Episode 20


Jasper let out a deep sigh and spoke.

“Practice problems? I didn’t do them.”

“Oh… Why?”

Rose’s eyebrows lowered. Jasper chewed on his lips and made an uncomfortable expression.

‘Darn it. I feel guilty.’

Originally, Jasper wasn’t an exemplary student who diligently did his homework. He maintained average grades and lived that way. Besides, his future was already determined after graduation. 

Unless something significant happened, he would become an Imperial military officer. In the military, magic engineering was of no use.

But now he had to look into magic engineering every week all because of that little girl.

‘Isn’t it cheating to say I didn’t do my homework?’

Jasper’s gaze fell on Rose’s downcast face. 

“Should I do it now?”

Jasper’s voice, usually quite calm, sounded more rigid than usual due to his confusion. Rose flinched.

“Oh, I didn’t mean anything.”

He didn’t mean anything either. Jasper nodded briefly and sat down on a chair.

Then he heard the sound of Rose’s footsteps approaching. Tap, tap. Rose’s footsteps always sounded clear. 

‘Her stride is really small.’

Adjusting his pace to match her walking speed was quite a struggle.

‘What was Rose Bell doing while I grew up this big?’

He thought he could lift her with one hand. She was petite and thin.

‘Did she have dinner? I didn’t see her in the cafeteria.’

She and Briley always used to show up together in the cafeteria, but tonight, he couldn’t find them.

Jasper raised an eyebrow and threw a question at Rose like it was an offhand remark.


“I had it.”

“What did you eat?”

“Oh, I went out with Bry.”

“Went out?”

“It was this delicious fish dish. It was my first time trying it. It’s a restaurant run by a chef from the Republic.”

Jasper stared intently at Rose, whose lips were mumbling away.

“Ah… I know that place too.”

“Really? You’ve been there too? It’s delicious, and the atmosphere is great.”

“It’s a well-known spot for dates.”

“Wow, I didn’t know that. You know about that sort of thing too…”

He couldn’t help but chuckle at how Rose Bell saw him.

In reality, Jasper had never been to that restaurant and had no intention of going in the future. The knowledge was forced upon him by Caleb’s incessant chatter.

“The interior was unique and pretty. It seems perfect for a date.”

As Jasper listened to Rose’s words, he felt like his mood was plummeting. He recalled Briley’s face, deliberately smug, in his mind.

‘Who does she think she is, taking Rose Bell there?’

Perhaps it was due to missing the Republican cuisine, but Jasper wasn’t in a state to make rational assumptions today.

The person Jasper was most irritated with these days was Briley Lawrence. No matter how much he denied it, the baseless rumors about him being in a relationship with her just wouldn’t go away. 

Briley seemed to have no intention of correcting the rumors. She was almost promoting them.


What kind of audacity was that? Jasper was sure that Briley didn’t like him.

‘She’s just playing around.’

Briley was probably just enjoying the attention. She seemed content with the fact that she had gotten people talking about her at the Academy. Well, that much was fine. It had happened so often that he had gotten used to it. Many people had approached him for fame before.

Briley Lawrence’s biggest issue was that she always stuck by Rose’s side. Rose Bell’s exclusive companionship was a serious matter.

Roommates, aren’t they? They only just met a few days ago, and he couldn’t understand why they became so close, being Rose’s closest friend. He doesn’t even know why Rose, who had always been alone, opened up to Briley so quickly.

‘I knew her a long time ago.’

Jasper was just hesitant to approach Rose Bell because she seemed guarded. However, Briley Lawrence becoming so close to Rose Bell as her roommate was unreasonable.

Whenever Rose hasn’t been seen for a while, it’s always because Briley took her somewhere. This was the case this evening.

Especially the smile Briley gave when she took Rose’s spot annoyed Jasper the most. It was as if she was teasing him.

You don’t have Rose, but I’m here.

That seemed to be the meaning behind that look.

But Rose Bell kept saying strange things like how she and Briley were a good match, which only fueled Jasper’s irritation.

“Uh… Jasper”

While Jasper was brooding, Rose’s tiny voice reached him. Jasper looked at her with a fierce expression. 


“I, I have something to ask.”


“Um, what’s your ideal type?”


Jasper blinked momentarily at the sudden question.

Ideal type? Why would she ask that? Out of curiosity? Why would she be curious about someone like him? They’re not even going out. But the fact that she was curious meant that she was somewhat paying attention, and that might mean she remembered him… Jasper, who was pondering this, stopped in his tracks.

