Sleeping Beast - Chapter 1
T/N: This novel will be machine translated and edited. We will do our utmost to provide you with the best quality. This chapter is still unedited and the edited version will be uploaded soon.
The six good witches who exist on the continent gathered together.
This was by no means a common occurrence. The King of Athea was filled with gratitude towards the witches. In order to honor them, he held a grand banquet for six consecutive days, each day dedicated to a different witch.
Throughout the six-day banquet, the witches ate and drank till their stomachs were full. The king also bestowed them with gold, silver, and treasures.
The witches’ purpose for coming to the Kingdom of Athea was to bless the newborn prince, so one by one, they each gave a gift of blessing to the prince.
“The first blessing to the next king of mankind, Prince Ruestevan, who will have the most beautiful appearance of all mankind.”
“The second blessing shall gift you the gift of knowledge. May you be the most intelligent and brilliant mind in mankind.”
“The third blessing shall gift you the gift of strength. May your body be as strong as the king of beasts.”
“The fourth blessing shall gift you the gift of sense. May your five senses be stronger than anyone else.”
“The fifth blessing shall gift you the gift of voice. May your voice be the more beautiful and pleasant compared to anyone else.”
Now, it was the sixth witch’s turn. The sixth witch’s blessing was supposed to bless the newborn prince to be ‘kinder and have a more righteous heart’ than anyone else.
However, her blessing was interrupted due to the appearance of an uninvited evil witch.
Before the sixth witch came forward, the evil witch who appeared as quick as the wind, opened her mouth and spoke first.
“Since I am not invited, then I shall place a curse. The prince, who possesses the most beautiful appearance, the most intelligent mind, the strongest body, and outstanding senses, will be unable to feel love at the prices of those blessings. Since he is unable to love anyone, he will die as soon as he reaches adulthood without being truly loved by anyone. May the prince live a short and lonely life until he reaches the age of 20.
The evil witch, who had lived a lonely life chuckled loudly at the shocked expression on the king and queen’s face before she disappeared.
“Oh…my poor baby.”
“What should I do?!”
The frustration displayed by the king and queen caused the mood in the banquet hall to drop. There was suddenly a huge wave of commotion before a blanket of silence filled the hall. The sixth witch stepped forward.
“I haven’t blessed the prince yet.”
The sixth witch, whose hair was so gray that one could not accurately guess her age, raised her wand.
“The power of the evil witches is stronger than the six of us, so we cannot reverse the curse. However, we can alter the curse.”
The rip of the wand touched the baby prince’s round forehead.
“This is the sixth and last blessing. This is a blessing yet not a blessing. When the prince comes of age, he will lose all the magic within him. During that time, the blessings and the curse placed on him will become dormant. During that time, the price must rely entirely on his own strength to find the one he loves. Once he does, the curse placed on him will naturally disappear.”
The king and queen said nothing as they embraced each other and wept.
The grand banquet met a catastrophic ending, so the six witches returned home.
Although the witches were bestowed with numerous treasures from the Kingdom of Athea, their expressions were very heavy.
The news of the blessings and the curse placed on the newborn prince spread from person to person, spreading to every corner of the kingdom. There was no one who was not aware of this.
However, just like other stories of the past, there was at least one person who doesn’t know the stories that everyone else knew.
The old woman in bed screamed, “…eh, enough, ha…cough! Oh, stop it and go away! Stop bothering me! Cough! Cough!”
She had a wrinkled face and because she was exhausted from screaming that she started to cough.
The young man walked to her side and silently handed her a dry towel.
The old woman snatched the towel and placed it in front of her mouth as she coughed nonstop. The young man gently patted the old woman’s back affectionately.
“Your coughing will not subside if you don’t relax and calm down.”
“H-he’s just…why is he so stubborn…cough!”
“Stop talking about it. You’re coughing because you’re straining yourself.”
The young man gathered the dirty towels and put them in a basin, all in one smooth motion. Then, he left the room with the basin.
The young man returned shortly after and with fresh water in the basin and a clean towel. The young man meticulously wiped the dirt off the old woman’s face and gently brush the smelly hair which hasn’t been washed in a while, away from the old woman’s face.
A shadow fell over the old woman’s face.
“I can’t even die properly because of you.”
“Why do you want to die? You should live longer.”
“Oh, I should’ve died sooner! How old am I this year?! Even for a witch that lives for 300 years, their body would not be healthy…cough,” the old woman screamed.
The old woman is a witch who only has a few days left to live. She was tired of coughing, so she buried her face in the quilt. The truth was, she didn’t want to accidentally spit any phlegm on the face of the clean young man again.
Two years had already passed.
The old witch could not overcome her old age, so she lay in bed.
From then on, the young man took care of the witch silently.
He fed, washed, and took great care of my old body. When my fever spiked, he put a bowl of cold water next to me and changed the towel on my forehead all night without sleep.
After I lived for 300 years, I have seen many things and there were few things that I have not experienced. It was too late to cry over spilled milk.
But now, the young man has become a thorn in her heart.
