Translator: Skye Editor: herkawaiidramas
* * *
“Why do you keep on spouting nonsense?”
I had tried to come off as nice as possible but this man had responded derisively as always.
‘Always so cranky. What is he so displeased about?’
Discontent aside, I realized something else.
‘Come to think of it, he was kicked out yesterday and had probably skipped dinner. He’s probably starving by now.’
I felt a little sorry for him. It would also explain his behavior.
‘Being hungry on top of having no place to go….that would make anyone more sensitive than usual.’
Pitying him a bit, I spoke to him softly,
“Let’s eat brunch together later.”
He stared at me with a hardened face.
Hearing the sound of a knock, I closed the closet door before responding.
“Our chef is pretty skilled, you can look forward to it.”
* * *
‘You want to eat together?’
Max sat obediently in the closet, an odd look on his face as he pondered over Juvellian’s words.
‘Wait, why do I even have to do this?’
A sudden feeling of doubt arose, bringing him to his senses. He felt a surge of anger.
‘Should I just break down this door and get out of here?’
Then, he felt the presence of someone coming closer. The sound of uniform footsteps told him it was the maid from earlier. Frankly, he was annoyed to the point where he wanted to just ignore her orders but the image of Juvellian’s face, asking to have a meal together, stopped him.
‘Fine. I’ll wait for a little longer.’
It may not have been a big deal to others, but for Max, it was the first time he had decided to be patient. He was someone who had never once restrained himself before.
“Milady, I’ve brought the medicine and your meal.”
“Marilyn, wait. Could you come over here and help apply the medicine on my back?”
He had thought he’d be able to get out of this stuffy closet soon, but it seemed the woman was dragging it out. Max ground his molars, his patience running thin.
‘She said it would only take a moment, so what is she doing right now?’
He clenched his fists, seriously contemplating whether to break down the door.
<Let’s eat brunch together later.>
He paused. Strangely enough, he kept recalling her smiling face, preventing him from carrying out his idea.
‘Why am I…’
Looking back on his actions, there were more than one or two things that he could not understand. The fact that he hadn’t even thought about leaving until the woman brought up the topic herself. The fact that he felt a strange itch in his chest when she suggested they eat together. Most of all, the fact that he found himself being unable to reject her suggestion.
Max furrowed his brows, mulling over his behavior, when he heard a shriek coming from the same woman who was plaguing his thoughts.
At that moment, all his attention shifted to what was happening on the other side of the door.
‘Is it an attack? Or was there an accident?’
Multiple different scenarios popped into his head. He could only feel the presence of Juvellian and her maid, but if there was an assassin, they could go undetected if they were skilled enough.
‘She has too many openings–she even sleeps without locking her windows.’
From Max’s point of view, Juvellian was so defenseless that it wouldn’t be surprising if she were to be attacked at any time.
‘This won’t do. I’ll go out…’
He paused after involuntarily reaching out his hand.
‘Why should I care whether or not she’s safe?’
He frowned, unable to understand why he was acting out of character.
But that thought was soon erased the moment he heard the woman groan in pain once more.
‘Well, she has many uses. That’s all it is.’
Rationalizing his incomprehensible behavior, Max reached for the door handle when he heard Juvellian’s soft voice.
“Marilyn, a little lower.”
Listening to the conversation between the two women, Max finally realized what was going on.
‘What the hell am I doing? Getting swayed by a woman like her…’
While Max was engulfed by a sense of shame, the maid’s voice could be heard through the thin door.
“Milady, I’m afraid I should go get some painkillers from the doctor after all.”
“I’m alright. I should be fine now that you helped me apply the balm.”
Max scoffed when he heard Juvellian sounding so nonchalant.
‘You’re not hurt at all but you’re not too bad at acting.’
The maid’s response that soon followed, however, caused him to frown.
“It looks quite painful. There’s a slight bruise on your shoulder blade.”
‘A bruise? What kind of bull–’
In a state of disbelief, he then heard Juvellian’s composed voice.
“Oh, I thought I would be okay since it was carpet…I didn’t think I’d get a bruise.”
It was only then that Max remembered he had shoved her earlier this morning.
It was only natural that weak things would be left behind. That was why Max usually never cared about whether someone got hurt or not. Yet, when he realized he had caused this woman to get hurt, he felt his stomach twist.
“It feels better now compared to before. Thank you for your help, Marilyn.”
“It was nothing.”
“Oh, could you bring dinner to my room later as well?”
“Certainly. Please rest now, milady.”
Although he felt the maid’s presence disappear, Max couldn’t step out of the closet. Instead, he continued to stare fervently at the door, listening to the sound of careful footsteps draw closer and closer.
As he had expected, the door soon opened, revealing an entrancing beauty.
