71. Two Good Friends
“Um… you both seem to get along very well?”
I was afraid to talk with Nigel and Vincent.
“Indeed. Vince is my best friend. Back in the academy, when the entire class went to capture a dungeon, I was in the same party as Vince.”
“Stop bringing up such a foregone story.”
Nigel was amiable, while Vincent had a bitter look.
The fact that Nigel referred to Vincent using a nickname proved that they were on good terms.
“I miss you. I remember back in the academy, we all reached the unexplored bottom floor of the dungeon thanks to Vince!”
“Hmph. If you had proceeded a little more carefully, the bottom floor could’ve been captured sooner. You’re as ignorant as always.”
“Hahaha, you’re as blunt as always, Vince!”
The two were immersed in nostalgia.
I was left alone. I couldn’t enter their conversation.
Is it really okay for me to be here!?
Perhaps being considerate, Nigel released Vincent’s shoulder as he turned towards me.
“Vince, let me introduce you. She’s Eliane. There’s no way you could’ve forgotten about her, after all, I keep mentioning her in our letters. However, this your first meeting, right?”
“…I see, she’s the rumored one…”
Vincent turned his gaze towards me.
When he stared at me, I felt like I was suffocating. It was as if I was being glared at by a snake.
By the way, even though Vincent was a man, he was very beautiful.
The way he glared at me, it was as if I would be sucked into his gaze… he was such an enigma.
“Nice to meet you. I’m Vincent. I’ve heard about you from Nigel.”
“Nice to meet you…”
Vincent extended his hand, and I took it.
Honestly, I wanted to escape. But I couldn’t help but respond to his handshake.
“Why are you trembling?”
“I, no, I wasn’t—!?”
Because I was scared!
“Fumu, this white girl sure is funny, Nigel.”
“Do you like her?”
“Yes, she piqued my interest.”
Vincent released my hand.
Fu, ha! Fu, ha!
Take a deep breath!
Eliane, calm down—!
Even so, what did he mean by that!?
It was as if Vincent’s stare could pierce through my heart.
Honestly… I had a slightly unpleasant impression about him.
I must remain vigilant.
“Speaking of which, Nigel, do you know what happened to that kingdom?”
He turned around.
Nigel and Vincent made a serious expression as they resumed their conversation.
“It seems that the rumors about the demon invasion were true. They invaded the royal capital.”
“I see. Indeed, there’s also been talk regarding the fall of the royal capital.”
“It’s unclear from the outside. Anyway, if the demons are serious, there’s no way they are being held within the royal capital.”
“It seems that no requests for rescue have been received by other kingdoms either—including Lynchgiham.”
“Perhaps, the demons had already captured the royal capital before they could dispatch any such requests. Well, I don’t think anyone would have helped that kingdom unless there was something in it for them, though.”
The royal capital—the kingdom’s central.
A city like that… was destroyed by demons?
No, I already knew that would happen.
Until now, I had been maintaining a barrier, and there was also Douglas nearby. Hence the demons didn’t attack. But once we disappeared, there was nothing to stop them.
…I had nothing to do with them anymore.
But I wondered why.
There was a gnawing sensation in my chest.
“For now, it’s only the royal capital, but the attack can spreads here. We need to raise our guard.”
“To do so, we should focus our budget on military develoment. This kingdom invests too little on its military considering its size.”
“Well, I’m aware of that… in fact, that’s what I’m about to discuss.”
“Yes, I understand. I will leave the two of you be.”
An important discussion was going to unfold. I shouldn’t there for I’d only hinder the conversation.
…That wasn’t the biggest reason, by the way.
I could finally escape from that place! Being in the same room as Vincent was both suffocating and unbearable! Inwardly, I was delighted.
I left with a slight sullenness that I couldn’t comprehend.
“Nigel, have you finished your conversation?”
I had an exchange with Nigel.
“Yes. It got heated. After all, it’s been so long.”
He smiled bitterly.
Vincent had left.
However, I had to remain alert. It seemed that he was relaxing in one of the castle’s chambers.
“That… Lord Vincent, is somehow scary?”
I wanted to frankly tell him, “I’m not good with him.” But such wasn’t the case.
“Haha. He may come off like that. However, underneath it, he’s a good person.”
“But, isn’t he called the, ‘Duke of Ice’? That doesn’t sound good…”
“Well, that’s what others say. Besides, isn’t ice cool?”
Nigel laughed amusingly. Perhaps he was joking.
I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to laugh.
He had an untouchable aura. His personality was also ruthless.
For that reason, he was granted the title, ‘ice’—was my guess.
“Well, you don’t have to worry so much. I understand what you’re getting at, Eliane.”
Nigel lightly tapped my shoulder.
Even though Nigel said that, I just couldn’t agree…
Well, it wasn’t like I’d talk to him often. I had no need to worry.
That was right. Despite my worries, he wouldn’t be in my life forever. I should relax.
At that time, I still didn’t know yet—
—the reason he was nicknamed the, ‘Duke of Ice’.
***T/N: It seems that as a way to hook readers, Author figured out that what’s missing from her story isn’t the chemistry and development between his/her two leads, but your cliche Ice Block of an ikemen with high authority who is a staple for 5 out of 8 shoujo LNs out there.
I mean, what are we supposed to do with the ikemens you insisted upon adding, Author? Ship them with your already engaged FL and have heated debates in comment section regarding who is more suited with Eliane? B-but, that’d require actual characters you can relate or at least care about!
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