Suddenly, Irene wondered why she was trying to persuade Otis.
Obviously, when Louise came in, she wanted to leave the mansion and live her own life.
Though a spy who was not in the original story abruptly appeared, and the male protagonists who were not interested in her were caught.
‘And, there is no obtainable reality.’
Now, she has become the protagonist of a scandal.
There were a lot of ups and downs.
For a role given to an extra, it is far too overdone.
Feeling a terrible headache, Irene shut her eyes as if she did not expect Otis’ answer.
The reason was simple.
It was because the answer was obvious, anyway.
‘They would say no.’
She was a person who had no expectations of others as much as she did of herself.
Perhaps, that was why she seemed more unrivaled.
She worked like a doll, a maid who did not voluntarily say no.
However, if you dug a little deeper into her, you would find that she was filled with emptiness—her inner feelings have worn out in the endlessly repeated life.
Irene, never for a moment, had thought that she would be able to be an important figure to the protagonists of this game herself.
So, she waited for the answer.
Obviously, hoping for him to say that it was not true.
Nonetheless, instead of answering, silence enveloped them.
At that, she witnessed…
Otis’s trembling black eyes.
That bewildered look on his face like he was hesitating because he could not come up with an answer or even as though he was shocked himself.
Unknowingly, Irene opened her mouth.
“Young Master, no…”
At that moment…
Footsteps began to ring in the hallway.
Even though it was soft, the noise was enough to break the silence.
Since Rodion was in an annex and the servants wore slippers so that they did not make noises when they walked around at night, it was easy to recognize who the owner of those footsteps was.
At Otis’ faint words, Irene curled up like a child hiding under the tablecloth without realizing it.
It was because she was now running away from Ahibalt.
‘It would be difficult to meet the First Master here…’
She could talk about the spy to Otis, whom the main story has not started yet.
However, not to Ahibalt because his episode was already in progress.
Of course, there was not much to say about it.
Irene hastily put together a number of excuses in case Ahibalt calls her back and interrogates her.
Still, nothing seemed to come out smoothly in front of him.
’Do you trust me, Irene’
Especially because she was the one who gave the answer that she trusted him every time to that question.
She recalled Ahibalt’s eyes that were facing her again.
‘…It looked like he was hurt.’
He was not too surprised at the existence of the spy itself.
In the first place, if they were determined to find it, a word or two from Irene’s testimony would not have had much impact on the investigation.
However, Ahibalt looked as if he had been hurt by her hiding the fact from him.
His eyes as though reprimanding how a person who always trusted him could keep her mouth shut like that.
What Irene was really afraid of was the wounded look, rather than the fact she had to tell the story about the spy.
She was not confident she would face it again and spat out lies.
‘I wish he would not come to this room…’
Otis’s eyes narrowed at Irene’s somewhat unstable attitude.
He had a pretty good eye.
As soon as the story about Ahibalt came out, there was no way he could not understand what her uneasy attitude meant.
“Irene, you don’t want brother to find out, do you”
“Is it hard to say why”
“It’s not hard to say, but I think it’s hard to explain right now.”
Certainly, it would be better to spread the word by several people rather than to get caught by one person.”
Otis added jokingly and held Irene in a flash.
At that, she opened her rabbit eyes in surprise and grabbed his shoulder.
“Young, Young Master…!”
Unless you want to be caught, you’d better be quiet.
Of course, I don’t mind getting caught.”
‘I do not think he is either.’
At his added words, Irene’s mouth fell straight.
Seeing that, he smiled as he pulled the corners of his lips together as if pleased.
Putting Irene down on the bed, he then put a blanket over her.
“What…are you doing”
“What we were originally going to do… Although we’re going to have to hide you first, right”
That way, even if his brother comes in, he should not be able to recognize it.
As Irene blinked her eyes instead of nodding her head at the accompanying explanation, Otis continued his words, “My room has very little furniture, so there’s really no place to hide you other than the bed.
If it’s not here, I think I’ll have to keep you standing in the closet, wouldn’t that be difficult”
“I’m fine with the closet.”
“The bed is fine, why should we do that”
He answered calmly, turned off the lights, and drew the curtains halfway on the bed.
The next moment, he laid down with a blanket next to Irene, who was lying down.
“If it’s like this, you won’t be able to be seen from the outside.”
Irene’s small stature was obscured by the silhouette of the duvet and the shadow cast by the drapery, and from outside the bed, it would appear that Otis was lying alone.
“Isn’t it enough to sleep like this and wake up Our scandals will be easy to make and it’s easy to hide.
Or, do you hate this as well”
“That’s not… but—Do we have to be like this”
“You know that being close would help to not be noticed.”
That was right.
When she could not answer, Otis sighed and closed his eyes.
“It’s true that I just seduced you, though I don’t tempt people this way.”
“…I didn’t say anything.”
“You tend to show all your inner feelings with your face.”
In short, it meant that all the uncomfortable things were out of the question.
In fact, she had been stiff all the time, so it would be weird that it would not show.
Irene, too, knew that she had now been fussing in vain.
‘…Lying on this bed like this is a little uncomfortable.’
