༺ Warm Southern Territory (7) ༻
It’s been a few days since we’ve been in Boyar. The meals were fine, and the accommodation was great. Boyar is a famous resort, so there are many things to see.
‘He said he’d come.’
But for some reason, I wasn’t in a good mood. I was glaring at the door. Why isn’t it opening? I even told him in which room I would stay in. It took me quite some courage to say it, and he promised that he would come.
‘He even has a lot of time.’
I hugged my pillow as my disappointment grew.
I could understand it if Carl was busy. I’m not someone so narrow-minded.
But except for the first and second days, Carl had been staying exclusively at the resort. Aside from occasional outings to nearby tourist spots with the pastry club, I hadn’t seen him leave his room.
He said he’d come when he had the time, and I’ve been waiting based on that promise, but there’s still no news.
How cruel. He’d made someone expect just to neglect them. He seems to be keeping his promise of not going to the casino, which is a relief. But why didn’t he keep this one? Should I have crossed my fingers back then, too? As expected, when making a promise, you need to leave evidence.
‘Should I really go first?’
That thought crossed my mind, but I shook it off.
The desire to go to Carl’s room crossed my mind several times already, but I must hold back. A lady going to a man’s room is unseemly. It’s important not to show too much impatience and to push and pull discreetly.
Yes, it’s really important. It’s not just my opinion; my sisters and nanny had also said so. This is definitely the right way to do things.
— Knock, knock.
And finally, my patience paid off. Carl came first. He might have been pushing me away, but Carl belongs by my side, as expected.
The bitterness and disappointment melted away in an instant. Satisfaction filled my heart.
“Yes, come in.”
“Senior, it’s me.”
And then, it immediately sank. The person who opened the door and came in wasn’t Carl, but Louise.
I was disappointed, but I didn’t show it. She was someone who probably came because of something. Besides, Louise was a decent junior.
“Welcome. What brings you here since so early in the morning?”
“We were planning to go to the Sapphire Beach. Senior, would you like to join us?”
My mind quickly started to spin at Louise’s question. By ‘we,’ she was probably referring to the pastry club, which probably meant that Carl was included.
Besides, it was in the location of the beach I had planned to visit on the second day but failed to do so. The only minor difference was that it was Sapphire Beach instead of Emerald Beach, but that was a minor issue.
“Oppa also said he wished to go since he couldn’t the last time.”
A smile automatically spread across my face at those words. Knowing Carl’s personality, I don’t think he said that, but it was almost the same as a confirmation. And I also liked how Louise turned this as if it were his idea.
“Sure, let’s go together.”
This was the perfect opportunity to bring out the swimsuit that I had bought but hadn’t had the chance to wear.
He said I looked beautiful while wearing a dress, so I’m sure he will he will like this too. He definitely will.
* * *
I was sleeping when I was summoned by Louise. This time, she said that we should go to the sea.
“Senior Marghetta is also coming. I think she’ll like it if Oppa comes.”
Going to the sea was a bit bothersome, so I thought of refusing. However, I couldn’t refuse since Marghetta was going. I had already refused Marghetta’s proposal once because of the Kraken subjugation, so I didn’t feel good about refusing this time as well. That would be a bit too much.
I thought that missing once could be attributed to bad timing, but if I missed it twice in a row, Marghetta might misunderstand and think I was avoiding her for no reason. Despite her outward composure, she’s quite sensitive deep down, so there’s a good chance she’d think that way. Fortunately, we’re not going to the same green sea I got sick of looking at while searching for the Kraken.
It was a place called Sapphire Beach because it glowed like a sapphire. But, wasn’t the sea originally blue?
‘It’s better than green.’
Well, who cares about the name? As long as the sea looked good, that was enough.
“I think that this place is better.”
“The Emerald Beach felt like we were looking at a piece of art rather than a sea. The blue color gives off a fresher feeling.”
The reaction from the others was quite positive upon arriving at the Sapphire Beach. Although you might get intrigued by looking at a sea of a peculiar color, in the end, you’ll always come back to the familiar blue.
“It lives up to its reputation. It’s a wonderful place. Carl, do you like it?”
I was watching the members joking around and tossing Ainter into the sea when a slightly trembling voice came from behind. Although she tried to speak calmly, her voice had a subtle tension.
I saw Marghetta as I turned around. She was smiling as confidently as usual, but she seemed somewhat rigid.
