He thought the philosopher’s stone might be the same thing as the ‘blessed stone’ that the Central Council had.
Suddenly, Damon remembered the letter that came his way after his return from the auction house. The unknown person who claimed to have the philosopher’s stone.
‘It is suspicious but…maybe I should give it a try.’
Deep lines formed on Damon’s head again.
“Ugh, seriously. Everything is annoying.”
He mumbled irritatedly and swept a hand over his face.
The Central Council’s representative was unsurprisingly the Crawford family, the rulers of the East. In fact, that was why Damon was planning on using Yuri of the coffeehouse. He intended to get the woman who resembled Selena as a means to approach the Crawford family and find out something, one way or another.
Since it was Selena Crawford, it would be difficult for the former head of the family, Bastian and the current head, Dominic to not be interested in someone who looked like her. Especially Bastian since he was partial to Selena.
But for some reason, right now…
He didn’t want to do that anymore. He didn’t know why he didn’t like the idea now, but he kept recalling the face of the woman at the coffeehouse whom he tried to offer a deal.
The radiant sun shining from above.
The white feathers scattered between them.
Her delicate face filling his sight in that dazzling scenery.
And her lips, as red as her eyes, slowly parting before Damon to ask:
‘Are you okay?’
The moment the voice rang in his ear, still all too clear as if she was whispering into his ear, Damian covered his face and squirmed.
‘Agh, you’re crazy, you’re really crazy!’
Damon kicked the wall of the carriage violently from his seat. His face hidden behind his hand was red hot.
‘What’s the big deal about chasing away a crazy bird!’
He tried his best to erase the face in front of him somehow. Perhaps his efforts paid off because the scene soon faded away. But this time, another scene sprang up in his mind and began to linger around.
‘You never know so just wrap your arms around your head.’
Damon slammed his forehead on the carriage window.
“Dammit, get out of my head.”
His face was so hot that it made even the inside of the carriage seem hot. When she pushed him over at the shopping mall, he was shocked because he thought she was trying to kill him…
But once he arrived safely on the Crawford’s protective barrier, he quickly realized that she was trying to help him. As the successor to the Salvatore family, the fact that he was helped twice by a frail woman was nothing but humiliation.
‘Right! That’s why I keep thinking about it! Because I feel indebted!’
Damon eventually came to such a conclusion.
Now that he thought about it, he had met Yuri three times now and every time, he heard her say ‘are you okay’. He wanted to go himself and check if she was fine after the shopping mall incident, but he had to go right back to the Alchemist Tower.
While thinking that he needed to make quick work of the stuff he had to do then go to the coffeehouse, Damon urged the coachman.
* * *
“I heard Salvatore was in the shopping district when the incident occurred.”
It was inside an office.
Kalian stood opposite a desk, looking at the person sitting in front of him.
“Why did you not tell me?”
The person who called Kalian and was questioning him right now was his father, Bastian’s son and current head of the Crawford family, Dominic.
“I had no time to.”
Kalian replied, his voice as calm as always.
He was not lying. Right after the incident, he went to scene personally and was occupied with leading the search party. And when he said that, Dominic clicked his tongue.
“And here I thought we could use this as a chance to clamp down on the Alchemist Tower. They’re getting too big these days.”
Hearing that, Kalian guessed what happened at the aristocrat meeting today. The Central Council, Dominic included, knew that the cause of the explosions was alchemy-based so they must have planned to put pressure on the Alchemist Tower where Damon Salvatore was based. When he combined that with that Dominic just said, it was clear they intend to ask Damon to take responsibility since he had considerable influence in the Alchemist Tower.
However, Damon was also caught up in this incident and almost ended up on the list of casualties so if things had gone that way, there was no way the Salvatore family would take it sitting down.
“I believe you said the investigation into the disappearances is still underway.”
“Alright. It seems Genos Sheldon’s reinstatement will be decided soon so you can borrow his eyes if necessary.”
Dominic casually added but hearing this, Kalian paused. Kalian quietly stared at Dominic whose eyes were fixed on his document then he opened his mouth.
