It might be the role of the male leads to be involved in every event concerning the heroine in the novel.
But if something went wrong in the middle and things didn’t proceed like the novel, Hestia would be hit by the carriage. Yuri’s favorability towards the sisters was much higher than she thought so she couldn’t take such a gamble.
“Then I shall be on my way now.”
“Again, thank you so much for helping my sister.”
Then suddenly, Yuri realized that something was off about the conversation between the two protagonists.
‘Aren’t they going to introduce themselves?’
Unlike what Yuri read in the book, and unlike what she imagined on the way to the clinic, there was something prickly about their conversation.
‘Don’t tell me this is because I took some parts of the male lead’s role?’
Somehow, that seemed right and the uncomfortable feeling returned, making her lift her head again. Like adding oil to the fire, that very moment, Kalian turned to look at Yuri.
“If you are going back home now, allow me to escort you. I’m sure you were very surprised by what just happened…”
“Yeah, Yuri. You were shocked, weren’t you? I’m so glad you’re not hurt anywhere.”
It seemed Hestia planned on going back with Anne-Marie after treating her leg. The child still had tears lingering in her eyes, but she held Yuri’s dress with her cute, little hand.
The moment Yuri met Hestia’s tearful eyes, she had nothing more to say.
Honestly, it didn’t matter if the two protagonists didn’t get involved. The reason she brought Kalian Crawford to see Anne-Marie was because he was the most normal and reliable person in this world. In the novel, he was a man who protected Anne-Marie in any way possible and gave her his dedication and love. So Yuri thought that if it was this man, she didn’t mind allowing their meeting…
In addition, she figured others might be different, but as for the two who were the protagonists of the story, they would have a fateful attraction from their first meeting.
But she seemed to have thought wrong.
And if that was the case, Yuri had no intention of forcing a relationship between the two of them. It’s not like she was a matchmaker or anything so it would be inappropriate to be nosy.
“I’m fine, really. Besides, I have something else to do. I appreciate the consideration.”
Yuri rejected Kalian’s suggestion. Of course, she didn’t have anything else to do but she didn’t want him accompanying her all the way home. When Yuri repeatedly refused, Kalian didn’t make the offer any more.
The two of them left the clinic together.
Outside the door, Kalian opened his mouth as if to say something. But after a momentary pause, he closed his mouth again.
“I’ll get going then.”(Yuri)
“Be careful on the way.”(Kalian)
They separated in front of the clinic.
As Yuri started walking in the direction home, she remembered something.
‘Ah, come to think of it…’
Something suddenly popped into her mind and she changed her destination. The place she was heading to, was the main street where she had met Hestia.
* * *
‘…They do look alike.’
Kalian thought as he recalled the face of woman he met just moments ago. The fair complexion akin to snowflakes, and the hair as black as ink. Even down to the red hue of her eyes.
As soon as he saw that face, he was hit with a strong sense of déjà vu, like he had seen it somewhere before. What Kalian was currently comparing her with, was the portrait hanging in the middle of the Crawford mansion’s gallery. Whenever you opened the door, the first thing you saw, was the picture of a woman on the wall.
Expectably, the thought bothered him, so he aimlessly looked back. But the woman had already disappeared from sight, not even the slightest sign of her could be seen.
Kalian’s eyes dimmed slightly. He was feeling regretful for sending a lady back like that.
‘I believe her name was Yuri.’
Kalian inwardly repeated the name and began to head towards the square. He planned on launching a separate investigation into woman he saw earlier. In addition, he was yet to get the report on what was going on earlier.
“O-hoh, who might this be?”
Just as Kalian neared the square, a familiar voice rang out from the side.
“Is this not the Hero of the East?”
Kalian turned his head. Then the grinning figure of a man came into his sight.
Messy brown hair that looked uncombed and a sloppy attire. From every angle, the man looked like a poor, jobless fellow. You couldn’t see him as someone who would dare to talk to Kalian, the successor of the Crawford name, in such a manner.
