The flowers Yuri gave Hestia were as beautiful and fresh as the flowers that Hestia had initially wanted to give Anne-Marie. Hestia was slightly tearful as she asked Yuri that question.
Yuri lowered herself to Hestia’s eye level and nodded her head.
“Mhm. Even though you went through something scary today, you handled it like an adult. So this is for you. You can give it to whoever you want.”
Yuri’s expression and voice was as dry as ever, but her words were sweet. Just like the flowers in Hestia’s arms which she had purposely gone to the flower shop to get…
Hestia knew just how kind and warmhearted the big sister next door was, despite her seemingly cold appearance at first glance.
Tears fell from Hestia’s eyes as she thanked Yuri. And Yuri lifted her hand to pat Hestia’s head a few times.
Then as Yuri got up to leave, Hestia grabbed her.
“You can have this.”
Her small hand held half of the bouquet that Yuri had given to her.
“You said I should give it to whoever I want so…I want to give you too, Yuri unni.”
Hestia’s cheeks were slightly red as she mumbled while shuffling her feet against the floor. It wasn’t obvious because she usually had an adult-like look on her face, but the way she looked right now was just like Anne-Marie.
Yuri lowered her gaze to the flowers held out by Hestia then she soon moved to collect it. A bouquet much smaller than before was held in Yuri’s arms.
But to Yuri, somehow the bouquet Hestia gave to her seemed much bigger and prettier. Maybe it was because there were now cherished feelings within them.
Perhaps it was an illusion, but a faint smile seemed to flit across the face reflected in Hestia’s eyes.
Afterwards, Yuri left the clinic first.
Her steps home were a little lighter than before.
* * *
—Lakis, isn’t this that woman’s house?
Lakis, who had finished ransacking the auction house, returned to Yuri’s house at around sunset. Naturally, he moved to use the windows behind the house instead of the front door like he always did.
But when he looked down from the roof, he noticed that some bastard was loitering in front of Yuri’s house. The bastard even took some tool and began doing something to the window which Lakis had gone out from.
Lakis slightly narrowed his eyes, folded his arms and stood watching the suspicious man for a moment.
Judging from the man’s actions, he was pretty familiar with the act of picking open a window. But in the eyes of Lakis who had seen all sorts of experts in the underworld, he was merely a small fry. So the chance of the man being someone sent from Carnot to find him, dropped to zero.
Lakis jumped down from the roof without bothering to stifle his voice.
The suspicious man was shocked out his wits by Lakis’ sudden appearance. He hadn’t sensed anyone earlier.
Lakis grabbed the man by the neck and slammed him into the wall, looking annoyed.
“Why’s there a rat here?”
The scream of agony ringing in his ear was much louder than he expected. So Lakis slammed the man’s head into the wall a second time to shut him up. Because it had happened so quickly, all the man could see was a pair of cold blue eyes cast against the red sunset.
A lazy voice mixed with annoyance, rang out in the strangely pressure-filled air.
“If you’re a rat, you should be crawling in the sewers, why are you lingering in front of me? It tempts me to crush you.”
Lakis’ injury was still not fully recovered so his voice was slightly rough, which actually made it seem more threatening. The man struggled to get away from Lakis’ hand. But it was impossible to get away from the tight grip on his neck.
“If I hadn’t caught you, I’m sure you’d have removed this window right now.”
His piercingly cold blue eyes cut into the man’s face like a knife.
Lakis loosened his grip slightly and the man could finally breathe. He coughed as he inhaled and fell to the floor. But when he heard Lakis take a heavy step towards him, he flinched and quickly yelled out:
“I-It’s a misunderstanding…!”
At that, Lakis paused and titled his head.
“Y-Yes! I’m the building manager.”
Upon hearing that, Lakis looked over the man’s appearance. But with the man’s attire alone, it was impossible to know if his words were true or not. Besides, to be honest, Lakis didn’t really care whether the man was the building manager or not.
But perhaps the man thought he could roll with it after saying his identity because he began to assert himself shamelessly.
“Let go of me! I was just fixing the broken window of this house…!”
After the man was done jabbering, Lakis asked indifferently:
“Then why’d you run?”
“B-Because I was surprised when you just jumped at me out of nowhere!”
—Look at this guy spitting lies. Lakis, just cut off his tongue first.
The voice in his head nonchalantly suggested, as if saying there was no more reason to listen.
Lakis agreed with that. Then he gave a shallow sigh like he was bored before speaking.
“Hey, rat. That thing you were just using to grind the wall, it’s not for fixing.”
Then the man seemed to once again remember how his head was slammed into the wall and shrunk his head as he stammered.
“Y-You saw w-wrong…”
A thin smile emerged on Lakis’ face. It gave a somewhat ominous feeling and the moment the man flinched, Lakis moved his other hand. A tone with false cheer spread out in the air basked in reddish hue.
“Oh, so you’re saying I have bad eyes now?”
“It’s been a long time since I heard something so harsh. I’m hurt.”
Lakis broke the man’s finger without mercy.
“Why is our talkative rat-ssi so quiet now?”
“Shh, don’t be loud.”
‘Don’t you know to be quiet in public?’ Lakis added softly, and his words seemed pleasant at a glance. But his face was clouded with frosty chill.
Suppressed by an invisible pressure, the man unknowingly did his best to stifle his screams like Lakis said. Then suddenly, the quivering man began to speak in a stammering voice.
“You…you, we’re actually the same kind, aren’t we?”
Lakis slightly raised a brow.
“Ugh…I don’t think you live here…khh…plus you’re lingering at the back of the building at this time…and I’m pretty sure you just jumped down from the roof.”
The man submissively looked at Lakis with teary eyes and a runny nose.
“I, I’ll yield for this one so can you sto…stop here…”
Lakis slightly tilted his head, his face colored by the setting sun.
“Ah, well. I roughly understand what you’re thinking right now.”
Once Lakis said he understood, color began to return to the man’s face. But the next moment, a twisted smile was plastered on Lakis’ face.
“You know you have the completely wrong address?”
“Ah, this pisses me off. A f*cking housefly dares to treat me like the same kind.”
Lakis threw the man to the floor and sent him a look of irritation.
“The place you’re trying your sh*tty trick on is my house, OK?”
It was a severe abbreviation of ‘the house where I am staying’. If Yuri heard this, she might sneer in disbelief.
“What…? Y-Your house?”
And the man in front of Lakis looked agitated when he heard what Lakis said.
“No, that’s not…this should be the house of a lady that lives alone…”
In confusion and panic, the man talked to himself in a low voice. But it was easy for Lakis to hear him.
Lakis’ eyes flashed as he broke another of the man’s fingers. The man began to apologize like he was only just realizing his situation.
“I-I’m sorry! I didn’t know it was your house, Sir…! I was definitely not trying to steal anything…I just had the wrong house.”
Perhaps the man realized that it was useless to make anymore excuses or maybe he realized that Lakis wasn’t someone you could talk to. With just a few fingers broken, the man was quivering and pleading with Lakis. But he wasn’t aware that his words actually upset Lakis instead.
“Is that so?”
Once again, a bright smile emerged on Lakis’ face and his hand moved again.
“You weren’t trying to steal anything.”
“So if this is a house of a lady that lives alone…”
“What were you planning to do when you got in?”
Every time a finger was broken, the man teared up and whimpered.
 This actually cracks me up. The guy says the title of the novel almost verbatim. I can’t tell if it’s on purpose or not.
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