“That answer is strange.” 

He seemed healthy and strong.
I only saw him from afar.” 

“Is it.” 

Sonidor asked at Christian’s relieved answer. 

“What kind of person is His Highness the Crown Prince? From your own point of view.”

I’m not qualified to discuss his personality, but he’s a very benevolent and gentle person.
He’s kind to those below him.
He always has a gracious smile on his lips.” 

“….I heard that too.

“He’s not the kind of person to be stuck under a curse like that.
That’s why your role as the dream artisan is that important.” 

If even a Raizel Guard said that, the rumours spreading around the world must not have been wrong.
However, there was no problem with Sonidor’s ability.
Marmel’s madness she saw was certainly not untrue. 

Then the only conclusion was that he was pushing his emotions to the limit and swallowing them. 

“Didn’t you ever get the feeling that His Highness was suppressed?” 

“I don’t know what you mean.” 

“Do you often hear that you’re quite indifferent?” 

“I don’t hear it often.” 

“That’s the problem.”

Sonidor sighed heavily and scratched her cheek for no reason.
She thought that somehow, she might be the only one who knew that the Prince was crazy. 

The scariest thing in the world were calm and crazy people.
You never knew how mad they were, how long they’d suppressed their madness for, and you didn’t know when it would all explode. 

If the Prince hadn’t shown his madness all this time, there would have been a reason.
Sonidor let out another sigh, clearing her mind.
She couldn’t speak lightly of his matters.
In the first place, her role was just to wake up Marmel, not to read his mind.
Besides, she had only been in his dream once, so it was too early to confirm anything. 

‘Yes, I could have looked at it wrong.‘ Even if you’ve done something a lot in your lifetime, you can still make mistakes.
Humans are after all animals that make mistakes.
She struggled to compose herself and regain her peace of mind.

“How is Terry doing?” 

“If there was a problem, I would have told you.”

Fortunately, it seemed that Terry was still quietly carrying out the request.
He was probably lying quietly on a bed acting like a sickly Prince.
‘He’s always busy working, so maybe this is a vacation for him?‘ Sonidor took a new piece of cake, thinking that if Terry had heard what she said, he would start swearing at her.
Almost half of the cake disappeared in her mouth before she knew it. 

Christian, who had been silently observing her eating, opened his mouth slowly. 

“Can you finish eating and go back? Maybe it will work out this time.” 

“As it is now, it is useless to enter His Highness’ dream again.
When will the documents arrive through the scribe?” 

“Tomorrow at the earliest.” 

“Then it doesn’t make any sense to go in? I’d rather stock up on stamina today and go in tomorrow, in terms of efficiency…..” 

“Didn’t they say that the doctor was coming soon?” 

“…..Aren’t you doing too much?” 

It reminded Sonidor of the Emperor’s words about using straws until it gets ragged and torn.
‘Wait a minute, wasn’t that a metaphor? If it’s torn to shreds, are you thinking of bringing it to the doctor’s office, sticking it together, and then tearing it up again?‘ If so, she was willing to seriously consider escaping. 

“Tell me anything you want to eat.”

Sonidor’s lips, which were about to say no, unconditionally, stopped for a moment.
‘Anything?‘ She was about to ask out loud if he was thinking of consoling her with something to eat, but suddenly her mouth started to twitch uncontrollably.
‘No, mouth, do you dare to betray your master’s will?‘

‘I’m sorry.‘

“Marron glacé.
Millefeuille made with raspberries or blueberries and Vanilla Crème Brûlée.” [tn: this is making me so hungry] 

‘Maron g…..‘. Christian, who had memorized that far, held out a piece of paper for Sonidor to write it down.
After writing down the menu she had just called, she added more to it and began writing down the names of her favourite desserts.
When the number of desserts exceeded twenty-five, the knight forcibly snatched the paper from her hand.
As he ran his eyes through the seemingly fake names of different desserts, he nodded his head at her wordlessly.
It meant that if she wanted to eat, she would have to go back in to the Prince’s dream. 

Sonidor wiped her mouth with the back of her hand, then calmly sat down on the chair again and held the Prince’s hand. 

“Wait, why are you wiping your hands and bringing those dirty hands to His Highness?” 

As if he had a lot more to say, Christian’s brow wrinkled slightly, but Sonidor pretended not to know even after hearing what he said before.
She wouldn’t wash her hands because it would bother her.
Sonidor quickly laid her head on the bed, the same as before, and closed her eyes.
Then, stretching out her own consciousness, she began to search for the consciousness of the Prince. 

Just like before, she was able to capture his consciousness very easily. 

‘It’s still black and white.’ 

Sonidor looked down at her body in the dream and sighed.
Her thoughts before weren’t total bullshit.
She made no mistakes in her abilities.
Before and now, the problem was only in the Prince’s mental world.
She was a snake before, and she’s a snake again.
The only difference was that she had changed from a pure white snake to a colourfully patterned flower snake. 

