Thinking about it made me giggle.
Bella, who was opening the last box, dropped what she was doing and stood next to me.
She looked at me with a world-weary expression.
I saw my reflection in her blue eyes.
Bella asked me, “You didn’t have anyone in your heart, right? Right? Right?”
Keeping someone in my heart? Jeremy, maybe? Haha
I had no desire to get involved.
Seeing Bella acting like this, she wondered if she had bumped into him.
He’s probably as fond of beauty as I am, so he must have a crush on Bella.
‘Hmm. I’m going to get killed by Kahen, then.’
I mean, who said anything about liking someone you shouldn’t look up to?
My chest tingled unnecessarily.
I squeezed my chest at the sudden pain.
I felt somewhat frustrated.
But I smiled brightly and stroked her soft hair.
“Don’t go out with Jeremy!”
While I was quietly playing with her hair, Bella suddenly shouted.
“He’s plain-looking, he doesn’t have anything special going for him, and he’s not very nice! He’s a womanizer. And, and…”
Bella folded her fingers, listing his flaws one by one.
That was enough to hurt his feelings, but she grunted and racked her brain to come up with more.
“Whatever you do, don’t go off alone with Jeremy!”
“Huh? Of course not.”
Why would I go to a festival with him?
I ran the simulation in my head.
Ugh, this is going to be so awkward.
We’ve never really talked, and I’d only seen him a few days ago at Viscount Rugise ball.
Bella rubbed her chest at response.
Apparently, she thinks I’m going to fall for Jeremy, who’s been poking around from girl to girl.
She could be right.
Despite Bella’s words, the cool-looking Jeremy was far from normal.
That’s why, despite his crumbling family, there are many young people who admire him.
But that doesn’t mean I will fall for him.
Despite his good looks, a man who opens his mouth and spews out buttery words is not my cup of tea.
‘Maybe it’s because I’m with Kahen and Bella that my standards have gotten unnecessarily higher.’
Am I doomed to never be in a relationship?
I felt like I should shed a few tears, but I didn’t think much of it, because I had already gone through everything I had to go through before childbirth.
“Are you serious? Promise me.”
She thrust her little finger in front of my nose.
I dazedly looked back and forth between the finger in front of me and Bella, who was clenching her teeth tightly.
When I didn’t do anything, she pushed her finger in further.
Any more and it would threaten to poke me in the eye.
“Walk away quickly.”
“Where did you learn to do this…?”
I hooked my pinky over her finger.
No one here do this as a sign of commitment.
I don’t know if I need to hand out a contract.
Come to think of it, Kahen also took it for granted that he made such a promise.
“No hanging out with Jeremy! You promise?”
Feeling relieved to have a firm commitment, Bella began to play with the items in earnest.
I nodded my head in agreement, saying ‘pretty’ and ‘matching’ over and over again, wanting to go home now.
This is home, so I have to keep responding until the sun goes down with nowhere to run.
I don’t know if there’s such a thing as a jinx, but whenever I made a promise to Bella, the opposite happened.
Like, say, the arrival of Jeremy.
“Hello, are you well?”
I glanced at Jeremy, then back at Bella, who had whispered in my ear, “Don’t meet him, don’t breathe in the same room, and if he comes near you, just kill him.”
And I held my breath.
I can’t kill an innocent person.
I was determined to make him invisible.
‘Why did you come out today?’
I hadn’t heard from Ventian in a while, and I was getting worried.
Normally, he would have been lounging around in the mansion.
It’s a strange coincidence.
It was a bumpy ride to get to Ventian.
I was used to it.
Within minutes of deciding to ignore him, I was seriously wondering if I should pay attention to him or not.
The further we walked, the more people clung to him.
Perhaps he had never been to a place like this before, he couldn’t even get rid of a child who was soliciting guests, nor could he stay still.
‘So why did you give me gold coins in the first place…’
So I thought, ‘Ah, this person is a sucker!’ and rushed in to take advantage of them.
