Home Post 1141-chapter-42


Listening to Enfrise’s story made me realize.

This man, he was truly kind.

It was me who was at fault. From the start, it was me who playfully tormented him, even though I knew his feelings. He had no reason to blame himself like this. He could find it easier to blame me… Yet, this man ultimately blames himself.

“Grand Duke, I’ve given it a lot of thought.”

I knew how hard it was to lose the light one had held. It was a pain so deep that you just wanted to die. It was much better to die.

Just like the despair I felt when I dreamed of returning to reality after tasting happiness in this small heaven. And I understood the feeling of wanting more and more that he spoke of because I, too, was becoming more and more greedy.

“Why I said it was somewhat okay back then. Honestly, I hadn’t planned to say that. I tried to apologize.”

When it was absent, you didn’t realize its absence. There were things indirect experiences couldn’t teach.

Through countless novels, dramas, manhwa, and games, I experienced it indirectly. I thought I was content with it that I could find satisfaction in worlds of creation, regardless of the harshness of reality.

But then I learned…

I realized just how sweet it was to have those experiences become reality.

“But, you see. Those words slipped out without me realizing.”

What I wanted was for my own comfort at first. I didn’t care what happened to the characters around me. I thought as long as I pleased them enough to keep myself comfortable, that was enough. After all, they were just characters in a book.

But, truly… it was because I was happy.

I realized I wasn’t naturally diligent. I had to force myself to be.

It wasn’t that I was mature. I just enjoyed being praised and forced myself to act the part… And that sacrificing myself, killing my own desires, wasn’t a duty but just a way to avoid conflict by deceiving myself.

Enfrise and Tambor were the ones who taught me that.

“I think I said it because I genuinely felt it was okay.”

Continuously telling myself that Enfrise was just a character from a book, convincing myself that my feelings were merely fan admiration, was all part of the deception. The truth was, I was scared. Scared of acknowledging that I was starting to see you as a person, rather than Chaperil.

Fearing the future where I would be miserable because your love for me wasn’t truly directed at me, but at Chaperil.

“Well… Does the Grand Duke know that my heart raced like crazy when I was in your arms?”


Because I was greedy, it seemed I’d come to want not just comfort for my body but for him as well. After taking everything that belonged to Chaperil, now I’m even trying to take him away.

And surely, this was inevitable.

Among all that Chaperil possessed, you were the most… It was so bright, it was something I had never had nor even dared to dream about.

“So… subconsciously, I must’ve thought that it’d be okay to experience that daily.”

You know, Enfrise.

I wasn’t not being emotional right now, so I was sure I wouldn’t regret saying this later.

I wouldn’t even wonder why I said it.

I was saying this because he opened up to me… He shared how his feelings for me before were close to yearning, and his feelings after the memory loss only deepened…

And because he admitted that he wanted me.

I knew that had I not been wearing Chaperil’s shell, he probably wouldn’t have given me a second glance. We wouldn’t be having this conversation. Had my true identity of not being Chaperil been discovered from the start, things wouldn’t have unfolded this way.

…But, Enfrise, meeting you has turned me into quite the spoiled person. The old me would have gracefully backed away, knowing this wasn’t my place. But now, I…

I was so glad to hear your words.

…And so, I’ve become selfish.

“So, what I… what I want to say is.”

Enfrise just quietly watches me without saying anything, just as I had watched him speak moments ago while staring blankly at him.

What could he be thinking?

“So, what I really wanted to say is… you don’t have to hold back from hugging me.”

Wait, was that what I intended to say?

Feeling his gaze on me somehow made me nervous, and my mind went blank. Why did it always happen at crucial moments?

“You don’t hate me, do you?”

“Not at all.”

“You don’t want to… leave me?”

“Why would I…?”

“Because I, well, forced you to…”

“My heart raced, didn’t I tell you?”

Well, it wasn’t good to force someone to hug you. Perhaps considering what Enfrise did in the original story. It did seem like he has been holding back a lot…

No, but that was still not right.

“Let’s do it like this, Grand Duke.”

I slightly pushed aside the melted slush bowl and leaned forward towards him. Then, with a serious look, I proposed,

“If you want to hug me in the future, just ask me first.”


