Male Lead, Don't Follow Me! - Chapter 3
It was normal for Kiara to start talking to herself in the forbidden forest. However, it was harder than she thought to keep a secret that no one else knew.
Having accepted reality and rather than dealing with it alone, Kiara went to Ephelia thinking it would be better to talk to her.
“Kiara, what is it?”
Ephelia gladly welcomed Kiara into her home.
Her face was full of smiles until she saw Kiara with a rather grim expression.
“Is there something you need to talk to me about?”
“Yes, there is. Let me tell you!”
Holding her hand, Kiara began to pour out everything she knew.
After several breaths of her spilling her innermost secrets, Ephelia’s expression became stained with awkwardness.
“Ha, yes. Ask me anything, Ephelia.”
Kiara observed Ephelia as she collected her breath.
Ephelia thought for a moment, then she asked carefully.
“That was a mouthful, so I couldn’t understand you…maybe you could repeat that?”
“…What? Where should I start?”
Ephelia smiled awkwardly.
She didn’t hear a single thing Kiara said.
Kiara shouted at Ephelia once again with agitation.
“This place we’re in is in a novel! I’m going to be killed by Vishwaltz in the future!”
But in the end, her voice couldn’t reach Ephelia.
Kiara had tried several times since then, but the results were the same.
It was something no one would believe.
With no one to talk to, Kiara remembered what her mother had told her when she was very young.
[If you don’t behave, I’ll send you to the forbidden forest!]
Parents often told their disobedient children that they would be sent to the forbidden forest where monsters are known to lurk.
Needlessly to say, hearing such frightening words made them burst into tears.
And Kiara, who had heard it from her mother, could only grip her mother’s legs and promised that she would behave.
‘I can’t believe the forbidden forest turned into a place where I would unload my worries.’
People naturally avoided the forbidden forest when they heard that monsters lurked inside.
But after learning the truth, Kiara thought there was no better place to speak her mind than here.
At first, Kiara talked about trivial things.
For example, when Kiara realized that she was living in a novel.
That fact had made her teared up as she cursed the injustice.
For a while, Kiara poured everything out with snot and tears running down her face as quietly as possible so no one would hear her…
“Well, there’s no one to hear me even if I talk out loud, right?”
Over time, Kiara got increasingly bold speaking her mind.
Her voice, which started out as a whisper, began to change into shouts of frustration.
In fact, her heart would feel relieved after each session.
“Vishwaltz has a mole on his butt!”
“Son a bitch, I won’t let you lay a single finger on Ephelia! I-I’m not that easy to deal with! You think you can do as you please?! I’m not going down without a fight!”
Having held her tongue during her recent encounter with Vishwaltz, she came to the forbidden forest to speak her mind and curse the male lead for what will happen to Ephelia.
‘I’ll survive If I can get Ephelia away from Vishwaltz.’
Not expecting anyone to hear her, she naturally spoke her mind.
“But then, whose voice could it be?”
Kiara was lost in her thoughts as she bit her fingernails. Realizing her unrest, she placed her hands to her face.
“Miss, is something bothering you?”
“You can tell?”
“Yes, very much.”
Kiara avoided her prying gaze.
Ena’s eyes were intense, but Kiara knew she could overcome this if she continued to purposely be oblivious.
Sighing softly, Ena began to groom Kiara. Her pinkish colored hair began to smoothen with each stroke of the brush.
“Have you heard the buzz these days?”
‘Did Ena hear about the forbidden forest rumors?’
Assessing the situation, Kiara knew she couldn’t bring up the topic first.
Kiara had gone there a lot lately, but there has been no rumor about her.
Pretending not to know anything, Kiara calmly asked Ena.
“Why? What is it?”
Staying still, Kiara rolled her eyes as Ena groomed her.
“Didn’t you hear about the strange noises coming from the forbidden forest?”
“Ah…Yes, I’ve heard the rumors. But what about it?”
“Well, Duke Vishwaltz…”
Kiara held her breath as she waited for Ena to continue.
As expected, it was the same rumor. Kiara wondered how far it had spread.
“Well, I don’t think it’s true?”
Kiara felt troubled. At this rate, the rumor will reach the Duke’s ears.
‘Maybe he already knows.’
Kiara hated her past self. She wanted to rip her head off.
‘Now where am I going to vent my frustration?’
Although there are many things Kiara hasn’t vented yet, she thought it was good to stay low until everything calms down.
Kiara felt sorry for the Duke, but it was just unfortunate that there was no better place to openly speak her mind.
“But there’s also a rumor that a monster has appeared, so I heard he’s investigating it.”
“Anyway, Miss…Wait, you’re thinking of going?!”
Ena covered her mouth with a shocked look as her eyes welled up.
Kiara has spiritual power, so she would have no choice but to go if she was asked.
“You can’t even kill a chicken! You won’t be able to do anything against the monsters even if you go…”
“I don’t think it’ll be that bad?”