At this point, she could have guessed that the Prince liked snakes quite a bit, even without digging up any information.
This was because she turns into a precious existence that the owner of the dream wants to see the most in their dreams.
But why is she a snake? Seeing that the species of snakes has changed, it didn’t seem like there was a pet snake that he used to keep.
It seemed that she had been replaced by a snake that he moderately liked because there was no precious person the Prince missed. 

He doesn’t like any humans, and the only thing he likes is a snake whose neck he can twist with one hand.
Here, Sonidor had no choice but to doubt Marmel’s mental state as well as his humanity.
As his status was very high, there must have been countless people who died around him. 

‘Do you really miss any of them? Really? ‘

‘Haa, this is going to be difficult.’ 

Sonidor grunted and looked around.
It was difficult to distinguish between any of her surroundings because she was in a world where she suddenly became colourblind, and there were no discernible colours as a result.
Even if the time was set to night, the view was no different from daytime.
However, if the atmosphere was more gloomy and creepy, then that was a problem.
This time the view was set to night time, as she had set it to daytime earlier and almost got killed by Marmel.

After observing while turning her head around here and there for a long time, she realized that she was in the corridor of the Imperial family, in front of a door.
No matter how far she tilted her head back, she could see two endlessly huge doors embossed with splendid decorations.
It might have been because her eye level had completely shrunk to the floor. 

She crawled forward with a movement she was now quite accustomed to.
In a dream, the device called a ‘door’ had quite a big meaning.
It was often a door to an extremely private space called one’s own room.
It could contain something like a hidden truth or inner feelings. 

However, the tightly closed door opened as if waiting for her to approach.
Just like before when she had quickly found the Prince’s consciousness, Sonidor was puzzled by the door that had opened as if the Prince had been waiting for someone to come.

There was a thick layer of smoke.
She flicked her tongue as she stopped slithering and looked around her.
The fog was so thick that nothing could be seen.
However, it soon dissipated like steam, and a human-like figure instantly entered Sonidor’s field of vision. 

It was Marmel.
Leaning languidly by the window, he tilted his head.
His white hair had tinges of black, as if it had been stained by the darkness outside the window. 

“I’m seeing you again.
Are you a flower snake this time?” 

He met her eyes and spoke briefly.
Even though the species of the snake was different, he still seemed to recognize her.
She couldn’t help but think of her doubts in her mind again.
The Prince stretched out his hand toward the snake, stopping as she began to hiss. 

“What are you doing in my paradise? You are wandering around on your own.” 

He was calling this place ‘Paradise’.
‘Are you being serious?‘ Sonidor wondered if Marmel knew the dictionary meaning of paradise.
Isn’t it closer to the scenery of an apocalypse rather than a paradise? It seemed that someone had been deluding themselves many times in this dream.

“You were not made by me.” 


She asked herself again.
‘Made?‘ Although this world was a dream world created based on all the information of the sleeper, it was not possible for the sleeper to create things according to their own will. 

‘Are you aware that it’s a dream?‘ 

She had heard stories of people having lucid dreams – that if you are aware that it is a dream, there is a strong tendency to dream more realistically than normal.
Then, you can act in and meld the dream however you want.
It was the first time Sonidor had actually seen it in action, though. 

Then, this would mean that this was not the Prince’s unconscious, but the world he created with his consciousness.

‘If that’s the case, it’s not because of that tribesman’s curse.‘ 

‘He’s just holding on because he doesn’t want to wake up.
What the…‘ 

Sonidor had hoped this wasn’t a curse, and she felt relieved that it wasn’t really a curse, but at the same time something surged inside her.
Because of the sleeping Prince, she had to leave her peaceful daily life, which was now threatened.
‘What is this? Wake up, Prince.
Dozens, maybe hundreds, thousands of people’s lives are hanging on you right now.‘

“A snake…Well, it’s not bad.
I kind of like it.” 

She didn’t notice it when he closed his eyes, but when he opened them, it gave her a rather chilly impression.
The Prince stared down at her for a long time, then tilted his head, his slightly raised eyes folding gently.
His image, which was sacred, changed in an instant.
The more transparent and clear it was, the easier it was to be stained with darkness.
He had a smile of pure decadence and sadistic enjoyment that could not be found in the ‘benevolence’ that Christian was talking about. 

“Ah, right.
I had to ask you something.”

Marmel carefully placed the frozen Sonidor in his hand and said so.
She had no choice but to wrap herself around his wrist to keep from falling.
Since he didn’t seem to have any intention of hurting her, it was best to just watch the situation for now, but she was afraid that he might do something unexpected. 

At that moment, a woman in a maid’s uniform approached the Prince, holding a tray with a single fruit on top.
When Sonidor looked closely, the maid was headless.
Her head was cut very neatly.
As if she had been mutilated a long time ago, new flesh had already grown over her stubbed neck, and not a drop of her blood escaped.
She was just like a doll without a head.
At the grotesque sight, Sonidor flinched. 

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