SMCS Ch 25 — Sweet VS Sexy

The rays of the afternoon sun seeped over the massive mahogany walls.

Basked in light, the dragon that had been elaborately carved into the wall seemed to be able to come to life at any moment now.

Among the many drawing rooms in the Berhardt family’s mansion, the walls of the most luxurious drawing room of them all was adorned with ‘Dragon’, the legendary monster that had been defeated by the Order of Ecrestus’ first Holy Knight Commander.

The carving in the wall was also a symbol of pride for the Berhardt family, who had always led the Order of Ecrestus.

There, for the first time in a while, the Berhardt family gathered together and raised their teacups affectionately.

Thump, thump.

this chapter is brought to you by mio
as translator, proofreader and editor!


The rays of the afternoon sun seeped over the massive mahogany walls.

Basked in light, the dragon that had been elaborately carved into the wall seemed to be able to come to life at any moment now.

Among the many drawing rooms in the Berhardt family’s mansion, the walls of the most luxurious drawing room of them all was adorned with ‘Dragon’, the legendary monster that had been defeated by the Order of Ecrestus’ first Holy Knight Commander.

The carving in the wall was also a symbol of pride for the Berhardt family, who had always led the Order of Ecrestus.

There, for the first time in a while, the Berhardt family gathered together and raised their teacups affectionately.

Thump, thump.

Long fingers that were so elegant it was hard to believe they belonged to someone who wielded a sword, tapped the table steadily. The teacup in front of that person had already become cold without ever having touched his lips once. 

At that time, an older woman who had her beautiful thick blonde hair in an elegant twist said quietly, “Your tea has already cooled, Leonon. Rita, could you get us another cup?”

“Yes, if you’ll excuse me.”

With a deft hand, the maid that had been standing by their side brought the cup that had been placed in front of him over to the tray. Only then did that person lift their head up. 

“Thank you.”

An awkward cough followed the end of his sentence. It was because he had finally noticed that all the eyes of his family were now on him.

“Are you waiting for something in particular?” Eliore, who was staring at her younger brother’s neck that had turned red without his knowledge, blinked her eyes mischievously.

“…No.”

“It’s almost time for the postman to come, so it must be the place where the letter’s coming from? You do that a lot these days, you know? Sticking out your neck as if you’re waiting for something, then sinking into depression again.”

Leonon’s older sister, Eliore, was second only to their mother in terms of tact and sensitivity. She quickly noticed his reaction, which wouldn’t have been easy for anyone else to pick up on.

“That’s never happened.”

However, Leonon shook his head resolutely. His formidable acting was also thanks to his experience of suffering from such an older sister since he was little.

Sure enough, seeing as her younger brother wasn’t moved at all, Eliore quickly became interested in something else instead.

“Oh right, I overheard this when I went to the boutique this morning. Apparently, the day before yesterday, Duke Periot’s marriage was finally declared invalid.”

At that moment, Leonon’s fingers twitched. 

“Apparently everyone was worried about how it would cause a huge problem since Duke Periot also stormed the place without having an appointment, but surprisingly, he headed back obediently without making too much of a fuss.”

“It’s definitely because he was in the imperial palace as well. No matter how powerful he is as a duke, he still wouldn’t have been able to act recklessly.”

When Viscount Xavier, who had a gentle look in his eyes, shook his head resolutely, Eliore took the back of her husband’s hand and kissed it cutely as if she depended on him.

Then, holding her husband’s hand tightly, she stuck out her tongue and continued to speak, “The fact that she fled and turned the wedding vows into ashes, how formidable. But just how in the world did she burn it?”

Her eyes sparkled with curiosity. It was a natural reaction since the news had long made the normally calm high society noisy with gossip. No matter where you went, everyone had been buzzing about the Duke and Duchess of Chambers. 

“How distressing must it have been. I’m sure she searched for every possible way out,” Duchess Florette Berhardt quietly added, leisurely savouring the fresh tea that was added by the maid. “What a determined and courageous young lady.”

“…Mother,” Leonon opened his mouth quietly at the same time. 

“What’s the matter, Leonon?”

“Have you ever… thought about wanting to burn your marriage vows?”

The Duchess answered her son’s question immediately without a moment’s hesitation, “Of course I have.”

Pfft.” 

His father, who rarely lost his composure, spat the tea from his mouth at that moment. However, Leonon was still serious and did not waver.

“What does it feel like?”

Handing her husband a napkin with a nonchalant face, the Duchess continued, “When you want to kill someone but can’t?”

“D-Darling…!”

The face of Duke Gale Berhardt, who was a symbol of bravery and was renowned throughout the whole continent but was also known for being clingy to his wife, finally turned pale. 

Nevertheless, Florette merely raised her cup gracefully, “It’s a hundred times better to burn your marriage vows than to become a murderer.”

“Wife, if you think I’ve done anything wrong… could you please at least let me know first?”

Eliore held her stomach and burst into laughter at the teary appearance of her father. 

It was the exact same situation as Viscount Xavier. Unlike their first meeting, where he had been so nervous he couldn’t even look into their eyes properly, he was now completely a part of the Berhardt family.

The Berhardt household had always been harmonious and full of affection for each other. Whenever the family had tea together, the atmosphere was always one that was filled with laughter and joy. 

At that time, a polite knock sounded from the other side of the door. 

Soon, the butler came in politely with a letter that had been placed on a silver tray. 

“A letter has arrived.”

Leonon sprang to his feet at those words. Due to his urgency, the table ended up rattling so violently that the tea was spilt.

“One is an invitation to an imperial banquet to commemorate the empire’s victory, while the other one is…”

He quickly snatched up the letter before the butler even finished his sentence. 

Then, a smile that was as tender and beautiful as a flower bloomed on his face upon confirming who the sender was. 

His family, who didn’t know what the reason for his appearance was, just stared blankly at the scene.

“Excuse me for a moment.”

“Where are you going?” Eliore asked urgently to Leonon, who had suddenly turned his back and was about to leave the drawing room. In her hand was the other letter he had not touched — the invitation to the imperial banquet.

“I’m going to send a reply.”

“What reply?”

There was no answer to her question. Meanwhile, Leonon had already disappeared in the meantime. 

“Just what is it?”

While Eliore was in the middle of grumbling, their father, who was staring at the receding back of his son, murmured to himself, “Just when will that brat find someone who will make him want to protect them with his own life?”

Although he had already retired, and Leonon, who was to succeed him, was filling the role of Holy Knight’s Commander splendidly, his father was still worried whenever he thought about his son.

“Don’t worry about those things too much. After all, you know you can’t force yourself to find those things,” Florette Berhardt replied with a subtle smile. “I’m sure a courageous young lady will appear someday.”

* * *

pls do not share this anywhere or u will always stub ur toe when u walk past a door frame !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:

“Good, this much is already very good.”

I smiled at the neatly decorated drawing room.

Not only had all the holes in the wall been repaired of course, but the drawing room now had furniture that was classy yet not extremely expensive, and we even managed to bring out a few sets of pretty dishware as well.

Ever since receiving a reply from Commander Leonon saying that he was grateful for the invitation and that he’d even be here tomorrow, the preparations were now all in place.

Now, the only thing left to worry about was…

「Total shares sold: 34,001 shares.」

“Please, tomorrow please…!”

Please let everything go smoothly tomorrow!

I closed the system window and prayed internally in my mind, then prayed again and again. It was because I was afraid that this area’s tyrant, the hype king, would commit some unexpected act again.

Like Winnard had said, it should be okay to not get a bonus cookie reward, but I shouldn’t let my guard down. 

“Miss, you should head out now. You’ll be running late at this rate.”

Joy came into the room with a shawl at that moment. 

Today was the day I had been invited to a small tea party. Most of the people attending today were regular customers that enjoyed visiting Leah’s store, or nobles who I had the pleasure being acquainted with a few times.

Most of them were from small families that had little to no connection to the centre of high society. Should I say that they were more like nobles who made a living off of the profits from running wineries or raising orchards?

Thus, I was able to accept the invitation without feeling burdened. Since they didn’t know my relation to Periot, nor did they even try to find out who I was either.

I climbed onto the carriage and hummed the whole way to the venue of the tea party. 

I had been stuck in the Dukedom without a single friend for two years, so it was hard for me to believe that I was finally able to go to a social gathering. 

Although it may be a menial daily routine to some, it was a great luxury for me. It was to the point where my shoulders started to tremble unconsciously from the anticipation. 

To think that there would be such a good day in my life. Yes! You’re now an insider, Lorella!

t/n: 인싸 refers to a social butterfly or a popular person. usually attached to people in a certain exclusive circle or who are privy to the latest trends, etc. opposite of a loner and someone who is not up to date with the latest trends

As they were all simple and honest people, I’m sure that we’ll be able to converse over some pleasant topics.

I believed that we definitely would.

Or at least I had certainly believed that to be the case before finding myself sitting in the private room of a salon that was today’s meeting place, sipping tea. 

“Apparently the competition behind the scenes to become Duke Periot’s second marriage partner is already extremely fierce! I heard that a young lady of a high ranking family as well as a princess from the neighbouring family have already sent letters to show their interest in marriage.”

“He’s handsome, young, and sexy. Moreover, he’s done a meritorious deed in the war so it’s understandable that he’d stand out. Although it’s unknown who will be his marriage partner in the end, it’ll still be something to envy.”

“I heard that the Duke likes to wear black leather gloves? Apparently when he sweeps his hair back, it’s super sexy… I really want to see it with my own two eyes, at least once.”

“His Majesty the Emperor said that he’d bestow him a great reward, so the North will only prosper from this moment forward… Just who in the world is the former Duchess for her to even file for a request to nullify the marriage?” 

The women sitting to my right continued to talk enthusiastically. I was the only one who couldn’t get into this hot topic. 

After a few words of greeting, all they had been interested in talking about so far was the handsome and sexy Duke of the North who had recently become single. 

Wait, excuse me. All of you should experience it for yourself first…

But I couldn’t say that. I couldn’t bear to talk and just quietly sipped my tea. 

Then, this time, the women to my left shook their heads. 

“I heard that the Duke is extremely cold. I heard even the servants who have worked in the mansion for a long time can’t speak rashly. Do you really think a man like that would know how to treat a girl well? No matter how good a man is at this or that, being sweet is still the best. Like a man like Commander Leonon.”

“Of course. Sweet, gentle, and perfect in both appearance and character! How good would it be if every man in the world were like Commander Leonon?”

“I completely agree with you. He would probably even pluck a star from the sky for the woman he loves. Oh, when will I ever get to go on a date with someone like that? I don’t know if it will be possible even in my next life.”

Urk.

This time, I was choked by the tea in my throat. 

After all, I couldn’t integrate myself into either group, so I ended up just tilting my teacup to the point of drinking all the tea on the table. 

Someone asked me a question in an interested voice, “What about you, Lorella?”

“P-Pardon?”

“If you had to choose between the two, who would you choose? Commander Leonon? Or Duke Periot?”

“Come to think of it, I haven’t heard Lorella’s opinion yet. It’s exactly four to four right now, so the side you choose will win, Lorella.”

“Oh come on, hurry up and tell us! Do you like sweet or sexy men?”

Everyone looked at me with eyes that seemed to be sparkling. 

“Well, um… I…”

But I couldn’t answer. No, to be more accurate, it was more like there was no way it could be either. 

It was when I was only smiling awkwardly, wondering if there was any way I could avoid the whole situation. 

The lady next to me let out a self-mocking sigh, “Haa, it’s my dream to get a request to dance from both a sweet and sexy man at the same time. But in order for that to happen, I’ll probably need to at least go to the banquet at the imperial palace this time.”

Although she seemed to have tried to change the subject since she became bored while waiting for my answer, she now felt like a saviour to me. 

“The imperial palace’s banquet?”

It was a golden opportunity to not return to the topic of Leonon and Periot, so I asked quickly in order not to miss the timing. 

“Yes, a grand banquet will be held to commemorate our victory in the war. I heard that it’s apparently the largest in the history of the entire Empire? Apparently not only will all the prominent nobles of the capital attend, but also a delegation from the allied nations will arrive as well.”

“Goodness, it must be extremely extravagant.”

“Speaking of that…” 

When I showed interest in what she was saying, she turned to me completely and lowered her voice secretly, “Did you hear that countless guards will be mobilised this time? Apparently it’s ten times more than usual.”

“I heard about that too. They’re going to guard the road from the city wall to the palace without a single gap, right?” A young lady, who was listening next to us, also responded and intervened in our conversation.

It was interesting news for me, who had originally thought that I just had to change the topic. Leaning a little more towards her, I said, “They must be particularly concerned about security since it’s such a large banquet. Since nothing unpleasant should happen.”

But speaking of it, it did seem a little strange. In that case, wouldn’t they normally need to increase the guards on the town square and the main street? Was there a need to guard the city wall or road?

As expected, the young lady who had brought up the topic, accurately spoke about my doubts and shook her head excitedly, “The security around the Imperial Palace is always secure and tight. That day as well, it’ll probably only be a little congested with a dozen carriages at best.”

“Then why are they even guarding the city walls?”

“Because of the Black Snake Guild.”

“What?”

“There are rumours that among the tributes that will be delivered on that day, is one that the Black Snake Guild has its eye on. It was originally the property of the Black Snake Guild, but I heard that they were completely deceived by a foreign country’s royal family and it was stolen.”

“Black Snake… Guild?”

“The Imperial Palace dismissed them as false rumours, but if they really didn’t care about the Black Snake Guild, then they wouldn’t have felt the need to increase their security like that.”

“Just what is the Black Snake Guild?”

I was dumbfounded by the name that I had heard for the first time. But on the contrary, there were eyes that were filled with astonishment everywhere, as if there could be no way I didn’t know about them.

“Goodness, how have you never heard of their name?”

“Oh, I… grew up in a foreign country, so…” 

Thanks to that, I scratched my nose awkwardly and tried to gloss over it naturally. 

“It’s known as the most dangerous guild in the empire. Its very nature is veiled in mystery and it rarely makes contact with people like us, so there’s no way for anyone to verify or check just how dangerous it is.”

“Apparently the head of the guild will do anything as long as it makes money. I heard even placing a hit to kill someone is no problem as well.”

“If anyone gets targeted by the guild leader, that very day is when their life ends. They say that the living hell they put people through is enough to make them beg for death.”

“I heard that even when the Imperial Palace placed a bounty on him, he escaped so smoothly it was as if they were only playing a game of tag. From what I’ve heard, he has a lot of followers, and the people who offer him helping hands aren’t just one or two either.”

Fearsome stories continued to rush in one after the other. Of course, it was also my first time hearing about them too. Since the North was such a remote place and no one had ever told me this sort of information either.

No, but how could a guild leader even have followers?

“Goodness, to think there was such a person in the world. Then I guess he’s some kind of dark lord, right?” While listening to their words diligently, I spoke with considerable strength in my voice, “It’s best not to get involved with such a person for the rest of your life. Isn’t that right?”

Above all, the best way to live life is for it to be simple and long. I also would have liked to live like that, if it weren’t for the shares I had to sell.

As I nodded to myself, I swallowed the resentment that seemed to be rising up inside me again, but then I suddenly sensed something strange. 

Up until just now, they had all been talking as if they were competing with each other, yet now they all shut their mouths, as if what happened earlier had been a lie. Not even one person showed even the slightest agreement with my words. 

“Everyone… what’s the matter with you all?”

For a moment, I couldn’t hide my curiosity.

“…It seems like I want to get involved with him.”

“Pardon?”

 At someone’s small voice, I replied, almost doubting my ears. 

“It’s said that if you catch a glimpse of him even once, you’ll end up squandering your own wealth trying to forcibly make a request that doesn’t exist.”

“I’ve also only heard rumours, but I heard that even his portraits are traded at an exorbitantly high price on the black market… There’s also a rumour that some young lady fell ill with lovesickness and ended up becoming bedridden.”

“If that’s true, I’d also like to get seriously involved, even if it’s just once.”

“Me too.”

“To be honest, I do too…”

The cheeks of the young girls, who were staring into space as if they were bewitched by something, seemed to have a strange flush to them.


author’s note

between a sweet and sexy man, i prefer a sweet and sexy man.


naver comments

laiw*****
everyone, leonon has a sweet personality and a very sexy body. so let’s give commander leonon to the female lead and we’ll take the rest for ourselves.

ace1****
i personally thought i preferred obsessed dukes of the north, but i actually think i prefer sexy men who used to be sweet men

i like how their high society gatherings are them discussing who the hottest guy is like twitter stans discussing whose bias is hotter LMAOGLSDKF

next few chapters are mainly focused on periot, leonon and then also explores the black snake guild as well (think imperial banquet arc lmAO)

SMCS Ch 24 — I’ll Make Sure You Come Back to Me

“I definitely sent them. …Almost every single day without fail.”

At a time when words I couldn’t believe were echoing in my head, the sound of a bell that could be only heard by me continuously rang out as if it couldn’t miss this opportunity to. 

Ding dong!

「‘Trying a taste of the obsessive maniac’ proudly buys 3000 shares.」

「Come on down here~ Just have one bite~ How is it~ It’s tasty right~?」

this chapter is brought to you by mio
as translator, proofreader and editor!


“I definitely sent them. …Almost every single day without fail.”

At a time when words I couldn’t believe were echoing in my head, the sound of a bell that could be only heard by me continuously rang out as if it couldn’t miss this opportunity to. 

Ding dong!

「‘Trying a taste of the obsessive maniac’ proudly buys 3000 shares.」

「Come on down here~ Just have one bite~ How is it~ It’s tasty right~?」

Ding dong!

「‘That bastard isn’t the male lead, right?’ also refuses to lose and buys 3000 shares.」

「What’s the good in coming and saying those things now? Stop being clingy and fuck off!」

However, the system window that constantly blinked at least for now with the names of friends that I hadn’t seen for a long time as well as the number of shares that were rising as if they were competing against each other didn’t enter my eyes at all. 

“What… are you talking about?”

“It’s just like I said. I sent them whenever I had time.”

Eyes that stared straight at me without wavering even once. Determined and without a hint of avoidance.

“Though I’ve never received a single reply.”

A memory from the past suddenly flashed through my mind. 

Emma, who had always been sensitive and anxious, was in a good mood whenever she received news of her son. Thanks to this, even the servants of the mansion looked forward to Periot’s letter.

Even though the letter wasn’t addressed to anyone in particular, and only contained a few lines about how he was doing recently, as if he had written it out of duty. 

‘That’s why whenever he occasionally asked about the welfare of those in the mansion, everyone was always deeply moved by it.’

Truthfully speaking, that’s why I was always even more upset and aggrieved.

Since I thought that even though we were bound together on paper, my husband still treated me like I was air.

After repeatedly gnawing at my lips, I asked cautiously, “So many letters… could someone have stolen it?”

“Who knows.” Periot’s face became expressionless again, as if he had never smiled in the first place. “What I’m saying is the truth. Though whether you believe it or not is entirely up to you.”

If what he said was the truth, then there was someone who not only stole the letters, but also blocked the servants from telling me about it too. 

I didn’t even have to think it over for very long. Because there was only one person who was capable of doing that. 

A person who thought I was like a thorn in their side. Emma Chambers.

Glancing at him, I quickly changed the subject by taking advantage of the time he took a sip of tea with an elegant gesture. 

“How are the people in the mansion doing?”

Feigning disinterest, I suddenly thought of the maid who was serving me and touched the rim of the luxurious teacup. She was the only one who I had gotten close to in the entire Duke’s residence.

