this chapter is brought to you by mio
as translator, proofreader and editor!
In the awkward silence that followed, only Kelber’s whine could be heard.
I carefully ruminated over what I’d say upon seeing the dazed expression on his face.
“Ignore my useless words. I’m sorry for upsetting you.”
To start off, I thought I should begin with consoling him, since it seemed like the cause of his spilled tears was me.
I stretched out my hand toward his face. His tears streamed down my thumb as I tried to wipe them away from his eyes.
Linden slipped away from me and hurriedly turned his head away, as if he had just noticed that there were tears in his eyes. Although his tears were quickly wiped away, the tip of his nose, which had turned red from crying, was particularly conspicuous due to his pale face.
Although I did feel a bit sorry for him, he looked so much like Rudolph that I ended up laughing out loud.
Since even he, as a schemer, had already expressed his true feelings to me, I also thought that I should be honest with him as well.
“I’m not sure if you know, but I genuinely wish for your peace and happiness.”
It had been that way ever since I read the novel.
Linden was an extremely pitiful second male lead.
It was to the extent where I had suddenly wondered, wouldn’t it be okay to make him a little happier too?
I hoped that the rays of happiness would reach him as well, even if it was only something trivial.
However, if the Goddess of Happiness really doesn’t intend to walk beside him, even if it’s just for a moment, then…
“So that’s what I’m saying. Go back to your grandfather.”
Since it was such a miserable fate, the Goddess of Regret and Misery should at least leave him alone.
“Doesn’t your grandfather come looking for you every time he collapses? Hmm?”
I reached out again in the direction of Linden, who still didn’t budge. I gently brushed my hand through his messy hair.
“Go and check up on your grandfather’s health and keep him company too.”
“Haa… Do you know how contradictory your words are right now?”
I wasn’t sure what the contradiction was though. All I knew was that he would regret it later if he didn’t go back now.
“Meliara. Show that to me again.”
He suddenly said something totally unrelated whilst the topic was on going back to his grandfather.
“The cluster of lights you create with your powers.”
It was a rather meaningless and purposeless request. It was also extremely out of the blue.
However, although I was puzzled by it, it wasn’t a difficult request for me to fulfill, so I held out my palm.
Soon after, small balls of light sprung up from the palm of my hand. They, who had seemed like balls of moonlight at night, now seemed like dandelion spores during the day.
The cluster of lights left me and went over to Linden’s outstretched palm.
They sprinted up Linden’s arm in a frenzy, as if exclaiming, ‘I know this guy! It’s a kid we know!’. The rays of light that had wrapped around Linden’s arms and upper body soon scattered all over the place.
Linden watched the whole process silently.
He cut off my words and said, perhaps to ask me to make more.
“You didn’t ask me for a reason earlier.”
“Reason? Oh, the reason why you wanted me to make it for you?”
“That… isn’t it because it doesn’t matter what the reason is?”
It’s not like you can hurt me with the light I made. And it’s not like it’s that hard for me to do either. Couldn’t I just show it to you since for whatever reason, you wanted to see it?
While I muttered softly under my breath, he added.
“It might not be a big deal to you, but for me, it’s something I need. Then, shouldn’t you use that to get something from me in return?”
“Psh, no way. How are you meant to live if you judge everything in the world like that?”
“I’ve lived like that all my life. It wouldn’t be a big deal to me, but after discovering what the other person needed, I’d keep it in my hand, make a deal, and take what was beneficial for me from them.”
No, because why are you suddenly revealing yourself to be a schemer now? The person listening is getting flustered.
“That’s right, it wouldn’t have been a big deal for you to make these lights. But I was desperate for it.”
I could vaguely see now that he wasn’t talking. That night under the moonlight where he had looked fragile. It was clear that he was referring to the day I had constantly used up my divine power.
“I’ve always had to calculate, had to pay a price, and had to be shunned.”
The following words suddenly reminded me of a paragraph from the novel.
<He, who was always shunned, was always lacking somewhere. Rather than becoming numb to the rejection, his fear of it grew instead.>
And the reason he was drawn to the Saintess, Olivia.
