The red rose, which had been in the man’s hand moments ago, was inserted in Yuri’s hair like a decoration. Yuri could have slapped the man’s hand away when he approached but a certain possibility sealed her movement. All things considered, as a fan, she couldn’t heartlessly refuse her favorite character’s gift now, could she?
Of course, there was no evidence that the man was‘Genos Sheldon’ and if he actually was Genos Sheldon, she couldn’t understand why he was giving her a flower instead of Anne-Marie. And so, Yuri was conflicted for a while then decided to just let him be.
“Oh, I guess he’s gone.”
Anne-Marie looked around, only just realizing that the frog masked man had disappeared. Then she discovered the rose in Yuri’s hair and exclaimed.
“It was for Ms. Yuri! He fell for Ms. Yuri at first sight, didn’t he?” (Anne-Marie)
“That guy likes Yuri unni?” (Hestia)
Anne-Marie and Hestia looked at Yuri with their eyes sparkling again.
“Ms. Yuri will definitely take first place if she joins the event!”
Anne-Marie nodded her head as if what just happened was natural. And for some reason, she looked satisfied and overwhelmed with pride.
Right then, the men who had been studying the situation began to come up to them, one by one.
“If it’s alright, will you take my flower…”
“Please accept my flower!”
They started competing to give Yuri and Anne-Marie their flowers.
Anne-Marie was both taken aback and stunned by the sudden situation, but Yuri’s expression had grown chilly because of the cheesiness.
‘…is this the heroine’s power?’
She thought only people holding flowers could participate in the event? Then why were they all crowding around them and making a fuss?
“We aren’t participating in the flower exchange.”
Anne-Marie awkwardly refused.
“People are gathering. Let’s get out of here.”
Yuri grabbed Anne-Marie’s hand and began to force her way out. Anne-Marie once again apologized to the people, then she followed Yuri while holding Hestia’s hand tight.
There were also many people at the entrance to the square. Actually, it felt like there were more people flooding into the square than leaving it. Then a group of children holding hands in a string cut in between Yuri and Anne-Marie.
As it was already too late to avoid them, Yuri briefly let go of the hand she was holding.
“Ah, Ms. Yuri!”
“Let’s meet outside.”
In the meantime, more people flocked their way and they grew apart. But since they would meet up again once they got out of the square, it wasn’t really an issue.
Anne-Marie nodded from afar, showing that she understood what Yuri said.
And a while later, the two sisters completely disappeared from Yuri’s sight.
* * *
‘So the person she had an engagement with, was the clinic’s Anne-Marie Blanche.’
Snow, the frog masked man who gave a flashy performance earlier and gave Yuri a rose, was walking across the plaza in the midst of the noisy crowd. He had been curious about who the coffeehouse clerk, Yuri, promised to go to the festival with, and now that his curiosity was satisfied, he felt refreshed.
‘By the way, why am I so curious about this kind of thing?’
Suddenly, Snow questioned himself and tilted his head. But soon, he convinced himself that it was because he didn’t have anything else catching his interests lately. Then he glanced around.
‘Checked just in case but I don’t see that alchemist bastard anywhere. Well, not like it matters.’
And at that precise moment.
Snow was hit from behind out of nowhere and spun around with a scowl.
“Hk! I-It wasn’t me!”
The short man right behind Snow looked startled and quickly shook his head.
“T-the person that just went by did it…”
The man hastily explained, fearing that Snow might misunderstand. From the man’s expression, he didn’t seem to be lying.
Snow nodded at the man to show he understood then he turned around and started walking again. Then he heard the man give a small sigh of relief behind him.
When Snow entered the square earlier, he was swept away by the crowd and lost his cloak so the high-class clothing he wore inside was on full display. So the man found that Snow was a noble and was afraid he might upset Snow.
Then maybe the person who hit him earlier was a commoner who held nobles in contempt?
