“Are you getting in?”
Instead of closing the door, I glanced at Dylan, who was getting in the carriage.
“I’m getting off work too. Let’s go together since we’re headed in the same direction.”
“Well… suit yourself.”
“Are you okay?”
He seemed to be referring to the incident of Fay fainting earlier, so that was why he got in, huh?
I nodded, and Dylan grinned again. I had no reason to refuse since this carriage belonged to him anyway. Rather, it seemed like the ride wouldn’t be boring.
“You know tomorrow’s the last day, right?”
“Yeah. If she practice as I taught her, she might be able to go on to the next subjugation. Though I really didn’t know if this would work.”
As Dylan smiled with relief, I chuckled and looked out the window.
“I’m going back to Ferrarium this time, so I won’t be in the capital for a while. I might not be able to contact you for quite some time. Just so you know, in case you try to contact the guild.”
“Why? Where are you going again? Is it somewhere you can’t receive guild messages?”
“Huh? We- well. I haven’t had a break in a year, so I’m taking a vacation…”
“You’re already warning me even though you’re just going on a vacation? How long are you planning to be gone?”
“No, it’s just… just know that. I’m telling you in advance in case you try to contact me.”
“Okay. It would just be a hello, anyway. Hey, but now that you mention it, it feels like a farewell. That’s sad.”
Dylan suddenly pouted and grumbled.
“I’m so relieved, though?”
“What? Don’t you miss the old times?”
“Oh, stop talking. Anyway, Dylan.”
“Um, I’ve been thinking about whether I should ask you this or not.”
Dylan, who had been leaning against the carriage like a delinquent with his arms crossed, straightened up.
“What is it? Tell me.”
“Do you know anything about Fay?”
“What about her?”
The words I wanted to ask wouldn’t come out of my mouth and just rolled around on my tongue.
I had a lot I wanted to ask about Fay Martin, about the abuse or her family. However, I hesitated to ask because it felt like I was investigating an innocent person. Fay could have really just invited me to dinner out of goodwill.
No, that was much more likely.
“What? Why. Don’t leave me hanging.”
“No, it’s nothing. It’s just something trivial I’m worried about.”
“Then, let’s talk about something else. How did she do at the academy without being able to use illusions?”
“Well, I never really thought about it. I only found out about Fay Martin after she was assigned here. Most of the others are the same. Unless they knew each other before, that is.”
“That’s usually the case, right?”
“Why? Is there something strange about that?”
“Well, it’s strange. It’s just, well. I didn’t know why she came here even though she was so scared of using the spell.”
“Oh, she did have a few counseling sessions at the beginning. They told her she didn’t have to force herself if it was too hard, but she said she wanted to do it and become someone worthy of the knights. To be honest, I was thinking of sending her back if she didn’t make it this time.”
“She never had any problems with the other knights?”
“Um, no. To be honest, she didn’t really have much to do with them. She often volunteered to run errands.”
“Hmm… I see.”
“Why? Are you worried about her future?”
“She’s a grown adult. What’s there to worry about? I was just curious, so I asked. I didn’t mean anything by it.”
I would be leaving soon anyway. I put aside my uneasy feelings and looked out the window.
‘They said His Majesty will depart from the palace at 11:00, so he should arrive before lunch.’
My free hand tapped the table out of boredom.
‘It’s time to go.’
* * *
Kairos sat in a seat where he could see the entire lobby of the hotel’s first floor and waited for Hazel.
The hotel, which had been emptied of all personnel from the first floor to the top floor about an hour ago, felt like a fancy ruin. Hazel didn’t know yet, and she wouldn’t in the future either, but this hotel was also run under his authority.
The reason he insisted that she stay in the biggest and safest place was because of this.
Hazel was staying here without a single doubt. For once, Sid and Nigella had done what he liked. Hazel would go out early in the morning and come back in the afternoon.
It had been over a week since he last saw her face. He had seen her constantly for a year, so he knew exactly even which direction Hazel’s eyelashes stretched, but it was definitely different to see her in person.
He wished she would come soon. In the first place, waiting for someone was something he had only done after meeting Hazel. Last night, Kairos, who realized he had feelings for her, decided not to deny his emotions.
While it was a bit funny, he decided that it wasn’t bad as his life was good right now. Anyway, only he knew about Hazel, so he would keep her by his side until his heart changed.
It was the best decision because he didn’t have to get rid of her annoyingly, and Hazel would look up at him with her gentle eyes. He might have to show his true status later because he couldn’t leave the territory empty, but then she would probably already take the Duchess’ seat.
Hazel didn’t seem likely to refuse the Duchess’ seat. Since the people who often bothered him had already passed away, it wasn’t bad.
He thought that even if she were surprised, she would understand if he coaxed her. She was already in the documents anyway. The family and title might be different, though wasn’t it a marriage with him that Hazel had agreed to?
Come to think of it, there seemed to be no one who would suit the Duchess of Hadid as much as Hazel.
It was different from the original plan in many ways, but he felt better when the things that had bothered him for days disappeared.
He could vividly picture Hazel’s surprised face when she saw him soon. He had already put away anything that could catch her eye, so all she had to do was come. He had prepared all the foods for lunch with the things that Hazel would like.
He slowly got rid of his boredom, thinking that it would be nice to have a full lunch and spend the day with her.
From where Kairos was sitting, he could see Hazel coming in.
On the other hand, since the entrance to the hotel was a few steps up, it was a bit high, so she couldn’t see her right away. It would be nice for her to recognize him right away, but it would be okay to follow her leisurely as she went upstairs and made a surprise visit.
While he was thinking that…
“No, why don’t you just go? You have nothing to do here.”
Kairos’ gaze was naturally fixed on one place at the familiar voice.
Hazel was coming into the hotel. She usually wore a dress, but sometimes she wore comfortable clothes for activities, and today was one of those days. She was wearing skinny pants and a uniform-style top with a tail in the back that slightly covered her pants, and it suited her well even though it didn’t seem to be particularly fancy.
“I’m doing it because I’m grateful.”
At the same time as she heard those words, she got up, raising the soft corners of her mouth that he liked. However, Kairos’ gaze quickly turned to the side in nanoseconds.
His jaw tilted obliquely with cold eyes.
‘What the heck was up with that ugly, huge guy?’
Hazel’s voice was heard again in the empty lobby.
“Huh? But why aren’t there any people?”
“Yes. I don’t see any staff either? Are you staying on the top floor here?”
“Oh, did they all leave because it’s lunchtime? Anyway, you can go now. Just go.”
“You need to make a reservation a few months in advance to stay on the top floor here, don’t you?”
“Really, I didn’t know that? They gave me a room right away when I said I wanted to stay? Are you mistaken?”
“I don’t know. I’ve heard the guys talk about it a few times, but I’ve never stayed here. Well, I’ll take you all the way to the top since I’m here.”
“Okay, I’ve had enough of this today.”
“Oh, come on. Why is the great illusionist like this?”
“Ugh, can you really go now? I’m going to have lunch with my secretary. Thanks for bringing me here.”
“Okay, you’ve really worked hard today.”
The two of them walked, talking quite intimately even though they were bickering.
Kairos felt his stomach churn for a moment.
Where was she looking instead of at him with that pretty face? Feeling annoyed, he slowly rolled his tongue in his mouth.