Despite her suggestion and Iris’ dissuasion, the Duke persisted in not changing his mind at last.
Carinne didn’t want to persuade him and thought he wouldn’t listen to her if she told him, so she stopped.
As Marie came to put the woods in the fireplace, Iris followed her to the ladies’ room.
Then, who did Archen follow?
Ah, it was a pretty long story, but it was Carinne.
‘Yay, I’m excited!’
She could have called another maid to help Archen though she didn’t want to do it.
After all, it was the only chance she got, so how could she lose it to someone else?
The men’s room was on the top floor of the mansion.
As she climbed the stairs, she heard footsteps following behind her.
Her heart fluttered at the thought that Archen was following her.
At that moment, she thought it would be nice to just go upstairs for the rest of her life.
Reaching the top floor where the dressing room was located, Carinne opened the door with a key and stepped inside.
Archen followed suit.
“This is too big, and this is too short.”
She chose a closet and opened it before looking for clothes to wear, but it was not easy to find clothes that fit Archen.
Perhaps because the Duke of Tricia’s body was huge.
She took some clothes and measured them against Archen’s body several times.
After that, Carinne decided that it would be better to search another closet.
She found another closet next to her and approached excitedly.
However, she could suddenly hear his voice from behind.
“Why are you doing this to me?”
Hearing his voice full of resentment and disapproval, Carinne paused as she opened the closet.
‘…I did it all for him.’
She was disappointed because he didn’t know her thoughts.
Still, she couldn’t tell him that she was trying to save him, and he wouldn’t consider the option that she liked him.
Carinne didn’t like that.
‘But when I first met him, I said I like him…!’
Did he still think she was joking? Or did he hate her so much that he didn’t want to consider that an option? Carinne became more upset when she thought about it.
Nevertheless, she tried to cheer up and decided to ask as a joke to relieve the awkward atmosphere.
“You want me to ignore you, then?”
He was a cruel person.
There was not an ounce of hesitation in his reply.
She was very disappointed.
“I couldn’t help it either.
As I said before, to keep the carpet from getting wet…”
Carinne, who was embarrassed for no reason, tried to make an excuse but decided to quit halfway. Ah, she didn’t know what to do.
He was a smart guy, and he probably noticed her lies.
“How can I just look at it when it’s wet…”
“Duke Lucas is also wet.”
That was true.
Because of that, Carinne closed her mouth.
She remembered what she had said earlier and tried to use it as a reason, as she couldn’t bear to say that she hated him in front of Archen, who had the duke as his employer.
“The Duke was sitting in front of the fireplace.”
“Wasn’t the Princess’ friend also wet?”
He said, emphasizing each word.
“Iris shook it off with a blanket on her own.
You just stood there with a blanket… anyway, that’s the difference.
Oh, I found it! This would be just right.”
At this point, Carinne also couldn’t figure out what she was talking about.
While she was about to gloss over the situation because she thought it would be a disaster if she said anything more, she finally found a shirt and a pair of pants the right size and was able to end the conversation naturally.
“Here, take it.”
Saying so, Carinne handed over the clothes.
As soon as she saw his face, she was out of breath.
It was because a man’s appearance showed its true worth when they were wet.
The white, pale skin was as white as snow, and his mouth seemed to be moist because of the raindrops.
His languid aura became even more powerful with his wet glasses, despite her having the urge to wipe the glasses off.
Because of the wetness, his clothes stuck tightly to his body, revealing his waistline and shoulders that were not too narrow or wide, making it seem suitable to hold a person in his arms.
In addition, his blonde hair hanging down to his shoulders was attached to his body, and he looked like he was sweating.
She thought he looked pitiful, yet at the same time, she felt an unknown emotion…
When he sighed, Carinne finally came to her senses.
“…Are you not going out?”
* * *
“Oh, I have to go out.”
She thought of something else for a second.
Carinne hurried out of the room.
As soon as she put her foot out of the room, the door slammed shut.
‘…He won’t even say thank you?’
Not only that he didn’t say thank you, but he slammed the door shut instead.
Of course, it was also her fault for staring.
‘Still, he’s too much of my taste.’
Carinne thought as she paced in front of the door, recalling her memory of a moment ago.
While she needed to get the image out of her head, a little bit was fine, right..?
She recalled the scene in her head for the second time with a smile though Carinne suddenly faced him again.
He changed his clothes earlier than expected.
His hair was wet and he was wearing new clothes, so he looked like he had just gotten out of the shower.
‘I want to take a picture and hang it on the wall…’
Since there was no such thing as a picture in the novels, everything was only limited to her imagination.
While admiring Archen’s face in awe, he brought his hand to his face and lightly brushed the corner of his mouth.
‘What was he doing? Ah…’
“There’s nothing on your face, don’t worry.”
Then, he sighed as if he was exhausted from staying up all night.
I’ll be careful from now on.’
