* * *
Yuri met with Odin and Siren today as well. She didn’t forget to send the mark with a memo just before her late return home.
Then when she got back home, Lakis, who had gone out just like her, was already back before her.
Yuri greeted him as she closed the door and entered the house.
“Mr. Lakis, you came back early?”
“While you’re back late, Ms. Yuri.”
Lakis was sitting by the window in a now-familiar view as he greeted Yuri.
Lakis drew the curtain to cover the window and rose to his feet. Once she heard him say that, Yuri glanced at the clock.
The short-hand was pointing between 2 and 3.
“It is still early in the night though.”
Yuri said, not even bothering to act like she agreed with Lakis now.
Her attitude was dismissive as if she was saying why act like this when we already know everything about each other.
At that, Lakis’ brow raised, drawing an arc.
As Yuri was talking off her coat, Lakis approached her. But instead of helping her and taking away her coat like he usually did, he pulled her half-removed coat forward, restricting her movement.
Yuri looked up at Lakis when she seemed to become a pupa or a cocoon.
“What is it?”
“I’m just a little…”
Lakis said when she asked him why because she was confused.
Hearing that, Yuri stared at Lakis.
There wasn’t much emotion shown on his face but on a closer look, she could tell there was something a little different from usual. It might not be right to call it this but somehow, Yuri felt like Lakis was sulking.
Maybe he was feeling dissatisfied because Yuri kept going out without saying anything and coming back late at night. Moreover, although he probably thought he had hidden it well, she could sense that Lakis seemed to not like Odin and Yuri’s other fellow test subjects.
However, Lakis was also doing the same thing; he was busy running all over the place lately.
What’s more, Yuri felt like this was not the only reason why Lakis was acting like this.
“I will help you if you ask me to, you know.”
And when she heard Lakis’ following words, Yuri knew her guess was correct.
“As long as it’s you, you don’t even have to ask, it can be an order.”
Now, there were only two days left till the praying ceremony. It seems Lakis had probably realized early on why she was meeting Odin and Siren these days.
Yuri didn’t know when or what might have tipped him off but Lakis was always quick on the uptake so there was nothing strange about it.
“But you really won’t tell me anything till the end.”
There was still some time left but it’s true that she wasn’t going to tell Lakis anything during these two days, so he wasn’t wrong.
“Even if I tell you not to go anywhere, you obviously won’t listen to me.”
And he wasn’t wrong about that too.
It was unknown what he was thinking but his slightly frowning light-blue eyes sank a little.
Yuri looked into those eyes then she opened her mouth.
And the voice flowing from her lips made Lakis’ eyes flinch for a moment.
“I’m saying this just in case, but your ability doesn’t work on me.”
Lakis’ expression showed that he didn’t immediately understand what Yuri was saying.
“Because I still remember when I went to black market some time ago, and Mr. Lakis showed up wearing a mask and erased people’s memories.”
But soon, his eyes slowly opened wide.
Yuri stared into his eyes that were rippling like flowing water.
“How do you remember…”
Then before long, a different expression gradually appeared on Lakis’ face which was frozen with bewilderment.
“Wait. What do you mean by that? I wasn’t going to use that again on you now!”
Lakis shouted like he was wronged.
When she looked at his gaze which truly seemed wronged, she felt he was probably saying the truth.
But judging from the look in his eyes some minutes ago…even if he didn’t actually plan on using his abilities on Yuri, he looked like he was feeling tempted inside.
Of course, it was obvious that Lakis would jump up and down to deny it if she said this.
“If you weren’t then fine.”
A white thread shot out of Yuri’s hand which was trapped in the coat. It wrapped Lakis’ body just like he did to her earlier.
This was the first time that Yuri was openly using her ruin’s power in front of Lakis in this manner.
A shallow laugh escaped Lakis’ lips.
Yuri bound Lakis till he couldn’t move then took off the coat that was restraining her.
Her coat was caught by a thread before it fell to the floor then it was flown to the hanger.
Yuri made a hand gesture and Lakis’ body moved by itself.
The thread was not that strong so Lakis could break it if he wanted to but he just went along with Yuri obediently.
“Ms. Yuri. Then you…Back then, you knew it was me, but you perfectly acted like you knew nothing till now.”
