Archen glanced at Carinne instead of trying to leave with his eyebrow was scrunched as though she was annoying.
Although he seemed unwilling, he was inclined to listen to her out of courtesy.
The more words she said, the more he might go if she kept dragging the time.

“…I’m not angry because it was noisy.
I didn’t do it just to make the mustache guy embarrassed.”

“Are you talking about Viscount Frank?”

Archen asked with a bewildered expression.

‘Huh? What did I just say? Ah…’

She only realized what she had just uttered since she’d only been thinking about what to say.
Carinne wanted to hit her head.


“Ah, my mistake… you’re right, Viscount Frank.
Still, that’s not important, what I want to say is…”

Once she made a mistake, her head went blank.

It seemed that her mouth was not her own.
Why did her mouth, which moved well a while ago, feel difficult to move?

…Let’s calm down.

If she ruined this chance, it would be hard to fix their relationship again.
Calming herself down, Carinne thought about what to say.

“The reason I came forward was because I didn’t want to see anyone harassing someone who didn’t do anything wrong.
Abusing my power wasn’t nice either, but it was the only thing I could do at that time.
I thought the only way to show that guy his own place was to use such a thing.

“All right, calm down first.”

Phew. What a relief.

While she didn’t know how to finish it so she was about to say nonsense, fortunately, that didn’t happen, and Archen seemed to understand it as it was as well.
Carinne breathed a sigh of relief.
On the other hand, she was embarrassed because she thought she was too emotional.

‘…Was it too much?’

Originally, she was someone who could speak her mind easily, but it seemed that she had caused a lot of misunderstanding after coming to the ball.

Even though It felt unfair to hear sarcastic comments from the Duke, she didn’t care about him.
On the other hand, if Archen misunderstood her, she wouldn’t be able to go home with a sound mind.

“In short, you want to help me.”

‘I guess so.
I tried to help him…’

Hearing that from the person involved, Carinne was somehow embarrassed and avoided his eyes.
She then peered at him again because she thought it was not polite to avoid the other person’s eyes during conversations.

She felt uneasy, yet familiar to see his blue eyes slowly getting colder.
It was like looking at a glass that was about to break.

“So, what do you want from me?”

Why did this happen again?

“It’s not like that! I’m not asking for anything.
I was just trying to correct it because I think you misunderstood my intentions.”

“That makes no sense.
There was no reason for you to be nice to me when you don’t want anything.”

What did he mean by that? Why would that make no sense…

Carinne gulped down the words ‘Because I like you’ when they almost came out.
If she didn’t correct him, it might recreate the nightmare of their first meeting.
She had to hide her real purpose as much as she could.

Archen continued, giving her no time to make excuses.
Whatever she thought or said, it was as if everything was none of his business.

“Anyway, please don’t mind it next time.
I can take care of myself.”

His voice was so cold that it felt like ice, as that was all he said.
Nonetheless, the meaning of her words was clear enough.

Carinne was utterly speechless.

‘…Did he just tell me to mind my own business?’

He was such a cruel person.

“Then, I’ll go now.”

That were Archen’s last words.
This second meeting was a little bit different from the first.
The difference was he greeted her as he went away this time.
He lowered his head lightly and left as if he was late for an appointment.

His pair of stylish earrings shook and gradually moved out of view.

Carinne looked blankly at Archen, who was moving away, and belatedly came to her senses.
The thought that came to her mind…

‘I won’t do it again.’

He was prickly and sensitive, but it was too much this time!

Carinne held her head and sighed deeply.
It just became clear that he was always alert when it came to her.
It was as if there was a big sign in his head that said, ‘Don’t interact with Carinne’ in neon color with about a million asterisks.

Of course, it was because of the original Carinne.


Well, Carinne was notorious.
Even if she didn’t directly impact Archen, he would have seen and heard of Carinne’s behavior because he had eyes and ears.
Although she even helped him, he told her to mind her own business.

When she remembered his cold eyes and voice, her heart felt hurt and cold.

At this rate, she can never make Archen her own.
She couldn’t find out his secret, so there would be a long way to go to save him.

She thought she should revise her plan.

‘…Making him mine? A life partner? Let’s give it up.
Helping him is the first priority.’

Shouldn’t they have a comfortable conversation before being friends and even dating? Every time she met him, he acted like a person who had his money taken and showed his dislike blatantly.
Of course, there was no way there was any progress in their relationship.

“…How can I get close to him?”

Getting close was less difficult than dating.
Well, both were still especially difficult.

‘I’ll stop here for today and think about it slowly from now on.’

There was still a lot of time left until the ‘Ashite Flower Festival,’ which he last appeared in the original.
However, there was no guarantee that he would die right after the festival.

As she passed the main gate and went into the carriage, Carinne still remained deep in thought.

The author said that Archen was already planning to die.
Still, how could a man in his twenties with a healthy body die suddenly…?

Did he have an accident?

Well, it’d be strange if he, a skilled mage that graduated top of his class at the best academy in the kingdom, died in an accident.

Besides, it had nothing to do with the secret mentioned in the monologue though.
Assuming that the secret and his death were related, the monologue mentioning the secret meant that he knew in advance that he would die.

