When Noel heard the reluctant greeting, his shoulders suddenly shook and started laughing. A grotesque laugh came out of his mouth.
Felix blushed even more and his eyes glowed furiously as if he were going to grab Noel by the collar right away. But Noel was just busy grinning whether he hadn’t seen the look or didn’t care at all.
Noel, who laughed to his heart’s content, seemed to have finally calmed down after a long time. He wiped his tear-filled eyes with his fingers and led Lucy to the table under the guidance of the staff.
You’ll see when we go out.
Felix’s eyes, following Noel’s back, seemed to be saying that.
Unlike the previous war of nerves, their meals were conducted in a relatively calm atmosphere. Noel, who was teasing Felix earlier, was calm as he ate. It’s probably because Felix was holding a fork and knife in both hands.
But this time other people were the problem. The people around keep glancing at Lucy’s table.
They took a look at Noel’s neat and luxurious appearance and turned to Felix, who sat across from him. Then he could hardly take his eyes off his old shirt and worn-out pants.
In the end, Felix also raised his head and began to stare at people openly as if those eyes felt uncomfortable.
Then, the customers who were looking opened their eyes wide, and then talked to each other again. They seemed surprised to see a young man, who seemed to be nothing but a servant, send a profane look to the nobles.
“Your disguise is perfect, but your acting is terrible, Phil. What kind of arrogant servant glances at the nobles like that?”
Noel, who found Felix’s uncomfortable expression, said with interest.
“I hope you put your heart into acting when you’re wearing props for disguise. And I’ve been wondering, where did you get those clothes?”
Lucy had no choice but to turn her head to look at Felix. She was also curious about where he borrowed such clothes from within the academy, where there were only aristocratic children.
“……I bought it because it was hanging in the old man’s cabin yard.”
Felix replied cumbersomely to Noel, who kept asking questions.
“So, it’s old man Fred’s clothes?”
Noel shook his head with a big smile.
“Even if it’s old clothes, how can you take other people’s clothes?”
“Who took it? I honestly said I needed it and paid for it.”
As he spoke, Felix exaggeratedly sneered at him, as if he remembered something from the past.
“It’s not like I stole the clothes of someone who was washing. I mean, I paid a fair price for this piece of rag. I have a conscience.”
He spoke with particular emphasis on the last word. Noel, who had nothing to say after his sarcastic remarks about his brother’s bad hand habit, tried to change the subject by coughing.
“Anyway, clothes are clothes, but even your hair dye is perfect. Why don’t you keep your black hair? So, I won’t confuse you with Adrian sunbae.”
Lucy, who was about to put the cut meat in her mouth, shouted casually.
Perhaps because she shouted in a hurry, her voice was louder than expected, and she seemed slightly surprised. In a hurry, Lucy covered her mouth and cleared her throat.
“I thought it would be awkward if sunbae had black hair.….”
She excused herself. Then Felix murmured as he lowered his head again to his plate.
“I don’t want to go around with black hair. And I’m going to grow my hair again.”
Noel asked with delight.
“You made a good decision. Do you know how much I got confused because it was hard to tell you and Adrian sunbae apart? A few days ago, remember? I thought you were Adrian and pretended to know you.”
He continued with a frown.
“Do you know how embarrassed I was because you looked at me like a bug? Did you really have to give me so much humiliation in front of people?”
Noel pouted and complained long. But Lucy was so lost in thought that she was only poking at the meat, not listening to him.
In fact, Felix’s decision to grow his hair again, although she didn’t show it, was something Lucy welcomes.
Long hair glistening like gold thread.
The beautiful blonde used to curl gently on his forehead and broad shoulders whenever he swept it back.
Lucy liked his long hair.
Whenever she saw it, she felt an urge to stroke his head without realizing it. Of course, she never dared touch his head.
And maybe there will never have the chance of that to happen.
Lucy looked at Felix’s head secretly. Since the start of the semester, his hair has grown quite a bit, but not too obvious.
How long will it take for that hair to grow long again?
Lucy thought for a moment, recalling the long blond hair that was flying in the wind.
Then she felt that the ideas were a little useless, so she hurriedly put the meat back in her mouth.
