“Didn’t you say you fell If you were quick-witted enough to protect your head, you would probably have fallen on your side instead.
I need to see what your ribs look like.”
“I need to check them.
What are you so shocked about”
Startled, Lil grabbed his hand as it moved toward the first button on her shirt.
However, she didn’t grasp it tightly enough, and it slipped through quickly.
She convulsively raised her body in an attempt to strike Ed’s hand, but when she suddenly moved, her side area hurt, causing her to scream in reflex.
Her body, which was lying on its back again, let out a pitiful groan.
She couldn’t even open her eyes properly because of the water forming on her eyelids.
Lil shook her head, scratching her way through the fog made from her tears.
“Ugh… oh… damn it!”
“By the way you’re reacting, it looks like something might be broken.
Let me see.”
And then the button came undone.
Lil clenched her trembling fists.
She had been examined by a doctor only once or twice and back then all she had to do was remove her jacket.
It was nothing compared to this.
Of course, even back then she was embarrassed, but it wasn’t to the extent that made her as reluctant as she was now.
Lil kept repeating that her perception of herself and Ed’s perception of her would differ.
‘But a pervert is a pervert no matter how I look at it.
My negative first impression of him is difficult to forget, and just because he has a brilliant mind doesn’t mean he won’t be lusting after others, regardless of gender.’
Besides, if Ed really was a spy, Lil would be exposed and defenceless without wearing a single thread.
‘Of course, his mission could be non-violent intelligence gathering, but the possibility of assassinating the Captain couldn’t be ruled out.
But then again, if it had been the latter, I would’ve been killed by now.’
She regretted belatedly that she had let Cesar go because he could have kept an eye out in such a situation.
Lil closed her eyes shut.
Soon after, she felt his hand touching her side.
She opened her eyes to make sure her necklace was securely fastened around her neck and Ed wasn’t making a suspicious expression or acting dubiously.
Meanwhile, Ed was aware that Lil had opened her eyes slightly, but he remained calm.
His neutral gaze looked down somewhere on her body.
When she couldn’t detect the slightest hint of perversion, Lil pondered.
‘He’s so good at acting, what a sly guy.’
“I will examine the middle rib first, so if you feel any discomfort, don’t hold it in.”
Lil nodded and rolled over a bit, letting out a small moan because her ribs were stiff.
Ed made sure to carefully but thoroughly check her rib area.
When the vexing procedure was finally over, Lil’s eyes were muddled with tears and sweat.
Lil wiggled her eyelids.
“Just something in my eyes…”
A cool towel wiped her face.
Lil felt ferocious upon opening her eyes but didn’t have the energy to move even one arm.
Ed was writing something in his old notebook.
He seemed to have decided to ignore her doubtful expressions, giving her no choice but to wait for him.
“You’ve just strained your muscles.
It’s not a fracture, but you shouldn’t overdo it.
Lying down won’t be the problem, but getting up and moving around will be painful.
Don’t ignore the pain, come to me if it’s too much.”
“Can’t you just give me painkillers every day”
“How much are you going to move”
When Lil bit her lip, Ed pressed a white handkerchief against Lil’s lips while giving her a doctor-like look.
“My lungs seem fine…”
“Then I’ll put my finger in your mouth and check.”
As she was caught off guard by his wild remark, Ed pressed her chin.
Before she knew it, his index finger opened her lower lip and tried to invade.
“…What, what, what… Ack! Cough! Cough!”
Upon seeing the saliva Lil had spit out, Ed made a minor diagnosis.
“Hm, sputum is normal.”
“Cough! You, you… Cough! Ugh…”
“Is there anything else I need to know I heard that you attacked the Captain of this ship with great enthusiasm.
Was that the impact you’re talking about”
She felt threatened that he would do something else if she didn’t answer properly, so Lil answered with a face about to cry.
“Uh… It was before that.
During the first shelling, I rolled off the stern.”
“You mean you rode the rope after something like that Are you crazy”
“If you’re going to nag, remember that I kicked Cesar out of this room for that exact reason.
So stop it.”
“The navigator didn’t say anything wrong.
What would you have done if there had been any internal damage Please take a break.”
