It was long after dinner when she returned to the capital with Lauren and Julia.
Naturally, the two were very upset.
Julia to Sir Escalee.
Lauren to the dorm head teacher.

“You did enough.
What’s wrong with your expression?”

The next day, Awning, whom she met at a teahouse, heard her story and asked as if he could not understand.
She didn’t know why he didn’t understand.
She said with a sigh.

“Nothing has changed.”

It brought Lauren in, but she didn’t get rid of her fears.
Still she was haunted by her fear that her guardian would sell her out as mistress, and she could never say otherwise.
That made her feel bad.
It upset her that there was basically nothing she could do for Lauren.

“That is her life.
Why do you care about it so much?”

Awning was right.
That’s Lauren’s life.
She had no obligation to care and no responsibility whatsoever.
But she was concerned nonetheless.

It’s kind of heartbreaking that she’s eighteen years old and already worried about becoming a mistress.”

She said that and checked her watch.
There was still some time left for the performance.
Awning said while sipping his tea.

“I mean, it’s her choice, unless she becomes the government.
Who forced her? Even if her guardian forced her to, she should be able to shake it off at the age of 18.”

What? She was surprised by Awning’s words and stared blankly at him.
Did he really think so? Awning saw her expression and spoke again.

“That’s right.
You said she is eighteen years old.
She knows what’s going on and that her guardian is trying to sell her to the government.
Then she should also know how to get out of that situation.
What else can you help her with?”

She didn’t know what to say to Awning, so she opened her mouth.
She understood the pressure Lauren was under.
It was like that when she got engaged.
Not just her parents, but everyone around her who knew her wanted her to get engaged, and they spurred countless men on her.
Among them, there were men who were ten years older than her.
She could say she was lucky to be engaged to a man her age with whom she could talk.
Usually, for aristocrats, the first thing to do was whether the level of the family was right.
There were still women who marry men ten or more years older than they were.


As if her expression was not good, Awning quickly put the teacup down and he took her hand.
And he said softly.

“I know you’re worried because you’re Miss Escalee’s friend.
But Miss Escalee is Lord Escalee’s daughter.
You’re going to live a different life than a girl like that.
Don’t worry.”

She didn’t know where else to start explaining.
For the first time, she felt that Awning was very far away.
It’s true that Lauren was worried because she’s Julia’s friend, but she’s absolutely not worried that Julia might be too.
She said as she removed her hand from Awning’s.

“I’m worried about a girl who’s worried about living the life she doesn’t want.
I’m not worried that I or the people around me might end up like that.”

Then, Awning seemed to be in a bad mood.
His expression hardened slightly.
Awning looked at her hand and he said a little stiffly.

“Why are you being so selfish?”


She didn’t know how the word selfish comes from this situation.
Awning said to her, who was perplexed.

“Take some advice.
Even with Count Burns that I told you not to be friendly.”

Oh, that.
But that had nothing to do with yesterday.
She went to pick up Lauren and Julia with Count Burns but… Besides, Count Burns invited them to a performance today.

She said with a sigh.

“I am trying.”

She didn’t even want to come to the show today.
But Count Burns invited all of her family, and she couldn’t reject the invitation.

“But you watch the show with Count Burns.”

She was dumbfounded by Awning’s point and looked at him.
If she had just accepted the invitation from Count Burns, she would have had nothing to say.
But she did her best on her own.

“So I asked you.
Can we go to the show together?”

Awning was also going to see the same performance today.
To decline Count Burns’ invitation, she contacted Awning to meet with him, and he declined.
His reason was that he had to watch it with his friend.

At her point, Awning kept his mouth shut this time.
But he soon opened his mouth again.

“You should have refused.
I don’t think going to see the performance with me will make Count Burns stay away from you.”

Was he being sarcastic? She tilted her and asked Awning.

“So Awning, are you saying that you wanted me to be home alone at this time, having refused the invitation all my whole family accepted?”

“Why are you taking it so sensitively? I’m just teaching you that you should have turned down Count Burns’ invitation.”

Teaching? Him? Did he dare? She started to feel worse and worse.
If it was because of Lauren earlier, now it was because of Awning.
She leaned back and put her back on the back of the chair.
And asked Awning in a low voice.

