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True to Tainy’s words, a few minutes later Roger came in. He wasn’t wearing a jacket, and his hair, which was always neatly styled, was soaked. He looked like a wet dog.
Vivian immediately became rigid. Seeing him drenched reminded her of the sensual man from her dreams, sweating on top of her. Just by recalling their tryst, heat spread through her lower abdomen.
As he came in, he wiped the water from his forehead. He saw Vivian and stopped.
He seemed to be surprised that she came out of her bedroom so early. Vivian came to her senses at the sound of his voice and rushed down the stairs.
“I was waiting for you. Why didn’t you take a jacket?”
Vivian hurriedly unfolded a dry towel and handed it to him. Roger accepted it with a bewildered look on his face.
“I forgot…… But didn’t you just say that you were waiting for me?”
He asked slowly, in disbelief. His voice was unusually hoarse.
“Yes. As I was going down to the first floor, I ran into the soldiers coming in from outside. But Sir Knight was still out there.”
Vivian was frustrated with his behavior after being handed a towel.
‘No! What are you doing, not drying off right now? What if you catch a cold?’
She snatched the towel from his hands and threw it over his head.
Because he was so tall, it was almost impossible for her to reach his head, even if she stood on her tiptoes. Although the distance had narrowed a little, it was still not enough to move comfortably. Roger suddenly leaned forward, allowing Vivian to dry his hair more easily.
“You are going to catch a cold if you stay like this. I’ll just dry your hair and then you should quickly take a hot bath …… ”
Vivian raised her head and their eyes met. Normally, their eye levels didn’t match because of their height difference, but today, thanks to him leaning over, their eyes met on the same level. Her mind became so blank that she forgot what she was about to say.
When Vivian’s hands stopped, he lowered his eyes. Vivian only realized after a beat what she had done. She always panicked when she touched him, but now she was casually touching his head. Of course, there was a towel between his head and her hands, but it was a scenario she never dreamed of.
Vivian hesitated, wondering if this was too much contact. She tried to remove her hands.
Perhaps he had noticed her hesitancy, so he spoke quickly. His low-pitched voice harmoniously blended with the sound of the rain. As their faces got closer, a mysterious atmosphere formed.
His face was fully exposed under the towel, swaying with her gestures. As always, his features were perfect and refined. With his eyes closed, he looked as if he had fallen asleep. He had a completely different expression from when he swung his sword or when he treated his subordinates rudely.
In the Capital, because he was not very good at dealing with other people, he earned the nickname ‘crazy dog’. But here he was, gentle under her touch. If someone tried to touch him, he would bare his teeth, but in front of his owner, he was well trained and cute. Just like a dog.
Vivian bit her lip in an attempt to clear her thoughts, and concentrated on drying his hair. As a result, their conversation was cut off. It wasn’t the first time they’d experienced silence together, but she felt increasingly uncomfortable. It was because she was being very conscious of Roger.
“Today we have to stay inside.”
Unable to bear the silence any longer, Vivian opened her mouth with difficulty.
“It rained a lot more than I expected.”
It wasn’t necessary to talk, but she could tell he was uncomfortable by looking at his expression. Vivian listened to the sound of the pouring rain and nodded her head. The towel quickly became damp. Vivian removed the towel, wondering if his hair was dry enough.
“That is all…… sir.”
Roger straightened his back. Although his hair was mostly dry, his slightly damp bangs clung to his forehead. He looked down at her.
“There is nothing out there. Now that I have instructed the knights to come in, I will assume that everyone will stay in the mansion as long as no cracks appear.”
“Will it stop raining today?”
“It looks like it will continue to rain until tomorrow.”
They looked out the window at the same time. The landscape was obscured by sheets of rain. Today, she was planning on seeing if there were any traces of the cracks that appeared last night. However, when she looked out the door, she couldn’t even see an inch in front of her face. Today’s investigation had to be postponed.
After confirming that Roger had gone up to bathe, Vivian headed down the first floor hallway. Since she came to the West, she had only been to her room and the wall, so the structure of the mansion was largely unfamiliar.