…So, it wasn’t a sudden, unexpected death.

It was a predictable yet unavoidable death.
There was some thought that came to her mind.

‘Would the author give a supporting character that much setup? To a supporting character who doesn’t appear in the epilogue?’

When she considered that, Carinne thought it was ridiculous and shook it off.
Above all, if what she just came up with was the reason for Archen’s death, the way to save him becomes quite complicated.
She wanted to refuse to imagine a bad future that she still didn’t know.

‘Oh, it seems like I’m not getting an answer.
Let’s just sleep.’

Thinking alone didn’t mean she could find out his secret, she would only get a headache.
She was tired because she had gone through so much trouble to think about this and that.

As she became friends with him, the day would eventually come when he would tell her directly… or she could ask for it herself.

…Until then, good luck!

She should go to sleep first.
As she thought so, Carinne cleared the complicated thoughts in her head and closed her eyes.



* * *



“My lady, I brought you tea.”

“Yes, thank you.”

As a strong apricot scent was smelled by her nose, Carinne took a teacup and took a gulp of the tea.

“Oh, this is it.
It tasted perfect.”

The sweet and slightly bitter taste spread in her mouth.
If she knew that tea was this delicious, she would go to a tea cafe instead of an ordinary cafe in her past life.
It was great to sit still and drink tea for free here, so she didn’t want to go back.
She was just thinking about it.

“Lady, are you going anywhere today?”

She gulped down the tea as Marie asked with a worried face.

Why? Does dad tell you to ask about it?”

Marie laughed awkwardly.

Duke of Tricia, Carinne’s father and the Duke of the Second Duchy, must have been worried about his daughter, who stayed quiet at home for a few days.
He visited Carinne yesterday and asked her what was going on.

Even though she said everything was fine, she guessed he didn’t trust her.
It seemed like he was trying to double-check through Marie.

“If you’re not feeling well, I’ll call a doctor.”

“No, you don’t have to.
I’m fine.”

“Then, did anything happen to you at the last ball you went to?”

Marie asked again.
Hearing the question, Carinne said nothing this time.

She’d be lying if she said nothing happened.
Remembering his cold blue eyes, what happened at the ballroom came to mind.

For several days after that day, Carinne pondered how to be friends with Archen.
His feelings for her were far from favorable, so she had to be patient.
She planned to take a long time and approach him little by little so that he wouldn’t notice.

‘And, I’ll have to fix my reputation.’

She was also determined to attend many events steadily to wash away Carinne’s notoriety.
Other than that, she did it to strengthen her friendship with him.

Nonetheless, for the time being, since there was no party or ball schedule, Carinne was wondering if there was any other way to meet him at a distance.
It was because if she rushed in, she thought she would only make mistakes like last time, so she was going to play and rest in the mansion until she came up with an idea.

“Please be honest.
I’m worried about you, too.”

Marie uttered so.

It seemed like she genuinely thought of Carinne as someone nice, and not someone who just did her a favor before.
Even though she had only given her a few snacks, Marie kept smiling and was worried about her like now.
She almost looked like an angel because she was that grateful to her.

Because of that, Carinne felt bad about letting Marie worry about her like that.
She changed her mind and put down the cup she was holding.

“No, nothing happened.
I want to go out.
Let’s go out for a quick walk.”

“Ah, yes.
I’ll hurry up and get your clothes changed!”

Marie was jumping with joy.

As expected, having a simple personality was the best.
After changing into outdoor clothes with her help, Carinne came out.
It was a perfect day for a walk.
It wasn’t cloudy, and the air was fresh.

Where should they go?

‘Oh, there was a path here?’

There was a small path next to the mansion.
She was walking along the path, wondering where it would lead, and the trees became more and more dense.
Soon, she was in the middle of the forest.
The sound of birds chirping with the subtle smell of trees made her feel comfortable.

After a while, she could see a woman walking this way, so she casually checked the woman’s appearance.

Did she come out for a walk, too…?

The woman’s appearance was unusual.

As the woman approached her, her features could be seen at a glance, and Carinne couldn’t help but open her mouth wide.

That woman was like a fairy, not a person.
She had long, straight hair that seemed elegant like a swan and fair skin like snow.

In addition, her large eyes were purple, resembling amethyst, and her eyes were slightly bent down to give a gentle impression like a baby deer.
Her nose was elegant and upturned, while her lips were red and moist, like the lips she saw in lip tints advertisements.

‘…How’s that possible without Photoshop?’

Beyond impeccable, she had an unrealistically pretty appearance.
She was like the embodiment of pureness.

‘But, why does she look so familiar…?’

If she were this beautiful, she would have remained in her mind even if she had just passed by.
Carinne felt as if she had seen her somewhere but couldn’t remember it.


Where did she see her? Carinne was a little surprised when the woman spoke to her without hesitation while recalling her memory for a long time.

She spoke casually before she even said her name.

Was she Carinne’s friend?

However, Carinne, who was famous for being mean, couldn’t have a friend.
Besides, a friend who talked casually to her… that was even more impossible.


“I’m Iris.”

The woman casually spoke and smiled.

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