Chapter 110 – I Love The Touch (2)
The caretaker gifted Louise a basket of green grapes. When Louise bit into one, she savored the way its sweetness would spread softly from the tip of her tongue to her palate. Its aroma was refreshing as well. They were indeed very good grapes.
Louise plucked the grapes and ate them one by one as she headed towards the dormitory. The school year hadn’t officially started yet, and most of the students spent their time lounging in their dorm rooms or hanging out on the rooftops. Just as she passed the library, she saw a tall girl waving enthusiastically by the corridor. Who was that? Louise felt like she had seen her before. She couldn’t ignore it, so Louise waved back and headed towards the library. As she climbed the stairs, the girl cheered happily and approached with a cheery gait.
“D-do you want some?”
The girl smiled beautifully and swept aside her hair, then dragged Louise by the wrist.
“Let’s go to a sunny area.”
She stopped at a warmly lit spot, then hopped skillfully onto a stone balustrade.
“Do you want me to lift you?”
The girl stretched out her arm and Louise finally realized who she was.
“Yes, I’m Rose Wood.”
Sean Wood, since when did you have a daughter like this…
Louise stared at Hesse. He wore a girl’s uniform and his hair was properly cut and styled. He had no sense of discomfort, as if he had lived his entire life wearing this outfit.
“Wh-what’s going on? This is…”
He grinned as he easily helped Louise sit up on rail.
“I’m on an infiltration mission.”
He pushed five grapes in his mouth as he answered.
“Who knows. Maybe I just wanted to hang out with Louise of the Greenhouse as a girlfriend.”
He swallowed down his grapes and shook his fists in delight. They were delicious. Then, he started putting grapes back in his mouth again.
Louise watched him as she wondered about his job, then soon realized why he was on an infiltration mission. It was because the court officials were with Ian twenty-four hours a day.
“There’s not many people you trust, Hesse.”
“It’s not Hesse, it’s Rose, and I do have someone I trust.”
He took a grape and stuck it right into Louise’s mouth.
Louise swallowed the grape and he nodded.
“Say, when you graduate, why don’t you become a court official? If Louise of the Greenhouse records the prince for twenty-four hours, I think I’ll be able to rest well.”
Even when he said this, his hands and mouth were constantly moving to fuel him with more grapes.
“I can’t write that fast.”
Louise shook her head as she recalled the officials’ quick hands.
“And I don’t like seeing the president act like an honor student.”
“You don’t think seeing him act all polite is cool?”
“Do you think it’s cool, Sir Hesse?”
“Yes! My master is always cool…Oh, but if you stay with him for twenty-four hours, I’ll feel sorry for him.”
“Well, if his beloved Louise keeps looking at him, he’ll be so embarrassed that he won’t be able to do a single thing.”
He practically inhaled ten grapes in a single swallow.
“Are you serious? If someone stares at you quietly, wouldn’t you be embarrassed?”
“I’m scared that I’ll be criticized, but I’ll give it a try if it’s what Sir Hesse says.”
“Call me Rose!”
“Okay. Rose. Have you ever thought about wearing a normal male uniform?”
“I’ve never been interested in male uniforms before.”
“I used to go here for a while. But I dropped out halfway.”
He put on a half-smile.
“I think a male uniform would look good on you, too.”
“Do you miss me?”
“Then I’ll wear it. I’ll be sure to be a boy next time.”
“I look forward to it.”
“Of course, you’re more accustomed to looking at His Highness so I may not look very cool to you.”
His posture was a little stiff, so he pulled up one leg to rest on it. Louise’s eyes widened as the garter belts on his thighs holding his long socks were exposed.
Hesse lifted his skirt and proclaimed proudly,
“I’m wearing shorts underneath!”
“Oh, and this garter is new too. I love the touch of it on my skin. And the lace here is cute, don’t you think?”
“Wow, that really is cute. Where did you get that? …Oh, this is like having a real girlfriend!”
“I am totally a real girlfriend.”
He grinned and touched his knees. She could believe that the beautiful legs underneath were indeed a woman’s.
“Are you wearing long socks because of the scars…”
Louise thought about the painful-looking marks that had always crossed over his body.
“Yes. I’m not ashamed of them, but they also make me stand out.”
“Come to think of it, Sir Hesse, your face–?”
The scars on his face were also completely gone. Louise carefully touched the tip of her fingers to Hesse’s face, and he closed his eyes slightly.
The pretty curled eyelashes and pink cheeks looked natural, and it was only by looking carefully could Louise spot his scars. It was probably barely visible now because the sun was shining brightly. He really did look like an ordinary schoolgirl.
“Really? It’s so nice to have Louise of the Greenhouse.”
He opened his eyes softly and smiled.
“But can you stop touching my face? I’m in such a good mood that I’m going to regret being a girl.”
“It meant that I wanted to be a boy for Louise.”
“Oh, I won’t touch you anymore!”
He chuckled as Louise quickly drew away her hand.
“You don’t have to be so sorry. Anyway, would you like hold your hand out again? Your skin seems a little dry. I have a good cream.”
He flipped through his bag for a moment.
“It’s a new product. The moisturizer is great, and it’s not sticky and absorbs quickly!”
When he found the small pot of cream, he quickly opened the lid.
“It smells like coconut.”
“Do you like it?”
“Everyone would like it.”
He scooped up a little of the cream and smeared it on the back of Louise’s hand. While Louise rubbed her hands to absorb the cream, Hesse went back to eating the grapes again. A cool autumn breeze blew, ruffling his orange hair. The slender braid on the side was quite cute.
“Did you do your hair yourself?”
“I usually do, but this time I asked someone else.”
He patted down his disheveled hair.
Louise doubted her ears for a moment.
“In fact, I’ve always wanted to see his abilities.”
“Didn’t Simon panic?”
“No? He just said, ‘I see. I’ll cooperate.'”
She could imagine Simon’s controlled face as he answered.
“Oh, that was delicious.”
He patted his stomach, and indeed when Louise looked at the basket all the grapes were gone. There were so many before.
“Was it really good?”
“It was the best!”
“If I get some more I’ll give them to you.”
“Oh, you’re making me melt for you, aren’t you?”
“You’re just soft for me.”
She was deeply moved by his sweetness, and she responded with a smile. However, Hesse’s face suddenly stiffened.
“…Louise of the Greenhouse.”
He said her name in a quiet voice. Louise gazed at him uneasily instead of speaking.
“Excuse me, please.”
He hopped down from the railing then lifted Louise down by her waist and set her down gently.
After touching the grass, the both of them pressed themselves against the wall. Suddenly, Louise heard someone approaching where the two of them had just been.
“Who is it…”
Louise turned to Hesse with a questioning look. He only smiled lightly with his index finger on his mouth.
“I thought we wouldn’t talk about it anymore!”
The voice she heard was both familiar and unfamiliar.