Question Rose and Melancholy Rose Devourer - Chapter 9
Translator: MadHatter Editor: MadHatter
Seth focused on reality and shifted his thoughts.
“Is your back okay?”
Roselle froze, seemingly taken aback by Seth’s question.
“A-Ah… it hurts…”
After a brief pause, Roselle put his hand on his own shoulder and gently peeked at his back with just his face.
“Then let’s hurry up and head back.”
Seth changed the atmosphere and resumed his words as though biting into a piece of chocolate.
“I can’t leave you alone after you’ve been wounded by Cannibal Bouquet. As long as we are in the dark as to how a human can become a Cannibal Bouquet, I can’t neglect you, so it’s… convenient.”
Seth pretended that this was convenient.
Although he had decided not to pursue him in case he fled, his actual sentiments were that it would be a hassle, but what he uttered was also not a lie. With the route of infection of the bizarre disease Cannibal Bouquet still unknown, he was curious about what would develop in the future for Roselle, who had been injured by Cannibal Bouquet.
He didn’t want to settle the matter by hunting after the person who had run away, but if the other party sought to become involved with him, that would be a different story.
Seth’s eyes drifted to the fallen clothes.
The stained clothes were fallen on the thin snow. Once he sniffed at the muddled lingering scent, he turned his face back to Crimson.
Perhaps it was an unexpected turn of events, for Roselle was quietly upset. The CO2 overflowing from the red rouge of his lips was strangely thick. This freezing cold must be unbearable to a human. His garments were ripped, exposing his injured flesh. It would be detrimental to stay too long.
“Let’s go back…”
As Seth started to walk away, Roselle’s hand naturally detached itself from his.
Only the two of them’s footsteps reverberated across the freezing night forest.
◆ ◆ ◆
“How’s your injury?”
“It hurts a little… I was told that the wound itself is not as deep as I thought it would be, but they told me to see a doctor as soon as I get to Alba.”
“I doubt a human doctor can do anything about a wound sustained from Cannibal Bouquet…”
“I guess so.”
“When we reach Alba, please come with me… and we will go to see Beatrice. Beatrice is a very old witch. We should ask her for advice.”
Roselle nodded slowly as he told him.
Both Seth and Roselle were in the same passenger cabin. When they returned to the train after that, they explained to the crew that they had been pursued out of the train by the wolf. At that point, Roselle ingeniously concocted a narrative about being assaulted by the wolf. He was given first aid, and the crew consented to move him to Seth’s cabin after many interactions.
The Cannibal Bouquet had wreaked havoc on Roselle’s cabin, but his luggage had escaped damage, and the pair finally got a chance to catch their breath after carrying it to Seth’s cabin.
With an apology, Roselle wrapped his hands around the mulled wine that had been prepared and brought it to his lips.
A spontaneous remark that included a sense of relief escaped his mouth.
Roselle eventually relaxed his shoulders after being treated, dressed, and enjoying mulled wine with spices in warm first-class accommodation.
From his behavior of not being intimidated by witches, obsessing over bizarre disease, and seeking that red rose, it would seem that his mentality was also anomalous, but this did not seem to be true. In fact, he might have been able to calm down and objectively reevaluate reality, because Roselle’s complexion, highlighted by the luminous stone, suddenly appeared to be worse than ever.
For a moment, Seth suspected that the Cannibal Bouquet had affected him, but he was wrong. And it was definitely not motion sickness either, but a mental malaise. His speech frequency was low and he didn’t make much eye contact with Seth. He was simply a human being.
All Roselle could do was repeatedly inhale and exhale.
Therefore, Seth, who was likewise silent, felt the night deepening to the point that his ears were rumbling.
“I’m glad Seth is the 《The Witch of the Rose Devourer》.”
After a while, Roselle let the words out with a gentle exhale.
With simply the movement of his eyeballs, Seth lifted his downcast eyes and gazed up at Roselle.
“If it had been solely me… I wouldn’t have been able to deal with it.”
The previous bravado from him may have melted away with the mulled wine.
Roselle cast the words into the night air as if whispering.
“If that’s what you think, then please be mature…”
Seth folded his arms. He threw a piercing sigh.
“Do you still want the… Cannibal Bouquet?”
“I’m not giving up. I know I’m a nuisance to you, and I’m sorry.”
The answer was so immediate that Seth was stunned, even though he was still pale.
