Part 5: Midnight festival, a thrilling night with the villain
“Shake hands with me.”
Although bewildered by my sudden request, Gilbert held out his hand. And I swiftly grabbed it. But as expected, I didn’t feel anything here either.
Honestly, it wasn’t only Gilbert I’d tried this with, I’d held hands with others with the excuse of a handshake. But it was all the same, it didn’t get much of a feeling.
I expected this, but it seems that strange phenomenon only occurred when I came into contact with Lakis.
“Ms. Yuri, there’s a spring festival opening this weekend, would you like to go with me?”
And Anne-Marie, who I met on my way home that day, invited me.
“Yeah. I heard there’ll even be fireworks at night. Ms. Yuri has lived here longer than me, so you’ve already gone before right?”
Ah, come to think of it, Anne-Marie is from the south, so I guess she’s never experienced an eastern festival. Of course, I have been to an eastern spring festival. But unlike what Anne-Marie thought, I didn’t go to enjoy the festival but to work as Arachne.
Although the spring festival was the largest festival of the year in the east, there was a secret auction held at that time using it as a shade. And one of my regular clients used to commission me as a proxy to get something from the auction house every year.
I don’t just do jobs to crush, beat, torture or kill people, you know.
Anyway. I haven’t yet heard from the client this time but I’m pretty sure they’ll make the same request this year.
“Thankfully, I have a day off that day and Hestia wants to go so she’s coming along. So if that’s okay with you…”
“I have something else to do then.”
Uh, did I refuse too firmly?
A shadow fell over Anne-Marie’s smiling face. Seeing her look depressed, my heart weakened a little.
“I’ll come after I finish what I have to do although it might be late.”
Her face was sparkling again.
She really had such a variety of expressions. So it was fun to look at her. That aside, when it comes to a festival, there’s something typical about it. Didn’t it sound like just the place with an overwhelming chance for an incident to happen?
Especially in romance novels, there was a very high possibility of an episode unfolding with no regular material or typical situations. Wasn’t there an episode in “Chain of Flowers”, where the female lead was chased by some crazy homicidal maniac during the fall harvest festival?
Now that I think about it, that’s probably because the genres of this novel are romance and thriller. While other romance novel heroines went around with love flags tightly bound to them, Anne-Marie used to carry around death flags. Of course, after such an incident happened, she would be entwined with one of the male lead candidates, resulting in deepened feelings.
But it’s strange when you think about it.
The east was obviously the region with the best public order and safety among all the regions but then you have orphanages going missing, crazy murderers and criminals popping up all over like it’s nothing and dominating throughout the city?
Of course, the final boss of all of them, was the king of the freaking dark city, Lakis Avalon. Perhaps she was entangled with him to be impactful to the male leads. Hah, male leads where you have to risk your life to obtain.
It was quite meaningless, the position of a heroine.
I was struck with the thought that Anne-Marie escaping from being the heroine would actually be better for her sake.
Anyways, then isn’t it possible for a dangerous event to happen at this festival?
In the novel, the disappearance of the children in the orphanage signified the first episode of Anne-Marie’s involvement with the main male lead, so the spring festival wasn’t really mentioned.
I looked at Anne-Marie with a slight frown on my face.
She knew nothing about the threat that might come to her and was just smiling like she was in a good mood.
“Then be sure to come, even if you’re late that day! Oh, should we pick a place to meet up? If you tell me the rough time you’ll be done, I’ll be there!”
Where was the most crowded and safest place at the festival again? I thought for a bit before saying,
“Then, in front of the clock tower.”
“Aren’t there a lot of people there? I think it might be harder to meet if it’s too crowded and we miss each other, so maybe a quieter place…”
I understood what Anne-Marie was worried about, but it was a piece of cake for me.
“Don’t worry. I can find you wherever you are, Anne-Marie.”
Instantly, Anne-Marie looked dumb-struck.
But did I say something wrong? Why is her face getting more and more red?
