Chapter 15: Even You (4)
Keirsey appeared to be reflecting in front of Cayden, but in reality, she was boiling inside.
After parting ways with him, the anger she had hidden grew even more rampant.
Because of that girl from the Ice family, she looked bad in front of Cayden.
Keirsey didn’t burp or yawn in front of him and always showed a pretty side.
But today, Cayden looked at her as if he was looking at someone ugly.
Keirsey got angry and hated what happened today.
The saddest thing was that she didn’t even do anything wrong…
well, apart from behaving like a thief…
But that was beside the point! She didn't lie to him.
Indeed, Judy was brewing a strange plot.
Even so, Keirsey had been embarrassed today in front of Cayden as if she had lied.
…still, it was fine.
She could forgive everything.
Because after that, her date went well.
…But Keirsey didn't want Cayden to meet Judy again.
She intuitively knew that girl was dangerous.
Unfortunately, it was also true that Cayden and Judy were in the same class and Keirsey wasn't stupid enough to stop Cayden from interacting with her during class.
She would look ugly in his eyes if she did that, so instead, she decided to limit their interactions after the class.
She made him promise that he would come to visit her in the future; The time he could spend with Judy was minimized.
It was something she achieved on a whim.
She didn’t lie; The boys really talked to her a lot.
It wasn’t bothersome or hard enough to complain to Cayden, but it was still annoying.
After coming to the academy, there were things that Keirsey became conscious of immediately; She seemed to be prettier than others.
Her persona was beautiful enough that it alone forced people to approach her; The silver hair that went down to her shoulders, her cute puppy-like face, and her bubbly personality, gave her a unique charm that was hard to ignore.
At first, when she was home, Keirsey thought those were just polite compliments from the family members, but in the academy, she realized that most eyes followed her over and over again.
It was to the point that she began to sense that the men had other intentions when they approached her.
Initially she was annoyed, but now fortunately for the same reason, Cayden would come and protect her in the future.
When it was time for class to end, Keirsey’s body began to tremble in anticipation.
Soon, Cayden will come to meet her.
She won’t have to find him, instead, he will come.
Just this fact alone made her happy.
“…Today’s class will be over.”
When the professor spoke, Keirsey gave a big bow and hurriedly ran out of the classroom.
Her friends looked at her in surprise, but she didn’t care.
According to common sense, there was no need to act so hastily.
Cayden would need some time to reach the meeting point as well.
Unfortunately, her judgment was clouded by excitement and there was only one thought in her mind; She wanted to see her Oppa as soon as possible.
✧ ✧ ✧
Keirsey stood in front of the fountain and waited patiently for Cayden.
Several students passed in front of her eyes frequently.
There were students she was seeing for the first time and a few students were familiar as well.
Everyone was chatting with their friends with bright smiles.
The sunset was gradually setting, and the birds were chirping.
The water from the fountain splashed very lightly, cooling Keirsey’s face.
Though she didn't blink; She still looked at the scene in front of her with twinkling eyes.
This was the daily life of the academy she had dreamed of; Beautiful scenery and fresh atmosphere, joking and laughing with friends, and Cayden, who will come to see her soon.
As was the saying that 'eyes reflect the heart,' there was nothing that was not beautiful in her eyes at this moment.
Keirsey couldn’t understand why waiting for Cayden was so exciting.
She could only smile brightly as if standing alone in front of the fountain was the most fun thing she had ever done.
Keirsey periodically looked in the direction – Cayden most probably would be coming from.
The check cycle was so fast that even though she knew that nothing had changed, her eyes kept moving in the same direction.
Suddenly, she saw a group of people in black.
Among those students, of course, she was also there.
Keirsey raised her hand high and shook it.
Asena’s eyes sharpened as she recognized Keirsey's voice.
She said a few words to her group and started walking.
What are you doing here? Weren't you going to see Oppa?”
“Hehe, Oppa decided to come and meet me today…
Are you envious?”
At Keirsey’s words, Asena’s eyes subtly narrowed.
“……Is Oppa coming here?”
Asana’s head spun around and scanned the square.
Keirsey tilted her head at the strange behavior.
“Unnie, what's wrong?”
“Can’t you go see Oppa yourself?”
Asena asked as if she was worried about something.
But Keirsey didn't plan to reschedule her meeting because of Asena's words.
We made a promise.
I’ll explain it to you tonight.”
You can go yourself, Keirsey.”
“I mean, we’ve already made an appointment.
What if things go wrong like yesterday..”
Asena looked dissatisfied with something.
Keirsey was very curious about that.
“…Unnie, what is it?”
Asena seemed to be contemplating something, paused in that state for a moment, then let out a long sigh.
Keirsey, if anything goes wrong, just don’t leave Oppa alone.”
