I stood up and moved diligently without hearing any answer.
All I could think about was to save him then let him go.

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I hurriedly brought a small bowl of hot water back from the dining room and mixed it with the grounded dried herbs.
When it was finely mashed and thick enough to be applied, I handed out the whole ointment to him.

“Come on, put it on.”

“…I will repay your kindness later.”

The prince didn’t forget to say he would repay my kindness, even though he said it with a painful sound.

“You don’t need to pay me back.
If you need more, I’ll put the things you need in the door over there, so use it.
There is a heavy blizzard right now, and wild animals may appear, so go as soon as the sun rises tomorrow morning.”

I explained quickly as if I had memorized it, pointing to the simple door leading to the dining room.
Looking at his blood, I thought he probably needed more water. 

‘Well, I’ll bring some more on the way out.’

He nodded his head.

Picking up the wet towel, I squeezed the water out, gave it to him, then got up.
Then I went to the dining room, pulled out another bowl, filled it with water from the pot, and brought two thick blankets I used to use when the firewood ran out with the mind that he would use it then leave as soon as tomorrow morning comes.

I decided to skip dinner.
It was because I didn’t feel hungry, and I thought there was nothing better than to run into him.
However, I felt cold at night, so I got up from my seat after cozying up for a long time in front of the fireplace.

Suddenly, I craving for tea.
Although I am still concerned about the second prince, he must have fallen asleep because he lost a lot of blood early.
As I went down to the dining room, I immediately took out a small iron kettle and filled it with water.
While the water was being heated, a little more firewood was added to the nearly dying fire pit.

When I opened the door to leave some water again for him, he closed his eyes just as he was before.
But this time, my heart was pounding differently.

‘No way!’

I approached him slowly.
Even though I was right in front of him, he didn’t move.
Squatted down, I placed my finger near his nose.

‘If you die here, I’ll be in big trouble.’

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Fortunately, I could feel his breath faintly on my fingertips.
He must have fallen asleep, not died.
I dropped my stiffened shoulders in relieve.
The moment I put my hand down and was about to get up from my seat, he grabbed my hands.
Our eyes met right away when he opened his eyes.
I thought those purple eyes were mysterious, but they looked sharper when a fire was reflected on them.

“…”

“…I thought you were dead.”

His eyes became clear as if he had completely woken up from my calm words.

I wanted him to let my hand go, so I pulled back my hand.
He hurriedly let go of my hand.

“I’m sorry to startle you.
After applying the ointment, my pain lessened, and I fell asleep.
It’s also because I felt warm.”

I looked at the darkened clothes, dripping with blood and herbal water at his words.
It looked like he had randomly applied the mashed herbs.

‘He shouldn’t have done it like that…’

My hand flinched with anxiety, but I tried to ignore it.

“Is that so? I’m gonna add more water.
Use it if you need it.
I will go after making tea.”

I got up straight from my seat.
A groan of pain was heard behind me.
Turning my head, he was trying to correct his posture, raising his waist and painfully pressing his hand to the side.
I could see his blood oozing out.
It made me frown unconsciously.

‘…Haa.’

I hurriedly turned on a few more lights that had not yet been lit.

“Didn’t you get any treatment there?”

He looked down at his side and soon lifted his head again and smiled awkwardly.

“I forgot my side wound because I applied it on the most painful spot.”

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‘Ah, it’s so frustrating.’

I tried to ignore him but eventually sat down in front of him.

‘Yes, it’s just a little help.
Just a little more.’

“Open your shirt.”

“…you’ll be freaking out.”

“Open it.
Because I have to see your wounds.”

He, who hesitated for a long time with a blush on his face, unbuttoned his shirt.
The inside was already soaked with blood from the shirt’s chest until his pants.
His wounds were much deeper than I expected when he pulled out his shirt.
Fortunately, the blood was already a blood clot and blood no longer flowed from it.
The ointment seemed to stop his blood loss as he applied it roughly.
However, the blood clot stuck to the shirt, so it was easy to open the wound again if done wrongly.  

“It must be disgusting.”

I stared at the wounds, and he covered them up again with his shirt.

“You did a good job walking here.”

“There are no settlements around here… except this house.”

“Because this place is not a place for people to live.
Take it off and wait.”

I took out an emergency ointment that I didn’t take out for a while because I had to prepare more herbal pouches and use them sparingly.
I went back with a  cloth to use as a bandage.
He seemed to have had a hard time taking off his clothes as he sat leaning against the wall for a while, catching his breath, half-lifted his shirt.

“Could you lift your shirt half more?”

I squeezed out a wet towel and folded it twice while he lifted his shirt.
Then I wiped the blood clot around his wounds until they were fully exposed.
After that, I wiped the surroundings with another towel and opened the lid of the emergency ointment I had made.
He watched with his eyes wide open, wondering what I was doing.

“I can stitch up the wounds, but I’m not a doctor.
It won’t be dangerous if the wounds don’t open further.
Of course, it’s on the premise that you’ll get out of here tomorrow and see the doctor.”

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“…Okay.”

“It’s gonna hurt.”

“That’s all right.”

I scooped out the ointment.

The ointment was carefully applied to the almost clean wounds from the surrounding bloodstains.

“Urgh…”

Saying it was all right, he clenched his teeth and groaned.
Looking at his reaction made me smirked.
This ointment is very effective but makes you feel greater pain, so I don’t use it often.

He frowned.

“It doesn’t really hurt.
It’s bearable.”

Despite his groan, he still trembled softly, saying it didn’t hurt.

“Do you know how to wear bandages?”

“…Yes.”

I gave him bandages, and he nodded.
After handing over two thick bandages, I got up with the thought that I should really go now.
But instead of putting on the bandages, he struggled to take off his shirt completely.
It seems that he was careful not to open his wounds again, but it frustrated me while watching him.
I thought it would be faster for me to do it than to make him wear the bandages himself, who finds it difficult to straighten his back properly.

When I tried to take it with my other hand, I suddenly became in a position of hugging him a little.
I could feel him holding his breath and stiffening his muscles.
The warmth of his breath could be felt on the nape of my neck.
The tickling feeling made me hold my breath without realizing it.

“It will be over soon.”

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Pretending to be indifferent and taking the bandage that fell behind his back with my other hands, I wrapped it around his waist as quickly as I could without touching him.

“I need to use one more.”

As I spoke, he raised his head, and our eyes met face-to-face.
The sound of firewood burning in the fireplace filled the gap between him and me.
The orange light filled his outline like a speckle.
I forgot we’re close enough because I was bandaging him.
But it was too close.
He was startled first, then backed up his body.
His large back slammed against the wall, making a rattling noise.

“Ah, I’m sorry.”

‘It’s not something he should be sorry about.’

I shrugged my shoulders and put another bandage back on.
Only after both bandages were applied the wounds were completely covered.
I remembered how many times I had wound and wrapped it as tightly as possible.
Fortunately, the result didn’t look bad.

“…It’s done.”

“Thank you very—”

The water began to boil in the dining room, and the kettle began to clatter.
I had completely forgotten the kettle I put on earlier.

“Wait a minute.”

I hurried from my seat to the dining room with my eyes on him and pulled out a tray.
When I got back again, he was whining again and already wearing his shirt.
Recognizing my presence, he raised his head and smiled shyly.

“I feel… much better.
Thank you.”

“That’s a relief.”

I really have to go back now.
Now I’m really going to turn off my nerves and have a relaxing cup of tea.

Grumbling.

It would have been like that if I hadn’t heard the grumbling from his stomach.

He stiffened himself with a bewildered face.

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