“If you hated me being with Count Burns so much, wouldn’t it be nice to see a performance with me instead of a friend?”

“How come? My friend asked me to see it first.”

“Then the three of us can look at it.”


Awning began to mumble.

What was that? She was staring at him with my eyes squinting.
She heard that Awning, like Count Burns, bought a box seat.
It wouldn’t be too narrow for her to fit in the box seats.
She started to wonder what the hell the two of them were talking about.
Was it her curse? Or was his friend another woman?

She said, crossing her arms in front of her chest.

“I understand you don’t want me to be friendly with Count Burns.
I don’t like it when you’re too close with other girls.”

Well, it’s because he was alone with his best friend to swear about her, she had no intention of stopping that.
Awning also told her about his fights with Lord Hudson from time to time.
If he told her about his fight with his best friend, he would tell Lord Hudson about his fight with her.
Maybe that’s the reason for the awkwardness between her and Lord Hudson.

“Neither do I like that you spend too much time with Sir Hudson.
Same thing today You asked to see a performance together to refuse Count Burns’ invitation.”

Still, Awning refused to let her see the performance with his friend.
But she was not even going to see a performance alone with Count Burns.
He invited the whole family, and her mother and Oliver readily agreed.
After all, what Awning asked was that she be home alone while he’s having fun with his friends and her family was out having fun.

“Do you really have to go to a show with me or Countess Burns? You can go with another friend.”

Awning said what he was silent about.
Between that and silence, maybe silence was better.

She asked back.

“You must see Lord Hudson, too? Can I see you with another friend?”

“Marcel and Count Burns are different!”

It was different just because Marcel was Awning’s best friend, and Count Burns had only recently become close to her family.
But if you looked at it that way, there was nothing like it in the world.
Just as she and Awning’s position was different.

She checked her watch and stood up.

“You are the one who is selfish, Awning Rencid.
I don’t want to forcibly find another friend to see the performance in order to accommodate your selfishness.”

“Can’t you just do for once what I ask?”

“It’s not just once.”

Don’t hang out with Earl Burns, don’t interfere with Lord Hudson playing alone.
See a show with other friends.
There were already three.

Wasn’t it selfish to call them one? She had no intention of talking to anyone who accused her of being selfish on a selfish subject.
Sometimes she had to go to the theater.


As she tried to back away, Awning quickly grabbed her wrist.
He said as he pulled her.

“What will people say if you are engaged and go to a show with another man?”

What? Was he threatening her now? She was dumbfounded and opened her mouth.
She had never done anything worthy of pointing the finger at Count Burns and her.
No, she didn’t do anything to raise suspicion from others.
Today’s performance was not just with Count Burns, but with the whole family.
She said, trying to pull her wrist out of his hand.

“Then what do you think people will say if you and your friend go to a show alone, and my family goes to a show with Count Burns, but I’m the only one left?”

Finally, Awning flinched.
Then, a black shadow intervened between them.

“Lady Biscon.”

She was startled by the familiar voice and raised her head.
But she had to raise it a little more to see Count Burns, that was there.
He looked at her and nodded his head in greeting.

“You are here early.”


At the same time, Awning’s scream rang out.
What? As she looked up in surprise, Awning held his hand with his fresh red face.
His wrist, to be exact.
Come to think of it, he let go of her wrist.
She was about to ask why, but only then did Count Burns say hello to him, as if he had found the awning.

“Lord Rencid was there.”

What? It seems that Awning’s scream was because of CountBurns, but she didn’t know why.
She looked at the two of them alternately with a frown on her brow, then quickly made a face.

“You, you, now…”

“Are you going to the show with Lady Biscon?”

Awning was about to say something, but Count Burns asked.
Huh? She didn’t know why he asked such a thing, so she shut her mouth.
To Count Burns’ question, Awning opened his mouth with his bright red face and said.

“I, I hear you invited her?”

“Then it seems you two met here by chance?”

This time it was a question directed at her.
She shook her head and said.

Awning also decided to watch the performance with his friend, so I was drinking tea for a while before going in.”

“Is that so?”

A look of surprise crossed Count Burns’ face.
He looked straight at Awning and asked.

“Watching the show alone with a friend and not with your fiancé?”

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