Yuri was only acknowledging an objective fact but for some reason, Genos seemed bewildered by her response.
“I guess you like roses, Mr. Genos?”
She abruptly recalled what happened last time at the festival and asked but upon hearing that, Genos’ gaze became glued to her face.
He looked into her eyes speculatively, as if he was trying to assess why she asked such a question. Then he soon opened his mouth.
Right then, the sound of someone calling Yuri rang out from the entrance. As she turned her head, she found Anne-Marie standing there holding a paper bag full of groceries.
Genos shut his mouth again and sent a glance in Anne-Marie’s direction.
He didn’t seem to have anything else to say to her so Yuri left Genos alone and headed towards Anne-Marie.
“Ms. Anne-Marie, what are you doing here?”
Anne-Marie quit her job at the clinic just recently. So there was no reason for her to purposefully come to Blue Ferret anymore. Which is why Yuri asked, wondering if something was up then Anne-Marie gave a bright smile and replied.
“I was coming back from grocery shopping, so I just stopped by.”
“That looks heavy. Do you want to put it down for a second?”
“It’s fine, it’s lighter than it looks. Hestia is eating a lot more lately, I think she’s in her growth period.”
After saying so, Anne-Marie looked around the coffeehouse.
“I’ve never been here at this time but there’re less people than I expected.”
“Yes, it’s quite free right now.”
Then Yuri suddenly grew curious and asked.
“Is today your day off, Ms. Anne-Marie?”
Although Anne-Marie was a caretaker, it seemed she only had to go the old man’s house four times a week, so she definitely had more spare time than when she worked at the clinic.
And when she asked, Anne-Marie shook her head.
“Not really but you know there was a huge incident in the shopping area yesterday, so they told me to just rest up for today.”
As she spoke, her brows furrowed slightly, and she examined Yuri’s face.
“Are you okay, Ms. Yuri? You must have been really shocked yesterday, you should have just taken a rest today.”
“I’m fine. I wasn’t hurt at all.”
That very moment, a loud sound suddenly broke out behind them. The source of the noise was Genos.
For some reason, his eyes were wide, and he was looking in Yuri and Anne-Marie’s direction. The noise a second ago seemed to have been caused when he tried to get up from his seat.
But when Yuri and Anne-Marie’s gaze fell on him, he was startled and turned away. In that moment, Anne-Marie tilted her head.
“That person…somehow, I feel like I’ve seen him somewhere before.”
And when she heard Anne-Marie exclaim in realization a moment later, Yuri felt Anne-Marie’s eyes were very good.
“Ah, isn’t he the guy that gave Ms. Yuri flowers at the festival?”
Instantly, Genos began to cough as if something was lodged in his throat.
Maybe it was because he was a male lead candidate, but his hearing was very good. Even earlier when they were talking, he seemed to hear what they were saying and now, despite Anne-Marie talking in a low tone that Yuri alone should hear, he was unable to hide his reaction.
Eventually, Genos’ coughing settled down and he stood up from his seat.
“Ring me up please!”
Unlike other nobles, he placed the accurate payment for the lemonade on the table and left the coffeehouse, his steps strangely in a hurry.
“Or maybe not? Did I see wrong?”
Seeing Genos’ departing back, Anne-Marie tilted her head again. And soon enough, she chuckled like she had no idea.
“I’ll head out then, Ms. Yuri. Next time, I’ll come as a customer.”
“Alright. Be careful.”
Anne-Marie left the coffeehouse with her smile as bright as when she first came.
* * *
“Ms. Yuri, I’m here.”
And the very next day, Anne-Marie kept her promise.
Of course, she didn’t come alone but with an unexpected companion.
The old man seemed to have grown thinner in the past two days. He hurriedly approached Yuri and his cane clacked on the floor with every step.
“Hello. I see you came with Anne-Marie.”
The old man’s face looked extremely serious as he examined her then his expression lightened up and his shoulders relaxed.
“Good, you seem well! I did hear from Anne-Marie, but I was worried you might be a little ill after getting caught up in that explosion.”
He truly seemed very concerned about Yuri.
“I’m alright. I’m glad you’re safe too, Sir.”
Yuri also realized that and replied to the old man with an odd feeling in her mind.
“What do you mean, ‘Sir’? You can just call me ‘grandpa’ comfortably like Anne-Marie does.”
Like before, the old man ordered tea today.
As Yuri headed to the kitchen, Anne-Marie followed her.
