The person who visited Yuria and Fren’s house uninvited was the man Yuria had met in the forest last time while chopping firewood.
The man stood quietly and peered into Yuria’s house; however, with the curtains drawn, all he could see was a faint silhouette illuminated by the moonlight.
He yearned to rip the curtain aside so he could see the lovely Yuria hidden behind them, but he didn’t in fear he would wake her.
Another factor was his worry that his heart might explode upon seeing her.
She was so lovely when she was awake, how lovely would she be asleep? The man wanted to see every side of Yuria and engrave it in his mind.
The man was confident that if it was Yuria, she would be cute and lovely no matter her appearance.
There will be no other being in his life as endearing as Yuria.
Amid those who struggled desperately even with his most caring of touches, the presence of Yuria who was intact after facing him was enough to steal the man’s heart.
That was why he couldn’t lose her, he only wished to cherish and love her properly, making sure her petite feet would never feel a single stone, and her ears would hear only sweet sounds.
The man’s hand impulsively twitched at those thoughts, he wanted to take her to his castle right away, but he had yet to solve why he couldn’t return to his castle.
Maybe it was only fair he couldn’t keep her, he was a demon after all, and the worlds of demons and humans were separated.
Hence why it was so strange that he, who was said to be the strongest among demons, had traveled to the human world.
However, if it was possible to cross over to the human world, the same should be true for the demon world, but somehow, it seemed impossible.
There weren’t any problems with his abilities or energy, but the fact that he couldn’t return to the demon realm frustrated him.
The man felt especially sorry for Yuria, who was living in a small, cramped-looking house. Will she be able to breathe properly in that small house?
His storehouse was wider and better kept than that house-like shack.
Such a shack did not suit a lovely Yuria.
If only he could take her to his castle, he would decorate her room with the most precious and luxurious things in the demon world.
In his castle, no one would dare harm her or ignore her.
She only had to live comfortably under his protection, she didn’t have to do anything except receive his love and be kind.
If there was anything she wanted, he would give it to her, there was nothing he couldn’t do for her.
After rigidly standing outside her house for hours, the man felt a rush of regret upon recognizing another being’s presence through the window.
By the way…
The man, who was drunk on Yuria’s loveliness, shifted his gaze to the child who was sleeping with Yuria.
It was a being that he hadn’t paid much attention to until now because all his senses were focused on Yuria.
Hybrid, and familiar.
He didn’t know how a mixed-blood between a human and a demon could be born, or how such an existence was in the human world, but it was irrelevant.
If it bothered him, he just had to get rid of it.
If she cared about it, he could show some mercy, but that was it.
The man had no intention of sharing the lovable being he had met with anyone, it was enough for her to be precious to him, still, he couldn’t take her with him right now, so he had to leave that annoying child alone for a while.
Or maybe he could bring it along as an attendant.
Oddly enough, the child’s energy was somehow familiar and it bothered him, but the man brushed it over.
The child’s identity didn’t matter to him.
Soon after, the figure of the man disappeared into the night.
Fren’s eyes suddenly shot open, staring at the curtains covering the window.
He tilted his head confused by the presence he’d felt.
He briefly thought it was an illusion, but an energy like that couldn’t be ignored.
It was impossible to recognize the existence beyond the curtained window, but the hazy silhouette made it clear that someone was there, for a fleeting moment their eyes even met.
…No. Feeling an unknown anxiety, Fren hurriedly grabbed Yuria’s clothes, wiggling his fingers.
It didn’t matter what the man’s identity was if he tried to take the only thing that made him feel warm, Fren wouldn’t sit still, he intended to protect Yuria at all costs.
His extreme anxiety stemmed from his fear that the cold and cruel world would take her away.
He feared that the present would disappear like a dream at any moment.
Yuria was so shiny and pretty that anyone would covet her.
Fren did not yet understand the meaning of preciousness, but one thing was certain: he didn’t want to lose Yuria.
When she was sick he was too, and when he was with her, his heart felt ticklish.
Unwittingly, bright feelings that he thought he didn’t have, leaked out.
Therefore… If he relaxed even a little, he would lose Yuria.
Fren wiggled around to hug Yuria and squeezed her close.
Yuria, feeling Fren’s unease next to her, slowly opened her eyes.
“Fren?” Yuria became puzzled at the appearance of Fren, who as if playing peekaboo, had buried his face between her arms, close to her armpits, and peeked up at her.
Stay with Fren.”