I tried to pay as little attention as possible, but the more I did, the more he stared.
Now I was surrounded by people and couldn’t see myself.
People were forming a circle around me, looking down in case I fell.
I clicked my tongue.
“Guys, I’m sorry, but I know him.”
I finally pushed my way through the kids surrounding him.
I was met with pointed stares.
I could understand their resentment.
They must hate me for trying to take him away before they could get a piece of the action.
But there’s nothing I can do to stop them from taking him.
They glare at me fiercely before turning away.
Finally free of the crowd, Jeremy staggers to his feet, holding my hand.
He shuddered, dusting off his pants.
“This is scary.”
“They’re just kids if you keep your wits about you.”
It was one of the reasons I couldn’t be mean to him.
I asked when he had somewhat cleaned up his act.
“Why are you following me?”
He chuckled, as if he’d been waiting for me.
“To help me win the heart of a young lady, to be precise? Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m doing this to get points because I feel like I’m going to be killed by my boss without even a mouse or a bird knowing.”
I didn’t listen after ‘to win my heart’.
I could have just pulled him out of the crowd and gone on my way.
But Jeremy followed closely behind me.
“I don’t need your help.”
Are you going to heal Ventian, or are you going to pull him out of wherever hole he’s stuck in instead of me?
Despite my clear refusal, Jeremy remained still.
Because my steps have stopped.
“Don’t follow me.”
“I’m not following the lady.”
Damn right I am.
A nobleman is a nobleman, even if he’s on the verge of being exiled.
They can’t have business in a place like this.
He couldn’t have come to see Ventian.
His boss, Kahen, and Ventian don’t get along, they’re like cats and dogs.
Seeing that he doesn’t even know that he shouldn’t pay attention to people who solicit customers, it means that he’s never been to a place like this before.
There’s no way a high and mighty nobleman would come to a narrow, dirty alley like this.
“Then you go first.”
I stepped aside to let him pass.
He looked at me for a moment as I cleared a path for him against the wall.
Then he really started forward.
‘What the hell. You’re not really following me?’
There were a lot of things that didn’t add up.
Why did he greet me in the first place, and given that he spoke to me first, he must have a purpose.
Oh, and I should have asked about the gift.
But he’s already gone.
It’s a bold step for a first-timer.
“Is there really business here?”
Even though the gullible person left, one child couldn’t let go and wandered around
Unlike the other children I saw earlier, he was even skinnier and smaller.
Finally, I let out a small sigh.
I usually dressed modestly when I came here, to avoid being seen, to avoid getting involved.
Pulling my bonnet down tight to hide my face, I tossed a silver coin near the child’s feet.
A silver coin was a lot of money for a commoner.
It would have been better to give him a fairy tale… but he wouldn’t be able to eat a proper meal with that money.
They had the same hair color as the group that had stripped Jeremy off earlier, so they must be related by blood.
Unlike them, who had gained a little weight, this child was so skinny you could see his bones.
If I give him a copper coin, it would only buy one loaf of bread, so it wouldn’t be enough to feed him.
If I give him a silver coin, he’d have a better chance of getting a share, since it could buy several loaves.
If Ventian didn’t take me there himself, I had to make my way through this maze of alleys.
A first-timer could get lost in the complexity for half a day, but I was now familiar with the geography of the place and could reach my destination without difficulty.
Just around this alley…
I saw a head of scarlet hair.
“Don’t follow me, lady.”
He teased me in a playful tone.
I stopped myself and let out a weak laugh.
This place can’t be accidental.
There were too many small and large forks in the road to make this place easy to find.
That’s where Jeremy was.
‘I wonder if I should admire the male lead’s hands and feet…’
In the original story, Jeremy and Ventian never met.
‘Should I be afraid of coming all the way here by guessing the direction I’m going…’
He’s an impatient man.
“What are you doing here?”
“Waiting for the lady.”
He smiles broadly as he says it.
I’m not immune to this.