“Grandpa was so worried that I just had to escort him here. I hope we’re not interfering with your work?”
“You’re not. Actually, thank you for worrying about me.”
Yuri’s words made Anne-Marie’s face brighten up.
After a while, Yuri went up to Anne-Marie and the old man with tea and scones for them to eat.
“Ehm. Ehem. Yuri. There’s something I want to discuss with you today.”
The old man place his teacup down and looking at Yuri. The atmosphere around him was somewhat unfocused today. Then he seemed to finally make a decision and opened his mouth.
“If you have some time, can you listen to what I have to say?”
Yuri glanced at Anne-Marie but as expected, Anne-Marie looked like she didn’t know anything. She then looked at Gilbert who had been stealing glanced their way for a while now.
The moment their eyes met, Gilbert nodded right away to signal it was okay. There weren’t a lot of customers in the store, so he seemed to have heard what the old man said.
From the looks of things, the old man didn’t have the soundproofing item that Kalian had last time. Either ways, Yuri didn’t reject the old man’s request and sat down opposite him.
“To be frank, I am cautiously making such a request of you.”
The old man clasped his hands on the table and carefully began.
“Once a week…no, twice…Mm, okay, once a month is fine. Can you be my conversation partner? Only if you’re for it.”
Yuri blinked at the unexpected request.
“I think you already know but when I see you, I am reminded of my daughter, Selena.”
The old man looked at Yuri, his eyes filled with remorse and he continued speaking.
“They say children who pass away are always buried in their parent’s heart. Maybe it’s because it’s getting closer to the anniversary of her death but I’m thinking about her a lot more these days. When I see you, I feel like it soothes the emptiness in my heart.”
Hearing that, Anne-Marie who was next to him called out ‘Grandpa…’ in a small voice. For someone as compassionate as her, it seemed the old man’s situation was very saddening for her. Of course, anyone with a common sense of sensitivity would feel the same.
“Of course, from your point of view, this might be something you are reluctant about. I understand.”
The old man deeply gaze at Yuri who was just listening without saying a word.
“I am not shameless so I will not ask you to volunteer for an old man’s sake. Asking you to deal with an old man’s words is definitely an exhausting job.”
Following that, the old man took out a folded document and placed it on the table. Then he pushed it till it was right in front of Yuri.
“This is an employment contract I prepared just in case. You can take it and read through it. Think about it thoroughly and contact me if you’re okay with it.”
Yuri looked down and her gaze fell on the old man’s hand which was held out in her direction. His voice was calm and collected but his hand was trembling hard enough that she could easily tell with a glance.
Honestly, it wasn’t like she couldn’t understand the old man’s feelings but Yuri herself had no reason to accept it.
However, she eventually decided to look over the employment contract because of the trembling hand holding onto it.
The old man nervously watched as Yuri opened the folded paper. Next to him, Anne-Marie swallowed drily, seemingly taken in by the atmosphere.
“The conditions are too generous for me.”
After skimming through the document, Yuri finally opened her mouth. At that, the old man quickly shook his head.
“Not at all. I am the one making a request so I have to do that much.”
As old man said, Yuri could set the deadline and decide on the number of times, whether it was once a week or once a month. Above all, the payment…
‘…it’s just to my liking?’
Yuri began to make calculations in her head.
Secure retirement funding.
Buy a new house.
Get bigger space.
Live a comfortable unemployed life with her pet.
The advantages of accepting the old man’s offer quickly flashed through her mind.
Yuri carefully read the contents of the employment contract and estimated a few things. Then as she was doing so, her eyes fell on the last part and a certain name there bothered her.
Yuri spoke up as though to confirm and the old man sitting opposite her replied.
“That’s my name. Now that I think about it, have I never told you my name?”
This was the first time Yuri was learning of the old man’s name.
Yuri swallowed down a forced laugh that was about to escape her
Bastian Crawford, he says.
So did that mean he was the grandfather of the male lead, Kalian Crawford?
 This might be culturally dissonant. In some cultures, it’s not only biological grandparents that are called ‘grandpa’ & ‘grandma’. It’s an nice way to call elderly people in Korean. Sometimes it’s not even nice but there’s nothing else to call them.
>> Note that Kalian calls him ‘grandpa’ too but I translate that to ‘grandfather’ due to the respectful tone and for distinction.
T/N: It seems there’s no particular word for the anniversary of someone’s death.