“But unsurprisingly, you’re quite useless, ‘young master’.”
A tone as sarcastic as Damon’s flowed from Genos’ mouth.
“It can’t be that hard to pick up a stone from your great Alchemist Tower, but you were actually emptyhanded when the incident occurred. And not only that, I heard you escaped alone and left the person with you behind. Is that the noble ‘class’ you speak of?”
Of course, Damon was pissed off when he heard that.
‘This cocky little—!’
Genos mercilessly stabbed at the part that was bothering Damon.
“Hah, if you’re going to call someone useless, why don’t you look in the mirror? You’re being quite brazen by saying that, don’t you think?”
Damon’s mouth was dripping with cynicism.
“Also Genos Sheldon, don’t tell me you think you can be Yuri’s knight or something? It would be a pity if you misunderstood your position just because she looks a little like Selena Crawford.”
The sharp current forming between the two collided fiercely. They had both stabbed at what the other was sensitive about, so they shot fierce glares at each other.
The atmosphere around them quickly cooled to ice.
“Well…I’ll only humor this exhausting banter up to here.”
And soon enough, Genos spoke first with a rigid smile drawn across his lips. He seemed to want to end this encounter at this point.
Damon snorted and was about to ask him if he was running away. However, he was shocked into silence by Genos’ next words that he missed the chance to mock him.
“Anyway, even if I hate it, I’ll have to see your face as often as before from now on.”
What Genos said agitated Damon far more than any other thing he said today.
“What do you mean by that?”
Damon quickly followed when Genos turned around and began walking away. Damon grabbed Genos’ arm roughly.
“Are you seriously thinking of coming back?”
“If I do, then what?”
At the blunt reply, Damon’s face went blank. Of course, he knew that the central council was anxious to bring Genos back after the explosion incident. However, he never thought that the Genos who disappeared in such an unknown manner after his dismissal would really come back with his own two feet.
“I know you put someone to follow me around lately. I didn’t know you wanted to see me that much. Well, we’ll be crossing paths at any time so look forward to it.”
Genos continued on, smiling at the sound of Damon’s bubble bursting. Damon watched speechless as Genos tapped his shoulders and walked away.
* * *
‘Would you look at that?’
A cold smile bloomed on Lakis’ lips.
He was currently standing on the roof of the clinic and coldly looking down below. He wanted to check if there were still any of those bastards drooling over Yuri lately, so he stopped by for a moment…
Unexpectedly, he ended up witnessing the sight of the brown-haired man that bothered him last time taking off his wig. The man’s striking red hair and face which had been hidden all this while was now clearly displayed in Lakis’ sight.
—Oh? That red haired guy, doesn’t he feel similar to that bastard we met at the festival?
The bug said, feeling the same thing Lakis felt.
Lakis’ cold gaze monitored the scene in front of the coffeehouse.
The blue-haired man who came down from the carriage earlier and the red-haired man who took off his wig were facing each other. They seemed to know each other.
Who knows what they were talking about, but a stormy aura began swirling around the two. Then the red-haired man left and after standing still for a while, the blue-haired man also turned around and climbed onto the carriage again.
Lakis watched all this then he followed after the red-haired whom he had definitely seen somewhere before, even before the festival.
* * *
Time flew by and soon enough, it was evening with not much time left before she could get off work. Normally, Gilbert ran the store till late even after Yuri left but today, they were closing up early. This was because Gilbert’s daughter was coming home after a long time away.
So even though it was still early in the evening, the door had a sign saying ‘closed’ and the two of them were cleaning up the store.
While Gilbert was cleaning up the store, Yuri was tidying up the plates and cups in the kitchen.
Then suddenly, she heard footsteps approaching her from behind. For a moment, Yuri’s hand stopped moving.
The footsteps were very different from Gilbert’s, but they actually felt more familiar to Yuri. However, it wasn’t their usual quiet footsteps, instead they seem to be intentionally walking noisily so that they wouldn’t surprise her.
“This place is off-limits to non-staff members.”
Yuri didn’t look back but spoke in a voice as calm as usual. Then a deep voice rang in her ear.
“Sorry. I was just passing by the front and wanted to see you, so I came in. Am I disturbing?”
It was a low, calm voice that suited the quietness of the room. Following that, a man’s chest lightly touched the back of Yuri’s head.** And a hand extending from the back covered Yuri’s hand which was cleaning the dishes.
“How did you get in?”
“The back door was open.”
The sturdy fingers that were coyly sifting through her fingers felt ticklish. As Lakis put his chin on top of her head, she felt her head grow a little heavy.
The sensation was odd because it felt like he was hugging her from behind. However, their time like this did not last long.