The witch regretted it for the first time. The fact that she received the young man from his parents when he was a little baby. No, the fact that she had honestly told that truth to the young man.
“I should have at least given him a proper name.”
The young man picked up the words that the witch uttered in between her coughs.
“What’s wrong with Rafi?”
“That’s an abbreviation of your name. Your name is Rapunzel. Rapunzel.”
At the old witch’s response, the young man revealed out a slightly uncomfortable smile.
It was true that the name given to me bothered me. Although it was alright since there weren’t many people around who would address him by his name, it was clear to him that his given name was not a very good name.
“My parents willingly gave me away when I was only a baby, so I wouldn’t expect them to put much thought into giving me a good name. Don’t worry. It’s alright.”
The young man named Rapunzel shrugged his shoulders, causing his braided golden hair to sway slightly to the side.
He had long hair for a man. It was so long that the witch once used his thick and study hair as a ladder.
The witch has received baby Rapunzel from a young but poor couple who stole from the witch.
The couple was glad that they could get away by simply giving away their child. Even the witch who had already lived nearly 300 years was tricked by humans.
The witch had no doubt that the child with such sparkling green eyes and glistening blonde hair was a girl. But it was only after she brought the baby back did she find out that he was a boy. He was useless, after all, a boy could not succeed a witch.
As a result, the baby who slowly grew into a young child was kept in a tower. The witch made sure to feed him so that the child would not starve. The witch knew nothing about parenting and thus missed out on much of Rafi’s life.
Perhaps due to the young man’s mild and gentle nature, he grew up without any accidents. Now, he even takes care of her even though she didn’t care much for him when he was young. The guilt in her heart grew heavier.
I need you to do something for me before I die.
Cough, the witch coughed and muttered to herself.
There was nothing much I could do for a human being besides being a burden, humph.
His skillfully braided blonde hair which was stretched down to his waist caught my eye.
“Cut it off.”
Rafi asked in surprise.
“Why are you suddenly saying that?”
It was due to the witch’s grudge that prevented him from cutting his hair. Since he wasn’t a girl, I forced him to keep growing his hair, so he can braid it. Since he wasn’t a girl, I wanted him to look like a girl.
It’s time to cut it off.
No, I have to do this. The witch suddenly felt heavy darkness passing through her heart.
It was a kind of hunch.
Even though the witch was on the verge of death, she was still a scary being. I could cast any kind of curses and see through any secret. My magical power will soon disappear, so it is burning brightly for the last time before it withers away.
“Cut it. You have to cut it no matter what.”
Rafi grabbed and shook his head.
“You liked seeing my hair grow out. I’ll cut it next time.”
“I have a bad feeling about this. I can see something. A huge, disgusting black matter… will attach itself on you.”
“What does that have to do with cutting my hair?”
“Don’t you think I know that as well?”
The witch cried out at the ungrateful Rafi.
“It’s what I saw using my sight! Don’t talk anymore and just cut it! Wait, I’ll cut it for you. Go get a pair of scissors.”
The witch lifted her thin body and tried to get out of the bed. Rafi grabbed the witch by her shoulder and stopped her.
“Let’s do it when you get better.”
“I won’t get any better! How can I get better when my body is over 300 years old?! Why aren’t you getting a pair of scissors immediately? Do you want me to cut off your hands instead of your hair? Hmm?”
Although the witch accidentally brought him back and lived together with him, the witch was unfriendly towards Rafi most of the time. Even though she regretted not taking better care of Rafi, she still couldn’t control her habit.
“Why are you so stubborn? Does it feel good to act so stubborn in front of a dying old woman?”
At this point, Rafi couldn’t persuade the witch anymore.
“Okay. I’ll bring it.”
Rafi opened the bedroom door and headed for the closet. He rummaged through the closet.
Do they even have a pair of scissors?
The dark closet was piled up with junk. It looked like a pile of garbage rather than a closet that stored things.
What’s wrong with my hair?
I’ve always let my hair grow out, so why did her attitude suddenly change?
Right now, I just want to stay by your side. I was to comfort you and say nice things to you without blushing.
Rafi knew that the witch would soon die. Rafi just wants the witch to be friendly towards him, even if it’s only for a moment. I wish there would at least be a good memory that can warm my heart when I think of the witch in the future.
After rummaging through the closet for a long time, Rafi returned to the witch with a pair of scissors. They never really had any use for the scissor, so he had casually stuffed it in the closet. It was only until now that he remembered the existence of the scissor.
“I have brought it. How much should I cut?”
There was no answer.
Rafi belated realized that the witch’s coughing suddenly stopped while he was looking for the pair of scissors.
This was the reason why he didn’t hear the witch nagging at him to quit being lazy and to quickly find the scissor. This was the reason the temperature of the room has cooled down little by little.
“Right, what’s so urgent…”
Rafi put down the scissor and sat down on the edge of the bed.
At that moment, the fair and pale hands that closed the stiff eyelids were shaking slightly.
The witch is dead.
Suddenly, Rafi was all alone. He still hasn’t cut his hair yet.
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