ILLYML – 36.2

Mikhail’s eyes widened when he found me. He had a bright smile as usual.

So I felt even more sorry. It was I who had asked him to help me.

I regret it. It won’t happen again in the future. Never.

Let’s not involve him in my work.

“I missed you, big brother.”

“You? Me?”

He asked in disbelief, his eyes dazed.

I nodded.

“Are you feeling alright?”

“Of course. You know how healthy I am. Unlike you, who has become lazy, I am diligent and train my body everyday.”

When I boasted, I looked fine.

“I’m delighted you are okay. But big brother, where are Carron and Maxion?

“……”

“Why aren’t you saying anything?”

He stretched and rubbed his neck as if it was like pulling teeth to talk about it.

“I don’t know. They ran away from home.”

“What?”

It was unfathomable.

“······What?”

“They ran away.”

There was no point in doubting his words. The dark circles under Mikhail’s eyes and his sour crumpled expression proved to me that he was troubled.

“What the hell were you doing while those kids were leaving?

“I didn’t know! These crazy rascals prepared very thoroughly! When I noticed, they were already out of the capital? All I left behind was a single note saying, ‘Don’t look for us for the time being!'”

“So, how long have they been away?”

“……It hasn’t been a week.”

“Insane.”

Conscious of where we were, I strived to mask my reaction and turn my twisted expression into a peal of soft laughter.

“So, are you making any progress?”

“Not at all.”

“······”

“I think they prepared it well in advance. The twins completely erased their tracks, and all their traces were eliminated.”

Where the hell were those two troublemakers…. If they really intended on going far, they would have crossed the border a while ago.

If they were just wandering around, they would be near the mansion.

“Don’t worry because I’m looking hard for them.”

“Strangely, no matter what big brother says, I don’t have much faith.”

“Hey, what do you mean…”

Mikhail looked disheartened.

“Duke Aitez is entering!”

The banquet hall was aflame with murmurs.

A man with red hair entered the hall in the spotlight and entered with everyone’s attention on him. He had a significant presence that drew people’s eyes to him.

Hypron naturally turned his head.

His bright yellow and golden eyes reached me by chance.

Was it my illusion that his golden eyes shone with a sparkle and glint?

While he held my gaze with his own, his lips pulled themselves into a smug arc and opened slightly and silently.

Found you.

Shocked, I turned my head away.

I hide my identity during the slave auction; there was no way to recognize me…

That’s a stupid idea.

Remember to be cautious and wary at any moment.

If I was really unlucky, he might have noticed my identity.

I didn’t want to get involved with him anymore.

“Big brother, tell me about your search endeavours later.”

“What? Hey, hey…! Where are you going—again!”

Hypron’s eyes were still on me.

I went to a corner, trying to avoid the unwelcomed gaze.

Countless nobles wouldn’t hide my appearance.

‘Let’s go to the terrace.’

Do you need to hide in a corner?

It was also hectic and warm because of the hot, busy air in the banquet hall.

I decided it wouldn’t be bad to go outside to a cold breeze.

I walked to the terrace.

I felt comfortable in the outside air.

Indeed, at that very moment, I had an overwhelming urge to untie my stuffy corset.

‘When will it end?’

I’ll have to wait a little longer and then ask Alastair to leave.

While enjoying the comfort of the terrace, music flowed outside from the banquet hall.

Probably the nobles started dancing with each other. It befitted the tastes of many aristocrats but not me. I still remembered the music I listened to in Korea so this was all very dull and boring to me.

‘I’m thirsty.’

I haven’t even been allowed a sip of water since this morning because I had to keep a good line when I wore my dress.

I couldn’t feel thirsty in the banquet hall because I was very tense, but now, I felt parched.

As I entered the banquet hall, I saw several pairs of men and women dancing.

I saw Juliana watching them, her eyes shining like lanterns.

Today she entered the banquet with the people from the temple, but from the next feast, she would be escorted by Hypron.

Today’s banquet is where the two hearts will meet.

“Here.”

I summoned a servant carrying a glass on the tray.

He nonchalantly handed me the glass.

Unlike the sweet smell peculiar to wine it’s bitter taste spread in my mouth.

I glanced around while drinking.

The red-haired man was staring intensely at me.

Oh. Crap. Eye contact.

Fucking Hypron Aitez. As I tried to look away from the burdensome gaze, the Hypron took a step toward me.

No way. Surely—-

I hoped I was wrong, but I wasn’t.

He was so eye-catching that numerous nobles looked at the path he was taking as if they were possessed.

The distance between him and I gradually narrowed until he came very close.

“Lady Melford.”

He looked at me and smiled, revealing his white teeth.

It was a neat smile, but there was an element of ferocity as if a beast was baring its teeth at me.

“Would you give me the honor to dance with you?”

He bowed slightly and reached out his hand.

I tried to look at him as calmly as possible.

I tried to raise my lips to smile, but my insides were burning me from the inside out.

According to the original story, it was Juliana, not me, that he approached for a dance.

Whether he inquires of Juliana or not, it’s none of my business.

The problem was that the original was twisted and fell on me.

What the hell are you thinking? Why are you asking me to dance?

I had no way of knowing what this man was thinking, so my whole body became stiff with tension.

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