Episode 25: Are you a gold-digger? (3)
T/N: Big thanks to Passer-by for sponsoring this chapter on Ko-Fi!
(Aristine)“Besides, how can I believe any information from you when I don’t even know you are.”
“I was really going to say the truth.”
Hamill looked at Aristine with intrigue. At first, he was only a little curious, but now, it was different.
(Hamill)“Alright, then. You said you will trust me if we don’t meet again.”
It was no longer just shallow curiosity that he wanted to satisfy.
(Hamill)“Let’s end today here. I shall not go looking for you, Princess Consort. Of course, I will not come here either.”
He didn’t want it to end like this.
(Hamill)“However, if we happen to meet again somewhere, let us become friends.”
“Are you going to stalk me? Then act like it’s a coincidence.”
Hamill laughed at the sight of her looking at him suspiciously like a cat with raised fur.
“Haha, unfortunately, I am quite a busy person, so I do not have time to follow you around, Princess Consort.”
Aristine, who was looking at him suspiciously, finally nodded her head.
“Okay, if it’s a real coincidence.”
Once Aristine nodded, Hamill said his farewell and walked away. His exit was refreshing, compared to how clingy he had been. Almost as if he was keeping his word that today’s meeting would end here.
‘Hmm…what a strange person.’
She wanted it to end quickly, which is why she agreed to the man’s offer.
If he really wasn’t a gold-digger, it might not be too bad to become friends.
‘The only friend I have is Mukali anyways.’
Thinking that made her feel depressed.
‘Wait, do I really only have one friend?’
Aristine was taken aback, and she thought of all the people she had met so far.
She liked Ritlen a lot, but he was her employee. A boss who acts friendly with you and makes you come out with them on the weekend is called old-fashioned.
‘I can’t be old-fashioned. I don’t want to be called that!’
She thought of Umiru and Zodiac, but she couldn’t really call them friends, could she?
‘It would be nice if I could though.’
She didn’t really know.
‘What is the step between friends and acquaintances?’
It was a very difficult problem for someone who learnt about human relationships through a mirrored surface.
Aristine pondered over it, then she lifted her head to the sky.
The summer sky was blindingly bright with its expanse blue. But it was still beautiful.
It wasn’t blocked by a high wall that Aristine couldn’t see, and the sky was endless.
‘I wish I had more friends.’
* * *
Yenikarina exclaimed as she ran over and hugged Hamill, rubbing her face into his chest.
“You still act so spoiled.”
“Tch, I can’t?”
“Of course, you can.”
At that response, Yenikarina giggled and linked her arms with Hamill.
The two walked side by side in the dense forest path.
“Do you realize how much happened while you were gone, big brother?”
“I’m sure it was a lot. Tarkan got married, after all.”
At those words, Yenikarina thought of Aristine’s face, and she immediately frowned.
Yenikarina practically wheezed as she yelled and shook her head.
“No, I thought she was a half-wit but she’s a nine-tailed fox. She acts all self-righteous but is there anything she won’t do?”
Yenikarina snorted and looked up at Hamill.
“Do you know how much she harassed Yenika? Even in front of royal father, she…”
She got agitated and spilled everything about how terrible Aristine had been.
“Then she even made some scalpel…” Yenikarina, who was grumbling, went “Ah!” and looked up.
“Big brother! I heard you offered a way to take that Princess down a notch!”
Hamill smiled without replying.
He only spoke with his mother yesterday but for Yenikarina to know about it, that meant his mother had already taken action.
‘I guess mother must have been quite anxious all this time.’
She was acting faster than he expected. Hamill’s mind flew back to the image of Aristine whom he met earlier.
“As expected of my big brother!”
Yenikarina squeezed Hamill into hug. This would finally stop that fox from running around everywhere.
“She must have racked her brains to make that scalpel. Imagine how she’ll look once it crumbles in an instant. That would be funny to see, right?”
She couldn’t help but snicker.
She was looking forward to seeing the princess in despair.
“That’s what she gets for being rude to Yenika…”
As Yenikarina was speaking, she suddenly felt something was off.
She looked up at Hamill and he was walking ahead with his usual smile on his face. Nothing seemed out of place, but Yenikarina furrowed her brows.
“Brother Hamill, what are you thinking so hard about?”
She pulled at his arm and asked. And only then did Hamill’s gaze turn to Yenikarina.
“I have not seen you in a long time, but you’re distracted and you’re not even listening to Yenika. You’re making Yenika very sad.”
Yenikarina puffed up her cheeks.
Hamill smiled and stroked Yenikarina’s hair.
Yenikarina let him pat her for a bit then she hmphed, “I’ll let it go this once.”
“Thank you,” Hamill replied.
Yenikarina glanced up at him then she abruptly asked, “Did something good happen since you’re smiling like that?”
Hamill’s gaze fell on Yenikarina.
“Yenika wants to know too.”
Yenikarina acted coquettish and clung to Hamill.
Hamill watched the birds flying through the trees for a moment then he opened his mouth, “I met an interesting person.”
“An interesting person?” Yenikarina frowned.
Her older brother always had a smile on his face and acted kindly to everyone but actually, he had no interest in other people.
‘But for him to be interested in somebody?’
“Mhm, they are different than I expected.”
Perhaps that was why the more they talked, the more curious he became.
The corners of Hamill’s lips rose.
Yenikarina narrowed her eyes.
That meant he thought about what type of person they were before they even met.
Her instincts were telling her.
“Is it a lady?”
“Mn, a lady.”
And a married woman, at that.
Hamill gave a deep smile.
**At first, I went with womanizer, but I think gold-digger is a better fit. If you have a better word, please let me know lol.