Chapter 25 (I’ll Always Protect You)
The man’s large hand quickly wrapped around Lariette’s shoulder and pushed it away from him. Perhaps it was urgent, but his hands were rougher than usual.
Asrazan looked down at Lariette with a look of embarrassment. His blue eyes fluttered softly as he wondered if she might have noticed his condition.
However, Lariette’s face was the same as usual except for a little startled by the sudden movement. Her amethyst-purple eyes were still clear.
Lariette called out his name in a curious voice. After hearing her pure voice, Asrazan was relieved.
He awkwardly released Lariette’s body and cleared his voice. Then he opened the door as if nothing had happened.
“Is this enough?”
“It’s a little lacking, but I’m satisfied!”
Lariette clasped Asrazan’s hand with both hands as if it was a pity, and answered brightly. It was an innocent look.
But contrary to her appearance, her head was sly and insidious.
‘Hm, he’s in good health.’
It was overshadowed that I thought about whether to curse a specific part of his lower body just before going to bed last night. Just by brushing it very briefly, Lariette could see that it was unusual.
Gulp. I drooled without realizing it. It was very difficult to maintain a blank look.
However, if he noticed, he might have run away again, so she struggled to calm her pounding heart.
Asrazan made the excuse that it was a little cold, put on the coat hung next to him and fastened the buttons tightly. The long coat covered his thighs well.
It was fortunate for Lariette, who had deliberately avoided looking down.
As if it was still difficult to walk right away, Asrazan slightly changed the topic and continued the conversation.
“Come to think of it, you wear that bracelet often these days. It seems like you’ve always worn it since a few days ago.”
“Ah, this? Pretty, right? Doha gave me….”
Concentrating too much on other things, Lariette spat out the words without thinking in her head. She paused, but the most vital information had already come out of her mouth.
Asrazan’s eyes narrowed in an instant. It was a name he never thought would come out in such a situation.
‘If it was meant to subside, that would be great.’
He had only heard another man name, but the heat that had taken over his body was gone. Instead, a thicker and more unpleasant flame swelled from his stomach. It was a flame called Jealousy.
I just wanted to catch that silver-haired guy right away and put Lariette away where he couldn’t see it. It feels like hell.
However, what he had read a few days ago in A Guide to A Great Dating With Her held him like a shackle.
<A little jealousy can strengthen a relationship, but if it is frequent or severe, it is easy to make your lover tired. If you want to be happy with her for a long time, try not to show jealousy as much as possible.>
Why the hell are there so many boring things? It was frustrating for Asrazan.
“Asrazan, don’t get me wrong! It’s just that Doha gave me an item enchanted with divine enchantment for my health!”
Lariette hastily explained. It was because she was afraid that he would run away in disappointment.
However, Asrazan smiled strangely and pretended to be calm. He tried to raise the corners of his mouth and even smiled.
“I don’t, misunderstood. It could be a gift between friends.”
“Yes, of course. It’s okay to spend time with him when I’m busy. You will be bored.”
Asrazan was so engrossed in playing a man without jealousy that he dug his own grave.
After he finished speaking, he wanted to say goodbye, but he couldn’t turn back. Because Lariette was making a moving expression on her face.
At the time, she was very bored because she had nothing to do when he was busy. However, she refrained from going out with Doha because she feared her lover would not like it, and it was only thrilling to believe him like this.
“Asrazan, I love it!”
Lariette forgot what had happened before, jumped up and fell into Asrazan’s arms again. Asrazan, who was regretting what he had said, accepted her quite naturally.
Seeing Lariette’s bright smile seemed to lighten the infinitely heavy heart. But the moment her bracelet rubbed against his finger, jealousy surged again like a wave.
But once I imitated a man without jealousy, I couldn’t show it anymore.
* * *
The next day, Asrazan left for the Palace to attend a meeting.
It seemed that the issue was quite urgent to see that he was forced to leave Lariette even though he didn’t want to leave. Roughly speaking, it was said that there was a conflict with the Danube Kingdom, a small country on the outskirts of the Kharshan Empire.
After seeing Asrazan looking at me with lingering eyes until the end, Lariette went back to her room and prepared to leave. It was the day I met Doha.
