Of course, after leaving the institute, I’ve been to all sorts of places, East, West, North and South, while taking commissions as Arachne. Well, that’s not what’s important right now. Anyways, among them, the east was the most pleasant and cleanly maintained region.
And like I said earlier, this very East, was the setting of the reverse harem novel filled with love and war.
The heroine/female lead was Anne-Marie Blanche.
There were a total of four leading male characters.
And a brief summary of them is as follows:
1. Kalian Crawford (Remark: Main Male Lead).
2. Genos Sheldon (Remark: My Favorite Character).
3. Damon Salvatore (Remark: Genius Alchemist).
4. Lakis Avalon (Remark: Villain. And my favorite character’s enemy).
For now, we’ll start with the ‘Kalian Crawford’, the main male lead who ultimately gets together with Anne-Marie, and as you can tell from his name, he was the heir to the high-ranking noble family that ruled over the east.
He had jet-black hair with mysterious silvery grey eyes, and he was a man with an upright and strong personality.
Kalian Crawford was called the ‘Hero of the East’, and he was loved by the people and also somewhat of a mascot for the region too. Handsome looks and amazing specs were common traits in all male candidates, so I’ll just skip the little details. In any case, he was the main male lead who got with Anne-Marie at end of the novel.
Next, we have Genos Sheldon.
I have to take a breath before going through this one. This man was my favorite character, the one who died by Lakis Avalon’s hand. He had deep red hair that fluttered like a flame, and beautiful violet eyes that looked like gems. He was a man who could be described as both handsome and beautiful.
If I had to pick one character who made the heroine, Anne-Marie, laugh the most, I wouldn’t hesitate to pick Genos Sheldon. Every time the heroine needed someplace to lean on, Genos would appear like a ghost, providing her strong support.
At times, he was sweet, at times, he was mischievous, and at other times, sexy even, saying he held all sort of charms possible wasn’t a lie.
…you think I’ve somehow embellished his description? You’re imagining things.
Back to the subject, if Kalian Crawford was the sword of the East, then Genos Sheldon was the shield of the East. He was initially called the ‘Guardian of the East’ but later, the prefix ‘fallen’ was added to it.
This was related to his sad past but for now, I’ll just skim through it. A few years after the novel timeline began, Genos was expelled due to certain reasons. And because of that, he threw his name away and lived with his appearance hidden until he met Anne-Marie.
In short, he was a recluse.
He later reclaims his name but eventually dies to Lakis Avalon…
Hmm, I’m starting to feel bitter, so we’ll stop the explanation on Genos Sheldon here and move on.
Next, we have Damon Salvatore.
The great alchemist who made the breakthroughs into many things such as the one-touch lamps, heaters, and freezers, which are now used throughout people’s lives, was none other than Damon Salvatore.
With dark eyes and blue hair like waves in the sea, he looked cute and harmless, but unlike how he appeared, his personality was prickly. But his prickliness was different from Lakis’ awful prickliness, in that you could call it adorable in its own way.
As for the last one, the sub-villain, Lakis Avalon, I think I can just skip his explanation. It’s sufficient to say he’s a rotten villain and I’ve already given a rough summary of him before.
The men’s competition over Anne-Marie was truly bloody, and as outstanding as they were, their importance couldn’t be ranked. The saintly Anne-Marie was equally kind to everyone, so it wasn’t clear exactly who her heart was going to, until the very end. She was even kind to the terrible villain, Lakis.
Well, that kindness ended when she learnt that Lakis had tried to kill her younger sister, Hestia. And upon receiving Anne-Marie’s hatred and resentment, Lakis reached the limits of his patience and eventually kidnapped her.
And so, the second half of the novel devolved into a recapture play with Anne-Marie who was imprisoned in Carnot.
I remember feeling exhausted reading the entire process and wondering if the novel would end in tragedy where they all fall into ruins.
Even more so because my fave character died in the middle of it…
Gah, thinking about it again made me a little upset with Lakis Avalon. Should I just not have saved him?
“Excuse me, here’s money for the coffee!”
Right then, Snow, who had drank his coffee as quiet as ever, called out to me.
“It was great as usual. Well then, I have to water our Lagi so I’m going to go now.”
