I'm Stuck on a Remote Island With the Male Leads - Chapter 75
TL: Guavanim | PR: Gina | ED: Thea
16. The Flower of Temptation
I checked Enoch’s condition as soon as I woke up in the morning. He had yet to regain consciousness, most likely due to the exhaustion of last night’s ordeal.
His fever hadn’t broken, thus I wiped his sweaty face with a damp cloth while I scrutinized his wound for any signs of healing. Ruzef was seated beside me, curiously studying the medicine in the first-aid kit.
“Lady Margaret, what kind of remedy did you say this was?” he asked.
I gave him a simple explanation that he would be able to grasp.
Perhaps because we all slept on the first floor of the cabin, Arthdal and Yuanna woke up early along with the others as well. Yuanna and Diego were preparing breakfast, while Kayden was piling wood he had gathered earlier into the fireplace.
I stopped mid-discussion with Ruzef and lifted my head when the Hestian prince stood in the center of the living room and drew attention to himself.
“I say we rearrange the division of the group members for our excursion. That man can’t go anywhere in his condition,” Arthdal said, pointing to Enoch.
He was right. Someone had to go in place of Enoch for the journey to Yuanna’s location where she initially woke up.
“His Highness needs Lady Margaret by his side, thus she should also be excluded from the reconnaissance mission.”
Everyone was aware of Enoch’s separation anxiety now. Embarrassed, I kept my mouth shut.
“So be it,” Yuanna spoke passively, and then resumed washing mushrooms in a coconut bowl.
Pondering Arthdal’s words, I glanced at Kayden. He yawned, carrying an attitude that said he didn’t care about Arthdal’s suggestion.
“Kayden, you should go.”
He immediately turned my offer down. “What? No. If you aren’t going, then I won’t either.”
“I need to stay with Enoch, and Ruzef has to help me take care of him. You’re the only one in our group who can go.”
“The knight commander and crown prince of Hestia are present—”
“They are not contributing on our behalf. Do you understand?”
Kayden pouted out of dissatisfaction but nodded belatedly. “I want to stay with you, Margaret. I also have separation anxiety.”
I shook my head at Kayden’s absurd excuse in bemusement. Suddenly, I remembered what he had said a few days ago.
“Even if I die trying to save you, I want you to live.”
When I had asked if that was a confession, Kayden’s answer was a wistful look.
He had a contradicting demeanor. If I hadn’t read the novel, I might have mistaken Kayden’s reckless attitude as a result of fondness for me.
And even if that was the case, it didn’t compare to Enoch’s view of me.
With that in mind, I made a suggestion, “When you come back, I’ll grant you one wish.”
The gloomy man’s head shot up, eyes twinkling. “Anything?”
“It will be difficult to grant whatever you want, therefore I’ll do what I’m able to in our situation.”
“Hm.” Kayden cupped his chin and pondered over my words. After a while, he nodded. “Fine.”
Proud of myself for handling him in a timely manner, I automatically stroked his hair like I would with a puppy.
“Has the Lord decided to participate? Very well, then the members of the excursion will be Saint Yuanna, Lord Kayden, and Sir Diego.”
“Are you not going, Your Highness?” I asked Arthdal. How unexpected; I assumed he would go based on his speech.
“I only made a reasonable decision. Compared to me, Sir Diego is superior at swordsmanship. It would be better for me to stay behind while Sir Diego goes.”
As expected of the crown prince, he was good at recognizing people’s worth and knowing how to utilize them for his own benefit.
“Then we’d best leave now. We’ve been putting it off long enough as is,” said Diego as he helped Yuanna pour water into the coconut bowl.
“That’s right. Lord Kayden, are you ready to leave right away?”
At Arthdal’s question, Kayden’s face twisted, and he kept silent. Instead, he cast me an imploring gaze.
I sighed and said, “Yes, he’s ready to depart.”
“Margaret,” Kayden grabbed my arm and leaned in close until his pretty face encompassed my view and I could feel his breath, “please pray for my safety before I leave.”
“I pray for your safety. Be careful,” I simply said.
“Not like that.”
“How do you want me to pray for you then?”
