Author: lipzoldyck

 

‘W-What…?’

 

Eleanor froze at Adrian’s one shot, which had been looking for an opportunity to enter. She, half stunned, looked at Adrian in front of her. His eyes widened.

 

After hesitating for a moment, Eleanor opened her mouth with a serious expression. Her bright green eyes shook in confusion.

 

“Adrian…”

 

“Mm, Ellen.”

 

A subtle expression came over Eleanor’s face. The voice calling her name was somehow meaningful. Adrian swallowed dryly.

 

It was a word he threw out because he wanted her to know now. He wanted to cross the line of thinly drawn friends. Adrian felt his heart grow impatient little by little.

 

But a little bit, really a little bit, that Eleanor didn’t know his heart, and he hoped that this relationship where he could look at her heartily would carry on a little longer.

 

The moment Eleanor noticed his feelings, their comfortable and natural time together would disappear.

 

“You really…”

 

Eleanor, who was lengthening her words as if taking a break, kicked the toe of Adrian’s shoe under the table.

 

“You’ll keep doing that? I’ve known you for a couple of years, you know? I won’t fall for it, you fool.”

 

“What am I fooling about? It’s not a lie.”

 

Adrian frowned slightly in resentment. Eleanor poked a large piece of meat with her fork and held it out to Adrian.

 

“Enough, quicklyㅡaaaa.”

 

Adrian, who suddenly opened his mouth, took it quietly and ate it.

 

“When it cools down, it gets tough. Anything else will come after eating.”

 

Adrian, his mouth full of meat, stared at Eleanor’s face before shaking his head. A hollow laugh kept leaking out of his lips.

 

It was frustrating for him to be so nervous, and he was really dumbfounded. It was easy for her to study and do business with that common sense. 

 

Eleanor’s lips curled up, not knowing why Adrian was laughing. When he laughs, she just laughs along.

 

In Adrian’s eyes, Eleanor’s face was as red and shiny as always. He admitted that there was a bit of cowardly relief mixed into his laugh.

 

“Why are you laughing so suddenly?”

 

“You’re so you, too, I thought.”

 

And me too.

 

Adrian took a step back and continued with a soft smile.

 

“When I see you, I realize that God doesn’t give all to one person.”

 

Eleanor blinked her eyes and met Adrian’s. She didn’t think it sounded like a good nuance, but the voice was so friendly that confusion came from her brain.

 

“…What do you mean?”

 

Adrian smiled and shook his head.

 

“If you don’t understand, that’s find. Would you like some oranges?”

 

Eleanor, who inadvertently tried to nod her head, frowned.

 

“No matter how I think about it, it sounds like an insult.”

 

“You got that right again.”

 

This guy, really.

 

Stretching her legs out, Eleanor stomped Adrian’s foot under the table. Yet he didn’t even blink and continued his meal calmly. Eleanor’s cheeks turned red with disgust.

 

Her childish pranks on his feet didn’t stop until the plates on the table were almost empty.

 

The two took out each other’s dark history and quarreled. It was Adrian who raised his hands first. Because it was absolutely against him to recall the events of his snoring days.

 

“I lost. I’ll go out first and get the carriage. You can come out slowly.”

 

Adrian rose from his seat, stretching out his arm to brush Eleanor’s hair. She sat down and patted her bloated belly, pulling out her purse.

 

“How much longer does he want me to come out…”

 

Eleanor called the clerk. However, what she heard was unexpected.

 

“It has been paid.”

 

“Pardon me? Who?”

 

“The person who came with you paid the bill and left.”

 

“Adrian?”

 

No, why on earth is he?

 

Eleanor hurriedly ran out and grabbed Adrian’s wrist.

 

“Why did you come out in such a hurry?”

 

Adrian turned around and made a puzzled expression. Eleanor asked.

 

“Why are you paying? It’s the day I decided to treat you. You asked me to buy you dinner, though?”

 

“I never asked you to buy me dinner. I asked you to have dinner with me.”

 

Adrian calmly corrected Eleanor’s words.

 

Was it like that? Come to think of it, it seemed to be like that.

 

“That, that… You seem to have forgotten for a moment, but I also have a conscience. I have money too.”

 

Eating it free, that’s great. But Eleanor had a minimum of conscience and shame. Adrian was a friend as well as an important business advisor and colleague. Friendship is friendship, work is work. After all, she thought it was the right thing to properly take care of Adrian’s share.

 

“Yeah, I was short-sighted. I wasn’t going to pass it off as one meal from the beginning. Even if you don’t like it, just…”

 

“Ellen.”

 

Adrian interrupted Eleanor’s words. Another impulse arose in his heart.

 

‘Is it too early to say it now?’

 

Asking them to stop joking around approaching and pulling one foot away, stop vaguely crossing the line as if we were friends and not, and talk about it seriously. Saying that the two of them having dinner was a date request. That what he had said earlier wasn’t a joke, it was the truth. I, towards you…

 

“Why?”

 

Then, Eleanor, you will surely take a step back. With a face that doesn’t know what to do, looking at my eyes.

 

He hesitated. Adrian, who had been silently looking down at Eleanor, clenched both of his fists tightly. His lips were as heavy as stones.

 

“What I said earlier…”

 

“Eleanor?”

 

It was when Adrian was about to part his lips with courage. Eleanor turned her head in surprise at the familiar voice behind her. Her hand, which was holding Adrian’s wrist tightly, naturally fell away.

 

“Huh?”

