YSR – 71

As Lillian descended from the stage, one of the arena’s staff approached. He handed over a large bouquet. Seeing that the flowers stuck inside were disarrayed, it seemed that the flowers thrown by the audience were collected and procured. Lillian, who received this, smiled softly, raising her red lips.

“Thank you.”

“No, I enjoyed the game! It was really cool.”

The red-faced staff member quickly poured out praise—and as if he was too shy to stay, he ran off. Lillian, watched his disappearing back and arranged the flowers, and hugged them. She felt renewed.

When she was still Chae-Yeon, she remembered the main actors often receiving bouquets when they came down from the play. The main actress, who played the heroine, would clasp four or five bouquets from fans. Often others would hold the flower arrangements if there were too many.

However, Soo-Yeon always watched from behind. During the three months of the play’s run, she had never received flowers. It wasn’t as if she expected it. There was no fan anywhere to give flowers to a supporting role that they couldn’t even recall.

‘But it’s different now. It’s going to be different in the future.’

Lillian’s eyes gleamed in the dark passageway of the arena. In order to attain her future, there was one thing that she had to do.

Upon returning to her dressing room, Lillian immediately locked the door and roughly took off her mask as if she were throwing it away.

In the wind, long black hair flowed down like a cloud, blocking her sight. Lillian, who irritably swept back her hair, opened her mouth.

“Saleos. You’re here, right?”

“Of course.”

Saleos, who appeared from behind, reached out to her. It was a friendly gesture as usual. But Lillian slapped his hand out of the air.

With the sound of a loud clap! There was silence in the room.

Saleos looked down silently at his hand that had been rejected by her. A subtly sad smile appeared on his handsome lips. He gazed up at Lillian with his golden eyes under red long eyelashes. And he talked calmly as if nothing had happened.

“You fought very well. Congratulations on your victory.”

Lillian did not accept his congratulations. She didn’t even say thank you for making her strong. All of this was a well-organized ruse by Saleos.

“Did you deceive me?”

Lillian suddenly asked with sullen eyes. Then Saleos grinned as he sat on the edge of the sofa in her dressing room. He stroked his chin and he asked back, fiddling with his colorful hair.

“Why do you think so?”

“……I’m right. You tricked me.”

As expected, she was quick-witted. Saleos looked at Lillian’s face, trying to maintain his indifferent expression. The moment their met eyes, Lillian’s face was distorted as if she was going to cry.

‘Are you going to cry?’

But she didn’t cry. She swallowed something as her thick eyelashes fluttered, concealing her downcast eyes. She blinked and looked up. There were no signs of tears anywhere in her clear green eyes. At that fact, Saleos felt a deep recess of his heart growing strangely chilly.

Lillian, who breathed heavily, finally opened her mouth.

“You’ve definitely said it over and over again. That a real Salamander is very strong and incomparable to a practice water basilisk. You kept scaring me. Right?”

Saleos did not answer. But it didn’t matter. Lillian continued to speak in a faster and heated tone.

“In your eyes, I must have been an amusing joke to you. A strange woman from another world—an ignorant woman who knows nothing about this place. You used that to instill anxiety and scare me all the time while wearing a mask of a caring supporter on the surface.”

“As expected, you must have grown. So, what did you think about Salamander?”

asked Saleos leisurely as he raised one eyebrow. He didn’t seem to care at all about the frustration and betrayal Lillian felt now.

Lillian’s face was distorted by Saleos’ appearance, asking only what he was curious about—unconcerned about her feelings and not showing an ounce of sympathy or concern.

“… It was weak. Terribly weak. To the point where I hate myself for killing it.”

Lillian’s gaze fell on her hand. The Salamander’s bloodstains remained in the gloves borrowed from Enrique. She inadvertently rubbed over it, but of course, the traces of the blood remained. Like her own irreversible situation.

“… Why are you so angry? You promised to give me your first time when you signed a contract with me anyway. Nothing has changed now.”

Shrugging his shoulders, Saleos asked as if he genuinely couldn’t understand. His slightly frowning eyes seemed to truly not understand the situation. No, he seemed rather annoyed. Lillian felt like the ground was collapsing under her feet.

‘I was a fool.’

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