Chapter 1. Who are... all of you?
Since then, the simple conversation had come and gone. Starting with where he wanted to move to, what he wanted to do in the future, and what he needed to do. In addition, various questions and answers followed.
“…and from next week, I will make sure you take the class together with Lusi. Sharing knowledge will be a good experience for you.”
“Thank you for your consideration.”
’No, guys! What are you talking about now? You want me to take a class with someone I don’t know?’
Elusiana laughed. It was absurd to have a child you had just picked up as her companion, but now he wanted them to live next to each other. She knew that noble’s companions were those who grew up together and shared everything with each other. Literally, it meant a close relationship comparable to a friend or family member with different status. But they made the decision easily as if it was only a matter of slicing a radish.
‘You have to think about my preference too!’
It was time for Elusiana to vent her anger at the injustice. Suddenly, a cold gaze came from somewhere and fixed on her.
Elusiana breathed in without realizing it. It was because Astein’s eyes, filled with flames, glared at her like strong beams. He had the eyes of a predator that would chew on her bone if she uttered nonsense.
‘…but, Father. How can I be friends with such a scary kid? How can we stay together all day? He glares at me as if he’s going to eat me up. Right?’
Elusaian closed her eyes tightly with a tearful face. For some reason, it seemed that her daily life in the future wouldn’t be going smoothly.
* * *
Only after letting the two children go did Simon relax. He pretended to be calm the whole time, but his fingertips were still trembling.
The eerie energy emanated from that boy when he looked at him. The remnants were still engulfing Simon’s body.
‘It’s magic. What an unusual power.’
Simon sat down in a chair as if he was squatting and looked out the window blankly. He had already decided to keep him by her side. Still, considering the danger that boy could bring, he wanted to take back that decision even now.
“Do a good deed, Viscount. Never, you should never turn a blind eye. You have to protect the lady.”
The priest’s voice, shouting as if singing a hymn to God, tickled his ears like tinnitus.
‘This is also a good deed, right?’
Simon, who smiled in vain, looked anxiously up at the sky. He hoped this anxiety was just passing by.
‘Meira, please protect our daughter.’
* * *
A few days later, Astein’s room changed from the guest room to the one used by a higher-ranking relative. Elusiana, terrified of him, was also pushed by Simon and spared a visit to Astein’s room.
But was it just because they were near the same age? Elusiana began to come in and out of Astein’s room as if she had been conscious of the situation. She snapped a cookie on the pretty plate and stared at Astein, who was sitting in front of her without a doubt today.
“Astein, why don’t you talk to me? Huh? How can you just sit down in front of me without saying anything?”
Looking at Astein with his indifferent eyes, Elusiana let out a sigh.
‘Did he glue his mouth shut? Why isn’t he answering? Answer me! Ugh, I’m so frustrated.’
They couldn’t even leave the mansion, so she wanted to create a picnic atmosphere in the garden with flowers, grass, and trees, but why was Astein making it so difficult?
‘Am I the only one who likes it? Even if a three-year-old clings to me passionately, I will listen to them even though they are annoying. Bleh~’
It has already been four months since Astein decided to stay in Waieos.
Elusiana complained, measuring her distance from the boy, who still looked far away.
“You don’t want to talk, huh? Even so, give me an answer right away.”
“So you really don’t want to talk, huh? If so, why don’t you say it?”
“Astein! Answer me!”
Astein stared at Elusiana without a word. Elusiana pounded her frustrated chest at the sight of his calm appearance.
‘Does this brat know?’
Her heart, which had been burned black due to frustration, only left ashes flying around. Elusiana forced herself to get it together,and swallowed a hot breath into her mouth.
“Huu- All right, let’s stop. How many times have I been here, rambling alone? Don’t you think so?”
Elusiana raised her hands with her tongue sticking out. It was a strong expression of her intention not to talk anymore. Nevertheless, there was no change in Astein’s expression. Rather, it seemed like he was scolding her for complaining about why she was working hard with his arms folded casually.
‘Ugh, that brat is colder than Siberian ice water.’