“I got the feeling that no matter how hard I try, you’re not going to listen to me if I say… that you should rest for a month, am I right”
“Then I’ll fix you up as much as I can.
For now, don’t move too much.
“Do you understand”
Ed looked through his medical bag after hearing her response.
Reality hit Lil during this period of silence.
When her opponent held her chin, she couldn’t resist once, and she could merely make a nasty face in defiance.
Amid the terrible situation and utter confusion, Lil banged her weak fist on the bed.
“Damn it, I should have noticed it earlier…”
A humming voice, with his face stuck in a large leather bag, spoke.
“We didn’t know our opponent, so I guess it’s right that we were cautious.
But the Captain wasn’t late to react.
It was good you realised their move before the shelling, but how did you know that they would attack first”
“They used sunlight for communication.”
“I know, right Anyway, we encountered a merchant ship before that was just as stupid as these guys.
I was sure they belonged together.”
“So in their stupidity, they attacked a fellow merchant ship”
If they were running out of water, they should ask for help.
What made them so afraid of doing so”
“What do you think happened”
“They were looking for something in the Sea of Ingres.
They got distracted by their search and deviated from their route.
Because it’s difficult to catch the wind in this area, their water must have run out in the meantime.
When I get out of here, I’ll interrogate the Captain right away.”
Instead of responding, Ed swung his head halfway out of his medicine bag.
As he approached her, he swiped up his sweat-soaked bangs.
Lil looked at his forehead that was normally covered.
It wasn’t until then that she realised that Ed looked just as bad as she did.
His shirt and nape were stained with blood.
Fortunately for him, it wasn’t his blood.
Lil inquired cautiously.
“Were there many patients”
“Hm, are you asking how many fractures and gunshot wounds I have treated Under twenty.”
“Were they serious”
“There were two.”
“Then why are you here”
“Because the Captain was classified as urgent.
The navigator said you were unconscious after a head injury.”
“Classification What classification”
“There is such a thing.
Anyway, Let’s stop talking, so I can fix your torso with this.”
Ed held a wide cloth in front of her eyes.
At first glance, it looked like a bandage, but when Ed noticed Lil’s suspicious gaze, he continued.
“It’s hard to think of it as a normal bandage.
If you’re going to be moving around again, you’d better listen to me so that I can get you up.”
Ed’s hands came at the same time as his last words and wrapped around Lil’s back.
His broad, damp torso cast a shadow, and his palms holding her bare skin were warm and even wet.
Lil felt defenceless and gasped for air.
“Come on, wait! What are you doing…”
“Getting you up.”
Lil arched her upper body and grabbed his shoulder.
Due to the sudden movement, a sharp pain squeezed between her ribs.
In her current state, she lacked the strength to push anyone away, so her aimless hand slipped and squeezed his forearm instead.
Under his shirt, she could clearly feel his sweat-soaked skin and muscle flexion.
Lil bit her lower lip, unsure what to do.
She realised too late that she had let her guard down because she was preoccupied with the ‘classifications’ of patients.
In the meantime, Ed’s warmth wrapped tightly around her waist.
“What…what are you doing”
“I’m bandaging your ribs The Captain can’t get up yet, so if I have to bandage you while lying down, I can’t help but make it feel like I’m hugging the Captain.”
Still, her heart pounded.
Lil couldn’t tell if it was because of discomfort or something else.
“I was just… surprised…”
“What were you surprised about”
Somehow, he sounded offended and looked at Lil to wait for her answer.
‘Why are you acting so innocent all of a sudden’
Lil wet her parched lips with her tongue.
“Should I take a guess at the possible options One, the Captain suspects that I’m a spy from the Navy, so whenever I get close to your body, you become afraid of being assassinated.
Two, the Captain thinks that I… You think that I’m a pervert, so you’re afraid of me potentially harassing you.
Three, you might consider me both.
That would be the worst case.”
“Isn’t it about time you stopped thinking either way Why would I do anything that could undermine the Captain’s trust It’s a great deal for me.
Besides, we’re in the middle of the open ocean, you think I’d be willing to risk my life by assassinating or harassing you I can barely keep your attention, so why would I waste it”