Embarrassed by their direct eye contact, Vivian forced a smile.
“What are you doing here?”
She thought she should say something, so she asked with a smile. Roger just stared at her without answering. Vivian, who had narrowed her eyes, opened her mouth again, unable to overcome the uncomfortable silence.
“Can I come over?”
As soon as she acted cautiously, a languid smile spread across his lips. With a smile that seemed to ask why she bothered to ask such a thing, Vivian relaxed and moved closer to him.
“Why did you come out?”
Roger’s eyebrows wriggled as if questioning.
“I saw you out of the window, and I followed you because I wondered where you were going.”
“I couldn’t sleep. Oh, I didn’t bring another glass.”
She suddenly noticed the tall bottle of wine between him and her. It must have been the thing that was swaying around in his hand.
“What kind of drink is it?”
Realizing the identity of the bottle, Vivian was slightly surprised. That was because she remembered him not handling alcohol well at the party a few days ago.
“Like I just said, I couldn’t sleep. I wanted to come over for a drink.”
He pulled out the wooden stopper with his teeth and answered in a low voice. Then he tipped the bottle into his mouth and drank it like water. The nape of his neck wobbled savagely. Vivian tried to come to her senses, feeling like she would put her hand on his neck if she was careless.
The moment he removed the bottle from his mouth, a faint smell of alcohol wafted into the air.
“Did the village work go well?”
Vivian quickly asked, forcing her gaze away from his neck. It was something she had heard about at dinner earlier, but the topic naturally popped up again, probably because there was nothing to talk about right now. Roger nodded, looked at her, and frowned.
“Aren’t you cold?”
He stared at her, his eyes full of disapproval. The robe over her thin dress looked very unsatisfactory.
Vivian, who was answering honestly, flinched at the sudden thought. Maybe he was telling her to go in because he wanted to be alone right now.
“…Shall I go?”
When she asked, doubt crossed his eyes as he fiddled with the bottle.
“Oh, no… I thought you wanted to be alone.”
“It’s not like that.”
He smiled a little, as if to prevent a misunderstanding. Only then did Vivian relax.
The moonlight was particularly vivid today. The atmosphere of the garden surrounding them was profound. The two leaned against the bench and stared straight ahead, without saying a word to each other.
“Why are we not dreaming all of a sudden?”
It was Vivian who broke the silence first. Her question stood thick in the silence.
Taking another sip of his drink, he added.
“I can’t sleep because I don’t dream.”
Vivian stubbornly turned her head away. Her expression was bewildered.
She was a little surprised because he pretended that he had no regrets about their dreams until this morning.
He, who didn’t seem to care about their dream, now talked about it as if he regretted that he didn’t have one. She was confused about how he really felt.
It occurred to Vivian that she could now have a frank conversation with him.
“…You know. Did you also start dreaming three years ago?”
“You must have started dreaming a little earlier than me, right? The first time I saw you, you already knew about the dream.”
No matter how many times they had talked about it, she didn’t bother asking because there wasn’t an answer. There was nothing more exhausting than an aimless conversation.
Suddenly, a strong wind blew and Vivian curled up in her robe. However, fearing that he would tell her to go inside if she showed coldness, she tried to remain calm.
There was another extended silence. Sitting awkwardly like this, she suddenly remembered her first meeting with him.
“Do you know how surprised I was when I first met you in the Capital?”
“It’s only natural.”
At Vivian’s words, Roger also remembered that day.
When he saw her, his eyes glazed over. However, there were so many eyes around them that he immediately came to his senses. He managed to look calm, but his heart was beating so fast that he wondered if it was going to explode.
“I never thought we would meet like that. There was no way to find you even after 3 years of searching, so I thought you were a foreigner…”
The words he murmured, like a lament, were so unexpected that Vivian’s eyes widened.
“You looked for me?”
He looked regretful for a while, then turned his head and stared at her.
“I don’t think I know why either.”
Roger gently crossed his legs and tilted the bottle back. The faint smell of alcohol wafted through the air with each gulp. It wasn’t just the smell of alcohol, it was his body odor as well.
“You know very well that I was very curious about you.”
She couldn’t say she didn’t know. In her dreams he was always curious about Vivian.
And Vivian consistently pretended not to notice his interest. Having no words to say as she recalled every single detail, she scratched her cheek shyly. Roger painted a self-deprecating smile on his lips.
“I have never been ashamed of my past.”
She didn’t know why he was suddenly bringing this up, but she thought there must be a reason, so Vivian listened to him in silence.
He opened his mouth excitedly, but then he hesitated. A gentle breeze passed between the two. It wasn’t long before his mouth, which had drawn a straight line, opened heavily.
“…You are the first person to make me ashamed of my past.”
It was an unexpected remark. Roger’s expression was always close to neutral, so it was difficult to read his thoughts and emotions. He was a confident man who seemed to be in no hurry at all. The first thing he showed her was more of a dark denial than bright positivity.
