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    Translated by alyalia
    Edited by popcorn


     

    Thump. Thump. Thump.

    Ben’s heart pounded loudly. He put his hand on his chest. His heart was pumping so strongly that he could feel his heartbeat. He even worried that he might die because his heart beats ten times faster than usual. His face hardened with embarrassment.

    ‘Why am I thinking like this…’

    He laid his hands on both of his flushed cheeks. It felt like their heat penetrated into his bones and burned his whole body.

    “Crazy, even if I go crazy…”

    He can’t believe that he had such impure thoughts towards Cersinia, who did him a favor.He can’t repay her kindness, but to have thoughts like that… He wanted to hide even in the rat hole in shame as if he had been caught red-handed.

    He needs to calm his mind down until Cersinia comes back. Ben got up and headed toward the door. He thought he would calm down quickly if he felt the cold wind blow on his hot face.

    The sun rose high in the afternoon. Ben was out in the yard skillfully washing the laundry he stumbled across. Since he was the youngest on the construction site, he was the one who did the cleaning and laundry which he became good at.

    However, he was not so skilled in cooking since he never did it. And it wasn’t need either, since they served a slice of bread and watery soup.

    “I wish I could cook…”

    If he knew how, he could make some food for Cersinia. He shook the water off his hands and hung up the laundry on the rope after hand washing them. The sun was nice and the wind was cool, so it would dry up quickly.

    Cersinia gave him one order: to stay still. But Ben wanted to see her smile. His hands were frozen because he washed the laundry with cold water, but if he could see Cersinia smile, he could have done this a hundred or even two hundred times. Not only hand washing clothes but other difficult work too.

    ‘I have to finish it perfectly before Cersinia arrives.’

    He speeded up a little more and hung out the laundry. He wanted her to come back as soon as possible. He couldn’t wait to see the corners of her mouth going up softly and the bright red eyes that shone affectionately.

    “Ben!”

    At that time, he heard the voice he had been waiting for. His head turned to the source of the voice. Ben didn’t have a tail, but he was ready to jump at Cersinia at any moment, like a puppy welcoming its master. Joy and a welcoming smile were already on his face. It was a look that made others happy when they saw him. Cersinia was coming up the hill, carrying heavy loads with urgent steps.

    “Cersinia.”

    Ben hurriedly ran toward her. He was worried that what she had carried was heavy. Going down the hill, he stood right in front of Cersinia. He reached out to pick up the bags, but Cersinia put the bags down first.

    “Are you okay?” Cersinia held Ben’s shoulders with both hands. She looked around his body to see if there was any injury. Her eyes were desperately examining his body. Ben groaned as she touched him, and his heart began to beat weirdly again. It was beating wildly without even trying to understand the situation.

    “I’m fine. Did something happen?” He asked anxiously, ignoring his beating heart.

    What happened in the village? Somehow, it felt like Cersinia had lost her composure, unlike usual.

    “Did anyone come to see you?”

    “No, nobody came.”

    “Really? That’s a relief.” Only then did Cersinia let go of his arm and let out a heavy sight.

    “What happened?” Ben asked, worried about Cersinia, who was breathing heavily in front of him.

    “I’m afraid that you broke the plate again,” Cersinia laughed as if it was nothing.

    Ben couldn’t take his eyes off that smile. No, he couldn’t take his eyes off those lips. Her lips curled into soft curves were like a trap. A trap that he couldn’t escape. Her red lips completely took his gaze. Again, his mind was filled with a desire to taste those lips.

    Ben swallowed his dry saliva. Even though he knew his thoughts were impure, he couldn’t stop. His heart was pounding faster than before. If this continued, it felt like his heart would burst like an inflated balloon that reached its limit.

    “What were you doing?” At Cersinia’s question, his spirit, which had left his body, returned. Only then Ben was able to lift his gaze from her lips.

    “While waiting for Cersinia, I did the laundry!”

    Ben smiled brightly hoping that his thoughts wouldn’t be discovered. However, his lips were trembling unusually so he hoped not to get caught.

    “Really? Good job!”

    Fortunately, Cersinia laughed and scattered his bangs with her hands, perhaps not feeling anything strange. For a moment, Ben’s eyes widened. The place that Cersinia had touched felt hot as if on fire. From that touch, his heart was pounding faster again.

    ‘Please…’ He groaned low inwardly.

    The desire to grab her white, slender hand and kiss her on every knuckle of her fingers was driving him crazy. Why are you thinking like this? It didn’t make sense to think his love toward her was like this, unless he is a pervert. What ugliness is this against her who is taking care of him with a good heart. Ben scolded himself.

    He smiled awkwardly at Cersinia and headed to the cabin while carrying the groceries bags. It was too much for him to forcibly remove the lingering feelings in his heart. So, he will embrace these feelings a little more. When it’s time to part away, the vain greed will naturally fade away. Ben firmly believed that it would be like that.

    * * *

    “I’m sorry.”

    Lewis looked at him and bowed. He released many men to investigate her. He even ran on his own feet but eventually failed to find the woman’s whereabouts. She hid so well that he couldn’t even get the slightest clue. Lewis’s closed lips trembled slightly, afraid that Viscount Montene’s criticism would pour out on him again.

    There was no sound other than their breathing in the study, which made Lewis even more nervous. He swallowed hard. Viscount Montene sat cross-legged on a turquoise velvet sofa wrapped in a bright gold frame. He lifted his teacup with a calm face.

    The sunset was setting through the wide window. Viscount Montene looked at the sunset leisurely and took a sip of tea elegantly. It wasn’t unexpected. When Lewis reported about it for the first time, he had guessed that Lewis wouldn’t be able to find that woman. Therefore, he had already made other plans. Viscount Montene put the teacup down on the table with a clattering sound.

    “Prepare 30 million shillings,” he said to Lewis, placing his clasped hand on his crossed legs.  

    “30 million shillings?” Lewis asked back, perhaps not understanding his intention.

    “Yes, she’ll get 30 million shillings from me, so I’m sure she’ll bring the slave with her in the next three days.”

    The woman certainly said that she would come to collect her money in a week. If he had prepared the money and waited, the woman would come to him as he pleased.

    “Sir, will you give money to her?”

    Uncertainty was written all over Lewis’s face, it was as if he was asking where the master who ran away because he couldn’t give her money was. Viscount Montene clicked his tongue at Lewis’s stupidity.

    “Tsk, it’s not that I don’t think like that. First of all, I have to give her the money so she will hand over the goods to me again.”

    Viscount Montene thought it was a virtue of the nobility to explain to ignorant humans one by one. He kindly continued his explanation while feeling superiority to Lewis, who was lacking.

    “I will get the goods first, then I will follow her and find out where she lives.”

    “W-What about after that?”

    “I’m going to get rid of her and get my money back,” Viscount Montene said with a mean smile.

    If he does such a thing inside the gambling house, there could be eyewitnesses. Of course, it was also because he didn’t want to create unsavory things in his business. After he found out where she lived, he was going to kill her when the night came. He had already hired a professional assassin because of the mysterious powers that Lewis had spoken about.

    He didn’t want to go this far, but if there was a bad rumor about his business, it would lead to bankruptcy.  How much money has been invested in his business? It doesn’t make sense that his sacrifice would lead to failure. In the first place, he made the system so that it was not easy to win, but how the woman managed to win a big sum of money was questionable. So, everything would be solved when that woman disappeared.

    “Yes, I understand. I’ll prepare 30 million shillings,” Lewis answered without hesitation. It would be offensive if Lewis said no, but he did what his boss told him. 


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