Chapter 56 - True Age
Remembering what he had initially told her when they first met, Xyle grimaced. He would have continued to claim he was 25 if it wasn’t for the fiasco with the prince from earlier. Even then, he wasn’t sure why he tried to make himself look young. Soon that question was answered when he looked at Ella. He realized if he was around her age, he could be closer to this girl.
Xyle smiled bitterly when he realized what his intentions were. ‘The Master of the Long Moonlight falling for a girl? This is crazy. To have the Witness of the Secret of the Moonlight to be on this stage…’
“Was I in the story that you read?”
“Yes, you were a special friend and an adviser.”
“Did I… like you?” Although Xyle couldn’t bear to say the word love, he believed he wouldn’t have gone that far too.
“I think you were a bit more special than that. You pretended to be a 14-year-old boy instead of a 39-year-old man when you first met her, and you acted like a grandpa. I suppose you never thought of her as a woman.”
‘So, he tried his best not to think of her as a woman.’ Xyle knew his actions in the book weren’t what they appeared to be. Why did he have to hide his true feelings and stay by her side? What made him do that? Then he asked, “Did you think I was satisfied with that?”
At that moment, Ella remembered a detail she had from the book. Not once did she ever think about their relationship from Xyle’s perspective. To Ella, he was just a good supporter and nothing more. When she recognized this, she apologetically said, “I’m sorry.”
Xyle frowned once he realized how she felt about him. It almost felt like being given a failing report card. Still, she continued with her apology, “I don’t know. The book never went into such detail… and you were different from the other supporting characters. Often, you said that you stayed with her because it was interesting. You always made her feel comfortable.” Now, Ella was trying to differentiate Xyle, who was in front of her, from the one in the novel. They were two separate individuals.
After listening to her apology, he responded, “Then I must not have been a man to her.”
He was right. Luciella never thought of him as a man, but Ella couldn’t say that to him. Right now, he was a man who was clearly expressing himself. There was some doubt in her mind as she wondered if she was right to reveal her true age to him. If she hadn’t told him, he might have stepped aside to become the advisor that she had wished for. He would have stayed the similar man from the novel. But his actions and the way he looked at her changed ever since she told him her real age.
He smiled satisfyingly at Ella, who couldn’t answer his simple question. The atmosphere inside the lab changed. She took a step back and stared at him as he said, “But surely you look at me as a man.”
Ella was unable to respond to him. It felt like she had run into a tiger while running away from a fox. Or did she wake a sleeping Lion? The man she thought she knew was so different in real life. Maybe she should not have considered him like the kind adviser she had read in the book. Everytime she came across the different man, she was shocked and nervous everytime, but quickly adjusted and began to relax around him, which was so foolish of her that she wanted to smack herself. She felt she was so stupid for thinking that he was going to accept her even when it was only her who knew about him.
‘Maybe I have the brain of a fish,’ thought Ella.
With a daring expression on his face, Xyle looked at her. It was like he wished Ella would be frightened and run away. Could they be friends if she ran away? Or would he shun her away for the remainder of her life? She thought the latter had a higher possibility of happening.
It was time to move forward, so she asked, “Will you stay beside me as a man if the answer to that question is yes?”
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