Chapter 31 - In Denial
“What nonsense are you spouting?” The man once again responded perversely, even though I had tried my best to speak considerately.
‘What’s causing him to act so rudely like that?’ I was absorbed in my frustrations for a while, but I soon speculated the cause of his unhappiness. ‘If he were kicked out yesterday, he probably skipped dinner and didn’t have anything to eat since then.’
I could suddenly empathize with him a little better. ‘It’s true that people are more easily irritated when they’re hungry and don’t have a place to go.’ I couldn’t help but pity him.
“Let’s have brunch together later,” I said softly.
The man stared at me with a stony expression. “What?”
At that moment, someone knocked on the door.
“Our chef is pretty skilled, so you can expect delicious food,” I said as I closed the closet doors again.
* * *
‘Eat together?’ As he quietly sat in the closet, Max replayed the woman’s words in his head with a strange expression. ‘Wait, why am I even listening to her?’
He was suddenly plagued by doubts and became engulfed in anger upon coming to his senses. ‘I should just break the doors open and leave.’
At that moment, he sensed that someone was approaching. Judging by the rhythm of the person’s feet, it was the maid who had previously visited. Frankly, Max was irritated; he felt the urge to break the closet doors and ruin the woman’s plans to keep him out of sight. But upon remembering her expression when she had offered to eat together, he was pacified.
‘I’ll wait for a little longer.’ It was the first time that Max had decided to patiently wait for someone else.
“I brought some medicine and sandwiches, Lady Floyen.”
“Thank you, Merilyn. Just a second.”
“Yes, my lady.”
“Could you come over here and apply the medicine to my back and neck?”
Max had expected to get out of this stuffy closet soon, but the woman was taking her sweet time. As his patience quickly ran out, he gritted his teeth in anger. ‘She said it would only take a second. What in the world is she doing now?’
Max clenched his fists, ready to break open the closet doors when he remembered what the woman had said once again. “Let’s have brunch together later.” Strangely enough, he wasn’t able to succumb to his impulses when her laughing face came to mind.
‘Why am I…’ Now that he thought about it, many things were strange. He hadn’t thought about leaving until the woman asked and he felt his heart tingle when she had offered to eat together. Now, he found himself unable to defy her wishes. Max furrowed his eyebrows and wondered why he was acting like this. His thoughts were suddenly interrupted by a scream that came from the very woman who had been bothering him this entire time.
Although he couldn’t see her, he became alert. ‘Is there an ambush? What happened?’ All sorts of scenarios crossed his mind. Only two people should have been in the room, but there was a possibility that an adept assassin was hiding somewhere.
‘The woman even went asleep without locking her windows…’ From Max’s point of view, Jubelian was defenseless. It wouldn’t be strange if she was attacked right now.
‘I have to see what’s happening.’ He reached out to push open the closet doors, then stopped. ‘Why do I even care?’
He frowned at himself for a moment but backtracked when he heard another groan from outside. ‘…I am only helping her because I can use her in the future. That’s all.’ Max rationalized his incomprehensible behavior and reached out again. He stiffened when he heard the woman’s voice for the third time.
“It’s a little further down there, Merilyn.”
“Right here, Lady Floyen?”
After listening to their conversation, Max finally figured out the situation and scrunched his face. ‘What on earth am I doing? I can’t believe I’m being swayed by a woman like that…’ He felt an overwhelming sense of shame, then heard the maid’s voice through the thin doors.
“I think it’s better to get some pain medicine from Dr. Allen, my lady.”
“It’s okay. It will get better now that you put on some medicine.”
Max frowned. ‘She’s good at putting on an act, even though she didn’t even get hurt anywhere.’
His expression hardened when Merilyn spoke again. “It’s only natural for your back to feel sore. There are some bruises under your shoulder blades.”
‘Bruises? What kind of…’ As he pondered over this, he heard the woman speak casually.
“Oh, I thought it would be okay because I fell on the carpet… I didn’t know I would get bruises.”
It was then that Max remembered shoving her to the ground this morning. ‘D*mn it.’ It was only natural for the weak to be the first to perish, so he usually didn’t care if other people were hurt. But the moment he learned that the woman was injured because of him, he felt a little sick to the stomach.
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