Male Lead, Don't Follow Me! - Chapter 2
Kiara’s daily routine starts with waking up in the morning and checking if her neck is still attached.
Recalling what had happened yesterday, Kiara counted her lucky stars that it passed without a hitch as she fastened a handkerchief made of magic tightly around her neck.
“Okay, let’s stay safe today too.”
Kiara left for the city early in the morning with the money she had saved from foraging medicinal herbs.
‘Am I overdoing it with the handkerchief?’
The handkerchief around her neck glowed softly as it protected her when she tapped against it with a hard object.
It was as hard as a suit of armor and highly defensive, so her head was unlikely to fall off from her body even if someone aimed for her neck.
‘My role is a supporting character, so it won’t be strange if I just die out of the blue.’
Kiara had to protect her body.
There was a place Kiara wanted to stop by before her appointed tea party with Ephelia.
Ahead was a magic supply store.
Kiara couldn’t ignore the benefits of items because her spiritual power was weak.
Also, Kiara had to oppose the crazy male lead in a war that could happen at any moment.
In order to survive, Kiara needed a contingency.
For that reason, there were many magic effects that Kiara had on her body right now.
While riding in a carriage, Kiara leaned back and closed her eyes.
“Ah, it would have been better if I didn’t know what would happen.”
Then she wouldn’t have had to live day to day with the threat looming over her mind.
It was no use feeling down about it now.
Kiara found comfort in the fact that at least there was a place where she could express herself.
If it wasn’t for the forest, Kiara might have really died from the stress.
At first, Kiara sat timidly alone in the forest and talked to herself for hours, but after a few years, she became bold and had become accustomed to talking out loud.
All of her worries seemed to wash away when she was alone.
Lately, Kiara had run into Vishwaltz quite often, so she was under a lot of stress.
If Kiara hadn’t vented inside the forest, she thought she would have hit her head against a vase by now.
‘That bastard is going to kill me! Ephelia, you’re being fooled! He’s simply crazy!’
Unable to tell Ephelia the truth, Kiara felt lost.
“It’ll happen sooner or later.”
The mere thought of it gave her a headache.
As Kiara tried to calm herself, she found herself worrying about the future again.
“Kiara has arrived? Welcome!”
Ephelia, who was sitting in her seat, waved her hand welcomingly at Kiara.
The atmosphere seemed a little lively.
“You came at just the right time.”
“Why? Did something interesting happen?”
Sitting next to Ephelia, Kiara asked Belita Erin.
She swallowed her saliva with a rather imaginative look as her eyes shined.
“I heard he accepted your greeting!”
‘What, why was his name brought up?’
Kiara asked again because she thought she had misheard.
“Who else but Duke Vishwaltz!”
There was a silence after she had spoken clearly.
“Didn’t he say your voice was beautiful?”
Kiara couldn’t believe the nonsense she was hearing.
‘How can ‘it struck a chord in my ear’ be misinterpreted as him saying my voice was beautiful?’
Turning her head, she saw Ephelia shaking her head and lightly shrugging her shoulders.
‘I guess we heard different things.’
Kiara wasn’t someone who would stay still after hearing such a ridiculous rumor, but seeing as how Ephelia was sipping her tea as if she had given up, she thought it was of little use discussing this any further.
“Ah! Speaking of voice, I just remembered something!”
The rapidly changing topic was usually annoying, but Kiara was grateful for it today.
The attention of the young ladies fell on Rosie who had just clapped her hands.
‘Recently, I heard strange noises coming from the forbidden forest.’
“That’s right, I’ve heard it too. Guess who’s investigating it?”
Her hand holding the teacup shook.
Kiara tried to take a sip of the tea with a calm expression, but she couldn’t remain down.
“Who? Duke Vishwaltz.”
Hearing her utter the name Vishwaltz, the teacup Kiara was holding fell and plummeted to the ground.
Ignoring the hot tea that had fallen against the back of her hand, her whole body trembled in shock.
“Kiara! Oh my, your hand is red!”
‘That isn’t the problem…Ephelia, at least you’ll still have your hands…’
Kiara shook her head and began to deny reality.
‘When she said investigating, does she mean recently? Or even before that? Did he overheard everything?’
Filled with nervousness and anxiety, her jaw rattled and her teeth clattered.
“Kiara, are you okay? You look white as a sheet.”
Kiara sat in a daze as Ephelia grabbed her hand.
“No, I’m not okay…”
“I’ll quickly treat you. Thank goodness the tea wasn’t boiling.”
Ephelia hurriedly treated her by summoning the spirit of water to cool her hands.
Sitting there in a daze, Kiara asked Belita in the hope that she was mistaken.
“Uh, when…did the rumor start?”
“I don’t know, but I think it’s recent. Not too long ago, a passerby who was passing through the forest reported it to the landlord, so…Maybe three or four days ago?”
Three or four days ago.
Duke Vishwaltz might not have seen her.
Kiara had stayed there briefly when no one was around.
“Oh, but what did the passerby hear to even report it?”
Haley couldn’t resist her curiosity and asked Belita what she was alluding to.
