Chapter 32.
The Strange Man (5)


Elusiana, with a frown on her face, stubbornly pushed away the flower he held out.

“What I like is a vividly alive flower, Lord.”

“That’s unexpected.
All the flowers in the store are flowers that are being cut.”


“Well, if you like it, so be it.
Then this is useless, right?”


Noel threw away the flower in his hand in disinterest and walked ahead again.
Elusiana smiled bitterly as she stared at his back. Anyway, he’s like a playboy, right? Breaking things as they please and leaving them when they don’t need them anymore.
What a terrible man.  

Noel looked like a man who would cherish and love even a single piece of grass, but what he actually did was cold-hearted.

“Eish, what are you guilty of?”

Elusiana clicked her tongue low and picked up the discarded flower.
Gently brushing off the soiled petals, she smiled thinly.

“The round one is cute.”

Elusiana held the light purple flower to the tip of her nose, savoring its sweet scent.
Thanks to that, her bad mood seemed to have improved a little.
At that time, Noel, who had gone far ahead, pushed his face in front of her nose.


“You must have liked it.”

For a moment, a visible smile spread around Noel’s mouth, staring at her hand.

“Why? Why?”

“Nto, that.
I was wondering why you’d keep standing there.”


Noel lifted his head slightly and smiled, crossing his arms in front of his chest.

“We decided to take a walk together, but I thought you were too far away.
Didn’t we ‘promise to be together’? Come quickly to my side.”

With one eye squinted, he opened his arms and held out one hand.It was only a few minutes at the most that Elusiana lagged behind Noel.
However, listening to what he said, it seemed to have made me wait for dozens of minutes.
Elusiana was so dumbfounded that she let out a false laugh.

Making fun with your tongue is an art. Elusiana, who moderately ignored his hands, stood next to Noel and maintained a reasonable distance as well.
“I think this distance would be perfect.”

“Well, if Lusi wants to,” Noel responded lightly and smiled.

Elusiana’s eyebrows, which pretended to be calm at that smile, twitched slightly. I think I have a bad relationship with this man.
I keep getting involved, even if I don’t want to.

But is he thinking about just walking? As she glanced at the profile of Noel, who was walking in front of her, her expression showed a slight suspicion.
He only asked for a walk, but when she judged this twisted man, it seemed that he had other ulterior motives.
She wasn’t sure, but she just felt like that.

Sure enough.
Noel, who was walking one step away from Elusiana, suddenly stopped and looked sideways.

“It’s just right here.”

Elusiana, who stopped at the same time, looked at him and tilted her head.
“Just right here? What is it?”

Noel, who took half a step closer, tilted his head slightly and smiled.
Thanks to that, his face became closer as if he would touch her at any moment.

She couldn’t believe she was thinking this way in this situation, but… I can’t believe his face is the real deal.
He’s incredibly handsome.

Elusiana studied his face part by part as if she was admiring a piece of art.
A face line that looked thin and had drooping eyes that were mild to be the family’s successor.
However, his dark purple eyes excluded a decadent wild beauty.
She thought he was a gentle and delicate man, but he seemed like a reckless beast when she saw him thoroughly.

“If you stare at me like that, I will misunderstand.”

Noel tapped Elusiana’s shoulder, who was staring at her, with his finger and continued his words.
There are more eyes than you think.”

Only then did Elusiana realize she was staring at Noel’s face too hard and excused herself with a reddened face.

“W-What did Lord say?”

Noel shrugged and laughed mischievously.
“Whenever you look at every nook and cranny of me with a serious face.
You have no conscience, Lusi.”

“W-When did I look at every nook and cranny? I was just looking.”

“Ooh, really? Can I check with them then?”

Noel’s gaze pointed to several specific places.
In the place where she followed his gaze, the knights of the marquis family were watching this place, no, to be exact, Noel.
Elusiana’s face turned red as if she was about to explode at any moment.

“I certainly said it.
It’s not just the two of us here.”

Elusiana glared at Noel with resentful eyes. Didn’t he talk about just being alone with me? He suddenly changed his words like flipping a coin! Only then did Elusiana realize that Noel’s meaning of ‘Let’s take a walk together’ wasn’t just a ‘walk.’