“Did you ask him for his opinion?”
“Do I have a reason to?”
Following that, a cold voice pierced Kalian’s eardrums.
“He loves helping people and there are many who need help in the East. Actually, it should be something he’s delighted about.”
Dominic’s tone was flat as if he was explaining the most obvious thing. So maybe that was why it sounded colder than other frosty words.
Kalian stared at Dominic, his brows furrowed slightly.
Dominic definitely felt Kalian’s gaze, but he didn’t even lift his head and simply spoke to send him away.
“If you’re done with what you have to say, leave.”
Kalian bowed his head slightly to give his farewell then he left the office.
* * *
It was a peaceful afternoon.
Maybe because it was far from the shopping district where the explosions took place, but the coffeehouse was operating as usual.
Yuri wasn’t hurt at all in the shopping mall, so she went to work without an issue. No one knew that she had been at the shopping district too so there was no one asking about her health.
Right around then, a familiar customer arrived.
“I’d like a glass of lemonade please.”
Yuri looked down at the man sitting in front of her.
His red hair which was combed neatly to the left and his eyes which shone like amethysts stood out to her. A man who looked like he would enjoy black coffee elegantly came to the coffeehouse and ordered a refreshing lemonade.
“Yes. Please wait a moment.”
Yuri turned around and headed to the kitchen. There was a question circling in her head.
‘Why did he come as Genos Sheldon today instead of Snow?’
This was the second time Genos Sheldon had come to the coffeehouse without a disguise. Although she was somewhat puzzled, it wasn’t like Genos Sheldon was banned from the coffeehouse or anything, so Yuri didn’t think too much about it.
“Here is your lemonade.”
After a while, Yuri brought the drink Genos ordered to him. As she was placing the cup on the table, he opened his mouth.
“I’m sorry for the rudeness last time due to my bad associate.”
Genos apologized for creating a fuss in the store the last time he was here with Damon. Then he added:
“Perhaps…has he come here again after that and said anything ridiculous?”
For some reason, his voice felt slightly lower than before.
Somehow, she felt this was his main purpose for coming here today. Yuri recalled what Damon Salvatore said when he last visited the coffeehouse.
‘Your name is Yuri, I believe. Why don’t you make a deal with me?’
Even when she thought about it again, it sounded strange. Of course, his attitude when she met him at the shopping mall was also strange.
“Well, it’s already happened so don’t worry about it.”
Yuri said to Genos who was staring at her face as if trying to gauge her reaction. Who knew how he took Yuri’s words because the next moment, Genos drummed his long fingers on the table.
“That friend of mine usually likes to fantasize about himself and sometimes, he can’t distinguish between fiction and reality so he ends up saying rubbish. So if you heard anything, you can just put it behind you and forget it.”
He said afterwards with his lips curved in a gentle smile. His tone was very friendly, but the contents of his speech were quite acidic. If Damon Salvatore was here right now, he would definitely fly off the handle and grid his teeth in anger.
Yuri looked at Genos with new eyes. Now that she thought about it, today was the first time she was facing her favorite character on a one-to-one basis. Of course, she often dealt with him when he was Snow…
But at that time, he was wearing a wig so she couldn’t see his face properly. As she was seeing the face of her favorite character properly for the first time, Yuri stared at him with slight wonder.
At that, the smile tugging on Genos’ lips stiffened a little.
“Why are you looking at me like that?”
Did he think she found out his identity?
Yuri spoke to reassure her favorite character.
“Your eye color is pretty, so I was just looking at it.”
Her voice was just as calm and unmoved as always.
However, Genos blinked like he was just hit with a stone thrown by mistake; he seemed taken aback by this. But he quickly managed his expression and looked relaxed again then he flashed Yuri a smile.
Then he spoke playfully.
“Your eyes are much prettier, Ms. Yuri. They’re like rubies or a red rose even.”
But once Yuri’s response came right after, Genos looked speechless.
Support on Patreon for advance chapters.