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Ann’s mouth was open very slightly as she looked at the man before her with hesitant eyes.
Should I tell or not?
Now, her heart was in dilemma. If she were to tell him, would that increase her chance of surviving in this world, or would that hasten her downfall?
She was no clairvoyant, she had no answer to that question. And an unknown future where your life and death was at stake was… really, really terrifying.
By this time, Allen stopped leaning against Ann’s shoulder and he was looking at Ann intently. Of course, Ann’s hesitation didn’t escape from his observation. Moreover, the distance between them was closer than they ever were. It was hard for him to miss this sign.
And deep inside her eyes, Allen could sense… anxiety and a dim spark of hope that was wavering.
For the first time, Allen saw such a fragility displayed by the woman who was his wife. This fragility was 100% genuine, it wasn’t faked. Seeing her like that, Allen could feel his heart being jabbed.
Looking at Ann’s mouth slightly open then closing again, Allen sensed Ann’s hesitation in telling him something. She then lowered her head. She seemed to be hesitant in trusting him…?
That thought crossed his mind in an instant, only to be replaced with his desire to comfort her, to reassure her that she could trust him. He wanted to hug her in order to comfort and convey that to her.
But eventually, his rationality took over and he held back that desire. Instead, he touched Ann’s cheek with his fingers and lifted her face up, so that he could see it more clearly. Then, he saw the woman’s face rarely showing a shade of red across her cheeks.
This woman had often teased him with the offer of intimacy, yet when he took the initiative to do so, she was the one who stepped back instead.
Allen’s long fingers unintentionally brushed Ann’s lips. A burst of warmth flooded his heart, and what little rationality left in his head finally decided to leave him for good.
Ann didn’t even get to react when Allen swiftly brought his face closer to Ann’s. In a blink of an eye, their lips lightly touched.
The soft and moist sensation he felt for the first time was unique and he could feel a hint of sweetness rising from who-knows-where.
In contrast to Allen who closed his eyes during the kiss, Ann widened hers instead. Never in her wildest dream would she imagine Allen kissing her! She was obviously overjoyed by this, but…
A tinge of pain rouse in her heart as she felt a surge of emotion that was unfamiliar, yet at the same time familiar to her. And that surge of emotion was totally different from her own.
While she felt joy, warmth, and love… this surge of emotion forced her to feel hatred, anger, and disgust.
This feeling again… Is this… this original body’s feelings?
As she thought of that and how the real owner of this body was actually still there, yet only slumbering, Ann felt a tremendous fear growing rapidly in her heart.
Meanwhile, Allen who initially closed his eyes became curious about Ann’s reaction, so he opened his eyes slightly. He froze and his heart almost stopped when he saw a familiar expression he never wanted to see again—now being shown on the woman’s face. For a split second, he sensed a form of hatred and disgust in the woman’s eyes. But when he blinked, that expression changed into that of a fear.
Following that, he quickly let Ann’s lips go.
The two just shared their first kiss, yet there was no remaining sweet atmosphere and the two didn’t even look at each other at this time. Instead, different thoughts grew in their heads—as their hearts felt fear at the same time—yet for different reasons.
Ann feared that it was either ‘Arlea’’s true soul and emotion surging from this body that she took over, or some kind of force in this game’s world that tried to bound her to the scenario that she knew. Whichever it is, it won’t be good for her.
On the other hand, Allen saw a glimpse of the old Arlea for a moment, but that was enough to instill his biggest fear again. What if the old Arlea were to return and this woman before him would vanish forever?
He couldn’t bear such a thought. It would be scary to grow more attached to her, only to have it all shattered into a mere illusion.
Allen stood up and walked towards the door as he murmured, “I’m leaving.”
Ann was still deeply immersed in her thoughts, so she didn’t seem to notice Allen leaving.
Faye and Birdie quickly returned to the room and were surprised to see Allen’s odd expression when he left the room—and even more confused upon seeing their mistress’ state.
“Arlea-sama…?” Faye timidly tried to call out her mistress’ name.
Ann didn’t bulge an inch.
“Arlea-sama?!” Faye grew anxious as she raised her voice and shook Ann’s shoulder.
With that, Ann snapped out of her fear and saw Faye’s worried expression. Though she was still anxious, Ann forced herself to smile as she comforted Faye, “It’s nothing. I’m going to sleep now.”
Ann then moved to her bedroom without even waiting for Faye or Birdie.
This behavior was definitely odd. Something definitely happened while the master and the mistress were together alone! But what could have happened?
Faye knew that Ann couldn’t be bothered now. She thought to herself, ‘If the mistress is still acting weird tomorrow, I’m going to ask her.’
The next day.
“Good morning, Faye!”
Faye blinked when she saw her mistress who was back to her normal self. She couldn’t really sleep well thinking about it all the night, and when she woke up, she pondered over how she should ask her mistress. But it was all in vain…?
But it was good if her Arlea-sama was back to normal!
If she were to bring it up again now, she was afraid it would be a thorn in her mistress’ heart instead. So, she kept quiet as she resumed her activities as usual.
Ann didn’t have a nice sleep that night, either. She continued to toss around in her bed, thinking on what she should do.
Eventually, she got tired of it and decided to just let everything flow as she tried to become detached again with her temporary life in this world.
Yes, that’s the best solution she could come up with at the moment.
But as her feet walked closer to the dining hall, where she would be eating with Allen, her heart grew more uneasy. After all, they just kissed last night. But she didn’t get it. Why did he coldly leave her without saying any other word again?
She didn’t see what Allen saw at that time.
The two indeed met again at the dining hall. Allen took a glance at Ann who just arrived, only to throw his face away. At the same time, Ann also reflexively threw her face away. She quickly sat on her seat—on the opposite side of Allen’s.
The situation grew awkward as the two tried to not have any eye contact.
Normally, Ann would energetically eat as she tried to tease Allen. Meanwhile, Allen would usually tell her on how she should act, what she could or couldn’t do, and asked what her plans of the day were.
But this time’s breakfast was very silent. Only the sound of utensils clacking could be heard.
The maids who were on standby in the dining hall couldn’t help but grow tense as questions popped in their heads.
The two of them were just so… close until yesterday, right? Yesterday was the master’s birthday and the mistress planned a celebration and gift for him, right? The master even took the initiative to seek her in her room! Did something go wrong from there??
The maids turned their eyes to look at Faye with pleading eyes. Feeling her seniors’ questioning stares, Faye timidly shook her head. She was left in the dark just like the rest of them were.
The maids then hung their heads down in a slump.
The atmosphere in the dining hall today was very gloomy.
When Gwen saw the situation in the dining hall, she felt her heart almost dropped.
This… wasn’t the sort of development she was looking for!!
What exactly happened?!
She gestured some of the maids who were on their duties last night and Faye to come see her for a moment and questioned them. When even Faye who was the closest to Ann and Allen at that time, shook her head helplessly, Gwen sighed in despair.
What exactly had happened between the master and the mistress?
The situation had been improving too, lately… Was it all in vain?
Allen finished eating first and this time, he didn’t even wait for Ann to finish. He left the dining room without saying a word, departing for the castle for his work.
Ann finished after Allen and also left without any word. Faye could feel that the energetic pretense her mistress was trying to keep—it was crumbling and her real feelings, her gloominess, was showing.
The two left without knowing that a surprising development was about to greet them that day…