Embarrassed, Elusiana’s expression hardened coldly. I wondered why he handed over the confirmation so easily— He did it to hit me in the back of my head.

And maybe the back of my head—

“From now on, we’re going to play tag, Lusi.”

—By using me to escape this place.

Noel smiled brightly with a playful smile.

“You’re the tagger.”

“…Did Lord intend to use me from the beginning?”

Noel smiled even more and looked at Elusiana’s pockets hanging from her waist.

“Down payment.
You’ve already received it.
You’re not going to give it back now, are you?”

Noel smiled darkly and looked at the pocket on Elusiana’s waistline.

“There is nothing more important than staying alive, Lord.”

Considering the fiery temper of Marquis Klaus, the transcendentalist, in the worst case, her throat could be cut off with a single slash.
She played with his pranks to get confirmation, but she couldn’t risk her life.

“Don’t frown, Lusi.
I’m afraid your pretty face will be ruined.”

Elusiana, who was staring at him, gently gripped her wrist.
Noel then pulled her lightly.

“What, What is this!”

“You know it’s too late to step back, right? So from now on, do your best to find me.”

Noel stopped right in front of her and whispered in her ear.
“They will be your witnesses to prove your innocence.”

Noel, who whispered playfully as if he were rolling candy in his mouth, soon shouted.
“Catch~ Me~!”

Noel ran away with light steps and soon disappeared among the trees.
Elusiana, who realized her situation belatedly, began to chase him with burning eyes.
It wasn’t a tag game but a fierce chase to save her life.

You son of a bitch! Don’t you dare get caught! I will make sure to crush that pompous mouth!


* * *


About an hour later, Elusiana, who had been tirelessly searching the garden, collapsed on the ground as if exhausted.
Shortly after, a maid appeared out of nowhere and took her back to the parlor.
A butler with a serious face sat her down, asked her a few questions, and soon let her go.

I can go back now. Behind the closing door, she could hear the butler’s anguish, but Elusiana hastened her steps, fearing they might change their mind.
She saw the door of the main building in front of her.
In the meantime, the dark was falling as if the sun had completely set.

“If only it wasn’t for that son of a bitch.”

When Noel’s brightly smiling face came to her mind like a spring flower, Elusiana clenched her fist tightly.
She ran with all her might, fearing that she might be accused of being an accomplice.
It was a bonus that she would crouch down and cry sadly.

“I must never talk to him again.”

She would never set foot in this Marquis Klaus family again.
Elusiana glared at the inside of the main building with a deafening gaze, exiting the main building’s door with wobbly legs.


* * *


Just then, there was a woman entering the main building.
She was a beautiful woman with wavy red hair and looked somehow alluring.
Camilla, the woman who stopped, with a keen gaze, followed the back of the woman who ran urgently.


The maid, who was following Camilla, stopped and called her.
However, Camilla’s gaze didn’t leave the woman’s back until she couldn’t see the woman who was wearing old clothes.

“She looks familiar.”


Camilla, who smoothed her soft jawline, tilted her head.
She had such a good memory that she remembered well what she had seen once.
But she hardly remembers that woman. Am I too sensitive? She looks familiar for being a commoner. Camilla then shook her head and turned gracefully.

“It’s nothing.”

“…I see.”

It seemed she had run into that woman several times on the street.
Camilla smiled softly as she licked her red lips.

“Let’s go to Lord Noel.
I’ll have to check if the flowers I ordered arrived safely first.”


* * *


Elusiana, who hastily arrived home riding a supply wagon, breathed a sigh of relief as she looked at the dark mansion.

“Thank God, no one seems to have come back yet.”

Entering the side door next to the creaking front door, Elusiana walked like running to the annex in the far corner.
She opened the annex door, entered, and headed straight to the kitchen.

“First, heat up the stew.”

Elusiana placed the pot over the magic fireplace and lit a fire under the pot.
Next to it, she placed a pan with a little water on it and bread.
This made the hardened bread become soft and quite edible.

“Phew, I never thought having so few things to eat would be so comforting.”

Elusiana smiled despondently, and only then did she suddenly feel strange.

“By the way, why can’t I see As?”

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