Chapter 22 - Dream
‘Put bluntly, she would be tormented by it.’
Since he had already agreed to love her, he decided he would find out for himself.
‘If possible, under her agreement.’
Venio observed Laila quietly.
Actually, the flower that matched Laila the most was baby’s-breath. However, he chose cosmos because he wanted to add some liveliness to her by all means as she looked too weak.
That’s right. The impression Laila gave him was similar to that of baby’s-breath. He decided to admit that he had begun treating this tiny lady very carefully. Although this behavior wasn’t very much like him, it wasn’t that bad.
“How do you wish that we do it?”
Laila sunk deep in thought at his question. She twiddled her gloved fingers a little and replied just as he was trying to catch her eye, “If possible, please pretend that you love me only when we are alone.”
Venio was taken aback even though he already knew Laila’s thoughts. As a man, his definition of loving someone only when they were alone was something quite different.
“If possible, only when people aren’t looking at us.”
“Um, wait. Please wait, my lady.”
Venio quickly stopped her. He’d bet ten thousand gold that she didn’t know what it meant by loving each other only when they were being not seen by others.
‘Perhaps she’s a lot more comfortable around me than I think.’
He sighed internally as he watched Laila, who was looking at him calmly. It seemed like he had made a ludicrously good impression on her, or that she was naturally born with the sort of disposition that judged others kindly.
‘That’s pretty convincing.’
He nodded, feeling that he was close to figuring out Laila’s character. Then, he said, “My lady, what you are saying might cause some unnecessary misunderstanding.”
Laila didn’t seem to realize what he meant, which made sense because she was only focused on the contract and was afraid of being an inconvenience to Venio. She thought that if anyone saw Venio acting like he was in love with a person like her, although it was hard to know the details, she didn’t think they would view it positively.
Venio himself didn’t have the confidence to tell her what he meant by the word ‘misunderstanding.’ Besides, if he told her, he was worried about how she would react to what he would say.
From the way he saw it, it was certain that she wasn’t even the least bit aware of how she had to watch out for herself in that regard. And that eventually changed the path of his thoughts.
“Then, what about your role as my shield? Don’t we have to act as if we are close in front of that particular lady?”
Upon his words, Laila seemed like she wanted to say something, but she couldn’t really open her lips. As Venio observed her carefully, he thought that Laila might not want an actual relationship even though they were to act as if they were in love.
‘I wasn’t thinking about this deeply enough.’
He decided to do as Laila wished and differentiate their contracted behavior from their behavior in reality outside of the contract. He wanted to care more about protecting this naive lady. So, he made himself suggest something that was more of a loss than a gain to him, “How about this, we can act as if we are friends in front of others.”
Darn it. Yes, it was possible for her to be his shield by just acting as if they were friends because Nevira Bedelium always prevented Venio from hanging out with female friends even though they weren’t engaged.
If they said they were friends, this naive lady wouldn’t have any issues with what other people said about her when she gets married to someone else after the contract ended. However, it was still hard to believe that he was actually making a contract that brought him more loss than gain.
“Yes. It’s possible for you to be my shield as long as you are close to me.”
As he spoke, he wondered if this lady was a trickster by any chance, but because he wanted to do it anyway, he decided to just follow his heart.
At his words, Lila eyed him strangely, then replied in a well-groomed tone after a while, “Alright.” After that, they agreed on some rules, then carried on with their conversation.
Surprisingly, while Laila felt at least half of herself, she was still feeling like she was in a dream.
“Does this still feel like a dream to you?”
“Is it not?”
Venio looked oddly at Laila, whose eyes seemed lonely.
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