After five months had passed I found myself waking up in the middle of the night for no reason. I found it strange as it happened more frequently as of late and my irritation grew as dawn became my hour of awakening.
Ah, I woke up again.
Normally, if you wake up in the middle of the night sleep should immediately overcome you but for some reason, it didn’t come.
My opened eyes just stared at the ceiling of the bedroom. As my eyes got used to the darkness I could make out words carved in the ceiling. It seemed to say ‘Royal 12th Palace’. If I am wrong then whatever.
Ah, my body is feverish. Am I getting the flu?
Even I could feel my own body temperature was going up. I wanted to cry, but I had no energy to spare to even cry. As I nibbled on my finger and tried to turn my body, something hard got in my way.
What is this?
When I raised my head, it was Keitel of all people who was at the very front of my nose.
What is this? Why is he here…
Then I realized.
Oh yeah, this is Keitel’s bedroom.
I cursed at my own stupidity and slowly edged away from him.
I don’t want to get assassinated (rolled over) by him.
Anyway, whoever’s father this is he is very handsome.
For a moment, I forgot about my fever and I raised my empty hand (which I wasn’t sucking on) to lift the scattered hair on his forehead. I smirked as I lightly touched his long eyelashes. I guess even with the fever I still had energy left over to enjoy staring at his face.
Keitel’s sleeping face was different. I heard everyone’s sleeping face looked meek.
His face while sleeping really was meek. A sleeping Keitel was a small shock in its own way. It was my first time seeing him like this yet it didn’t feel like the first time. He still looked like a young boy. Looking at his boyish face made my heart ache.
Yup. He’s only twenty-six by Korean standards. He’s at the age where he would have finished the army, graduated from college and would have been ready to look for work. If he was the fast type, he could be a father but it was more likely he was still a kid just becoming independent.
When I thought this way I was able to let go. I still couldn’t adjust perfectly to this world but I realized Keitel was a man of that age.
That’s right, I will forgive you.
All those times you talked so insensitively and all your clumsy actions, I will forgive it all at once with a large heart. I am twenty-five but I also don’t know much about babies, and if I was forced to take care of one I would have definitely been as clumsy as Keitel. That’s right. When I think of it this way I can understand your awkward actions until now.
I was a newbie at being a baby but he was also a newbie at being a dad. He had just met a life form called a baby how could he possibly know how to treat it? Just by looking at his attitude until now I know that he never once had an interest in babies before, not even as large as a fingernail.
To think that that kind of human has a baby…
I recalled what Cerera had told me before – that I only had this man. At first, I didn’t understand what she meant. ‘I think I get it now. I really only have this man.
I found Keitel’s sleeping hand and held it tightly. My hand was so small and white compared to his rough skin full of calluses. It looked pitiful so I didn’t dislike the rough texture of his hand.
He really was my dad.
I let out a small sigh. Even if I didn’t add on anything special this one fact it was enough for me.
The fact that he was my dad.
I once again realized that this was the parent-child bond. Even if you disliked their personality, the way they talked, the way they looked and hated the way they thought… A father is a father. It’s not something that can change just because I don’t like it. It’s that kind of thing. It was the same for him too. The child is the same. You can’t sell or change it because you don’t want it.
I am the one that needs to adjust. What else can I do? I need to deal with it.
However, now that I decided… Keitel, you need to be prepared. I am not your average innocent daughter at all. If you look down on me, the one who will end up hurt is you!
“Sleeping like the dead, as always.”
“Is he not sleeping, but dead instead?”
The voice I just heard now made me lose my breath for a moment.
I quietly calmed my racing heart and looked over at the ceiling. The only thing I could see was the darkness in the room. In that dark room, an especially dark shape was there. No, it was a person.
Could-could it be? Another guest of the night?!
The other side must have discovered me too. I tried to kill my breathing.
Can a person’s eyes glow in the dark? No, that was not the eyes of a human, but it doesn’t seem to be the vertical slit of a cat’s eyes either.
It was quite mysterious.No, it was frightening to the point that it overcame any curiosity.
As I tried to kill the sound of my breathing, the black shape came towards me. I tightened my grip on dad’s hand.
Dad wake up, dad! This is an emergency! Your daughter looks like she is going to die soon! dad! Dad!
“Can you see me?’
‘Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō’ (This is a Buddhist mantra)…
It felt like the time mom caught me playing on the computer in the middle of the night or the time I sneaked into the kitchen to steal food at night and got caught red handed.
How can I describe this shivering thrilling feeling? I just cried inwardly.
Am I dead now? To think another night guest came to visit me. dad’s here but I am still going to die again. That’s right, my life is damned. That’s right, it’s damned! Even if you don’t force me to face it I already knew my life was damned from the start!
What the hell, is it a ghost?
Huh, what the fuck is huh. What the hell is wrong with this guy?
The night guest, whose face I couldn’t even see, simply crossed his arms. Then he let out a surprised voice as he wondered.
“…Can even talk.”
Who in the world was he talking to? Was he simply mad?
The shadow didn’t seem to be a night guest, then logically speaking, it only leaves the option of he either a ghost or a lunatic. What were the chances of a lunatic breaking into the Emperor’s bedroom? So I guess he can only be a ghost. Is that right?
Seriously, am I not looking at a night guest who came to kill me, but a ghost instead?!
It was only a moment, but his eyes darkened.
“You can really see me.”
The eyes suddenly zoomed in closer almost shocking me to death.
Agh! dad save me! Your daughter is going to be shocked to death!
“….Are those words?”
Who the hell are you talking to?
“Huh? I am talking to you.”
So who are you… Huh? Me?
I was so shocked I lost my breath for a second. I looked at him with a stupidly shocked expression. That guy, whose face I couldn’t make out wordlessly smiled and came closer.
Who, who, who… Who are you?!
We seriously understood each other. I wasn’t sure if I should’ve been more surprised at the fact he could understand my words or that he wasn’t a ghost.
“What are you going to do after you find out? Are you going to steam it and eat?”
What is he saying? His nonsense is an art.
As my face stiffened the approaching figure grabbed his belly and started laughing. I was shocked that the crazy laughter didn’t wake Keitel up.
Dad, your ears are useless.
“Ah, what the hell. It’s Keitel’s daughter. What are you doing here?”
I felt taken back at the fact he knew me. ‘Who was he?’
For some reason, it made me more nervous that he knew me. I made a face.
What are you going to do after you find out?
“Oh dear, you are already mad.”
The guy came closer, sat near the bed and reached out to stroke my cheek. Unlike his big awkward hand, his hand felt soft and gentle, but I felt my skin crawl. ‘Hurry up and move your hand.’
Who? Me? Well. Yes, I am quite cute. My cuteness is to the point I can conquer this planet. My ambition is to conquer the world with my cuteness… Not!
I clicked my tongue at my silliness when the soft laughter stopped. Then the eyes that shone blue in the darkness coolly let out a chill gleam.
“However, human child. How can you see me?”