“I think her name was Betty…”

With a slight wrinkle in his brow, Periot seemed to think for a moment before nodding slowly.

“There are no servants who have quit, so she should be doing well.”

He was so cold-hearted that he didn’t even have any interest in how the people around him were doing. I came to realise that fact again.

However, the main point of what I was trying to get at would start to be revealed now. Even with the beating around the bush that I did, there was no way he had no idea what it was about. I opened my mouth cautiously. 

“How is… Mrs. Emma?”

Periot’s jaw twitched for a moment before hardening once more. The furrows at his brow deepened as well.

Moments after, a voice so low it sounded gloomy finally rang out. 

“She is residing in the west of the mansion.”

“Huh…? Why?”

“Because of various issues that occurred during that time.” After a moment, he added in a softer whisper, “Your older brother is held there as well.”

There seemed to be something that lay west of the Duke’s residence. I had almost no reason to go there, so my memory of it was dim. 

The breeding grounds for the hunting dogs as well as a pond, a small annex locked with a big padlock, and…

A stone chamber where people who were no longer in this world now slept.

‘…No way, it can’t be. Come on. I-It can’t be true.’

But at that moment, as if to make matters worse, the surrounding area was suddenly plunged into darkness while the fat raindrops continued to tap noisily at the window drearily. 

“If you’re curious, why don’t you go and see for yourself?”

Boom! Clap!

As soon as he finished speaking, a flash of lightning flashed outside the window as a loud noise sounded. A neat row of teeth shone blindingly white between the lips of Periot, whose mouth was upturned at the corners.

Heok!

Thanks to that, I almost screamed without realising it and bit my lips shut.

“I-It’s alright. Not now… later!”

I waved my hand, trying to calm down my pounding heart. 

Yeah. It’s not a big deal. He just locked them up in a separate building!

…Wait, but could I even say that confinement wasn’t that big of a deal?

Amidst the confusion going on inside my head, I suddenly heard a knock from outside the drawing room. At Periot’s short answer, a person came in and bowed politely. 

It was the officer from before. 

“Apologies for interrupting your conversation. Since it’s getting dark, I thought I’d turn on the lamp.”

Periot’s head slowly turned toward the window, as if he had only then just noticed the loud sound of the rain.

“So it was raining…”

It was when he murmured that in a raspy voice.

Ding dong!

「‘Trying a taste of the obsessive maniac’ buys 1000 shares with a disbelieving heart.」

「If Periot uses a three fold umbrella when it’s raining, you’ll be getting the death penalty.」

 3단 우산: basically an automatic modern umbrella that we have. it’s called ‘three fold’ because the metal framing folds three times

Another reserve death penalty was haphazardly handed out.

No, excuse me, esteemed readers, there are no three fold umbrellas in this place…

However, the image of Periot holding up a three fold umbrella while looking up at the sky with his forehead furrowed was immediately pictured vividly in my mind.

The fact that it was him in that state, and not anyone else, I couldn’t help but think that image was extremely inconsistent with his character. 

Pfft…”

The chilling and frightening atmosphere suddenly melted into thin air. I desperately clenched my teeth to hold back my laughter.

In the meantime, the officer, as well as the servants of the imperial palace who entered with him, proceeded to light all the lights in the drawing room. While our teacups were being refilled, the officer asked politely, “Duke, if it’s fine, would you like me to bring you a cigar?”

Ding dong!

「‘Trying a taste of the obsessive maniac is anxious this time as well and buys 1000 shares.」

「If Periot smokes, even outside, death penalty.」

Mmph…pfft.”

Is there any way not to get the death penalty?

At the surprise attack, my lips and fists were tightly clenched as Periot raised his hand slightly in refusal. 

“No, it’s fine.” Then, he directed his gaze at me and asked, “Why are you laughing again?”

“…I didn’t laugh though.”

“You clearly laughed. Earlier on, and now as well.”

“You must’ve seen wrong.”

“You definitely laughed.”

Even though his words were like that, the one who was actually smiling was him, not me. 

A soft and natural smile had spread across his face at some point.

Because the appearance of him smiling was so strange, I found that my gaze kept drifting to him since it seemed too different to his usual self.

While avoiding Periot’s gaze multiple times, of course.

* * *

pls do not share this anywhere or u will always stub ur toe when u walk past a door frame !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:

Perhaps because he thought our conversation would go on for longer, the officer visited the room once again with fresh tea. My teacup was once again filled with a deep orange coloured tea with fragrant steam rising from it.

Lifting my cup, I glanced at the floating system window.

「Total shares sold: 34,001 shares.」

It had already exceeded 30,000 shares at some point. 

The last message that was posted was, ‘If Periot drinks honey because of the cold rain, death penalty’. The message came shortly after the officer had said that they’d bring us another tea.

Fortunately(?), Periot was not executed. Since all he had asked for was a strong red wine that was the colour of blood. 

As soon as the officer left, our conversation was cut short and awkwardness descended upon us once again.

‘I should’ve just said that I was going since I finished drinking already…’

Since I had already achieved my goal anyway.

Swallowing my regrets, I fiddled with the memo box on the table. 

I pretended to examine the crystal penholder, but then dropped the pen and watched it roll toward Periot’s feet. 

“Oh…”

While I was flustered, unable to do this or that, he silently picked it up and held it toward me. 

“Th-Thanks.”

Just as I was about to quickly take it and put it back, the second challenge came abruptly.

‘Wait, why isn’t it going in?’

There was no problem when I took it off though. Is this not how you’re meant to put it in?

I tried to put the penholder back into the slot by turning it the other way, but no matter what I did, it didn’t click in place. 

After suffering for a while, a large hand soon came into my view. 

Periot, who took the pen from me, tilted it slightly and pushed it forward in place. At that moment, the pen was fixed into its original position with a thud.

“There’s another thing that is exactly the same as that, you know?”

“Huh?”

“We have the exact same memo box as this one in the reception room of the first floor. Have you ever used it?” Periot still spoke lightly, with both corners of his lips upturned.

That reception room, which was attached to the rear garden and would be cramped if filled with several guests, was instead, extremely luxurious and had an antique feel to it, making it the perfect place to receive important guests.

Each table and every single chair were extremely costly pieces of furniture, with rows of priceless paintings on the walls and even beautiful sculptures that carried a long history with them.

Furthermore, when summer returned to the north, the beautiful rear garden that could be seen through the wide window gave the view and entrancing landscape that seemed like it was a picture.

Therefore, it was Emma Chambers’ pride and joy, a space that would fill her with arrogance. Occasionally, on days when guests with lofty backgrounds come to pay a visit, she would always entertain them with tea there.

Due to that fact, I wasn’t able to come and go freely from that place. The memories of being tormented for days on end after accidentally entering just once were still vivid in my mind. 

When I had no answer at all, Periot frowned slightly, as if finding it odd. No matter how much I agonised over it, I came to the conclusion that I had no choice but to tell him the truth.

“I’ve never used it.”

“What?”

“Because I couldn’t go in whenever I wanted to.”

As soon as I finished speaking, Periot’s eyes trembled greatly. For a moment, a heavy energy that made it as if I couldn’t breathe descended over us. 

The silence lasted quite a long time. 

Discreetly swallowing dryly, I berated myself for not having just kept quiet, but soon, a soft voice seeped through my ears. 

“…And?”

“Huh?”

“What other places have you been banned from?”

“So…”

Can I really say this?

To be honest, I did hesitate a little, but I found it too hard to lie in front of eyes that seemed to be set ablaze.

“The greenhouse in the rear garden… and…”

A place that was filled with beautiful flowers that were in full bloom all year round, something that was rare to find in the cold north.

Emma forbid me from going in, saying that I wasn’t allowed to go in recklessly and damage the flowers with the hem of my dress.

“And?”

“The east hallway on the second floor…”

Emma, who was excessively materialistic and vain, had several dressing rooms that were larger than most bedrooms. It was no exaggeration to say that all the rooms other than her own room which was also located in the east hallway were her dressing rooms as well. 

Thus, she didn’t even like me stepping into that hallway. Of course, even if I was given permission to go freely, I would still reject it in the end.

Since if something was found to be missing, it was obvious who would be blamed as the thief. 

Though of course, these were all things of the forgotten past and had nothing to do with me anymore.  

“Anything else?”

However, Periot, who had a hard glint in his eyes, continued to urge me for answers.

In the end, I had no choice but to go on speaking, as if I was tattling to him.

All the while keeping my dry lips moist with the gradually cooling black tea.

* * *

It was well past two hours when I finally got out of that drawing room.

My resolution to only stay for half an hour had been overshadowed.

“Duke.”

As we stepped out to be seen off by the officer, Periot’s men, who were waiting outside for him, strode up with something. It was a cloak for when it rained. 

I raised my head to look up at the sky. There was still heavy rain pouring down, as if there were a hole in the sky.

As for me, who had only been accompanied by one coachman, I had no choice but to get battered by the rain. It was also because the carriage couldn’t be placed right in front of the door of the attached building due to its structure. 

“Please wait a moment. I’ll bring you something that shields you from the rain.” The officer looked toward me before hurrying back inside. 

“We should head back.”

In the meantime, a subordinate handed the cloak to Periot before retreating as if to get out of the way. Despite the fact that he was also drenched, his deep sense of loyalty toward taking care of him was extremely obvious. 

I fell into shallow agony for a moment. 

Although this is our final meeting, we should still bid each other farewell, right?

When we were able to hold a calm conversation for the first time, he wasn’t as crazy as I expected, and our talk also flowed more smoothly than I expected…

‘Yeah, we should say goodbye. Since you also received his help with the incident with your bastard older brother too.’

Um… but the question was, what to say?

It was awful being together with you, so let’s not meet again? Or, I’ll live well, so you should too?

It was when I was agonising over the same thought over and over again. 

Periot, who had taken the cloak without a word, suddenly turned back around toward me. 

Then, he came toward me and abruptly wrapped both of his hands behind my back.

Before I could take a step back and avoid it, a heavy cloak fell on my shoulders.

“Why are you…”

It was the moment I looked up at him with my eyes wide open in amazement.

“Don’t think that this will be the last time.”

A clap of thunder reverberated in my ears.

“W-What did you say?”

“Didn’t you hear me say it clearly before? That I’d make it so that you’d come back to me out of your own free will.”

Despite his lips being curved in a thin line, his eyes were devoid of any smile.

His unwavering eyes were filled with nothing but me. Like a beast crouching in the dark awaiting its prey.

“…I’ll definitely make it so it’s like that.”

As if he were making a resolution to himself, a steely voice that spat out each syllable sounded in my ears.

“I’ll definitely see you soon, Lorella.”

For a moment, I stood there staring at the large hand that was tying the knot on the cloak. I couldn’t even find any words to say in response. 

You’re going to let me come back to you out of my own free will? How? And by what means? And you’ll even see me soon?

You’re not really going to do something like an actual obsessive maniac… are you?

When I came back to my senses, Periot had already turned around and strode out into the pouring rain. 

“W-What in the world do you mean?!” I shouted loudly at his distant back view, but an answer never returned. 

“Just what on earth are you going to do?!” I shouted again, stamping my feet in anxiety, but Periot never once looked back. 

* * *

The downpour was so severe that it was difficult for someone walking in the rain to even open their eyes against it. Periot was no different, and was quickly drenched from head to toe in moments.

A thin stream of water flowed down his dishevelled hair.

“D-Duke. Just where are you going?!”

As he walked past the carriage and continued onwards, the subordinate rushed to follow behind him. Yet, his footsteps never stopped. 

“Because I couldn’t go in whenever I wanted to.”

“The greenhouse in the rear garden… and…”

They were all the only tranquil and beautiful places in that desolate mansion. 

He didn’t know. That she had been left alone in the cold ducal residence without ever once enjoying any of it.

In any case, perhaps the more accurate way to put it was that he had never tried to get to know about it. 

“D-Duke…!”

Although there was another voice behind him calling for him at the top of their voice, Periot continued to move forward quickly.

With only the terrible downpour pounding at his shoulder painfully.


author’s note

tsk tsk

god periot is hitting all the boxes for obsessive ml trope rn IM LIVING also i’m loving periot’s self awareness i hope my man improves on himself for her! but ultimately, i hope our girl is happy and earns a lot of money bc MONEY IS LIFE

SMCS Ch 23 — A Story I Didn’t Know

With one hand on the door frame, Periot came in and looked over the officer with a scathing gaze silently for a moment. Handsome features that couldn’t be hidden by his icy expression seemed to be highlighted even greater today.

However, I was so flustered that my eyes almost rolled back in shock.

D-Did he perhaps just hear me cursing him?

…It certainly seems like he heard everything?

No, that’s not the problem right now!

I looked over at the officer hurriedly.

‘You said he wouldn’t come today! You very clearly said he wasn’t going to come today though!’

this chapter is brought to you by mio
as translator, proofreader and editor!


With one hand on the door frame, Periot came in and looked over the officer with a scathing gaze silently for a moment. Handsome features that couldn’t be hidden by his icy expression seemed to be highlighted even greater today.

However, I was so flustered that my eyes almost rolled back in shock.

D-Did he perhaps just hear me cursing him?

…It certainly seems like he heard everything?

No, that’s not the problem right now!

I looked over at the officer hurriedly.

‘You said he wouldn’t come today! You very clearly said he wasn’t going to come today though!’

As if he had noticed my silent protest, the officer shook his head violently with a pale face. Judging from his wild gestures, it seemed like he didn’t know about it either.

“Duke…!”

Perhaps because he didn’t wish for this to happen, the officer suddenly jumped between Periot and I, creating a barrier.

“S-Suddenly appearing without prior notice…”

“Can I not?” Turning slightly toward the officer, Periot spat out in a low voice.

“Well, t-that isn’t the case… but I’d appreciate it if you could make an appointment in advance when you decide to visit next time.”

In the end, the officer, who was overwhelmed by Periot’s intimidating momentum, lowered his head and squeezed those words out quietly.

I jutted out my lip in bewilderment.

No, excuse me?! If even you’re scared, then what should I do?!

Although I wanted to flee like my heart was screaming at me to, I still hadn’t signed the confirmation notice of me having received the confirmation of my annulment without any problems. 

If I knew this would happen, then I would’ve just hurriedly signed it and been on my way! That way I wouldn’t have had to run into this particular person…!

A deep sense of regret suddenly bubbled up from within me.

In the meantime, Periot had lightly pushed aside the officer and was coming closer toward me. Then, grabbing the back of the chair with both hands, he whispered quietly, “Go on, Lorella.”

Although I wasn’t really sure whether he wanted me to hurry up and go on with the signing or continue the backtalk I had been doing earlier…

But thanks to that, I began to come back to my senses.

Right, wasn’t this the Imperial Palace? The organisation that had the highest rank of authority in the entire empire.

In this place, my marriage was officially recognised as invalid. So there was no reason for me to be afraid at all.

Raising an eyebrow, I wrote my name down in one smooth stroke, as if forcefully bringing more attention to the document before me. 

“Then… it’s all been finalised now.”

The officer came over quickly with the documents I had handed over to him and politely opened the door for me. 

Seeing his urgent movements, although it seemed like he wanted to get this awkward and uncomfortable situation over with quickly, in the end, he still didn’t forget what his duty was.

“Duke, as of today, Lorella Mayred now has nothing to do with the Duke of Chambers household. That fact… please remember it well.”

At those words, Periot only jerked one side of his mouth up sharply. As if he had just heard a bad joke.

Then, he calmly crossed his arms and said to me, “Do you not even have time for one final cup of tea?”

“What…?”

“D-Duke.”

I almost doubted my ears for a second. The officer beside me also called out to him with a pale face.

“Isn’t it okay since there’s no law saying that you can only drink tea with people related to your household, and that it’s fine, even if you’re complete strangers?”

It was then.

Ding dong!

「‘Trying a taste of the obsessive maniac’ purchases 1,000 shares.」

「Adding hazelnut syrup to Periot Americano is worthy of the death penalty.」

And without fail, the message window appeared once again.

It isn’t the mood for that right now though!

However, when I saw that shiny system screen, my survival instinct immediately started to twitch. As if I was a gambler who had finally visited the racetrack after a long time, my body started to become restless.

Now that I think about it, wouldn’t this be a great opportunity to sell shares? 

To be honest, I had been neglecting selling shares a little since I had been so preoccupied recently with getting my life together. Besides, a cup of tea with him should be fine since we were in the Imperial Palace.

I nodded toward Periot.

“Alright. It’s not like we can’t.”

I could feel the officer’s shocked gaze on me, but I continued to smile indifferently. “But, only for half an hour though.”

Despite the fairly strict time restrictions, Periot shrugged his shoulders as if he understood. 

Alright. Let’s just sell and leave, nothing more or less than that.

Just for half an hour…!

* * *

pls do not share this anywhere or u will always stub ur toe when u walk past a door frame !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:

The officer led us to a separate drawing room inside. 

Although the study earlier was already extremely luxurious, this place was so grand it couldn’t even be compared to that of earlier. 

…It even seemed to have a romantic air to it somehow. 

A red sofa and a tea table adorned with white lace. With a vase on top of it that was filled to the brim with a bouquet of pink roses. 

No way… you didn’t think that there was any room for a reunion between us, did you?

Although it was a rather unpleasant misunderstanding, it wasn’t that important whether the officer thought so or not. Since all I had to do was sell shares right now. 

But speaking of that, what would be the best way for me to do that?

Although being resolved to do so was good, I was still worried because the situation was extremely different to the last.

I couldn’t just force out tears and snot and spit out a cringe comment like, ‘In any case, m-maybe it’s not that I dislike being by your side…’ like I had last time at the County. 

With documents that proved the invalidity of our marriage and a coldhearted signature, that sort of clumsy performance would be of no help to me today. 

Besides, there was also the possibility of Periot seeing through that. Although he was a bastard, he wasn’t an idiot either…

However, esteemed ancestors with messed up eating habits who ate obsessive maniacs may be watching this situation with intrigue, so I really couldn’t just leave after drinking tea either. 

I mulled over this for a while until I felt a strong gaze. When I lifted my eyes, which were only fixed on the teacup in front of me, I made eye contact with him.

A heavy silence descended between the two of us once again. 

‘But why did he suddenly ask to drink a cup of tea together for no rhyme or reason? What sort of wind blew in today?’

Although I had accepted his offer with a clear objective in mind, it was still a mystery as to why Periot had brought it up.

I couldn’t open my mouth easily and sat like a stone statue with my back straight only looking forward.

As a result of that, I had no choice but to observe the appearance of Periot, who sat opposite of me. 

The very first thing that caught my eye was his hand, which was leaning rather arrogantly against the sofa and holding the armrest. Scars littered the back of his hand, as if they were veins.

Although it often slipped my mind because of his pale and smooth skin, those scars made me realise that this was a person who had been fighting on the battlefield for the past two years. 

His hair, which seemed to have been slicked back more than usual, was not at all dishevelled. His black silk shirt matched his exceptionally pale skin wonderfully, and his black vest, which was tailored to fit him, further accentuated his solid chest and broad shoulders. 

On his jacket that was adorned with pearl buttons was exquisite embroidery that could only be noticed if you were looking closely. 

I hadn’t been aware since I had never paid attention to it. However, upon closer examination like this, he seemed to be the type to care quite a lot about his clothes on the inside. 

‘Are you going to go to the imperial palace later?’

Oh, wait, this is the imperial palace.

“…Lorella.”

That was when I heard my name.

Looking up, I discovered that he was looking right at me. 