She did not like it because it reminded her of her fourth life… The memories of sitting alone in the room Otis left and the memories of hugging him even though she knew he would one day leave.
Still, as expected…
‘…I think this is better.’
It was better to lie down next to Otis than to face Ahibalt again now.
The difference was clear.
Ahibalt wanted Irene to be sincere, and Otis did not.
So, of the two, the latter was, evidently, the one where she could be a little more comfortable now.
Irene eventually closed her eyes.
“Then, I’ll stay like this for a while… After the footsteps disappear, I’ll go back to the sofa.
As you said, I think I’ll have to stay until morning for the scandal.”
“Whatever you want.”
Otis did not bother to stop her.
A hand that would be pretty enough to hold the violin bow gently brushed Irene’s messy hair.
Was this also seduction, too The boundaries were blurred because she and Otis had been together during her adolescence and had maintained a close relationship ever since.
Perhaps, the memories of having passed through many lives and intertwined with him in each life were what made this contact more reluctant to accept.
It did not matter.
‘It was not sincere, anyway.’
Irene slowly blinked her eyes and gazed at the friendly face in front of her.
It was the first time she had seen Otis’ face so close and with such a perspective.
In her fourth life, even when she had a relationship with him, he would turn his back on her, so she would always have to ask him to face her.
‘…I don’t think we have ever lied down side by side like this.’
Louise must have seen this face in at least two lives.
Could he have been a little kinder than he is now Or, would honey drip from their eyes as they gazed at each other At least, he would wear a face that was painted with the feeling of being loved, that would have been enough to hold…
The end of the thought became more and more blurred.
It was because of the sleepiness that was attacking her.
The brazier placed under the bed warmed it, and Irene’s weary body continued to relax.
‘If I go out of this mansion and buy a house, I must buy a house with a bed like this.’
Thinking so, she slowly closed her eyes without realizing it.
“The question you asked earlier.”
A soft voice was heard.
Otis seemed to have opened his mouth.
“No matter how hard I think about it, I… I don’t think I want you to want me either.”
That was right.
Again, it seemed that the silence from earlier was simply caused by worrying.
Irene closed her eyes without much disappointment.
She decided to forget her heart that had been agitated for a moment.
If she had to say it, she would have felt a little relieved.
Seeing that her heart felt cold, she thought she was right.
In the end, she fell asleep at the end of that thought.
I wish you needed me more than you wanted me… So that you can’t help but yearn for me even if you don’t want to.”
She had not even heard such whispers.
* * *
The next day.
Irene rose like a sword before sunrise.
The maid’s routine started long before the masters woke up, so it seemed natural.
Even with that in mind, it was a bit early at that time.
It was not until dawn, when no one really would have woken up.
However, it was when the housemaid began to hear footsteps rushing around to put firewood in the fireplace.
Irene, who opened her eyes, asked with bewildered eyes.
“…Did I occupy the bed and sleep here”
“I think it seems to be that way.”
Otis shrugged as he sat on the sofa in front of the tea table beyond the bed.
Seeing this, she jumped up hurriedly.
“Sorry, I’m sorry.
You must have been uncomfortable.”
“Why don’t you sleep more than that”
Meanwhile, Otis turned instead of answering.
Normally, she would have noticed the unnatural context, though she just blinked her eyes blankly, perhaps because she was not fully awake.
After her eyelids went up and down like that a few times, Irene shook her head and struggled to get her upper body up.
It’s time to get up.”
“Do you usually get up this early Even if you can’t get up, I think it’s only around dawn.”
Chambermaid—Haam. It’s okay to wake up a little late…”
Irene yawned twice in a row and rubbed her eyes.
Gazing at her, he thought that she was like a rabbit with fluffy fur.
For some reason, it felt like he wanted to stroke her hair once.
Conceivably, it was because Irene’s face, who had been sleeping soundly, was overlapped on it.
‘I stayed up all night.’
After Otis scoffed to himself, thinking of the long and short night, he followed Irene and got up.
“It’s okay to wake up a little late.
Why do you get up so early”
“It’s not like I was in the Young Master’s room for nothing… I have to leave when other people see me.”
“Even if you go out later, would they not see you”
“Isn’t it more natural to sneak out early in the morning when seeing someone”
Still, isn’t that a bit modest for someone to sneak out like that”
“Is that so…”
Saying so, Irene glanced down at her body and tilted her head.
Strangely, that little gesture reminded him of a small animal looking at its reflection in the stream.
Otis answered, suppressing the urge to laugh somehow.
Who goes out dressed like this after spending the night with a lover”
“Then, what do I wear”
“Something a little more shameful”
“…That makes sense.”
‘That made no sense.’
Otis sneered at his own trickery.
It was fortunate that there were no mirrors in the room.
If she had been able to see herself more objectively, there would have been no need to nod her head at his words.
The present Irene was maintaining the outfit she met Otis in at the greenhouse.
A dress that showed off the length of her shoulder line, revealing her ankles…
Irene’s mood, which had sunk into her drowsy look from not being fully awake from her sleep, was even portrayed as languid and seductive.
‘It is seductive.’
And, that unfamiliar fact that approached Otis.