Chapter 23: Every good story has a flip side
The next morning, Margaery was restless.
No, she appears calm on the surface.
She seems to be enjoying the morning garden elegantly, holding a steaming teacup in her hand.
In reality, from the moment Margaery sat at the garden table, she had been glancing over at the morning mist. Her eyes seemed to be both expecting someone to appear and afraid of their arrival.
——At that moment, the person she was waiting for arrived.
Her shoulders shook at the low voice. The tea cup trembled a bit, but it was within the acceptable range. Encouraging herself, Margaery smiled and turned to Julius.
“Good morning, Yuri-sama. Did you sleep well last night?”
“Please look. The mist is a little thinner this morning, and you can faintly see the surface of the Lower River. It’s fantastic and beautiful, isn’t it?”
Unable to bear the silence, Margaery clattered the cup back onto the saucer.
(Why isn’t he joining the conversation?!)
She trembled while leaning over the desk with both hands.
Yesterday, she accidentally hugged Julius in this garden. Moreover, it was on this garden terrace, which was the meeting place for Margaery and Julius every morning.
‘Why? Why did I do such a bold thing?’
After returning to her room last night, Margaery groaned loudly and rolled around on the bed. However, the sensation of hugging him wouldn’t disappear easily. The scent of his cologne and the texture of his hair that swayed lightly kept repeating in her mind, tormenting her.
To be honest, just being in the same room was overwhelming for Margaery. She had considered retreating and leaving it to Anya due to her poor health, but she had talked too big. She couldn’t run away now, and her pride wouldn’t allow it.
So she tried to hide her desire to escape and maintain a normal, adult demeanor.
(Oh, come on, is that all you can say?! Are you a broken radio or CD, for heaven’s sake?!)
It was when she was holding her head in frustration that she was called out.
She jumped when she was called out softly. When she tried to look up fearfully, Julius placed his hand on her head.
With a satisfied expression that Margaery had never seen before, Julius slowly stroked her head and said,
“Thank you for yesterday… thanks to you, my heart feels lighter.”
“I’ll try my best to face everyone this time. To be recognized by them… by me. From today on, I’ll do my best. Please take care of me.”
After managing to answer, Julius smiled softly.
He stroked Margaery’s head once more before leaving with a satisfied expression. Then, he turned his back and started stretching as usual.
Margaery couldn’t help but think seriously as she watched him stretch his arms and legs.
(Huh?? I like him.)
Maybe it was because Anya was nearby. Julius, who was doing warm-up exercises eagerly, was still in human form.
But she felt like she could see his invisible tail swaying. Julius, who started walking forward, was so brave and cool that it felt like her heart was being squeezed.
But what was that expression he had earlier?
Margaery tried not to think about it, but Julius was her favorite from her past life. He was her perfect type. Not only was he dazzling, but he smiled so happily. It was unfair. His face was also insanely attractive.
And above all…
(Did he just say ‘I'(俺 ore)? Did he refer to himself as ‘I’ (俺 ore)?)
Julius referred to himself as ‘私’ (watashi). It was obvious since they met in this world, and it was also the case in the novel.
So Margaery had never heard him refer to himself as ‘俺’ (ore). He didn’t know her, and it was definitely a side of him that he didn’t show to others.
TL: Same (I) in translation, but “Ore” is used in the conversation with someone close to you while “Watashi” is very formal.
(Isn’t that cheating? The side of him that only I know about… I can’t handle it anymore…)
Heat gathered on her cheeks.
The secretly cute animal ears, the animal tail style, and the red eyes that eloquently express his inner thoughts. Despite his arrogant attitude, his touch is always gentle.
All of it is special and known only to Margaery.
She vigorously shook her head to cool down her boiling thoughts.
(No, no, I can’t let this happen! My current goal is to break Julius-sama’s and my death flags! Until I can guarantee that, I won’t let myself be bound by Julius-sama!)
It might already be too late, but there was no one to stop her. With a futile determination in her heart, Margaery clenched her fists.
Anya sighed and advised her mistress.
“Ojou-sama? It’s very heartwarming to see you in maiden mode, but besides making various faces, isn’t there something you need to tell His Majesty first?”
“Who’s in maiden mode?! Oh, right.”
To start over, she coughed deliberately.
And Margaery called out to Julius, who was stretching his shoulders,
“Yuri-sama, do you have half a day to spare? Preferably with a break for lunch.”
“If I adjust my schedule, it’s possible. What is it for?”
“There’s a place I want to go with you.”
Julius turned around as if he had been hit by a spring. In his momentum, his wolf ears popped up, but he didn’t even notice as he muttered to himself.
“…Calm down. It’s Margaery we’re talking about. It’s not a date. This isn’t a date invitation. It’s probably something else. Got it, me?… Huh? Is something wrong?”
“I was thinking of inviting you on a date.”
When she answered with a smile, his tail popped up this time.
Julius was flustered and turned bright red, “Huh? What?!” Margaery thought to herself, “Gotcha,” and continued to sell her idea.
“The location we’re heading to is a beautiful lake surrounded by blooming Lurikasou grass. Do you know it? It’s on the royal family’s property, so there won’t be any disturbances. By the way, I’ll prepare a homemade lunch for us. How about it? Are you interested?”
“That sounds suspicious.”
Julius had been listening with shining eyes, but halfway through, he frowned skeptically. He put his hand under his chin and asked directly.
“There are too many benefits for me. What are the drawbacks?”
“It’s a double date.”
Margaery answered casually, and Julius groaned, “I knew it!”
She continued with a smile as he held his head in his hands.
“By the way, even if Yuri-sama rejects me, I will still go on the picnic. In that case, I will be a third wheel accompanying Serge-sama and Flora-sama on their date. I’m sorry, so I still plan to prepare a homemade bento.”
“I see. So if I don’t participate, my younger brother will eat my share.”
“That’s right. Depending on how you look at it.”
He understood quickly, which was helpful. Margaery smiled wickedly at him as he frowned in frustration.
And then, she presented the ultimate choice!
“Will you choose the cooking of the woman you love or run away from the double date with Serge-sama? Which one will you choose, Yuri-sama?”
What will be Julius’s answer————?