Yuri couldn’t think of a way to bring up the topic in a way that Lakis would answer honestly and she figured it would be better to give Lakis the floor to talk first.
Lakis, who had been blatantly staring at Yuri’s face, tilted his head slightly at her question and his gaze slid to the ceiling.
“Mm. I do. I do have something to say.”
Lakis replied straightforwardly, not changing the topic.
Judging from the look in Yuri’s eyes, it didn’t look like she would just let it go today. So he could either dance around it or cook up a lie but…for some reason, he didn’t really want to do that.
Lakis looked down from the ceiling and stared at Yuri’s face again.
The idea that it might be better to brainwash Yuri and manipulate her memories to his advantage as he did with other people, was a thought that didn’t sound too bad. Maybe he could use to chance to remove her connection with all the other annoying things and make himself be the only thing that existed in Yuri’s world…
‘…It’s very enticing.’
Lakis was quite captivated by his thoughts. However, he quickly shook off that temptation.
He remembered his previous promise to Yuri—that he would never use that kind of method again. Furthermore, what if something went wrong after he used his brainwashing and it breaks Yuri? So, it was better to not even try anything, instead of doing something that couldn’t be undone.
“First things first, I’ve already taken care of the guy who kidnapped you, so you don’t have to worry about that anymore.”
Lakis started his explanation from Yuri and Odin’s kidnapping. When Yuri heard those words, she frowned.
“And that’s why you got hurt? That guy, he looks exactly like you, Mr. Lakis.”
And when Yuri added her next words, Lakis’ face turned grave.
“Are you twins?”
But he tried to keep his expression open before Yuri and said:
“That bastard was only playing cheap tricks. He is also the reason why I had to leave to go do something.”
Oh, is that what happened?
Yuri realized something and nodded slightly to herself.
It was just a guess but somehow, she felt like the fake was the traitorous bastard who pushed Lakis off the throne in Carnot.
She had no clue what happened because there was no detailed explanation in the novel but who would have thought he was a Lakis impersonator. And from what she heard not too long ago, it seemed he had the ability to steal other people’s powers too…
Ah, did that mean he not only copied Lakis’ looks but all of Lakis’ abilities too? Then again, that was the only way it made sense for Lakis to come back this injured twice, after fighting a man that used to his subordinate.
‘Wait…now that I think about it, Odin started acting weird after I asked him to look into what was going on in Carnot.’
Suddenly, the memories from that time flashed through Yuri’s mind.
Back then, she hadn’t been able to contact Odin even after their promised deadline, and sometime later, he appeared in front of her, spewing strange words like he had joined some cult…
‘Arachne, I’m going to live a new life from now on.’
‘I finally met a being like the sun in my life.’
‘I’m going to devote myself to that person! Even if my body breaks and becomes grains of sand in this wasteland!’
Suspicion suddenly welled up in her mind.
She began to wonder if Odin had run into the fake Lakis in Carnot back then and suffered brainwashing or something similar…
“And, I guess he approached Ms. Yuri pretending to be me…”
Even while Yuri was lost in thought, Lakis was still carrying on with his explanation to her.
“I don’t know when that guy learned about my relationship with you but either way, it’s my fault you had to go through something so dangerous. I’m sorry.”
But the moment Lakis apologized to her, Yuri abruptly came back to reality.
“No. That guy didn’t learn about my relationship with you and approach me first.”
Yuri corrected Lakis’ misunderstanding.
“Actually, I was the one who approached him first.”
At that, Lakis froze for a moment.
“Yeah, I happened to see him in an alley, and I thought you’d come back so I went up to him and spoke to him first.”
Lakis lifted his hand a little to cover his mouth.
—Oi, your heart is beating like crazy. Are you seriously like this because the landlady said she went up to talk to him first because she thought it was you? Wow, you are simple.
The bug cringed audibly in his head but Lakis ignored it.
Lakis let his hand fall once the corners of his mouth were back to normal and cleared his throat for no reason.
“Still, you got in danger because I didn’t tell you beforehand so I’m sorry.”
Yuri figured he was right so she simply accepted Lakis’ apology.
“And about that crow…”
But when the topic moved to Odin, Lakis couldn’t help but hesitate a little.
