“What is all of this?”
“For some reason, I thought we should eat this when we go to the annex.”
Bellamy took the basket from my hand and smiled when he realized what it was.
“Shall we go then?”
The three of us walked side by side as if we were escaping to the annex. The escape from the annex was so easy it didn’t feel real, but I didn’t realize we would return to this place again.
The main gate, which had been locked by magic, was easily unlocked by Bellamy.
When we walked in, the place looked exactly as it did two years ago. The furniture was worn, and the smell of wood was eerily familiar. The broken bathroom door to the right was still there.
That’s a memory I’d rather forget, but it taught me to trust the boys completely. They were looking out for me more than I knew at that time.
We walked into the dining room and unpacked the picnic basket one by one. What had been clumsily prepared had been transformed into something quite gourmet by the chef.
“I remember that.”
The Orca brothers, who hadn’t eaten for days, as if on a hunger strike, gathered around the smell of food for the first time in a long time…
“The time Damian ate something I made and then wailed like a baby…”
“Oh sis, that’s not what-”
“But I was grateful you ate every last bite. I was grateful, even though it didn’t taste good…”
As he grew up, Damian, never once complaining about the dishes, became the only Swordmaster in the Empire.
How proud the Duke and Duchess would be if they were still alive?
They would feel the same for Bellamy, who had become a full-fledged seventh-circle mage. He was so great that the officials would come to the manor and beg him to join the magic tower, even though he had no interest in such things.
“Thank you for turning out so well. I was really worried about you.”
In other words, I was very worried that they would kidnap the heroine, imprison her, use her as a sex slave, and later be beheaded by the Crown Prince.
The brothers, who couldn’t possibly know what I was thinking, shrugged.
“It’s all because of you. If it wasn’t for you, we would’ve had our asses handed to us.”
“You and Dami don’t strike me as the type of people to allow that.”
I felt a little shy as we went down memory lane, reminding one another how much we meant to each other. My response was playful and Bellamy smirked.
After that, we started reminiscing about the past eight years. It seemed like the three of us had more days of laughing rather than crying.
“So, what was the book you were hiding?”
Bellamy asked in the middle of the conversation. Damian looked at me as if he didn’t know what that meant
The only books I hid from him were the ones I burned and “that” one. I hadn’t had the presence of mind to burn it.
“Well, I’m not sure what that is?”
As I twirled my fork around the pasta to avoid his gaze, he laughed.
“You pretending not to know makes me even more curious. Why don’t we just go upstairs and see.”
He stood up abruptly. Damian followed, quite curious about the secrets of Bellamy and me that he wasn’t privy to.
The Count troubled me, dead or alive. I wasn’t sure if he was actually dead, but I assumed he was, given the two of them never said anything.
“Oh, no, I don’t think you need to see it. It’s useless.”
Would you please stop being curious?
They’d only ever seen proper sex education books, and this was too much for them. In this day and age, the Crown Prince and Aria were already in love, so they didn’t need to read this kind of thing!
I tried my best to stop them as they stomped off to my room, but they didn’t even pretend to listen.
Ah, why are you putting me through this ordeal…
Eventually, they opened the door and went inside. Nothing had really changed in two years. Damian had made me a wooden doll, and the canopy Bellamy had magically created was still the same.
But instead of admiring my room, Bellamy waved his hand in the air. A desk drawer opened and the book floated out.
“No, please! Can we not look at it? Please?”
“It’s just a book. Why are you hiding it?”
Because it’s not just a book, asshole…
The book in Bellamy’s hands was imposing just from the cover. The subtitle of the book was “101 Techniques to Enslave a Man.”
Bellamy’s expression, which was almost as mischievous as Damian’s, instantly hardened at the sight of the book.
“What is this?” He asked, and Damian echoed it.
Oh, I never thought the book would be revealed like this to them… I told them not to wonder! No, it’s times like this I have to stay strong.
I swallowed my embarrassment and put on a brave face.
“It’s no big deal, right? Let’s go downstairs.”
“Sis, why did you have a book like this, even without our knowledge…”
But as if my nonchalance didn’t work, Damian asked with a stern look that made me feel like I’d been caught by my brother for looking at porn.
“Don’t tell us this-”
“You’re crazy! This was given to me by the Count. I never wanted to bring it here in the first place, so what are you talking about?”
Why would I try to seduce them?
Damian didn’t look like he believed that since he had a very good imagination.
Isn’t it a little far-fetched to imagine them like that?
At my answer, their faces hardened with a different meaning. It seemed as if they had finally come alive.
“The Duke and Duchess’s first night will be harsher.”
“Huh? What did you just say?”
I thought Bellamy had said something…
He quickly erased his expression and turned to me.
“The Count didn’t make you do any of this, did he?”
“He gave me this book the week before we escaped.”
I didn’t want to remember anything beyond that. It still gives me chills to think about what I was forced to do, and what he almost did before we escaped. I still have nightmares from time to time because it was so traumatizing. I’m sure they found out about it in the process of torturing the Count.
“Oh, let’s not talk about this. What’s done is done, right?”
I put on my bravest face and left the room
Not everything could be a happy memory, but I was happy when I was with them. I didn’t want to let that bad moment ruin my current mood.
They followed me out in silence.
“Oh, while we’re at it, why don’t we check out the room at the end of the third floor? I seem to recall that I had quite a bit of stuff left there in preparation for the confinement.”
They didn’t answer me. I searched their faces to see if they were still in a bad mood about the book, but that didn’t seem to be the case.
Damian’s pupils were shaky as he awkwardly smiled, while Bellamy took my hand with his usual expression.
“No, let’s go to the mansion and rest for today. You must be tired after coming back from Euassis.”
I’m not too tired to explore this small annex, but their emanating aura coerces me to rest. They’re hiding something from me after all.
“Well… that’s a shame, but I’m tired, so why not?”
I wondered what they were hiding from me. I had a baseless suspicion.
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