Maybe she felt it herself because Anne-Marie hurried lifted her hands to hold her cheek the next moment.
“At the clock tower then…”
“Yes. I think I’ll probably be available around 9.”
Still, I added that she didn’t have to wait for me if I was late or something else came up for her. By the time I arrived home, Anne-Marie’s complexion has gone back to normal.
“Then have a nice evening, Ms. Yuri.”
Anne-Marie held my hand, shaking it as she flashed a wide smile, with dimples showing on her cheeks.
I asked Anne-Marie to shake hands once just like I did with Gilbert and she seems to like it.
“Have a nice evening too, Ms. Anne-Marie.”
Like that, we said our goodbyes and parted.
* * *
Yuri watched Lakis while pretending to water the plants which were in the living room for some reason.
Right now, he was in the middle of changing his bandages by himself. Lakis was recovering at a rapid pace and he was a surprisingly low-maintenance patient. Ever since he asked her to help him change his clothes, he hadn’t ever asked for anything again.
Honestly, Yuri was a little surprised to see him taking care of his wounds, changing his clothes and even washing them, without difficulty and not borrowing anyone else’s help. Sometimes, Yuri even offered to help first but Lakis refused.
Inwardly, Yuri felt it was a bit of a pity. Of course, she suffered considerable psychological damage last time due to rubbing her face in Lakis’ hand like a puppy but the fullness she felt when she touched him was not easy to forget.
Even now, Lakis’ movement as he wrapped his bandages was very skilled. Indeed, it was the sight of someone used to injuries in the underworld.
Eventually, after changing his bandages by himself, Lakis changed into his clothes by himself.
—Lakis, are you really going to be like this?
Meanwhile, Lakis was feeling annoyed because of the bug, who had been making noise since a while ago.
—Come on, just touch her once! It’s not that difficult!
For a few days now, the bug had been pestering Lakis, insisting on its unreasonable demand and irritating Lakis. The reason for this was even more absurd. It wanted him to touch the house owner, Yuri, again.
—Just hold hands once, that’s it! I’ve asked you so many times, you heartless child!
Upon hearing that, Lakis swore.
‘You sly worm, that kind of thing doesn’t even count as a request.’
—What do you mean sly?! I don’t think you should say that to me when just because she was undoing your buttons, you were acting shy like some bride being undressed by her groom on their first wedding night…
Crack, a frightening sound came from Lakis’ clenched fist like his joints was shattering. Overwhelmed by that attitude, the bug shut its mouth. Even without this, Lakis was already in a bad mood.
He was impatient to go and deal with the traitorous bastard in Carnot right now, but his body hadn’t completely healed enough. When he recalled what happened that day, it still made his blood boil.
Whether he sliced or grilled that traitorous bastard didn’t matter, what mattered is that he would only feel relieved after he made the bastard bleed in front of him. As he stared into the air, Lakis’ eyes flashed with a sharp light.
…But there was something he had to check before he went to destroy that bastard. And to at least do that, he had to recover quickly.
‘Useless bastard of a bug.’
—Why’re you swearing at me all of a sudden?!
‘You should’ve had healing power instead of that useless ability.’
The parasite felt wronged at being cursed at out of nowhere.
Lakis snorted at the bug, who was whimpering like its pride was greatly hurt by his words. Nevertheless, knowing he couldn’t keep being in a foul mood with the house owner, Yuri, around, Lakis loosened his tightly clenched fist.
Yuri, who had no way of knowing the situation, only saw that Lakis had clenched his first since earlier, and felt she’d run out of patience so she put down her watering can.
Actually, the flowers Yuri had been watering for a while now weren’t real flowers but plastic flowers. As expected, it wasn’t her style to worry over something for too long. Since it kept bothering her so much, it would be better to just do something.
Besides, wasn’t she Lakis’ life saver? So she figured this might be within the bounds of what Lakis could tolerate.
Yuri walked towards the sofa where Lakis was.