“…what’s the matter?”
“…Remember my words.
Stick with Oppa when you meet him.
Don’t think about parting.
As soon as I finish my work with the student council, I will come and eat together.
Just wait until then.”
After finishing what she had to say, Asena turned her body vigorously and vanished hurriedly like the wind.
Keirsey didn’t even bother to hold her any longer.
After all, the meeting she was looking forward to was with Cayden.
At times, Keirsey also thought it was very strange.
Even though all three of them were from the same family, why in the world her feelings towards Asena and Cayden were so different?
Even though Asena and Keirsey were twins, they both seemed to be closer to Cayden instead.
When she talked with Asena, the heart which was beating just in anticipation of seeing Cayden didn't react at all.
Just when she was thinking about such things, a second visitor came.
It was one of the noble girls that Keirsey became friends with.
Keirsey waved her hand to welcome her friends, ‘Mary Bones and the Group'.
All of a sudden, a few girls surrounded her.
“Keirsey, where did you go in such a hurry after class? Was it just the fountain?”
Mary smiled as if it was ridiculous.
There was a big difference in the status of their families, but Keirsey was so sociable to others that Mary and others talked to her casually.
Keirsey smiled bashfully.
The noble girls around her made expressions as if they were melted away at the sound of her cute giggle.
Then Keirsey proudly explained why she was there.
“Actually, my Oppa decided to come today.
I am waiting here to meet him.”
Keirsey felt a little bubbly…
for a very short time.
“Cayden Pryster, right?”
When someone called out his name, her heart was surprised
Initially, she had thought they would take it lightly, but contrary to her expectations, they were showing interest in Cayden.
Again, that bad feeling started creeping up.
It felt the same as she felt when Cayden talked with Judy.
“….uh? You know… you know my Oppa…?”
Keirsey asked cautiously.
“Of course, he is also a member of the Pryster family, after all,” Mary answered.
In an instant, the young girls blossomed and chatted among themselves.
Their interest in Cayden continued to grow with no end in sight.
‘The one who goes to the Knight's Department?’
‘Rumor has it that he is a very kind and talented person!’
‘Wow, you can tell just by looking at Keirsey.
I think he must be caring.’
‘My brother is really annoying… I envy Keirsey for having such a brother.’
‘Oh… I heard he is handsome..’
As the noble girls, who were originally shy and did not speak well, intervened in the conversation, Keirsey felt her expression hardening.
Something wasn’t right.
She tried to change the topic of the conversation.
“That… Let's leave that.
By the way, where have you been going?”
“We were thinking of going for a walk after eating.”
“We thought seeing flowers would be fun.”
“Would you like to come too, Keirsey?”
“Yes! You should come too!”
Seeing so many people inviting her, Keirsey opened her mouth awkwardly.
Not this time.
I think I wasted too much of everyone's time.
I should stay a little longer… hehe.”
She wanted to make them go before Cayden came.
It was an instinctive feeling.
Keirsey heard the voice from afar.
This was the voice she loved the most, but at that moment it was also the voice she was most afraid to hear.
Kirsty bit her lips and turned to Cayden who was calling her.
He was walking towards her, waving his hand.
Why did he look extra cool today?
He didn't look 'noble-like' cool or a cool 'Oppa' instead he looked like a cool 'man'.
Keirsey’s heart, not knowing that fact, began pounding looking at him; Sweaty hair from harsh training, clothes clinging to his athletic build – revealing his hard-earned muscles, and a handsome face making him look like the man of every girl's dream.
Did he look so amazing to just her eyes?
Keirsey looked around, and once again, she felt suffocating.
The girls couldn’t take their eyes off him.
Holding their breath, they even forgot to blink and just tried to memorize this moment.
The young girls who had been arrogant before had completely disappeared, and they were all pretending to be courteous now.
He called her once more.
Keirsey rushed into his arms without a second thought.
She wrapped her arms around his body and hugged him tightly in front of everyone.
Like she was warning them to not covet him.
“I’m covered in sweat and dust, Keirsey.
Cayden’s hands gently pushed her shoulders away.
But Keirsey hugged him even tighter.
He certainly smelled like he said.
Though it was a very addictive smell to her; A manly scent just like his appearance.
Seeing Keirsey not showing any disgust, Cayden gave up pushing her away and started whispering in her ear – Keirsey felt her ears turn red.
“…so… where are those boys?”
Keirsey whispered in his ears while being in his arms.
“No, you have to suppress those boys in advance so that they don’t trouble you recklessly.”
Hearing him spitting out cute words in such a serious tone, Keirsey quickly forgot about the young girls behind them and asked with a familiar smile.
“Oppa, why did you come here looking so cool?”