<That’s why he was drawn to Olivia. Because other than his grandfather, she was the only one who didn’t shut him down for no reason.>
“You’re the first one. The first person who treated me like this, regardless of how much I could give you.”
<“You are the first person who has not calculated over what benefit you could steal from me, or what profit could be gained if you sold me.”>
I couldn’t help but sigh.
It wasn’t a grand enough confession for it to be called a love confession, but it was still without a doubt, Linden’s sincerity.
I knew because I had already read it.
As much as when he said those words to Olivia, it was said that it was an emotion that came from the bottom of his heart, one without any gimmick or mask. It was said to be the moment when he revealed his bare face, the one which he was the most embarrassed of.
A childish face came to mind.
“If there was another reason why I didn’t want to go back right now that I haven’t said yet… then you probably would’ve made me go back in return for creating that light for me.”
His words made me tilt my head.
“Isn’t that a little out of the question?”
Both were beneficial to him.
One was that he would be able to stand guard by his grandfather’s deathbed, and the other was…
Come to think of it, why did you like my cluster of lights so much? Talking about it had made me curious to know the answer.
Is it because they’re pretty? Because they’re warm?
I decided that I’d ask him that next, but he cut in first.
“It’s not. Since they’re both things that would only benefit me.”
He smiled at my response, as if he understood me perfectly. It was a smile full of despondency.
“It’s hard. People who can’t be calculative.”
“Apart from my grandfather and mother, this is the first time someone has treated me so sincerely.”
He slowly reached out and grabbed my hand.
“It’s really hard.”
I find it hard to scheme and calculate everything like you though…
He looked down at the hand holding mine tightly and finally said, “Okay. I’ll go and see my grandfather.”
“Really? Good choice!”
After talking round and round in circles, he finally chose to go back home.
I smiled broadly with joy. Linden also allowed a faint smile upon seeing mine.
“You only told me to go back solely for my peace of mind, and not with any other secret motives, right?”
“Since those are your sincere feelings.”
I nodded my head repeatedly at his words that continuously hit the mark.
He smiled, as if he thought my indignation was cute, and pulled the hand that he was holding and brought it to his mouth.
His lips touched my fingers.
I stiffened due to the sudden contact and his eyes crinkled into crescent moons, as if he enjoyed my reaction, adding with a smile.
“It seems like I’ll end up doting on you at this rate.”
There seems to be something strange about the flow of this story…?
It was when a flustered noise came out of my throat.
There was a sudden hand gripping his wrist. Then, it gently wrapped around my hand after taking it out of Linden’s grip, as if protecting it.
“If you’re done talking, then we should leave now.”
Lecht turned his back toward Linden and faced me.
He, who had been the exact one to separate the two of us, wrapped his hand around my hand which had just been held by Linden.
My hand fit right into his.
He wasn’t even a professional basketball player, so what were his hands so big for… or was it just my hands that were small…
He started rubbing his thumb against the back of my hand.
It was a slow and meticulous caress.
“We still have a long way to go. We’ll have to depart now in order to get to Chivan in time.”
It would be a different story if we were just going by ourselves, but the fact that we had already arranged an appointment with the Moon God’s high priestess and priests would make it rather troublesome.
However, my worries weren’t on the time, but rather, my hands.
“Th-That’s right… we should go…”
His touch, which had started with the back of my hand, was now touching my fingers.
As if he were trying to wipe something off of it.
My heart fluttered for no reason because of the size of his large hands, but my heart became even louder when he began to rub my hands with his long fingers.
Although I was flustered, I was also happy at the same time, so I just left my hand to him and merely satisfied myself with wiggling my toes in my shoes.
I wasn’t even aware of why the tips of my toes would curl at the tingling sensation whenever I touched his hand.
“That’s why I told you to go intervene earlier. Saying I’m not sure, I have to wait for the temple, it was out of place… now someone else has cut in line, cut in line for that pretty hand. Tsk tsk.”
It seemed like Tanma was murmuring and clicking his tongue next to me.
Was it just me or were the shoulders of Lecht, whose gaze was still on the hand that was rubbing me, drooping lower and lower?
