Lots of love to Sahsahsah for the kofi again~
Editor: Aaghna & Nila
What kind of front would work the best for someone rumored to have the personality of a she-devil? That was the problem.
He was still a man, so if I approached him with a cute and pitiable face, he wouldn’t hit me, right?
The marble stairs glistened white underneath the summer sun. When it came to the Northern Temple, I had imagined a gloomy and dull labyrinth, like in a fantasy game, but the uniquely styled building perfectly showed off its magnificent beauty.
My goal was not to explore the Temple, of course.
I was hiding behind a marble pillar, peeping into the noisy training hall.
I didn’t mean to hide and snoop around, but somehow it came to be like this. The view in front of me was like a medieval fantasy. Tall Paladins in black armor were gathered in twos and threes, wielding swords that glowed a brilliant blue.
Britannia was a region plagued by monsters all of the time, so their knights were much stronger and more aggressive than the knights of Romagna.
Their armor and equipment all looked heavy and massive. How could they move around so easily with those things on?
“Who are you looking for?”
A polite voice resounding through the hall brought me back to my senses and made me stop sneakily looking around.
Without making a sound, a Paladin had appeared behind me.
A sweet, delicate face. A soft and elegant smile. The curly hair resting around his temples was a pretty, pale yellow shade.
The man blinked slowly as I pretended to hesitate. Once, twice. Light green eyes twinkled with something I couldn’t decipher. “Aren’t you Lady Rudbeckia?”
“Don’t get me wrong. When you arrived at the Port of Elmos, I was a part of the convoy.”
“I see. I’m sorry, I didn’t…”
“No, it’s no wonder that you didn’t recognize me. But what brings you here? Did you stop by to see the Temple?”
“No… Well, I heard my husband’s here,” I answered as I smiled shyly, and the man was silent for a while. He seemed surprised and embarrassed with the way he was blinking his eyes.
I turned my gaze down towards the basket in my hands, not knowing what he was so perplexed by.
“… Just a minute.” He smiled politely and walked past the pillar I was hiding behind.
I was about to peek my head out again.
“Izek! Your wife is here! Izek! Hey! You damn b*stard! Are you ignoring me?! Your wife’s here! Ah, f*ck, this guy isn’t listening!”
I couldn’t believe those words came out of that delicate mouth.
What the hell was wrong with the people in this world?
I leaned against the pillar and stared hard at the statue on the opposite wall. Saint Agnes holding the lamb suddenly made me feel like throwing up again.
Strange… I already threw up today.
“What are you doing?”
That low-pitched voice along with his cold tone sent a shiver down my spine. I lifted my head up and my eyes took him in. Izek stood with one arm leaning on a post and looked down at me with that fierce look of his.
Sweat dripped down his tangled silver hair to his forehead. It would surely be a sight to see if he had a staring contest with Cesare.
“I, uh, this morning—”
“I thought you were offended by me. So I was worried…” I pursed the corners of my mouth, pretending to hopelessly look around, mumbling the last of my words, as if I didn’t know what to say. Then I dropped my shoulders, looking meek.
“That’s enough, I’m fine.”
“Wa-Wait a minute!”
He immediately shook off the hand that had grabbed him. I staggered back and dropped the picnic basket on the floor. It fell down with a deafening thud.
Ellenia had said that these fruits were precious in this area.
I squatted down and began to pick up the fruits that had fallen out. I expected him to leave, but Izek stopped and stared at what I was doing.
His red, jewel-like eyes flashed with bewilderment. “What are you doing?”
What? I’m picking up precious fruits. You’re so cranky.
“I-I’m sorry. I brought it for you…”
“Who asked you to do that? Why are you picking up something that fell on the floor?”
“… I’m sorry.”
Open up, dam. Flow, river of tears.
Tears rolled down my cheeks as I pulled myself up, trembling helplessly.
I was only doing this for survival, but I think I could get the Best Leading Actress Award at this point. This was a defense mechanism from my past life. Once I started crying, the situation would usually calm down a bit.