Not to mention, there was a strong will contained without any fear. At the same time, Seth did not respond to Roselle’s consideration for him even though he was the one who had been wounded but instead leaned deeply against the backrest. Seth sunk into the soft backrest, stretching his legs out beneath the table.
Roselle, who was looking at the mulled wine with a contemplative expression in his eyes, stammered slightly, “Not only did I encounter Cannibal Bouquet, but I’m convinced it has… something to do with a witch affiliated with roses.”
“This seems to be something, maybe my fate…”
Seth withdrew his head, half of his face hidden by the lock of hair around his neck.
“…I don’t feel like it’s a good omen…”
Seth’s impression did not reach Roselle and disappeared in his hair as if swallowed by the white snow.
The train was still not operating.
Despite this, the commotion was brought to an end by staff members who came and left, reassuring passengers with calm tones and pleasant gestures.
Seth peeked through his bangs at the hot milk with honey that had been prepared for him.
The mild steam. The bustle’s tranquil atmosphere.
The only sound being emitted now was the sound of two individuals breathing together. A wave of drowsiness washed over him as the tension was liberated, perhaps from a backlash.
Did Cannibal Bouquet truly exist?
Such doubts descended on Seth accompanied by a surge of slumber.
Could that have been a wolf?
Had he just been delirious from the abruptness of the event and misjudged it?
The sight of Roselle flashed into Seth’s sleepy eyes.
Roselle had changed out of his ripped garments and into a brand-new black shirt. The shirt had no embellishments, was only buttoned in a few spots on the chest, and was worn quite loosely.
What can be observed through the shirt was not bare skin, but bandages. Seth was aware that his body is securely bandaged.
The wounded appearance of the man compelled Seth to confront reality.
Brushing aside his own thoughts of escapism while immersed in a half-dream, Seth closed his thinly-opened gray eyes completely.
◆ ◆ ◆
Swaying black hair.
The black hair wavered.
Seth was desperately escaping from the fluttering black hair.
He soon realized that this was a dream.
He realized it, yet the dream did not subside ― he was still running away.
His legs didn’t move as he wanted them to.
His body was growing heavy, and he was unable to advance to no avail.
A peal of ill-tempered laughter haunted Seth from behind and cornered him―
She was right in front of him.
Her dark hair swayed.
An ecstatic whisper mingled with a vicious laugh.
In her hand was a rose.
“It’s so beautiful.”
She whispered, enthralled by the large red rose, which was held in her hands with great care as if she were handling a treasure.
This dream had recurred to Seth over and over again, and he had experienced it more times than he could bear to admit.
That was why Seth was aware of it.
About what will happen to her after this.
And then, her tiny body was instantaneously devoured by the flames.
Amidst the flaming red blaze, the girl laughed, her black hair swaying.
Like red petals scattering, sparks of fire soared through the air, scorching her ebony hair.
Her black hair, which was her pride, and she herself were consumed by the raging red flames.
The witch who loved the red rose was burned at the stake.
Seth was aware of this.
This was a dream.
Seth was aware of this.
This was a dream, and this was reality.
Seth was aware of this.
This was a dream and an event of the past.
Seth was aware of this.
Who was the witch who loved the red rose.
He even understood that this witch was no more, just like Boojum…
And he was aware of this.
It had been a long time since he had been awakened by his own scream.
Furthermore, this was the first time he had experienced this in public, and Seth was mildly disoriented upon awakening.
His eyes met with a crimson color that was confused with fire, and Seth exchanged glances with this crimson color for a while.
It was Roselle, wearing a long crimson coat, who spoke first, “Good morning”.
Roselle, who had been getting dressed, moved his hand that was halted and added a hair clip with a huge rose and a ribbon to his golden hair.
Conscious of his rigid body, Seth turned his attention back to his own. His whole body felt subtly heavy from being propped up on the table instead of using the bunk. Or perhaps it was due to the dream.
“…Did you hear anything?”
Seth’s question was so small that it was drowned out by the sound of the train.
But it seemed to have registered with the other party.
Although it was obvious that his reply was merely out of consideration, Seth opted to ignore it.
The back of his neck ached. He exhaled deeply and tried to relax his body.
The strange red rose, Cannibal Bouquet, has been called a witch’s curse.
Seth, who had blatantly dreamed of a repulsive nightmare, was discouraged by the inadequacy of his mental capabilities, possibly because he had come face to face with it.
While he tried not to be bothered by it, he was nevertheless bothered by it.
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