Even if her spiritual power was weak, she had many items. She thought at the very least she could handle herself.
Kiara didn’t think her power level was over 10,000, but she didn’t think it was 0 either…
“What?! I think I’m going to faint! I’ll have to tell the madam.”
“Kiara! Let’s pretend you’re sick for the time being.”
The door burst open with her mother coming in shouting.
Judging from her messy hair, it was clear that she ran here as soon as she heard the news.
“Baby! Father heard…! Wait, why are you here now?”
“And you too…”
In front of the door, her mother and father looked at each other and nodded.
Kiara thought It was good to see the determined couple join hands after all this time.
‘For some reason I have a bad feeling…’
There was a moment of silence in the room.
Her parents, who were looking at each other lovingly, soon hardened their expression as if nothing had happened.
Then, her father firmly spoke.
“From now on, you’re sick. Do you understand?”
‘Is it fine like this?’
Kiara looked at Ena who then raised her hands in defeat.
She too must have felt the same way.
Thus, her straightened hair was messed up again, and makeup was applied to her face to make her appear sick.
Before Kiara knew it, her face was pale and bloodless.
“Yes, Kiara. Do as your father says. In mother’s eyes you’re very sick.”
“What, I’m sick?”
It seems Kiara was sick without realizing it. For some reason, she felt hurt hearing that she was sick, but…
Kiara won’t run into Vishwaltz if she doesn’t go to the forbidden, so that was great.
‘He won’t find anything in that forest.’
In the end, Kiara was led to her bed by Ena. Laying in bed, she looked at the ceiling as her eyes blinked.
‘I’ll have to send Ephelia a letter because she’ll be worried.’
“Have a good rest. Imagine you’re vacationing in the mansion for the time being.”
“Yes, I got it.”
They were telling her to relax, so she’ll relax.
‘Wait a minute!’
As soon as Kiara was about to close her eyes, she suddenly remembered one thing that she had forgotten.
To not forget the locations of the rare herbs, Kiara would mark them with her handkerchiefs.
Since they were so precious, Kiara thought it would be suspicious if she had taken several at once, so she wanted to mark the location.
Kiara was planning to go back this week, so she didn’t pay much attention to it and left it there.
Fortunately, her family seal wasn’t on the handkerchief. However, because of a magic drug she had applied, it’ll glow at night.
It meant that the owner of the handkerchief could easily be identified after tracking down the buyer of the drug. This particular magic drug was expensive, so it was easier to trace the person who had bought it.
With her mind racing, she hurriedly changed into her outerwear.
‘I can’t wait until tomorrow!’
Without a doubt, if Kiara was caught, it was clear that everyone would think it’s strange that she would go alone to the forbidden forest full of monsters.
“Even with the risk, I have no choice, right?”
Kiara laid a decoy pillow down on the bed, covered it with a blanket, and then headed toward the window.
The dizzying height was unbearable when Kiara glanced down.
‘I’ll break something if I jump from here.’
Kiara didn’t have the confidence to endure such pain.
Ultimately, Kiara took out a teleport scroll that she had on hand.
Her heart felt like it was going to break, but if she didn’t use it, she thought it might be her neck instead.
With the sound of money leaving her pocket, her view flickered.
Kiara opened her eyes with a sigh of relief as soon as she felt the familiar scent of the forest. The slightly darkened forest was still mysterious and bleak as ever.
For her, the calmness here felt like a haven.
The leaves swaying in the wind made the lonely mountains stand out even more, but this much was already familiar to her.
“Fortunately, there’s no one here at this time…”
Startled, Kiara hurriedly pulled out a handkerchief.
Then, faster than the speed of light, Kiara held it to her chest as she hid behind a tree.
‘Something is coming!’
Kiara heard the rustling sound of grass being stepped on.
It was clear that something was walking in her direction.
“So, you’re sure you heard it here?”
It was a man’s voice behind the tree. Kiara curled up as she held her breath.
‘It’s more than one person? Why did they come into the forbidden at night when they heard that there were monsters lurking inside?’
Kiara gripped a teleport scroll in her arms.
“There’s no way there’s anyone in this forest where monsters lurk, right?”
“That’s true, but there has been a report.”
Along with the rustling grass, Kiara could hear people’s voices. Her tension continued to rise as she hid behind the tree.
“For you to investigate it yourself, what did you hear? You’re not someone who would do such a thing.”
‘Investigate? Don’t tell me, it’s Duke Vishwaltz?!’
As soon as Kiara recognized who it was, cold sweat dripped down her back. If she ran into him here, she would certainly be pointed out as a suspect.
‘Wait no. What will I say if I’m caught like this?! It would be suspicious if I said I was digging up herbs at this hour.’
It wouldn’t make sense no matter how you look at it. Who would believe that a Count’s daughter was digging up herbs alone in the forest where monsters lurk?
Kiara took a deep breath as she looked for an opportunity to run away.