Those bright black eyes seemed to contain the entire night sky bottled in them. It was when I was trying not to be distracted by those deep eyes that seemed to contain some unknown darkness in them.

“I was wondering if you’ve been well.”

A deep voice that was characteristic to him sounded.

“Ever since that day.”

I still couldn’t open my mouth. Since I hadn’t expected him to bring this up. 

“Judging by your complexion, I’m relieved to see that you’re doing better.”

I was about to say that it was thanks to the fact that he had stopped chasing after me, but I held it in. I didn’t want to be the one to trigger a fight first just because I had mentioned something useless.

“To think you had such a knack for business, I wasn’t aware of that at all.”

“What?”

But this time, an unexpected topic came up. I blinked my eyes quickly. 

How on earth did you know about that?

“…Haa.” A small sigh escaped from my mouth automatically.

I guess I had to take back the idea that I had thought of just now. Since it wasn’t that you didn’t chase me, but that you just didn’t get caught chasing me instead.

“It seemed to be going considerably well. It’s incredible.”

Regardless of whether he knew how I felt or not, Periot praised me with his usual flat tone which was devoid of any resentment.

“Well, it’s… nothing special.”

 Never thinking that I’d hear this sort of thing from him, I ended up bluffing due to the embarrassment.

“I would’ve helped you if you had told me. Feel free to tell me if you need any help later on as well.”

“Oh, that sort of thing won’t happen. Since it’s going quite well.”

After my curt reply, I raised an eyebrow and stared at him.

Although I couldn’t say it right away since I had missed the right timing, I was determined to draw the boundary clearly this time. 

“Like the officer said earlier, you and I are now people that have nothing to do with each other. So you can stop doing those sort of things now.”

“Those sort of things?”

“Sending people to keep tabs on me! Do you know just how unpleasant that feels for the victim of it all?”

Periot blinked slowly, then opened his mouth with a determined voice, “I have never done such a thing before.”

“Liar. Then how do you know about my business?”

“Because one of my subordinates is originally from Aurea.”

“What…?”

“His younger sister was apparently a regular of that place. I heard that they even went to the store together.”

Although our eyes made contact, he never avoided my gaze. There was no sign of lies in his expression, his tone, or his eyes.

“Oh. I-Is that so?”

Thanks to that, I ended up feeling extremely awkward. I was so mortified it felt as if my face were burning up from embarrassment. 

“Don’t tell me you suspected that I had been digging into what you’ve been doing?”

“I-It’s because your words confused me! If you say something like that without any additional explanation, wouldn’t anyone who heard that think in that direction like me?”

I ended up pushing the blame onto him out of shame. Even though it was nothing more than my stubborn persistence in being right, Periot thought for a moment without saying much and nodded lightly. 

“I do acknowledge that. Since I don’t have a talent in speaking well.”

“What?”

I burst out laughing for a moment without realising it. 

“Then are you considered to be perfect if we exclude that point?”

“Isn’t that the case?”

“What are you saying?”

I burst into another round of laughter. Much louder than the one earlier.

Seeing as he had responded without any change in his expression at all, he must’ve truly meant it then. 

That crazy groundless confidence, I guess that was a basic characteristic that was given to Northern Dukes.

No matter how I thought about it, it was so ridiculous that I couldn’t stop the laughter from leaking out. 

“Gosh, I should practise having that much self confidence for myself as well.”

Thus, I gave him a scolding in jest for no reason, but at that moment, I noticed that tips of Periot’s lips had hooked upwards smoothly. 

It was an extremely natural smile, one that I had never seen before until now. 

Unable to hide my shock, my lips fell open slightly. 

However, Periot went on regardless.

“You were also filled with many talents. Not only in business, but in other fields too.”

“What… are you talking about?”

“For example, a talent for making me into a crazy bastard.”

My god, what did he just say?

“You don’t seem to be aware of it yourself, but you’ve always been a crazy guy though?!”

“And you’re also good at cursing.”

“That was also how I’ve always been. It’s just that you never knew before. You know it’s already too late for you to blame it on a fraudulent marriage though, right?”

Perhaps it was because it was my first time facing his smile. I suddenly felt that all of this seemed to feel unreal.

To think that I sat face to face with Periot and had a conversation with him while smiling. Ever since he came back from the battlefield, we’ve raised our voices at each other every time we’ve met. 

I thought he was a crazy bastard, a madman, a psycho. There was a time when I screamed at him to fuck off, and when it was at its most severe, I truly detested him for being so disgusting. 

But talking normally from a calm position, I suddenly felt like this wasn’t the Periot that I knew. Although we still bickered over things, we were still able to communicate surprisingly well…

Perhaps this was all possible because we had nothing to do with each other anymore.

“That’s right, it was a fraudulent marriage.”

At that time, a voice as gentle as the wind passed softly through my ears.

“We hadn’t even spent a single day together in those two years.”

The smile around his mouth had also disappeared at some point. A quiet silence fell between Periot and I once again.

I wonder what the reason was. The silence, which had been so familiar before, came as a rather uncomfortable feeling today. 

“E-Even just exchanging letters, I wish we had even just done that at least.”

Scrambling to find words to say, I blurted out whatever came to mind. As soon as I said that, Periot’s gaze, which had lowered heavily, suddenly turned toward me. 

And those lips, which had been silent all along, opened slowly. 

“I went back to the mansion and pondered over your words.”

“What words…?”

“It was: someone who was on the battlefield for two years and didn’t even bother to send a letter back, and now you want to talk.”

“Oh, that…”

My words were interrupted by Periot, who spoke at the same time as I did.

“I definitely sent them.” 

He whispered quietly in a righteous voice, his upper body slightly leaning toward me.

“…Almost every single day without fail.”

ARF ARF ARF

author’s note

^_ㅠ


naver comments

jane*****
it’s the mother in law it’s 100% the mother in law’s doing. no wait a minute, if you come in like that with such a handsome af face my judgement will be affected oh whatever i’ll buy the damn shares

3es5****
..?but the point i’m angry about is the verbal abuse and imprisonment

NOOO WINNARD COME BACK QUICK BC IM ABT TO SWITCH SIDES AND BUY PERIOT SHARES don’t blame me im fickle like the wind ;-; i am a whore for the misunderstood obsessive ml trope and i eat it up every time despite it being SOOOOO toxic ghLSKJFFDSJDFS

SMCS Ch 22 — At Times, Ignorance is Bliss

“…Thank you, please come again.”

My hand that was holding the bill trembled like a leaf that was barely hanging off its branch in the midst of a strong typhoon. I almost let go of it several times because I didn’t have any strength in my hands.

It was also because the customers had ordered a total of six coffees.

this chapter is brought to you by mio
as translator, proofreader and editor!


“…Thank you, please come again.”

My hand that was holding the bill trembled like a leaf that was barely hanging off its branch in the midst of a strong typhoon. I almost let go of it several times because I didn’t have any strength in my hands.

It was also because the customers had ordered a total of six coffees.

It was a task that I never would’ve been able to complete myself if I hadn’t swapped with Leah in the middle.

After the customers left, we were plunged into confusion before we could even properly bask in the joy of receiving our first order.

Leah, who was organising the empty glasses in the now empty shop, tilted her head and asked, “Just what could be the reason? Do you have any guesses, Ms. Lorella?”

“Who knows…”

However, I didn’t have a specific answer.

When asked why we had sold so much and what made the coffee good, the customers had all left in a hurry without even telling us the reason. They had all just said that it was because it was good.

“Although I don’t know what the reason is, I hope everyone will come again.”

I nodded my head at her voice that somehow seemed excited.

Of course, my entire arm still ached to the point of numbness, but I didn’t care if my arm was going to fall off if it meant customers would continue to come back like this.

‘As long as it sells, not even 100 cups of dalgona coffee would be a problem!’

I repeated this mantra to myself, clenching my fist with determination. 

Then a few days later…

My wish actually came true.

* * *

pls do not share this anywhere or u will always stub ur toe when u walk past a door frame !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:

The first customer who had come visited the store again the next day. The customer of that customer also came back. Along with new customers, as if they had all made appointments with each other.

The orders were all the same. Dalgona coffee with plenty of condensed milk in ice-cold milk.

“Excuse me, have you finished making my order yet? I only asked for two.”

“I think I ordered first though, so when will it come out?”

And not long after, a bizarre sight of various madams queuing in front of the store soon appeared. Regardless whether it was raining or windy, it never changed.

…Wait, what’s going on here? Why is there such a sudden increase?

But that wasn’t the only strange incident.

“Goodness, I see you’re here as well.”

“Oh my, hello. Don’t tell me… you as well, madam?”

“…yes.”

Customers blushed simultaneously whenever they bumped into someone who they were acquainted with. Even if they made eye contact, wasn’t it just staring into their eyes? 

It was the same whenever I talked to them. When asked why they visited the store, they all avoided my gaze and said that they were just here to ‘drink coffee’, as if they had all agreed on it in advance.

‘Just what is it?’

This wasn’t the only place that sold coffee though.

My curiosity only grew larger.

But more importantly, I could never miss this opportunity.

I dispatched all the maids in the mansion. However, seeing as even that wasn’t enough, we recruited Leah’s acquaintances, and even the priestess that I had been acquainted with at the temple.

It was no exaggeration to say that I had brought together literally everyone that I knew.

Thanks to this, the kitchen was crammed full of people, yet no one said a word.

Urrk.

Mmph…!

Only desperate groans leaked out from time to time.

Urgh…”

Having already stirred the whisk for a long time, a groan soon burst from between my lips. My mind wandered while my upper body slumped forward simultaneously. 

After being transmigrated into a strange world, the thing I yearned for most desperately wasn’t fast internet, my phone, a TV, or airconditioning. Instead, it was an electric whisk!

“Miss, are you alright?!”

Shocked, Joy, who was sitting opposite of me and had been rubbing her arm tearily, caught me. “Swap shifts with me, alright?”

“I can’t. I-I haven’t done forty whisks yet…”

“I’ll do it…!” Joy replied solemnly and snatched the whisk from my hand. Then, she closed her eyes tightly and began to stir like crazy.

“Ms. Lorella… there’s a customer outside right now…” Those words flowed out of the mouth of Leah, who was sitting next to me and still somewhat fresh, energetically whisking away. By now, the number of customers that had just come must have increased again, so someone should go out to man the front.

Half pitying myself and the other half agreeing with her words, I clumsily stood up.

And sure enough, once I went outside, there were twice as many customers as before.

“Excuse me, I’d like to order!”

“Could I also order two extra drinks?”

As soon as I appeared, there were shouts from all over the place. It almost seemed like hell.

…Save me.

Almost having audibly screamed, I clenched my lips tightly together.

I forced my numb arm to write down every customer’s order carefully. Then, just as I was steeling myself to return to the kitchen once again, I spotted a familiar face.

It was that same guest that had come on the very first day.

“Excuse me ma’am! Please wait!”

I emptied my coffee and turned around to grab her.

“Oh, hello.” As soon as she saw me, she covered her mouth and let out a sheepish laugh.

“Ma’am, I apologise, but since you’re the most frequent customer, I’m just going to ask you plainly.”

I got to the point with a solemn expression on my face.

“Why do you visit our store so frequently?”

That’s right. Even if my arms falls off when it falls off, I had to find out what the reason was today. Just why there was a sudden rush of people. And just why no one would tell me about the taste of the coffee!

“Is the reason you’re coming because there’s something special about the coffee? Or is there another reason?”

“Um, the thing is…”

Just like how the other guests had, she didn’t answer again this time, simply fidgeting with her fingers and blushing. Nevertheless, I couldn’t afford to back down today either.

“This is something we must know in order for us to keep the store open in the future. So please feel free to just speak frankly.”

At those words, the customer seemed to agonise over something for a moment before shifting her mouth closer to my ear. 

“The truth is… the constipation latte here is an extremely hot topic these days.”

“Oh, right. Pardon?!”

W-What latte?

“I know that’s not what it’s officially called, but everyone has been calling it that after someone called it that.”

Then she waved her hand as if it wasn’t her. 

“Back then, no matter what method I tried, all of it was useless, but after drinking just the constipation latte, the effect was immediate!”

“No, that cons-, that’s not its name…”

“To be honest, it’s also helped a lot of people other than me. That’s why I’ll continue to by again from time to time.”

Thanking me with a bright smile, the madam turned around and disappeared. I… couldn’t bear to chase after her, who was already far away at this point.

Even during that time, the customers kept streaming in. All of them shouted orders for one, two, three cups in front of me.

I see. So that’s why so many people had come and ordered as if they were competing against each other, and while they waited for the coffee, would gaze off into the distant sky with reddened faces…

Fufu, I see.

…Constipation latte.

My eye twitched at that very moment.

I’m a main character candidate too, yet it couldn’t have been anything else?! Why did it have to be XX latte?!

Never had any female lead in any world developed and sold something that helped lavatory situations. Besides, coffee was the ultimate king of elegance and sophistication!

How could I be the only one like this?

Why only me?!

Tears trickled from my eyes yet again.

* * *

Fortunately, my heartache didn’t last for very long.

The cure for it was no different.

It was money.

“Whether it’s a constipation latte or an enema latte, who cares?!”

Why would I care when I was making so much money…!

Oh, if you’re in the middle of eating, I truly apologise.

I bowed out of habit toward the system window that was floating in the air beside me.

Then, I looked back toward the ledger and smiled.

Thanks to XX latte, the increased number of customers began to show interest in other products besides the coffee. For example, products like the cheese balls and fatcarons. 

Because of this, our sales began to rise steadily in a steep curve. To the point where sometimes, other products would be sold out before the coffee. 

Whew, this time I actually feel a strong sense of patriotism.

Furthermore, despite the fact that we decided not to stir the coffee a hundred times, the latte still continued to sell well. The reason being that I now knew from experience that the effect didn’t come from the whipped foam itself. 

Of course, when I finally confessed the truth, a riot almost occurred in the kitchen, but…

Although my shares hadn’t increased and I had instead been attacked by hate comments, I was still extremely proud at the fact that I had achieved these results with my own two hands.

It was a relief that I hadn’t driven someone else’s store to ruin, and the fact that the initially penniless me, was making steady income, although it wasn’t much, also gave me strength.

As the business started to stabilise, not only was the financial situation less suffocating, but I also had more breathing room too.

Thanks to Leah hiring two efficient and friendly employees, I began to show my face at the shop whenever there was a problem or there was something to discuss.

Fufu.”

Opening my eyes rather late this morning as well, I got out of bed feeling refreshed and opened my large closet.

The once empty space had been filled with luxurious dresses and shoes. 

All of it had been arranged as I couldn’t overcome Joy’s pestering.

The moment the profits came in, Joy called all the designers to the mansion, as if to nag me. She had said that it was the least I could do to break free from the stereotype of a single woman.

I also agreed to some extent, so I spent quite a bit of money on dresses and shoes at first.

And after that, I bought a small gift for Commander Leonon and sent it to him along with a letter thanking him for his help.

Even holding multiple banquets wouldn’t be enough to show my gratitude, but to do that, I would still need more time to prepare.

Rather than waiting until then, I still wanted to express my sincerity, no matter how small of a gesture it would be. I also thought it was more meaningful since it was bought using the money I had earned myself.

In any case, I was looking through the closet with a happy heart, wondering what dress I should wear today when I heard a knock at the door.

“Miss.”

Mm, come in.”

Joy’s round face poked out from behind the door as soon as I answered. Despite the rainy day today, I couldn’t help but smile involuntarily when I saw her curly brown hair and exceedingly kind grey eyes.

“Did you sleep well, miss?”

“I did, how about you?”

“I did as well!” 

Joy ran toward the bed with a big smile on her face. However, the trembling of her shoulders seemed somewhat different than usual.

“What’s wrong? Did something happen in the morning already?”

“Miss, this arrived today!”

She presented something from behind her as she answered at the same time.

It was the most sophisticated looking envelope I had seen in my life. Although I couldn’t see which household’s seal was on it, I could still tell it was of some sort of importance.

“Where did it come from?”

I had only sent the present to Commander Leonon yesterday, so there was no way he had already sent me a reply…

It was when I muttered something along those lines and flipped it over.

Heok…!”

My eyes widened to the point they almost popped out as my fists clenched unconsciously.

“Finally… it’s finally here!”

“Yes, miss!” Joy also nodded tearily.

It was a letter from the Imperial Palace.

It could only be the resolution they had come to about my request for my marriage to be annulled that I had sent the other day.

* * *

The day after the letter had arrived.

I was sitting by myself in an unfamiliar building.

Apparently this place, which was located right next to the entrance of the Imperial Palace, was where all the departments that dealt with various civil complaints and the mediation of disputes between the nobility were situated.

Naturally, since it was a building that was attached to the imperial palace, there was nothing that could said about its grandeur. In addition to the grand decorations, even the desk and chair that was in front of me gave off an imposing air.

I sipped at the steaming hot high quality black tea in front of me in an effort to control my pounding heart.

“Thank you for your patience, Ms. Lorella.”

At that moment, the door on the other side swung open, and a man in a crisp cloak appeared. It was the official of the Imperial Palace that I had been introduced to earlier.

“What was the result?”

I sprang up from my seat in a hurry. Despite the fact that I could already anticipate the result, I still couldn’t suppress my trembling heart. 

“Yes, as per my notification earlier, the marriage annulment has been granted. This will continue to be stand in effect unless the Chambers presents the exact same marriage certificate with both your thumbprints on it.”

Oh yeah! This day has finally come!

Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray!

I bit my lip as hard as I could to prevent myself from cheering three times.

Seeing my appearance, the officer nodded, as if he could understand how I felt.

“I know how you must be feeling right now. Actually, that’s why I told you that you didn’t need to come here in person either… In addition to the first notice we sent you, we’ll also be sending you a notice on the final results by post as well.”

“It’s alright. It’s an important matter so of course I had to come here personally.”

Since I can’t possibly guess what that psycho would do in the meantime. 

“It’s been hard on you. The same result will be sent to Duke Chambers’ household as well.”

“But as you said earlier, you didn’t receive a single reply from them…”

“It’s probably an indication of their disagreement, but since there’s no validity behind that, you won’t need to worry about it.”

“Oh my, is that so…?”

I blinked my eyes as if I were surprised.

All the while secretly cursing them inwardly, ‘Just who do you think you are to disagree with the imperial court’s decision?!’

“My lady is free now. The Chambers household no longer holds any authority over you.”

Although I tried to keep my composure in my own way, I couldn’t hold it in when I heard that sentence.

“Thank you so much!”

As I became so ecstatic that my shoulders started to tremble, the officer responded with a smile, “You must be relieved.”

“It’s refreshing! From now on, I won’t even put the North in my thoughts anymore!”

The sorrow I had experienced disappeared, as if it had been washed away immediately. I wanted to exclaim to the world just how wonderful this feeling was.

“No! Rather than that, I wish there was only east, south, and west in this world…!”

It was when I raised my voice to the fullest extent, filled with that exact feeling.

“…I guess I should apologise about that.”

A low voice sounded from behind me.


author’s note

god damn it


naver comments

saeb****
sister… should i buy you an electric whisk…?

IM DYING our fl is so hilariously tragic imagine making money because your coffee helps with constipation hGSLKFJFSDJ

SMCS Ch 21 — Just Why is it Like That?

Do things ever go well from the start?

I think it’s natural for anyone to go through trial and error, whether it be big or small, when they try something they’ve never encountered before such as engaging in trade or running a business. 

