“Ugh, my eyes.”
After leaving the coffeehouse, Snow rubbed his eyes which still burned like they had been pricked with a needle. Then his callused hand swept his bangs out of his eyes. And a surprisingly sharp and cold pair of violet eyes revealed themselves for an instant.
‘That’s weird. Why did I see that alchemist bastard’s face?’
He frowned as he recalled the scene that came to mind for an instant a while ago, when he saw Yuri, the staff who worked at the coffeehouse. That annoying, greasy mug still lingered before his eyes like an afterimage and it was definitely one that Snow knew.
‘Don’t tell me both of them are meeting at the festival?’
Snow’s mouth twisted a little.
Actually, what he said to Yuri moments ago were merely empty words, he didn’t really have any plan on attending the festival…
But he changed his mind now.
Snow dabbed at his eyes until the smarting sensation had lessened to some extent then he lowered his arms once more. And his bushy brown hair swiftly fell to cover his eyes again. With a towering nose and lips drawn in a lazy arc, Snow’s face looked surprisingly innocent.
He left Blue Ferret in a much lower mood than when he first entered the coffeehouse.
The spring festival was in a few days.
It seems he would be going out that day for a change.
* * *
—Lakis…so, is there some reason why you’re here?
A sour voice rang out in his head.
Lakis considered just ignoring it but decided to reply. But it wasn’t exactly a nice reply, the voice he sent to his head seemed as if he was looking down on it for not knowing the obvious.
‘I’m here to check on the landlady.’
Lakis, who had left Yuri’s house, was now in the vicinity of the coffeehouse. He climbed atop the clinic across the coffeehouse, watching the dark-haired lady who was traveling in and out of the store as she worked.
Of course, the lady was Yuri.
The reason Lakis came to this place first, was to make sure Yuri was actually at work. If by any chance, she left the coffeehouse in the middle and went home, wouldn’t she find out he went out?
Of course, she had never come by the house while working so far, so he didn’t really need to be concerned. But in order not to take any chances at all, you had to look before you leap and make sure the fire is completely out, as the sayings go. So Lakis was able to confidently answer the question he was asked in his head.
However, Lakis couldn’t help but flinch when he heard the bug follow-up with its voice just as sour.
—But you’ve been looking for 40 minutes…
…that much time has passed already?
He was only watching the woman walk back and forth with her loosely-braided long, black hair swaying behind her. Then as he saw random punks continually come up to talk to Yuri one by one, he couldn’t move away for some reason and he hadn’t even noticed time passing.
‘More importantly, that face. Where have I seen it before?’
Right after, Lakis’ eyes were fixed onto a man who had just left the coffeehouse.
When the messy brown hair was pushed aside, the face of a man with a shabby appearance was revealed to him. Although he was at a far enough distance that the average person couldn’t see with the naked eye, Lakis could easily observe the man’s face.
It was certainly a face he’d seen somewhere before. But even though the memory was at the tip of his tongue, he couldn’t remember who the man was.
Lakis narrowed his eyes as he watched the man grow further away. Then he took another glance at Yuri in the coffeehouse before suddenly disappearing from the spot.
* * *
When Yuri returned home, Lakis was laying on the sofa like the patient he was and welcomed her home like usual.
But as a matter of fact, Yuri could easily tell that Lakis had gone out today. She usually put very thin threads on all the windows and door corners in her house. And she had noticed that one of them, the one on the window leading to the back of her house was broken.
Since they were made so only Yuri could identify them, it was difficult for even Lakis to recognize their existence. Actually, they was originally installed with web traps in case of intruders but ever since Lakis began to stay with her, she removed everything just in case.
‘What did he go out to do?’
In the novel, apart from the side-stories, it was almost all from Anne-Marie’s first-person point-of-view. So no details were provided about what Lakis did while Anne-Marie was working at the clinic.
Which is why Yuri had her doubts about Lakis going out. But as long as it didn’t bother her, she didn’t care whether Lakis locked himself in the house or went out to mess around so she pretend not to know about his outing.
“Mr. Lakis. Please have dinner.”
