“Oh, who’s the lucky guy?”

“Hm.
Well.”

“Is it someone I know?”

“Someone you know, but have never met.”

Saying that, Iris looked up at Hayer again.

She wondered if he was joking when he told her not to love him, but it didn’t seem like it.

Because it wasn’t funny.

Hayer must have prepared a lifetime of jokes to throw at the moment of death.

He meant it.

Iris reversed what she’d assumed he’d said because he never had feelings for her.

Hayer Asheri, 19, is a man who doesn’t believe in love.
Hayer Asheri, 25, was a man who left a joke-like will not to love him at the moment of his death.

Iris wanted to talk to her 25-year-old first love even for a day.

Iris said to Hayer.

“Grow up quickly.”

“I’ve never heard such a thing in my life.”

“Not the stature.”

“There are times when I’m a little childish.”

Hayer nodded in agreement.

Despite being so relaxed, Hayer wouldn’t let Iris go out of his arms for a while.
It seemed to bother him a lot that she stumbled.

He carefully helped Iris to her bed for a moment.
Then he lay down next to her and said.

“I hope you never let another man fall for you again.
It was fun during the duel, but my body hurts so much.”

Iris, who was listening to his scolding, collapsed on the bed tiredly and said.

“Sid never fell for me in the first place.”

“Maybe.
It seems to me that… well, what would I know about my older brother?”


Hayer shrugged his shoulders as he said so.
Then he turned to Iris and said.

“Let’s not talk about unlucky blokes.”

His words made Iris laugh softly.

Hayer laughed along and said.

“You know your nose crinkles a little when you’re really having fun?”

“Me?”

“Yes.
Only when it’s really fun.”

“It’ll be obvious when I fake a smile.
I can’t.”

“Why not?”

“You said, there may be a day when the Sieres won’t be able to live in Siere.
I want to prepare for that day.”

“Hmm.”

“I’m not a great person, but it’s true that there’s more to being a royal.”

Because Hayer nodded and listened well, Iris was able to confide in him a little bit of her insecurities.

* * *

“Someone you know, but have never met.”

As soon as Iris said that, Hayer barely managed to control the strength in his hands, without realizing it.

Someone else?

He figured Iris might have liked him to some degree in any case.
No wonder, since the affectionate look in her eyes was easy to recognize.

It was like that when she met the Knights of Tejas, and when she met him.
He thought that her feelings were permeated through her affectionate eyes, making the viewer feel it.

The Tejas Knights were like a disorderly flock of crows when Hayer first joined them.

All kinds of poor people who wandered around the world gathered because he said he would see only their skills without any status, past—nothing.

Aside from Annamaria, whose village was burned at the hands of a lord, there was no story that was not heartbreaking when they started unravelling it.

They quickly accepted Iris into the Knights.
They also knew that Iris showed strangely affectionate feelings toward them.

So he was sure that her eyes showed romantic interest.


Hayer was embarrassed by the fact that it might not be.

He didn’t crave her love, but…

While thinking so, Hayer briefly opened his eyes.
Then he covered his mouth with one hand.

He saw Iris’s face right in front of him, sleeping soundly.
When he looked out the window, the sun had already set and the white moon was shining.

“…I’m crazy, I am.”

When Hayer tried to get up, Iris’s hand, which was overlapped on his arm, moved and held it tightly.

Hayer eventually couldn’t take her hand off and returned to bed and laid down.

“…I will be in a lot of trouble if you do this.”

He tried to wriggle a little to get her hand out, but it didn’t come off easily.
In fact, there’s nothing that’s easy in the world if you try to take it out, but this was very difficult.

After barely managing to pull her hand out, he hurriedly got dressed.

It didn’t matter if he fell asleep here, but it may not be good for Iris’s reputation.

After getting ready to go out, he looked at Iris and saw that she was deeply asleep with a comfortable face.

“You’re sleeping well.”

Hayer was fascinated by Iris, who slept like that while he was so frantic next to her, and after he gently swept her hair, he left the bedroom.

Passing through the hallway, muffling the sound of footsteps, he encountered Celios walking from the opposite side and froze.

“Lord Hayer.”

“I’m sorry, Aunt.
Nothing really happened.”

Hayer immediately bowed his head and said that, but Celios had a firm expression.

She said.

“Follow me this way.”

“Yes.”

Hayer followed Celios into a nearby drawing room.

Celios opened her mouth.

“What do you think?”


“What do you mean?”

“My daughter may end up fighting for the throne, and is meeting someone like you who doesn’t even know whose son he is.”

“……”

Hayer was perplexed.

Of course, he was used to hearing it because he heard it so much since he was young, but now something was different.
It was strangely unpleasant.

Celios continued.

“Give up.
Don’t hang out with her.
At least, try again after finding out who your father is.”

“……”

“Personally, now that the marriage between Iris and Sid has been settled, I would like you to leave for the post of the Knights of Tejas in the south.”

Hayer was staring blankly at Celios Lepos when she said that.

Iris said very little about her mother.
It would have been surprising if the abandoned child met her mother for the first time in 19 years.

Parenthood was a very vague concept to Hayer, since his mother had been half out of her mind since he was about ten, and he didn’t know who his father was.

However, Hencke of the Knights of Tejas greatly sympathized as soon as he heard about Iris’s mother, Celios Lepos.

“My parents are just like that.
If I had to choose between living in disgrace or dying honorably, my parents would push me down the cliff to die honorably.”

And after being pushed off the cliff and swept into the sea, it was Hencke who miraculously survived and joined the Knights of Tejas.

Hencke’s explanation made it relatively easy for Hayer to figure out his aunt.

Celios continued.

“In the first place, my daughter is an ambitious child.
Even if she’s into playing house with you now, she’ll eventually meet a decent man.”

“Aunt, there are not many decent men like me in Luwan.
Of course, I don’t know my father…”

“Don’t answer in jest.”

“Iris doesn’t like me.”

It’s a shocking fact that he found out today.

Hayer continued.


“Iris likes someone else I know but never met.”

“But why are you in Iris’s room… Ah.”

As if Celios accepted it, she said in a ridiculous way.

“Where did the guy who grew up in a convent get so cheeky?”

“……”

He didn’t know why people kept thinking that Iris dragged him into bed and played with him at will.

The Knights of Tejas did the same, and Celios seemed to expect it as soon as she heard it.

No, isn’t it more likely that a convent-raised guy would get ripped off rather than the other way around?

He didn’t know why on earth they gave this perception.
Of course, it’s because Iris is beautiful, as the Knights say.

Before Hayer could give a firm explanation, Celios nodded as if she understood now.

“For some reason, Iris seems to get along with the kids who are particularly fond of dirty talk.
Yes, you have to have a common ground in order to become friends.”

“If you’re talking about the friends who paired with her at noon earlier, Iris doesn’t like them.
Not even friends.”

“How do you know that?”

“You don’t know anyone like Iris who shows their true feelings in their eyes? Please pay more attention, Aunt.”

When Hayer said that, Celios sighed.

“Wait.
So, you’re saying my daughter doesn’t like you, and she’s not attracted to you?”

“Yes.”

“Then why did I keep hold of you now?”

“That’s my question.”

“I’m sorry.
I’ll give you a place to stay, so you can sleep.”

Celios spoke coyly and disappeared.

Heyer found the whole situation absurd and stood there laughing for a while.

afterword 

celios ur such a hag stop projecting ur wishes onto ur kid ur a shitty mom! anyway hayer u do crave iris and her love stop denying it u buffoon xoxo

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