Episode 34


Jasper, who had been keeping his mouth shut at the exhibition hall, didn’t seem unusual at all. He was frequently like this, so it was familiar.

However, Jasper asking affectionate questions was strange. Jasper was never the type to openly ask people kindly.

Rose wanted to escape this uncomfortable atmosphere. Jasper continued to be silent with a somewhat uneasy expression, then let out a long sigh and walked towards the carriage without saying a word.

‘Why isn’t he speaking…’

In a state of confusion, Rose followed behind Jasper. He walked with larger strides than usual, and the two of them soon reached the carriage.

Once inside the carriage, separated from the outside world, Jasper finally spoke.

“Do you have something to say to me?”


Rose looked at Jasper in surprise at the unexpected question. Jasper’s gaze wandered somewhere indistinct as he sat opposite her.

In a low, mumbled voice, Jasper said, 

“Are you… not in a bad mood?”

Ironically, it was Rose who wanted to ask Jasper that same question.

“Why would I be?”

Rose questioned, her gaze fixed on Jasper, who was looking at some vague point in the air.

In a low voice, Jasper murmured.

“Aren’t you…?”

Rose was genuinely puzzled now.


Upon hearing Rose’s startled voice, Jasper ran his fingers through his perfectly combed hair, making it tousled, with a few strands falling onto his forehead. However, he still looked handsome.

Rose scrutinized Jasper’s sharp profile. Sometimes, when they conversed, she felt like the conversation was going around in circles. From the start, their communication styles didn’t quite align. 

Jasper found it difficult to express his true emotions in words, while Rose struggled to read emotions from non-verbal cues.

Jasper bit his lip and then spoke.

“You thought I was discriminating against people based on their status.”

“Status? What are you talking about…?”

It was only now that Rose realized Jasper was talking about Theo.

‘Why would you think I was upset because of that? Did I seem like that? I’m fine.’

Rose wondered if she would ever truly understand Jasper Conway. She had thought he was indifferent and distant, but now he seemed to hold onto even the smallest details like this.

“Did you think I was offended by that? Did it look like that… I don’t feel anything.”

Jasper leaned against the wall with a sigh. His throat sounded hoarse.

‘He seems a bit down.’

Jasper wearing such a despondent and uncomfortable expression was a first. Rose was taken aback, and to comfort him, she started speaking quickly.

“Jasper, don’t worry. Even if you were bothered by the senior’s status, it’s not wrong. It’s just natural…”

“Why is that natural?”


Rose hesitated for a moment. Jasper’s question had taken her by surprise. She had to choose her words carefully.

“Because… the Lepti Empire is a class-based nation, isn’t it?”

If it weren’t, there would be no need to be so cautious about their actions. There would be no need to change their names and flee so far away to Quilts. As someone born in the empire, Rose believed that the class system was something they couldn’t completely escape, no matter how much they wanted to.

Once you were a citizen of the empire, the class system was a structure that you had to accept, even if it occasionally felt unfair.

Jasper, who had been staring vaguely into the void all this time, suddenly looked straight at Rose. His intense gaze was fixed directly on Rose.

“I don’t care about that.”

Jasper’s low voice echoed inside the carriage. At the same time, the carriage started moving forward with a clatter of wheels. After a few seconds of only the sound of the carriage wheels rolling, Rose spoke.

“Yeah, I know. You’re close to me.”

Jasper didn’t expect Rose to say such words first. Rose felt a fluttering in her heart. Was it because the carriage was moving fast, or…

While Rose was lost in thought, Jasper spoke.

“I was just annoyed earlier because we were interrupted.”


“That guy butted in. During our… my time.”

Rose nodded hesitantly.

“Yeah, he did. And you seemed uncomfortable with people.”

“Yeah, that’s why Theo Lixton got on my nerves. It wasn’t important how he treated me, and instead…”

Jasper continued speaking but then stopped. In the silence, the two exchanged glances.

Rose stared at Jasper intently. She wrinkled her forehead as if she were puzzled and occasionally nibbled her lips. She seemed to have more to say, but it looked difficult to get it out.

After a while, Jasper finally brought up the topic.

“… Are you close to that guy?”

“Senior Theo?”

Jasper nodded briefly.

“Well, sort of. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen him.”

“You haven’t been in touch since graduation?”

“I saw him for the first time today since graduation.”

“He seems to be a teaching assistant in the classes you’re taking.”

“Yeah, it looks like that.”

Jasper swept back the strand of hair falling on his forehead.

