Chapter 79 - Introducing My Boyfriend
I opened the carriage door and walked out with him. “Make your hand on my shoulder more obvious,” I whispered quietly. His hand, which had been at an awkward position on top of my shoulder, promptly covered its entirety. “Good job,” I praised him, to which he remained silent. Although I hadn’t expected him to put on a convincing act in the first place, I felt a little frustrated.
‘I guess there’s no choice but for me to bear the bulk of this task.’ The escort knights waiting for me seemed to be taken aback by the sight of us coming out of the carriage, posing as a couple. In particular, Geraldine, the leader of the escort knights and my cousin, stared at me while pressing his fingers against his temples.
“Could you explain to me what in the world is happening here, my lady?” As expected, he began interrogating me about our relationship.
“What I told you earlier was actually a lie, Sir Geraldine,” I confessed.
Geraldine nodded in response as if knowing it was a lie in the first place. “Ah, yes. His Grace would never assign a task to an outsider without letting me know.” He studied me with a probing gaze and continued. “So who is that man, and why is he allowed to act so intimately with you?” he asked coldly.
“He’s my boyfriend,” I announced confidently.
* * *
His hand, which covered her small shoulder, felt hot.
“Good job,” she said. Although Max was aware that she had said something, he was too preoccupied with worries that she might become aware of his rapidly beating heart. ‘She won’t notice it, will she?’ To ensure that she wouldn’t, he tried to restrain himself with focused intensity. At that moment, a disobliging voice met his ears.
“So who is that man, and why is he allowed to act so intimately with you?”
“He’s my boyfriend.”
As soon as Jubelian said these words, angry protests burst out.
“What? How can you say that, my lady?!”
“We have always escorted you closely, but we’ve never seen a man like him.”
Max removed his trembling hand from Jubelian’s shoulder and clenched his fists. ‘How annoying.’ He had considered her escort knights to be eyesores for a while now, disliking that they were allowed to be near her in the first place. It was furthermore ridiculous that these transparent men dared to show hostility towards him. At that moment, Jubelian placed her hand on top of his.
“It’s okay,” she whispered with a light smile. The moment he saw her face, he felt his sizzling anger gradually subside. As his heart swelled and tingled, Jubelian turned back to the knights. “It’s natural for you all not to know about him. I met him at Count Meissen’s banquet, which was held quite a while ago.” The knights stared at Max with quivering eyes in response.
‘No way, is he a nobleman?’
‘I can tell he’s well-off, despite being dressed in shabby clothes.’
Count Meissen was known for holding banquets with guests who only came from reputable, aristocratic families. If the man in front of them had attended such an event, he was probably an esteemed son from a renowned house. ‘Which family is he from? I’ve never seen him in the capital.’ Geraldine observed Max with sharp eyes.
“He’s not a nobleman, but a mercenary hired to compensate for the lack of guards,” Jubelian said. The knights narrowed their eyes at the word ‘mercenary.’
“I wonder why a mere mercenary approached our lady,” Geraldine said. The other knights’ eyes became filled with condescension as well.
‘How dare mere knights look at me with those eyes.’ Max scowled, feeling the urge to immediately draw his sword and display his superiority in strength. Nevertheless, the hand that held him was so warm that his irritation couldn’t help but diminish. ‘How did I end up like this?’ Max thought to himself as his insides blazed with heat. Oblivious to this, Jubelian spoke to counter Geraldine’s accusation.
“We met each other during a critical situation,” she said.
When the knights heard the phrase ‘critical situation,’ they lowered their aggression toward Max. ‘Ah, I see. This man saved our lady from a critical situation.’ But the unexpected explanation that ensued made the knights doubt their hearing.
“I saved him from being surrounded and cornered by many noblewomen.”
“I’m sorry? You saved him, my lady?”
“Yes, they all went away when I asked for the whereabouts of Mikhail.” It made sense that the noblewomen had run away from her, as Jubelian was infamous for committing wicked acts towards people who approached Mikhail. “Then this man told me he wanted to return my favor, saying that he owed me his life. Although I declined his offer and continued to search for Mikhail, I couldn’t stop thinking about him. He’s the reason why I broke up my ex-boyfriend as well.”
‘So this is why she broke up with Mikhail?’ All the knights wore astonished expressions.
“When we met each other again at Arcade Street today as if by destiny, I was certain that he was the person for me. You all don’t understand how moved I was when I found out that he was looking for me as well.”
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