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Chapter 32: The First Time


Somehow, I felt like I was here before.

In the circular space atop the tower, Nox, who stood at the very edge, let the wind tousle his long hair in silence. Ignoring the lack of a response, Viola stood a step behind him.

Silently, she threw a faint purple bag she had taken out towards his back.

Without looking back, Nox caught it, and the sound of the bag rustling came from his hands.

“A snack. I dried sugar-coated apples… added wine to them as an experiment. Still, no one has tasted it.”


Since then, there was no sound of touching the bag.

Without putting it in his mouth, just standing there, Viola sighed softly.

“Hey, Nox. If you stay silent, I won’t understand.”


“Are there things I don’t need to know?”


His brief words were an unmistakable rejection.

The trees rustled, and leaves danced up beside Nox, snapping lightly.

“You’re just full of lies.”


“Always rejecting like this, but deep down, you want someone to ask, right?”

Viola approached with determined footsteps and silently rested her head on his back.

Even when she wrapped her arms around him from behind, Nox remained silent. His outstretched hand touched the bag of sugar-coated apples.

“It’s more enjoyable to eat together. Being alone is lonely… Please, don’t reject me.”

Her voice trembled. Uncontainable tears ran down her cheeks, soaking into Nox’s back.

“Nox, don’t reject me. Let me hear your story. Don’t leave me alone. Don’t choose to be alone.”

The ‘please’ word that she muttered were almost inaudible.

There was a small sigh from Nox.The hand that went around Nox’s waist touched him as if wrapping it around him.

At first, the touch was hesitant, but it gradually became more certain. Gripping Viola’s hand tightly, Nox opened his mouth with a hoarse voice.

“You asked me about family. Let me answer. I was born between a human and a demon.”

His voice, which usually carried overwhelming strength, now sounded as if he had shed that strength.

“My father is the current king. At that time, he was the crown prince. My mother was a demon, a bundle of curiosity with a personality that seemed to do things on a whim. … Just like you.”

With a small laugh, Nox continued.

“My mother, who hid her demon identity and entered the human kingdom, captured the heart of the crown prince. I don’t know if my mother loved the crown prince, but they married and had a child. That child is me.”

Viola tightens her arms around Nox as she feels the tremor in her hand.

“You’ve heard of it, haven’t you? The former queen to the current king. Although it’s believed she died shortly after marriage, that’s not true. She escaped from the royal castle. … Because she felt her life was in danger.”

Nox’s fingertips slid over his’s head, brushing against his horns.

“The child born clearly had the characteristics of a demon. And the crown prince learned about the true identity of his beloved wife. And he tried to kill her. To cover it up. It would be a big scandal if the queen turned out to be a demon, and having a son with demon blood was unacceptable. It was self-preservation; that man was that way from the beginning to the end. … Hey, don’t cry.”

Viola shook her head. The tears couldn’t be stopped.

How much, how much had the person in front of her carried? The king never accepted Nox, who wasn’t entirely human. Not being a demon, Nox had to keep hiding the fact that he wasn’t a demon in a world of meritocracy.

Not human, not a demon.

In a world where the two races were in conflict, Nox, who didn’t belong to either, wondered what he had been living for all this time.


Nox sighed and gently peeled Viola’s clinging arms away. Turning towards Viola, Nox hugged her body and placed his hand on Viola’s head.

“I can’t believe you let me comfort you.”


Though the tone sounded exasperated, the gesture was very gentle. While gently stroking Viola’s head, Nox continued.

“That’s how it is. He want to kill me, even if he have to set up a fake hero. It’s also self-preservation. He want to erase past mistakes—being deceived by a demon woman, marrying her, and even having a child. Whether human or demon, it wasn’t such an epic story from the beginning.”


Smiling wryly at Viola, who uttered those words through choked sobs,

“Don’t cry. It’s a thing of the past.”

“Because I’m fine being alone.”

Nox patiently waited for Viola’s fragmented words.

“Don’t lie to yourself saying it’s fine to be alone.”


“Hey, Nox.”

While crying, Viola reached out to touch Nox’s head.

Placing her hand on his slightly cold cheek, she gently stroked it, then embraced his head against her chest.

“There’s no one who’s truly okay with being alone.”

The head in her arms trembled slightly. With her cheek against his glossy black hair, Viola whispered,

“I want you to say you’re lonely.”


Tears traced Viola’s cheeks in response to her short murmurs. Simultaneously, she felt a slight dampness around her chest.

In her arms, she couldn’t help but find this person incredibly dear.

From Nox’s limp hand, a small bag spilled out. Quickly releasing her grip on Nox’s head, Viola instinctively caught it. Nox’s deep crimson eyes, lifted towards her, entangled with Viola’s gaze.

With trembling hands, Viola took out the sugar-coated treat and pressed it to her own lips. Then, as she straightened up and pulled Nox’s head closer, she gently kissed him.

She saw his wide-open red eyes from such close proximity that their eyelashes seemed to touch. The first genuinely heartfelt kiss had a faint aroma of wine, exuding an adult sweetness.

“Hey, Nox?”

In response to Viola tilting her head, urging him, Nox enveloped her cheek and smiled gently.


The faint purple color, making a small sound as it dropped to the ground, was no longer visible.





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