Lagi? Don’t tell me he got ‘lagi’ from shortening ‘sunflower’? (T/N: the romanization for sunflower is ‘haebalagi’)
To think he’s already naming his sunflower. And it’s a sloppy name at that.
Anyways, after emptying his cup of coffee, Snow stood up with a bright smile. He walked out, holding the yellow sunflower to his chest, like it was the most precious thing in the world.
And when I heard Snow scream just as he stepped out of the shop, I thought, ‘today again, huh’.
“Tsk, tsk. That customer always gets pooped on in front of our store.”
Mr. Gilbert clicked his tongue like he was used to this, took out a wet towel and headed for Snow.
Snow had a unique ‘skill’, so to speak. Yes, it was getting hit by bird poop. Just like how a lightning rod attracted lighting, he was a man that attracted bird dung.
But as a matter of fact, I knew why Snow only got hit with bird droppings in front of our coffeehouse. When I lifted my head, I saw a black bird flapping its wings and flying proudly near the shop. Like I expected, it was a crow.
I shook my head while thinking to myself that this guy hadn’t changed at all, he was just as bad as Snow.
* * *
The day drew to a close in no time and night began. Once it was late into the night, things began to move under the cover of darkness.
There were those who were more used to nighttime than day. Perhaps they were human or animal, or perhaps they were some unknown creature which was neither of the above.
There were also those who were products of a depraved ground, unable to define their own existences. One of such people, Yuri, was following a familiar trail and entered into a cemetery on the outskirts of the city.
A dreary wind blew in the quiet space, its whistle sounding like the wails of the dead.
Yuri pulled down her black hood, which she’d already prepared beforehand, and began to move silently on the tree, avoiding being seen. Soon, she quietly lowered herself in front of a tombstone using her web. To be more precise, the black shape beyond the tombstone was the reason why Yuri came here today.
She softly whispered a certain name.
At that moment, a sound akin to the growling of a beast came from the darkness in front of her. It was a harsh rumbling that might seem a little threatening, but Yuri could easily tell that the feeling contained in that sound was ‘nervousness’.
“Come here, I’m not angry.”
Her dry voice rang out in the cemetery once again.
Only then did the black shape hidden in the darkness begin to slowly move. It stuck its head out slightly from behind the unknown tombstone to check Yuri’s face, then it rushed to Yuri on all fours.
A young boy with bushy brown hair quickly hugged Yuri’s waist, his big eyes glistening with tears.
With his sounds and actions, he was every inch like an animal, but his appearance was closer to human. If it weren’t for his animal ears and tail which were obvious even in the darkness, and his sharp, bright yellow vertical irises, that is.
“Yeah, I told you so. I’m not angry.”
“No, that doesn’t mean you did good. I told you not to eat that kind of dirty thing, it’ll give you a stomach ache, didn’t I?”
The scolded boy quickly deflated, and tears gathered in his bright gold eyes.
This boy, whom Yuri called Leo, was a test subject alongside her in the research institute. The ruins fragments he absorbed made him undergo transformation and caused him to gain his current traits of an animal.
The reason why Yuri was having this conversation with Leo was because it was this boy who killed the man that had been following her some time ago.
Once she saw that the man’s liver had disappeared in a clean manner, like someone had purposefully ripped it out, Yuri could immediately tell that it was Leo’s doing.
“Plus, I intentionally left that man alive because I had something to look into. But your killing him might have complicated things.”
Leo stopped growing around the age of 13, which was when he was first experimented on in the research institute. Furthermore, he was a failed experiment so his animal instincts became stronger than his reasoning.
As a result, there were often times where he made mistakes like this. This time, it was obvious he secretly followed Yuri’s trail, discovered the existence of someone who wanted to harm her and couldn’t win against his impulse to attack. But seeing as he stole the man’s liver despite all that, a fox was no doubt, always a fox.
“So you have to reflect on yourself. If you do this again, I might really get angry next time.”
At Yuri’s words, Leo went ‘Kyiii’ and shriveled up. His ears which stood upright through his thick brown hair drooped down, and his wagging tail also sank down.
 I’m not sure how you can tell from his name. Just go with it.
* I was flip-flopping between ‘Guardian of the East’ and ‘Protector of the East’ so I figured I’d make a poll.