Chapter 20: Maybe I’m the One Who’s Weird
“Fu~a. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in a long time.”
The following day, after arriving in Daregas
in a room on the first floor of a hotel on the outskirts of town.
Olivia gets out of bed and stretches.
Her blue eyes see a large, clean room with clothes hung on the wall, illuminated by morning light streaming through the curtains.
As she rose from her bed and opened the curtains, she murmured softly.
“I’m so glad everything went so smoothly.”
Olivia and Elliot took a carriage to their hotel just outside the Daregas train station.
She was relieved as soon as they checked in and went to their room.
(Thank God. I didn’t run into anyone I knew.)
She lost her job, and the lord’s son had called off the engagement.
There was a lot of negative press.
(It doesn’t matter because it’s nonsense. I managed to sort it out in my own way.
But it would take too much effort for me to subject myself to unjustified criticism, and I don’t want Elliot to feel bad about being with me.
If possible, I’d prefer not to go out again today, but it’s difficult with dinner and everything…)
Olivia is scratching her head, trying to figure out where she can go without seeing anyone she knows.
“Let’s eat at the hotel cafeteria today,” Elliot suggested, possibly sensing Olivia’s feelings.
“I’m tired today,” he said after dinner. “let’s go back to our room and get some sleep.”
Thanks to this, Olivia didn’t have to go outside or worry about anything, and she was able to sleep peacefully.
Olivia gets dressed after washing her face at the sink in her room.
She wears her hair in a half-updo and fastens it with a blue hair clip with a flower ornament while wearing a blue dress.
She then went to the window, where there was a makeup table, to apply her makeup.
She looks out the window as she takes out her makeup bag and notices something.
(Wait, is that Elliot?)
In her peripheral vision, she sees a tall young man wearing a familiar hat.
He’s standing under a large tree near the hotel, animatedly conversing with a man she doesn’t know.
Olivia shakes her head.
(Who is this?)
Elliot is a member of the Dixx Chamber of Commerce, which is quite large.
Maybe they have a branch in Daregas.
Feeling bad about looking at them, she turned her eyes away from the window and concentrated on applying makeup, such as applying face powder and drawing her brows.
Then she went down to the dining room, where Elliot was already waiting for me.
“Good morning, Olivia.”
“Good morning, Elliot. Did you wait for me?”
“No. I just got here—How are you doing?”
“Thanks to you; it’s very good.”
Olivia sits down in front of him, somehow thinking she doesn’t want to mention what she just saw.
When she turned to face him, his eyes twinkled.
(… Huh? )
Elliot, the same old Elliot.
But something isn’t right.
(I think he looks a little cooler than when we were in the Royal Capital.)
Elliot’s eyes met hers as she stared at him.
“What’s the problem?”
“I-It is nothing.”
Olivia quickly averted her gaze, embarrassed.
When their gazes met, she felt a rush of excitement in her chest.
Besides, she couldn’t stop wondering what Elliot looked like without his glasses.
(I’m curious what they look like.
Nothing like this has ever happened before.
What’s going on…)
Breakfast is brought to Olivia while she mulls over this.
Fresh toast with thick butter, steamed vegetable soup
Her eyes light up as she forgets all her thoughts in the face of the ideal breakfast.
As Olivia spreads butter on the freshly baked toast, Elliot smiles and opens his mouth.
“What are your plans for today? Is there anything else you’d like to do?”
“Yeah.” Olivia puts the spoon down and makes a serious face at Elliot.
“…In fact, there are two places I’d like to visit.”
“Places to visit. Where do you want to go?”
“Yes—The first is my parents’ grave.”
(I haven’t visited in two years. They must be concerned.
I’d like to go there and report that I’m happy in the capital.)
“The second is my father’s store. I was just curious how things were going.”
(When I go to the store, I know I’ll run into someone I know.
I’m sure the store has changed. But I feel like if I don’t go and check it out, I won’t be able to make up my mind.)
“I see.” Elliot thinks to himself.
“Well, I’ll get you a carriage later.”
A carriage would be less noticeable.
Olivia gives Elliot a grateful look.
“Let me thank you again. Thank you so much. If Elliot hadn’t come with me, I wouldn’t have known what to do.”
(It was because of him that I got a good night’s sleep with peace of mind, and it was also because of him that I could go out like this.
I can’t express how grateful I am to him.)
Olivia bowed her head, and Elliot’s mouth dropped open.
“It’s fine. As I previously stated, I’m doing this because I want to.”
“I can’t do that. I’ll give you something in return when I get home.”
Elliot smiles mischievously at her serious face.
“I believe I’ve already received your gratitude.”
“I can stay with you for a week. I couldn’t have asked for a more suitable reward.”
This appears to be light banter at first glance.
But the eager look in Elliot’s eyes, visible through his tinted glasses, told her it wasn’t a joke.
Olivia blushes involuntarily and lowers her eyes.
Normally she would have joked, “What are you talking about?” But for some reason, she can’t.
Her heart starts beating like a fast bell.
Breathing lightly, she manages to calm herself and thinks.
(Perhaps it’s not him, and maybe it’s just me.)
…probably so. I changed.
Is it tiredness? Nervous about the wedding? Or perhaps…)
―a few hours later.
Something happens that completely disrupts this train of thought.
“W-What is this?”
The horse-drawn carriage took them to a small abandoned store.
The Carter’s Great Magic Tools Store, once a thriving business in town, is now a mere shadow of its former self.
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