“You can come out now.”
It may have been because it was a well-lit room, but there was a faint glow surrounding the woman’s figure.
Max unconsciously opened his mouth before quickly closing it back shut. He had meant to ask her if she was all right, but he found that the words ‘are you alright?’ were stuck in his throat.
Then, Juvellian smiled at him brightly.
“As I promised earlier, let’s eat!”
Normally, Max would have refused. He wasn’t the type to easily feel hungry, and he was also wary of the possibility that it could be poisoned.
Yet, strangely, he felt an intense hunger right at the moment.
“Hurry and come this way.”
Seeing Juvellian gesturing to follow her, he felt a slight tickling sensation inside his chest.
‘Right. This is just because I’m hungry.’
Once again, he tried rationalizing his abnormal behavior.
Following her to the tea table, he narrowed his eyes when he noticed the tray holding the sandwiches.
‘Why did it have to be that ingredient…’
It was an ingredient he had always hated. He should have gotten angry like usual, but when he looked at Juvellian’s face, he found himself being unable to.
“Here you go.”
He picked up the sandwich she handed to him.
“Go ahead, try it. Our chef is really good!”
Left with no choice, Max forced himself to take a bite. Soon after tasting what he had expected inside, his face became sullen.
‘This really does have that in it.’
A sandwich packed with cucumbers, of all things, was the worst breakfast he could ever have.
“How is it? It’s good, right?”
If he had to be honest, he couldn’t even judge the taste because he was only chewing it roughly. But he continued to eat and forced the sandwich into his mouth.
‘What am I doing?’
With another action he was unable to understand, a look of confusion settled over his face.
Losing her smile, Juvellian asked him,
“Do you not like it?”
It was more than just a simple dislike. He absolutely hated it. Yet, for some reason, he found himself unable to answer. Instead, he nodded his head slowly. When he saw her smile, the corner of her eyes scrunching upwards, he felt that strange itch in his chest again.
“I was worried since it was made to match my tastes, but I’m glad you like it.”
Soon he saw her biting into her sandwich and eating earnestly. Max looked down, staring at the cucumber sandwich in his hands.
‘Is this really that delicious?’
Max unconsciously took another bite of the sandwich. It was still a taste he hated. It was hard, plain, and even had a distinctive smell. Yet as he kept eating, perhaps it was because he had begun to get used to it, he thought it tasted better than he initially thought it would
* * *
Now that brunch was over, I was starting to feel a bit sleepy, but I couldn’t just fall asleep in front of a guest.
‘Well, just because I don’t take a nap doesn’t mean I’ll collapse.’
Thus, I decided to read a book, in an attempt to keep myself awake, but I felt my eyes slowly close on their own, eyelids continuously drooping.
‘Ah, what should I do…I’m so tired.’
Although my vision was getting fuzzy, I tried my best to stay focused and awake.
I was startled by the sudden voice. At that moment, I felt a yawn about to escape, reflecting my tired state.
‘Oh, no. I should at least try to hold it in this time.’
I was really embarrassed when I yawned in front of him last time. If I were to do it again, I’d have to go hide in a rat hole somewhere. I covered my mouth with my hands and managed to hold back my yawn, but I wasn’t able to stop the tears that formed.
‘At least I didn’t open my mouth this time.’
When I blinked, I felt a small trail being made as a tear flowed down my cheek.
‘Why does this always happen when I yawn?’
I was about to wipe my tears with my sleeve but paused when I noticed my father’s apprentice suddenly appear in front of me.
‘Huh? When did he get all the way over here?’
As I stared at him absentmindedly, I felt something soft brush the corner of my eyes.
“Why are you crying?”
My eyes widened in surprise when I saw his sleeve wet from wiping my tears. I thought it would feel rough, but his shirt actually felt quite soft. It was softer than high-end handkerchiefs made of premium cotton.
‘That shirt must be made of high-quality material….but wasn’t he kicked out because he had no money?’
For a moment, I wondered if I had made an error in my judgment of his identity.
‘But then again, you can still own nice clothes even if you don’t have a home.’
After all, there were people who bought expensive clothes and goods despite having no money. I thought perhaps he may be one of those types of people.
Then, I saw him crease his brows.
“I asked you why you’re crying.”
“Ah…it’s nothing. Don’t worry about it.”
“Hurry and tell me.”
Truthfully, I was a little embarrassed. I wasn’t sure if I should tell him they were just tears from yawning. Was such a small matter like this something even worth explaining?
T/N: Domestication of Max begins
E/N: Ah I really enjoy reading about Max’s internal struggle with himself. Also, people keep misunderstanding Juvel’s tears hahaha
thanks to hazelnothazelnut for this chapter’s raws!
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