Be the Householder - 2
My heart was beating like crazy.
I guess that"s because I got caught unintentionally peeking at Perez"s bath scene.
Once again, my heart skipped a beat.
It was the moment I met Perez"s eyes that shone brightly.
That"s all I could think of.
With wet hair swept back, deep eyes and nose blades shaded by moonlight.
Perez" hot body temperature, which is delivered from the wet, pale, muscular body and nevertheless from the point of contact with my body.
The long lashes over the pupils looking down at me.
And the worries about me contained in the dark brows that were frowned as if he was worried.
Holding on to Perez"s sturdy arms, I still couldn"t do this or that, hoping that the tumultuous heartbeat would go away.
It was Perez who raised me up.
His big wet hands grabbed my shoulders and straightened them up.
At that moment, a sense of loss that I had never felt before flooded in.
What the hell is this feeling?
And even before I could find the reason, Perez approached, bending over to me.
His calloused hand wrapped around my cheek.
"I think you still have a fever."
Yeah, I have a fever.
It may not be a fever caused by a cold, but my cheeks will be a little hot.
Only then did I come to my senses and stepped back half a step.
"I"m sorry, Perez, I heard the sound of water, so I followed you, unintentionally. I apologize properly."
I said, hiding my trembling voice as much as I could.
"No, of course, this is a public place, but I should have gone right back when I realized you were naked......."
When I looked at Perez"s body, I saw things that had not been seen before.
"What"s this all about? What about these wounds?
Perez"s wide chest and back were full of small traces.
"Not a wound, a scar."
"Yes, I mean, scars! Why so many?"
Most of them were solid, but the ones on the left arm or the right side were quite big and deep.
It was like a dark red, hideous snake passing through Marge Perez"s body.
"If the scar remains so much, how big a wound was it?"
"It happens often in training."
Perez said in a nonchalant way.
"Training? What kind of training are you doing so hard? Was there anyone bothering you at the academy? No, more than anything, isn"t training using wooden sword or something?"
Perez smiled at me and replied.
"Dealing with a sword is a battle between the mind to kill and the instinct to live. You can"t develop without using a real sword, Tia."
Yes, the sword is.
As he wasn"t wearing clothes, I could see more small scars on Perez"s hands and arms.
And I asked, pointing to a dark red cut on his back, which had been bothering me a little while ago.
"Just name the person who left this on your body. This must have been a different intention under the guise of training."
"......I don"t know."
"Why don"t you know his name? I"m sure he used to go to the academy."
"It"s not a training wound."
Only then did I remember.
-"Sometimes I"ve been attacked or something."
That the Empress used to send someone to kill Perez.
"It"s impossible to ask the dead person for a name now."
Perez is standing here now, which means that the assassin sent by the Empress is dead.
I looked up at Perez.
I keep getting confused.
Just because I intervened in young Perez"s life and created a better environment doesn"t make everything easier. His life is still fierce.
As deep as the scar left here.
I put my hand over the bumpy left scars.
"It must have hurt a lot."
The horrors of the day when this wound would have occurred seemed to be painted in front of my eyes.
But when my hand touched his waist, there was a change.
Perez"s body flinched small and his stomach was tense.
The perfectly woven muscles like sculptures showed more anger.
Perez"s body temperature, which I can feel on my fingertips, also got hotter.
I could see a strong arm with a blue tendon sprouting as he clenched his fist.
I raised my head and looked up at Perez.
I ran into deep, darkened eyes.
Something tense, drawn in it, was read.
Quietly, however, to Perez"s bare chest, which was going up and down greatly, I could feel the heat of suppressing and enduring on his chest.
Looking down at me, his long open eyelids trembled once.
At that moment, I could realize the current situation by hearing the sounds of the surroundings that had been pushed away.
It was only then that I saw myself touching Perez"s body, barely wearing a cloak around his waist.
I said, quickly taking my hands off Perez"s body.
"I"ll go back to the carriage! I, I need a little more sleep!"
Then I hurried along the rustling, rustling forest path.
Behind me I could hear Perez jumping back into the lake.
We arrived safely at the Ivan estate.
Everyone was very tired and exhausted because it was a schedule that moved so fast, but the journey ended without a big problem.
People of Yeongji, who were in the midst of the reconstruction of the walls, welcomed us, who are the most advanced units of relief supplies that will continue in the center in the future.
The problem was after entering Ivan"s mansion.
"Welcome, Your Highness. And welcome Young Lady Lombardi and Young Lord Luman. I"m Migente Ivan."
Migente Ivan is the second son of Patriarch Ivan and the younger brother of Deputy Patriarch Ivan in the zodiac.
"......Where is Patriarch Ivan?"
Even if it"s me and Avinox.
The prince, under orders of the emperor, brought supplies with him to help Ivan.
But it"s not Patriarch Ivan himself who greets the prince and his party.
This was a massive political disrespect.
If it was Astana, the whole estate would be turned upside down.
Perez"s face was also stiff.
