don’t wear gloves when they’re training for swordsmanship.
Even now, no one really knows why he wears them all the time. It’s still a very big mystery.
I was curious, but I didn’t want to ask him why. After all, there are always going to be one or two stories that no one wants to tell.
After he put his gloves on, he touched my leg.