But thankfully, that wasn’t the case.
“The children at the orphanage on Red Ferret St. went missing. I was so surprised when I heard about this at the clinic earlier.”
That very moment, a faint light flashed through Yuri’s eyes.
Missing children at an orphanage.
That sounded very similar to the incident that announced the beginning of the novel in which Anne-Marie was the female lead. But it shouldn’t be time for the story to start yet?
Yuri tilted her head.
Then again, it has been a while since Lakis Avalon appeared in this place. So did this mean that all the events were occurring slightly in advance?
Wait. Putting the issue of Lakis aside, if the orphanage incident actually happened nearby then…
That meant the place where the heroine lived when the novel began was actually this Ferret Street? Didn’t it say it was a shabby house? Didn’t it say it was a house far too small for the heroine to live with her younger sister?
Yuri recalled the description in the novel and looked at the person in front of her with her eyes full of doubt. And she soon understood.
Right, this lady here was a rich family’s daughter.
Yuri realized that a house which seemed good to her was nothing more than a small, shabby house to Anne-Marie. At the realization of this fact, Yuri felt a little spiritless for some reason.
Who knew how Anne-Marie took the slight change in Yuri’s gaze, but her expression turned gloomy and she spoke.
“I heard they’ll soon be sending someone from above to investigate Ferret Street because of this.”
“What a scary thing. To think such a thing would happen so close by.”
“Right? Maybe because Hestia is of a similar age so I’m even more worried. It would be great if all the children came back safely…”
Anne-Marie seemed to be worried about the missing children. With the missing-persons incident occurring so close by, she was also concerned for her little sister. When Anne-Marie was at work, Hestia was home alone.
Yuri recalled the novel’s content and opened her mouth.
“You and Hestia…”
Just then, a tiny sound akin to someone coughing came from beyond the door behind Yuri.
Yuri unconsciously stopped talking. Just as she’d noticed before, Anne-Marie had good ears, so she seemed to have heard the sound as well.
“Uh, I guess you have a guest?”
Actually, it’s the villain who should have been making a scene in your house originally.
But since Yuri couldn’t really say that, she replied evasively.
“Oh no, I didn’t know that, and I’ve been holding you back for too long. Hurry and go in.”
“No, it’s alright. It hasn’t been long since I came out.”
But Anne-Marie didn’t seem to have any intention of continuing their conversation anymore. With Anne-Marie urging her, Yuri no longer said anything else.
“Well then, take care, Ms. Anne-Marie. Thank you again for the gift.”
“It’s my pleasure. See you tomorrow then. Good night.”
Like that, Anne-Marie returned to her house next door.
And after confirming Anne-Marie had gone inside, Yuri also turned around and opened the door.
* * *
As Yuri entered the house, the atmosphere became awkward again.
Lakis was in the middle of draping a shirt on his torso but paused at Yuri’s appearance. Soon, he began to move calmly again. His bandage-wrapped body was covered up by a white shirt.
Yuri was wondering what to say about what happened earlier. And when she sensed Lakis’ gaze on the basket in her hand, she subconsciously held it out.
“Do you want some cookies?”
Of course, right after the impulsive words left her mouth, she slightly regretted it.
On the other hand, Lakis was irritated by the bug, who began to cheer and nag him as soon as Yuri came back into the house. It only managed to stop its loud racket after he brutally threatened it.
Hearing Yuri’s question, Lakis stared at her briefly before nodding his head.
Yuri was inwardly relieved.
Right, the best way to deal with this would be to just secretly bury whatever happened earlier.
“The person who just stopped by gave them to me.”
But as she reached into the basket to take out a cookie to give to Lakis, she suddenly stopped because of a thought that flashed into her mind.
Wait, it should be okay to give a cookie made by the heroine to Lakis, right? Yeah, she didn’t think just this would pin a love flag on the heroine.
“Here you go. It’ll be delicious.”
Anne Marie had sometimes baked cookies like this before, so Yuri could guarantee the taste.