Elusiana lifted the cold teacup and swallowed it coolly.
‘Okay. What do I expect from him? I’m an idiot who expected something from him.’
Elusiana shook her head and lowered her gaze under her feet. A cute little creature that had been going back and forth under her feet clung to her ankle as soon as it caught her gaze.
“Oh my, our cutie Soda.”
Elusiana lifted Soda with her skillful hand.
Soda was a stray cat that Trisha had found in the corner of the garden a few days ago. Its fluffy milky fur stood out so much that she gave the name ‘Soda’ in particular.
“Our Soda, are you bored?”
Elusiana rubbed her nose against Soda’s nose. Then Soda fluttered and wagged its tail gracefully.
“As expected, our Soda is the only one who understands my heart.”
Elusiana, barely holding onto the corners of her droopy lips, placed Soda on her lap. At that time, Astein, who had been quiet for a while, finally opened his mouth.
Elusiana, who was distracted by Soda, answered without sincerity. But, of course, she didn’t get any answer. She, who was tapping Soda’s butt, lifted her head.
“Why? Just tell me.”
Elusiana, who frowned, glared at him with a look, ‘Are you kidding me?’. But Astein remained still with a mysterious expression on his face. No, for some reason, he seemed to be staring at Soda.
“What? Do you have something to say to Soda?”
“Huu- Stop it. Don’t say anything. I will pretend I didn’t hear you.”
‘He was pleasing to my eyes to some extent. But I can’t stand it any longer if he ignores me like this.’
She was not a saint. Normally, it was something she would have just let go of. Because her personality was originally like that. But it didn’t work out well today. Perhaps the anger that had accumulated so far had reached her throat. It wasn’t enough just to turn her head, so she turned her body completely.
‘Eish, I don’t know either. I don’t care how it comes to an end. Do you think you’re the only one who has a temper? I have a temper too!’
It was at that moment. Soda, sitting still on her lap, levitated in an instant.
The screams of Soda rang through her ears. Startled, Elusiana got up from her seat, screaming at him.
“Astein! What are you doing!”
Elusiana was shocked to see Astein, who was already near her. But the main problem now was that Soda was held by Astein’s hand at the back of its neck.
“Give me back Soda, Astein.”
The cat in Astein’s hand struggled like crazy. Every time, its neck was trembling precariously as if choked. Seeing that, Elusiana’s heart sank.
The cat in Astain’s hand struggled frantically. Every time, it shook dangerously as if it was strangled.
“P-Put it down for now. Soda is going to die at this rate!”
Elusiana stretched out her arms to snatch Soda away somehow. However, she couldn’t even touch the tip of its fur, no matter what she did.
‘He’s shorter than me, so why can’t I reach him?’
Elusiana, who stamped her feet, gritted her teeth and shouted, “What’s your grudge with me! If you have any complaints, tell me. If there’s something you don’t like, take it out on me. Why are you bothering the innocent Soda?”
Astein, who raised one corner of his lips slanted, asked as she met his abyss-like gaze.
“Why did you come to me?”
“What are you talking about all of a sudden? It doesn’t matter now!”
Elusiana was so dumbfounded. Soda’s breath was about to stop right now, but what was this ridiculous question?
A red color that was deeper and more vivid than blood. Those red eyes filled with flames fluttered intensely as if to capture her gaze. Astein, who took a step closer, whispered softly, “is it to see me? If not—”
Astein’s gaze slowly turned to Soda.
“Maybe for another reason.”
It was just then. Soda, who was struggling, suddenly swung his front paw.
Astein clicked his tongue and avoided it lightly. Frowning at the displeasure, he squeezed Soda’s neck tightly.
“Meow. Meoow. Mew.”
* * *
Surprised, Elusiana clung to Astein’s arm. Tears were forming in the corners of her eyes as she screamed. Astein looked at her with incomprehensible eyes.
‘Why are you weeping for an animal?’
As soon as Astein paused, Elusiana snatched Soda.
Soda, who was barely saved, roared with joy.
Elusiana glared at Astein while holding Soda she had stolen from his arms.