Even if he shows up at the library, what does it have to do with Anita?
At the sound of footsteps echoing through the quiet library, Anita swiftly opened the book she had closed. She didn’t want to give any indication that she had been waiting for him like a watchdog guarding its home. Pretending to be engrossed in her studies, Anita buried her head in the book.
The footsteps stopped abruptly in front of Anita.
Pretending not to know anything, Anita greeted him casually, but her eyes blinked rapidly. The person standing in front of her was Edmund, with blond hair tied up to his shoulders.
“I felt a human presence since a while ago, so I came to check.”
“It was you.”
He smiled faintly. For some reason, he looked very tired.
“Move to the side.”
It was a command, but his voice lacked strength, making it sound more like a request. Feeling sympathy for his pathetic state, Anita willingly gave up her seat. Edmund slumped onto the sofa as if he was collapsing.
“Seriously, do you have no intention of becoming a family with me?”
“Do you want to be adopted?”
“Yeah. The old man interferes so much just because I’m family.”
Thanks to Edmund’s grumbling, Anita learned information she wasn’t particularly curious about, such as the story of the Earl of Aberdeen, who is also the chairman of Aberdeen University, cutting off Edmund’s allowance to try to change his grandson’s mind about marriage.
“Well, then, you can at least get a job.”
It wasn’t really about the money, but Anita, working at a cafe, thought so.
“Going to work is too much of a hassle.”
Anita was about to get up from her seat when Rutger entered the library, too conscience-stricken to ask someone who looked so tired to move out of the way. He walked over to Anita and frowned when he saw Edmund sprawled out next to her.
“I don’t know.”
Seemingly oblivious, Edmund greeted cheerfully.
“Oh, the one with the mental illness?”
Anita furrowed her brow, remembering the worst of their first meeting. She couldn’t understand Rutger, who had no interest in her but interfered in everything.
Before Anita could say anything, Rutger walked confidently to Anita’s side, intruding between her and Edmund. Anita found herself squeezed between the two.
It wasn’t just the narrow space that was the problem. When Rutger sat next to Anita, the sofa seemed to sag, causing Anita’s body to tilt in his direction. When her head slightly touched his shoulder, Anita recoiled as if having a fit. The scent of shampoo from his hair confused her mind.
The sofa was narrow, and Anita’s head, now far from Rutger, naturally rested against Edmund. It was uncomfortable on this side too, and Anita just rolled her eyes.
Then, a warm hand gently took hold of Anita’s hand. Anita could only flinch like a fish pulled out of the water, unable to do anything.
“It’s gone now.”
Rutger held Anita’s hand in one hand and caressed the back of her hand. Anita’s held fingers trembled.
“The butterfly. I drew it.”
Several days had passed, and the butterfly had long since disappeared without a trace.
“There’s no reason to keep holding onto it.”
Anita considered her response to be reasonably wise. After all, Rutger probably wouldn’t think deeply about this matter.
And Anita’s expectation was not wrong. Rutger, after briefly glancing at the back of Anita’s hand, turned his head away without a word and released the hand he was holding. He probably forgot about the time he had asked her to visit again to complete the portrait.
Anita, staring blankly at the hand left stranded, wordlessly placed it on her lap.
Come to think of it, Edmund had been unusually quiet since earlier. Without thinking, Anita turned her head and chuckled. He was already asleep with a book covering his face.
Hearing Anita’s faint laughter, Rutger asked softly,
After enduring the subsequent silence, Anita couldn’t take it any longer and abruptly stood up.
“I’ll go find a book for a moment and be back.”
Without waiting for anyone to ask, Anita moved towards the library shelves. After wandering around for a while, she found a secluded spot and sat down. Since it was a spot between bookshelves, it wouldn’t be in anyone’s line of sight.
Now that she could relax, Anita opened her anatomy book and resumed studying.
After a while, Anita realized that she didn’t know the scope of the anatomy exam. The exam details should be posted on the wall in the first-floor corridor. She regretted not checking it earlier.
Chewing on her lips for a moment, Anita finally got up from her seat. Instead of wasting time studying different material, it would be better to take a short break and check the exam details. Placing the book on the seat she had occupied, Anitta left the library.
The second-floor corridor was quiet, devoid of any people. Nevertheless, the corridor was well-lit, making it not intimidating.
After going down to the first floor to check the exam details, Anita returned to the second floor.
At that moment, white lightning bolt struck. The corridor instantly brightened. Anita grimaced for a moment, knowing what would follow.
A deafening noise echoed through the surroundings. Until then, everything seemed fine. However, as the thunder and lightning subsided, the lights in the corridor began to flicker. Anita looked up at the ceiling. The light, which had been flickering on and off for a while, eventually went out.
However, complete darkness did not envelop the corridor. The candles on the wall were still intact.