The Pharmacist Lady's Trading Secret - Chapter 14
Translator and Editor: Lea and Aki
April’s eyelashes shook in fear. As she forced her weak and cold fingers to grab his arm, Ian raised his head up in surprise.
His heart was beating so much that it felt as though it was about to burst. He weakly pulled himself up, loosening his grip on her wrists. April hurriedly sat up.
In a precarious silence and within a fairly close distance, the two faced each other. Ian couldn’t keep his eyes open to stare at her.
“Forgive me, April.”
His body fell straight towards her, his face buried deep in her shoulder.
April blushed horribly as she watched him silently.
“Have you calmed down, Marquis?”
“…..Yes, please go ahead.”
He answered, breathing heavily. April placed her hand on his forehead, his wet hair tickling the back of her hand.
He groaned, crumpling his forehead as he felt her touch.
April stared at the empty medicine bottle before taking out a new one she recently made in the lab.
“Klaus informed me that the medicine wasn’t effective, so why did you forbid him from telling me, Marquis?”
She asked while beckoning him to lie down. Ian slowly answered, slightly gazing at April’s face.
“I thought you’d run away….if you saw me like this.”
“Do you not trust your doctor? I wouldn’t even have been here if I had. Please lie down, Marquis.”
Ian, who had nothing else to say at the fact, gently followed her instructions. Meanwhile, she sat on the chair beside the bed. She dropped the medicine into his mouth and muttered the same words as she did then, with her palm covering his forehead.
‘It’s pretty ironic that there has been no cure to this disease even if it had been plundering his family for generations.’
April’s hand gently stroked his hair.
But when she was about to withdraw her hand, Ian caught her wrist, as if imploring her not to go. It was very different from his rough touch moments ago.
His red lips called out her name while his burning golden eyes stared up at her.
His grip was so weak that April could easily snatch away her hand, but she did not. No, honestly, she had very little desire to do so.
“Just stay with me…..a little longer…..”
“Yes, Marquis, I will stay with you. But you have to sleep.”
Whether he understood her words or not, Ian nodded faintly before closing his eyes softly. Even though his grip on her hand loosened, he did not let it go. In April’s eyes, he looked pitiful.
‘Klaus once told me that he had spent many sleepless nights because of these symptoms. I hope this medicine helps him, even if it’s only a little.’
Since it was like a sleeping medicine made from herbs, the effects seemed to have spread quickly. April breathed a sigh of relief.
‘It was written in books that a long time ago, a few Langs used to hurt people when they were blinded by their uncontrollable strong instincts.’
Gazing down at him, she frowned as she recalled the examples written in the books. As a matter of fact, she was a little afraid, but gratefully, he was able to return to his original state even when he was in such a condition.
“Have a good sleep, Marquis. But it’s sad that I wouldn’t be sleeping tonight even though I’m tired.”
As his deep breaths echoed in the room, April murmured in a languid voice. Hopefully, he was sound asleep and did not hear her.
Her eyelashes fluttered as the sound of the clock’s ticking flowed into her ears in her sleep. Then, she felt something sweep along her long hair. It was very light.
She did not know whether it was an illusion or a dream of her being comforted. She felt her dreamland disappear shortly after.
She slowly opened her eyes, leaving her regrets behind. She could see a hazy blue glow through the sheets of the window.
‘Has the sun not risen yet?’
‘Is it early?’
When she woke up, her mind was completely blank. She could neither tell what time it was nor where she was.
Her hand reached out, fiddling with the soft quilt under her. Then, as soon as she realized that she was lying somewhere else, she rose up in an instant.
Apparently, she recalled sitting at Ian’s bedside, watching him languidly. However, she had no memory of what happened afterwards.
At the familiar voice, she flinched and turned her face sideways at the person right next to her.
Ian was sitting on the chair where she sat last night. He was wearing a loose top, with his hair slightly pulled over.
“W-What happened, Marquis?”
As she realized she was lying on his bed, her eyes instinctively fell upon herself. Ian smiled.
“Nothing has happened, so rest assured. I just didn’t want to wake you up when you fell asleep.”
His voice wasn’t very hoarse like last night. She hurriedly apologized.
“Ah, I’ve caused you trouble.”