So the first thing to keep in mind in this sort of situation is that there’s no need to be frustrated, and the second would be that you need to sever the right thread to ensure it doesn’t trip you up before the business is actually ruined… ah, this isn’t working.

Hmm.

this chapter is brought to you by mio
as translator, proofreader and editor!


Do things ever go well from the start?

I think it’s natural for anyone to go through trial and error, whether it be big or small, when they try something they’ve never encountered before such as engaging in trade or running a business. 

So the first thing to keep in mind in this sort of situation is that there’s no need to be frustrated, and the second would be that you need to sever the right thread to ensure it doesn’t trip you up before the business is actually ruined… ah, this isn’t working.

Hmm.

Well, in any case, I had just completed my preparations for the opening and sat by the window seat in the morning sun, elegantly refreshing myself with my morning caffeine. 

The sound of the patissier, Leah, diligently preparing for our new menu today was in full swing in the back kitchen.

Even though I had also said that I’d come over earlier, she seemed to have come over even earlier by a few hours. She was so diligent and sincere that I couldn’t help but think that she was the best partner I could have.

Listening to the hustle and bustle of the kitchen, I opened my notebook that I had used to jot down my notes.

1. Croffle: Failed due to the inability to overcome customers’ reluctance to eat flattened bread. X

2. Fatcaron: An epic fail since it’s too hard to eat in one bite. XX

3. Yangnyeom1 Chicken: To be honest, I don’t know why this failed. Anyway, this was a total failure. XXX

4. Spicy Chicken Cream Rice Cake2: Even I thought this was rather reckless. People will think they’ve been poisoned if I attempt this again. XXXX

That’s right, I’ve tried a variety of things, but the results for all of them were the same. Failure.

Huuuu…”

At K-food’s hundred battles and hundred defeats3, I let out a sigh at the situation I could have never expected.

But it’s too early for me to despair! Because we prepared our secret weapon today!

If even this doesn’t work, it’ll be equivalent to having lived my whole previous life in vain.

I just so happened to catch a whiff of a delectable fragrance from somewhere. Turning around to look at the smell behind me, I saw Leah coming out with a large tray in her hands.

The tray was filled with small and round balls that shone with a golden light.

I approached it quickly and put a freshly-fried crispy ball in my mouth. I chewed on it carefully so that the inside of my mouth wouldn’t burn due to its heat, as a sweet, yet savoury and soft cheese exploded in my mouth,the chewy dough bursting open.

It was a cheese ball that was so delicious that I wouldn’t have even known that the person next to me had died while I was eating it. I wanted to let out a scream internally.

Yes, this is the one!

“I’m not sure if I made it properly…” Leah still seemed to lack confidence due to her repeated failures, even after making the perfect cheese ball.

In order to console her, I raised my thumb in an exaggerated manner. In actual fact, I was able to praise it sincerely since it even tasted several times better than the ones I had in my previous life. 

It may taste better since it had just been freshly made, but Leah’s natural talent in handling the dough and filling all played a great role in influencing the final product as well.

“Leah.”

“Yes, Ms. Lorella.”

“Is the biggest burlap sack in this store the one that contains flour?”

“Yes, that’s right. Why do you ask?”

I popped another cheese ball into my mouth and hugged her shoulders tightly. 

Then, I whispered the following words into her ears, “Get ready to sweep the money in there.”

* * *

pls do not share this anywhere or u will always stub ur toe when u walk past a door frame !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:

The sun had set and the streets were already dark before I knew it. 

From the streetlights at the square’s fountain, to all the birds that were singing incessantly, our store was the only one that was lit up at this dark hour of rest that was a promise for tomorrow.

“What should we do, Ms. Lorella?” Leah cried out in a weak voice, an untouched cup of tea in front of her.

Instead of answering her, I lowered my gaze and glanced at the notebook that was open on the table. 

Cheese ball: Rejected because the sensation of cheese flowing out like hot sauce feels weird. Fail.

No, I’m not sure about anything else, but I was sure that this would work. 

At this point, do the people here just not have any taste?! How could you say this isn’t good?

“I prepared all the ingredients of the highest quality since you made such a generous investment, but we couldn’t even sell one of them… It must be because of my inadequate abilities…”

Although I, too, was about to sigh out of resignation, I held it in by biting my lips. Yes, the thing to do now was to urgently console my business partner whose confidence had hit rock bottom. 

“That isn’t true. The things Leah makes are the best in the world. Even better than the K-Food… oh, no, the foreign food that I’m familiar with.”

“Really…?”

“Absolutely.”

It was a fact that was devoid of even a grain of falsity. Not only regarding the cheese balls that I had made today, but also the croffles that had been made on the first day, that I still constantly dreamed about these days.

Heuheuk… but the ones we make keep ending up as failures…”

I approached Leah, who had eventually started to cry and handed her a handkerchief, patting her back. “Don’t worry. Since we still have a secret weapon left.”

Her eyes welling up with tears again, she pointed at the seemingly mountainous mound of cheese balls over at the display window. “But the one we made this morning was obviously our last secret weapon…”

Th-That’s true, but…

“No, this one is the real deal.”

“And what’s that?” Leah’s wet eyes began to shine with hope before I knew it.

I lowered my voice sharply, as if I were conveying the secrets of the family business that had been handed down from generation to generation. “Let’s sell drinks.”

I should’ve taken this route from the start. Most of all, it’s an item that can reduce the manufacturing cost. It would be much less burdensome than having to dispose of piles of food when they haven’t been sold.

Yes, I also thought it was strange for K-food to sell well in rofan. But drinks are a different story!

“If you’re talking about drinks… then do you mean tea?” Leah thought for a moment before murmuring, “A normal tea salon could work too.”

But I shook my head firmly. 

“We shouldn’t go in the same direction as others. We should add our own unique flair to it.”

She wrinkled her nose once again at the words, ‘unique flair’. “But Ms. Lorella, I don’t think we should be too experimental based on the results we have so far.”

Her trust in me already seemed to have run out. It’s no wonder we’ve been doomed even whilst coming up with new ideas. 

In this sort of case, just having one bite can trump explaining a hundred times. 

I quickly wrote down the ingredients I needed and handed them to Leah. 

“We already have the base ingredients we need in the store, so you just need to buy these.”

“Starch powder and black sugar…?”

“There have been many female leads… no, women, who have made a fortune with this, but since Leah is a little suspicious, why don’t we try and make it ourselves for once?”

The next day.

Leah, who personally tasted it herself, nodded her head and gave a big thumbs up. “The texture of it is so fascinating. I feel quite full, and it’s also my first time tasting such a classy sweetness!”

I smiled smugly and rubbed my nose. I know what the taste is like, even if you don’t tell me…

But was bubble tea K-food?

I don’t know. I’ll just call it however I want and call it K-food here.

t/n: lorella sweetie, bubble tea is taiwanese HALSKDJFDJFS

“I think we’ll definitely succeed with this one!”

Anyway, this unprecedented response seemed to have relieved all of my fatigue and stress.

I could feel it clearly this time. It’s the undeniable sound of hitting the jackpot! 

* * * 

Bubble tea: Failed because children were scared of it and said it looked like frog eggs.

Jackpot? What a load of bullshit!

I hurled my notebook that was full of angry scrawlings onto the floor of the store.

I never would’ve been able to behave like this if Leah were still in the store, but she had gone home early today. Thanks to this, I was able to express my feelings as much as I wanted since I was the only person in the store. 

My hand trembling in anger, I drank a few glasses of water, but my anger hardly subsided at all.

“My money, my moneyyy…!”

In addition to having given Leah a deposit, I had also spent a considerable amount of money on the ingredients and packaging. Some ingredients in particular were also quite rare here, so I had to pay extra to get them here. 

Thanks to all of this, before I even knew it, I had already reduced my stash by quite a lot of gold coins. When I thought of the box whose bottom was already starting to become visible, tears of blood flowed out of my heart.

“Everyone else succeeded, so why am I the only one who has failed?”

Leah had clearly said that the bubble tea was good as well!

No matter how much I kept thinking about it, this strategy was clearly not working. However, my memories from reading rofan weren’t fake either. 

I had even read over a dozen copies of just business management rofan!

Then why? Why isn’t it working?

I didn’t even want you to compliment me by saying something like, ‘No, how could there be such a fascinating thing in this world?’ All I wanted to do was just make some money…!

It was when I had my forehead on the table, struggling to control my anger as I tore at my innocent hair.

Ding dong!

Suddenly, the bell rang.

I raised my head almost instinctively. It seemed like someone had bought shares for some reason.

Yeah. I’ll still need to sell a lot of shares anyway, even if I end up like this. That way, even if I become a beggar, I’ll feel a little less wronged.

However…

「‘I quit’ has purchased one of your shares.」

What appeared next in the window was completely beyond my expectations.

「This low quality mass produced main character is so fucking boring. Bye, I quit.」

“What…?”

N-No way, don’t tell me, you’re talking about me…?

My vision turned white, and my blood started flowing backwards at the same time.

“What did you just say?!”

I was so heated I thought I would be able to breathe fire out of my mouth right this instant. Huffing, I searched through the system window, but for some strange reason, I couldn’t find the message I saw just now.

“What the hell, where did it go?”

Wait. Is this perhaps… the ‘deleting a comment and running away’ that I’ve only heard of?

You shouldn’t have shown me if you were going to erase it this quickly then! You should’ve erased my memory too then!

“You’re wrong if you thought I’d be hurt by this sort of thing.”

I took a deep breath to somehow find my composure. And continued to repeat this in my heart.

Hate comments are better than no comments, that’s right, hate comments are better than no comments, hate comments…

‘Low quality main character.’

Arrrgghhh!”

I let out a roar and leapt out of my seat again.

“What does making money have to do with my quality?! Do you know about commerce?! Do you even know how to run a business?!”

Better than no comments my ass! I had already lost my nerve, yet now there was also a hate comment that was sent to extinguish my last remaining drop of motivation?! 

The damage inflicted by the hate comments, which I was receiving for the first time in my life, was simply beyond my imagination. I tried to forget about it, but I just couldn’t.

“…Just what the hell have I done that was so wrong?!”

I couldn’t make money, and I also received hate comments!

At my dismal heart, I ended up shedding tears without even realising it.

* * *

My money, my ideas, and my motivation; all of it was gone. So what was the last thing I had left? It was using my hands and feet for manual labour. 

This is seriously the last time.

The only ingredients needed were milk, sugar, water, and instant coffee.

I also added condensed milk as per Leah’s suggestion. Since we still had a lot of condensed milk left over from making the bubble tea. 

The customer’s had all stopped coming now, so we had plenty of time anyways.

Whisk, whisk.

In the quiet store, the only sound that could be heard was the diligent sound of stirring by a wooden spoon.

whisk x6

“Ms. Lorella, how many times have you stirred?”

“Sixty times. What about you, Leah?”

“I’ve stirred it ninety-two times.

“It’ll be done soon.”

Sure enough, the inside of Leah’s cup was filled with soft looking froth.

Unlike me, who had stirred, then taken a break, then stirred, then taken another break since my arm was sore, she continuously used the small whisk to beat the foam.

That’s when the door of the store opened and a young woman walked in, wiping the sweat off of her forehead.

“Welcome.”

“It’s quite hot today. Could I have a refreshing yet sweet cup of coffee please?”

Leah winked at me and stood up with her cup at her words. 

She poured milk cold enough to make your teeth ache into a small and pretty glass, and to express her gratitude to the only customer who was sitting in the empty shop, she heaped plenty of premium quality condensed milk onto it as well.

When I finished it with the coffee foam on top, the glass of coffee that was pretty enough for me to drool was completed. After the coffee was served to the customer, Leah and I watched her reaction with bated breath. 

“Thank you for the drink.”

However, the customer finished drinking the coffee quickly, perhaps because she had been very thirsty. Then, she left right away without staying for very long. There was no review or feedback about whether or not the coffee tasted good.

The streets turned dark not long after the customer had left. Due to a series of continuous failures in the new menus, the regulars of the bakery didn’t step into the store very often these days.

We packed away the chairs since we didn’t think we’d be getting anymore customers. 

…Maybe it was a failure this time as well.

“Still, I’m very happy to have met Ms. Lorella.” Leah, who had been silently cleaning up the store, shut the curtains and said suddenly.

I was both apologetic and grateful toward her, so I also replied with a big smile, “Me too.”

“Come and visit often if you aren’t too busy. It’d be nice to have a meal and a glass of wine together.”

“I’m glad to hear that. I’ll definitely do that then.”

Although neither of us said it, we both knew it was going to come to an end soon.

The very next day.

I entered the store while thinking about what gift I should give to Leah to express my thanks. We had always only talked about work, and I realised that I had never asked her about her personal hobbies or preferences.

Whisk, whisk, whisk.

We started our day by sitting and stirring the coffee a hundred times in a quiet store once again. 

I opened my mouth slightly as I tried to read the room. “Um, Leah… what sorts of things do you like? Do you have any hobbies?”

“Me? I like gardening. I’m currently growing flowers and herbs in my spare time.”

Gardening huh… Then she’d probably like a pretty flower pot as a gift.

It was when I stirred the coffee for the seventy-seventh time while I was absorbed in my thoughts.

Ring! Ring!

The bell shook somewhat violently, as if the door had been slammed open. Then, someone dashed in almost as urgently as that sound.

“Excuse me! Are you guys open?”

“Yes, welcome.”

Leah, who stood up to greet the customer, winked at me after glancing at the woman’s face. 

It was a face that I also remembered. It was the customer who had that cup of dalgona4 coffee yesterday. 

“Are you looking for anything in particular?”

“Give me coffee, the coffee that I drank yesterday! Oh my, are you perhaps making it right now?” 

She approached us in delight, discovering the coffee in our hands that was halfway through the whipping process.

Furthermore, the customer wasn’t alone this time. 

“Does it… really work?”

“That’s right, madam.”

At those words, the eyes of other similar aged women standing beside her started to sparkle. 

“Give me a glass of that too! No, make that two!”

“Please make me two glasses of the same thing.”

“Oh, yes. Would you like to sit for a moment?” 

As Leah guided the guests to the seats, I swung my wrists hurriedly as if I had a motor in them.

However, questions that couldn’t be answered continued to pop up in my mind. 

What’s with this passionate response all of a sudden?

It didn’t seem to be because the coffee was delicious or because it was a new type that you had never drank before. If that had been the case, then you would’ve told me briefly when you left yesterday.

As I was logically sorting through this and that reasoning by myself, the sound of whispering caught my attention. 

“I really hope it works. If it fails this time as well, I’ll…”

“Don’t worry, since you’ll definitely succeed this time, madam.”

I snuck a glance at them and saw three pairs of eyes shining brightly at me. 

Both hands of theirs were on their chest, and their cheeks were flushed beautifully, making them seem somewhat excited.

I smiled awkwardly and whipped my arm that was so sore it seemed like it was about to fall off even more vigorously.

Six glasses of dalgona coffee, where even making one glass was difficult. Although I was dizzy just thinking about it, I couldn’t possibly miss out on a customer who was visiting for the first time. With that sort of resolve in my mind, I constantly moved the hand that was holding the whisk. 

 However, I could hear a small voice intermittently through the quick whisking sound.

“In just five days… in the bathroom… I…”

It was a secretive voice, as if they were talking about a great secret that shouldn’t be heard by anyone.

…What?

[1] korean fried chicken with a sweet and spicy marinade

[2] cross between the flavours of the fire noodle (chicken flavour) and cream rice cake

[3] parody on the idiom 백전백승 (you may not win 100 battles but you won’t be at risk even if you fight 100 battles) so instead of 100 battles & 100 wins, it’s 100 battles & 100 losses

[4] dalgona coffee is also known as whipped coffee (i hate that name) and attributes its name to the dalgona candy that tastes like honeycomb.


author’s note

i got ptsd while writing this chapter ;ㅅ;


naver comments

harry portarr (bsy6****)
yep… i see… mmhm… by any chance… do you know how to make that coffee…? i-i never get constipation, it’s my friend’s friend’s friend that is constipated… i’ll say it again but i never get constipation!!!!

(sko7****)
um… m-ms. author… did you get ptsd from the hate comments… or from constipation…??

chis****
does dalgona coffee actually work for constipation? @.@

HELPPPP i’m dying at the fact that her business might blow up, not bc of the great ideas for food she tried, but bc it helps constipation hAGLKDSDFJ protect our main character fr HGHAHDSFFD

i love how unpredictable this story is fr gGHSDFLKFJ but also i have to say wtf ???? this world has no taste fr like ok i get not liking croffles or fatcarons bc ok, maybe u don’t like savoury things but YANGNYEOM CHICKEN ??? FRIED CHICKEN ???? HUH ????? and it’s the way NONE of them worked too like bro i would’ve thought at least SOME worked bc sure some ppl might not like savoury or sweet, but they have to like SOMETHING ghsdfldkfjdfs LMAOOO and comparing the pearls in bubble tea to frogs’ eggs GSDLFKFDSJFD (psa but bubble tea is in fact from taiwan, not korea GHSDLKFJDFS)

also a reminder to be nice in comments bc u never know if a character of that novel is reading it 😡

SMCS Ch 20 — Making Money is the Easiest in Rofan

The joy of finally selling 10,000 shares lasted even shorter than I expected. To be more precise, emotions that were greater than joy kept rushing into my mind.

Late at night, when everyone had already fallen asleep. I sat alone in the bedroom and messed up my innocent hair once again.

“What the hell, seriously!”

No matter how much I mulled over it, the absurdity of it was endless. It wasn’t just selling 10,000 shares for the first time, but at the reward given, I was also very happy. Without even a sense of shame, I had answered loudly in front of Leonon. 

this chapter is brought to you by mio
as translator, proofreader and editor!


The joy of finally selling 10,000 shares lasted even shorter than I expected. To be more precise, emotions that were greater than joy kept rushing into my mind.

Late at night, when everyone had already fallen asleep. I sat alone in my bedroom and messed up my innocent hair once again.

“What the hell, seriously!”

No matter how much I mulled over it, the absurdity of it was endless. It wasn’t just happy about selling 10,000 shares for the first time, but also at the reward that was given. Without even a sense of shame, I had answered loudly in front of Leonon. 

But what was important was what the reward contained. Wasn’t a reward literally a ‘prize’ or something that had a corresponding value to it? It had always been like that, so of course I thought it’d be like that this time as well. 

But to think that it was a sudden kiss. It used such an unreasonable way to direct it too.

“It’s ridiculous. What sort of reward is that…”

I was speechless at my memory of that moment that vividly came to my mind. That unbelievably soft feeling, that long golden hair that gently brushed against my forehead, and that refreshing scent that permeated the tip of my nose…

“Ah, why do I keep thinking about it?!” I frantically shook my head and tried to cut off my thoughts quickly, but my heart was already pounding loudly, as if it were a beating drum. 

I was just sitting, but I felt hot somehow. I stormed over to the windows and turned the handles, opening the shutters. Then, a cool wind blew in, as if it had just been waiting.

Haa…” I finally calmed down after some cold air.

‘Now that I think about it, he only said that cookies would be given as a reward, and didn’t mention the way they worked how it would be decided.’

Staring at the particularly bright moon in the night sky today, I became lost in thought. The reason I didn’t have many questions about cookies so far was because I thought it was just a reward for selling a lot of stocks. And every time I used it, it helped me a lot. But I wouldn’t have used it so easily if I had known that such an absurd situation could also be given as a reward.

“It’s fortunate that this only happened with the Commander, if this happened with someone else, then obviously…” I was shocked at the words I had unknowingly uttered and closed my mouth hurriedly.