She could hear Gilbert walking towards the door as he seemed to have finished cleaning.
Lakis seemed to have also sensed that as he glanced at the door then he whispered in her ear.
“I’ll be waiting outside.”
A moment later, Lakis disappeared noiselessly, leaving Yuri alone.
Yuri lifted her hand and rubbed her ticklish ear.
“Ms. Yuri, if you’re not done yet, you can just leave it and go. I’ll finish up tomorrow morning!”
Gilbert walked into the kitchen and said.
“No, I’m done.”
“You are? Then be careful on the way back. Good work today.”
Yuri left the coffeehouse after being sent off by Gilbert.
* * *
“It feels a bit weird, walking with you.”
“Is that so?”
When he heard what Yuri said, Lakis smiled slightly and turned to look at her. Their shadows were stretched out on the road behind them thanks to the setting sun.
Perhaps because Yuri and Lakis were both very good-looking, people were either sneaking glances at them or staring as they passed by.
“By the way, Mr. Lakis, is it okay for you to walk around in front of other people like this?”
Then a thought abruptly rose in her mind and Yuri asked. Hearing that, Lakis replied, his voice as deep as ever.
“It’s okay since it’s just for a while.”
He paused for a moment when he heard Yuri’s question but after thinking about it, he realized she seemed to have had a hunch from the start when she found him unconscious in front of her house. Especially if you consider that she didn’t take him to a clinic and just took care of his injuries at her house.
Honestly, like Yuri said, it was somewhat dangerous to stand out in front of other people like this. Of course, to Lakis, even if the fake bastard in Carnot found his whereabouts, it wasn’t dangerous for him, but it was a little different for Yuri who was with him.
Lakis was wary of a situation where Yuri might become the target. Which is why even though he was bothered by the guys pestering her at the coffeehouse, he didn’t ever showed his face directly.
Actually, even at the shopping mall last time and now, Lakis was using to power of the ruins to make sure that the people they ran into couldn’t accurately recall his face.
Yuri suddenly heard a soft voice calling her from the side and turned to look at Lakis. At that, Lakis tiled his head to look back at her then he smiled, his eyes crinkling as well.
“I want to hold your hand right now.”
The beautiful voice in her ear was as sweet as melted sugar. With the sunset laid out behind him, his smile seemed all the more enticing.
Yuri followed Lakis’ actions and tilted her head slightly as well. But while she was thinking about what to do, Lakis went ahead and took her hand.
Yuri took in a deep breath as warmth and colorful feelings rushed in from her hand. Then she spoke in tone slightly more coy than before.
“I didn’t say you could take my hand.”
However, Lakis shamelessly only answered back.
“Then you can allow me starting now.”
Yuri opened her mouth to give him a piece of her mind then she closed it again. After looking at his face, somehow she didn’t feel like telling him off again like last time.
Wasn’t his face really convenient?
Just looking at it could make her anger melt away and make her heart calm down.
‘He just had to be my type.’
At this point, she had no choice but to admit it. Even though Lakis didn’t exactly use a beauty trap, Yuri felt as if his presence itself was acting as a weapon.
Yuri’s expression grew a little sulky.
But even that slight dissatisfaction melted away when Lakis squeezed her hand tighter and gave her a sweet smile.
“So, why did you come to pick me up today?”
Somehow, she feel like she would even promise him her house if she kept looking at him like this, so Yuri turned her gaze to the front.
“I said I wanted to see you, but you don’t believe me.”
And when she asked, a low voice mixed with the wind filed into her ears. The flowers still blooming on the trees by the road were broken by the wind and scattered into the air, filling up her sight.
‘Did this street always feel like this?’
Yuri looked at the scenery in front of her in a strange mood.
This was definitely the same street she went through every time she came back from the coffeehouse but oddly enough, today, it felt unfamiliar as if it was her first time here. As if the colorless scenery suddenly gained color.
The weather was nice and warm, and the wind blowing in front of her was also nice and gentle. The lovely scent flowing from the flowering tree tickled her nose.
“I don’t know why, but I felt Ms. Yuri would like this kind of thing.”
The voice coming from her side was similar to the evening glow spread out before her. Although it was very quiet, it pierced her ears intensely.
“What is ‘this kind of thing’?”
When Yuri returned with a question, Lakis replied.
“Hmm, an ordinary romance?”
At that, Yuri turned to look at him again. And then she realized she probably shouldn’t have.
His golden hair was dyed orange and fluttered in the air amidst the hovering petals. And his blue eyes underneath were fixed on her without the slightest hint of movement.
 An ordinary love. An ordinary romantic relationship. Whichever you prefer.
**I knew he was tall but damn son.
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