Home Post 1292-chapter-34



* * *


“Don’t worry too much. You’ve improved a lot.”

Robert comforted Izeline while lathering soap on her back. Even in Michael’s absence, swordsmanship training continued steadily because Oren scolded Izeline severely every time she repeated the same mistake in the same place.

“Thanks for the kind words.”

She drooped her shoulders, feeling discouraged. In fact, Robert’s consolation was of no help at all. Her confidence continued to dwindle as she trained between the obvious genius, Robert, and the moderately talented genius, Michael.

“I guess I don’t have the talent for swordsmanship.”


Robert wordlessly rubbed her back. His touch became more cautious.

“What on earth is Father thinking?”

His body trembled at the sudden question.

What was Father thinking? That was what he wanted to ask. Duke Brioche had personally observed their swordsmanship training, and Izeline’s poor skills had already been exposed long ago, as well as Robert’s genius talent.

After that day, Oren had mentioned in passing that Robert’s tuition fees were also being paid, while Izeline’s tuition fees continued to be deposited without any problems.

It was an incomprehensible act, considering that he had told her to learn under the pretext of protecting his son. Regardless, Robert’s swordsmanship skills were already more than enough to protect them.

“Maybe he just likes you…”

Robert was secretly anxious, and that anxiety was snowballing day by day.

His father has a keen eye for selecting talented people, so maybe, he was investing in Izeline in the hope of using her as one of his people in the future. It was clear from his increasingly strange attitude.

“He might take you to his territory in the future…”

“What are you talking about?”


Izeline turned around at the unexpected sound, and that was when the subtle change occurred—a very minor moment, no different from usual. Robert, who met her clear green eyes, was momentarily dazed.

Oh, this was strange…

She definitely looked the same as usual…

When did this change happen? Her cheeks, which he had always thought were plump, seemed to have slimmed down a bit, and her arms and legs, which had been short and chubby like sausages, had become longer and slender. Her moisturized skin looked as glossy as honey and as smooth as silk.

“Did you hear something?”

At the repeated question, he blinked like an idiot.


He had to consciously let out his breath, which kept getting stuck, at the sight of her face looking at him in wonder with wide eyes.

Thump, thump, thump, thump.

Why was his heart doing this?

Even though they had always bathed together, he suddenly felt embarrassed and awkward to be in the same bathtub with her, naked like this.


As his pounding heart clashed with the protective barrier of mana, pain washed over him. Izeline’s face instantly filled with worry.

“Are you okay? Ouch!

However, he suddenly pushed her away, causing her to fall backward into the bathtub. Splash!


She glared at him, sniffling after swallowing water through her nose.

“Hey! What’s wrong with you!”

Regardless, Robert hurriedly got out of the bathtub and put on his robe.

“Ah, it’s nothing!”

And he ran out of the bathroom as if he was fleeing.


Left alone, Izeline blankly stared at his retreating figure, which was getting further and further away, and let out a short breath, dumbfounded.


* * *


In the garden of the mansion visited by spring, colorful and pretty flowers were in bloom.

“Stop pretending to look around the garden.”

When she blocked the window and blocked his view, Robert averted his eyes awkwardly, not knowing where to look, and then stared at the corner of the table. Something that had been realized once started to scratch his insides uncomfortably.

“What did I do wrong? Why did you suddenly push me away and run away?”

“It’s not like that.”

He answered as if it was nothing, but he was aware that he had to give a proper answer. Robert couldn’t explain his condition, so he beat around the bush.

“I didn’t want to show you my wounds.”

“All of a sudden?”

He would normally back away if it were related to Krug, but this wasn’t it.

“After taking a bath together for three years?”


Robert pressed his lips together tightly, thinking it was a bit of a stretch even for him. However, when he soon after lowered the corners of his eyes and made a face as if he was going to cry, Izeline couldn’t question him any further.

“Yes. I don’t want to all of a sudden.”


Was there some kind of change in his heart?

It was surprising because it was so sudden, but she couldn’t keep poking at her childhood friend’s sensitive spot. She shook her head with a complicated expression and soon nodded.

“Okay. Then should we wash separately from now on?”


Robert was taken aback, even though she had come to a natural conclusion. This, so… He didn’t want to be separated, but… but it was also uncomfortable and embarrassing to be together…

He hesitated, unable to explain his condition in words, and Izeline’s voice continued.

“Yes. Now that you can reach your arms on your own.”


“Even if we don’t do this, you can wash your back by yourself.”

That wasn’t it…

Robert felt regretful as he watched her demonstrate by bending her arm back. The conversation, which had flowed to such a conclusion, indicated that a part of their time together would disappear.

Even if it was just a short time while taking a bath.

“Rather than that, what did you mean by that earlier?”

Before he knew it, Izeline, who was sitting across the table, rested her chin on her hand and asked. Her wet hair flowed down her arm like a wave.

“Why would the Duke take me to his territory?”

Robert, who had his gaze stolen by her hair for a moment, came to his senses at her next question and met her eyes.

“It’s nothing. It’s just my guess.”

“Guess? Why did you think that?”

“Just because. Why are you asking so many questions?”

When he grumbled as if it was annoying, Izeline made a dumbfounded face.

“How many questions did I ask?”

“You’re asking useless questions.”

He just wants to quietly admire her face. He grumbled the unspoken words in his heart.

“My future is at stake, so of course I’m curious.”

She looked resentful, as if she was wronged, but still, her face was as pretty as ever. Robert frowned in order not to get caught having such foolish thoughts.

“He let you keep learning swordsmanship even though you can’t do it. It’s strange.”



Oh, man.

He realized his mistake belatedly after uttering words that were worse than not saying anything at all. But it was too late.

Izeline, who was offended, made a disappointed face and argued.

“You consoled me earlier, saying that I had improved a lot.”

“No, I didn’t mean that…”

“So it was all lip service? You think my swordsmanship hasn’t improved, just like Master.”

“That’s not true.”

“Don’t lie. I’m still holding a wooden sword, so how can I protect you? You must think it’s pathetic.”

“Not at all!”



The two of them locked eyes. However, Robert soon avoided her gaze. Honestly, he had thought about it a little. He didn’t think it was pathetic, but he thought that she wouldn’t be able to protect him. That was only natural, as the gap between the two of them was widening day by day.

In fact, Robert sometimes thought that he would be strong enough not to need anyone’s protection when he became an adult.

He was that much of a genius.

“I’ve never thought it was pathetic.”

He consoled the depressed Izeline once again.

“I can see that you’re improving little by little. Really.”

Even though it was still a wooden sword, she was improving enough. It was just that she had hit a wall, as in all learning.

“And I don’t need any protection. I’m going to be the strongest in the world.”

At those words, Izeline raised her head in response.

“I’ll protect you.”


Her green eyes wavered at the unexpected words.


She thought she had raised him not to become a villain, not to get hurt by people’s prejudice, and to grow up strong.

It felt strange to hear the little boy she had thought of as someone who needed protection say that he would protect her.

“There must be something you’re good at other than swordsmanship.”

But in the end, this was what he really thought.

Swordsmanship just didn’t suit her.

When Izeline narrowed her eyes and glared at him, he lifted his chin slightly and curled the corners of his lips with a charming smile.

“That’s why I told you not to be depressed and mope around.”