"My father was in a hurry where there was an additional landslide this morning....."
Migente Ivan was in a hurry to make excuses and eventually said with his head down.
"I"m sorry, Your Highness."
I watched the situation quietly.
Anyway, the representative of this procession was Perez, who was named under Imperial order.
"......It"s nice to see him prioritize the safety of local people."
First of all, you"re going to watch.
Migente said, a little embarrassed by Perez"s comments.
"I"ve prepared dinner for you. Relax and rest, and I"ll send someone to guide you, Your Highness."
"So be it."
The servant attached to Ivan led Perez, and Avinox to their respective rooms.
"See you in a little while."
After that incident at the lake, Perez and I became a little awkward.
I can"t help it.
The atmosphere of the day deserved it.
Left alone in a room for the first time in a long time, I found a comfortable chair and sat down.
"Sigh, it"s comfortable."
A maid named Becky, who was attached by Ivan family, said she would prepare a warm bath.
So I"m alone until she gets back.
I thought, putting my feet on a low table in front of my chin and armchair.
"I think Patriarch Ivan is going to be very picky."
* * *
My prediction was correct.
Patriarch Ivan was quite difficult to deal with.
"We won"t accept any funding."
It was the first thing Patriarch Ivan said at the dinner table.
Migente shouted dryly, but Patriarch Ivan didn"t budge.
"You"re saying you"re going to reject the Emperor?"
Perez"s words raised Patriarch Ivan"s dark eyes below.
It was quite different from Patriarch Ivan in my memory.
Like a northern man, where does he go?
The atmosphere was as sharp as the feisty face.
"I am not going to take any money. The timber prepared by the Lombardy family and the relief supplies of the Luman family will be accepted without consideration."
Patriarch Ivan said, slightly silent towards me.
"What is the reason?"
Perez asked in a calm voice.
It was a question of pure curiosity, not reproach.
Patriarch Ivan also said, deflating a little, whether he felt it.
"It"s because of Ivan"s mistake, so we"s only taking responsibility."
Migente seemed to be quiet about whether he had already known about Patriarch Ivan"s decision.
"Is there any reason to go back to the rough road? Relief money collected out of concern for the North. Let"s think about it again."
But Patriarch Ivan still shook his head obstinately.
"It"s enough for Ivan to be in charge of the North."
Patriarch Ivan, who said so, got up without eating.
"I have to go out again as soon as dawn comes. Would you excuse me first?"
"......please do so."
"Thank you for coming so far, Lady Lombardi and Sir Luman. I"ll see you again."
That"s how Patriarch Ivan left.
In the dining room, where only awkward silence remained, Migente"s low sigh continued for a long time.
* * *
While Lombardi construction engineers went to see the walls and collapsed buildings.
I also moved alone without a maid.
The destination was the branch of Pellet Corporation, located in Ivan"s estate.
As soon as I opened the door, a familiar voice greeted me.
"Long time no see, Violet!"
"Wasn"t it hard to get here? Are you sick?"
It"s been almost a year since we met.
Violet clasped my hands in both hands and asked something.
"I"m fine. Violet has a hard time in the distance. But I think you"re doing well."
The Ivan branch of Pellet Corporation was a small place, but it was very clean, reflecting the meticulous and neat nature of Violet, who was in charge.
"Let me take you to the office, Lady Florentia."
What a violet-like office upstairs.
It was so organized that it was hard to think of it as a space used every day.
Violet, who immediately pulled out, settled across from me.
"So, how"s it going, Violet?"
"Now that I"m out of business buying wood, I"m more relaxed than anyone else."
"You"ve been through a lot, so get some rest. I heard from Clarivan that Monak top was a lot of trouble."
There was a slight smile on Violet"s face.
"I understand that Nosier, the monak top"s owner, stays in the zodiac. Who the hell is that? Who put Violet in such trouble in the North."
"The person in charge of the monak top is....... He"s a tough guy to deal with."
"Someone who"s cranky?"
I"ve never heard Violet say that about anyone.
"He"s the kind who"s got a lot of brains, isn"t he?
"No. If so, I wouldn"t have struggled so much......"
Violet said with a bittersweet smile.
"It"s far from a ruse or a trick. There"s no place in every auction house that doesn"t attend despite being young, and it"s like running."
"Are you saying you"re diligent? To the point where Violet is in trouble?"
"Yes, it"s a little... to just say it"s diligent..... Desperate would be appropriate."
Violet was the second most diligent person I knew to be diligent.
I said it to the point where I"m boiling with my grandfather who wakes up at dawn every day and works until night.
But such a violet gives such an assessment.
"She also had the guts to do the bidding, and in an auction I couldn"t attend, everything went to the monak top."
"Is she a woman? The person in charge of Monak top?"
"Yes, Ramona is a woman. Seeing she doesn"t use her last name, she seem to be a commoner."
"Her name is...... what did you just say?
"It"s Ramona, Lady Florentia."
The moment I heard the familiar name, I felt like I heard something thumping inside my chest.