Author: lipzoldyck

 

“Today, you’re going to read a book you like from this list. Understand?”

 

Eleanor gave each child a list of book names. These books were designated as essential liberal arts books by the Academy.

 

“What if there isn’t any book I like?”

 

Lucas asked with a sullen expression.

 

“Then let’s read the first book you found.”

 

Eleanor gave Lucas a few pats on the back as if to soothe him. She didn’t want to deprive the children of the joy of discovering jewels on bookshelves, but she couldn’t ignore the upcoming exam. She knew for sure that the interviewers would ask questions about the books.

 

Eleanor strolled between the bookshelves as the children looked for books with different expressions. There were guards by the children’s side, so Eleanor was free to roam the library in her own way.

 

“It’s really cool here. Just like an art gallery.”

 

Even in her previous life, Eleanor often visited the library, but there was no place as beautiful as this one. Each tile on the floor was like a work of art. Black leather shoes suddenly appeared in front of Eleanor as she took each step along the shiny purple tiles. A guard with a solemn expression stood in front of Eleanor.

 

“It’s a restricted area from here on out.”

 

“Ah, I’m sorry.”

 

Eleanor took a step back in surprise. Then another guard standing next to him quickly ran to stop him.

 

“Lady Everett is a licensed person. Excuse me. Please come in.”

 

Actually, Eleanor had no intention of going that far, but the man who guided her inside was so polite that she took a step without even realizing it.

 

“Whoa…”

 

And at that moment, Eleanor couldn’t help but burst into admiration. It was a splendid and majestic room that couldn’t be compared with the outside. The neatly arranged books were usually a little faded over time, yet that rather added an antique beauty to them.

 

Then something caught Eleanor’s attention. It was Izmel’s book loan record.

 

“His Highness’ reading record? How amazing. It’s all recorded like this.”

 

Eleanor took a look around and carefully opened it.

 

“His taste is different from mine.”

 

Izmel’s book loan record was full of hard political, military, and history books. It was a choice worthy of the country’s crown prince. Some of them had been read by Eleanor as well, but they didn’t suit her taste for novels and poetry.

 

As Eleanor flipped through the paper, something strange caught her eye. Eleanor brought her face close to the rental log.

 

[Romantic Play, the Art of Seduction].

 

‘What is this?’

 

Books with a distinctly different atmosphere from the books on the front page followed. Eleanor’s eyes flashed at the sight of something interesting.

 

[The Lady of the Count’s Passionate Love].

 

My goodness!

 

Eleanor burst into laughter involuntarily and quickly covered her mouth. Apparently, Eleanor had discovered a new side to her pen pal.

 

Eleanor, putting her book back in, stepped out of the restricted area with a meaningful expression on her face. The list of books she wanted to find was a mountain.

 

“I don’t know anything else, but I really want to read a book about the countess. Just looking at the title itself, it’s extraordinary.”

 

Eleanor began to look for the book in question, carefully going through the books arranged in alphabetical order. After a long search, Eleanor found a book with a suspicious red cover. Eleanor, examining her surroundings meticulously, opened the book halfway through.

 

Gasp.

 

Eleanor’s mouth closed shut in a straight line. The main characters were passionately kissing each other on the pages she could hold in her hand. She wasn’t naive enough to blush at every single book like this. But in the middle of the day, too, it was inappropriate for a peek at the beautiful library, where the majestic statues stared down at her.

 

‘His Highness seems to be enjoying reading these things these days. Hm…’

 

It was then.

 

“Eleanor.”

 

“Your Highness?”

 

Izmel was breathing unevenly, like someone running on his full power. Eleanor’s eyes widened.

 

“I heard you were busy at work earlier?”

 

“Mm. That’s right.”

 

He seemed somehow out of his mind.

 

“Did you run?”

 

“Yep. Just for exercise. Nothing special, it’s just that I suddenly thought of something…”

 

Izmel looked at Eleanor’s expression and spoke gibberish. At that moment, Eleanor realized why he had come running. Trying to contain her laughter, she tightened her grip on the book a little more.

 

“What is it?”

 

Eleanor took a step closer to him and slightly raised the corner of her lips. Her hands were hidden behind her back.

 

Izmel saw Eleanor’s green eyes twinkle like stars in playfulness. He saw, too, that her rabbit-like front teeth bit her lower lip very briefly. At that moment, he had two realizations.

 

First, Eleanor is pretty.

 

He means, she’s really pretty. Even if he wanted to say something nice, he could only lick his lips with a stupid face. Izmel realized how gorgeous Eleanor’s eyes were and how lovely were the pale freckles on her cheekbones.

 

Second, he is doomed.

 

He means, he’s really doomed. Eleanor’s meaningful expression showed that the situation he feared had become a reality. Eleanor had to look at his book list, which had become overly provocative because of Lucas.

 

Izmel’s eyes shook rapidly. Taking a step closer to Izmel, Eleanor quietly thrust the book she had hidden behind her back right in front of Izmel’s nose.