“Yes? Do I look good today?”
“Yes, you look amazing.”
“I did a little bit of preparation to make my muscles look good.”
Knowing he was just kidding, Keirsey giggled and covered her mouth with her hand.
Just the two of them were whispering like they were telling a secret under the blanket, just like when they were young.
Keirsey felt this way because Cayden's arms were as wide and as warm as a winter blanket.
Upon feeling that, Keirsey unconsciously swallowed her saliva and felt warm.
…Unfortunately, they weren't alone and she couldn't stay like that forever.
He looks cool..’
‘…Yeah, he looks very reliable.’
‘I’m envious of Keirsey..’
Those voices broke her peace as if waking her up from a sweet dream.
Keirsey looked around.
Cayden had also heard those voices, hence his head was turning in that direction as well.
‘Hey! He's looking this way!’
The murmur grew louder.
Cayden raised his hand as if to say hello… but Keirsey grasped his hand in the middle.
Cayden’s startled reaction was ignored, and she led him holding his wrist.
“Oppa, I’m hungry! Let’s go quickly!”
There was resistance for a moment, but Cayden followed her lead.
On the way to the restaurant, Keirsey, who began to recognize something she didn’t know, had to roll her eyes and look around.
“Are you that hungry?”
Cayden asked, but Keirsey didn’t answer because she was not paying attention; Suddenly, she remembered the advice of her older sister, Asena.
She advised Keirsey to not leave Cayden alone even for a moment.
‘Did Unnie ask me not to leave his side because of this?’ Keirsey thought.
‘…uh? So, does Unnie also feel as suffocating as I do in such situations?’
Keirsey stopped walking and turned to Cayden.
His wet hair ruffling in the wind shook her heart.
If Asena had anticipated this situation, it would be right to do what she said.
From now on, Keirsey had to go and meet him herself.
The promise they made yesterday had to be broken.
Keirsey didn't like Judy Ice, but she felt the same way when so many girls saw Cayden with those hungry eyes.
And in front of those girls, Judy seemed like a saint.
Keirsey unknowingly started weighing the pros and cons in her head.
“I thought about it, but there are usually too many people around the fountain, right?”
“Ummm, indeed… you have a lot of friends.”
“Yes, and it's too complicated this way.
I think it would be better if I just go find Oppa as usual.”
Cayden rubbed his chin thoughtfully.
“…Is that so?”
Keirsey affirmed in a confident tone.
She thought going back to the previous method would resolve the issues that today popped up.
✧ ✧ ✧
The next day, as Keirsey entered the classroom, she felt a sticky interest in the air.
It was a kind of feeling that was directed toward her but didn't seem to be about her.
Such an atmosphere of interest was fairly thick around the noble girls she was friends with.
Keirsey felt a sense of insecurity for an unknown reason.
It was just a hunch but she was almost sure this interest was directed to her Oppa…
Asena wasn’t in the classroom yet.
So, Keirsey just pretended not to notice the interest, and deliberately exuded an atmosphere that was difficult to talk to.
Normally, when she came in, she greeted her friends with a bright voice and chatted with them casually.
Today, she just quietly entered the classroom and sat in her seat without a word.
Was it because of the atmosphere she exuded? The women who seemed to be ready to approach her were hesitating now.
Mary was the only one who carefully passed the wall she had created and approached.
“…Keirsey, what’s wrong?”
“….Are you sick…?”
It might just be because of the weather.”
Keirsey looked at the girls standing behind Mary.
One of the young girls who stood like that showed a blatantly disappointed look.
Keirsey didn’t like that.
She understood why that girl was so disappointed.
She must have wanted to ask about Cayden through Keirsey, but now she was disappointed that the opportunity was gone.
Keirsey was not used to this level of stress.
Back in Pryster's Castle, thanks to Cayden, she had fun every day.
She hadn’t felt this dirty feeling in years.
She felt this way only sometimes when Cayden didn't hug her or if he forgot to kiss her forehead before going to bed, and that hadn't happened in years.
Hence it had been a long time since she felt this bad.
Keirsey felt the urge to speak harsh words.
But… she had already seen what would happen if she showed such behavior a few days ago.
It was true Cayden wasn't here but if she made a fuss here, it might reach his ears as well.
Then she would not be able to keep her promise to him that she would never show her evil side.
Moreover, Keirsey knew that nothing had happened to make her angry.
She just felt dirty for no reason.
Hence, she had no choice but to suppress this feeling alone.
“Mary… I’ll lie down for a bit before class starts.”
“Ah, yes…! Rest, Keirsey.”
Keirsey laid her arms on the desk and fell.
She didn’t want to talk to anyone right now.
She knew what they were curious about, and Keirsey didn’t want to tell them anything about him.