“It was a little annoying, yes.”
“How did you know it was me when I was wearing a mask?”
“Didn’t you know it was me even though I wore in a cloak from head to toe?”
A strange light appeared in Lakis eyes. He seemed to agree with Yuri’s words.
Lakis’ body was pushed onto the sofa. And a lock of dark hair fell over him.
Yuri laid Lakis on the sofa, then patted his shoulder like she was putting a sleepy child to sleep as she said.
“Mr. Lakis. I know you’re worried and I’m very grateful for that. But. You don’t have to.”
Actually, the thread she attached to Leo had broken off last night for some unknown reason. So now, it was no longer possible to determine his location or his condition indirectly.
But according to the information they had gotten from the birds, it seemed they still planned to take Leo out the day of the praying ceremony and move him to the plaza, so their plan was not affected for now.
“First of all, I am not even doing this alone.”
Neither Odin nor Siren’s abilities were useful for bringing out Leo directly. So there was a high chance that Yuri would end up taking action at the crucial moment.
Hence, Genos’ prediction meant that there was an element that could threaten Yuri in the process.
Honestly, although this confidence of hers was unfounded…
Yuri didn’t think she was going to die, for some reason.
Of course, she had seen many people talk big about this kind of thing then kick the bucket the next moment so she didn’t know whether she might face something big at this rate and end up like one of those people.
But for now, she didn’t feel that threatened or endangered. Who knows, maybe her danger detector was broken.
To be honest, she felt it would be fine even if she got hurt to some extent as long as she didn’t die.
“So Mr. Lakis, don’t worry about anything and just relax. Everything will be fine. Don’t you trust me?”
“…Isn’t it usually the opposite? I should be the one saying that.”
Lakis looked at Yuri who was patting him and sighed.
Yuri didn’t know that Lakis knew about the prediction concerning her. So she responded like this, not knowing exactly where his worries were originating from.
Lakis simply couldn’t help but sigh.
Anyway, since Yuri was keeping something from him and not being fully honest, Lakis was going to do the same.
While thinking in a somewhat shrewd manner, Lakis pretended to accept what Yuri was saying.
“By the way…is this your hidden preference, Ms. Yuri? Do you like to tie things up perhaps?”
Yuri didn’t expect to hear that and blinked a little fast.
“Who knows. I’ve never tried it before, so I had no idea but…seeing you like this, I think it’s not bad actually.”
At that, Lakis gave a small nod.
“I’m definitely not the type for bindings but getting tied up by you like this is not bad.”
As the corner of the eyes slowly curved, a languid smile appeared on his face.
Yuri’s hand on Lakis’ shoulder paused.
It hadn’t crossed her mind for a while till now but sure enough, Lakis was a pheromone-wielding handsome man. Moreover, Yuri was weak to Lakis when he smiled like this.
It felt like the atmosphere and conversation had suddenly risen to a slightly dangerous level, so Yuri loosened the threads binding Lakis and stepped back.
“Well, I’ll go wash up then.”
Lakis sat up on the sofa, smiling innocently as if he wasn’t the one dishing out pheromones just now.
Yuri left the living room while Lakis saw her off.
When she was finally completely gone from sight, Lakis’ smile disappeared from his face.
* * *
The next day brought the praying ceremony one day ahead. As it was the before a big event, the East was in disorder.
The area around the plaza was particularly rowdy due to people doing last-minute preparation from early in the morning for the praying ceremony.
There was no reply from the place where Yuri had sent the mark yesterday. But she was sure the contents had been delivered so she didn’t care.
“Ms. Yuri, are you going somewhere with Odin today too? Take this with you to eat.”
Anne-Marie gave Yuri a lunch box when she was about to leave with Odin to meet Siren.
“Oh, you didn’t have to.”(Odin)
Odin seemed to have not known about this because he looked startled.
“Um, don’t do anything too dangerous. Be careful.”
And when she added that, Yuri looked at Anne-Marie’s face.
Seeing the worry in Anne-Marie’s eyes, it seemed Anne-Marie had a vague notion of why Yuri and Odin were busy these days.
“Thank you, Ms. Anne-Marie. Well then, see you in the evening.”
Yuri took the lunch box from Anne-Marie and stepped out.
Support on Patreon for advance chapters.