Carinne said to herself.
If this happened, the plan to approach him slowly so that he wouldn’t notice would be in vain.
Even though Archen was her taste, she needed to control her desire a little.
As Archen walked along the corridor past her, she ran behind him and walked side by side with a bright smile on her face the whole time.
She was so moved that she almost cried.
Carinne couldn’t control her pounding heart because he talked to her first, and he seemed to be less vigilant.
‘Beautiful young mage… I’ll make sure you’re mine.’
Oh, she forgot.
Of course, it included saving him in secret.
That was the most important thing, of course.
It was as clear as Archen was a mage.
At that moment, Carinne suddenly realized one thing.
Wait… in the first place, it didn’t make sense that Duke Lucas, Archen, and Iris were wet.
‘Archen is a mage!’
Wasn’t he also one of the geniuses who graduated from the best academy in the empire? So, why was he getting rained on?
This was an unacceptable problem.
She had to ask.
“Hey, I have a question.
Can I ask?”
She opened her mouth just in case.
Unexpectedly, he gave her the green light.
Could this also be one of the proofs that he let his guard down? Nonetheless, looking at his cold expression… it didn’t seem like it.
In case he would change his mind if she took a break, Carinne hurriedly asked.
“You’re a mage.
Can’t you make a shelter from the rain?”
“I can make it.”
“But why didn’t you make it? Then you don’t have to get wet like this.”
If he had avoided the rain with magic, there would have been no reason to visit the mansion.
She felt this was weird.
Wait, but if she didn’t let Archen get caught in the rain, she wouldn’t spend time with him alone like now…
It was difficult to choose one.
Oh, but this was not the time.
“I mean, why didn’t you use magic?”
Contrary to his quick reply a while ago, he remained silent with his mouth closed.
…Didn’t he hear her?
Carinne stopped speaking and looked up at him.
However, for some reason, he seemed depressed.
His deep blue eyes looked down, it was an expression she had never seen before.
‘He also had that expression when he got into a fight with the mustache guy.’
“You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.”
There seemed to be a story behind it.
She didn’t know everything about him just because she read the original story carefully.
Didn’t she only find out that he was going to die because she messaged the author?
“It’s because I ran out of mana.”
He said belatedly and walked silently.
“Oh… I see.”
There was no reason to hesitate to answer for such a simple reason.
Even though she felt that it was a lie, Carinne decided not to ask anymore.
She wouldn’t understand anyway.
Later, if she got close to Archen and found out the secret, she may naturally realize why he didn’t use magic this time.
Suddenly, Iris called her in a powerful voice.
Looking down, Carinne could see Iris and the Duke sitting with the table between them.
She had already changed into her fluffy clothes and waved her hand eagerly while the Duke was watching her with a face that seemed to have so much to say.
In fact, all three except Iris felt the same way.
They had a lot to say, but they were holding it in because they were worried Iris would be shocked if they spoke honestly.
‘By the way, it’s not because of me that the story didn’t go as planned, okay?’
The Duke had a bitter look on his face, which was more of a person who was annoyed than in love.
“Hurry up, what are you doing!”
Fortunately, Iris didn’t seem to notice anything.
Looking at her waving her hands, Carinne shuddered at the thought of having to endure the awkwardness again.
Archen seemed to feel the same way, so he stopped instead of going down the stairs, but they still had to go.
What’s the big deal?
Carinne shook her head and went down the stairs.
Then, she sat down next to Iris.
“Archenas, you should come and sit down as well.”
Archen couldn’t avoid it this time as well.
At the Duke’s call, he came near the Duke and sat down.
There was an uncomfortable silence.
Carinne glanced out the window while twisting her hair.
The rain had subsided more than before, but it didn’t seem to stop easily.
She couldn’t hang out with them the entire time, so she’d just be here for a while before leaving with the excuse of being tired.
That would be good for the Duke and Archen as well.
“Doesn’t it feel like a tea party because we’re gathered here like this?”
Iris sipped on the tea and smiled brightly.
‘…Hey, isn’t the atmosphere too gloomy for a tea party?’
In the dark sky, there was a sound of lightning every once in a while.
Besides, the Duke and Archen didn’t even put the tea in their mouths.
With the Duke’s gaze fixed over the window, Archen sat with his hands folded and his head lowered.
The tea was wasted.
Marie must have a hard time making it.
Thinking that, Carinne picked up the teapot because she thought she should drink it herself instead.
“Carinne, pour me a drink too.”
When Iris gave her a cup of tea, she poured the tea gently into hers as well.
However, seeing that her face was full of untimely expectations, Carinne instantly had a bad hunch.
“Oh, there’s something I’ve always wanted to do when a lot of people get together…”
Carinne stopped breathing as if she was shocked after hearing her words.
At the same time, the Duke and Archen’s eyes also turned to Iris.
“Let’s do 20 questions!”
After that came the resounding silence.
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