“You must be crazy! Words can turn into seeds1!” I was taken aback and flicked my hand back and forth violently in the empty air. After struggling like that for a while, I was finally able to catch my breath.

In any case, there’s no way that this situation won’t happen again. So what exactly is a cookie, and will it affect my selling of shares if I don’t use it? It didn’t matter whether or not I could use them whenever I wanted to. Right now, my first priority was to find the answers to these questions. 

And there was only one person who could tell me. 

“Winnard.” I said his name quietly. But nothing happened for some reason. 

What, why is it still so quiet? Did you not hear me because I said you name too softly?

“Winnard!” I called out quite loudly this time, but I couldn’t even see a baby ant.

The same thing happened again, no matter how many times I called out. Although it hadn’t even been more than a few times yet, I obviously thought he would come since he used to show up every time I called him previously. 

“No way, don’t tell me… did something happen to him?”

My mind was filled with anxiety and uneasiness. Perhaps that was also something that was natural. 

Last night, he had said that it was possible to take a look at another main character candidate, ‘Sable Lilly’, because her guide had received disciplinary action and was currently under probation. What if that became a problem and Winnard also received disciplinary action…?

I turned around quickly. I looked in every corner of the room, but there was no sign of suspicion anywhere. Nevertheless, I still kept feeling nervous. It seemed like there were other candidates that were holding their breath and spying on me from somewhere. What if one of them had bad intentions…?

“Winnard…!” It was when I called out his name in earnest once again.

“Oh, my bad.” An urgent voice sounded from behind me. 

I turned my head in delight, and sure enough, Winnard was there, standing where there had been no one before. 

“What the hell, why’d you come so late?” I rushed to his side with a smile. The tension that was weighing down on my body melted away miraculously. This was the first time I had been so happy.

“Tada!”

「Total shares sold: 24,000 shares.」

I immediately opened the system window that I had been planning to show him when he came. Perhaps it was because he was the only one I could brag to, but every time I saw his face now, I would immediately start showing off how many shares I had sold.

“How is it, huh? How do you like that?”

I was very proud of myself when I saw the change in the first digit of the total number. I was so proud my shoulders ended up trembling from narcissistic laughter. 

“Good, very good.” 

At the seemingly satisfied voice, my back straightened unconsciously. “Ha, don’t ask me how I earned it. Just know that I went through a lot.”

As soon as I began to shake my hand in resignation and talk too much, a hypothesis flashed through my head for some reason. 

Heok, no way…!” A bewildered scream popped out of my mouth. “D-Did you perhaps see it too?!”

Instead of answering me, he avoided my eyes for no reason with an awkward expression on his face. Seeing that, I knew instantly without even having to hear it directly from him. 

Unable to overcome the embarrassment, I stomped my feet and covered my red face with both hands as I heard his nonchalant voice sound out. “It’s okay, I don’t care.”

But it’s not okay! It’s me that cares, me! Damn it! So this is how my dark history is being repeated today.

“By the way, what did you call me over for today?” Whether or not it was because he was actually being considerate of me, who was suppressing this bitter medicine that had been given to me, or whether he was actually busy or not, his tone was crisp and businesslike.

It was only then that I actually had a good look at him. A white shirt made of silk and a gold jacket with garnet buttons, as well as a kravat that had a large ruby accessory on it. Although he was normally well dressed as well, he seemed to be dressed even better today. Are you going to a party or something…?

“Oh, I have something I’m curious about. You know about the bonus cookies, right? Do I need to use it right away if I receive it? This isn’t a question that meddles in a candidate’s affairs, right? If it’s alright, please answer me…”

“No.” His reply was so short that it made my meticulously formulated additional reasoning completely insignificant. “You can use it whenever you want to.” 

Winnard added with a light nod, “Since it’s a bonus cookie, just like its name. You’ve already used it before, right?”

I then remembered the time when I had fled from the Duke’s mansion. When I had used the cookies later, smoke had suddenly risen from the mansion. 

“Any other questions?”

Suddenly completely conscious of his words, I cautiously scrutinised him. Staring silently at those emerald eyes of his that were always filled with curiosity and mischief, I opened my mouth. “Where are you normally when you come here?”

It was a rather impulsive question. But it was also something I had been curious about all along. How do you pass your time when I don’t call for you, do you have a separate residence, where do you get so many clothes and accessories from to the extent where they’ve never overlapped, whether you even sleep and eat regularly like me, et cetera. Truthfully, I had a lot of questions about him.

Winnard’s eyebrows furrowed faintly for a moment at the sudden question before I glimpsed a brief ghost of a smile on his lips. “Is this really the time for you to be curious about something like that, Lorella? If it were me, I’d be busy just paying attention to selling shares.”

The reply that came back to me was a frigidly simple answer. It seemed to be a very clear confirmation that even though we shared the same goal, apart from that, there should be a clear and definitive distance between the two of us.

As I stood there blankly and blinked both eyes, Winnard straightened his body which had been leaning against the door previously. 

“May I leave if you don’t have any other questions for me?” he whispered softly with a bright smile. “You did well this time as well, Lorella. Call me again whenever you need me.”

As soon as he finished speaking, a cold wind suddenly blew in, which was a complete contrast to his amiable tone. Somehow having been left alone at some point, I looked around the empty room for a moment before taking a big breath in. 

For some reason, I felt like the inside of me was filled with an awkward and unpleasant feeling.

* * *

pls do not share this anywhere or u will always stub ur toe when u walk past a door frame !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:

‘I’ll be the one to invite you next time.’

In what right mind did I make such a promise to Commander Leonon? It was only later that I realised I had made such a ridiculous suggestion.

“Who the hell can I invite to a house like this…?!”

Because I had to settle the debt, there were holes here and there all over the wall, all of the tableware had chips in them, and there wasn’t even a sofa where you could comfortably sit on.

“Regardless of shares or anything else, I have to make money first!” 

To think that I had to worry about my livelihood when selling shares was already too much. The main characters of other transmigration novels were able to live quite luxuriously without having to worry about their livelihood, but why did only I have to go through this sort of trouble? 

However, it’s too early for me to fall into despair. Since I also had a plan.

Just how many times had I seen how main characters that were penniless made money, and how they had uplifted their household and made them known? Fufu, now it’s my turn to show you all!

As soon as day broke, I called for the butler and asked for two things. The first was to be prepared to greet visitors in the morning, and the second was to make preparations to go out to the city after that.

The guest arrived with good timing, after I had enjoyed a leisurely bath and finished a late breakfast. He was a dealer who specialises in collecting jewels. He had become an acquaintance since he was the one I had sold back the luxury goods to in order to pay off our debt. 

I sat across from him and silently held out a heavy silk pouch. The man removed his circular glasses and slid them to the tip of his nose. Then, he poured out the contents of the pouch onto a white cloth and carefully examined each one. After a while, a bright smile bloomed on his face.

“These are of superb quality. I’ll buy them right away.”

Those had been the accessories I had been wearing when I had escaped from the Duke’s mansion. It was my entire fortune that I had hidden until the end.

Although it had been a gift from other nobles from when I had gotten married, I was rather fed up with it, since rather than having good memories of it, just having it with me reminded me of the past two years. However, since the gift was given to the ‘Duchess’ despite me only being one in name, it was still a good item, so the transaction was carried out quickly. The empty wooden safe was soon filled with gold coins.

“No matter where you go, it’ll be hard for you to come by the price I’ve given you again. Please call me again next time, since I gave you such a generous price.” The man left with a polite farewell and returned.

Although my ears and neck felt rather empty, a fairly satisfactory amount of money was in my hands instead. I held the box of gold coins in my arms and looked around the needlessly spacious room. Although I could buy a luxurious tableware set or decorate the drawing room exquisitely with the gold coins I had now, that still wouldn’t solve the fundamental problem. 

“Miss, the carriage is ready for you.” The butler’s voice was heard from outside the drawing room just in time. 

I picked up my outdoor shawl, raising up the corners of my mouth. This would be the first step of my greatest plan yet.

* * *

After getting on the carriage, I headed to a small bakery located in the corner of the city. I had once eaten a cake here when I had stayed in the temple and it had been so delicious that I had even asked the priest for the name of the bakery. There was no other place that was more perfect than here for my plan.

When I opened the door and entered the shop, a middle-aged woman wearing an apron rushed out to greet me. “Welcome.”

I nodded at her and glanced around the store. There were only six tables. It seemed like the inside of the shop was small since there were many customers who ordered the food to-go.

Well, to be fair, everyone, even the employees of the Mayred County who were located quite far from here, was aware of the bakery’s ability, so the interior didn’t matter very much. The simple interior that wasn’t fancy at all seemed to be a reflection of the patissier’s skills.

Looking around, I said with a smile, “I actually came to find the patissier of this place.”

“That’s me. What seems to be the problem…?” she asked cautiously, looking at my clothes. 

I knew it. From baking the bread to serving the customers, she did everything by herself. 

That was when the woman’s hand which had severe calluses on it caught my eye. There were also a few severe scars that remained on the back of her hand, as if it had been burned by something from somewhere. It was obviously the hand of a master artisan. It would be a scam if this wasn’t a good restaurant!

I held out my pouch of gold coins with a friendly smile in an attempt to diminish her vigilance. “I came because I wanted to make an investment in this place.”

“What?!”

“I’ve tasted the dessert here before, and the taste is absolutely unforgettable.” Her ears quickly turned red when I praised her with a thumbs up. 

At this point, I also didn’t forget to grab onto the opportunity and quickly poured out my next words. “I’ll just quickly cut to the chase. With the money I’ve invested, I hope that Mrs. Patissier is able to make a new menu and sell it. With the condition that the net profit is divided between the two of us by exactly one half. What do you think? It doesn’t sound too bad, right?”

The patissier stood there and listened to me, then pointed me to an empty seat first. Then, she said with a bewildered expression on her face, “I’m grateful for the offer, but it’s just too sudden.” She even shook her head violently side to side. It was clear to anyone who saw that this was a person who was saying no.  

“As you can see, our store is small and the location isn’t very good. Besides, I can’t afford to release a new menu, even if you invest now.” 

But you wouldn’t have directed me to a chair if it wasn’t even the slightest bit tempting. 

“Naturally… I’m confident in my skills though.”

That last comment she made gave me even more hope. 

“That’s alright, since that’s more than enough.”

I took out the papers I had brought from the mansion. Although the picture didn’t look very similar to the actual thing, it was a dessert design that I had worked diligently on last night. “I’ll give your skills wings.”

She stared at the designs with wide eyes and asked in a trembling voice, “W-What is all this? Will this sort of thing… really sell?”

“Of course it will sell.”

“I’ve worked in this industry for a long time, but I’ve never heard or seen this sort of dessert before.”

Eyes full of doubt and an uneasy voice. But I was just that full of confidence. 

“Don’t worry. Since I’ve seen a few sisters suddenly get rich with this.”

“Are there really people like that…? Oh, are you perhaps from abroad?”

“Well, you could see it like that! Anyways, just trust me!”

Wasn’t this just groundless confidence? No, far from it. Since I had a buff that no one else had. It’s a buff that’s called ‘being a transmigrator’. No one knows as much as I do about how to make money in Rofan2 novels! I could already picture myself raking in the money. 

Fufufu.” 

A laugh that couldn’t be held back still kept leaking out despite the hand that was covering my mouth.

* * *

The so-called <Making money is the easiest in Rofan!> project was launched in no time. It didn’t even take very long since I had invested in someone who had excellent skills. 

The morning sunlight was pouring in brilliantly on the day the new menu was to be introduced. The inside of the store was already bursting with a sweet smell. The beautiful sight of the white vanilla ice cream melting on the steaming flat croissant was enough to make my mouth water. Next to it were large macarons, each one beautifully packaged and displayed like jewels.

Just one bite. Yeah, just one bite and it’ll be a hit!

I clenched my fists and personally opened the store’s door. First, I planned for it to go viral with the regular customers of the bakery. Since not only the commoners, but also the nobles were apparently quite fond of visiting here, I had a chance to make it big this way.

Shortly after opening, the bell on the door shook with a cheerful diriring sound. The first person to visit the bakery was an elegant old lady who was also accompanied by a maid.

“Welcome!” I rushed over and greeted them with a big smile. 

“Oh my, it’s someone I haven’t seen before!”

“Yes, I’ve come to help with the new dessert that just came out. Would you like to try a taste?” And quickly placed a small plate in front of her. “This is a croffle3 that’s famous abroad…”

“Goodness, what is this?” But contrary to my expectations, she frowned and cut me off. “Bread that’s been pressed flat, was this a result of an error in the baking process?”

“What? N-No. If you just take a bite first, it’s crispy on the outside and soft on the inside…”

“Furthermore, the cream on top is melting all over it… My apologies, but I don’t feel like eating it at all.”

Huh? I-It’s not supposed to go like this though?

Flustered, I hurriedly put down the plate of croffle. This time, quickly picking up a packaged fat macaron. “Then how about this one? This is a fatcaron4 that can only be eaten in a faraway country…”

But somehow, the frown on the old madam’s face got even deeper. “It seems to be intended as finger food judging by the individual packing, but it’s not easy for someone who’s old like me to take a bite if it’s that big. I don’t like it when my mouth and hands are messy when I eat either.” She shook her head.

Th-This can’t be happening! There’s no way K-food can fail! All the other main characters in Rofan were clearly successful though! I saw it several times, over and over again!

“I-It may look like that, but you’ll definitely change your mind after eating it. So could you just give it a little taste?” 

I followed her around and begged her. But the old madam only chose the products she wanted, completed the transaction, and left quickly. 

After that, customers have been streaming steadily into the store. There was a couple on a date, as well as a mother with a child.

“Mr. Customer, you’ll definitely change your mind after taking a bite. Please.” I begged, following after the little brat. “Just one bite, okay?”

But the brat was too cruel. “Mom! This noona5 keeps telling me to eat bread that looks like the bottom of my shoe!”

Looking at the back view of the child who had turned his back to me coldly and ran back to his mom, I let out a mournful cry, “Please, just one bite~!”

[from top to bottom]
uwahhhhh!
drip drip

[1] 말이 씨가 된다 = words said without any intention can sometimes lead to unexpected results 

[2] recap but rofan is an abbreviation of the genres ‘romance + fantasy’ and usually refer to novels that are in that european historical nobility setting with magic in that world as well (so most transmigration stories like this)

[3] flattened croissant with a waffle press served with either ice cream or cream on top.

[4] macaron with extra thick filling

[5] used to refer to older females (used by males)


author’s note

one bite fairy


naver comments

끄댕이 (timi****)
haa, look at our lorella… she’s crying because a kid isn’t eating it… don’t cry unnie, if unnie’s the one that made it, then i’ll definitely eat it, even if it tastes like the bottom of my shoe…

dryadalis (jane****)
it’s not obvious… i love it so much ahGLKDSJFDFJSDSJF

the truth of pure, cute, sexy, and decadence (love***)
haa… there’s no way winnard isn’t a male lead candidate!!! no matter how i look at it, he’s definitely a male lead candidate if the female lead’s heart hurts!!!!?

lorella is giving me second hand embarrassment but i highkey love her shamelessness GHSDLFKJDS girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do to survive in a transmigration elimination novel hGSLKFJDSF

also i like how this didn’t go how it typically would with the fl being able to earn money with food and what not lmAOOOOOO HALSDFKJDSJ
ALSO not the kid comparing a croffle to the bottom of a shoe hELPPPPPP i mean with the illustration i can sort of see it bc of the icecream melting like hGLSDKDFSJ pls someone help lorella with plating and presentation fr hALSDFKDFSJ

ALSO I’VE GONE ALL IN WITH WINNARD STOCKS FROM THE START HE’S DEFINITELY THE MALE LEAD MARK MY WORDS GHSDLFKDFJ

SMCS Ch 19 — Looking Forward to it, and Waiting

It bothers you? 

My heart started to beat to its fastest. My muddled mind struggled by itself to somehow come to the most plausible conclusion. 

No way, is that why you had such a vague expression on your face when you took the cloak… no, no. He does know what circumstances I’m in, so it could bother him if I might have run into Periot and his subordinates again. If we’re talking about Leonon’s nature, then it’s definitely a possibility. How could he be so thoughtful?

It was just when I was about to tell him not to worry and that it wouldn’t happen for a while. 

Again, Leonon whispered deeply, “And…”

this chapter is brought to you by mio
as translator, proofreader and editor!

t/n
hi, so some clarification with what it means to buy shares/stocks: readers often ‘invest’ in a certain character who they want the male lead to be and in a sense, buy that character’s stocks.

so for example: god i’m a whore for the cold and obsessive male lead trope periot is! i’m going to go all in and invest everything into periot QAQ my cold duke of the north, let’s only have a happy road ahead from now on, i will only buy periot stock from now on ❤


It bothers you? 

My heart started to beat to its fastest. My muddled mind struggled by itself to somehow come to the most plausible conclusion. 

No way, is that why you had such a vague expression on your face when you took the cloak… no, no. He does know what circumstances I’m in, so it could bother him if I might have run into Periot and his subordinates again. If we’re talking about Leonon’s nature, then it’s definitely a possibility. How could he be so thoughtful?

It was just when I was about to tell him not to worry and that it wouldn’t happen for a while. 

Again, Leonon whispered deeply, “And…”

As I lifted my head to follow his voice, my vision was filled with his eyes that were blue like the sky.

“It also worries me that you might not have anyone you can trust and reveal your true feelings to in the County.”

“Uh…”

…There’s a maid, Joy. However, my face was so hot that I couldn’t find it in me to reply and simply bowed my head instead. 

I wanted to continue the conversation naturally somehow, but the inside of my throat was slightly ticklish, as if someone was brushing against it with a feather. The feverish heat that originated from my heart started to spread to every corner of my body.

The swing was still swinging at a pleasant pace. In the midst of the silence, a pleasant scent wafted to the tip of my nose as the swing moved back and forth.

After a moment of silence, Leonon was the one who opened his mouth first.

“I’m sorry for saying something so pointless.”

When I turned my head again, he was staring straight ahead with his face stained completely red. I was a bit disappointed for some reason at the fact that his gentle gaze toward me had already disappeared. 

I quickly shook my head. “No, you managed to cheer me up.”

“That’s very good news.”

Only then did Leonon’s eyes turn to me again. I smiled broadly as our eyes met. My heart began to pound much louder than before.

Ding dong!

「‘This area’s hype king’ purchases 500 of Lorella’s shares out of sheer frustration.」

「Please! Make! Out! Already!」

And as if it had only been waiting for the right moment… the system window suddenly went wild. 

Ding dong!

「‘This area’s hype king’ refuses to stop and purchases an additional 700 of Lorella’s shares.」

「Make out! Make out! Make out! Make out! Make out! Make out! Make out! Make out! Make out! Make out! Make out! Make out! Make out! Make out! Make out! Make out! Make out! Make out!」

It was a message that was almost completely insane. The same message was sent over and over again, as if they couldn’t get enough just by sending it once. 

You want me to make out with him? In this sort of situation?!

I clenched my fists so hard that they turned white and let out a scream in my head internally, ‘I can’t do it! I really can’t do it!’

I might’ve been able to rush in and act crazy if I didn’t have any positive feelings toward Leonon. But I didn’t want to take advantage of the person who had truly comforted me, and furthermore… even I’m having a hard time right now! I feel like my heart is going to explode! 

But my mind soon began to waver like the swing that was still shaking back and forth. Can… I really not do it? Even though my life is at stake? I just saw a rival selling 50,000 shares at once. Is there really a reason not to do it?

