A long time after the carriage had departed, Felix was silent. With his arms crossed, he just looked out the window at the buildings passing by.
His black hair was scattered on his forehead, he took off the hat that he had been wearing all day. Lucy peeped into his face pretending to fix her posture.
He was clearly dressed in old, shabby clothes, but his natural nobility seemed to emanate from his manner. Even though he had hidden his blonde hair, which was considered a symbol of the prestigious Berg family, his aristocratic appearance could not be hidden.
Looking quietly out the window, he looked deep in thought. The atmosphere was different from his usual playful appearance.
……Come to think of it, I think you were going to say something in the oak tree in the botanical garden.
Lucy thought, taking her eyes back to his profile. Clearly, his lips were twitching as if he had something to say in the wooden cave.
However, when he was left alone with Lucy, he just quietly looked out the window.
There was now more deep blue color than red in the sky. Lucy looked at the scenery as the sun slowly disappeared over the mountain.
“You were tired today, right?”
Felix asked suddenly. Lucy turned her head to him. Before she knew it, he was sitting with his arms folded and looking at her.
“From dealing with that crazy kid.”
“Ah…… but it was fun. It’s my first time going to a botanical garden.”
“Yeah, it was fun. It’s amazing… It’s weird…….”
He frowned as he looked at the ceiling for a moment as if he had recalled the strange plants he had seen in the botanical garden.
Immediately after loosening his expression, he picked up a small package he had placed next to him. It was the small pot that Lucy got from the botanical garden. He wiggled his hands as he untied and tied the wrapping straps.
“I hope we can go to the places we haven’t seen together.”
He mumbled. Lucy couldn’t answer back at that.
Are you serious?
No matter how much she thought about it, Felix’s disguise today seemed to be because it was burdensome to show people who he was with. He was conscious of the gazes of others.
But on the other hand, he acted as if he wanted to be with Lucy. The person who joined suddenly tried to kick Noel out all day as if he were an uninvited guest.
I really don’t understand you, sunbae.
The more she tried to guess what’s he’s thinking, the more complicated her mind became.
When there was no response from Lucy, silence fell between the two. Only the regular sound of horseshoes filled the carriage. She wanted to go quietly for a while, but Felix opened his mouth again.
“……and I’ve never been mad at you.”
Lucy looked up. Felix was now turning completely to her and looking at her with serious eyes. Lucy pondered the meaning of what she had just heard.
Then she remembered. That night, what she said to Felix.
“Sunbae. I don’t know why you’re angry, but……. Regardless of how you feel, I’ve enjoyed spending the last few weeks with you.”
Felix hesitated and went on.
“As you said then…… I enjoyed the time with you, too. Of course, it’s still the case.”
Lucy sat blinking her eyes at his calm words. She didn’t expect to hear it from him, so she was dumbfounded.
As Lucy sat still without a reply, Felix added in a strong tone because he thought she was suspicious of his words.
“I mean it.”
Despite her refusal to have any hope for her relationship with him, the moment she heard his words, her heart pounded helplessly.
She drew her breath slowly. Felix on the other side also took a shallow breath and lowered his head. Staring at the shaking floor, he said quietly.
“And I… I’ll be a duke.”
This time again, it was a word that she didn’t understand.
“You’re supposed to be the duke.”
Felix smiled weakly at Lucy’s words.
“Yes, that’s right. I’m supposed to be the duke.”
But at the next moment, his eyes changed resolutely.
“Yes, I will be a duke. So perfect that even my father can’t help it. So, you and Adrian…….”
Lucy waited for words to follow. But Felix shut up and just stared at her. The look in his eyes was so different from what she had ever seen.
Half hopeful but half desperate.
“I have something I really want to tell you, but it’s hard to say now.”
He opened his mouth again.
“Of course, I know how upset and frustrated you have been until now. But… Can you wait a little longer? Until I can say it proudly. Until no one dares to interfere in my decision.”
Felix’s eyes looked firmer than ever.
“If your heart doesn’t change until then…… I won’t want anything more.”
Lucy sat facing him as if she had forgotten how to breathe. She thought she could understand what he said.
Does he already know how I feel?
Obviously there is no future with him, so she only thought she should distance herself from him.
But now, listening to him, it seemed that the status and background that had frustrated her were just trivial matters and flew away.
His firm voice and eyes look like it’s saying, “I feel the same about you,” or is she over thinking?