When I asked with a quirked eyebrow, he turned his head to the side. His sharp jawline drew closer, and I was surprised by the brush of his lips on my cheek. I gasped and touched where he had pecked.
“Pray for me like this.” He saw my reaction and smiled in amusement. It was a captivating smile that could charm others. I was no exception, but I didn’t let it blind me.
After a moment of silence, I became irate and glared at him. Clearly not expecting my ire, he shrunk back with wide eyes.
“Kayden, I told you to stop being affectionate when you have no interest in me. It’s inappropriate.”
Despite speaking steadily, irritation was evident in my words. Dumbfounded, Kayden blinked and then managed an awkward smile, as if bewildered by his own actions after learning the significance it could hold.
“Margaret, I have no idea what constitutes having ‘interest’ in an individual. If you asked me if I was being intimate out of love, I wouldn’t be able to answer that.”
‘What? Are you playing with me?’
As my irritation soared to its limit at his convoluted explanation, Kayden added, “However, I will admit I find myself missing your company when you’re not around, and I enjoy seeing you smile and being familiar enough to touch.”
“I want you to look at me.” After releasing those heavy thoughts off his chest, he quickly said, “I’m sorry I kissed you without your permission. Will you hate me if I ask for forgiveness?”
What? I gawked at Kayden as if he grew two heads and kept silent, but he seemed to be anticipating an answer.
I couldn’t comprehend his line of thought; he explained he didn’t understand what it meant to be affectionate with another, and then he continued to negate his statement. Was this a new method of confessing?
“Ha, he didn’t even receive a response,” Rezef said in contempt, having been an audience to our conversation since he was still sitting next to me.
“Keep your wooing in moderation, Lord Kayden, get ready,” Arthdal said sarcastically.
Kayden ignored the prince and continued eyeing me. I was about to lose my mind wondering what the hell to do with this man. I shouldn’t be the one worrying when he was the one dropped the bomb.
I suspected our conversation would only go in circles if I spoke with him more, and our strange situation was not important right now. Rather than discussing the definition of love and wooing, I needed to prepare food, clean water, and useful supplies for those going on the excursion. I waved Kayden away, who wilted a bit, and went about my tasks.
‘Why are there so many things to do?’
After I packed survival tools, I cooked extra portions of meals to feed three. By the time I finished, I was exhausted, even though the day was only beginning.
Once we all had our share of mushroom soup for breakfast, the small reconnaissance team prepared to leave; however, just as they were about to depart, Kayden stopped to hand me a longbow with a handful of arrows.
“Oh, Margaret, this is a gift.”
A few days ago, I asked him to make them without expecting anything, but it turned out he took my request into consideration.
“You were able to create this? Is there anything you aren’t skilled at?”
When I complimented him with a sparkle to my eyes, Kayden scratched his cheek and avoided my gaze, seemingly embarrassed.
I thought he would take the remark into stride and reply smoothly, but why was he embarrassed now?
Humor aside, I sobered and said, “Be careful.”
When I repeated myself to ensure he knew I was being sincere this time, Kayden smiled and nodded vigorously. I fished for the notebook from my crossbody bag, tore one of the pages out, and stuck it inside the pocket of his robe.
His eyebrows pinched in confusion.
“I sketched a map of the island’s topography to the best of my ability, and I marked the location of the cabin just in case.”
Save for the location of the bunker, I drew any necessary information that could help Kayden find his way back if he lost his way. I then took out the compass and presented it to him as well.
“Do you know how to read a compass?”
Kayden nodded. “Of course, I do.”
“If you find anything important, remember the location,” I said as I placed the item in his other pocket.
It occurred to me that if they found a way out, the excursion members might abandon us, but I still hoped the escape door would be nearby. I had no other option but to trust them, because I could not leave Enoch and go.
“Margaret,” Kayden called me in a soft voice, bringing me out of my thoughts. Then he reached out to touch my cheek one final time. “Thank you.”
I didn’t exactly understand what he was thanking me for, but I accepted it.
“Let’s go, Lord Kayden.”
Diego and Yuanna, who stood at the entrance to the cabin, called for him once more. Kayden lingered for a moment before following them outside.
He was going to do well, right?
Diego and Kayden made a reliable combination.