Author: rolypoly

“N, no. It’s not…to the point I need treatment. Just rest for a while and I’ll be fine.” 

 

He barely responds by rubbing the back of his head. To be honest, there was no more pain left.

 

“Is that so? That’s a relief.”

 

“That, more than that….”

 

He was going to talk about his decision to leave here a little earlier than planned.

 

It was only a tutor’s job, so there would be no need to tell the Duke directly.

 

But the butler’s word came first.

 

“A noble will be arriving this evening, but the Duke said it would be nice if the teacher could also be present.’

 

“Noble…?”

 

“Yes.”

 

The butler’s face filled with great excitement as he nodded his head.

 

“It’s a guest from the royal family. With a letter from His Highness.”

 

“Yes?!”

 

“Anyway, it seems that it was a great blessing that Mr. came to Sheridan. A guest from the royal family came right away!”

 

“No, why are they here all of a sudden?”

 

“How can we know? But it must be a good thing, seeing that the Madam asked for a grand dinner.”

 

The butler swept the area near his heart several times with the palm of his hand as if to calm his excitement.

 

“Anyway, I’ll tell Madam that Mr. is also attending the dinner.”

 

“I, I understand.”

 

Lockhart nodded bewilderedly and stood with his back against the door.

 

‘Just what on earth is going on now?’

 

He can’t believe someone from the royal family is coming.

 

It was clear that just being able to dine with Lockhart on such an occasion was a great honor.

 

But there was one problem with this.

 

That Clarisse had seen his true nature.

 

‘But isn’t she the royal daughter of a ruined country who is only a prisoner? There’s no way such a child would attend a dinner with a royal guest.’

 

Still, he couldn’t help but feel uncomfortable. 

 

“This is not the time. Now that it has happened, if I don’t completely cover the child’s mouth…” 

 

He chewed his dry lips and lost himself in thought.

 

* * *

 

Same day, late afternoon.

 

Clarisse and Noah were playing hide-and-seek in the library of the mansion as a team.

 

The library was a place with huge bookshelves about two stories high along a round wall, and in the center of it was a single long tinted glass window.

 

The opponent to play hide-and-seek with them here was the book.

 

Any history book that contained even a little about Grezekaia became the target they were looking for.

 

“Got it? You can’t say it. Like you have a button on your mouth.”

 

Noah, standing on the ladder, shrugged his shoulders in response to Clarisse’s request and put the heavy book on the cart. 

 

“Why can’t you be honest with the Duke? That just complicates things unnecessarily.” 

 

“Coh!” 

 

Mallang, who had been avoiding the books on the cart, agreed with Noah’s opinion.

 

Noah didn’t usually get along very well with Malang.

 

It seems like they’re getting along now.

 

“I don’t want to judge the teacher carelessly. I don’t even deserve it.”

 

“Students deserve it.”

 

Clarisse shook her head gently and dragged the screeching cart between the bookshelves.

 

“The inner walls told me.”

 

Clarisse received the book Noah had taken out of the ladder and put it down on the cart.

 

“They said the teacher loved his brother very much.”

 

“What does it matter?”

 

“He died in the war. That too…” 

 

In my brother’s hand.

 

As Clarisse murmured gloomily, Noah, who was sitting on top of the ladder, replied in a dissatisfied tone. 

 

“That has nothing to do with the girl.”

 

“How could that be! You know, my family and origin are the land I stand on…” 

 

“Yes, the land.”

 

Noah intervened in her words, raising his voice rarely.

 

“Not shackles.”

 

“….” 

 

“Anyone can leave the land of their birth. As long as you have the will to go alone.”

 

“But…” 

 

Clarisse looked down sadly at the five thick books.

 

Grezekaia, a country that has already disappeared but was the beginning for her.

 

Clarisse felt she couldn’t turn a blind eye to the numerous pains she herself had experienced.

 

“At least I am alive.”

 

“So get out of that land as soon as possible and go to the girl’s path. If it were me, I would have done that. Without these shackles.”

 

He fiddled with the mask lightly.

 

As if it’s cumbersome.

 

But Clarisse knew it wasn’t the cat mask he considered his shackles. 

 

Didn’t he tell Clarisse once, that the mask is as comfortable as wearing socks?

 

‘Then perhaps what Noah calls shackles…’

 

The face behind the mask.

 

It seems like just that. 

 

It must mean that Noah is tied to the land of “origin” like a fetter.

 

She recalled Teacher Lockhart’s reaction in her room. 

 

「Monster…?!」

 

Perhaps when he grabbed his collar and shook it, the mask came off a little bit and he saw his face.

 

‘That’s why you’re a monster to people… it’s too much.’

 

Clarisse was now worried that Noah had been badly hurt.

 

“You know, Noah. A little while ago, the teacher…” 

 

“That’s all right. It’s obvious that I’m a monster.”

 

He answered right away, as if he knew Clarisse’s intention.