“You became friends by chance during our freshman year?”

“Um, both of us were scholarship students.”


“We were in the same club.”

Jasper’s eyelids twitched.

“Don’t you avoid club activities? You were in the Walking Club or something, that Ghost Club, right? Did you do any activities back then?”

“Well, not really. But we did hang out as club members. Oh, by the way, it’s not the Ghost Club anymore.”

“What? You joined a different club?”

“No, it just happened that our club became active again.”

Jasper raised an eyebrow and shifted his upper body as he leaned toward Rose. Even though the carriage was quite spacious, it felt as if the space had suddenly become full when Jasper moved.

“What does that mean, ‘became active’?”

Rose briefly explained the situation with the club. Jasper, who had been silently observing Rose with his chin in his hand, suddenly interjected.

“That sounds interesting.”

“Yeah, it is. Rebecca is joining too.”

“So, you’ve become friends with Rebecca Sherman.”

Jasper said, rubbing his chin.

“I want to join too.”


Rose momentarily thought she had misheard and asked again. Jasper spoke firmly as if to clarify that it wasn’t a mistake.

“I want to join that club too.”

“Aren’t you already in another club? Was it rugby?”

She remembered seeing Jasper playing rugby near the stadium on Saturdays.

“I do that as well, but I can do both. It’s okay to be in multiple clubs.”

“That’s true, but…”

“If the membership increases, they might assign a separate club room. Don’t you have one right now?”


“Do the others don’t mind not having a club room? I don’t think so, for some reason.”

“That might be true…”

Rose nodded in agreement. Briley and Rebecca would be happy if they got a club room.

“It would help if they just put my name on the club list.”

“Um, I’ll ask the others tomorrow.”

“Hurry up and gather more people to get a club room. The rugby club room is too noisy. I can’t relax there. That’s why I went to that lab every time.”

“Got it. I’ll ask the others tomorrow.”

Jasper’s eyebrow shot up.

“What are you going to ask? Regardless of their opinions, I’m going to apply tomorrow.”

“…You’re proactive. I didn’t expect this from you, Jasper.”

Jasper’s interest in a peripheral club seemed unusual. He appeared to want a quiet and peaceful club room, but…

‘With Briley being a club member, is that even possible?’

Rose feeling somewhat skeptical and confused, Jasper subtly shifted the topic.

“Oh, I asked Caleb about that, if he’s seeing anyone.”


Since this matter was more pressing and important, Rose immediately inquired about the topic.

“What did Caleb say?”

“He mentioned there were some discussions about an arranged marriage.”

Gasp! Rose gasped and swallowed hard.

“S-so, does Caleb… like the prospective partner?”

“No, it’s literally about an arranged marriage.”

Rose let out a soft sigh and pressed her forehead with her fingertips.

‘What should I do?’

She was uncertain whether to relay this information to Rebecca, as she was unsure if it would be something Rebecca would appreciate. If Caleb’s feelings were insincere, it might be best not to fuel any lingering emotions in Rebecca.

“So, is he seeing anyone else?”

“I don’t think so.”

Was connecting Caleb to someone part of helping Rebecca, or was it the other way around? Love relationships felt incredibly complex to Rose, and it seemed like there were no clear answers. 

Emotional intricacies between people sometimes lead to irreversible consequences.

Jasper, who had been observing Rose intently, suddenly threw out a question.

“Is this something Rebecca Sherman asked for?”

“Uh, yeah?”

Rose involuntarily shivered and shrugged. Caught off guard by the unexpected situation, she couldn’t hide her confusion when Jasper’s question hit home.

“Oh, no? It’s not like that… No.”

“Is that so? Just a wild guess. You’re really bad at lying.”

“…I said it’s not like that.”

Rose mumbled vaguely, looking embarrassed.

Rose was adept at lying about her past identity. It was a skill she had honed over the years, always mindful and prepared for it. However, she wasn’t proficient at unprepared lies. Even now, she shows vulnerability and gaps when confronted with unexpected inquiries.

Jasper let out a soft chuckle.

“Don’t be scared. I don’t want to see you look like that.”

Rose absentmindedly touched her cheek with her fingertips. What kind of expression was she wearing? She did feel a bit deflated.

“I won’t tell anyone.”

Jasper spoke as if trying to reassure her, with an unexpectedly gentle tone. Rose wasn’t used to this side of Jasper Conway, who had always been sharp and challenging. It seemed like there was suddenly a new variable in their interaction.

But she didn’t dislike it. Could this be Jasper’s true nature all along?


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