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Forgotten Juliet - Chapter 32

Published at 9th of August 2023 11:38:20 AM


Chapter 32

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The audience with the Emperor didn’t even take half an hour.

Elliot, who was waiting outside the audience chamber, bowed politely towards the exiting Duke.

He was curious about what his master and the Emperor had discussed in such a short time.

However, before he could ask about the conversation, Elliot noticed that the Duke was holding a decorative item in his hand.

It was a silver figurine of a dove with its wings half open.

It was quite charming, as if it suited the hands of his master, but it also seemed awkward.

‘Oh, did His Highness have anything like that?’

 

Elliot tilted his head in confusion.

Was it a gift from the Emperor? It somehow looked familiar.

But before Elliot could inquire, Duke Carlyle called out to him first.

“Elliot.”

“Yes, Your Highness.”

“Take the knights and return to the North. And as soon as you return, prepare for the ceremony.”

“Pardon?”

Elliot realized the meaning of those words a beat late. The instruction to take the entourage and return to the North meant that Duke Carlyle wouldn’t be going too.

…Moreover, a ceremony? What kind of ceremony?

Elliot decided to ask the questions in order of what he was most curious about.

“So, Your Highness, what about you…?”

“As for me…”

Duke Lennox Carlyle, who had already stepped outside the palace, lightly mounted his black horse and held the reins, speaking calmly.

“I will go and fetch my bride.”

* * *

‘Ah.’

Juliet opened her eyes on the soft bed.

As soon as she opened her eyes, she was surprised by the muscle pain that attacked her. Her whole body was in pain. She wondered why her joints hurt so much…

Then, she remembered what happened yesterday.

“Yeah, that’s right…”

She saw a huge wolf and saved him, then she met some strange passengers and saw how they got into a fight on the train…

She had slept deeply without even having a vivid dream in a long time, and now she knew why. It was all because of the intense soreness in her body.

Juliet groaned as she cautiously got out of bed.

The voices that greeted her were never pleasant, no matter when.

(You opened. Eyes.)

(Master. Greetings. Morning.)

Not only did butterflies flutter around the bedroom, but they even imitated human gestures, offering a ‘morning greeting’.

Perhaps due to her mood, Juliet felt that they were getting more skilled at imitating humans.

“….Yeah. Hello.”

Knowing that they would become even more annoying if she ignored them, Juliet half-heartedly greeted them.

(Hello?)

(Hello. Morning.)

As Juliet drank water, the butterflies seemed more excited, chirping new words they had learned among themselves.

Honestly, there was no five-year-old child throwing tantrums as much as they did.

 

‘He claims to be a superior being from another dimension, huh?’

Juliet sometimes found it confusing.

Are other spirits like this too?

Anyway, from this morning, the butterflies seemed quite pleased as they tried to engage Juliet in conversation with their clumsy speech.

Bathing in the early morning sunlight, their verdant wings shimmered with a more mysterious glow than usual.

‘No wonder…’

While tidying up the bed, Juliet glanced at the energetic butterflies.

‘I fed on them so much yesterday.’

Perhaps because she had fed so much, their colors were deeper and more vibrant than usual.

‘And, of course, they’re coming out on their own.’

Juliet sighed.

The frequency of butterflies popping out without her permission seemed to be increasing, and it didn’t seem to be just a matter of mood.

While Juliet was changing clothes, the butterflies hovered around the open window, causing a disturbance.

Juliet could easily guess the reason behind the improved mood of the demon.

It could be due to having fed on them to their heart’s content after a long time, but the biggest reason was probably because she had left the side of the Duke.

She still didn’t know the exact reason, but the demon disliked Lennox Carlyle.

‘More precisely, should I say it’s afraid?’

Whenever she asked why it disliked him, the butterflies would either evade the question or firmly seal their lips, so she didn’t know the exact reason… but it was definitely the case.

In that aspect, they were completely like five-year-old children. There was one time when she deliberately and persistently asked.

“Is that person scary?”

As always, when Juliet asked persistently in silence, the butterflies reluctantly gave an answer, growling as if they had been forced to.

(Dislike. Human, shadow, that. Crossed the line. Hunting dog, caution. First.)

(Traitor. Cat.)

(Contractor. It’s fine. Don’t worry.)

…As expected, it was an ambiguous answer that couldn’t be interpreted. There were even words she couldn’t understand.