“No, don’t worry about it. But, I laid you down over the blanket because my quilt was sweaty. Was it uncomfortable?”
“To be honest, I had no idea, Marquis.”
Ian slowly walked to the table beside the window and poured two cups of tea from a kettle. April slipped down from the bed and sat on the floor which was covered with a thick carpet.
“Is it comfortable to sit like that?”
He asked implicitly as she sat with her back leaning against the bed. April nodded while he approached her. As he sat down beside her, she looked up at him in bewilderment.
The unique scent from him occupied her nostrils as he handed her the cup. As it reminded her of the memories of last night, her eyes fell to the teacup in her hands. She wanted to see the expression on his face, but she couldn’t dare to raise her head.
“Marquis…uh…how are you feeling?”
“I’m still weak, but I feel much better now, thanks to sleep. Last night was the first that I’ve fallen asleep among those nights.”
“Glad to hear that.”
As Ian took a sip of the tepid reddish tea, April glanced up at him stealthily. Gazing up at his more relaxed expression, some of her worries disappeared.
“Why are you staring at me? Do I look like a fully blooming flower?”
“It seems like the Marquis is acting much more differently towards me.”
“I guess I am. Well, you’re probably the only one who’s ever seen me get weak this much.”
Ian said, laughing as if it was funny. The fact that his attitude towards April was gradually becoming more elated stated that the wall, which had been tightly built between the two of them, was slowly falling apart.
“I was very surprised yesterday. The Marquis saw my personal research and told me I had a reason. None of the nobles I’ve ever met have cared about me that way.”
“You must have gone through a lot of difficulties, haven’t you, April?”
April shook her head, recalling her horrifying memories of Carleva. It was something that could easily mislead, incite, and eventually drive someone into a black hole. The nobles, who were responsible, were the only ones she remembered better than anyone else.
“Before I came to the capital, I hid in an inn on the outskirts of Carleva for a while. It was near the slums. It was then when I saw them bury the body of a girl of my age.”
“If she was a girl of your age, you must have been a little over 10.”
“Yes. The little girl died of an infection after she was attacked somewhere.”
“Ah, poor thing….”
April still vaguely remembered the faces of those children, devoid of any color. For her, it was one of the most terrifying experiences she had ever come upon. The fact that they couldn’t properly live a colorful life made her feel depressed as if she sank into the shadows.
“The drugs that were needed to cure them were very expensive. That’s why I started. I first majored in medicine at Pedoba, but I became a pharmacist after much consideration.”
April had only considered the path that Elise, her mother, had admired and tried to walk on. But it wasn’t until she got out of the fence of her family and stood barefoot on the ground that it became a reality.
“So, you help them with the money you earn from nobles? Why didn’t you get a place for yourself?”
“I thought I could stand up properly if I found what I’ve lost and that is, to be helpful to somebody.”
“That’s very kind of you.”
“Am I? Almost all of the people I know think I’m rich.”
“Well, to me, you’re just a person who can’t ignore helping somebody who has fallen in front of her, no matter how uncomfortable she may feel.”
In a way, Ian actually meant it for his own condition. In a corner of his heart, he, too, considered it as a ‘more than a mutually beneficial relationship’.
“Marquis, you’ve always said nice things to me. When we first met and when you first asked me to meet you at your house.”
His warm words always made her heart flutter. She was even more embarrassed as she admitted them, so she only continued to look down at the cup in her hands without saying anything else. Without his knowledge, Ian’s eyes were already staring at her face.
The two of them sipped on their tea, unable to make out how they should break the awkward silence.
“Master, the breakfast has been prepared. Would you like me to bring it to your room?”
By the time the warm glow of the sun penetrated through the window sheets, Klaus’ voice was heard from outside the door. Ian stood up first before reaching his hand out towards April.
April carefully placed her hand on the edge of his palm. He slowly pulled her up, his eyes focused on her face as he said.
“April, do you mind if I meet you some other time? I wanted to know more about you.”
“Not at all, Marquis.”
Ian pushed open the door that had been tightly closed. Klaus, who was anxiously waiting outside the door, brightened up as soon as he saw his master’s relaxed face.
Ian patted him on the shoulder.
“Don’t worry, I’ll have the meal downstairs.”
Klaus’ voice sounded much more lively than it was yesterday.
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