Limited Time, Kitchen Maid of the Fourth Knight Order ~I Got a Job Because I Don’t Want to Get Married~ – Chapter 20

𝐈 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐛𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐮𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲

“Huh?”

“Ah.”

“No way.”

“You’re early, aren’t you?”

Edgardo, who is eating cake, and Rolf, who is playing Jenga by himself, have an unexpected encounter with Rene, who seems to have brought a gift.

The three stand still, wondering how to address each other. Rene was said to maybe come, but no one thought he’d actually show up on the next holiday.

“Valka-sama, now that we’re here, may I speak?”

“. . .Yes.”

With a face as if he’s about to die, Edgardo puts down his fork.

“Rene-sama, please have a seat.”

“Ah. . .sure.”

Rene sits at the edge of the table, avoiding eye contact with Edgardo. His previous sarcastic tone has become unexpectedly subdued.

Rolf, who had been playing Jenga by himself, puts on a serious face.

“In this situation, it’s not good to hide things. Let’s leave it to Miss Norchev, who understands the situation the best.”

“Understood. If you have any objections, feel free to interrupt me loudly.”

Taking a deep breath to calm down. Rene mumbles something like, “Loudly, huh? Is that a noble lady’s suggestion?” but it’s ignored.

“Rene-sama, this is a place to relax and be ourselves without the masks we usually wear. First of all, Valka-sama has a sweet tooth.”

Edgardo visibly flinches but doesn’t interrupt, so I continue.

“Next, Ouldra-sama. He really likes Valka-sama.”

“Can’t say you’re wrong. . .”

“Kukura-sama has a two-faced personality. A bit sarcastic, actually.”

“You’re including me too?!”

“Sorry, but everyone here has to expose their secrets. . .”

“First I’ve heard of it?!”

Rene seems to have given up. His usually high-pitched voice has turned into a low growl.

“As for me. . .”

At this point, I can’t just not expose myself.

“Actually. . .”

How can I say this without offending anyone?

I can’t exactly say that I still remember my past life. The only other secret is that I’m not good with men.

The three people here are no longer a problem, but if I say it the wrong way, it could make them uncomfortable.

A warm hand gently covers the one I had clenched.

“You don’t have to force yourself to say it. I know Alice’s secrets, and I know you’re not trying to hide them.”

“Rene-sama. . .”

Looking up at his angelic face, Rene’s hand is suddenly grabbed and pulled away. Rene grimaces as his wrist is tightly gripped.

“Ouldra-sama?! What’s going on?!”

“Huh? Oh, uh. . .”

Rolf suddenly lets go and looks at me, puzzled.

“I don’t know myself. . .maybe. . .no.”

Rolf shakes his head lightly and bows to Rene.

“Sorry, we’ll go to the medical room later. My apologies to you as well, Edgardo. This was your time to step in.”

“Don’t worry about it. I couldn’t do anything. Thanks, Rolf.”

“Don’t worry about me. My wrist is fine.”

“I apologize, Kukura. Miss Norchev, may I speak with you for a moment?”

 ㅤ

Noticing that I was feeling left out, Edgardo struck up a conversation with me.

“When did Miss Norchev and Rene Kukura become so close?”

“It was during the holiday when Valka-sama and Ouldra-sama couldn’t come.”

“You became close in just one day?!”

“Well, yes.”

Edgardo seems somewhat down, but from my perspective, it wasn’t just one day.

I’ve been working in this order of knights for several months now. During that time, many knights, starting with Roa-sama, have shown concern for me. They respected me as a person without crossing any boundaries or making inappropriate jokes.

There’s no need to be overly cautious even if they are handsome. Edgardo and Rolf taught me that.

“It’s thanks to Valka-sama and Ouldra-sama. I. . .used to be uncomfortable around men. But Valka-sama took the time to change my thinking. Not all men in the world are scum. So, if it seems like I’m close to Rene-sama, it’s thanks to Valka-sama and Ouldra-sama. Thank you.”

It’s rare for me to thank someone so earnestly. As I blush and smile, Rene unexpectedly speaks up.

“Wow, this is quite a situation.”

I wish the person causing the trouble wouldn’t say that.

“Miss Norchev. . .the one who should be thanking you is me. Really. . .thank you. If you don’t mind, please call me by my name, not my family name. And let me call you Miss Alice.”

“I’d like to do that too. We’ve become friends, so let’s close the distance a bit more.”

“Huh.”

I’m not really fond of my own name. Although it’s a precious gift from my parents, hoping for a bright future, it’s too cute for me.

The name “Alice” immediately brings to mind a young girl who wandered into Wonderland. Blue apron dress, fluttering blonde hair.

The name of that adorable girl doesn’t suit me, and I feel itchy when called by it.

Of course, I’m happy when my family calls me by my name, and my friends do too. But even Thor’s friends, who have visited our home many times, called me by my family name.

Only a few people call me by my name, and among them, the only males are my dad and Thor.

But to suddenly have the two of them call me by my name feels like a high hurdle. It’s a bit different with Rene, as we knew we both had sharp tongues and felt a sense of closeness, but with these two, it’s embarrassing.

Covering my flushed face with my hands, I pleaded in a barely audible voice.

“I feel embarrassed being called by my name by both of you. . .please stop.”

“Alice.”

My name is called in a low voice, and the hand covering my face is gripped. Rolf, with a serious expression, looks straight at me.

“Alice, that’s a bad move.”

“Ro, Rolf, Miss Norchev is uncomfortable.”

“Both Edgardo and Alice should remember this. Blushing and looking up while refusing is synonymous with consent.”

“Is that so?!”

“Is that really so?!”

I didn’t know. I still don’t quite understand the roundabout words of the nobility.

Amidst the noisy chatter, Rene, who was alone and quiet, rested his cheek on his hand and looked distant.

“Wow, this is really a lot to handle.”

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