‘What is going on right now?’
Apparently, when a person is too stunned, they don’t think at all. I blinked my eyes, catching glimpses of Lily and the knights coming in and out of my blurry field of vision. Somehow, everyone had a satisfied expression. It was quite amusing to see them enjoying themselves while I was being dragged around like a piece of luggage, hanging on someone’s shoulder without even knowing what was going on.
“Please put me down.”
Even though I pleaded about it being uncomfortable, Diart didn’t even pretend to hear me. I did put up a bit of a fuss, but in reality, it wasn’t that uncomfortable since he was firmly supporting me. He carried me as if the weight didn’t bother him at all. It was amazing how his breathing remained steady even after quite a long time.
‘During all this, I actually find it disappointing that Diart isn’t wearing gloves.’
I found myself absurd for thinking such a thing and shook my head. Suddenly, Diart’s steps abruptly came to a halt. We were far away from the main street where Jarvis and I were before. His hands were uncharacteristically gentle as he picked me up without a word and set me down.
With my feet firmly planted on the hard ground, I stared at him.
“What kind of rude behavior is this?”
“What are you talking about.”
His confident attitude actually caught me off guard. It was a far cry from Jarvis, who held my wrist and apologized in surprise. He stood with his arms crossed and looked down at me sternly, if someone saw us, they would think I was the one at fault.
‘Is this the difference between a lunatic and a slightly less lunatic?’
I couldn’t tell anymore if it was more strange for someone who was obsessed to be apologizing profusely here. Nodding my head inwardly, Diart added with a strangely sharp voice.
“I only helped you because it seemed like you wanted to enjoy the festival.”
“What? What does enjoying the festival have to do with being carried around like luggage?”
Why are you making someone who wants to understand you with a generous heart feel completely dumbfounded? As I glared at him intently, Diart raised an eyebrow without taking his eyes off me and pointed with his chin to the back.
Behind him, I saw people running away hurriedly, and there were others chasing after them.
“Didn’t you want to be Pyra?”
It was a name I had never heard before, but based on the context, I could understand who it was. Probably the woman whom Dequa had stolen from another man and made his wife. It seemed like she was carried on someone’s shoulder when she was stolen.
Suddenly at a loss for words, I opened my mouth to speak, and Diart, who was looking at me expectantly, spoke.
“Don’t you know? Pyra was originally Dequa’s lover.”
“Is that so?”
She must have been a capable woman. I was thinking that the setting was quite detailed for a god that wasn’t even mentioned in the original story, but Diart, who was still looking at me, said,
“Now I understand how Dequa felt when Pyra was stolen from him.”
“What did he feel?”
“He felt nothing.”
He said it in a discomforting tone as though he had experienced it firsthand.
“I have no intention of becoming Dequa.”
I narrowed my eyes at his incomprehensible words. He said he understood what Dequa felt, and now he says he has no intention of doing so. At this point, I had to listen to what Dequa had to say.
Anyway, one thing was clear. The festival sightseeing ends here. I couldn’t fully enjoy it as I intended: to find a woman who could capture Jarvis’ heart.
‘Oh, come to think of it, Jarvis must be worried.’
I suddenly disappeared without a word, so he might be looking for me. Maybe he thinks that just because of this festival, another man stole me.
When I thought of Jarvis, I remembered his confession. It was so unexpected. I could tell by the look on his face that he meant it.
“What are you thinking?”
Diart’s voice interrupted my thoughts, and I looked up. He looked obviously displeased. Somehow, I had a feeling that I shouldn’t answer honestly here.
“Well, it’s just that I’m disappointed to go back to the mansion like this. I didn’t get to fully enjoy the festival.”
“Then let’s continue enjoying it.”
“You’re making a big deal out of nothing.”
I thought he would immediately take me back to the mansion, but it was unexpected. I couldn’t help but smile at the thought of being able to have more fun at the festival. Diart, who had been staring at me, slowly put a hand on my shoulder.
“What’s wrong? Is something bothering you?”
“I feel dizzy here.”
“Oh, I see. You don’t seem to be feeling well. It’s better for you to go back to the mansion.”
I was worried that the man who looked like he wouldn’t die even if I killed him was sick. I reached out to help him up, and he looked down at my hand on his arm.
“Oh, I’m sorry.”
I quickly pulled away, not wanting to offend him. His gaze followed me.
“You should go back quickly and get examined.”
“I’ll take a little more time to look around before going in.”
You gave permission too, didn’t you? Diart looked at me as he lowered the hand that had been on my shoulder.
“What do you want to do?”
“At the festival? Well… I want to try delicious food and watch street performances. Oh, I heard there will be fireworks later, I want to see that too.”
Jarvis boasted that the Empire’s fireworks display was quite spectacular. I was excited because I hadn’t been to a fireworks festival in my previous life.
“Do you have something you want to eat?”
When Diart gestured subtly, Lambert, who had been waiting nearby, approached.
“There’s a famous restaurant nearby with a great night view.”
“Then make a reservation there.”
I waved my hands quickly. He was about to make a reservation at a restaurant assuming he knew what I wanted to eat. Well, I guess he’s the kind of man who would probably tell them to make it if it’s not available.
“What I want to eat is not sold at such places.”
“Then where do you want to eat?”
I pointed with my finger towards a certain place. Diart’s eyes followed my gaze.
“You want to eat street food?”
He seems completely unable to understand because he’s a nobleman through and through. But street food is delicious by nature. I nodded my head and Diart frowned slightly, displeased. Well, I’ll be eating alone anyway, so why is he so annoyed?
“Anyway, the Duke should go back now and get examined. Please make sure to do that. I’ll go ahead.”
I hurriedly bid farewell and turned around, but the man followed me instead of going in the opposite direction. I looked up at him in confusion.
“Why are you following me?”
“You said you wouldn’t go back.”
Diart replied as if it were obvious. What does it have to do with him if I stay at the festival? His expression became slightly annoyed when he saw my puzzled face.
“Do you want me to go back alone?”
Yes. Of course? When I blinked, he frowned.
“I’m curious about what you want to eat so badly.”
I looked at Diart in dismay. I didn’t expect him to stay with me at the festival.
‘Is it because I’m on a time limit?’
Are you worried that I might collapse on the street? Without even knowing what I wanted to eat, I quickly followed Diart, who was walking briskly.
“Are you not feeling well?”
Diart replied briefly and firmly. Even if he says he will be with me no matter what I say, why does it sound strange to me?
Can I really enjoy the festival properly with Diart standing awkwardly next to me? As I grumbled inwardly, I suddenly turned my head at a familiar smell that pierced my nostrils.
‘This is it!’
The combination of the savory smell of oil and spicy aroma was unmistakably what I had in mind. Without even realizing it, I grabbed Diart’s arm and pulled him along.
“Duke, this way!”
I stood still in the midst of various food stalls that were selling all kinds of food. Judging by the satisfied expressions of those who were holding the food, it was undoubtedly a great place to eat.
Diart, who was looking at the people in line with an incomprehensible expression, continued straight ahead. When I anxiously grabbed his arm, he turned around.
“Where are you going?”
“You want to eat this.”
“Can’t you see that there’s a line?”
No, how can you cut in line so boldly? It was ridiculous, and I burst out laughing. Is this what it means to be a noble? It was beyond my understanding as a commoner. Holding onto his arm with force, I laughed.