Home Post 907-chapter-173


Side Story 4. If Laria and Evan Grew Up Like Childhood Friends (if Side Story)

Lately, Neo wasn’t feeling too well.

Everything seemed dull. There was no joy in being the devil who thrived on the misery of others. Despite Laria being cute, everyone around her was too happy. Although Evan had been quite miserable when Laria left that he had consumed enough misery, there was still no exciting spectacle.

“Is there anything uncomfortable for you, Lord Neo? Would you like a snack?”

Sven, the slave butler who sincerely served Neo, politely asked, noticing his uneasy mood. Neo yawned as if it were bothersome and shifted in his seat. Even after knowing that this world was a product of dark magic, Sven seemed happy every day.

He yawned again as he stood by the sunny window.

‘This is all because Laria and Evan got married…’

Anyway, the two were destined to be happy because of each other. So, Neo, feeling bored, decided to imagine a different scenario once again. If reality wasn’t entertaining, he had to resort to his only hobby, writing.

Closing his eyes, Neo curled up his body and began to imagine.

‘If they hadn’t gotten married early… I mean, if the Count and Countess Rostri were still alive, and Laria was healthy, and Fred didn’t leave.’

Then, Laria wouldn’t have entered the Duke’s residence at the age of fourteen.

Hmm, let’s lift the mood while imagining. Let’s say Matilda is alive as well. It’s not like imagining costs money. A bit of mercy won’t hurt.’

And so, Neo’s imagination began.


* * *


“Ugh, I’m really upset! Laria, Mom is going to visit Matilda. Are you coming?”

Esther had been lively since morning and called out to Laria.

Laria was already dressed nicely and prepared for the outing. Due to the fight between the Count and Countess Rostri last night, it was expected from the morning that Esther would go to Duke Icard’s residence.

“I’ll go, Mom. Let’s go together!”

Fred chimed in after Laria.

“I’ll go, too!”

However, Esther frowned as if questioning what he was saying.

“Fred, don’t you have law classes soon? You requested, and I brought a renowned professor from the Eastern Continent Academy!”


Fred squinted his eyes and mumbled.

“…If I don’t go, it’ll be just Laria and Evan.”

At that, Laria shook her head, feeling pathetic.

“What’s the big deal? We’ve just been friends since childhood. Why are you suddenly making a fuss?”

“That was when we were kids.”

Fred pushed up his round glasses and spoke seriously.

“Now, childhood friends are becoming dangerous. You’ll be an adult soon.”


Laria chuckled incredulously.

In reality, Evan and Laria were only a year apart, but they had grown up like close friends from childhood. Due to the close friendship between Evan’s mother, Matilda, and Laria’s mother, Esther, the two naturally played together.

With a four-year age difference, Fred preferred studying at home over playing with them, but now, he seemed to regret it.

“Both Evan and I are just best friends. Besides, he’s only a year younger than me.”

Laria replied calmly. However, Esther suddenly clapped her hands as if she had realized something at Fred’s words.

“Ah, right.”

As she widened her eyes and mumbled, Fred clenched both fists and nodded vigorously.

“Laria is soon coming of age, right? I keep forgetting because she looks so young.”

“That’s right, Mother. To make sure Evan doesn’t have any other thoughts, I’ll go—”

However, Esther was focusing on a slightly different aspect than Fred.

“We need to have a very splendid debutante ball. Absolutely glamorous and incredibly beautiful! I should discuss it with Matilda today.”

Laria shrugged her shoulders, looking at Fred as if to say, ‘See?’

Esther always enjoyed spending money. Of course, she was as good at earning as she was at spending. A gold vein burst in a mine she had invested in several years ago, earning a huge sum.

At that time, Fred sincerely advised his mother never to tell Count Rostri, his father, about it. It was because Count Rostri’s temperament was such that if he knew about such a large amount, he would get involved in gambling and end up in debt.

“Mother, you like spending money, and Father likes gambling. Even though the mine is successful, it’s not an amount that can handle both.”

So, Esther hid that fact from her husband and lived diligently, spending money for herself and her children.

“Matilda has an excellent eye. She used to work in the dressing room.”

The friendship between Esther and Matilda, which began when Esther went to get her clothes fitted while Matilda worked in the dressing room, has continued until now.

As the saying goes, opposites are attracted.

Esther and Matilda had opposite personalities, making them even closer. When the news circulated that Matilda was going to marry Kallaudin Icard, most noble ladies were burning with curiosity and anger, but Esther just shrugged and mumbled.

“No, did you ever date Young Lord Icard? Why get angry as if someone stole something from you?”

“No, but Matilda is way below the level of Duchy Icard!”

“Are you from Duchy Icard? Why worry about other people’s business?”

“But still… Anyway, it hurts that a girl with nothing got into that position just by looking good to Lady Olivia!”

“Then, you should have tried to look good to Lady Olivia as well.”

Esther replied succinctly.

“I’d rather earn and spend my own money than live off the money of Duchy Icard trying to impress Lady Olivia.”

Of course, due to her excessive attachment to money, Esther ended up with a failed marriage. Nevertheless, her friendship with Matilda became stronger over time.

“Fred, you stay at home. I paid a good sum to bring that teacher here! Anyway, let’s go quickly, Laria!”

As she shouted with sparkling eyes, Laria followed her with a light smile.


* * *


When they arrived at Duchy Icard, the first person Laria and Esther encountered was Kallaudin.

“Oh, you came to see Matilda.”

He greeted Esther and Laria briefly, sweeping his black hair before he turned to Laria and spoke.

“Evan is in the training ground. You can see him if you go there.”

“Oh, did you personally train him?”

Laria noticed Kallaudin’s hair slightly damp with sweat and asked cleverly. Then, with a mischievous laugh, she added.

“Did Evan win this time too?”

“….’This time too,’ huh, Laria.”

He frowned slightly.

“Lately, I’m just not in great condition.”

Kallaudin had been personally teaching Evan swordsmanship since he was a child. Unlike the strained relationship between Count and Countess Rostri, the relationship with Duke and Duchess Icard was quite amicable.

Laria grinned with a twinkle in her eyes and responded.

“Ever since Evan turned nineteen, has your condition not been good often?”

“Laria, teasing adults like that…”

“Evan resembles the Duke so much, so he must be talented in swordsmanship. However, since the great Duke personally taught him, he must be excellent!”

“…In a friendly and good method.”

Her warm words made Kallaudin cough awkwardly, and he barely lowered the corners of his mouth. He then clenched his fist and gazed down at Laria.

“Anyway, Laria.”


“When you’re all grown up, how about coming into our house? In the empire, there might not be many suitable suitors just like Evan.”

Esther chimed in with a hearty laugh.

“Oh Dear, Duke, you’re saying that again. But now you shouldn’t make such jokes anymore. Laria will be a real adult soon.”


Kallaudin’s eyes widened in genuine surprise.


“Of course. Laria is one year older than Evan, right?”

“That’s true, though Evan looks older than his age, and Laria looks so young. It’s easy to forget.”

Everyone, including Evan, had to nod solemnly at Kallaudin’s words. Evan was indeed very handsome, but he had long surpassed the appearance of a boy.

“Anyway, Laria, how about coming back after playing with Evan for a bit? Just play for a short while. Let’s talk about your debutante ball with Matilda! She’ll be very excited, too.”

Esther, already seeing Laria’s gaze headed toward the training ground, spoke warmly.

Laria nodded once and, after giving a courteous greeting to Kallaudin, began to walk briskly toward the training ground.

It was time to meet her oldest childhood friend, Evan Rainier Icard.