The girl climbed the stairs while intently looking at Nathan. Finally reaching right below the balcony where he was standing, the girl lightly kicked off the ground and leaped up. Contrary to her light movements, it was a tremendous jump. The girl’s hand grasped the railing and she casually sat on top of it. Startled by the instantly shortened distance, Nathan instinctively took a step back.

    “Hey.”

    The voice uttered with a smile on her lips was endlessly friendly.

    “We’re acquainted!”

    However, the words that followed froze Nathan.

    “I never thought I’d see you here, Nover.”

    At that, Nathan’s lips quivered. Nathan already knew who the girl in front of him was. But not knowing how to answer, he couldn’t carelessly open his mouth.

    ‘Lamiya Lionheart.’

    The only daughter of the Duke of Lionheart, Azar’s second companion, Azar’s cousin, and along with Remberton, the childhood friend who spent Azar’s youth together, was the girl right in front of him.

    However, that was only the basic personal information he learned from reading the original work, and today was the first time Nathan personally met Lamiya. Yet as soon as Lamiya saw him, she abruptly said they were acquainted. Moreover, she seemed to know him well enough to greet him first like this. The blue eyes scanned Nathan as if observing him.

    “But… Did Azar hit you by any chance?”

    “What?”

    For a moment, not understanding the words, Nathan slightly furrowed his brows. Whether she knew or not of Nathan’s confusion, Lamiya reached out her hand towards Nathan’s face. The moment the rough hand with broken nails and calluses was about to grab Nathan’s face, Nathan stepped back, avoiding that hand. As soon as he did, his back bumped into something.

    “Laya.”

    Soon after, a voice heavy with morning drowsiness came from right behind his back. Turning his head, Azar was standing right behind him, having woken up at some point. Perhaps he was tired too, his eyes were half-closed, and the usual smile hanging on his face was nowhere to be found.

    “What rudeness is this, entering my room without permission.”

    “I haven’t entered the room yet, so isn’t it fine?”

    At those words, Lamiya shrugged her shoulders exaggeratedly as if she heard nothing of great importance, still sitting on the railing. Azar irritably rubbed his face.

    “Go back. I need to sleep more.”

    “Then you can just sleep, can’t you? I’ll play with Nover, so go catch up on your lacking sleep. Your Highness.”

    Stuck between two similar faces doing this, Nathan was just at a loss.

    “Lamiya Lionheart.”

    Azar pressed his throbbing head and called Lamiya’s full name. This was a kind of warning between them not to make a long story, so Lamiya had no choice but to get up.

    “Tsk, I thought I could have a conversation after seeing a familiar face in a long time…”

    “…You can do it later.”

    Azar, with his arm and chin resting on Nathan’s shoulder as if tired, grumbled at Lamiya in that state. The soft golden hair tickled his cheek. Nathan turned his gaze away from Lamiya and shook off the head on his shoulder. Even though it looked like he was leaning his entire weight, he must have been tightly tensing his body, as it wasn’t that heavy. So when Nathan muttered, “It’s heavy,” Azar lightly brushed it off.

    “Really, I got it. I’m going, going!”

    “Call me around lunchtime.”

    “Until when are you planning to sleep?!”

    “Until noon.”

    “Ha, are you going to sleep all the sleep of your lifetime?!”

    Lamiya irritably stood on the railing with both feet and pointed a finger at Azar. In that state, she just moved her gaze and spoke to Nathan, who was standing there blankly.

    “Nover, why don’t you leave that jerk and come have breakfast with me?”

    Just the thought of having breakfast with him made him feel like he would have indigestion. In a situation where he didn’t even know to what extent ‘Nathan’ and Lamiya were connected, being alone with her was not a good choice. Thus, Nathan indirectly rejected that proposal.

    “…Thank you for the offer, but I don’t usually eat breakfast.”

    Did ‘Nathan’ use informal speech or formal speech with Lamiya? Given Lamiya’s position, it seemed better to safely use formal speech, and it seemed to suit well with ‘Nathan’s’ personality that he had learned so far. But if he suddenly used formal speech with others when he casually used informal speech with Azar, who was a prince, wouldn’t that look quite strange in its own way? Contrary to his anxiously fretting heart, Lamiya didn’t mind much that Nathan used informal speech. Rather, she seemed more bothered by the fact that she was rejected.