A trick came to my mind in a flash as I was repeatedly mulling over my internal discord with complex feelings.

‘If I truly can’t do it, I just have to pretend to do it, right?’ 

Wouldn’t he catch me if I fell off the swing? At that time, if I just got a bit closer, and if I leaned just a bit closer, wouldn’t my lips touch his chin? If my lips landed there, then I could probably cover it up as a mistake. 

In addition, it was a great location for ‘the hype king’ to go wild over. It would look like a kiss from that angle if I went a little further, so it’d be a shame if it failed. They would definitely not be able to endure not buying shares over something like this! 

The smile on my face suddenly seemed to transform into one that was filled with malicious intent. I sneaked a glance at Leonon. …However, contrary to my feelings, my face flushed an insane hue of red when our eyes met once again.

“Are you getting off now?”

My actions in playing on the swing had gotten more sluggish as I strengthened my resolve. The quick-witted Leonon had noticed this and grabbed the swing to stop it.

“Yes…” But only a voice so soft that no one else but me could hear came out of my mouth, perhaps because I was nervous. 

I took another breath as I watched him tilt his head slightly, as if he didn’t hear me.

That’s when it happened.

Ding dong! 

「‘This area’s hype king’ purchases 10,000 of Lorella’s shares by going all in with coins! It’s a new record! A cookie has been backed as a reward.
Would you like to receive it now?
1. Yes. 2. No.」

1, 10,000 shares?!

“Yes!!!”

I was so surprised that I answered in a voice that was loud enough to resonate from every corner of the greenhouse…

Ding dong!

「The cookie has been used.」

Huh? Without even any time for me to spare being flustered, a resounding crack suddenly sounded from above my head.

Ahhhh!” 

“Lorella…!”

My body plummeted toward the ground in an instant. At that moment, I could see Leonon stretching his arms out towards me urgently. I almost instinctively jumped into his arms. And then…

“…!”

…Something warm and soft was then pressed against my lips.

The sound of a bell seemed to be ringing from somewhere faraway, and the square window that was emitting light began to flash incessantly before my eyes. 

But none of that seemed to register in my mind. 

The only thing I could focus on was the ticklish and warm feeling of his breath through the gap of our lips that touched softly.

* * *

pls do not share this anywhere or u will always stub ur toe when u walk past a door frame !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:

Wait a moment.

…Wait a moment!!!

“Ah!” 

The moment both of our lips touched each other, a brief exclamation escaped from my lips out of sheer shock. At the same time, I quickly retreated from the firm torso that had been supporting my body earlier. 

My whole body seemed to be burning red, and I felt as if my heart was not only beating in my chest, but also in my fingertips and toes too. I bent my waist forward so frantically to the point where my forehead nearly touched the ground.

“I’m so sorry…!”

Even though it was an unexpected accident, I still couldn’t lift my head up righteously since I had technically premeditated it too. It really felt like I had committed treason. I didn’t mean for this to happen. I didn’t mean to attack you like this!

“I-It’s fine.”

“I will try not to make any more mistakes…!”

“It’s okay. It was just an accident.”

However, contrary to his words, Leonon’s face, which had already turned as red as a ripe apple, did not look as if it were okay at all.

“I’m still very sorry though!”

“I’ll be even more sorry if you keep acting like this.”

Both my trembling voice, and his voice which had already subsided completely, came out one after the other, as if we were singing a duet. 

That’s when it happened.

Ding dong!

I was startled by the sound of the bell. And then what unfolded in front of me… was an unbelievable sight.

「‘This area’s hype king’ rubs their nose as they smile proudly. It was the most precious cookie in the world.」

「‘Banned1 HODLer2 purchases 3,000 shares while becoming a menace. Green window3, please look away.」

What’s going on here right now…? Banned HODLer? Who the hell are you?!

As my shaking pupils skimmed over the system window, at that very moment, I saw Leonon standing stiffly like a statue behind the window and holding his lips to the back of his hand.

Argh! 

As soon as I saw his face burning like scorching hot charcoal, the red on his face the exact colour of a ripe apple, I let out a silent scream.

At that moment, the greenhouse door suddenly swung wide open as a number of knights rushed in.

“Commander, are you alright?”

“We suddenly heard a scream…!”

They rushed over and began to scour the greenhouse, as if they were searching for something. It didn’t take them very long to find the white branch that had fallen where Leonon and I were standing. A brief silence followed after that for some reason.

“No way… it’s broken?”

“How could this…”

When someone cautiously brought up that issue, the other knights couldn’t say anything, as if they couldn’t believe it. All they could do was alternate looks between the branch that had been broken in two, and me, with their eyes wide open. 

I couldn’t do anything but stare at the floor at their overwhelming gazes. I wanted to dig a hole and hide in it. No, I’d actually rather die!

But then, Leonon, who had been looking down at the ground, suddenly knelt down on one knee.

“…No matter what, it’s strange.”

He carefully picked up the fallen branch off the ground. His eyes were shining so sharply that it was hard to believe that this was the person who had until now, been blushing with shame. 

Feeling nervous for no reason, my gaze also turned to the end of the branch.

…The cut was neat, as if it had been slashed off with a sword. 

I felt like cold sweat was trickling down my back for a moment.

“Are you sure you aren’t hurt anywhere?”

Leonon got up from where he was and approached me. Even if it was only for a moment, the sharp light in his eyes disappeared, his gaze overflowing with concern and tenderness.

“I’m fine…!” I shouted loudly for no reason in an attempt to distract myself. 

He was extremely affectionate, thoughtful, and naive as well, but above all of that, he was even the Commander of the Imperial Holy Knights. As a skilled prosecutor, he was quick witted, with all five of his senses fully developed as well. It would be a huge problem if he examined the branch and found out that I was a bit different to other people. 

For now, it seemed like my first priority should be to avoid this place first. I opened my mouth hurriedly. 

“Oh, th-that’s right. Should we just have tea next time? I think I should take my leave now…”

Leonon looked at me for a moment, then nodded his head. “I’ll go and see you off.”

We stepped out of the greenhouse, leaving the bewildered knights behind us. I tried to be as reticent as I could as we walked back through the hallway. Fortunately, Leonon didn’t bring up anything in particular either. 

When I exited the building, there was already a carriage waiting for me by the curb. It was the carriage I had rode in. The coachman also seemed to recognise me and began to prepare to depart.

“Thank you so much for today. And…” I stood in front of him and bowed my waist. “…I’m sorry!”

Alright, it’s time for me to escape in a legitimate manner! I bit my lip and turned around in a hurry, but then I suddenly heard someone call out my name, ‘Lorella’.

“Please wait for a moment.” 

I had no choice but to stop my foot from descending onto the foothold of the carriage at his urgent tone.

“W-What is it?”

The moment I slowly turned around without being able to conceal my anxiety, the parts of Leonon’s determined face which I had tried not to picture filled my eyes. Those good looking lips that were pressed together neatly. 

Had my lips really been on top of them just then… No, what sort of thoughts are you having in this sort of situation?!

As I swallowed dryly and tried to control my facial expressions, lest Leonon find out what was going on in my head, he quietly opened his mouth. “Will we meet again?”

Even though what he said wasn’t that big of a deal, his face still turned red again.

“What? Oh, of course.”

With a big smile, I nodded in unison with Leonon. Only then did his face seem to glow. 

“I’ll be the one to invite you next time.”

To be honest… I didn’t think I’d be able to come to the Holy Knights’ Headquarters for a while. Maybe after around a hundred years, when the legend of a woman breaking ‘a branch that won’t break, even if a dozen elephants trample over it’ in one go disappears…

“I don’t mind either way, so please decide on whichever one is more convenient for you.”

“Thank you, then see you next time.” I smiled gratefully at his kind consideration and nodded lightly at him.

“I’ll be looking forward to it.”

Following his own words, Leonon reached out toward me as if he intended to escort me. I gently placed my hand over it. But for some reason, he held my hand tightly and didn’t have any intention to release it.

“Commander…?”

The moment the shadow of a cloud drifting by slowly hung over his brightly shining blond hair. A light kiss fell on the back of my hand.

“I’ll be waiting.”

[1] 빨간 딱지 (literal translation is ‘red label’) refers to labels that signify foreclosure, bans, etc. in this case i’m guessing it refers to when an account gets banned or restricted on social media.

[2] 존버단 is a slang word that has been used a lot in the stock market and pubg especially with the approximate meaning of ‘tough it out’, or ‘hold on for dear life’, thus the abbreviation HODL. another example could be kdrama fans who have endured X years of waiting for another season (SCARLET HEART QAQ)

[3] the green window refers to naver, and the ‘red label’ or ‘banned account’ can refer to an account naver has restricted because of their age. so assuming this account isn’t allowed to technically view this since it’s ‘age restricted’ (e.g. r15, etc), it’s telling naver to turn a blind eye and close their eyes.


author’s note

the hype king returning the favour


naver comments

yebin (dks2****)
no, there’s no way this person can be the second male lead, that can’t happen, you have to make him the male lead

hyein (henn****)
i’ll cry if he’s the second male lead

kim seok jin’s team won’t lose (cind****)
i will buy all of this man’s stock, please be happy with this man

tutu (take****)
if my beautiful blond who is like a gift from the sun to me is a second male lead… i’ll shit myself

everyone say thank you hype king !!!!!!! rlly sacrificed some coin for progression of the plot SLAYYYYY thanks for ur sacrifice soldier HGLDSKFJDFS

also banned hodler’s name was a literal ASSCRACK to figure out how to tl there was like three slang words in it and i literally scoured namuwiki for it i almost cried

ne ways, i’ll be including some of the korean comments i found funny in every chapter from now on (until the story ends and the author locks the whole story GHLSDFKJDF QAQ)

SMCS Ch 18 — Good Timing

When I hesitated and stood frozen to the spot, blushing and unable to say anything, Leonon had a look of realisation on his face shortly and moved to the side.

“Let’s talk comfortably inside instead of standing like this. Come on in, Lorella.”

“Oh, right.”

But there was still nowhere I could look. It was all because… I felt like I’d only keep looking at him if I even took so much as a glance at him.

this chapter is brought to you by mio
as translator, proofreader and editor!


When I hesitated and stood frozen to the spot, blushing and unable to say anything, Leonon had a look of realisation on his face shortly and moved to the side.

“Let’s talk comfortably inside instead of standing like this. Come on in, Lorella.”

“Oh, right.”

But there was still nowhere I could look. It was all because… I felt like I’d only keep looking at him if I even took so much as a glance at him.

I cautiously held out the cloak I had in my hand after agonising over it for a moment. “If you’re okay with this…”

The cloak Winnard had draped over me at dawn was very long, perhaps because it was made for men, and also extremely luxurious. It would probably suit Leonon too.

“Huh? What’s this for…?”

“It’s quite windy today.” I raised my hand to point at his open shirt that was fluttering in the wind at that very moment.

“This…” Leonon looked down and hurriedly buttoned up his shirt. But his sweat-soaked shirt still stuck against his firm chest, so there was still nowhere for me to look.

“I apologise for showing you such a discourteous appearance.” Completely flustered, the entire area around his neck was dyed red as he hastily gifted me an apology. “I’ve even ended up showing you this sort of disrespect since I’m only used to dealing with unruly knights…”

“What disrespect, this much is nothing.”

I shook my head lightly, smiling as naturally as possible so as not to embarrass Leonon any further.

Ding dong!

「‘This area’s hype king’ is seized by terror and shock and purchases 600 of Ms Lorella’s shares.」

「Sister, what exactly do you think you’re doing right now? Why the hell are you trying to cover up such a good thing? I’m in front of your house right now. Just open the door for a bit, okay?」

I quietly took a deep breath in at the sudden message. I wouldn’t have known which point had sold the share if I saw this yesterday, but I could guess what the reason was now.

‘As expected, it’s that.’

I received an extremely big tip from these messages that were ‘comments’. Because it played a decisive hand in helping me infer the identity of ‘them’, which I had previously only been able to form a conjecture on. Now, their existence felt closer to me than anyone else, for me, who had shouted ‘next chapter!’ at the tense push and pull and playing hard to get of a chapter.

A reader knows a reader’s heart the best. What they wanted was as clear as if they had raised their hand. The me today was not the same as the me of yesterday who would be easily swayed by these messages!

I closed the window quickly and smiled brightly at Leonon. “Were you in the middle of training just now? I heard the sound of training when I was walking around earlier.”

“Yes, that’s right. I always go and observe their training as long as I’m free, but in the end, I’m unable to just observe them without getting involved…”

“Feel free to use it if you don’t despise it.”

I draped the cloak over the arm of Leonon, who was standing there as if he were insensitive to the weather. It was an act that had nothing to do with selling shares. Even if he had already buttoned up his shirt, I was still concerned that he might catch a cold from the chilly early morning air since he was still sweaty.

“Thank you.”

But contrary to his own words, Leonon did not wear the cloak. He just looked at it being draped over half his hand. The change in his expression was subtle, as if something had happened.

“What’s wrong?”

I was a bit flustered. Although I had already checked it over in advance before handing it over to him, it seemed to still have some dirt on it that had remained undiscovered by me.

“…it’s nothing.”

Leonon handed me the cloak back after a while and smiled softly.

“It’s not that cold.” Despite his beautiful smile, his voice was unusually stiff.

“Let’s go inside for now.”

Although the hand that escorted me was just as friendly as always, I couldn’t help but doubt the peculiar appearance he had just shown me.

‘What’s wrong with him?’

Tilting my head once more, I quietly followed him inside.

* * *

pls do not share this anywhere or u will always stub ur toe when u walk past a door frame !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:

“Wow…”

Although I had also been inside the Headquarters of the Holy Knights during my stay in the temple, it was my first time entering into such a deep part of it. The interior of the Holy Knights’ Headquarters was just as splendid and sacred looking as the temple. It was so neat and tidy that it was hard for me to believe that this was a place where knights were living together.

The most important among them all was the hall of the main building where the Knights’ Commander’s office was located. Even though I knew it was a place not just anyone could enter, Leonon willingly guided me there and asked me to wait there for him to change his clothes and come out. 

The hall was constructed in a wide fan-like shape, with a heavy mahogany door behind it underneath a luxurious chandelier. Endless rows of tall decorative cabinets were lined up along both walls, and inside of them were a countless number of swords that felt as if they had seen time flow through the ages. From the colourful jewels embedded in the handles and scabbard, to the freshly sharpened blades that seemed to be able to cut you if you just so much as brushed against it. 

Even someone like me, who was an outsider, could feel the tremendous energy coming from these swords that were clearly more than just decorative ones. I kept staring at them for a long time before I heard the door opening behind me.

“You’ve waited quite a while, Lorella.” 

Strolling up to me was Leonon, who had changed back into his usual uniform. Seeing a refreshing smile on his lips, just like usual, I ascertained what I had felt earlier just to my mood. 

“This is where we keep all the family heirlooms that have been handed down from generation to generation in the Berhardt family.” 

He kindly provided an explanation, as if he had seen me snooping around the cabinets earlier. 

“You’ve come after much trouble, so would you like to take a closer look inside? I’ll show you around.”

“Yes, that sounds good!” I nodded quickly, my eyes twinkling.

“How about having tea together after that as well?”

“Yes, that sounds good as well…!”

Nod, nod, nod. Like a wooden doll with a bobble head constantly moving its head up and down, I nodded continuously at his words.

‘At first, I only came here because of panic, but coming here seems like a good decision in the end.’

I had that thought since my heart seemed to be incredibly at ease. The gap between me and my rival, which made me depressed just by thinking about it, the fatigue of pulling an all nighter, and the worries that made my head throb all melted away in front of his gentle smile.

“If you exit this hall and cut across the hallway at the end, you’ll see a large greenhouse. It’s an extremely beautiful sight, so let’s start the tour from there.” 

After he said that, Leonon led me around slowly after dismissing the guards around the area. There were only the two of us walking in the wide hallway. I couldn’t even hear any footsteps due to the soft carpet in the hallway. 

As I walked along the majestic pillars engraved with the sculptures of brave knights, I heard a low yet warm voice in my ear, “…are you sure you’re alright?”

“Oh, yes.” I quickly flashed a smile at him upon realising the actual meaning behind his question. 

“Thank you for your letter. To be honest, I was going to send you a reply first, but… when I came to my senses, I ended up making the mistake of coming to visit you so discourteously. I just wanted to tell you that I was very thankful for your concern.” 

“What discourtesy, it’s not like that at all. After all, I did tell you that you could come and find me any time. It’s just that…” Leonon paused and continued with an even graver expression on his face. “Your face is still filled with anxiety, so your heart must ache even more. You don’t seem to have slept properly either.”

“Oh, that’s…” 

I couldn’t find the words to reply to his sharp observations. Was it that obvious? I pinched my own face unconsciously.

“I heard that Periot not only led his own soldiers into the mansion, but also detained Count Mayred in the North. How audacious must he have been, to even use your own family as hostages…” 

Leonon’s voice became even deeper. In addition to that, I could see a blue tendon protruding from the back of his hand from him clenching his fist so tightly. 

“So, how about speaking directly to His Majesty the Emperor?”

“Speaking about it to who… what?!”

Unlike me, who was simply shocked by the unexpected name that had popped up, Leonon was extremely serious. 

“I will arrange for you to have an audience with him. If you tell him the whole story, Uncle will definitely take action.”

“N-No, that…”

“I tried to just endure it and watch since I could tell that you didn’t particularly want to go down that route, but it’s gone too far now.”

N-No! There’s no need for the Emperor to personally take out trash like that!

“Commander! Well, the thing is…”

It was clear that Leonon was only aware of the fact that Periot had come to the County, and not what had happened within it. I hurriedly told him the details of what had occurred. Everything, about how I was locked up and then released. 

“Then the debt collectors came to the mansion…”

I couldn’t bear to elaborate on what happened after that, so I lowered my head. My face was flushed red with embarrassment. 

“No way, to think that Count Mayred was that sort of person…” Leonon looked at me for a moment with a look of disbelief, then nodded calmly. “It must have been hard for you.”

“So what I’m saying is… Although I don’t know when that time is, I don’t want to face my brother until the wound in my heart heals.” I added, deliberately lowering my eyes. My voice was even trembling now.

“You might think I’m being weak, but…”

“What do you mean, weak? You’re not, Lorella.” Leonon placed some emphasis on my name. 

“It’s not your fault. There is no one who can criticise you. No, rather, they would think that you were incredible for persevering in such a difficult situation.”

“Do you really think so…?”

“At least that’s what I think. If you really were a weak person, you would have been in a hurry to run away to avoid it.”

His firm answer made my heart flutter. 

Yeah, that’s right, I’m not running away. Rather, I was far from running away, and was trying my utmost best to survive by trying to sell shares in some way or another. 

When I bit my lips and couldn’t continue to speak, Leonon whispered in a voice that didn’t even tremble, “Everything will be fine. No matter what happens, I’ll be by your side.”

His firm but sweet form of consolation touched me greatly. It might’ve escaped my notice at first, but I guess what happened last night had hit me with quite a big shock. Seeing as my eyes were starting to fill up with tears, even at this sort of simple consolation.

I had believed that all of ‘them’ who had bought my shares would be on my side. But they weren’t. They weren’t on anyone’s side, and compared to Sable, I was nothing short of not even worth looking at for them. 

I became furious as I shouted out that they were all traitors, but on the other hand, I felt sad. I even felt like I was an abandoned child. 