* * *
At the end of the meal, the sky was tinged with a mysterious light. Looking at the spectacular view of the sunset mixed with blue, purple and pink, Lucy secretly swept her stomach down. She couldn’t walk properly no matter how much I called him.
“Thank you, Noel. It was a delicious meal.”
After leaving the restaurant, Lucy looked back at Noel and said,
“Oh, Felix paid for it here too.”
“Well, I guess he wants to look good on you.”
He whispered quietly.
Lucy looked back at Felix coming out of the restaurant and tried to approach him, but Noel caught him quickly.
“No, no, no.”
He grabbed Lucy by the shoulder, turned her around, and made her walk towards the square. In the meantime, he whispered so quietly that Felix could not hear.
“You’re going to say thank you again, right?”
“……I should say thank you because I’m thankful.”
Noel spoke as if he was rebuking his younger sibling.
“Sunbae, it’s not time yet.”
“Time for what?”
“You can’t accept a human being who doesn’t have any sense yet. So, keep pretending you’re not interested.”
Lucy sighed softly and pushed Noel away.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. You kept teasing Felix sunbae-nim today.”
“I’m not teasing him; this is all about helping you.”
Noel put his arm around Lucy’s shoulder again and pulled him closer.
“Just trust me. This is probably the most effective way!”
Soon there was a small scuffle between Noel, who was trying to walk close to Lucy, and Lucy, who shook him off. However, Noel repeatedly followed his own will and gave suspicious help.
“Why don’t you let go?”
Felix’s voice, like an arrow, flew through the back of his head and pierced him. Noel looked at Lucy and said triumphantly
“Did you see that? The response came right away.”
Then he looked back at Felix and replied with a wistful face.
“Why are you so clingy to people? She doesn’t seem to like it.”
“Who says she doesn’t like it? I’m having a very important conversation with Lucy. Mind your own business.”
As soon as Noel’s words were finished, Felix stopped in his seat. Then she stared at Noel and Lucy with a more shocked look than ever.
Then Noel shrugged and hit back.
“If it’s not you, then who?”
Felix’s eyebrows wiggled. Lucy hurried away from Noel and looked at Felix with anxious eyes. This is because she felt that his patience had reached its limit.
“…How are you going to handle the aftermath?”
Felix spoke low as if he were holding back his emotions. His voice was calm, but it felt more tense.
In response, Noel took a step back with his body shaking. He spoke slightly to Lucy, covering his mouth.
“I think that’s enough. If I touch you more here, it’ll backfire.”
Then he smiled and replied to Felix.
“I’ve already thought about how to handle the consequences.”
He suddenly waved across the street. There stood a fine carriage. The man waiting in the horse seat saw Noel and rose from his seat and politely bent down. Noel nodded to him and turned again and said,
“I’m sorry, but I have to go now. My father sent me a carriage.”
“Huh? You’re going home? Not in the academy?”
Noel nodded at Lucy’s absurd voice.
“Tomorrow is also a holiday. I’ll go home and relax.”
He looked at Felix with an expression of “is it ok now?”. Felix folded his arm and responded with an expression of “If you’re going. Hurry up and go”.
Noel rolled his eyes disapprovingly and greeted Lucy without time to catch him.
“Yeah, I’m going to get out of here. See you at the Academy, Lucy sunbae!”
Before Felix snatched the back of his head, Noel quickly ran towards the carriage. When his shrewd footsteps disappeared across the street, Lucy was left alone with Felix. Nervous, she posed stiffly.
Felix also scratched his forehead awkwardly, looking as if he didn’t know how to act when he was suddenly alone with Lucy.
Lucy, who was in a suffocating situation, is desperate for Noel’s presence again. She wanted Noel to come back and talk again, even if it was useless and meaningless.
As she stood with her back facing Felix, he broke the silence and opened his mouth first.
“Shall we go back now?”
Lucy barely nodded like a wooden doll squeaking and began to walk after him.
Arriving in a row of several carriages, the two rented a small private carriage to return to the Academy.
The distance from Bethel to Xenomium was certainly a few dozen minutes’ drive by carriage. It wasn’t that awkward when the three of them came in the morning, but it’s different now.
When she thought about sitting alone with Felix in this small space, Lucy’s heart pounded with tension.