“If I take a few measures, I might be able to get it back to normal…No…! I will be able to.”
He spoke while watching Yuri’s expression and when her face hardened subtly, he immediately corrected what he was saying.
Although she didn’t say it directly, it seemed like Yuri was already convinced that Lakis had done something to Odin and that was why Odin was exhibiting such strange behavior.
Honestly, Lakis still didn’t think he did anything wrong at all, but he wasn’t sure how Yuri felt.
“I see. Still, I’m glad you’re here, Mr. Lakis.”
However, instead of blaming him, Yuri said something completely opposite. And at Yuri’s following words, Lakis paused.
“No wonder I felt like Odin was a little weird in the past but with the way things are, I think he already ran into the fake by then.”
“Is that so…? When you say by then, you mean?”
“Around when I first met you, I asked Odin to go to Carnot to do something for me. I’m guessing he encountered the fake then…and ended up like that.”
Lakis quickly realized Yuri was having a misunderstanding. Since Milliam could not even steal Lakis’ brainwashing ability in the first place, her idea was wrong from its premise.
…But did he really need to clarify and tell the truth?
Lakis’ mind was engaged in a fierce battle.
He wasn’t trying to deceive Yuri on purpose, also, couldn’t this count as a white lie?
Besides, wasn’t he stuck with this unfair situation of cleaning up all the shit that the fake bastard has done anyway? So why can’t he just cover up this little thing?
“I will get him back to normal one way or the other. So don’t worry.”
Lakis played innocent with a straight face and comforted Yuri.
Then suddenly, Lakis reached out and held Yuri’s hand tight.
“Please don’t hate me.”
As he spoke, he looked up at Yuri like a dog who had put dirty feet on their master’s blanket.
Yuri realized Lakis was using his beauty trap again. And as usual, it was pretty effective on her. For Lakis, he was laying down a smokescreen in advance, but Yuri didn’t know that and only thought he was acting this way because of her kidnapping.
“Oh right, Kalian Crawford saw that guy’s face. That might get you in trouble, what do we do?”
Then Yuri told Lakis what she had forgotten about for a bit. In fact, Kalian had also faced the real Lakis, but Yuri didn’t know that.
“Ah, right. That’s true.”
However, the reply that came from Lakis was so lukewarm that Yuri was a little suspicious. Furthermore, it seemed like Lakis already knew that the two of them had met.
“Ms. Yuri, you don’t have to worry about anything. I’ll handle all of it myself.”
Did he plan to use his brainwashing power on Kalian too? Or was the situation more complicated than she thought?
Because Lakis was speaking so nonchalantly, Yuri’s tension melted away.
“For now, let’s deal with the crow’s issue first.”
* * *
That night, Lakis left Anne-Marie’s house silently. Just like Yuri said, there were more than a few things he had to take care of. It was all because that damned bastard sprayed shit all over the place with Lakis’ face.
Lakis clicked his tongue with annoyance as he leapt off the railing.
Meanwhile, Kalian also left the Crawford mansion in the darkness. The place he was heading to was an area that was still embroiled in the search for heretics.
“I, I am not a heretic! Someone help me!”
“Can’t you follow quietly? You there, shut up!”
Among them, there were cases where the search for heretics was being conducted thoroughly, and there were some cases where that was the opposite.
“We’ll only know once we strip it all off. Grab them!”
Kalian saw the situation unfolding before his eyes and drew the sword at his waist without any hesitation.
The sword drew a sharp arc, cutting through the man’s back. The man fell to the floor in one swoop. Kalian also cut down the other two men who were snickering with him.
The two couples who were forcefully caught and almost stripped of their clothing were frightened to see the men fall and start bleeding.
They trembled at the sight of Kalian’s drawn sword and ran away as fast as they could.
Even after this, Kalian witnessed similar situations several times. Common scoundrels, who weren’t part of the search team, using the heretic search as an excuse to wreak havoc. Compared to one month ago, the city at night had become a lawless world.
“Do you think anything will change even if you go around doing that?”
Right then, a familiar voice came from the dark alley behind him.
Kalian had already sensed their presence, so he turned to look at them without any surprise. His gaze fell on their moonlit hair, which was as red as blood.
The person who spoke to him was none other than Genos.
*Hm….this chapter gives me mixed feelings
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