Holding Lakis’ hand like this made the world seem a little different. It was as if the things Yuri had been missing slowly revealed themselves from behind the curtain and beckoned to her. For example, the feeling being conveyed from Lakis right now.
It was something she usually didn’t care about…
But at this moment, she felt like she knew why Lakis touched her right now, and why he was looking at her with those eyes even now.
It was the first time she was seeing someone’s feelings look so colorful. Of course, although she assimilated his feelings, her heart was yet to flutter or throb…
Still, she didn’t hate the feeling she was getting from Lakis right now.
Yuri slowly blinked and looked up at him. Then she placed her head on his shoulder. Instantly, small waves were transmitted to her from where their bodies touched.
When Yuri drew closer, Lakis looked shaken up with just that, even though he was the one acting as if he was determined to seduce Yuri earlier. The difference was so big that it strangely made him look cute.
However, the words that came from Yuri’s mouth next were somewhat merciless.
“Mr. Lakis is the strangest person out of everyone I know.”
Lakis’ brows furrowed slightly at that.
“But I don’t hate it.”
And at her following words, Lakis’ ears began to grow hot.
“Say, Mr. Lakis.”
But a bigger bomb was thrown the next moment.
“Would you like to go to my room with me?”
The air flowing around them seemed to stop for an instant. Yuri slowly lifted her head and looked up at Lakis. He was frozen stiff with wide eyes as he looked down at her.
She could tell why Lakis was so surprised. They were both healthy persons of the opposite gender. Naturally, when Yuri said that, she did have a slight ulterior motive. Of course, this ulterior motive wasn’t the type with a red 19+ stamp on it but about body temperature itself.
In case he misunderstood, Yuri added more.
“We’ll only hold hands.”
“You can trust me.”
Lakis’ expression turned odd. He almost misunderstood but judging from Yuri’s face, she seemed to mean what she said. Meanwhile, the bug was busy making a racket in his head.
Lakis stared at Yuri’s face for a moment, then he lifted the hand he was holding to his lips. Whatever the reason…there was no need to push away the hand that reach out to him first.
Lakis’ blue eyes took on a shine, like a hunter before its prey. He covered it with a smile and whispered:
“We’ll only hold hands.”
And so, the two of them went into the room together.
A while later, Lakis was somewhat regretting his actions.
—Are you an idiot?
The bug grumbled in his head.
Lakis frowned and looked at the person in front of him. Yuri was sleeping peacefully on the bed while one of her hands held Lakis’ hand tight. Lakis was initially lying next to her but he sat up a little. His expression turned odd again.
She was sleeping so defenselessly…
Was it that she wasn’t guarded at all, or that she trusted him, or maybe she was overconfident in her power to protect herself in an emergency…
Apart from the second reason, all of them sucked.
After a while, Lakis moved his other hand which Yuri wasn’t holding. He touched her long hair which was scattered over the bed then he slowly traced her round forehead. There was slight satisfaction in Lakis’ lowered eyes.
Although, it was quite ridiculous to feel satisfaction with just this…
Lakis decided to just admit it, regardless of whether the bug ridiculed him or not.
This was his way of doing things.
He didn’t want to use coercive methods on the woman in front of him nor did he want to make her cry. So it was nice to see her just sleeping peacefully in front of him.
Of course, he did feel a little…disturbed.
Lakis whispered sweetly in Yuri’s ear, something he had never done before to anyone.
Maybe she was having a good dream, because there was a very faint smile on Yuri’s lips as she slept. Her hand which was holding his, gripped him even tighter. Lakis stayed by Yuri’s side holding her hand till the day broke outside.
It was a very long night for Lakis.
* * *
The next day, I woke up in bed feeling refreshed. When I opened my eyes, Lakis wasn’t next to me. He must have gotten up halfway and left the room first. I met Lakis in the living room before I left for work but our behavior with each other wasn’t any different than before.
I felt like I had a good dream last night, but I couldn’t remember what it was. Still, I felt the most refreshed I’d ever felt in the morning so I hoped I could fall asleep while holding Lakis’ hand more in the future.
But like I thought…the sub-villain is interested in me.
As I worked in the coffeehouse, I replayed what happened yesterday in my head. The things I had just let pass without seeing any meaning behind them came back to me again. So far, I didn’t care much about others, my care about other people’s existence was almost the same as my care for a pebble on the street.
So there were many times when Lakis’ words and actions just flew past me. But as I thought over them again…I became more certain that the idea I got last night was correct.
“Hello, Ms. Yuri.”
Right then, a familiar customer entered the coffeehouse. I turned to look and unconsciously made a sour face.
This guy too…
“We meet again.”
The reason for my sour face was because the people who came into the coffeehouse one after the other, were Anne-Marie and Kalian Crawford. It was my first time seeing Kalian Crawford since our unexpected meeting at the black market.
I felt uncomfortable looking at the man gave me a light nod and greeted me politely. He didn’t seem to know I was the ‘heretic’ he met at the slave market.
Well, that was only natural. He probably lost his memory because of Lakis and even if he didn’t, Kalian didn’t see my face that day. It was a good thing for me since I wanted to keep my current peace…
But maybe because I saw another side to Kalian not long ago, I couldn’t muster any good feelings towards him even when he appeared so polite.
And that might also be why, the moment I saw the two of them side by side, my mouth widened, and my mood fell. I really wasn’t sure why, but I suddenly felt like a mother whose admirable daughter was being robbed and I had the urge to yell, ‘I am against this marriage!’.
Of course, doing that would be overboard. So for now, I spoke calmly.
“I see you two came together.”
“Do you have somewhere quiet?”
“Yes, I need somewhere we can talk without disruption.”
Why do you need to talk with Anne-Marie?
A question naturally floated up in my mind.
Perhaps my question was revealed by my gaze because Anne-Marie explained with an awkward expression.
“We have something work-related to discuss but I’m on a short break now so we can’t really go anywhere else. Is there someplace inside that we can use?”
Work-related? Is she talking about Kalian Crawford’s investigation?
I thought disappearances at the Red Ferret orphanage was completely resolved at the black market but maybe there’s still some stuff left to deal with?
Or maybe it’s something else entirely.
“Follow me, please.”
I had unanswered questions but there was no need to pry right now so I just guided them to a seat.
After a while, Anne-Marie and Kalian got a seat, ordered coffee and began to discuss something. After serving them their drinks, I watched from afar. I no longer wanted to match these two together but seeing them like this, I had to admit they made a good pair. Still, if it was a business issue, it meant they won’t have time to meet and flirt so that was fortunate.
Well, this Kalian Crawford that I was meeting on a normal day felt very different from the Kalian I saw that night. Then again, although my impression of him that day was quite bad, Kalian was originally the most normal guy in the novel. Of course, he was very annoying when I met him at the black market but that was because I was an experiment.
Afterwards, I continued to watch them in a non-obvious manner. After some time, Anne-Marie looked a little awkward for some reason. Kalian, on the other hand, still had an expression that said nothing about what he was thinking.
Although it wasn’t polite, I tried to find out what the two of them where talking about but strangely enough, I could only get muted sounds for a while now. From the looks of it, Kalian had a soundproofing tool that was refined by an alchemist.