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Chapter 1

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Prologue

Translated by Gina
Edited by Tea

 

“Subject No. 175. Such a dreadfully terrifying brat.”

“That’s probably why he has survived so far.”

“Is it? I heard most of the other subjects are dead.”

On the other side of the hallway, researchers in white robes were chatting among themselves. There was only one way to Emilian’s cell, so I just had to run into them. One of the men looked at me as I held a tray of bread and soup bowl, and said,

“Are you an errand boy?”

“Ah, you haven’t been here long, so you don’t know. This child is assigned to Subject 175.”

“I guess you take care of meals everyday.”

“It’ll be troublesome if he dies. The director has high expectations for this experiment.”

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They soon withdrew their interest in me and moved on. Thanks to that, I held the tray of food and walked past them at a brisk pace. Arriving at the end of the hallway, I opened the iron window by operating the device as usual.

Creak~ The door opened with a creaking sound.

A boy hanging from chains lifted his head. When he found me, the boy’s expressionless eyes lit up. Joy poured from his voice as he called me.

“Annis?”

“Mh, it’s me,” I replied as I approached him. The magic stone embedded in the ceiling shone faintly over his body. Dark red needle marks covered his slender forearm. The researchers must have injected different drugs in him today. I bit my lower lip softly.

‘This is too much. What’s this…’

Those research workers were all beasts disguised as humans. No, even beasts were better than them.

But all I could do, with no power at all, was to feed the boy three times a day. My situation was better than being used as a test subject, but I was also imprisoned in this laboratory.

I put the tray down in front of the boy. When the wall-mounted device was manipulated, the length of the chains restraining the boy’s arms grew longer.

“Emil, eat before it gets cold.”

But instead of picking up the spoon, Emilian looked at me softly. He said, blinking his long eyelashes,

“Today was very painful and difficult…”

As he raised his eyes, ruby-like pupils fluttered.

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“Can’t you feed me?”

“Uh?”

I was a little perplexed by the unexpected request. When I hesitated, Emilan added sadly.

“…No?”

“Oh, it’s not that but…”

According to the novel’s development, this laboratory will one day be destroyed by the male lead. Of course, it was my plan to escape before that. Since I was only working as a menial for the researchers, I was going to get caught in the explosion and die. 

However, if feeding him and growing closer to Emilian ended up being a problem, well, it would be troublesome.

‘I have to slowly let go…’

It wasn’t as easy as I thought. When drugs were injected, he was in great pain. And Emilian suffered such harsh experiments every day. And on days like today, when Emilian complained, my heart became infinitely weak.

I ended up pulling the soup in front of me.

“Okay.”

When I agreed, Emilian’s gloomy face brightened in an instant. I cooled the soup and moved the spoon to his mouth.

“Now, say ahh~”

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Emilian opened his mouth obediently. I scooped out a spoonful of soup and put it in his mouth, and he took it well. The tasty smell of potato soup filled the dreary gray room.

“Is it good?”

“Ngh.”

A smile spread across Emilian’s pale face. 

‘I wish you could eat well just like today.’ Emilian would often refuse to eat after going through an experiment. After surviving an experiment that was close to torture, he couldn’t even eat properly due to the aftereffects.

It didn’t feel right in my heart to run away alone, leaving this child behind.

‘But still someday… I’ll have to get out of here.’ I made up my weak heart.

“Emilian. Even if you don’t want to eat, you must eat. Okay?”

Emil had been eating the soup with a gentle face but shut his mouth and froze.

“Why are you talking like someone who’s going far away?”

My heart sank. It felt like he had read my thoughts.

“No, just… in case something happens to me.”

“What does that mean?”

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His voice was low. The red eyes that had been shining gently became as sharp as a blade.

I hurriedly tried to make some excuse.

“I’m not saying it’ll happen… Just IF something happens! I’m saying it just in case!”

“Even if it’s just in case, I hate it.”

“Okay. It won’t happen.”

At that moment, Emilian’s eyes softened as if relieved. The sound of chains clashing together echoed in the room. A moment later, Emil’s hand touched my cheek.

“You will stay by my side, right?”

“Uh– ngh…”

The guilt of deceiving Emilian made me uncomfortable. 

But even without me, he will leave this laboratory. With his own strength.

‘So hang in there a little longer.’

Until this hell is over.

 


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