The man outside the door yelled again.
“Why is this door locked? Who’s in there?”
“I-it is a valuable guest of the Crown Prince.”
Mirabelle heard the sound of solid metal striking the door handle. She tried to stay as calm as possible. Her heart thrummed in her ribcage, but being nervous wouldn’t help. The first thought in her head was, “How would I get past this situation if I were Elena?”
There was no time to hesitate. Mirabelle quickly closed the window where Kuhn had entered and pulled off the outer dress she was wearing. Kuhn’s ash grey eyes trembled at her unexpected behavior. Mirabelle helped the fallen Kuhn into the bathtub full of petals.
Kuhn grimaced as the water touched his wound, but he couldn’t afford to care about such things now.
“Be patient if you don’t want to get caught.”
Kuhn’s expression seemed to change at her fierce determination. As Kuhn’s weight was added to the bathtub, the water sloshed over the tub and washed the blood off the floor. That wasn’t enough, however, so Mirabelle quickly took a handful of red petals from the basket and scattered them on the ground.
The sound rang louder than before, and Mirabelle closed her eyes tightly and took off her chemise.
Suddenly, the door flung open and several angry men burst inside. Mirabelle covered her chest with her hands and looked at them with her eyes wide open. Her rear was completely exposed, and the men were forced to turn their heads quickly.
“Kyaaaa! Get out of here now!”
She screamed loudly, hunching to protect her body. It was disgraceful that a noblewoman’s body be exposed to an utter stranger. The men exchanged glances quickly, then exited the bathroom and slammed the door shut. Then one of the men spoke in an urgent voice.
“Please dress yourself, My Lady. We have a mission to search this place–”
However, there was another commotion before he could finish. There was the sound of dozens of footsteps and the voices of other men.
“Who are you? Did you all break in here knowing where you are?”
“We came under the orders of Her Majesty.”
“Ha. Even so, you must be bold to come here without the permission of the Crown Prince. “
Mirabelle crept silently towards the door and listened closely. She heard someone pulling out their sword. Though she could not see it with her own eyes, it seemed that someone was about to be cut down.
Mirabelle could not hide Kuhn if they came into the bathroom. The previous solution was only temporary. She swallowed nervously.
“Stop! We will leave. But the Crown Prince will have to explain this himself.”
“You’ll have to explain why you trespassed.”
Finally, she heard the sound of footsteps walking away. As she was listening, the frightened maids hurried back towards the bathroom door.
“Oh my word, are you alright?”
Mirabelle quickly barred the maids from entering through door.
“P-please don’t come inside. I don’t want anyone to see me like this.”
“I’m sorry, My Lady. Would you like me to call Lady Blaise next door?”
“No, she won’t sit still if she finds out about all this commotion. I’ll tell her myself tomorrow.”
The maids bowed their heads automatically. Mirabelle spoke again to the maids outside the door.
“I want to be alone, so please leave the bedroom. And please don’t let anyone in anymore.”
“Yes, My Lady.”
The maids hurried out of the room without saying anything else. Mirabelle pulled on a robe lying in the bathroom, went out to the main bedroom where the maids had left and then locked the door. This was the only way to stop someone from going inside, as the bathroom door handle was broken. It was only after the click of the lock did her tension subside somewhat.
Mirabelle exhaled. When she looked down at her palm she saw that it was trembling. Deceiving people with lies made her feel like her heart was about to explode, but fortunately she was able to pass unnoticed.
After taking a moment to calm down, she quickly returned to the bathtub where Kuhn was sitting, almost unconscious. Mirabelle quickly pulled him out, worried that he would die with his face as pale as it was. The simple action of carrying the weight of an adult male caused her entire body to sweat with exertion.
She managed to lean him against the bathroom wall, and Kuhn weakly opened his eyes.
“…You don’t have to do this.”
Mirabelle had used all her power and energy to save him. Her expression flashed hotly with anger.
“What if I didn’t do this? If I let you be captured by them, would you come back alive?”
“It’s of no concern to you.”
Mirabelle was speechless at Kuhn’s callousness. Despite the sudden surge of grief, the fact remained that he would not have been safe had he been taken away by the men.
‘Does he really want me to leave him alone in a situation where he might die?’
She didn’t understand. One was supposed to give thanks to the other for saving one’s life.
Mirabelle shook her head and removed Kuhn’s coat to take a look at the wound.
“Just…leave it alone.”
“I’ll judge it for myself. It would be more helpful for you to just keep still instead of wasting your energy.”
Whether it was because of her words or because he didn’t have the energy to answer her anymore, Kuhn stayed quiet.
Mirabelle managed to remove Kuhn’s shirt, revealing his firm abdominal muscles. Because of his slim appearance, she was surprised to see how he was solidly built underneath. His body was covered with scars, but she was most curious when she saw what looked like cigarette burns on his skin.
Without asking him anything, Mirabelle tore a strip of her white silk nightgown and tied it around his wound. That was the only way to stop the bleeding for now.
‘…I wish I could ask Elena for help.’
Mirabelle could do more with her sister’s assistance, like being able to get some medicine for treatment. Under these circumstances, however, Mirabelle could not tell Elena. Elena would never allow a stranger to be near her sister, and she always hated being involved in dangerous situations.
Furthermore, Mirabelle did not know why the man was being hunted down. If he had bad intentions towards Carlisle, it would make Elena’s situation very difficult. Of course, if that were true, Mirabelle probably shouldn’t have saved him in the first place.
Yet…she wanted to protect him. No matter what he did wrong, she didn’t think she could stand seeing him die in front of her.
‘My only teddy bear…’
She hadn’t brought her bear to the palace, and it was sitting back at Blaise mansion by her bedside, as always, wrapped in the coat that Kuhn had left behind.
She was no longer a child nor suffering in pain, and she knew that the man and the bear weren’t the same thing. The person before her just happened to have the same hair color as her teddy bear.
And yet, she couldn’t leave him alone. She didn’t know why. She just kept moving. She didn’t want to see him dragged away.
Mirabelle was confused by these feelings that she didn’t understand. It was the first time she protected someone like this and hid it from Elena.
‘When she was in a relationship with the Crown Prince, was this was what she was feeling?’
Her mind kept saying no, but her heart had no regrets about what she had done. Mirabelle looked down at the pale face of Kuhn, whose eyes were faintly closed.