 

“Perhaps… Is it because of this?”

 

“Give it to me.”

 

Izmel stretched out his arm hastily. Eleanor shook her head.

 

“I don’t want to.”

 

“It’s a misunderstanding.”

 

“What is there to misunderstand? It’s just a novel. It’s fine.”

 

“I can tell just by looking at your expression. That you’re deeply misunderstanding something. The important thing is that I didn’t read it.”

 

Of course, he only read a few pages.

 

Eleanor backed away slowly. When she took a step back from him, Izmel took a step towards her. Then Eleanor’s back touched the cold, hard wall.

 

The moment she thought she was trapped in a narrow, dead-end space, Eleanor knew that a strange transfer of power had taken place between the two. The pranks probably should have ended here. Izmel must have felt the same, and his expression became more relaxed. Izmel, who caught his breath once again, politely held out his hand.

 

“Please, Lady Everett.”

 

Eleanor patted the palm-sized book in his hand.

 

“Of course. Your Highness asks, and I must be willing to give it.”

 

“Thank you.”

 

Izmel nodded his head lightly as he hid his book behind his back. Eleanor, who pursed her lips slightly, added.

 

“Ah, come to think of it, I’m also ‘Lady of the Count’ Everett.”

 

Eleanor’s meaningless words stunned Izmel. Izmel’s earlobes, which were stinging alone for no reason, were stained red. Eleanor tilted her head as she didn’t receive an answer after a long time.

 

“Your Highness?”

 

“Once again, whatever you imagine, you must be wrong. My tastes are classy and gentle, Eleanor. It’s like royal studies, or these days, astronomy…”

 

Izmel, who had been talking about himself endlessly without asking, stopped. The more he spoke, the more he felt himself getting weaker.

 

“It’s just like that.”

 

***

 

Izmel was gone, and Eleanor sat by the children and immersed herself in the textbook. She was excited because there were many hard-to-find books.

 

Eleanor glanced at the children. Demian and Sienna were sitting quietly reading a book with several stacked books next to them, and Lucas took a nap with a book of moderate thickness…

 

“Where has Luke gone?”

 

He was sleeping, and when she raised her eyes, the seat was empty. Eleanor jumped up from her seat.

 

Sienna answered calmly, turning the pages.

 

“He’s going to the bathroom.”

 

“Ah. Thanks for letting me know, Enna.”

 

Eleanor stroked her chest. Still, she was strangely uneasy. It was a teacher’s intuition.

 

“Quietly read your books here. I’ll be back soon.”

 

Eleanor headed for the hallway where the bathroom was. Eleanor looked out the large window casually and was immediately met with sparkling purple eyes. It was Lucas.

 

A moment of silence passed as if time had frozen. Eleanor, who had come to her senses, called out to Lucas with a furrowed brow.

 

“Luke!”

 

At that moment, Lucas started to run away. Eleanor crumpled up her skirt and chased after him with all her might.

 

“Stay there, Lucas!”

 

“If I get caught, I have to read a book!”

 

“But you can’t run away during class!”

 

The distance between Lucas and Eleanor didn’t narrow. Lucas was as nimble as a mountain squirrel. She didn’t know how such power could come from such a small body.

 

Eleanor followed Lucas through every nook and cranny of the palace. Lucas let out a bright, high-pitched laugh, probably in the mood for a game of catch. Unlike him who was excited, Eleanor’s face was slowly becoming red.

 

Just as Eleanor’s stamina and endurance slowly wore down, Lucas came to an abrupt halt. Taking advantage of that gap, Eleanor rushed over and grabbed Lucas by the shoulders.

 

“Caught you…!”

 

“Shh.”

 

Lucas squatted down, placing his finger on his lips. Eleanor was puzzled, but obediently followed Lucas’s instructions.

 

Lucas and Eleanor hid behind a large tree. Eleanor noticed that Lucas’ face had gone a little white and asked in a whisper.

 

“Are you okay?”

 

He shook his head slightly. Then the voices of heavy men were heard. About ten paces away from the two, several elderly ministers were conversing.

 

The faces were unfamiliar to Eleanor, but Lucas seemed to recognize them right away. Eleanor looked back and forth between Lucas and the men. A clear tension appeared on Lucas’ youthful face.

 

The men started talking.

 

“These days, the Second Prince hangs out with Duke Valentine’s younger brother, right?”

 

“His Highness the Crown Prince must be strong.”

 

“His Highness is such a nice person, so it must be a mask. In fact, the fact that the Second Prince, the son of a dishonest court lady, was recognized as the royal family was because of His Highness’ active involvement…”

 

They were talking about Lucas. Eleanor quickly covered Lucas’ ears. Lucas looked in her direction, slightly surprised.

 

Seeing Lucas’ eyes slightly reddened, Eleanor felt heat welling up inside her. They were babbling about a child, who was only 8 years old.

 

‘I can’t stay still.’

 

Eleanor jumped up.

 

Author's Thoughts

this chapter is sponsored by My Name is not Important (11/14)

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