However, the next moment, Kalian looked at the man with a cold gaze as if he knew who the man was and spoke:
At that, the man waved him off.
“No, no. Call me ‘Snow’ now.”
A bright smile emerged beneath his bushy brown hair. Kalian looked at him with disapproval.
“What’s with the ridiculous name?”
The appearance of the person in front of him was just as ridiculous as his name. And what the hell was up with the messy wig? But when Kalian heard the words that followed, he shut his mouth.
“Well, I can’t use my original name. Plus I like winter.”
His tone was nonchalant and calm as if he didn’t care.
But upon hearing that, Kalian’s gaze changed slightly. And sensing that, Snow clicked his tongue.
“I knew you’d be like this. I’m very satisfied with my life right now, so can you not look at me like that?”
The eldest son of the high-noble Crawford family which governed the East, and Snow, an average citizen without a decent job. Anyone could tell that this relationship was not on equal footing. However, they were talking to each other in a casual manner like close friends.
“What are you doing here? Have you been living near this place?”
“I’m just in the next neighborhood so I come here often. What about you? Did you come for inspection or something?”
Kalian was just about to answer Snow’s questions, but he trailed off for some reason. His gaze was glued to a corner of the square. Feeling curious, Snow followed his gaze and looked in that direction too.
‘Oh!’ he soon exclaimed. “It’s Ms. Yuri?”
Once Kalian heard that, his gaze moved to Snow.
“You know her?”
“She’s a clerk at the coffeehouse I go to regularly.”
Yuri was just coming out of a flower shop. She was holding an armful of yellow flowers. It made for such a beautiful scene that all eyes were drawn to it. But as if she didn’t feel any gaze, Yuri’s face was as expressionless as always as she cut through the crowd.
“What? Are you interested?”
Snow grinned mischievously when he saw that Kalian’s gaze was transfixed to Yuri.
“Pretty, isn’t she? You won’t believe how many twats come to drool over her at the coffeehouse.”
But it wasn’t just because she was pretty, there was a charm about her that strangely drew people to her.
“But a boring guy like you is probably not Ms. Yuri’s type?”
“It’s not like that.”
Kalian spoke coldly to Snow, who was snickering and teasing him like he’d gotten hold of his weakness. Kalian looked away from the woman who was getting farther away. Then he asked Snow a question as if wanting to confirm.
“By nearby coffeehouse, do you mean the store at the intersection? The one opposite the clinic?”
“Uh, yea but…what, are you really interested?”
Snow asked again with surprise. But Kalian turned away without giving an answer and began to walk away.
“Oi, wait! Hey!”
Snow followed, calling after him but his voice didn’t reach Kalian’s ears.
Oddly enough, the image of the woman Kalian saw earlier kept staying on his mind. It seems he would have to pay a personal visit the coffeehouse opposite the clinic sometime soon.
* * *
Yuri stopped by the clinic again.
Hestia was sitting in the lounge, waiting for Anne-Marie. She had already been treated at some point.
When Yuri called, Hestia’s eyes went wide and she stared at Yuri.
“Here, a gift.”
Yuri gave Hestia the flowers she just bought at the flower shop. And the green eyes facing her widened a little more.
“You wanted to give your sister a birthday present, didn’t you?”
Today was apparently Anne-Marie’s birthday. However, the flowers Hestia previously bought were trampled and destroyed under the carriage. It was because she remembered this that Yuri started heading to the main street instead of going home.
The yellow flowers in Yuri’s arms were the same kind of flowers that Hestia was holding in her hands earlier. But those flowers were now ruined, with broken stems and crushed petals, so Hestia couldn’t bear to give it to Anne-Marie.
So even now, she was feeling down, her head was lowered, and she was wriggling her fingers as she waited for Anne-Marie.
“This flower … can I really give it to my sister?”