Lakis sat down on the small armchair next to him and stretched his hand to Yuri, who was handing him the cookie. This time, because the both of them were being extremely careful so their hands wouldn’t even touch accidently, the incident from earlier did not repeat itself.
At last, the cookie Yuri gave entered Lakis’ mouth. Honestly, a sweet like this wasn’t suitable for a patient like Lakis but as neither of them were ordinary humans, they didn’t realize that fact.
And the next instant, Lakis’ face hardened like stone.
‘…Poison? Is this poison?’
Of course, the cookies weren’t actually poisoned. But the taste was just that bad. It was to the extent that it was comparable to the breakfast Yuri made.
—Urgh, this tastes like actual shit…!
As the quiet bug shared Lakis’ taste buds, the sensation was transmitted to it and it cried out in pain.
—D-don’t tell me this is what people in the east like? So we have to keep eating this kind of **** as long we’re here? Is that it?!
The bug felt a despair almost similar to that of when Lakis was stabbed in the stomach and his life was hanging by a thread.
Actually, when Anne-Marie was carefully making cookies to give to Yuri, she mistakenly put in some spice instead of sugar, making the taste strange but Yuri and Lakis did not know that.
While in shock, Lakis happened to catch sight of Yuri reaching into the basket to get a cookie for herself. Instantly, he unconsciously dragged the basket to himself in a haste to deter her.
“Uh…you like the cookies?”
Yuri asked with surprise at Lakis’ behavior. Suddenly, she was reminded of Snow from the coffeehouse. Lakis right now, was showing a fixation on the basket of cookies, like Snow, who was holding his sunflower like some treasure.
As soon as Lakis heard Yuri’s question, he was startled. But he pressed down his desire to fiercely protest and nodded with a frozen smile plastered on his lips.
“Then I’ll just have one…”
Lakis’ knuckles were clearly visible as he gripped the basket. Seeing that, Yuri changed her words.
“Nevermind. You can have them all, Mr. Lakis. I’m good.”
She thought it would be nice to have at least one considering Anne-Marie’s sincerity in giving it, but the basket was already in Lakis’ arms. Apparently, Lakis was terribly obsessed with cookies.
[These cookies, who gave them to you?]
Lakis scribbled a question onto the paper on the table.
Yuri was about to reflexively reply that her next-door neighbor had given it to her but suddenly stopped. It was her first time seeing Lakis act so greedy towards something.
Was this the power of the heroine? Then wouldn’t it be bad if she told him who gave it to her?
With the role he played, something as ridiculous as ‘you’re the first person to give me such a delicious snack’ might happen, presenting Anne-Marie with a future of ruin again. To be fair, Lakis was such an unpredictable character, even in the novel, so it was impossible to know when or where his obsession flag for the heroine would activate.
“Just, a nearby neighbor gave it to me.”
So Yuri replied in a roundabout manner.
Lakis’ eyes gleamed coldly as he kept Yuri’s answer in his mind. The bug despaired that this might be a normal taste in the east but Lakis thought differently. He didn’t know who gave the cookies, but maybe they were trying to harm the woman in front of him.
Not wanting Yuri to get a chance to eat this terrible snack, he began to empty the basket from his seat. Of course, there was no reason for him to protect the tongue and stomach of this woman in front him.
—Uwaak! Gah! Hey, stop eating already! You, you, do you plan on torturing me again like this morning?
Feeling Yuri’s eyes on him, Lakis nonchalantly smiled, ignoring the screams ringing in his head. Of course, inwardly, he was grinding his teeth at the indescribably shitty taste of the snack.
But not knowing his inner thoughts, Yuri grew slightly serious.
‘…Don’t tell me I just pinned a flag on Anne-Marie?’
Well, a flag was indeed activated. A death flag, that is, not a love one.
But since Yuri wasn’t aware of this, she slightly regretted giving Lakis the cookie in the first place.
Like that, the night went by with the both of them having different thoughts despite being in the same situation.
*…Is Lakis an M? Lol, that aside, I’m starting to think the Lakis Yuri knows from the novel and this Lakis are very different people. Is it due to the change in timeline? (this is all speculation btw)