 

This time, it was a person he never expected to encounter in this place.

 

“…Your Grace the Duke of Valentine.”

 

Adrian, who was interrupted at an important moment, has his face openly crumpled. He smiled coolly and bowed lightly to Kaidel.

 

“Young Marquis Blake. We meet each other like this.”

 

“So we are. I didn’t expect to see Your Grace in a place like this.”

 

“I never thought I would see such familiar faces on the way…”

 

Kaidel’s gaze alternated with Adrian’s.

 

Kaidel’s eyebrows twitched as he sensed something different. The sight of the two of them together had never been pleasant, yet today, it was particularly unpleasant.

 

‘The strangely spleen face was like someone who was about to confess.’

 

It was a man’s intuition that was surprisingly accurate. Kaidel, who had been staring at Adrian with a disapproving face, took a step towards Eleanor.

 

“Eleanor.”

 

“Yes?”

 

Kaidel opened his mouth impulsively, wanting to somehow keep the two apart. However, he had nothing to say. After meeting Eleanor’s eyes, his mind started to race.

 

“That is…”

 

When Kaidel couldn’t speak easily, the corner of Adrian’s lips rose slightly. That’s right, that was the face. Seeing this, Kaidel’s forehead popped with veins.

 

It was then. Kaidel recalled what Eleanor had said earlier.

 

[If you have any further questions, you can always ask for a face-to-face talk. I know very well that being a student’s guardian isn’t an ordinary thing.]

 

It was clearly said through Eleanor’s mouth. It’s fine, anytime. Of course, he wouldn’t have uttered these words expecting such a sudden request, but Kaidel decided to be a little brazen.

 

“I want to request the guardian face-to-face talk you mentioned before.”

 

Kaidel opened his mouth with courage. He tried to speak as confidently as possible, but his ears burned a little red from the unavoidable embarrassment.

 

“A face-to-face talk?”

 

“You mean now?”

 

Eleanor tilted her head. Adrian also asked as if he was absurd. Kaidel nodded his head and added forcefully.

 

“Yes, now. My head is full, and I can’t delay any longer.”

 

A chill crept into the blue eyes that looked at Adrian. The tension between the two men was high.

 

Kaidel asked softly, shifting her gaze to Eleanor pretending not to know.

 

“Is it difficult, Eleanor?”

 

Eleanor, who blinked in embarrassment for a moment, shook her head.

 

“No. I think it will be fine. I’m done eating with Adrian, and I’ve promised you before…”

 

“That’s a relief.”

 

“Rian, it’s fine with you, isn’t it? Fortunately, we came using the Marquis’ carriage.”

 

Adrian, who had been silent for a moment, nodded his head with a trembling face. In any case, the opponent was a high-ranking duke, and since the promised dinner was over, there was no other reason to refuse.

 

“…Mm, that’s fine. Then what about you?”

 

“I’ll take her home, so you don’t have to worry about that part.”

 

As if he had done all his unnecessary worries, Kaidel quickly cut in and intercepted her answer. Eleanor nodded her head and smiled broadly. Just in time, the carriage arrived and Adrian climbed on it with a face as if he had chewed a bug.

 

Eleanor waved her hand at Adrian and greeted him.

 

“Today was fun. Have a nice trip.”

 

“You too. Go home early and rest. You’re tired.”

 

Adrian, who put emphasis on the word ‘early’, briefly nodded his head at Kaidel. A faint smile appeared on Kaidel’s lips as he nodded his head in response. It was the smile of a winner.

 

As the carriage rattled away, Eleanor realized an important fact belatedly.

 

“Kaidel.”

 

“Yes, Eleanor.”

 

“Then, where will the face-to-face talk be held?”

 

It was the fact that the two were standing in the middle of a street with a lot of floating population.

 

“There are too many eyes here.”

 

Moreover, Kaidel was a person whose face was as good as a nameplate. Whether someone was looking with cloudy eyes or clear eyes, looking from 10 cm or 10 m away, anyone could tell that he was ‘that’ Duke Valentine.

 

‘Actually, it’s a face you can’t help but stare at even if you don’t know who it is.’

 

Looking around, there were already quite a few people glancing at him and whispering. Eleanor begged no one to recognize her, hiding herself in Kaidel’s shadow.

 

A feeling of bewilderment slowly crept over his handsome face without an inch of error.

 

“That…”

 

“You have any plans, right? Don’t you?”

 

Eleanor asked, squinting her eyes, and a red flush appeared on Kaidel’s cheeks.

 

“Sorry.”

 

That meant there was no such thing as a plan in the first place. Embarrassed, he stroked the back of his head.

 

Eleanor narrowed her eyes. Even though it was absurd, she was secretly worried about how much mistakes he was making that didn’t suit him.

 

‘Where should I go with this outstanding man? The sun will fall soon, so taking him to my home is a bit awkward.’

 

A place popped up in Eleanor’s mind after she pondered for a moment. A space that is free from people’s gaze as no one can come in and out, and at the same time a good place to sit face to face and talk quietly.

 

It was Amikidia, the cafe where she met Izmel.

 

“It’s fine. I know a place around here where we can talk quietly.”

 

Eleanor, who gallantly led the way to Izmel’s hideout, couldn’t have known.

 

That the waist of an expensive fountain pen would break in the hands of Izmel, who had been informed of the news, and that her pen pal, who had been pretending to be quiet, was actually the incarnation of jealousy.

 

Author's Thoughts

this chapter is sponsored by My Name is not Important (6/14)

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