Chapter 52 - A Surprise Visit
The only people who knew about them were the escort knights, the shopkeepers, and Radian, who I had briefly encountered in the store. The former was out of the equation. Not only were the escort knights our vassals, but they also knew that I was usually alone at home. The shopkeepers couldn’t be so bold as to start such rumors either, in fear of decapitation. Even if these weren’t valid reasons, the answer was obvious from the beginning.
‘Radian. How can he be so delusional to start rumors just because I bought a pair of cufflinks?’ His notoriety as a viper was fitting, seeing as how he bit off more than he could chew. ‘Now that I think about it, Lord Rowen made a lot of excuses. He must’ve found another partner after hearing this rumor… The same thing will probably happen if I accept Sir Boromir’s or Lord Crocus’s offers to become my partner.’
My only option was to find a partner who wouldn’t be deterred by this rumor, otherwise, my father might mention the marriage list. ‘The problem is… is there such a person?’
As I became lost in thought, a knocking sound on my window broke my concentration. ‘What is it?’ I turned around to look at the source.
A familiar, handsome face came into view. He looked at me and pointed at the latch. ‘Ah, my father’s disciple is here again.’ I didn’t think that he was being sincere in the note he had written with his eccentric handwriting.
‘Coming and going as he pleases… how bothersome.’ I sighed and released the latch. He opened the window and entered my room.
‘He’s still handsome… No, I can’t think about that right now.’ I was reminded of what was troubling me and snapped out of my foolish thoughts. If someone witnessed him coming into my room, the rumor might become an established fact. ‘Well… that’s not the only reason. Nothing good will come from being closer to him either.’ For these reasons, I decided to ask him not to visit for the time being.
“Hey, you know you can’t—”
He cut me off. “Where were you just now?” he asked with a piercing gaze.
‘He’s being ridiculous.’ I frowned slightly. His question was absurd, considering that we hadn’t met in a while.
“I said, where were you just now?” he repeated.
Although I wanted to ask him the same thing, such as where he went and why he came back so suddenly, I didn’t want to argue with an immature person like him. I already had a lot on my mind.
“Downstairs,” I said.
He loosened his tense expression. “I see.” He even smiled slightly, much to my bewilderment. His emotions were difficult to follow.
‘I don’t have time to deal with him today… I have many other things to think about.’ I glanced at him and decided to make him my father’s responsibility. “If you’re here to see my father, I think he’s still home—”
He cut me off again. “No, he just left.”
‘If he doesn’t want to see my father, why did he come here? Was he kicked out again?’ My thoughts became more complicated as I tried to think about possible scenarios on top of my existing problems.
“Why are you sighing?” he asked with a frown. Although we became closer after spending a few days together, I wasn’t comfortable enough to tell him my troubles.
“I’m just worried about a lot of things,” I said vaguely.
“Why? What’s going on?”
“It’s not a big deal…” I trailed off, hoping to end the conversation there.
“Tell me. I won’t tell anyone else,” he said.
When I gazed into his red eyes, I recalled the time I had told him about my troubles with my father. ‘Will I feel better like I did back then?’
“Then please promise me that you won’t tell my father,” I said. I stared at him and waited for a response.
He nodded gently. “Okay, I promise.”
“100 gold bars if you break the promise?” I joked, amused that he was strangely being obedient.
He twisted his expression. “Stop joking around and just tell me. I will never break my promise.”
I was still worried, but I remembered the days we spent together. His firm voice and gaze also made me trust him a little more. ‘Even if he tells someone, the worst that can happen is getting scolded.’
When I made up my mind to tell him, he must’ve thought I was still hesitating because he said, “If I say anything, even by accident, I will give you all my wealth. So, go ahead and tell me.”
I burst out laughing because he had said those words quite seriously. ‘He doesn’t even have a home, but he’s betting all his money?’ I quickly forgot about how upset I was.
“Why are you laughing?” His face became a little red as if he was displeased by my amusement. I barely suppressed my laughter, thinking that he would get angry if I continued.
“Then that’s a deal. If I find out that my father knows, I’ll make sure to take everything you have.”
He scowled. “Yes, so hurry up and tell me,” he said sharply, unlike his previous tone. Although I didn’t like his attitude, I kind of felt like I could trust him.
“Well…” I began slowly.
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