Of course there were people on whom it didn’t work at all, like my big brother from my past life.
What kind of a man would Izek be?
“I’m sorry I offended you. I just… I think you’re misunderstanding me, so I’m trying to explain…”
The best knight of the North was still standing there staring at me.
What a consistent fellow. Your eyeballs are going to pop out at this rate.
“Well, the misunderstanding that I’ve been trying to find a reason to break up this marriage…”
His silence made me shuffle my feet self-consciously, and I blurted out whatever came to mind.
“I-I know it’s natural for you to take it that way, and I understand if you hate me! I’m sure anyone would in this situation. But I don’t…”
“Who said that I hated you?”
That made me stop for a second.
With his head tilted to the side, a smirk graced Izek’s lips as he approached me.
The hairs on the back of my neck stood up as my skin broke out in goosebumps.
Far from feeling pity for people that cried, he must have hated it a lot. “I don’t remember telling anyone that I hate you.”
“You mean, you don’t hate me?”
“No, I don’t hate you.”
Look at him. You’re lying, right?
“A-Are you serious?”
I grabbed his hand and grinned from ear to ear with anticipation.
A moment passed. The smile of the man looking down at me from above slowly faded away. Izek silently stared at my face for a long time, unmoving.
For a second, I thought he was going to hit me. But that did not happen.
As soon as he blinked, the fiery look in his eyes suddenly faded and the usual cold mien returned.
“… Damn it, what the hell am I doing?”
His voice was filled with absurdity, like he couldn’t believe himself. Or rather… embarrassment?
The way he turned his body and swept his hair in an annoyed manner made it seem like he was frustrated.
This was it. I had taken a big risk, but I was lucky enough to get this type of reaction.
“Are you all right?” Izek glanced at me after I questioned him.
The next thing he did was pick up the fruit that had fallen at his feet. He threw it into the basket and shoved it into my hands.
Oh my, he’s so aggressive.
“I don’t need this, so don’t do anything useless.”
“I’m telling you in advance because I don’t want to be misunderstood, but I don’t care if this clown game ends right now. It’s just that I can’t stand to see someone trying to mess with me. So why don’t you just write a letter and hurry back home, Little Southern Princess?”
I hadn’t seen this side of him before.
I felt more convinced.
I know I’m not the naïve and innocent type, but for a man like him, pretending to be shrewd and smart was rather dangerous. Although, that doesn’t necessarily mean that he was the type to prefer the crying or pitiful ones. But that brief moment where he lowered his guard was a precious clue…
Maybe he thought that I wasn’t worth getting angry at. He would feel like he was being childish if he argued with me.
It was obvious that what I was doing was not worth the vigilance or the suspicion.
Wait… Did this guy who’s only four years older than me call me little? What? Just because he grew up a little sooner?
“But I don’t want to,” I replied resolutely.
“Why? Does this gutter feel like home already?”
Did you think I considered this place the gutter? Thank you for letting me know.
“I’m… I’m in love with you!”
For a moment, I could only hear the sound of the wind passing by.
I dropped my head to hide my red face. At least my acting skills were praiseworthy.
“I know you hear that a lot and that there’s no way that you’d like me. But you were the first one to save me from danger like that. I’ll try to fix my flaws as much as I can, and I won’t expect anything in return. So could you please help me out a little? You said you didn’t hate me…”
That’s right, I’m the fangirl type. The most self-explanatory and insignificant type for guys like him.
That’s what he should see me as from now on. There was hope for me too.
I thought I heard a booing sound coming from somewhere. Seems like someone was watching us in this very exciting situation.
Using it like background music, I bravely raised my head and beamed at him. Be as bright as you were before, no room for error.
Izek decided to pretend that he didn’t hear the words I had just boldly poured out. Or did he think that he would feel more ashamed if he faced the knights behind us?
Regardless, it was just downright heartless to turn around like that without saying a word.
I decided to throw another bomb at his back. “I’ll never be a nuisance! I swear!”
Of course there was no reply.