The gold spoon of this age indeed. It was in character with the eldest son of the Crawford family that ruled the East.
Yuri felt a prick of annoyance and picked up the money Kalian placed down.
“Please wait a moment. I’ll go get change.”
Right then, someone called Kalian from outside.
A man wearing a uniform like Kalian appeared at the door, drawing people’s attention.
Kalian looked at the subordinate standing at the door for a while then he turned back and stood up.
“I’ll have your change prepared quickly!”
When Gilbert realized Kalian was busy, he quickly ran over and urged Yuri.
But Kalian shook his head and replied.
“I’ll come again next time.”
As he said that, he looked at Yuri then he turned around and left the store.
While Gilbert patted his chest in relief for safely getting through the day, Yuri frowned at Kalian’s departing back.
He says he’ll come back next time? Why did he look at her while he said that?
More importantly, why did he come here today?
Was it really just to get coffee?
“Ms. Yuri, ring me up please! I’m done for today too!”
Snow who was sitting in the corner, put his money on the table as well and quickly left the store. Yuri also watched Snow’s back as he left but Gilbert paid no attention to the other customer.
“Ms. Yuri! I-I didn’t do anything bad earlier, did I?”
“Maybe the coffee didn’t taste good!”
“He finished everything.”
Of course, he probably finished it for the sake of courtesy not because it was delicious, but she didn’t tell Gilbert that.
“If I knew, I would have cleaned the store a bit more!”
“Our store is usually clean so it’s fine.”
“Well, that’s true?”
Since Yuri’s attitude was as lukewarm as ever, Gilbert soon recovered his spirit. The customers in the coffeehouse were still whispering among themselves so the store was noisy.
Meanwhile, Yuri stared at the door where Kalian and Snow had left, one after the other.
* * *
“Woow, I didn’t think it was possible but who knew I would really meet Kalian Crawford today.”
Russell Harpman, Kalian’s closest subordinate, flinched and turned around. He was the same subordinate who had just come to call Kalian at the coffeehouse. But when they were some distance away from the coffeehouse, someone suddenly spoke to Kalian from right behind them.
Russell couldn’t help but be surprised because he hadn’t sensed anyone approaching until they had come very close. He reflexively moved to grab the sword on his waist but Kalian who was beside him, casually stopped his hand.
“I had no idea you were already at the coffeehouse either.”
Russell was stunned.
It was surprising that Kalian would speak to some scruffy looking man in a friendly way from the get-go, and it was also surprising that the man would readily treat Kalian in the same way.
The person facing Kalian right now was Snow, who had followed them from the coffeehouse. He had seen Russell reach for his sword, but he only gave it a glance and didn’t care afterwards.
“I didn’t know the great Kalian Crawford cared about women’s looks?”
Snow snickered as he teased Kalian.
Even though he was clearly busy, he went out of his way to go to such a small store and drink coffee; it was nothing like the Kalian Crawford he knew.
“It’s rude to say that.”
Kalian frowned at Snow’s words.
“It makes it sound like they have no merit other than their appearance.”
Snow had been ready to tease Kalian with whatever excuse he made but he paused when he heard that. What Kalian was calling rude wasn’t about himself, but the other person that Snow brought up.
Snow scratched his head and immediately acknowledged his mistake.
“Yeah, you’re right. That was wrong. I didn’t mean it like that.”
Since Snow spoke a little bashfully, Kalian didn’t add anything else. Instead, he looked at Snow for a while then he brought up a different topic.
“My father says he wants to see you.”
Once again, Snow paused.
His eyes were hidden by his hair, but Kalian could feel Snow staring at him. Soon, Snow’s lips drew an arc.
“Why? He told me not to appear before him till I die.”
“That was an accident.”
Kalian firmly replied when Snow spoke casually.
“He has acknowledged that the blame shouldn’t have been shifted to you for that and since enough time had passed, perhaps it’s time to undo what has been done.”
The thing Kalian was talking about was the incident that led to Snow’s expulsion when he was going by a different name.