As usual, Doha arrived at the Duke of Kandel’s residence on time. He was habitually late for the temple’s grand meeting and kept his promise to Lariette like a sword. If Joshua had seen it, he would have been bitten.
“Hello, Doha! Are you wearing glasses today? You also loosened your hair.”
“Hello, Rie. Somehow I want to. Is it better to tie it up?”
“No, you look pretty even when you untie it!”
“It’s an honor to see you like that.”
Doha smiled slyly and reached out towards Lariette’s head. Then he tapped her hair ornament with his finger.
“Is this your first decoration? It’s pretty, Rie.”
As he said, it was the first decoration she used. It was studded with beautifully crafted purple jewels, and gold wrapped around them in a refined manner. At a glance, it seemed obvious that the price would be quite expensive.
“Hehe, thank you.”
When Lariette heard compliments on my headdress, she smiled very happily and expressed her gratitude. Probably because it was a decoration that Asrazan presented this morning.
‘How did you know I needed a headdress! It’s cute.’
Asrazan emphasized that it was given without meaning, but the intention was obvious to Lariette. Isn’t it clear to anyone that Asrazan secretly checked the bracelet Doha gave me?
Doha gazed at Lariette’s smiling face throughout the treatment. I hated her for being with me and thinking about someone else.
“Doha, do you have time today? Why don’t you go out to play with me?”
“… Did you say that your boyfriend is okay?”
“Yes! He’s fine now. He seems to trust me a lot, doesn’t he?”
You must be very happy, yes. Doha muttered in a low voice. It was very dissatisfying to hear her boast.
As soon as Lariette and Doha finished the treatment, they got on a carriage and left the mansion. It was a spontaneous outing, so I decided to head downtown.
The first place I stopped after getting off the carriage was a dessert shop. It was the place I went to when I was working on the Jealousy Operation.
Lariette spent the money lavishly as if to pay for the past days she had been robbed of Doha. Asrazan didn’t like sweet desserts very much, so it was a good idea to eat it with Doha.
Somehow they ended up moving in the same order they did on Jealousy Operation Day. Because I couldn’t think of a place to go.
While heading to the market, Doha raised an eyebrow and asked suspiciously.
“Are you really going to pay everything today?”
“That’s right— it’s the last revenge!”
Tell me what you want! Lariette confidently waved a pocket of money. Doha laughed out loud at the dignified appearance.
“Then, buy the bracelet I mentioned last time.”
Lariette urged him to say something more expensive. The bracelet I saw last time was quite pretty, but it was too cheap compared to the gift I received from him.
But Doha insisted that it was good.
“You chose it for me because it suits me. I’ll take it.”
“Uh huh, so stubborn.”
Lariette shook her head in a sign of surrender. He was so stubborn.
Fortunately, the silver bracelet I saw at that time was still unsold. The price was quite high for an item in the market, so no one seemed to have bought it.
It wasn’t comparable to a bracelet with divine magic, but it was the most expensive one available around here.
When Lariette offered to buy a bracelet, the store owner looked as refreshing as if he had taken out his sick tooth.
Doha tried to wear the bracelet she bought after saying thank you to Laliette However, it was difficult to do it alone, so he kept messing with it.
Of course, it was a piece of work.
“Rie, can you put this in? It’s hard because I don’t wear it often.”
“Yeah, give it to me.”
Lariette accepted the bracelet without hesitation. Then she carefully began to put it on his wrist.
As I put the bracelet on,I could feel his arm was firm. It was not noticeable because it was covered by a pretty face and neat suit, but his muscles were strong. It wasn’t perfectly hard like Asrazan, but it was enough to tell him that he was in good shape like most of the knights.
“Done. Do you like it?”
“Yeah, even more because my friend put it.”
Doha rolled his eyes wildly and smiled charmingly. If it wasn’t for Lariette, who had quite a bit of immunity to Asrazan and Doha’s faces, it was a smile that would grab someone’s heart right away.
“Then, shall we go somewhere else?”
“Oh, wait a minute. I’ll buy one more!”
Just as he was about to move to another place, Lariette suddenly turned and moved to another store. Doha followed her with a puzzled expression.