For a moment, she was taken aback by the sudden words yet, Yuria understood Fren’s feelings.
Anxiety was something that came suddenly from time to time.
His anxiety that had grown in the bitter cold of the world was not something that could go away easily.
So, he will still worry, and constantly feel insecure, enough to make him feel afraid as soon as he awakes.
“I will always be with Fren,” Yuria reassured, her voice still drowsy because she hadn’t fully woken up yet, just as warm.
“Fren will do best,” still not letting go, Fren looked at Yuria with an earnest expression.
“Fren just has to be Fren.”
I don’t want anything else. The young Fren was more than willing to do anything to help, but it was enough for him to be there.
Fren’s existence in itself was already a gift to Yuria and had become the purpose of her life.
“Fren, nice boy.
Fren, good boy.
I will do.” Fren unknowingly repeated something he recalled an old man saying while patting a child’s head warmly.
As the adult said, he thought that if he was a good child Yuria would continue to love him.
No matter what you do, Fren will always be lovely and pretty.” Yuria gently stroked Fren’s hair.
As if drunk on her warmth, Fren rubbed his face on Yuria’s arms with a languid expression on his face.
Yuria tenderly hugged him in her arms and went back to sleep.
In her arms, Fren quietly listened to Yuria’s even breathing, which seemed to flutter a little, felt as warm as a fairy’s gift.
Her chest, which rose and fell peacefully, was as sweet as the flap of a fairy’s wings.
All of it felt as calming as a lullaby, and Fren could let go of his anxiety and go back to sleep.
* * *
The next day, the two started the mountain of chores.
There was laundry piled up from the day Yuria was sick, and Fren had dirtied attempting to help.
It was only laundry, but even now, when she thought of the heart Fren had put into his actions that day, a part of her heart felt heavy.
How much thought and effort there must’ve been to take care of her, with his small, delicate body.
His heart was so warm and lovely.
Before knowing him, she’d just felt sorry for him and wanted to reach out her hand to him, but after knowing Fren, she just wanted to make such a lovely child happy.
When she realized the heavy burden he carried, her heart ached.
This made her realize how truly lucky she was.
Despite suddenly coming to this world and starting a new life as a village resident that didn’t even appear in a novel, she was able to meet Fren and found meaning in life.
I don’t have any lingering feelings about my old world.
At first I was alone all over again. But now she had Fren, they were family, so it was a life full of satisfaction.
Leaving her thoughts behind, Yuria pulled out a large basin and filled it with water, filling it with laundry.
“Yuri, waz is dis?” Fren, who did not know what she was doing, leaned down to take a look at the basin, it looked similar to the bathtub, but it was a different object.
“The weather is nice today, so I’m going to do the laundry,” Yuria explained.
“Landy?” Fren asked, with his eyes wide open, and an expression of ‘what is that?’.
“It makes dirty clothes clean.”
“They bath too?”
“Mh, that’s right.
Our Fren is smart.”
With an expression of ‘you did great’ Yuria patted the child’s head.
Yuria then tied up the hem of her dress and went into the basin barefoot, stepping on the fabric with her feet to clean it.
Fren stared at her appearance curiously.
Yuria’s feet hidden in the basin appeared and disappeared repeatedly, it was like playing hide and seek every time she lifted her foot, Yuria stomped it back down beneath the water like playing a game.
“Fren, Fren too.”
“Fren too, hop hop!” Fren stomped on the ground imitating Yuria’s actions.
His actions were so cute that Yuria smiled as she spoke, “The water is cold and Fren’s feet might hurt.”
In fact, Yuria’s feet were very red.
The sun was shining, but it was still cold outside, there was still a long way to go before wintertime was over.
“Fren too, Fren too!” Fren shook his head quite firmly and stared at Yuria.
“It may be very difficult for Fren to do.”
If it was something weak Yuri could do, he could do it too.
Fren kept his mouth shut and looked at her with a grim look clearly upset.
Yuria sighed and lifted up the child, startling Fren, who was suddenly lifted, but he naturally reached out and held Yuria.
For a moment Fren felt greatly troubled.
Yuri is weak.
So I have to protect her.
If I’m protecting her, I mustn’t be hugged like this.
She’s weak enough to get sick again like before if she holds me like this. Thus, he had to ask her to let him down, but he liked being in her arms so much that he became conflicted.
Fren shook his head with a very serious expression, tickling Yuri’s neck with his hair.
After much consideration, Fren spoke in a troubled voice, “Yuri tired… put down.”
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