The thick steel door opened and Lesaric walked in. Delmore looked up, her mouth agape in surprise. Then, she quickly closed it instantly upon realizing how ridiculous she must have looked. She reckoned that he didn’t like her so much, so she couldn’t dare look stupid to him.
“I want to contact someone outside,” he said. “I heard I need permission from the warden if I want to contact someone outside the lab.” Lesaric slowly walked up to her.
Delmore held her hand out without a word and Lesaric gave her a document. Delmore signed it at the bottom, stamped it, and said, “The content of your communication might be checked because we’re being cautious about our technology being leaked. I hope you understand.”
“You’re not going to ask who I’m contacting?” he asked.
“Is it someone who will endanger me?”
“I have no connections to anyone powerful enough to endanger you.”
Delmore laughed quietly. It felt like they were having a normal conversation for the first time. Lesaric also let out a laugh, as if he felt the same way. He looked down.
Delmore blinked as she looked at Lesaric. Was he letting his guard down? He looked more handsome when he laughed.
She heard that the second princess was all over Lesaric. To have him under her, that’s what she said. She could understand the other princess’ desires now, looking at Lesaric. A man with a face like that. She wondered if the reason he stayed on the battlefields was to avoid all of those suggestions. Her neck hurt from looking up at him. He was so tall.
For some reason, Delmore felt like fainting. Her head felt so heavy. Delmore slowly lowered her head on the table, feeling a sudden migraine coming on. She thought she had lowered it softly, but it sounded like she had landed it too hard. Lesaric quickly looked up at her.
“Miss Delmore, are you okay?”
Do you know this is the first time you’ve called me by my name? She wanted to say this, but her lips wouldn’t move.
When he realized that Delmore was just panting and not reacting, Lesaric put his hand between the desk and carefully lifted her head. Delmore wanted to say she was okay and that he could leave, but she started to black out and couldn’t think of anything.
Lesaric hesitated for a moment and realized that Delmore wasn’t in a good state. Her forehead was icy cold. He reached for her hand. It was cold too.
He realized how dire the situation was, and so he lifted Delmore up and started looking for the infirmary.
When Delmore opened her eyes, Lesaric was looking out the window beside her. He was still, like a calm lake. Lesaric seemed to notice that Delmore had opened her eyes and he turned and stared at her. Blue eyes, the was the same color as the deep sea. No, actually they looked more like the sky.
“Vachen came by,” he told her. “He said you might be malnourished. He put you on an IV and supplements.” He looked uncomfortable. “You didn’t eat?”
“I think I forgot because I was busy,” Delmore mumbled.
“And you’re the one telling me to live,” Lesaric scoffed. “Do you know how thin you are?”
Delmore blinked when she realized that Lesaric was scolding her. She was flustered by the thought of him acting as if he cared about her.
Of course, that wasn’t the end of things.
“Miss Delmore!” Vachen ran in. “Malnourishment? Do you think this is okay?”
He was almost screaming, so Delmore covered her ears and dug into the blanket.
“I just haven’t been feeling well lately,” she said. “Of course, I wouldn’t be doing so great. There’s so much work to do.”
“What?” Vachen shrieked.
Her excuses could never work with him.
“I warned you last time!” he said. “You need to take care of yourself. I believe you promised me that the last time you collapsed. Don’t you remember?”
“I don’t…” Delmore mumbled, burying her face in the sheets.
“You said that you would sleep before midnight and eat twice a day unless you were on duty or working overtime,” he reminded her. “You said that you would be excluded from the work trip if you didn’t do that.”
“What? No!” Delmore exclaimed. “That doesn’t make sense. Have you ever seen the warden sleeping before midnight? Lesaric, have you ever slept properly on the battlefield?”
When Lesaric didn’t say anything, Delmore smiled. “See?” she said. “The one in charge doesn’t sleep.”
Vachen glared at Lesaric, scolding him with his eyes. Then, he smiled. “Well, then, I’ve come up with a better idea.”
Delmore stared at him suspiciously, but Vachen just smiled.
“You have nothing you want to do in the lab, right, Lesaric?” Vachen asked.
Delmore’s eyes grew wide. No way.
“I think it’ll be good for Lesaric to take care of Miss Delmore for a while.”
“He’s busy pretending to be an experiment!” Delmore screamed, but Vachen just scoffed.
“This is better since it’s harder to wiretap or use magic in your room anyway.” Vachen was grinning. “It’ll be easier to hide Lesaric in this situation. Besides, Lesaric can help you with your experiments and take care of your health. It’s not hard. I’ll let Bachlop know.” Then, he left without listening to what Delmore and Lesaric had to say.
“Lesaric, tell him you can’t!” Delmore demanded. “Tell him that you don’t want to. Since we’re under a contract, he won’t be able to make you do what you don’t want to do. And you don’t want to do this, right?”
Lesaric looked at Delmore as she pleaded. He looked at her boney fingers, her legs, her arms. Her pale face. Her blond hair even made her look paler. He guessed that he could wrap her waist entirely with just his hands. He also thought that he could lift her body with one hand. She looked like she could break at any moment. She was so beautiful before, but now she just looked unhealthy.
Lesaric’s expression turned dark. Delmore didn’t know what that meant, but she maintained her pitiful expression. Delmore didn’t like having people watch her as it was. If it was Vachen or other researchers prying, she would be annoyed but she could ignore them. Lesaric was something else entirely.
In her mind, there was only one way this could go. He couldn’t watch her!
Delmore didn’t even hear Lesaric’s answer when Bachlop came in with Vachen. He looked so worried.
“Miss Delmore, are you okay?” he asked.
“Me? Of course!” Delmore exclaimed. “I’m really healthy!”
Bachlop and Vachen both ignored her, Bachen turning to Lesaric. “Vachen told me his idea.”
“Lesaric?” Delmore pleaded.
“Since I don’t have anything to do, I think I should be able to assist Miss Delmore,” was Lesaric’s response.
Of course, she had been betrayed. What else did she expect?