So she pretended to be asleep, but she still kept hearing their gossip about yesterday.
‘Isn't Cayden-same too kind?’
'Right! My brother would never hug me like that!'
Keirsey closed her eyes even more tightly.
No matter what they said, she decided not to respond.
If she waited a little bit, this moment would pass, and their curiosity would also die down.
‘It was the first time I saw someone look so cool.’
‘Yeah, he had a nice body..’
However, once the conversation of the nobles broke out, they did not know how to stop.
Keirsey clenched her fists tightly.
They were complimenting her Oppa… It was supposed to be good to hear, but she didn’t like it.
‘I wish someone could love me so much…’
‘…I’m envious of Keirsey-Sama..’
Keirsey tossed and turned.
She was so uncomfortable, she wanted the class to start as soon as possible.
‘…I want to hang out with Cayden-Sama.’
A girl whispered in the crowd of students.
Keirsey’s knees hit the desk.
Everyone looked in the direction of the sound.
Keirsey, who suddenly stood up was looking at that girl with ferocious eyes.
The friendly Keirsey was gone, and a dangerous snake-like Pryster was there.
Everyone could only be frightened.
It was as if a predator who had been playing with food was revealing its true nature.
Everyone tensed at the chilling air.
Even Mary swallowed her saliva.
But soon after, Keirsey smiled at them gently.
Some of the ignorant nobles breathed a sigh of relief, but the quick-witted few did not relax just yet.
“What are you girls talking about?”
The girl who said she was not feeling well vanished, and instead, only old gentle Keirsey stood now.
Then Keirsey jumped into the group of women with her unique bubbly personality with a goal in mind.
Keirsey couldn’t stand it any longer.
All of them began to look like thieves.
She knew there was no malice in them.
In fact, it was the opposite; Excessive favoritism was the problem.
Why did they keep showing interest Why did they keep getting greedy Saying that she wanted to date him was the most ridiculous thing Keirsey had ever heard in her life.
Oppa isn’t interested in such things anyways.
Keirsey began to create excuses.
Otherwise, she couldn’t find any reason to be so angry anymore.
For a moment, she imagined the girl in front of her becoming Cayden’s lover.
Cayden, who always hugged her, was hugging this girl in her imagination.
His kind words changed course and turned to this girl.
She hated the scenario so much that she unknowingly let out a 'wow' sound.
In reality, she felt totally the opposite of 'wow' but her anger had already clouded her judgment.
Hence she let out a wrong sound.
It was the first time Keirsey had such a bad feeling.
She felt surprisingly terrified.
Suddenly, she felt the gazes focused on her, and she quickly changed her expression again.
It was Mary who spoke first among the stiff girls.
“Oh, that… Cayden Oppa is—”
‘Call him Cayden! Who are you to call him Oppa?’
Mary’s words, which Keirsey was so familiar with, were now annoying.
She still didn't voice out her complaints though.
“—so cool…we were talking about that.”
Keirsey endured these unpleasant words with a smile fixed on her face.
But her brain was working with the speed of light.
She could practically hear the sound of gears moving hurriedly.
'How do I deal with this problem?'
It was clear what Keirsey wanted.
She didn’t want them to pay any more attention to Cayden.
She didn't want them to come any closer and not covet him.
She tried to come up with plans to achieve her goal.
'Should I warn them? To not show interest?'
That wasn’t it.
It lacked justification, and it just looked weird and might even urge them to pay more attention.
Although the Pryster family was strong, it was almost impossible to use the prestige to threaten them in daylight, especially when they all belonged to one noble family or another.
I can't order them…
Should I request gently?'
That wasn't right either.
It seemed that a gentle method would not be able to completely silence this commotion.
There was only one way left.
It wouldn't ruin her relationship with them, and it might be a good way to turn off their interest in Cayden.
Luckily, they didn’t know anything about Cayden yet.
They were just flies that gathered around him only by looking at the light of a single thread.
If that was the case, she could get rid of them just by covering the light with her palm.
“I… didn’t say anything bad! Really! I just thought he is cool.”
Mary made the excuse, misunderstanding the situation entirely.
Keirsey opened her mouth in doubt.
As soon as she decided on the method, everything else became easier.
Do you girls also think Cayden-Oppa is cool?”
Keirsey asked the noble girls standing behind Mary.
One of the girls blushed and nodded her head.
Keirsey stared at her for a long time,
Keirsey laughed out loud as if she heard a funny joke.
Everyone looked at her in surprise.
She wasn't even acting anymore.
It was really funny that the girl in front of Keirsey wanted to replace her.
After laughing like that for a while, Keirsey lowered her voice and whispered.
He looks cool.
But that’s only because you girls don’t know what he is actually like.”
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