There were people who easily fell into a lament over their gloomy past, but Roger was not that kind of man. Didn’t he say so in their dreams? He was not that bad of a person to dwell on the past. For the first time, Roger was ashamed of his past, and he was saying that it was because of Vivian.
Vivian wanted to say something, but she was speechless.
“And the rumors.”
“Your first impression was probably bad because of the rumors.”
He wasn’t completely wrong so Vivian couldn’t say anything this time either. Recently, it was common for her to become mute in front of him. But Roger didn’t seem to mind her silence.
“I didn’t care how people who didn’t like me talked about me behind my back. After all, since I was in a position to hold a sword, I didn’t care about reputation. But to think you heard the rumors… It felt like my stomach was turning.”
He put on a disgusted expression as if he was reliving the feeling. His inner thoughts continued to surprise her. She never dreamed that he thought like that in secret.
Vivian asked, clutching her heart, which thumped wildly. She wondered why he cared about his past and rumors only because of her, when he hadn’t cared before.
Roger closed his mouth. The silence was unexpectedly long, but Vivian waited patiently for him.
Roger lazily threw his right arm, which was not holding the bottle, on the backrest. Because of his action, his arms were wide open towards her. He was so familiar that she wanted to hug him.
“…Because I wanted to be seen as a good person to you.”
The voice that was carried by the wind was heavy. The added weight made his sincerity stand out.
He wanted to appear as a good person. What did that mean?
The sound of the wind whooshed in her ears, and the fallen leaves scattered across the ground, attracting attention, but every single one of Vivian’s nerves was focused on Roger.
“No, I guess I didn’t want to disappoint you.”
He stared at Vivian quietly and corrected himself in a calm voice. Hearing him talk like that, she thought that he must have been disappointed after their first meeting. She wanted to clear up the misunderstanding, so she grabbed Roger’s sleeve. He flinched, as if surprised by the sudden action.
“I am not disappointed.”
Roger’s eyes twitched. His golden pupils fluctuated deeply like waves. Her voice passed through his ears and reached his heart casually, like the moonlight pouring over his head.
“I won’t deny that I was surprised. But… I can’t say I was disappointed.”
Vivian quickly added, in case he didn’t believe it.
Returning to his usual calm expression, Roger slowly caressed the back of Vivian’s hand that was holding onto his sleeve, then suddenly grabbed her. Surprised by his sudden and aggressive attitude, Vivian’s shoulders shook.
His fingers burrowed between her fingers like an intruder and caught them in an instant.
When Roger approached without warning like this, she suddenly felt a surge of fear.
‘How far are you going to go?’
Feeling that fear again, Vivian tried to free her grip. But he didn’t accept it. He pulled her closer with clasped hands.
Vivian’s vision trembled violently. When she regained her composure, his strong presence was right in front of her nose.
“You are the same.”
He released her hand from his clutches and caressed her cheek with the back of his hand. Unlike his expressionless eyes, she felt an indescribable, sticky lust in his hands.
“You’re so similar that I hate myself.”
“You are exactly what I felt in my dream. Pleasant, affectionate.”
The back of his hand that had been rubbing her cheek so subtly changed into the palm of his hand that she didn’t even notice. Passion began to rise in his eyes as he stared at her face brightly revealed under the moonlight.
He had a puzzled face, as if he was an apostle of God who had come to worship the most beautiful devil in the world. It was like falling in love with someone you shouldn’t. As if revealing his emotions, his hands became very careful.
“You, even when you are unkempt, make me miserable.”
Vivian’s eyelids fluttered at his whisper.
“To the extent that I want to twist the necks of the b*stards who made me struggle in the past and spread useless rumors.”
Vivan didn’t know if she was mistaken, but his words sound like a confession.
The desperation in how he hated her sounded like he liked her that much at the same time.
As Vivian fell silent, his long fingers, which still lingered on her face, began to caress her jawline.
“I don’t know why we don’t dream.”
The touch, which seemed light but could not hide its starkness, came down on her neck. Everywhere his fingertips touched felt like invisible flowers were blooming.
“I have a new dream…”
Vivian unknowingly grabbed his hand. Her eyes shook violently like a shipwrecked sailboat. Contrary to her urgency, her gaze met his amber eyes, which crawled up slowly.
“You don’t like it?”
Was he trying to ask for her permission?
The question that came like the temptation of the devil was very sweet. He had only asked, but her hands spontaneously relaxed as if she had heard a coercive order.
Vivian’s hand, which was holding his forearm, slowly moved downward.
[E/N: we’re back everyone! Sorry for the long wait between releases, our previous translator has gone on an extended hiatus and we don’t know if she’ll be back 🙁 but please enjoy the continuation of the story between Vivian and Roger!]