 

“You’re not.” 

 

Clarisse quickly refuted this.

 

“Noah is not a monster.”

 

“When you don’t even know my face?”

 

“It’s petty to answer like that!”

 

“Well….” 

 

Noah thought for a while with his chin on his hand, and then he nodded.

 

“That certainly is.”

 

And there was silence for a while.

 

“Coo.”

 

Mallang was the first to break the silence of the quiet library, where only glances passed.

 

The interpretation of the words of the little Golem, who was sliding through the tilted books in the cart, was as follows.

 

‘Translating the little cat’s words, I think you meant to ask him to take off his mask now.’

 

“Nonsense!”

 

Clarisse screamed in surprise at the unexpected story.

 

The fortunate thing about this was that Noah couldn’t interpret the language of Mallang at all. 

 

“Looks like the girl’s pebbles have said something different again.”

 

“Coo! (But I recommend not looking at that guy’s face. You will have an upset stomach because he’s ugly!)”

 

“He must have said something nasty this time. It’s a simple thing to figure out the meaning from the tone.”

 

“Coo!”

 

“If you run around without resting like that, you’ll be back on gravel in no time.”

 

Noah’s prediction was not wrong, and Mallang, who had jumped up and down the cart several times, fell again in the form of pebbles.  

 

The library is now quiet again.

 

Clarisse hurriedly gathered Mallang and put it in her pocket.

 

Noah jumped off the last step of the ladder.

 

“Is the book enough for you now?”

 

“Mmhm.” 

 

“That’s good, give it to me.”

 

He took the handle of the cart and started moving ahead. It seemed that they were going to move it to Clarisse’s room.

 

“Noah.”

 

Clarisse hurriedly followed him and grabbed hold of the hem of his clothes. He stopped walking and looked back.

 

“Do you still need books?”

 

“No, not that.”

 

Clarisse hesitated for a moment before talking cautiously.

 

“You know, we talked about shackles a while ago. That’s…” 

 

“If you want to ask if that shackle is my face… that’s true.” 

 

“Ah…” 

 

Clarisse couldn’t find the right answer, so she just let out a pitiful moan.

 

His face itself is a shackle.

 

She can’t even imagine how painful it would be.

 

“This is the curse my mother left behind.”

 

On the other hand, Noah seemed to be indifferent even though he said scary things.

 

“Cur…se?” 

 

“I just couldn’t find anything else to call it. It’s only today that the new word shackle has been added.”

 

“…Noah.” 

 

“I don’t really understand. Wizards are creatures of curiosity, so isn’t it the mother’s freedom to experiment with the offspring inside her belly?” 

 

“That’s not right! If your mother had really made Noah suffer for that purpose…” 

 

Clarisse mumbled, unable to find the right words to continue.

 

Even so, Noah didn’t take his eyes off Clarisse.

 

He seemed to be waiting anxiously for the answer she would give him.

 

“She’s a very bad person!”

 

“Pft.” 

 

Was it a little different from the answer he thought?

 

Clarisse looked like she was about to cry when he answered with a relaxed laugh.

 

“I did my best to think…” 

 

“I know. No, I, pft.” 

 

He laughed a little more and finally gave an answer.

 

“It’s the first time I’ve seen anyone talk about my mother like that. Everyone is busy worshiping.”

 

“….!” 

 

Does it mean she was such a great person? Clarisse’s face turned red.

 

“Thank you, girl.”

 

“E, eung?” 

 

“Didn’t you try your best to take my side?”

 

“Yes, Noah is my friend. I mean you’re precious.”

 

“Uhm, would you like to see it?”

 

“Your mother?” 

 

Noah just shook his head silently at the momentary answer.

 

Even with that, Clarisse came to understand what he was asking.

 

He must have asked if she wanted to see the face under the mask.

 

“….If you’re scared, you can quit.”

 

Perhaps assuming that Clarisse’s hesitation was due to fear, he replied by stepping back from her.

 

“I’m not scared!”

 

Clarisse took a step closer in response. To the extent that their toes touch each other.

 

“Rather, I was worried because I thought Noah was scared.”

 

“…Uhm.” 

 

Noah didn’t deny it.

 

“I promise you, I will never be afraid.”

 

“When you don’t even know my face?”

 

“That’s why, that kind of answer again!”

“The promise.”

 

Noah bent down a little and showed his face.

 

“I sincerely hope that you will keep it.” 

 

Through the mask, he seemed to have closed his eyes. She couldn’t see the eyes that always peeked out a little bit. 

 

“I will keep my promise.” 

 

Clarisse put her hand over his mask.

 

Table of Contents
Reader Settings
Font Size
Line Height
Font
Donation
Amount
rolypoly

Ko-fi Ko-fi

Comments (2)

  1. i’m worried it’ll get interrupted by the guest arriving ㅠㅠㅠ my kids r so cute tho i’m happy they are such good friends and she has someone to be open about talking to her rock friends with