Damon was swamped with work this past week.
Due to the orders of the central council, he had to find the alchemist who manufactured the items that caused the explosion in the shopping district and he also had to deal with the Salvatore-owned stores that were completely destroyed by the explosion.
Of course, even Damon himself didn’t think he could really find the alchemist in question. And honestly, the central council who gave the order likely didn’t expect him to as well.
Damon knew this order was simply given to put pressure on the Alchemist Tower. But either ways, since he was put in charge, Damon had to play his role, so he was busy going back and forth with the search party where Kalian Crawford was stationed.
“Ugh, seriously. I should just quit the Alchemist Tower.”
And after working tirelessly like a dog, he finally managed to get a chance to breath.
Damon slumped into his chair, practically sinking into the backrest as he plunged into momentary regret.
Troublesome things were the bane of his existence.
He had no idea why he was going through so much stress when he wasn’t even gaining anything from it.
Damon sighed with annoyance before opening his drawer and irritatedly rummaging inside. A moment later, he took out a piece of paper folded in half. It was the letter that told him to contact them if he was interested in the philosopher’s stone from the auction a while back.
Damon looked at it with a frown then he picked up a pen to give a reply according to the instructions on the paper. Honestly, even as he was following the instructions on the paper, he still felt a bit unsure.
But as soon as his ink touched the paper, the initial letters on the paper really disappeared, leaving a clear, white space. He flipped the paper over but as expected, there was no writing anywhere.
Damon’s brow raised slightly but for now, he went on to write his reply. After that, he pulled out a strand of hair. Then he pressed it against the paper.
The very next moment, Damon’s hair sank into the paper like it was being sucked in.
“Hoh, would you look at that?”
The paper scattered all over like entangled threads coming loose, then it changed into the form of a small butterfly.
Damon watched wide eyed as it gently flew across the room before slipping through the tiny gap under the closed window.
‘Is it alchemy?’
However, it gave him a different feeling from the alchemy he used and the fundamentals itself felt different. Rather, what just unfolded before his eyes felt closer to the magic spoken about in children’s fairytales.
Damon stared at where the butterfly disappeared with intellectual curiosity surging in his mind for the first time in a long while. Then he remembered he didn’t have much time to spare and rose to his feet again. He had to take care of something that had been on his mind continuously.
“Damon-nim, are you heading out?”
“I’ll be back in about 2 hours, need to take care of something.”
“Oh, then can you just take a look at this document…”
“Which department are you from?”
“The central council.”
“Ugh, get that away from me. Those old men can wait a little.”
Now, just hearing the ‘cen’ in central council made him sick so Damon left the man trying to hold him back and went out of the Alchemist Tower.
* * *
After that, Damon headed for the coffeehouse on Blue Ferret Street. He hadn’t been able to see Yuri personally since the explosion occurred. Of course, he sent one of his men to verify that she was okay, but he would feel more at ease if he saw it with his own eyes.
‘Kalian Crawford, that punk. When I said Yuri was in the building, he just ran in and didn’t even look back.’
Damon was sitting in the moving carriage with his arms folded and a scowl on his face. Yuri definitely said she had no relationship with Kalian Crawford and Genos Sheldon.
However, he felt he was right in thinking that the two of them were going to the coffeehouse because of her. Of course, he wasn’t bothered much by Kalian Crawford. Even though Kalian was someone who ran counter to common sense hehind his polite and uncompromising visage, he just couldn’t see Kalian being romantically interested in someone who looked like his aunt.
The thought alone creeped him out so much that he got goosebumps.
So the only one he was suspicious of, was Genos Sheldon.
In Damon’s opinion, Genos originally held affection for the late Selena Crawford. So until recently, he thought Genos’ preference was older women…
In the first place, if he got interested in Yuri because she looked like Selena Crawford then his feelings could have changed to love at any time.
‘That ghost-eyed punk is getting on my nerves.’
Throughout the journey to the coffeehouse, Damon’s forehead was riddled with lines.
Suddenly, Damon recalled the report he got a few days ago. It said there was a woman recently going in and out of the Crawford family mansion. From what he could tell, it was probably Bastian’s new caretaker.
‘Is it the lady I saw at the shopping mall last time?’