‘She’s the one who feels the most embarrassed.’
I couldn’t help but smile.
I had realized this at the club fair banquet, but Marghetta often ended up being embarrassed even when she deliberately set herself up for it. Her courage to keep going was truly remarkable.
“Yes, I like it.”
“Fufu, I’m glad. The blue light’s pretty indeed, right?”
“I was talking about the red.”
Marghetta was wearing a red swimsuit that matched her red hair. She wore a bikini that was quite daring, considering that she was the daughter of a Duke who always cared to maintain a dignified image.
Her face turned red as I complimented her, and her words slurred. It seemed like she was shocked when I suddenly complimented her while she was talking about the sea.
“It’s really pretty, Mar.”
“If I hadn’t seen you, I would have regretted it.”
I finally understood what people meant by saying when someone looks like they will burst. Marghetta, whose face couldn’t be redder, attempted to speak a few times and bowed her head. So she’s still weak to offense.
“R-right? This is the first time I’m going to the beach with Carl, so I paid special attention.”
However, she soon lifted her head and put on a nonchalant smile. Not only did she not fall at the offense, but she managed to counterattack. She’d changed compared to before.
“Is that so? I’m glad that you dressed up especially for the situation. I feel like it’s a shame that other people can also see it.”
“Y-yes… Thank you…”
Sadly, it seemed like she couldn’t resist a second attack. But still, two times was significant progress. It seemed like Marghetta had somewhat toughened.
As Marghetta fell silent, Louise came out of the sea and walked toward us. Her whole body was wet. It looked as if she’d been a victim of a water bomb. I don’t think those crazy bastards would throw Louise into the sea. Maybe she got hit by a wave?
I’ve also felt it when she wore a dress too, but pink does really suit Louise well. Was it because it’s her hair’s color?
“Eh? You haven’t changed yet?”
She tilted her head while looking at me, who, unlike Marghetta, was still dressed casually.
“I’m good. It’s still a bit cold because it’s the morning.”
“Ah, I’m sorry. Maybe we should’ve come at lunch.”
“It’s fine. I don’t really like getting in the water anyway. Just watching is enough.”
Even though I said that, the weather wasn’t particularly cold, and it wasn’t that I disliked going into the water. It may be a cliche, but I had some complications that made it a bit awkward to take off my top.
“I will offer you as a final sacrifice to the eternal blue sky!”
I almost frowned after recalling Kagan’s voice, one that used to echo with terror. That bastard had left me with a curse.
‘If he was going to die, he should have died gracefully.’
That bastard’s final strike had hit me squarely. I thought I was going to die back then. Whatever he did to that sword, I couldn’t even heal the wound that his sword had left behind.
Even with magic and divine power capable of treating severed limbs, it was a struggle to stop the bleeding and mend the flesh. Although I don’t care about the scars on my back, I got a long scratch on my upper body because of that.
Still, in hindsight, it’s a relief that none of my limbs were severed. If they hadn’t healed properly, I might have gone through life with only one arm or become known as ‘Red-legged Carl.’
“I’m glad your face is fine… After all, you have nothing else going on besides it.”
“Did your head get hit or something? How come that’s the first thing you say?”
As Hecate said, thankfully, my face was unscratched. If it was, I would’ve had to wear a mask. That would have been stifling.
Not only that, I was only slashed on my torso. Considering that five out of seven people died at the hands of Kagan at that place, it was a surprisingly light wound.
“Then stay with me. I’m planning to go back after a break.”
“That’s great. I was also planning to return., so it would be the three of us.”
The voices of Louise and Marghetta brought me back to my senses.
I cautiously touched the area where I was wounded through my clothes. It used to hurt just to touch it, but nowadays, it doesn’t bother me anymore. It seems like Kagan’s curse had lasted for about two years. It lasted for a damned too long of a time.
“Here, I’ve laid out a mat!”
I nodded at Louise, who was patting the mat with her palms. Since we came to relax, I should leave the unpleasant memories aside.
“Is it weird for a wife to worry about her husband’s face?”
“Wife, let’s cut the crap. The wound’s throbbing and driving me crazy.”
…Yes, let’s stop here.
It seemed like I couldn’t help but remember things because their death anniversary was approaching. Although there’s no way I would have forgotten to pay my respects even if I wasn’t constantly being reminded.
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