Apparently, Cassion also felt the sensation that he had stopped breathing.
Now that Rosetta saw how energetic he’s being, she thought that it was just a feeling that she sensed for a moment.
She smiled, then she lowered her gaze and focused on the bandage.
“You… died for a moment.”
Like a spider’s web dangling in the air, the bloody bandages were unraveled one by one as silence stretched between them.
“So that you could breathe again, I tried to breathe into you.
You cried and told me to save you after all.”
“So I pinched your nose and leaned your head back to secure your breath.”
After explaining like this, she glanced at Cassion’s reaction.
The more she talked, the more worth it was seeing.
In particular, his expression was the best when she made a pinching gesture as she explained the ‘nose holding’ part.
At that moment, Rosetta realized… that a cold, prideful face could also look stupefied enough.
Secretly amused by this, Rosetta lifted her head once more and made eye contact with Cassion as though she hadn’t been inwardly laughing at him.
“Why the hell… What made you think that way”
His pale face began to heat up again as he whispered breathlessly.
If he changed his expression that much, his face must be doing a lot of work.
“No, never mind.”
The hastily made comment was crude.
Rosetta shrugged, then opened her lips to speak.
“Really Then that’s that.
Well for me, with memories of a first kiss… I thought you’d misunderstand me for this.”
Humming slightly, she lowered her eyes again and focused on his bandages.
In any case, the temperature of the hand she was holding seemed to be higher than before.
As she continued to unravel the bandages, it wouldn’t be long until it’s off entirely, and red stained skin would slowly be revealed.
Feeling something close to assurance, she focused all her concern towards the man’s hand.
‘Indeed, what do I want to see here’
Soon, the last remaining layer of the bandage fell off his hand and onto the bed.
With a dull noise, the palm of the man was revealed.
Old scars with unknown origins.
New scars that had yet to settle in.
No, they were scars.
His palms were dyed red only because his bandages were soaked with blood, but that was it.
The wounds under the poorly opened bandages were steadily healing.
She wouldn’t even have guessed that he got hurt there today had she not known.
Her heart pounded.
As though regaining something once abandoned.
No, as though realizing that what had once been given up had already come true.
The wounds that healed at an abnormal rate was evidence of his healing due to the momentary mana amplification that was described in the novel.
In short, this meant that mana had begun to circulate within Cassion’s body.
It didn’t seem like he noticed yet.
In the novel, she thought he realized it shortly after.
‘Is it that he couldn’t notice it because he’s so focused on the matter of touching lips…’
She wondered why it was like this, but she thought this might be the likely situation.
When a person was distracted by something, they wouldn’t even know they were hurt.
Just as you wouldn’t feel a papercut until the moment you see it.
With both thumbs, Rosetta relaxedly swept over Cassion’s scars on his hand.
“What’re you doing”
Cassion flinched as he asked.
His face, on which the red tinge had not subsided, looked like a lovely, blushing boy.
No, he really was lovely.
As if looking at a child she was proud of, Rosetta’s heart was full of endearment.
“Do you know how many times I saved your life today”
Instead of answering, Cassion only blinked in return.
The way his eyes flitted left and right, it seemed as though he was counting in his head.
That, or he might be hesitating to say sorry.
He had forgotten the first instance, he wasn’t happy with the second instance, and the third instance was misunderstood as a shameless act.
At this point, he might be thinking that Rosetta had taken him out of the waters to save him from drowning, but she was not only asking for compensation, but that she had slapped him and was asking for money in return as well.
At his belated response, she shook her head.
She didn’t save Cassion three times today.
His abnormally fast-paced healing was evidence to this.
Perhaps his waist’s condition wouldn’t be so different.
“I did save you that first and second time, but I didn’t during the third.”
She said this in an almost sing-song voice.
“Then who saved me during the third time”
And his tone was that of befuddlement, his brows furrowed.
Rosetta brushed Cassion’s hand with her thumb again.
Feeling the bumps of his callouses, she lifted her own hand and reached near his heart.
Despite the slow movement, Cassion did not avoid her.
Because they were already so close together, she touched his chest without having to reach far.
She felt his hardened muscles.
Whenever he breathed, she felt his chest rise and fall.
Caged by his ribs, she could feel his heart beating.
Yes, his heart.
She felt the beating of his heart, and she could sense the subtle flow around it—the weak sensation of mana flowing from his heart.
‘I was worried that I wouldn’t feel it, but…’
She could feel mana from his heart and internal strength¹ from his core.
Even if the core and the manner of use was different, there was a similarity with a ‘certain energy’ that flowed within her.
So perhaps that’s why Rosetta could feel his mana.
In this novel’s setting, the only person who could feel mana was another person who could also wield mana, but the power she had was something that didn’t fit this place.
But luckily, her earlier assumption seemed to be correct.
A similar yet deviant energy pierced through the unwritten laws of the novel’s worldbuilding, and so she had become able to feel the flow of ‘mana’.