Damon’s mind pulled up the image of the person he met not too long ago. A considerably pretty girl with silver hair and green eyes standing next to Bastian and Kalian.
Damon narrowed his eyes.
Maybe he could use her instead of Yuri.
After investigating and finding out what kind of woman she was, he could approach her and try to negotiate. And after that, he could see if he could figure out the identity of the ‘blessed stone’ that made up the foundation of the Alchemist Tower.
So far, all his attempts to plant a spy in the Crawford family had been unsuccessful but it should be easy to pull a weak-minded young woman to his side.
Damon mulled it over in his head while his empty gaze swept over the passing scenery by the window of the carriage.
* * *
Damon finally arrived in front of the coffeehouse and stepped down. But right after, he realized he came empty handed and paused for a moment.
‘Should I have brought a flower at least?’
Either ways, she did help him at the shopping mall, and he came to check if she was okay, so he suddenly began to wonder if it was impolite to go emptyhanded like this.
Then he suddenly came to his senses and ‘pa!’ slapped his face with both hands.
‘Flower, my foot! It’s not like I’m interested in her!’
Right, the fact that he was worrying about this kind of thing wasn’t like him at all. Damon opened his eyes fiercely and walked towards the coffeehouse in front of him.
* * *
Snow found a familiar face some distance away from him and frowned. The man who just came down from the carriage in front of the coffeehouse was definitely Damon Salvatore.
‘Hah, he didn’t understand even after I said so much last time.’
Snow’s eyes shone coldly under his bushy brown hair. He clearly said he had nothing to do with Yuri who worked at the coffeehouse but here Damon was, lingering around again.
Or maybe…this was because of what happened at the shopping mall a while back.
Whichever one it was, he wasn’t a fan of it.
Soon enough, Snow went into the alley next to the coffeehouse and dragged off the wig covering his hair. Then he casually rearranged his slightly pressed down hair and came out of the dark alley into the daylight.
In the blink of an eye, Snow was back to being Genos Sheldon.
Although his attire was somewhat sloppy, his features were so handsome and refined that the gazes were concentrated on his face, so his attire did not stand out.
Soon, Damon who was just at the entrance of the coffeehouse, also discovered Genos heading over from across the street. The moment their eyes met, both men frowned simultaneously.
“Ha, look who it is.”
Damon spoke first, mockingly.
“You said you have nothing to do with the staff here so why do you keep hanging around and irritating my eyes?”
At that, Genos countered with smile.
“You’re the one who always calls stores like this pathetic and you won’t even look at them, so I wonder why you keep snooping around this one.”
They definitely had an ill-fated relationship because the two of them coincidentally met in front of the coffeehouse again.
Genos looked at Damon and added.
“You must think you have a talent for telling lies? Didn’t you say a smelly place like this is suitable for an illegitimate bastard like me? Have you forgotten what you said with your own mouth? Or does your memory get erased every 3 seconds?”
Damon’s conscience was pricked.
This was because Genos Sheldon was saying the truth. Until just recently, he wouldn’t even glance at such a small and shabby shop. Even before Genos Sheldon was expelled, he would often mock him for going to such places frequently. It was also common for him to ridicule him as a bastard who didn’t embody the dignity of a noble.
“When did I ever say the coffeehouse stinks?”
“Right, you weren’t talking about this coffeehouse.”
Damon who was poked, glared at Genos. Seeing that, Genos gave a bright smile and easily accepted his rebuttal.
To Damon, the sight of him was more rage inducing today.
“Also, Genos Sheldon, I didn’t come here with evil ideas like you, okay? I’m here because I have a moral obligation to check on the condition of a staff here.”
He made a stand against Genos, using the words he’d been constantly repeating in his mind on the way here like an excuse.
Upon hearing that, the smile on Genos’ face became a tad colder.
“Indeed. I’ve heard too. Ms. Yuri went to a Salvatore-owned store and got caught up an accident.”
Genos had already known of what happened in the shopping district. However, he didn’t know that Yuri was there at the time of the incident. So when he came to the coffeehouse last time and heard Yuri and Anne-Marie talking, he felt like his heart was sinking.
After that, Genos went to Kalian to get a detailed report on the events of that day. And then he found out that Damon Salvatore was with Yuri for some reason that day.
 What is called when you slap your own face with both hands at the same time? Is there no word for it?
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