After passing the dining room, and the knights’ rest area, a neat drawing room appeared. A fire was burning in the fireplace, perhaps due to the cold weather. Thanks to this, the inside of the drawing room was warm. The scene was reminiscent of a Hiddencan drawing room, where she stayed while studying abroad. As she sat down on the comfy sofa, the sleepiness she suppressed while waiting for Roger washed over her. She leaned back against the sofa, pulling her shawl tightly around her shoulders.
She looked out the window with hazy eyes.
When she saw rain, she always thought of Gray. Water was his main power. Just like when Vivian spread her hands, stems and roots grew, when Gray spread out his hands, he could summon water and rain.
‘Oh right! There was a letter from Master.’
Vivian remembered the letter she received, and lifted her heavy body. She had always written letters, but Gray was more hesitant. The image of her nagging him countless times flashed through her mind.
‘I told you to fix your handwriting… you never listened.’
Vivian was resenting her teacher, who was very messy, while pulling the calling string.
She asked the servant who responded about the letter, but they didn’t know where it was, so she called Hamel. Before long, Hamel came to the drawing room and Vivian asked her to bring the letter, paper, quills, and ink. As soon as Gray’s letter was given to her, Vivian rubbed her temples gently. He was really…. It was indecipherable this time.
“…… Come on, are you serious?”
Only one or two letters of each word were legible. But how can you figure out a whole sentence from one or two letters? It was utterly illegible.
The only person who could read these indistinguishable characters was the author, Gray. Vivian was truly amazed that her teacher could read this curly script. Because he could read his own handwriting, he didn’t feel like changing it.
Vivian put down the letter and unfolded a new sheet of paper. She dipped her quill in ink and started writing. She asked him to write neatly and send another letter.
“Who are you writing to?”
Vivian, who was concentrating on writing, was startled by a voice that suddenly interrupted her thoughts. She turned around and wrapped her hands around her ears to protect them from the hot breath that blew on them. Roger, who had washed up, was standing behind her. He leaned on the back of the sofa and looked down at her paper.
“Have you already bathed?”
Roger nodded as she swallowed dry saliva to try and calm her rapidly beating heart. He sat down on the sofa next to her.
“What were you doing?”
Roger’s eyes quickly scanned the table. Vivian unwittingly scrambled to tidy up her stationary.
“Ah, I’m going to write a letter to my Master.”
“The professor who mentored me when I was studying abroad in Hiddenca.”
Roger showed interest at the mention of her mentor and beloved teacher. Vivian was excited that he was paying attention to the people around her, so she prattled on and on. While he was listening to her, he lifted up the letter.
Roger frowned. Characters that were more difficult to recognize than ancient script ran across the white paper like scribbles.
‘Is it a picture? It doesn’t look like a letter at all.’
Roger’s mind quickly became complicated. He contended that it could not be interpreted.
“What is this?”
He showed the paper to her. Vivian raised the corners of her lips awkwardly.
“That is the reply my Master sent.”
“…… A letter, this?”
Roger was shocked. Vivian wanted Gray to see Roger’s expression.
‘It’s a mess in the eyes of others, Master.’
Vivian scratched her cheek shyly.
“Yes, Master’s handwriting isn’t good.”
“Still, this is… bad.”
Roger stared piercingly at the paper, trying to decipher it once more. But again, he was unsuccessful. He put the letter down on the table far away from him, as if he didn’t want to see it anymore.
“Then, is this ‘master’ of yours also a spirit magician?”
“Yes. He can control water.”
Roger crossed his legs and leaned back against the sofa, listening intently. Outside, it was pouring rain, and inside, the fire in the fireplace crackled, warming the room. The atmosphere from the contrasting environments was strangely peaceful.
“Lady said that she was in Hiddenca to study.”
He mumbled. Vivian had never told him anything about her study abroad. However, after awakening as a spirit magician, news of Vivian had spread around the Capital, so he must have heard the news of her leaving the Capital in the past. Besides, he recognized her as the only Elementalist in the Empire.
“How long were you there?”
“About four years.”
As she answered his questions, time flew by.