“I’ve thought about it, and suddenly doing so isn’t right, I believe. And…”

Although unlikely in the female lead’s body, but just in case! There might be times when I was sweaty or my hair was a mess… Anyway, there would be moments that bothered me where I’d rather not be hugged.

Ahem. Anyway. Let’s make it a rule to ask for permission before any physical contact! What do you think? I’ll do the same.”

“You too… will ask?”

“I’ve realized I’ve also been quite casual with touching the Grand Duke’s hand or other things. Since I’m not very knowledgeable about male-female interactions… I thought it was all light-hearted.”

I had thought such casual touches were harmless, but for Enfrise, who gets flustered by just a name call, it must have been a near-painful thrill, much like it was for me.

“So, with that.”


“May I hold your hand?”


Enfrise looked troubled, pressing his lips together tightly, then suddenly turned his head away.

Hmm, not in the mood right now? Couldn’t help it, then.

Thinking like that, just as I was about to divert my attention back to the slush bowl, something moved at the edge of my vision.

When I instinctively looked over—


—A man who didn’t say anything and merely extended his trembling hand towards me.

I was momentarily puzzled, so I looked from his hand to his face. I could even see his lips quivering.

“May I hold it?”


Only after his permission did I take his hand. The warmth I felt was somehow even hotter than I remembered.

“Grand Duke.”


“Are you hot?”


“Your hand is really warm. Oh, shall we eat the melon? It’s almost melted, but… it should still be cool. If we think of it as melon milk, maybe it’ll taste good.”

I pushed the tray towards him with a grin and Enfrise…

“…You really are something…”

Murmured as he smiled wistfully.


* * *



“Did something pleasant happen?”

Oh no.

Without realizing it, I let out a laugh that might not suit the female lead of the story… It was one of those sinister laughs that escaped me while reading a delightful scene in a web novel.

Well, it was fine. Anything done by Chaperil will surely be charming.

“Does it seem so?”


Jaha smiled gently and then looked at my canvas. I had tried to paint a picture of Frii as my model. As he saw the painting, his smile turned into a puzzled one.

“Quite… a unique painting.”

“…Is it?”

I wasn’t bad at art during my middle and high school days. Maybe it had been too long since I last painted. I felt like my skills had deteriorated from before.

“A white dove, that’s an unusual choice.”

“It’s supposed to be a weasel.”


Jaha’s gaze moved from Frii, who was peeping from under the bed, back to the canvas. After switching his gaze back and forth several times, he finally asked with a shaky voice.

“Did you… try to paint Frii?”


Still, were white doves rare here? Well, in my country, gray pigeons were more common than white doves.

Their droppings were white, though.

“…Shall we start with practicing drawing an apple?”

“An apple?”

“Mastering the circle will allow you to draw almost any shape with ease.”

The circle.

I glanced at Frii’s eyes in my drawing. I aimed to create adorably detailed eyes, but for some reason, they looked more like the empty circles one might call void.

Come to think of it, they did resemble pigeon eyes.

“I’ll give it a try.”

“I’ve brought more white paint. If you need any other colors, just let me know anytime.”

“Really? Is white paint also used a lot for drawing apples?”

“Umm, shall I show you how?”

Was Jaha prepared to demonstrate right from the start today? He brought out a canvas and placed it on the easel in front of him. Then, with a serious look, he started rummaging through his bag for a bottle of paint.

Or should I say, a tube?

“This isn’t a bottle?”

“No, it’s a glass tube. By pressing the back like this, similar to a syringe… the paint is pushed forward and comes out.”


It indeed resembled a needleless syringe. The tube paints that I was accustomed to seem to be absent here. What if I introduced that concept? Would it be a hit? Maybe I should suggest it to Enfrise.

“Being made of glass, it’s expensive and fragile, plus if the paint at the front dries, it becomes difficult to use. It’s not a commonly used item since typically paint is made to order.”

It was fine for me since I use only a few colors, but creating complex paintings might require days of preparing paint…?

Maybe I would ask Enfrise for help then.

“Let’s start by sketching the rough lines in light yellow. As the other colors will overlap later, the initial lines will be covered, so it’s okay if they’re a bit crooked.”

Jaha was about to dip his brush in paint when…

“May I come in?”

There was Enfrise’s voice along with the knock.

…Why so suddenly?