Instantly, Lakis’ face seemed to blanch on the sofa. For some reason, there were small ripples in his blue eyes giving off a sense of sorrow, and the sight caused Yuri to tilt her head.
“There was a lot of bread left over at the store today, so I brought some back.”
But as soon as she continued, Lakis’ complexion brightened like a kindled flame.
“Should I make you something else if this isn’t enough?”
Lakis quickly shook his head. Then he got up from his seat to take the bread Yuri brought, his attitude like that of reverence.
After a moment of scrutinizing the items on the table, Yuri was enlightened.
‘…He doesn’t want to eat the food I make.’
The digestive medicine had disappeared from the box of medicine on the table.
Here she was thinking he ate it all whenever she made something, but apparently, he had just downed digestive medicine afterwards.
‘If you don’t want to eat it, you can just say so.’
Yuri looked at Lakis with new eyes.
Meanwhile, he was watching Yuri, who had gotten lost in another thought while looking at the medicine box. As soon as she turned her head, their eyes met mid-air. Seeing Lakis remained still, like he was waiting for her to hold out the bag of bread first, Yuri felt he looked like a big well-trained dog.
She just couldn’t adapt to this villain who was much more thoughtful than she imagined when reading the novel.
“Please help yourself, Mr. Lakis.”
Yuri pushed the bag of bread to him, feeling like some of the awkwardness from this morning had returned. Lakis looked at the bag, then at Yuri, before stretching out his hand. After which, he took out a bread and handed it to Yuri.
When their eyes met again, Lakis’ eyes crinkled into a pretty smile. The smile was so beautiful that if the opposing party wasn’t Lakis Avalon, the king of Carnot, she would have thought this was a beauty trap.
Actually, because Lakis’ face was exactly Yuri’s taste, she felt her heart thawing a little, similar to how she felt when she saw Anne-Marie who reminded her of Coco.
As Yuri took the bread Lakis gave her, she thought to herself: I guess I should get some more digestive medicine for villain-nim.
“Oh, right. I have something to do on Saturday, so I’ll be back late.”
Then when she abruptly mentioned her plan for the weekend, something momentarily flashed through Lakis’ eyes. But he soon erased any such signs from his face and nodded like he understood.
Like that, time flew by and finally, it was the bright morning of the festival.
* * *
As usual, Lakis ventured out that day while Yuri was gone. Currently, he was at the plaza located center of the east. Perhaps because it was festival day, there were a lot of people in the square. In addition, there were dangling, sparkly decorations linked from building to building by strings.
—Wow, it’s like a swarm of ants.
Lakis briefly furrowed his brow as he wasn’t a fan of the clutter.
‘Was wondering why it’s so noisy, it’s a festival.’
This morning, Yuri went out the door after reminding him that she would be coming back late like she mentioned before. So he had thought he could go around in a more relaxed manner today but…
Maybe Yuri was also going to this festival hence why she said she would be
‘…Don’t tell me she’s going with one of those guys?’
He suddenly remembered the guys who were pestering Yuri at the coffeehouse some time ago. Again, Lakis’ mood dropped for unknown reasons and his face crumpled more.
—By the way, Lakis, what the hell are you looking for here?
Lakis ignored the voice questioning in his head and readied his legs. With a surprisingly light leap, he quickly went up the outer wall of the square’s clock-tower and stood at the top.
Lakis’ hair fluttered about in the light wind, cast against the blue sky. From his position, he had a clear view of the town.
Lakis’ forehead creased slightly. When he made wide movements, he still got a prick of pain in his abdomen. Although he was recovering strikingly faster than normal people because of the ruin’s power in his body, that didn’t mean his wound got better instantly or that he didn’t feel any pain.
But since the pain wasn’t severe, Lakis simply ignored it and continued to do what he was doing. His blue eyes skimmed over the scene spread out before him. What he was looking for, was decorative crosses on roofs of buildings.
 I’d rather leave the title ‘nim’ in its original language since I’ve already been translating ‘ssi’ to ‘Mr. or Ms.’. ‘Nim’ is like a really respectful title.
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