“I really don’t understand this guy either.”
Linden’s voice, which came from behind Lecht’s back, quickly brought me back to my senses.
I hurriedly pulled my hand out. I quickly hid my hand behind my back, flustered that I was enjoying his touch.
“W-Well then, Linden! I guess we’re going to have to go our separate ways here!”
I looked for Linden, who was meant to be right next to me. Lecht, who seemed to be immovable, unexpectedly moved aside.
Although it wasn’t that he completely moved aside, rather half his back still covered me when facing Linden.
“You’ll make it safely to the capital, right?”
“Meliara, how old do you think I am?”
“Oh, was it useless for me to worry? Haha.”
Although I laughed awkwardly, I still honestly couldn’t help but worry. He was a prince who didn’t know where or how his enemies were hiding.
“Are you coming back to the capital after you finish what you’re doing?”
I flinched at Linden’s question.
I was thinking of fleeing the country by using that excuse though… Well, I guess I can only say goodbye to fleeing the country now, since I’ve got the whole saintess of the Moon God thing going on.
‘What about the demon invasion?’
Should I at least let Linden know too? Tell him to get ready? He’d look at me like I was a crazy woman though.
How did Linden die again? Should I go back for a while to prevent him from dying? There was no way I’d be able to save the whole capital anyway, so shouldn’t I just try and protect the people who are important to me?
As my complex thoughts continued, I heard Linden’s voice again.
“Don’t tell me, are you thinking of never coming back again?”
I waved my hand in surprise at the shocked expression on his face.
“No, it’s not like that! Of course not!”
I couldn’t bear to upset a handsome man, so I hurriedly tried to explain.
“It’s because I was thinking of traveling. That’s why I don’t know when I’ll be back.”
I smiled and nodded at Linden double checking again. I hoped that my smile looked convincing.
He seemed to retreat with a small mumble, but stopped and looked back at me.
He let out a groan, pondering for a moment, and then asked.
“When we meet again, can I call you ‘Ara’?”
I was wondering what you were going to ask me.
There was no reason for me to refuse him calling me by my real name.
Linden smiled brightly, as if he liked that answer.
It was the first time I had seen such a pure and bright smile of his.
pls do not share this anywhere or the transmigration gods will transport u into boku no pico !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:
When the original party of three was reduced to only two, the carriage suddenly felt exceptionally spacious. There was only an awkward silence that made me wonder if I should have asked the butler to ride with us.
‘Seems like I had a lot to talk about with Linden…’
I felt his absence belatedly. How pleasant and comfortable it was to talk with Linden.
Of course, it wasn’t as if I hated the situation now.
Lecht, who watched the scenery passing by with his chin in his hands, leaning against the window, gave off the flavor of sightseeing.
Even while his head was turned at an angle. Even while he had an unreadable expression on his face. The sharp jawline and sleek neckline that fell below the silver hair. Eyes that were clear, yet not stiff.
Somehow, he was a man whose Adam’s apple was even a cause of envy.
However, the most attractive of them all were those gold eyes of his.
“What is Lecht going to the East for?”
After watching him for a while, I decided to try my luck when the silence became too heavy.
omg crying rn i missed this story i love my two boys and girlboss meliara ;-;
linden & lecht are both having rlly good moments rn so IM LOVING THE TRIANGLE HGLDSIKFJFD i just know there will be angst later on tho QAQ
honorable mentions this chapter include:
“i’m going to end up doting on you at this rate.” AHHHHH ?????!!!!
also lecht’s very obvious display of ownership and skinship hGSHDFKLDSFJDSJ ㅜㅜ #singledog
the author fleshing out linden’s character as well !!!! was living for his backstory and how his calculations and scheming personality is a byproduct of his environment, BUT it was v touching to see how his grandpa and mother still tried to raise him with love && affection WE LOVE TO SEE IT
BUT NOW my guess is that we’ll finally delve more into what lies in the abandoned temple, lecht and meliara’s past (or not past???) and lecht’s character as well now that linden’s out of the picture (which i’m VERY MUCH looking forward to hehehehe)