If he also wants to be with her in the future, and if he thinks it’s possible…….
Is it okay to trust him?
Before long Lucy nodded without realizing it.
I hope what you are trying to say to me is what I hope you will say.
Only then did Felix sigh as if he had let go of his mind.
Regardless of what conversation was taking place inside, the carriage was still running faithfully toward its destination.
* * *
The carriage stopped. The coachman approached and opened the door. Felix, who got off first, reached out to Lucy. She hesitated a little, but soon took his hand and stepped down to the ground.
The atmosphere was a little different from when they were in the carriage. Lucy felt something fluttering in her heart.
“It was fun today.”
Felix said, as if trying to keep her excited mood from coming down.
“Shall we go in then?”
He put on his hat again and turned to the front gate.
The two walked along the promenade on the campus toward the dormitory. By the time the light from the dormitory began to be clearly visible, a person came out of the academy’s main building.
Even without coming close, they could tell that it was Adrian, just by looking at the dimly shining blonde under the dim sky.
Adrian walked with a smile as if he recognized Lucy first, and tilted his head when he saw the figure of Felix standing next to Lucy.
As soon as he approached them, his eyes narrowed when he realized that the face hidden under the hat was his older brother.
Adrian rolled his eyes around and looked at his brother’s black hair, old clothes, etc.
“What’s with your appearance?”
Soon his gaze shifted from Felix to Lucy. Soon he asked when he noticed that she was in her outwear.
“Did you two go out?”
“……Yes, in the botanical garden.”
Felix, who was taking a break, answered reluctantly.
“A botanical garden?”
Adrian looked at Felix with a quizzical look. It was like, “Were you interested in something like that?”
“Two of you?”
Thinking about something, he asked a question carefully.
“……were you that close?”
“Noel was with us but he went home to see his parents earlier.”
Lucy made a quick round.
“What an interesting combination.”
Adrian murmured, sweeping his chin with his hand. He looked as if he could not imagine how the friendship began. However, the next moment, he immediately shook off his doubts and asked a question with a purely curious face.
“So, how was the botanical garden? Felix, I’m surprised you went to see the flowers.”
“There was no such thing as a flower. No, was there? Can you call that a flower……?”
When Felix hesitated while answering, Adrian burst into laughter, saying, “What the hell are you talking about?”
He said to Lucy, still smiling.
“Let’s go, Lucy. I’ll take you to the front of the lady’s dorm.”
“I’ll take her there.”
Felix quickly interrupted his brother.
“I’m afraid Lucy will feel uncomfortable.”
“Do you feel uncomfortable with me?”
Felix asked Lucy with a sullen look. Lucy shook her head in surprise.
“If you ask her so openly, I’m sure she’ll say no.”
At Adrian’s words, Felix seemed slightly offended. Lucy broke into the conversation quickly.
“You don’t have to take me. I can go to the dormitory by myself.”
Only then did the twins scratch the back of their heads at the same time, realizing that the place they were talking about was not in the dark back alley but in the middle of the academy campus.
“Then I’ll be on my way.”
Lucy turned toward the girls’ dormitory, hiding her regret for some reason.
Because Adrian was watching, she couldn’t say much to Felix. I only glanced at him for a moment and then turned.
Not missing the brief moment, Felix spoke with his mouth. It was fortunate that it was dark. Lucy walked hurriedly, lowering her head and hiding her red cheeks.
* * *
It’s uncomfortable, but she felt relieved that she got a sponsor, and had a change of mood at the botanical garden over the weekend.
And the faint hope of her relationship with Felix.
With mixed feelings, Lucy was finally able to gradually escape the shock of being in the fourth spot in the school.
Now, she doesn’t have to run to check the bulletin board. She is also firmly determined not to repeat the same mistake again.
But she couldn’t stop feeling bitter every time she ran into Eric Roman at the academy.
Eric has been hiding from Lucy after the theft. He hurriedly runs away when he sees Lucy walking in the hallway. However, since they are in the same grade, it was inevitable that the classes they took would often overlap.
In addition, he even conducted an interview with a newspaper company, as he was so thrilled to be in first place after only being in second place for a long time.
No student has ever made such a fuss about topping the midterm exam.
“It’s a bummer.”
Colin, who was walking with Lucy, found Eric and spoke. Eric was being interviewed by a man who appeared to be a newspaper reporter on a bench on the campus.