‘Darn it.’

When he thought about it calmly, there was only one reason.

‘I’m not an idiot.’

Jasper reproached himself and then spoke to Rose.

“Did Briley tell you to ask?”

Rose’s eyes widened in surprise.

‘That’s frustrating.’

Inside, it felt like something was boiling up within Jasper. He let out an irritated sigh and unbuttoned one of the buttons on his shirt.

“I’ll tell you, so go and convey it.”

If it had come to this, he wanted to make it clear. He wanted to describe an ideal type opposite to Briley.

Until now, Jasper had never really thought about his ideal type. Contrary to common belief, Jasper was someone who kept a great distance from romantic relationships.

Always having to think about someone, contacting them out of obligation, meeting them, whispering sweet words. Why bother with such a troublesome thing?

Jasper didn’t like people, whether they were men or women. Swinging a sword alone was the most comfortable for him.

While a solid blade didn’t change, humans were so malleable that they changed easily. If a relationship was bound to crumble someday, it was better not to even start it.

The noise was equally detestable. Duty and responsibility were among the words he despised the most.

There were plenty of people around him who lived unhappily bound by duty and responsibility. It wasn’t limited to faraway people; even acquaintances like Ethan were an example.

Jasper began to forcibly squeeze out what he had never thought about in his life.

“Someone quiet.”

Rose nodded earnestly.

What should he say next? Jasper furrowed one eye briefly and then spoke.

“Someone not loud.”

“…Isn’t that the same as the first one?”

Sigh. Jasper let out a sigh. It was exasperating to make up something he had never even thought about in his life. He propped his chin up with his hand, his eyes carrying a tired expression.

He glanced at Rose Bell for a moment. What was this look in her wide eyes as she listened?

His gaze stopped at her stray strand of hair.

‘She had a hairpin on yesterday.’

Today, she had only loosely tied her long hair. Did Briley give her that hairpin? Did such a gift help them become friends quickly?

Jasper absentmindedly blurted out some words from his stream of consciousness.

“I’d like it if they had long hair.”

“Ah, sure.”

Jasper’s gaze floated lazily above Rose Bell.

“Big eyes…”

Up until a moment ago, he couldn’t even speak properly, but now his words were flowing naturally.

“Passionate personality…”

He suddenly thought of the emerald green eyes that had glimmered as he fixed the lamp music box.

“…Shorter than me…”

Round cheeks came into view.

“Good eater…”

That was just a wish. The current Rose Bell seemed like she would break into pieces if he touched her.

“I like it if they’re cute…”

Jasper forced his lips shut with a click. He realized too late that he had been unconsciously describing his ideal type based on Rose. He bit down on the soft flesh inside his mouth with his incisor.

‘Am I crazy?’

Jasper ran his hand through his hair, disheveling it. His forehead throbbed. His body temperature surged to the point that cold sweat formed on the back of his neck and palms.

‘Have I gone crazy?’

Jasper turned his head away from Rose’s direction to hide his trembling pupils.

“Jasper, are you done?”



Jasper suppressed the breath that was trying to burst out. He forced out a low, strained voice.

“…Yeah, I’m done.”

His mind was a chaotic mess.

‘What is this?’

His heart tightened.

‘Why is this happening?’

It felt like the sensation he had when facing a strong opponent in a duel. His entire body instinctively tensed, and his muscles contracted. His heart pumped much faster than usual, working hard to supply blood through his veins.

Tension, overwhelming emotions, and fear.

‘…Fear? What? Fear of Rose Bell?’

Rose had never felt easy to him. But he had never been so unsure before. He was entrapped by an emotion he was experiencing for the first time.

An unidentifiable fear surged. He felt like his world was about to change completely from this point on.

In stark contrast to Jasper’s intense inner turmoil, Rose spoke in her usual soft and gentle tone.

“I’ll tell Briley the way it is.”

Jasper roughly ran his palm over his face. He could feel his cheek burning hotter than usual. He desperately wanted to escape this embarrassing situation. He wished the inexplicable fear would vanish.

“Now, let’s get back to tutoring.”

Desperate enough to steer the conversation towards studying, Jasper spoke, hoping it would divert their focus. Rose looked surprised as if taken aback by the unexpected change of topic.

“Sure! Oh, I made the explanations a bit easier this time since you struggled last time. Your head should hurt less today.”


Jasper wanted to put something else into his mind quickly. Even if it was a complex mana calculation formula that made his head spin, it would have been fine.


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