    “Really, both this guy and that guy disappoint me! To reject me, Lamiya Lionheart, twice!”

    Watching her exaggerated appearance, clutching near her heart as if it hurt and closing her eyes as if she was devastated, resting her hand on her head, Nathan’s face naturally turned sullen. Lamiya, who was acting as if she were the protagonist of a melodrama, slyly opened one eye and observed Nathan.

    “Instead, you’ll have lunch with me, right?”

    And that’s what she said. So Nathan had no choice but to nod. He couldn’t reject lunch when he had already rejected breakfast. He also wanted to stay on good terms with them as much as possible. Although not as much as Azar, he quite liked the protagonist’s party.

    “Then I’ll look forward to lunch!”

    She brightly smiled and turned around. Lamiya, who had been standing precariously on the railing, lightly jumped down just as she had come up and leisurely disappeared into the mansion.

    ‘Is it because she’s in the swordsmanship department? Jumping down from high places without a care…’

    Blankly following the red hair disappearing from his sight, Nathan momentarily stumbled as weight was added to his shoulder. His gaze naturally turned to the side. With his cheek resting on Nathan’s shoulder, Azar had his eyes closed. The words uttered as if still sleepy were slow.

    “…Sorry, were you surprised? That kid is usually like that, but I think I forgot there was a guest. I’ll tell her to be careful next time.”

    “It’s okay. Don’t worry about it.”

    “Still, meeting a lady in pajamas like this must be quite bothersome, no?”

    The face smiling with the corners of his lips pulled up was sly. So Nathan just shrugged. He was wearing a robe, though he didn’t know who had put it on him. In fact, it was a bit embarrassing, but he was so distracted earlier that he didn’t have the luxury to mind such things, and it was pointless to get shy about it now.

    “Let’s go inside. It must be cold.”

    “It’s not really cold though.”

    “Don’t lie.”

    …Perhaps because he kept being hit by the sea breeze, it was a bit chilly but not cold. Azar, straightening his body, scratched his head and entered the room first. Following behind, Nathan was about to head towards the bed but stopped in place because Azar turned his body towards him.

    “Tsk, your face looks terrible…”

    Along with the softly muttered voice, Azar’s large hand lightly tapped Nathan’s right cheek and fell away. Nathan unknowingly rubbed the part where his fingers had touched. Nathan was simply puzzled as to what was wrong with his face that both Lamiya and now Azar were acting like this. Were his eyes swollen from crying a little last night? He’d have to look in a mirror or something.

    While Nathan headed towards the bathroom attached to the room, Azar staggered and flopped onto the bed. Burying half his face in the fluffy pillow, he didn’t budge as if he was going to sleep like that. After blankly watching his back rise and fall for a moment, Nathan entered the bathroom. Slightly daunted by the size that was incomparable to the bathroom attached to his dorm room, Nathan stood in front of the mirror while looking around the bathroom.

    “…What is this?!”

    At the short scream coming from inside the bathroom, Azar snickered while lying on the bed. With his eyes closed, he languidly muttered.

    “See, I told you you’d regret it.”

    Did Azar somehow hear what Nathan was thinking? ‘You meant this when you said I’d regret it yesterday?!’ Nathan gasped and stood closer to the mirror. Brushing his hair to the side, a wide area from his right cheek to his temple was bruised blue. His mouth fell open at the sight that looked like he had really been punched. It was the moment he understood why Lamiya suddenly said those words.

    It wasn’t the pajamas that were the problem now. What was he supposed to do with this face? He shouldn’t have stopped Azar when he said he’d bring medicine yesterday. No, he thought they had bumped into each other hard, but he never imagined it would be this serious!

    ‘Should I consider myself lucky just that it doesn’t hurt…?’

    A sigh naturally escaped. On top of his already haggard appearance, now he even had a bruise on his face. Nathan washed his face roughly with a gloomy feeling and came out. Looking around the room to change clothes, he noticed that the luggage he had brought was nowhere to be seen.

    ‘Strange… It was here before I fell asleep.’

    Want to Read Ahead? Purchase Blooms or Subscribe Now

    Email Subscription