With that thought in mind, Snow scratched the back of his head. He had been hit quite hard, so his back was still throbbing even now.
He felt a little bitter but since he spent his time around commoners nowadays, it wasn’t hard for him understand their complaints.
Snow remained quiet but he increased his pace to leave the square faster.
* * *
—Hey, what did you just do?
The bug asked, sounding like it found the whole thing ridiculous.
At that, Lakis coolly replied.
‘Isn’t it obvious? There was an irritating stone by my feet, so I got rid of it.’
The person who kicked Snow’s back earlier and passed by was none other than Lakis.
The bug felt dumbfounded by his behavior.
—If you’re so bothered, why don’t you just drag him somewhere quiet and kill him off?
Then Lakis’ lips twisted in a sneer like he’d just heard something ridiculous.
‘Why should I? Ms. Yuri got a stupid rose from that bastard, big deal.’
— . . .
‘I just didn’t like how that bastard’s head looked so I hit it.’
Now matter how you interpreted it, it sounded like he was saying that he got quite bothered by the fact that Yuri got flowers from another man, and also didn’t like the guy who gave Yuri flowers.
‘Are you jealous right now?’, the bug almost asked but shut its eager mouth once it grasped Lakis’ mood.
From the way Lakis was speaking, he didn’t seem to want to admit that he was in a bad mood right now.
A while ago, after finding the auction house which sold the thing called the philosopher’s stone, Lakis came to the streets of the festival to look for Yuri. And finally, he found Yuri in the square.
Then Lakis witnessed the scene where some bum in a ridiculous mask gave Yuri a flower. It was from then on that he started feeling annoyed. Nevertheless, he did feel a little better when he saw that Yuri’s companion was not a man.
‘But why are there so many people in this ugly frog shit?’
Lakis inwardly grumbled with annoyance.
Many people were impressed by Snow’s beautiful rain of flowers a while ago and began to follow what he wore. So now, it wasn’t just children, but also many adults were wearing frog masks.
Faced with this untimely feast of frogs, Lakis’ mood plummeted again. Then, he discovered Yuri again and she wasn’t too far away from him.
The man passing right next to Lakis got his frog mask snatched away.
Although there was bewildered voice coming from behind him, Lakis put the stolen mask on his face and approached the woman at the end of his gaze.
* * *
‘They keep coming in droves.’
Even after Yuri got separated from Anne-Marie, the crowd showed no sign of shrinking. The only thing happening in the square right now was the flower exchange ceremony but was the event that popular?
Yuri tilted her head questioningly because she couldn’t understand.
Right then, someone practically ran at Yuri and bumped her hard as they went by.
As Yuri titled backwards, she was caught by someone behind her. Her head unintentionally hit the person at her back quite hard, and she frowned slightly at the ache. Although it wasn’t her fault, she felt she had to apologize.
But after right after she turned her head, Yuri stopped talking because she was greeted by the sight of a frog mask once again. However, the person in front of her was neither Damon Salvatore nor the red-haired man who gave her a flower earlier.
‘Is this frog mask popular today or what? Every guy I meet is using the same thing.’
Yuri thought a little begrudgingly.
The man was very tall. So when Yuri fell back, her head had hit his chest.
‘No…wait a minute.’
Yuri was suddenly struck with realization.
‘This is Lakis, isn’t it…?’
The frog mask was the only thing different. The rest of him was exactly the same as the man she had fought earlier. Seriously, was today some kind of special day? Why was everyone suddenly popping up all over the place?
Lakis who was wearing the frog mask, quietly towered over Yuri. Then his hand which was holding Yuri’s arm slipped down the next moment.
Yuri jerked, worried that Lakis’ hand might touch her bare skin. But before Yuri could shake him off, Lakis pulled out something hidden by the wrist of her sleeve.
Then a red rose appeared in her sight.
 Here, Hestia uses the word, ahjussi.
Ahjussi: Used to refer to older men.