‘And if mana could be felt…’
The easiest and most efficient way of making Cassion stronger was now possible.
‘To open up his pathways².’
Rosetta’s slender fingers folded towards her palm, leaving only her index finger pointed out towards Cassion’s thin shirt.
There, she circled over where his heart should be.
“Uh… What are you doing.”
He froze up but immediately flinched back in embarrassment.
But he couldn’t move back much because the bed’s headboard was right behind him.
“How is it, can’t you feel anything”
At the subtle question, the man’s eyes widened.
Anyway, it felt like there was a pattern here.
Rosetta would move, then Cassion would jump back like a startled rabbit.
“Feel I don’t feel anything, so your hand, just… Ah.”
Cassion was trying to talk to Rosetta with a firm tone, but he stopped mid-sentence.
It seemed that he had finally recognized something ‘strange’ within him, and that prompted his ability to sense it.
With a pained groan, he grabbed his heart.
Then, he hunched over and bowed his head forward.
The hand that she was holding escaped from her grasp as he clutched his chest.
His harsh breathing quickly took over the dark, quiet room.
Rosetta stared at him.
She wordlessly approached him and held his faltering upper body, folding him into her arms.
His large frame clung close to her as though he was a beast that had found haven for itself.
She could feel the man’s warm cheek touching her shoulder.
And with the moisture that trickled down, she didn’t know whether it was Cassion’s sweat or his tears.
She didn’t think this happened in the novel, but…
‘Do people become more child-like if they have someone they could lean on’
With a rather cold sentiment, Rosetta wrapped her arms around the man’s searing body.
“Shh… It’s alright.”
She whispered into the red ears near her face.
When she patted his back lightly, his restless body continued to tremble.
While patting Cassion’s back, she secretly explored his pathways.
‘There are a lot of blockages.’
There were places where his mana flowed freely, but not many of them.
The pathways were mostly empty, and the mana that did flow was a pitiful amount.
Gathering qi into her hands, she pointed to one of his blocked pathways.
She kept her pointer and middle fingers together and pushed down briefly.
Cassion gasped, the sound of it accompanied by a sudden breath touching her shoulder.
As the shallow breath was spat out, Rosetta collected the energy on her fingertips.
When she checked the place she had just pressed down on, mana was now flowing through the newly opened pathway.
‘Still, maybe this is too much for a recovering patient.’
Listening to his countless groans in between shallow breaths, Rosetta felt guilty for some reason.
Even so, she’d have to proceed with opening up his pathways a little later.
Apart from that, the patient wasn’t the only one here who’s overdoing it.
At that moment, a dry cough was spat out.
She could tell what the hot liquid flowing down the side of her lips was without having to check.
‘Ah, right… I overdid it, too.’
During the carriage incident, she ran up the cliff carrying Cassion on her back, then she dragged the horse and pushed it to the bottom of the cliff.
This was to deceive the eyes of Leo and the others, who would come later to inspect the scene.
She scattered Cassion’s blood to make it look like he crawled to the river stream and was washed away.
She also went to catch Cassion… and she faced those men in the alley.
Then she carried Cassion again as they returned to the hotel.
It was clear that it was a tough day for the fragile body and unstable power that she had.
After roughly wiping the blood off her lips with a sleeve, she patted Cassion’s back once again.
Take a deep breath and get some rest.”
Along with my words, Cassion’s ribs swelled and sank over and over.
As he did, the mana that had been haphazardly tangled gradually regained stability.
“It’s fine now.
Everything’s okay, so just breathe.”
His rough gasps gradually softened.
The sound of his breaths that were once heavy with pain had changed, no longer seeming as if his throat was being scratched.
Over time, the shoulder where his face grew prickly and warm.
When she called out his name and was answered back by only an ensuing silence, the man who gulped dryly raised his head with great difficulty.
The eyes that were close to her were a deep crimson shade.
Like scorching lava.
¹ what Rosetta mentions here is 내공, which is a term used in the practice of martial arts.
it originally means ‘the strength and vigor gained by a long period of training’ or ‘abilities gained by intensive training over time’, but i translated this word simply as ‘internal strength’
² the ‘pathways’ mentioned here refer to the channels or meridians in which qi (or: chi, energy, vitality—and in this case—mana) flows
side note: from this point onwards, i’ll be translating the 기 that Rosetta mentions from time to time as ‘qi’ to hark back to her power from her second transmigration.
this will be different from when she mentions 기운, which i’ll be translating as ‘energy’, ‘force’ or ‘vitality’, and 힘 which i’ll be translating as ‘strength’, ‘force’ or ‘power’
it’s confusing, yes.
i didn’t know i’d have to research so much martial arts stuff for a romance fantasy novel either lol
side side note: why is Rosetta so swoon-worthy huh who told her to be so cool i lowkey have a crush on her now aslkjdf who’s with me here