But Leonon’s consolation covered all of those feelings. My expectations had been raised to the extent where I thought that even if everyone else turned their back on me, this person wouldn’t do so.

I burst into tears at my indescribable gratitude and emotions. I secretly tried to wipe away the tears around my eyes, but before I could do so, I felt a warm body touch my face.

“When you feel like crying, you should cry as much as you want.”

A friendly smile greeted my face when I looked up. Leonon, who was carefully and tenderly rubbing the area under my eyes for a moment, soon pulled my head gently into his embrace. 

Suddenly, a strong beat coiled around my ears. Seeing as the same vibrations were resounding within me as well, it must’ve been the sound of my heart. 

“N-No… I’m not crying anymore…”

My face became exceedingly hot. Even if I didn’t see it myself, it was obvious my face would’ve been coloured a bright shade of scarlet radish. 

I didn’t want him to see that sort of face of mine, so I pretended not to know and burrowed my face deeper into his arms. 

Ding dong! Ding dong! Ding dong! Ding dong!

The bell rang like crazy, but I only focused on accepting his patting hand without even glancing at the screen.

* * *

“Wow…”

My jaw dropped again as soon as I entered the greenhouse. Just like Leonon had said, it was a place so beautiful it was enough to make my eyes widen. 

The sight of tender, verdant shoots of greenery that sparkled and emitted a green light from all directions was so refreshing it seemed like my heart was washed anew just by looking at it while the rare and colourful flowers that I had never seen before were in full bloom, as if they were showing off their elegant appearance. However, the most eye-catching of them all was an old tree that was nestled in the middle of the greenhouse. 

“Do you like it?”

“Yes! It’s my first time seeing such a beautiful place.”

As I was swinging my head back and forth, immersed in the sights, I spotted an inconspicuous swing hanging underneath the old tree. As if he had noticed where I was looking, Leonon smiled and led me there. 

“It’s the Knights’ Sacred Tree. It was originally a pair of trees, but one day, one of them was struck by lightning, and only one remained. The swing is made from the burnt lumber that remained from the other tree. With the hope that they could be together, even if it’s only possible with this method.”

So it’s like that. The swing that hung from the white branch that stretched out to the side was as if the tree had only been there since it was born. 

But what was really fascinating was actually the branch rather than the swing. The branch, which was white enough to be mistaken for marble, was especially thick, and shiny, more so than the rest.

“Would you like to have a go?”

“I do, but…”

I became a little anxious when I looked up at the swing hanging from the branch, no matter how thick and strong it may be, but Leonon said confidently, “Don’t worry, it won’t break. I check it regularly every time, so it’s safe.”

At his words, I approached the swing hesitantly. However, it wasn’t easy to get on the swing with a dress on since it was higher than I expected, so I hesitated at what I should do. 

“Pardon me.”

My body suddenly floated in the air. Without even giving me time to scream, my body was already on the swing before I even knew it. I quickly grabbed onto the rope of the swing as my body tilted backwards. 

Leonon coughed shyly and quietly changed the subject. “There’s a legend that says that this white branch is actually a unicorn horn instead.”

“A unicorn?”

“Yes. It’s a legendary creature whose horns can withstand the force of dozens of elephants stepping on it and not break. When the first Knights’ Commander cut off its horn and planted it under this tree, the tree then sprouted surprisingly beautiful white branches. Of course, it’s only a legend, but…”

Leonon continued to speak as he gently pushed the swing. “I don’t know if it’s because I grew up using this place as a playground ever since I was young, but I believed the story to be true for quite some time…”

But then he eventually shut up. “I was young back then.”

I could see Leonon’s face turn red as he gave a vague explanation.

“That’s a wonderful legend. I think I’d even believe it too.” 

When I responded with a deliberately big smile, Leonon scratched his temple with an awkward smile still on his face and pretended not to know. 

His appearance was so amusing that I burst into laughter once again. The more I got to know him, the more friendly he seemed to be, yet on the other hand, he also seemed rather boyish. 

But… to think that he was the Emperor’s nephew. Today was the first time I found out that the Berhardt family was actually an imperial household. 

I was far from the high society scene since I was confined in the Duke’s mansion, and no one would tell those sorts of things to someone who was only the Duchess in name. 

Although I was rather curious about the details, I wanted to focus on this moment right now more than anything else. 

This space that only held the two of us. 

There was a strong fragrance that came from the flowers everywhere, a temperature that was neither too hot nor too cold, and a swing that was swinging joyfully back and forth. Being upset all night seemed like a lie all of a sudden. 

…And of course, apart from all that, the system window was also ringing noisily.

Ding dong! Ding dong! Ding dong!

The bell rang so incessantly that it felt like there was an earthquake.

“If you don’t mind, may I ask you a question?” Then, through the clamour of bells, I heard Leonon’s voice.

Again, sensing his somewhat stiff tone, I immediately stopped thinking and quickly answered, “Yes, of course.”

“Who does that cloak belong to? It looks like it’s made for men…” He pointed to the bench on the other side of us. On top of it was the cloak that I had folded up nicely before getting on the swing.

“That… I borrowed it from the coachman.” I answered quickly after a short deliberation. “Since I thought the wind was rather chilly today.”

Although it was something that was too luxurious for a coachman to use, I couldn’t exactly say that it was a cloak that my secret guide gave me, so I simply gave an appropriate answer.

“Oh, I see.” 

In an instant, a smile that resembled a flower in full bloom soon appeared on Leonon’s face. And on top of that, I thought I could see the nape of his neck turning red, just for a moment. 

“…”

There was suddenly an awkward silence. I glanced at him to gauge his reaction, but Leonon’s mouth remained closed and showed no signs of opening, simply continuing to push the swing. 

“It couldn’t have possibly bothered you if it belonged to another man, right?” 

Unable to stand the awkwardness, I ended up speaking first, an exaggerated smile on my face. But the reply that came back to me was rather unexpected.

“…it bothered me.”

“What?”

“I said, it bothers me.”


JEALOUS LEONON MWAHAHHAHAHAHA

also are they rlly not gonna talk abt how the first knights commander allegedly cut off a unicorn’s horn,,, ???? like wtHFDSLKFJDFSJ

SMCS Ch 17 — Actual Female Lead Vibes vs Acting Prodigy

The cry of the owl, which seemed to have sounded out piercingly the whole night, had already subsided at some point in the late night.

Fog began to seep through the dense forest path lined with fir trees. With every step I took, the lower hem of my dress would be dampened by the evening dew from the leaves.

However, it wasn’t long before I had no choice but to stop abruptly again.

this chapter is brought to you by mio
as translator, proofreader and editor!


The cry of the owl, which seemed to have sounded out piercingly the whole night, had already subsided at some point in the late night.

Fog began to seep through the dense forest path lined with fir trees. With every step I took, the lower hem of my dress would be dampened by the evening dew from the leaves.

However, it wasn’t long before I had no choice but to stop abruptly again.

Then Winnard, who had been walking by my side without a word, also had to stop as well. He took a few glances at the side of my face before asking in a very cautious voice.

“Should we stop and call the carriage now?”

Instead of replying to him, I sighed heavily…

“Lorella, just how long are we going to keep walking…”

AHHHHHH!

I ended up letting out a loud scream at the sky, just like that. As I cut Winnard off, I went even further.

“This bit-”

My anger started to flare up again. However, I was still worried that ‘they’ would hear me if I started to pour out my curses to the sky.

With my pride trampled and unable to voice out my miseries, I became frustrated due to my restrictive circumstances. After looking up at the cloudless night sky in thought with my hands on my waist, I finally settled on kicking an innocent tree with my feet.

“Seriously! I’m so pissed off!”

“Calm down, okay? Of course, I understand why you’re doing this, but you should still settle your emotions right now.”

Winnard continued to comfort me tirelessly. I couldn’t even count how many times this situation had repeated itself anymore.

Although it was a dark forest road that could rely on the moonlight to light the way, I was the one who had suggested that we get some fresh air before getting on the carriage. Otherwise, there would be no way for me to extinguish this blazing anger.

However, instead of calming down, my anger continued to rise without any signs of stopping. We hadn’t even been walking for that long before I’d repeatedly walk a few steps, then kick a tree, then walk another few steps, then kick a tree again. 

I opened the system window and looked at my small, cute, and insignificant amount of shares. The more I did so, the more I kept thinking of the shares of the other candidate that Winnard had shown me.

“50,000 shares? Someone’s gone through such a damn hard time for a few hundred shares, but 50,000 shares?!”

Was it because it wasn’t mine? I didn’t know why it looked so big. No… it was actually a really large amount. Every time I thought about it, my lips would twitch and I would feel a stifling sensation on the inside of my throat.

“Now, now, you’re now not allowed to look at the system window. Why do you keep opening it when you know you’re just going to get even angrier?”

Winnard spoke softly while closing the system window in front of me. However, my anger had already reached its peak.

“What? My sister is so cool? Do everything you want to do?!”

t/n: i changed the tl from ‘has so much style’ to ‘so cool’ bc it just makes more sense. can be interchangeable w/ ‘badass’ too.

Saying they were the hype king, they didn’t even forget to leave out these sort of hype comments!

Besides, to think that even ‘That bastard isn’t the male lead, right’, who I haven’t even seen a trace off, bought 10,000 shares!

Is this how it would feel if I witnessed the betrayal of a loved one? I trembled from the unbearable feeling of jealousy and betrayal.

However, the most shocking thing was ‘A Mansour in cider’, the new name that I had never even met before, had bought a lot of her shares.

If you want, I can also put an IV drip of cider into your blood vessels…!

Bam bam!

Every time I kicked the tree trunk, dry leaves would fall on top of my head.

“She’s fooling everyone. She’s clearly just fabricating a favourable situation that allows her to sell shares!”

Why did she get the man to kneel before at a collapsed building in the middle of the night? What was the point of hiding such a beautiful appearance under a ragged cloak, just to throw it back to powerfully reveal her beauty?!

That was when Winnard muttered softly under his breath to himself.

“I don’t think you’re in the position to say that about other people…”

“What did you say?”

The kick that I had tried to release in a burst of anger stopped momentarily.

He’s… right?

But my embarrassment because of that only lasted momentarily.

“Oi!”

I turned around and gave him a fierce look.

Even if other people don’t know, you shouldn’t say that!

However, this damn guide, whose quick wittedness was second to no one, had already backed too far away for me to even grab ahold of his collar anymore.

“Ah, right. Would you like me to tell you something?”

Annoying people as much as they could bear and then skillfully changing the topic was also one of Winnard’s talents. 

“What is it.”

Go on, give me some useless information! I really won’t let you get away with it this time.

I quietly rolled up my sleeves, measuring the distance between me and him.

“The messages that pop up when shares are sold. They’re called ‘comments’.”

Smiling confidently, Winnard had a look on his face that seemed to say, ‘You didn’t know this, did you?’. On the other hand, upon hearing the familiar word, I even stopped rolling up my sleeves just to stare blankly at him.

“What? Comments…?”

“Such a thing exists. To put it simply, just think of it as a short article in which you express your feelings and opinions.”

No, if you’re talking about comments, then I’ve regularly posted them before…?

My head went blank for a moment at the unexpected words.

They look down at the situation, buy shares, and write comments. The more I repeated those words, the more I could see it overlapping with someone else’s appearance.

…That being me in my previous life.

“Let’s go now. You’ll catch a cold.”

Something warm was draped over my shoulders. When I lifted my head, my eyes met the eyes of Winnard, who had taken off his cloak and put his arms around me, smiling softly.

“S-So…”

So looking at a handsome face right in front of you really won’t offer you any comfort when you’ve really fallen into despair, huh. With such random thoughts in my head, I hesitated before opening my mouth.

“So that villainess who’s my rival didn’t actually sell 50,000 shares… instead, it was all because of the ‘My sister is so cool’ comment…?”

“That’s right.”

The moment I heard such a simple and clear answer, it felt as if a huge shock had been dealt to my brain.

A moan escaped my frozen lips.

…Huh.”

“Lorella?”

I flopped down and released a cry mixed with despair just as Winnard tilted his head in question.

HuuuUwahhhh!

My shoulders automatically started shaking due to the cold night air. Although my wet dress stuck to my ankle like an ice sheet, my heart felt even colder than that.

“Wh-What’s wrong?”

A bewildered Winnard followed me in dropping to the floor on his knees.

“This is insane…! How am I meant to beat that?!”

“Why are you pretending to cry again… No, wait, are you actually crying?”

Although I could feel a hand struggling to help me up, I couldn’t find the strength to get up. Instead, all I could do was let out a cry that was mixed with frustration.

“Unlike me, she actually feels like a female lead…! Even I would buy her shares if I was a reader!”

“What?”

I realised how big of a mistake it was to think that it was simply a competition in the number of shares sold, and also that other candidates would be people similar to me.

Most of the messages that I had received so far had only been about Commander Leonon or Periot. There had never been a single word about me. Seriously, not even once! 

However, Sable Lilly was different. They said, ‘My sister is so cool’. This means it doesn’t rely on whichever guy she sticks herself to. No, maybe they even think she’s better off without a male lead!

Judging from my experience as a reader and her actions, Sable Lilly was probably… a villainess with a story. Since it’s rare to be a fan of an actual villain.

Perhaps it was the villainess main character cliche, wielding a blade of revenge without shedding any blood or tears, trying to break away from her life where she had only been taken advantage of? Crazy, even I’d binge-read this!

In any case, when I put it all together, I came to the conclusion that she felt like an actual main character. She wasn’t like me, who was only earning shares through my clumsy acting.

First of all, there’s a difference in intensity between an ordinary woman who’s taken over someone else’s body and a villainess with a story!

Someone who feels like a main character and me, who only acts as the main character. Just which side would win?

Uwahhh!

I started to cry again when I asked myself such an obvious question.

Then, I felt a gentle hand patting my shoulder.

“It’s alright, Lorella. You’ve been doing well so far.”

It was all the more depressing for me to hear the warm comfort I normally couldn’t have even imagined to hear. 

“It’s because my shares look so tiny in comparison… Huuuu.”

“Well, I can understand why. The first rival we saw was just that powerful.”

I heard him click his tongue for a moment, as if it were a shame.

“So… you’re going to give up?”

“What?”

“If you think it’s really that hard, then it’s not like I can force you to do it…”

There was a sullen light evident in Winnard’s eyes, which normally always shone with confidence. Heat rose to my face in an instant.

“Giving up, who’s giving up? I don’t have any choice but to do it, no matter what! Anyway, you said I’d die if I didn’t…!”

My pounding heart now felt as if it were about to burst.

Jealousy, envy, sorrow, and even fear. All sorts of emotions that couldn’t be easily defined rushed in like a tidal wave.

“Yes, that’s right.”

A quiet yet low voice landed in my ears once again.

“So, what does my main character want to do?”

I slowly raised my head at his words.

Winnard was looking down at me with his cane tucked inside his arm. The moment my gaze landed on those slightly upturned lips, I suddenly came to my senses.

I shouted while looking at him with burning eyes.

“I can’t give up like this. I’ll show them everything my rivals won’t be able to show! Acting or whatever, I’ll exhaust every one of my means and methods!”

I want to live. I didn’t want to die!

“If I can satisfy all of their different tastes, I’ll certainly be able to earn hundreds, or even tens of thousands of shares!”

Huh? I seem to have heard this from somewhere before though.

However, that sense of dejavu was momentary, an incredibly friendly voice sounding out after that.

“I was just waiting for you to say that. Let’s go somewhere warm for now. It’ll be a big deal if my precious main character gets sick.”

Before I knew it, a large carriage suddenly appeared in front of me. It was the same carriage we were in before.

Fastening the oversized cloak that was about to fall off, I jumped up. Yeah, just being frustrated like this won’t do anything.

“Please don’t forget the resolve you just had. You can definitely become the main character, Lorella.”

Winnard, who was holding my hand as I stepped into the carriage, whispered softly.

“Until that day comes, I’ll never leave you.”

It was a voice so earnest I had never heard it before. However, there was a smile on his lips that was just as sweet as usual, wait no, maybe even more so than usual.

Although it was a smile so charming, it seemed as if it could captivate you, I didn’t have the energy to think anymore.

So I just held his hand tightly and nodded slowly. 

* * * 

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:

By the time we finally returned to the mansion, it was already well past dawn.

Winnard disappeared as he always did. Not before saying that he’d erase the coachman’s memory so there was no need for me to worry.

When I arrived at the front door and opened it carefully, I spotted someone rushing out.

“Miss!”

A face that looked particularly haggard due to lack of sleep. It was Joy.

“Just where have you been without telling anyone…!”

Seeing the teary faced Joy, I had the thought that I’d just ask Winnard to teleport next time.

There’d also be times in the future where I wouldn’t be able to tell them where we were going, so I couldn’t make up that many excuses to the servants every time.

“Why are you so pale? Don’t tell me, something bad happened…”

“No. I couldn’t sleep so I just went out to get some air.”

While I gave a dodgy answer, I spotted a luxurious gold envelope sticking out of Joy’s apron pocket.

“What’s that?”

I tried to shift the subject as naturally as I could.

“Oh, the delivery man just came and left. It’s a letter for you, miss.”

“A letter? To me?”

I took the letter she handed me, wondering if there was anyone that could send me this other than those who were urging me to pay back my debt.

I’m pretty sure I’ve paid off all the debt though…

But you never know. Swallowing my rising anxiety, I tore the envelope carelessly without a letter knife.

And not long after reading the letter, my eyes widened.

The letter was sent by Leonon.

The letter, which began with his subordinates telling him that Duke Periot had led his men to the Mayred Country, ended with concern for my safety. With the words, ‘If you’re alright, I’ll be waiting for your reply.’

“Miss, are you alright…?”

As I raised my head at Joy’s worried tone, I spotted a carriage about to depart just over her shoulder.

I ran quickly in front of it to block it. As the startled coachman hurriedly pulled the reins, the two horses reared onto their hind legs, neighing violently.

“It’s dangerous!”

Disregarding Joy’s screams, I opened the door to the carriage and shouted loudly.

“To the Holy Knights of Ecrestus, quickly!”

“Pardon…?”

“M-Miss?”

This time, the bewildered voices of the coachman and Joy sounded in unison. However, I banged my fist against the carriage wall and shouted, brief and loud.

“Set off!”

Soon, the carriage began to move with a rattle. Listening to the sound of the horses’ hooves galloping faster and faster, I clenched my fists so tightly that my palms started to hurt.

* * *

In front of the large front gate of the white marble building, so beautiful that it felt sacred.

I rubbed my face with a feeling of dismay. It was because it was only then that I had remembered that I had come without making an appointment.

As if I had been possessed by something, I had gotten into the carriage without any plans. Although I didn’t know if Commander Leonon was even inside or not, was I even actually allowed to come at such an early time?

I had the thought of asking one of the soldiers standing by the front gate, but then I immediately shook my head at that thought. It was because I had the sudden thought that as expected, it just wasn’t polite to turn up so out of the blue.

Although I had been told that I was welcome to come at any time, no matter what, it was still beyond common sense for me to come and call for him like this all of a sudden.

Just why on earth had I come all the way here without any plans or anything? It was ridiculous. 

Maybe it was because I had just witnessed my rival, Sable Lilly’s performance. Anyway, it was my mistake for not being able to think deeply since I was in a hurry.

However, still not being able to give up my lingering feelings, I asked the coachman to wait around for a moment before wandering around the Knights headquarters for no reason.

From the inside of the walls came a fierce shout. It seemed to be training time.