Her father worked as an investigator, so he was thorough on this matter.
Everyone held their breath and listened to what Belita said.
Kiara couldn’t even swallow her saliva because her mouth was closed tightly.
‘So, what did the passerby hear? A secret concerning Vishwaltz? Or was it me telling Vishwaltz to stay away from Ephelia? Or maybe the knowledge I know about this place?!’
Frankly, Kiara spoke so much in the forest that it was easier to think of what she might not have said rather than what she might have said.
‘It’s a forbidden forest! No one should be there!’
That’s why Kiara went there and confessed her frustration.
Kiara felt troubled.
‘I’m afraid there’s no hope left for me.’
Belita looked a little burdened when everyone looked at her.
She cleared her throat and spoke in an uncertain tone.
“I think the passerby heard the cry of a monster…”
Kiara blinked at the unexpected words and stared at Belita. However, contrary to her, the other ladies shuddered.
“Oh my goodness! I can’t believe there are monsters! I’ve heard about them, but they’ve never appeared!”
“That’s terrible. The town isn’t going to be invaded, is it?”
This actually benefited her.
Kiara thought Vishwaltz also suspected it was a monster when he investigated the forbidden forest.
‘I need to be careful for a while.’
Having been frightened out of her wits, Kiara flopped down in her chair.
Looking at her hands, it seems that Ephelia had already finished treatment.
“You look surprised. Drink this.”
Ephelia patted the back of her hand, then gave her a cup of warm tea.
Kiara nodded with a light smile as she smelled the tea.
“But how did the monster cry?”
Suddenly, a lady asked Belita with sparkling eyes out of curiosity.
They waited for her next words like children begging their mom to tell them about the past.
“How did it cry…? Um.”
It didn’t cry. There were no monsters in the first place. Plus, Kiara has never cried in the forest…
Ah, Kiara did for a time.
It was at the beginning when Kiara realized her situation.
But if she said it was recent, then it was impossible for it to be her crying.
Having lost interest, Kiara calmly drank her tea.
Unsure if she remembered it correctly, Belita said in a low voice.
“It was ‘gae saekki!’”
Haley widened her eyes when she heard Belita’s words.
Spitting out the tea, Kiara looked at Belita with a dazed face.
She shouted once more.
“It said ‘gae saekki.’ Well, I think it was something like that…”
‘Of course! Because that word means dog!’
“But can monsters talk?”
“Something’s not right.”
A lady who was listening to the story sighed.
“Of course not!”
It was Haley who had seen all the reports.
Belita, who had brought it up first, rounded her eyes at her words.
“Then, are you saying the information I told you was wrong?”
“Belita, think carefully.”
Haley said while puffing her chest.
‘What? What’s there to think about?’
At Haley’s word, Kiara hid her trembling hands and held her breath.
“It’s not a monster but a human!”
Everyone had a puzzled look on their face at her words.
“What, so you’re saying someone went into the forbidden forest?”
Kiara gave a strong nod at the rebuttal.
Whatever it was, Haley’s remarks were very dangerous to her.
When Kiara saw those eyes, she really felt like Haley knew something…
“Okay, think about it. The words ‘gae saekki.’ Don’t you think you think it was said to someone?”
Everyone became lost in thought at Haley’s words.
A lady who was mumbling to herself suddenly spoke up as her eyes glowed.
“Don’t tell me…gay bastard?”
“That’s right! That’s it! Think about it. Isn’t something weird?”
This time, Haley’s eyes sparkled.
“Maybe Duke Vishwaltz is gay, so he went to investigate the monsters as a cover up to find the person who spread the rumor?”
Everyone agreed that her words were plausible.
“Oh my goodness! That’s possible! He wants to catch the criminal!”
The excited Belita responded.
In an instant, Haley’s words became true.
‘How the hell did it go from gae saekki to gay bastard?!’
Gripping her knees hard, she wanted to shout the truth out of frustration.
Nonetheless, Kiara tried to calm down, even though she couldn’t hide her trembling hands.
“Oh my, Lady Lowell, are you upset? Are you bothered by such a fact after greeting him and feeling a connection?”
‘What the hell is she talking about now? Can’t she see my deathly pale face?’
Anyhow, Kiara didn’t think he even cared for her greeting.
This time, someone else spoke.
“You must have feelings for Duke Vishwaltz. Seeing as how you trembled at the words ‘gay bastard.’”
“What? No, it’s… ”
In the end, Kiara couldn’t come up with an excuse or give an explanation to her current state.
Kiara thought it would be best to ignore their words with an awkward smile.
“But if that’s true, why is he investigating the monsters?”
Lady Felon Hertia, who was looking at everyone, still expressed doubt.
This was also a curious point for Kiara.
‘I’m sure he had heard the rumor, so why is he investigating it?’
No one could easily answer that question.
It was hard to even guess the intentions of Duke Vishwaltz.
He has never exposed his heart to anyone.
1. 개 (from 개새끼다 meaning son of a bitch) = gae. And gae sounds like gay…it’s a cheesy plot device, so just roll with it.