“How sharp. Then again, it is your father.”
“Whether it’s you or the others, I think it’s time to get out of the past.”
Then Kalian’s gaze moved to the road they had just come from earlier.
“As for the reason I went to that coffee house.”
Hearing the subsequent low voice ringing out, Snow frowned.
“I guess because they look alike.” (Kalian)
Snow was briefly struck speechless, but he wasn’t sure why.
“I don’t think so? I don’t see any resemblance.”
Snow calmly rebutted him but somehow, he didn’t seem very convincing, even to himself.
“Anyways, I’ve passed on the message, so you decide.”
Kalian glanced at the distant clock-tower to check the time then he spoke as if to wrap up their meeting.
Snow groaned inwardly. He had come to make fun of Kalian but in the end, he was the one feeling bothered.
Just before Kalian turned around, Snow recalled the faint imagery that had abruptly flashed in his mind earlier. Then he spoke like he was just saying it in passing.
“Anne-Marie of the Blue Ferret Clinic.”
When he saw the beautiful woman with green eyes and silver hair at the coffeehouse, a certain scene had flashed in his mind for a moment.
“She seems like a pretty good doctor, why don’t you let her look at that patient around here?”
Snow’s usual smile had appeared on his face at some point, but the words he said casually had a different weight with Kalian. Kalian narrowed his eyes at the name that came out of nowhere.
“Is that advice as ‘Genos Sheldon’?”
But Snow just shrugged.
“Just think of it as advice from a friend.”
After saying that, Snow waved his hand like he was saying goodbye, then he walked past Kalian. Kalian’s eyes followed Snow’s back then he turned around.
Anne-Marie of the Blue Ferret Clinic.
He repeated the name in his head. If it came from Genos Sheldon who had the power of foresight, he had to believe it.
* * *
“Welcome back, sir.”
Kalian nodded at the respectful greeting from the butler then he asked.
“He’s in the greenhouse.”
“My father isn’t back yet, right?”
“Yes. He said he would be coming back late today.”
At that, Kalian changed directions.
The Crawford mansion was as quiet and desolate as always. A while later, Kalian arrived at the greenhouse.
The only thing you could hear inside was the faint sound of something being snipped. As he followed the sound, he soon came across the back of an old man, sitting in a chair and pruning flowers himself. It looked like a peaceful scene at first glance but there was an extraordinary aura surging around the old man.
The old man spoke without turning around to look at Kalian.
Kalian returned the greeting.
“Why are you coming back late more often these days? You dating?”
The old man was Kalian’s grandfather, Bastian Crawford. At the blunt words tossed his way, Kalian’s face didn’t even twitch as he replied.
“I’m looking into disappearance in the East lately. I’ll have to leave again soon.”
Hearing that, Bastian turned to look at Kalian then he clicked his tongue twice.
“You’re still living that boring life. At this rate, you’ll become like your father, you rascal.”
Bastian’s hair was black in his youth but now, his white hair was swept back, revealing his wrinkled face from the ravages of time. From his stern lips and penetrating eyes that would make anyone feel numb facing him, you could easy guess his personality.
“I heard you stopped taking your medicine recently.”
Bastian seemed very fit but actually, his health was in poor shape. Especially nowadays, he was deteriorating rapidly so Kalian was paying more attention than before.
“I also heard you chased out the medical officer and doctor called this time.”
“When you get old, you die. Why forcefully extend an obsolete old man’s life?”
Bastian snorted like it was ridiculous.
The scissors in his hand cut a branch in the flower bed.
“We’ll get a new person soon.”
“Ah, I said forget it. I don’t know who you take after to be so stubborn!”
Bastian eventually got angry and fumed, losing his temper. His gaze was ferocious as if he didn’t know that he, himself was the epitome of stubbornness.
Although he was stalled by this, Kalian didn’t so much as blink, remaining the same as always.
 He didn’t specially say ‘she’ or ‘her’ so I kept it vague too.