That was the only time she mentioned even a little bit about why this demon disliked Lennox Carlyle.

 

After giving those answers, the butterflies spoke as usual.

(Human, dislike. It’s okay. Only you.)

(Our contractor. Like it. What about you?)

They sweet-talked her in that way, ending the conversation.

Whether the conversation ended with coquetry or not, thanks to that, on the day after Lennox had sent his magic power into Juliet’s body and left, the butterflies didn’t pop out randomly or engage in their usual chatter for a while.

So it was comfortable…

(Master, tired?)

(Why quiet? Tired?)

(Contractor? In pain?)

(Huh?)

With a sigh, Juliet wondered how she would handle these talkative creatures and opened the door to the room.

There, she blinked her eyes upon seeing a man with silver-gray hair sitting leaned against the door.

“…Roy?”

“Ah.”

The man, who seemed to be almost crumpled in the corridor, startled and quickly stood up, turning towards her.

His unnecessarily agile movement was surprising.

As if he had been there from the beginning, Roy faced Juliet.

His flowing water-like movements were as natural as those of a dancer, so Juliet wondered if she should clap.

“Juliet…”

His bright yellow amber eyes widened in surprise.

Juliet felt a little embarrassed and smiled. The way he pronounced her name was oddly charming.

She was glad that he asked her to call him Roy. If he had called her Romeo, she would burn with shame.

“What are you doing here?”

…Surely he wasn’t waiting for her all night here, right?

As she asked the question, she became suspicious.

“Well…”

Before answering, Roy fixed his disheveled hair. In the meantime, Juliet leisurely glanced at him.

Luckily, he was dressed normally today. Juliet felt a slight pain in her neck from looking up, so she tried to take a step back.

“…!”

“This.”

However, just before she could step back, at an opportune moment, Roy’s hand grabbed Juliet’s hand.

Juliet blinked for a moment as she saw what Roy was suddenly holding in his hand.

It was one of the hairpins Juliet had dropped and lost when she fell in the train car the previous day. She had found one immediately, but she thought she had lost the other.

“Where did you find it? Did you wait to give this to me?”

He nodded.

In an instant, his expression brightened like a puppy seeking praise.

‘Somehow… he’s just like our Roro.’

She thought of the dog they raised when she was five years old.

A gray dog that vigorously wagged its tail whenever it saw Juliet.

Looking at Roy, who had sparkling eyes that didn’t match his relaxed demeanor, Juliet subtly recalled the image of a dog wagging its tail enthusiastically.

(….)

Ah.

For a moment, a certain thought crossed Juliet’s mind, and she turned around to look back.

To her surprise, right beyond the open door of her room, a motionless butterfly was sitting on the windowsill.

‘Oh, right.’

Whether he was a Swordmaster or a high-ranking priest, Roy was also immune to the butterflies’ enchantment.

After a brief moment of thought, Juliet pointed to the back of Roy’s hand.

“That, does it hurt?”

Roy’s gaze lowered.

There was a pale wound on the back of his hand.

But in the next moment, Juliet unknowingly startled and grabbed his hand tightly.

“…?”

“Don’t lick it!”

It was because he was about to lick his hand in an excessively natural movement.

“You’ll make it worse!”

“Worse?”

“I mean, there’s a risk of bacterial infection-”

Seeing his innocent face, it seemed futile to explain anything.

‘Never mind. I should stop trying to explain.’

“Come inside.”

“Yes.”

Roy obediently followed Juliet’s instructions and entered the room, grinning mischievously.

“Sit there.”

“Yes.”

“Give me your hand.”

“Yes.”

Like a docile puppy, Roy complied with her requests.

‘He listens well…’

Juliet glanced at his face discreetly. Even when she poured antiseptic on the wound, he didn’t even furrow his brow.

‘He must be in pain…’

After dabbing the antiseptic clumsily, Juliet loosely wrapped the bandage around.

“There, it’s done.”

Despite the somewhat careless first aid, Roy didn’t complain at all. Instead, he continued to touch the bandage that Juliet had wrapped around.

“Please stop touching it.”

As she said that, bothered by the loosely tied knot, Roy genuinely refrained from touching the bandage again.

“Yes.”

While looking at his cheerful and smiling face, Juliet felt a slightly strange sensation.





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