It was when I had eventually finished my short walk with no gains and was just about to move toward the waiting bay for carriages.

“Lorella, wait…!”

The door opened with a bang from behind as someone urgently called out my name.

Looking back in surprise, I spotted loosely tied blond hair.

“Wait a minute… haa.

Commander Leonon ran to my side in the blink of an eye. Breathing heavily, he asked for my understanding and put his hands on his waist, bending his body slightly. 

His breath hadn’t been disturbed in the slightest, even when he had been swinging his sword against several assailants. I tilted my head without realising it.

After catching his breath for a while, he smiled in embarrassment and said softly.

“It’s been a while, Lorella.”

“…What? Oh, yes. Hello, Commander.”

Staring at his face in a daze, I greeted him a beat later after receiving his greeting. I was both happy and shocked that he’d appear right as I was about to give up and go back home.

“How did you know I was here…”

“The soldier standing guard at the door saw you and informed me.”

At my cautious question, a smile as bright as the blinding sun poured in along with his answer.

“You came all the way here already, so why did you just want to leave?”

“Ah, that’s…”

My eyes darted back and forth quietly in order to find the words to answer the question that was asked innocently. Thanks to this, I found that the appearance of Commander Leonon was a little different from usual.

Today, instead of his usual white uniform that was devoid of wrinkles, he was wearing black trousers and boots that wrapped snugly around his calves.

As expected, he must have been training too. Given that the buttons on his white shirt at the bottom of his neck area were somewhat loose.

Of all places, my gaze happened to land on his sweaty collarbone that was conveniently right in front of my eyes. Beneath it were… well-sculpted muscles.

His arms, which were exposed under his sleeves that were rolled up, looked equally just as firm.

i would worship him tbh he looks as majestic as the sun itself

“W-Well, that’s…”

I lowered my head and parted my lips. But no words came to my mind.


a few things this chapter:
idk i love leonon but i always feel like him and lorella’s interactions are always a bit bland. actually nah, i feel that way with periot too.
maybe i’m just biased toward winnard bc i feel like she gets to act the most natural with him GHSDIJDSFDJ

also mood when lorella went a bit crazy over the competition bc ngl if i was in her position i’d be threatened by sable too bc she is actually girlbossing a bit too hard HGSDLKJFSSFD
also the fact that she doesn’t even have a choice too ;-;

SMCS Ch 16 — The Rival’s Identity

A large carriage ran non-stop down the road that was soaked with evening dew. In the dark streets at night, there was nothing but the sound of horseshoes and wheels.

With my entire body still within the swaying carriage, I stared out of the window where there was only darkness. And as I gazed at the red hair that was reflected in the glass, I silently rolled the word that had been in my mind since earlier on my tongue.

Rival.

this chapter is brought to you by mio
as translator, proofreader and editor!


A large carriage ran non-stop down the road that was soaked with evening dew. In the dark streets at night, there was nothing but the sound of horseshoes and wheels.

With my entire body still within the swaying carriage, I stared out of the window where there was only darkness. And as I gazed at the red hair that was reflected in the glass, I silently rolled the word that had been in my mind since earlier on my tongue.

Rival.

My palms were soaked with sweat once again. When I heard that I was going to meet my rival, I was more anxious than calm, and more fearful than expectant.

It was already expected that I wasn’t the only candidate.

It was a fact that could be seen just by looking at the message that flew through the system window, ‘Sell more shares than anyone else and beat the other candidates to become the main character.’

However, meeting the competition in person was another story. What sort of person were they? Could it be that they were possessed just like me as well?

What was certain was that I’d have to sell more shares than that person, no matter who it was. If I fell behind in the competition, I’d ‘cease to exist’, and I wanted to avoid that ending at all costs.

As I was twisting the hem of my innocent dress for no reason, I suddenly felt a stinging gaze. It was because Winnard, who was sitting across from me, was looking at me.

“Don’t be too nervous.”

He said with a smile as soon as our eyes met.

…How did you know I was nervous? It couldn’t be more like a ghostly intuition.

“Well, it’s because I’m not interested in anything apart from you.”

What the hell. Are you reading my mind too?!

I would have been shy if someone else had said it, but it was suspicious because Winnard was the one who said it.

Come to think of it, I followed him out of curiosity of what kind of person my rival would be, but I still don’t know where our destination is yet.

In order not to let this opportunity slip by me, my questions quickly poured out like rapid fire.

“Where are we going right now? Just who the hell are we going to meet? And… how much did that person sell…?”

“Who knows. You’ll find out when you get there anyways, right?”

However, Winnard just shook his head and gave a vague answer while smiling.

“I can’t tell you because of the rules, Lorella. But of course, I don’t know everything either.”

Again, again with that bastard’s rules!

The only thing that hurts when I bring it up is my mouth. I grumbled for no reason because I felt sulky.

“You don’t even have anything to tell me, and you still call yourself a guide. Just how far are you going to bring people this late at night? Wouldn’t it be better if you just took me straight to our destination in the blink of an eye like last time?”

“At a time like this, I wanted you to get some fresh air, but was it actually pointless in the end?”

The corners of his lips were still curved in a smooth arc as ever before, but something was still a bit suspicious to me.

“We’ll arrive there in a little while. Why don’t you close your eyes if you’re tired?”

…Just look at this. Doesn’t it feel like you’re changing the subject a bit too obviously?

However, instead of questioning him, I just quietly closed my eyes. And while I pretended to sleep, I thought carefully over what he had said.

I wasn’t sure how much of Winnard’s words I should believe. Was it true that guides couldn’t intervene in a candidate’s affairs?

What if he could help me, but just found it to be too bothersome? Are you just trying to turn me into a share selling machine, just like a dog rolling around and doing tricks?!

The suspicion that had emerged once, ended up snowballing in size.

Still, even if that wasn’t the case, there were still a lot of questionable points. Wait no, the truth was that my trust in Winnard had already hit rock bottom, ever since he had pretended not to see me in prison and disappeared.

A handsome face that was flowing with elegance, a charming eye smile, and red lips that were always painted in a smirk. The face that I had praised as being a savior rather than just a guide in my eyes, only looked suspicious now.

‘I guess I just looked like a pushover…’

I gritted my teeth inwardly and took a deep breath.

Heup…!

Then, I immediately held my breath and leaned forward, clutching the front of my dress. No, I pretended to fall flat on my face.

“Lorella…?”

I could feel his embarrassment just from his voice which was calling my name. I purposely wept and lowered my head even more.

“I-I can’t breathe… all of a sudden…!”

“What…?”

“To think that I have to be rivals with someone. And with someone I don’t even know as well! Heuk…!

Surprisingly enough, he, who was normally composed and relaxed, looked startled and carefully placed his hand on my shoulder. Although it seemed like he was about to help me get up so he could get a closer look at my face, I kept my head down forcefully.

“H-Hey, are you alright?! Why are you like this all of a sudden?”

“What do I do if my rival is actually a really good person? What if I finally met my soulmate, but it turns out that they’re my rival…!”

“Why are you imagining such nonsense all of a sudden, Lorella?”

“Actually, I could do it! I mean, I’m an INFP after all, huhuuu…”

“Now what else is this? I can’t do this anymore. Just raise your head up first, alright?”

“Don’t you know about INFP? Timid attention seekers!”

I talked about whatever I wanted, even bringing up MBTIs, which I had been obsessed with in my previous life.

Heuk, do we have to meet in person? You… hic, can’t you just help me this one time, hmm…?”

It was me who recited embarrassing lines, even in front of Periot, who I didn’t even want to associate with. Compared to that, this much was nothing to me!

Then, a deep sigh came from Winnard’s mouth.

“Listen to me, Lorella. I’ve already said it over and over again, but I can’t. If a guide directly intervenes with a candidate’s behavior, he or she will be disciplined.”

“R-Really?”

…At least it now seemed like rules really did exist.

I focused my concentration on not missing even a single word of his, even as I was producing tears and snot.

“Really. That’s why I’m keeping a low profile now, because the guide of the candidate we’re going to watch has broken the rules. Thanks to you, I can go and watch it secretly like this. Without a guide, the candidate will be exposed to multiple dangers, Lorella.”

“What?”

I lifted my head involuntarily for a moment.

Oops. Tears, tears!

I quickly buried my face in my palms and shook my shoulders again.

“That’s ridiculous…”

“So there’s no choice but for us to follow the rules. Since I have a duty to protect you.”

Ha… but no one would care about an ordinary candidate like me…”

Winnard tried to soothe me, patting me on the shoulder.

“Ordinary you say? No way. If that were the case, do you really think I would have come to be your guide? As soon as you sold your shares, you were the first to get a cookie reward.”

“Really…? Out of all the hundreds of candidates, am I really the first one…?”

“Of course. And for there to be hundreds of candidates, there’s no way there can be that many.”

“Then how many are there?”

“About that, even I’m not too sure, but what I am sure of is…”

It was then.

As soon as he stopped talking, the hand that was patting my shoulder also stopped.

‘Did I get caught already?’

I had the thought that it was already a complete failure, but I kept on pretending to cry shamelessly without showing it. However, Winnard no longer comforted me, nor patted me on the shoulder.

After a short period of time had passed like this.

“…Ha.”

A low laugh escaped from his mouth.

“Lorella.”

However, the voice saying my name was somehow even lower. Don’t tell me… you’re angry?

“…You’re smart.”

As expected, I got caught. Would I have had to do this if you had just told me sooner?

Wow, aren’t you so quick-witted!

“I look forward to you generously using that brilliant brain of yours to sell shares.”

Is it just my delusion or can I feel a subtle thorn behind those sly words?

“Anyway, you’ve already been caught, so you can lift your head up now, right?”

“…”

“Even if you don’t like it, there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Winnard said sarcastically, but I kept my face buried in my hands and remained stubborn.

Only a deep sense of regret filled my throat.

So just what the hell was it that you were so sure of! Can’t you just finish what you were going to say?!

My lips opened and closed by themselves with the urge to pester him for an answer.

The sound of sad sighs constantly leaked out from the gaps in my hands.

* * *

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:

Fortunately, that uncomfortable and awkward period of time didn’t last for very long. That was thanks to the carriage soon coming to a stop, not long after.

Winnard, who opened the door and stepped out first, silently held his hand out to me. As soon as he escorted me out of the carriage, he snapped his fingers with a flick. At the same time, the large carriage disappeared without a trace.

After a moment of surprise, I looked at our surroundings and asked.

“Where are we?”

It was a forest devoid of any light. Only the faint sound of an owl’s chilling cry from somewhere brushed past my ears. It seemed like something would pop out of the dense forest.

Shh, this way.”

Winnard, who put his index finger to his lips in a pretense to tell me to be quiet, took the lead cautiously. We proceeded carefully in the darkness, where we couldn’t even see an inch ahead of us.

I wonder just how long it took for us to walk through such a small forest. The ruins of a small building lay in front of me.

I relied on the pale white moonlight to examine it more closely.

Dome-shaped ceilings with holes here and there, a crumbling wall, and arched doors lined with dried ivy. Did I have a rival in a place like this?

As I looked around the collapsed building, I heard footsteps from inside the building.

“You’ve finally appeared.

Winnard whispered quietly. The tension within me rose once again. I crouched behind the bushes and swallowed dryly.

Just in time, the clouds lifted as the moonlight poured in.

And underneath that, I saw someone of small stature, covered in a large cloak.

‘That woman must be my rival…’

I couldn’t see the silhouette of her body very clearly thanks to the cloak, but I could be certain that she was a woman. That was because every time she’d move her foot, the toe of a red high-heeled shoe would slip out from beneath the hem of her long cloak which was narrowly dragging against the floor.

“You’re here early, Sable.”

I didn’t know when they had been there, but someone suddenly appeared from the bushes near me. Although the woman didn’t even flinch at all, I ended up being even more startled than the woman, and almost screamed.

Had it not been for the large hand that gently covered my mouth, I would have.

Shh.”

The man approached the woman at the same time when winnard gave me a soft warning. She also turned around slowly, as if she was expecting him.

“Marquis.”

It was then I got a glimpse of her red lips painted in a coy smile through her large hood.

The cloak then fell to the floor, revealing her face.

“…!”

Without realizing it, my lips parted.

omg SLAYYYYY

The first thing that caught my eye was her long hair that fell down to her waist. Her enviable luscious black hair rippled gently under the soft moonlight.

Her eyes were a mysterious purple. As if an amethyst had been taken and embedded in them, the dazzling appearance catching one’s gaze in an instant.

I couldn’t take my eyes off her at all… no, she was so beautiful that I almost lost my mind.

Moreover, contrary to her elegant countenance, she was wearing an alluring black dress filled with luxurious rubies and clung nicely to her figure. Even I, as a woman, was mesmerized by her figure.

‘Wow…’

Silent exclamations continued to burst forth from me.

It seemed that I wasn’t the only one who had been distracted by her appearance. Hot desire and passion swirled nakedly in the eyes of the young marquis standing in front of the woman.

“I did everything perfectly, just like I promised you.”

“You mean… everything?”

“Yeah, it’s all been burned to a crisp.”

The marquis said and raised his chin arrogantly.

“There’s only a heap of ashes left. No matter how hard they try to dig through it, they won’t find anything.”

“…I see.”

A beautiful smile, just like that of a flower, bloomed on the woman’s lips, who just nodded her head slightly. Just then, a gust of wind from the dark forest caused the long black hair that was covering her slender neck to disappear.

There seemed to be a dark bruise on her white skin. I got goosebumps since it looked like traces of a beheaded head being stuck back together.

“Sable, you’re mine now.”

As if seduced by her smile, the marquis strode up toward her and ran an arrogant hand through her long hair. Then, he tried to kiss her.

Just as the lips of the two of them were about to touch each other.

Someone emerged from the darkness and pointed a large sword at the marquis’ neck. Although the sharp sword neither pierced nor penetrated his neck, it threatened him from such a position where it wouldn’t be strange if his head was completely lopped off, just by moving a little.

Unlike the marquis, who stiffened up in embarrassment, the woman just looked at him without any change in her expression.

“Sable…?”

“You did well, Marquis.”

She, who had just been smiling quietly beforehand, now smiled broadly, revealing her pearly white teeth. However, the eyes that were staring at the marquis seemed to be somewhat indifferent.

As I clutched onto Winnard’s arm tightly, I felt like I couldn’t even breathe.

It felt like I was watching the climax of a horror movie that I had always been curious about. Although it was extremely frightening, I couldn’t turn my eyes away since I was still curious about the ending!

“Sable! How dare you…!”

An angry shout reverberated through the air.

“I killed them all, as promised! And in the most brutal way possible, just like you wished for!”

“Did I… ever make such a promise?”

“Wh-What did you say?!”

“All of that, that was all the Marquis’ doing.”

“Are you going to betray me now, Sable? Betray me, who knows everything about you…!”

At that moment, the eyes of the woman, who had been calm this whole time, suddenly lit up.

As if that were a signal, the man who was pointing the sword quickly subdued the marquis so that he was kneeling in front of her. There wasn’t even time for him to fight back and resist.

With the blade against his own neck again, the marquis bit his trembling lips until they bled.

There was a moment of silence. The woman was still looking down at the marquis with an indifferent gaze, while the marquis had his forehead resting against the floor, seemingly as if he were thinking about something.

Eventually, the marquis raised his head and pleaded with her in a voice full of tears.

“I-I don’t care if you betray me. Sable, I’ve dedicated everything to loving you. So please…”

“…”

“Tell me you love me…”

His voice was extremely pathetic, as if he had overcome the fury. It was such a desperate confession that even my own heart ached while listening to it.

However, the woman standing in front of him answered his plea with a smile.

“I’m sorry.”

She leaned forward toward him slowly with her hair tucked behind her ear. And after making eye contact with the marquis, she smiled beautifully, just like painting.

“I’ve never once loved you.”

“Sable…”

“Goodbye, Marquis.”

The creepy laughter that was added along with that last greeting seemed to cling to my ears.

Evil! What the hell? What’s with that woman?!

I raised my hand and rubbed my entire ear. I think I’m going to have nightmares tonight!

Then, she turned around. The steady sound of high heels faded away without a single bit of trembling.

The marquis, who was banging his head on the ground and crying in despair, as well as the man who grabbed him and forcibly dragged him away, both disappeared before I even knew it.

In the night sky, the only sound that could be heard was an owl’s intermittent hooting.

Just how much time had passed already? I couldn’t come to my senses for a long time and just stared in the direction that she disappeared in.

“How do you feel after seeing your rival?”

Just like usual. No, a little more laughter than usual seemed to permeate the voice of Winnard as I moved my head to it. 

“My lady still doesn’t seem to have very much trust in me, so I’ll especially show this to you, just this once.”

Probably because this didn’t count as a direct intervention of my actions. As soon as he finished speaking, the sound of snapping fingers rang in my ear.

Ding dong!

And with that familiar bell sound, the system window appeared in front of me once again…

「‘That bastard isn’t the male lead, right?’ claps and buys 10,000 of Ms Sable Lilly’s shares!」

「‘A Mansour1 in cider2’ shakes the cider to buy 20,000 of Ms Sable Lilly’s shares!」

「‘This area’s hype king’ squanders away their family’s fortune to buy 20,000 of Ms Sable Lilly’s shares!」

That wasn’t mine.

“…Wh-What?!”

It was when the nape of my neck became stiff at the first number I saw.

Ding dong.

A message appeared again with the sound of the bell.

「This area’s hype king recites a poem shyly.」

「My sister (于里言尼) has such good style (槪幹支拿),
Do everything (河鼓風去) you want to do (削多海 蘿),
I acknowledge (左虜人正) all of this (右虜人正),
Roll forward (狎鷗漏器), over and over (大窟 大窟).」3

“Th-This…”

My fists were trembling before I knew it. Like a person naked in a cold place, the sound of my molars grinding against one another came out through my teeth in succession.

“Traitors—!

It was a rage that I had never experienced before, nor in my past nor present life.

[1] 만수르 refers to the name of emerati prince Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan whose name has become synonymous in internet slang to ‘a fabulously rich person’ and by extension can be used to describe someone who has an abundance of something, in this case, a person who has an abundance of refreshingness.

[2] 사이더 is internet slang for a refreshing/satisfying situation.

[3] korean wordplay that mimics ​​사자성어 (four character idioms). basically fake phrases that have the same homophonetical sounds as their hanja (chinese character) counterparts.


a few things this chapter:
can we give it up for lorella’s a+ acting skills in the beginning bc SIS NEEDS A GRAMMY FOR NOT ONLY THE ACTING BUT ALSO THE LEVEL OF SHAMELESSNESS SHE HAS LMAOIHSDJISDF PLS i could never

ALSO NOT LORELLA LOWKEY GOING YURI ROUTE SHGDLFIJSDF sis legit could not pull her eyes off of sable and i do not blame her for that bc same sis we are the same we no better than a man fr ;-;

ALSO OMG SLAYYYY i’m one of those few that may have been swayed by our newly introduced main character candidate now HGLKDSSFDJ I DO LOVE MYSELF A GOOD GIRLBOSS THO GHDSLFKSDFJ
like girl fr i didn’t even need to be fully introduced to the marquis to know i wouldn’t like him fuck him LMAOOOO
also some intrigue on our girl sable bc whats that mark on her neck ???? interesting hmmmm and so the pLO T THICKENS

ALSO this chapter is SO LONG WTH plus the slang goodnight, esp after this chapter bc wtf was that poem at the end i wanted to kill myself after trying to find all the definitions and stuff HGDSLKFFJ