Lariette stood in front of a nearby store and carefully looked at the items. And soon, as if she had found what she wanted, she shouted, “Oh!”
“I will buy this!”
“Oh, good to see you. This is a gemstone found only in the Danube Kingdom…”
The merchant was excited at the thought of selling valuable items and began to explain. Lariette nodded her head and listened.
Meanwhile, Doha narrowed his eyes and looked at the item Lariette had chosen. A brooch for cravat studded with black gems. Someone immediately came to his mind.
The face, which had loosened up earlier when Lariette fastened the bracelet, suddenly became cold. Even knowing that she was obsessed with the monster Duke, he felt twisted.
“Doha, let’s go!”
Lariette, who bought a brooch for Asrazan, turned around with a fresh face. Doha smiled at her, but his golden eyes were cold.
They leisurely strolled through the streets of the market. Doha’s voice was a little lower than before, but it wasn’t particularly different.
The conversation went smoothly without any blockages, and it was nice to walk as if there were no people around because the time was ambiguous.
By the time I entered the sparsely populated street, Doha brought up a new topic as if it had suddenly come to mind.
“Come to think of it, strange rumors have been circulating.”
“… Rumor? Like what?”
Recalling the memory of being hit in the face by Raon at the Imperial Castle not long ago at the word of rumors, Lariette stiffened her body and asked.
But the rumors Doha spoke of were not what she expected.
“It’s been a while. The Duke of Kandel cut off Marquis Segreb’s arm in the theater. The reason was that the Marquis was unaware and tried to harm the Duke’s pink-haired lover… Isn’t that you?”
“… Aside from the pink hair, did you have any other information?”
“No, there was nothing else.”
Lariette stopped with a serious expression and remained silent. However, it was difficult for the pink-haired woman to find out that she was Lady Blanche.
No matter how much Doha reveals the identity, it was clear that bad things would happen if it got into her parents’ ears. At any rate, if her parents approached Asrazan and took their daughter, she would not be able to raise her heads in shame.
“Rie, are you okay?”
When Lariette’s complexion suddenly darkened, Doha bowed his head to check on her well-being. Soon, a faintly trembling body came into his sight.
“it’s okay. It doesn’t matter.”
It wasn’t a big deal, but her face was pale. The plump lips that always smiled were trembling and shaking.
Doha reached out and gently touched Lariette’s cheek. Then he slowly lifted her up and made eye contact with him.
“Rie, My Lady. Look at me.”
“I’m really okay….”
“It will be fine.”
Doha cut off Lariette’s formal words and spoke firmly. The golden eyes that had cooled down were full of kindness.
“It will be fine.”
Doha repeated the words, slowly conveying the divine power through his hands. As a bright light spread through her body, the fear gradually subsided.
“Trust me. After all, isn’t I your exclusive Priest?”
“… As a junior priest?”
“Hey, you were ignoring me like that. Even if it’s embarrassing, I’ll have to go up to the top Priest.”
At the playful voice, Lariette let out a soft laugh. Although it was embarrassing to suddenly see her like this, I was very grateful for Doha’s heart that thought of me.
Doha spread his chest out as if he was acting, and then made a confident claim.
“You can count on me. The young lady’s most reliable priest and friend. I will always protect you.”
Lariette waving her hands at the pretentious words and smiled. Doha raised one eyebrow to show dissatisfaction with her reaction, but in the end he smiled.
However, until this moment, Lariette did not know. She had no idea that what he had promised would be protected so quickly.
Suddenly, an unknown sound was heard. Lariette and Doha looked up at the source of the sound.
The walls of the buildings around them were cracking at high speed. And as soon as he recognized it, the stone buildings collapsed in an instant.
There was no time to scream. Lariette hurriedly snapped her fingers and used protective magic, but knew that she couldn’t survive among the collapsing buildings with just that much magic.
‘I’m going to die anyway…!’
If It wasn’t Doha. He was a bright young man and Lariette’s precious first friend.
Therefore, Lariette drew the maximum mana without hesitation and used protective magic layer by layer toward Doha.
And she closed her eyes to accept the pain. The last thing I saw was Doha’s handsome face with a puzzled expression among the crumbling stones.
I felt heavy with deep regret.
Soon all the stones hit Lariette and Doha.