Chapter 36 - A Gift for My Father
“Oh, just… you look comfortable. That’s all,” I mumbled.
He furrowed his eyebrows, grunted, “Not really,” and then closed his eyes.
I became disheartened by his words. ‘I gave up my resting spot for him, but this is the response I get back?’ I turned my head towards the window, where I could see the sunset. ‘I wonder why he has to meet my father…’
I was lost in thought when my father’s disciple suddenly asked, “Why do you keep staring at me?”
“Oh, I was just thinking… it seems like you have a good relationship with my father.”
There was a moment of silence before he finally said, “It’s not on the bad side.”
‘Of course it isn’t.’ I chuckled emptily. In front of his disciple, my father’s facial expressions and manner of speech were so strange that he seemed like a different person.
‘Now that I think about it, I have to give back his pendant with the cufflinks I bought… but I really don’t want to do it in person.’ I was afraid that he might not like the gift because I was unfamiliar with his preferences. I didn’t want him to throw them away, or else I would surely be offended.
‘Wait a minute, this man might know more about my father’s tastes.’
“Hey,” I called out. When his red eyes turned to me, I reconsidered my actions. ‘There’s no way someone with a terrible personality like him would answer me honestly.’
As I contemplated whether I should ask him or not, he said, “Say what you have to say. I hate it when people stall.” His tone was blunt, but it seemed like he was willing to help me.
“What do you think about giving a set of cufflinks as a gift?” I finally asked.
He frowned. “A gift?” His eyes became hostile, making me flinch.
‘Why is he looking at me like that? Does he not like the idea of cufflinks?’
* * *
Cufflinks were usually gifted to a woman’s lover. Max immediately thought of Mikhail when Jubelian asked him about cufflinks. “Who are you giving it to?” he asked.
“Who else would I give it to? You should know who,” Jubelian replied quietly.
Max felt his mood worsen. ‘Is this stupid woman thinking about clinging to him again?’ He had learned to never show his true emotions, lest it could be used against him, but his expression unknowingly became fierce.
“You’re going to give cufflinks to someone like that?” As soon as he asked this, the woman’s eyes turned cold.
“Hey, that’s a little too harsh,” she replied sharply. It was unlike her.
Max rarely gave advice because he simply wasn’t interested in other people, but it was frustrating to see the woman defending Mikhail without thinking for herself. He felt a rush of anger and his stomach roiled. ‘I’m trying my best to be considerate of you, so why are you taking his side?’ His knuckles turned white from clenching his fists.
“How can you cling to someone who is so indifferent to you… Do you have no pride?” he asked coldly. ‘Try refuting that,’ he thought snarkily. Max had never regretted insulting someone before, but the moment he saw the woman’s face turn pale, he couldn’t explain the aching in his heart.
‘What on earth…’ His face twisted as he tried to cope with the strange pain. Although he was angry, he couldn’t take his eyes off of her. The unfamiliar sensation finally subsided when she mentioned someone unexpected.
“I’m not clinging to him. I just want to get along with my father.” As soon as Jubelian said this, Max’s fierce, red eyes wavered.
“You’re planning to give them to your father, Duke Floyen?” he asked for confirmation.
Jubelian frowned. “Who else would I give them to?”
Max felt his mood improve greatly. ‘It seems like she doesn’t know how much he cares about her.’ She had easily misunderstood his sharp words, which showed that they probably didn’t get along well. ‘Is this what you wanted?’ He silently ridiculed his foolish master, who had made countless sacrifices for his daughter but chose to keep this fact from her. Finding the situation both funny and pathetic, he chuckled.
“Hey, stop laughing and say something.” Jubelian sulked.
‘If I don’t listen to her… will she get upset again?’ Max usually wouldn’t think this far, but he couldn’t stop thinking about her shocked face, which had turned pale from his biting words. He sighed and unconsciously hardened his expression.
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