and gave kind advice.


I could tell that the man was dissatisfied.
He was unexpectedly easy to get along with, but it was probably because he was drunk that he felt that way.


“Well, now that you've given me some good advice, let's get back to the story.”


“Huh? You're still trying to hurt my feelings, aren't you? You really are popular, aren't you?”


“That's outrageous.”


Saying so, the man paused for a moment, then handed me a new glass.
He was a thoughtful person, even if he didn't realize that he himself had become absent-minded.


“Please introduce me to your parents.”


I sobered up instantly.
I scrutinized the meaning of the words, examined them, and mulled them over.
What came out of my mouth was a simple “Huh?”.


I mean, I didn't understand.
Didn't this guy know that conversations needed coherence?


Then he said, “If you don't do this, you will have to marry that guy.
You will have to live under the same roof with your sister, and you won't be able to talk back to the gossip about you in social circles.


“Why are you suddenly throwing reality in my face? And one thing at a time, too.
Do you hold a grudge against me?”


“You will have to endure a lifetime of humiliation, while your sister will find a new partner at some point.
Perhaps she will even become the first wife of some other family.”


“Please don't say ominous things! It's unsettling because it's so plausible.”


Imagining the butler's concerned eyes, my sister's triumphant face, and my fiancé's attempts to please me, I almost cried at the misery of it all.
It was a delusion that was all too realistic.


“That's why my presence is necessary.”


“Um, I'm sorry, but I don't understand what you're talking about…”


“Hehe, I have a good idea.
Will you ride along?”


The man's voice sounded terribly amused.
I felt like I was being taken advantage of by him, and a chill ran down my spine.
The man chuckled softly, perhaps he could see through my shuddering thoughts.


“If you don't trust me, feel free to refuse.
Well, in that case, you'll be heading straight for an unhappy future with nothing to resist.
It's a good thing you have the guts to choose this thorny path yourself.
I respect that.”


“No, by all means, please tell me your wonderful ideas.”


Without time to think, I changed my attitude and the man nodded in satisfaction.


“Well, neither of us will lose out on this one.”


I drank down the newly offered water in one gulp, determined to take full advantage of the situation.

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