Rette knew very well the preciousness of unconditional kindness.
Rette’s childhood began with the memory of moving around the slums and being shunned by everyone.
Even though she was lucky enough to be born as a summer user who lived under Orpheus, that memory did not disappear.
On the contrary, she learnt from Orpheus that kindness always comes with a price.
So she wanted to repay anyone who gave her unconditional kindness.
She would do a foretelling for that person, even if her physical age would be reduced to a baby.
Therefore, Rette needed to confirm if her opponent was indeed Ravia Leontine.
No matter what her heart was telling her, it wasn’t enough.
She had to hear it directly from the person’s mouth that she was Ravia.
That way, everything she wants to do now and in the future for her sake will be useful.
Unfortunately, the woman did not seem to reveal her identity easily.
But Rette knew how to prove her identity.
The Cheshire Cat question.
Among all the customers who asked for a messenger, only Ravia replied with the right answer.
So Rette was going to back out if she couldn’t answer this question.
“What do you think ‘Cheshire Cat’ means”
“…I know a salon with that name.”
Ravia’s first answer was quite disappointing.
She kept a poker face, seemingly a little wary of Rette.
But Ravia didn’t stop there.
“The salon asked me the same thing.
Is this some kind of test”
“Cheshire Cat” has general meanings.
It means something that exists anywhere and nowhere.”
Rette nodded instead of answering.
Ravia was right.
“Yes, but-” Rette said.
“But that’s not the answer you want, right”
Rette looked up as if she had been shot by an arrow.
Then she found Ravia with a more relaxed expression than before.
“I’m sorry, but I won’t answer.
My answer is more precious than ‘time’.”
And that is exactly what Rette wanted to hear.
The real meaning of Cheshire Cat, something that exists anywhere and nowhere, was time.
That was enough.
‘Herod’s not here yet.’
Herod told her to find Ravia and left, saying that he had business to take care of.
Coming to a place like this meant that he had to deal with his personal connection.
And Rette aimed for a blind spot during that time.
‘I’d be fine as long as I eliminate all the traces of my contact with Ravia before Herod notices.’
Herod was in a position where he couldn’t contact Ravia first right now.
It was obvious that he ordered Rette to do something he couldn’t do.
So if Rette said that Ravia wasn’t her angel, Herod will not be able to use her as an excuse to approach Ravia.
‘It’s only a temporary solution, but he’d eventually get over today’s event, right’
Rette strode up to Ravia and held her hand.
Seems like you didn’t know what kind of situation you were in, but I-”
Seems like you don’t know your situation.”
What does that mean
When Rette raised her head in bewilderment, she caught Ravia looking down at her with eyes bent into a smile.
Almost like her wary and suspicious expression earlier was a lie.
Ravia whispered low,
“If you want to take your chance, watch your back first.”
But there was no answer.
Instead, Ravia lifted her hand to push Rette, which caused her small body to bend backwards little by little.
Ravia was quite strong despite her appearance, and because Rette was careless, she began to lose her balance and staggered back.
Usually, anyone who leaned back like that would end up falling, but that didn’t happen.
As if he watched everything, a big hand appeared so timely and supported Rette’s shoulders.
A dry laugh that sounded sharp but playful rang out.
Why are you being so harsh toward a child”
“I didn’t know that I’d be scolded for being harsh just for doing this much.”
The moment she heard such a familiar voice and Ravia who calmly replied to him immediately….
She could tell who he was without raising her head.
Rette’s hand trembled as she grasped the hand that weighed down on her like a stone coffin.
The dreadful pressure lingered as he spat out sweet words.
“Well done, Rette.”
Then his hand fell off her shoulder.
Now Rette could face the red eyes looking down at her.
His red eyes crinkled into a smile, but she knew it was far from a smile.
“Go back first.”
At the gentle but clear order from the beast, Rette fully realized the situation she was in.
It wasn’t Ravia who fell into the trap, but it was Rette.
Ravia noticed Herod from the start.
Who else if it’s not him
Tidwell was already picking up the golden apple that she rolled.
Who else could intervene in this situation unless it was Herod
Ravia realized it when the little girl who blocked her way mentioned her name.
However, there was a reason why she did not shake off the girl and leave.
She wanted to meet Herod in a bright place without having to hide their faces behind masks.
‘I’m sure there’s a reason why you seek me first even though we have an appointment later.’
Maybe he stepped on the seed he had sown, and Ravia also could feel someone’s gaze.
She was seated in the corner of the hall on the second floor to look down on the first floor.
The area in the hallway leading to the balcony was commonly used by the guests as a resting place.
In other words, this place was somewhat exposed even if it was quiet.
If the first floor is a party area, the second floor is usually for resting and secret meetings.
It also meant that there were many places to hide, and the soundproofing was pretty good.
It was a perfect place for someone to hide and watch.
Maybe she was being paranoid, but she chose to trust her gut.
The results were revealed earlier than expected.
The fiery man who had been hiding finally came out of the dark hallway.
Ravia glanced at the first floor.
‘Tidwell doesn’t seem to be back yet.’
Fortunately, there was still some time left.
She had enough time to deal with this obstacle.
After calculating the time, Ravia took her eyes off the first floor.
When she looked up again, she saw the little girl turning her back.
Her jade-colored hair swayed over her shoulders.
The little girl’s back seemed to overlap with the breezy voice of her calling Ravia ‘sister’.
So Ravia asked nonchalantly.
“Is it okay to send her back like that”
“Is there a reason not to”
Ravia turned her gaze at the friendly man.
A man who fit the word fiery rather than savage.
He was excessively friendly.
‘This is too much.’
Herod didn’t seem to be offended even when Ravia dropped the honorifics.
He remained talking politely as if he was still pretending to be Herod’s subordinate, Quincy, to deceive Ravia.
Maybe he won’t tell her his real intention of seeking her out.
‘Then I’ll need to provoke you.’
There’s no time left.
She had to provoke him and find out his real intention.
‘To do that, I’ll have to stop acting clueless first.’
Ravia slowly raised her body that leaned against the fence and began talking.
“There’s no specific reason or anything.
That kid looked betrayed when you showed up.
I was wondering if she had something to say.”
“Something to say”
“….You’ve been watching her, haven’t you”
“Isn’t it natural to watch over someone who works for you Well, Rette might be unaware that I was watching her, so that’s why she was surprised.”
So the child who didn’t resemble him was called Rette.
‘But that child doesn’t look as surprised as he makes her out to be.’
But Ravia thought she didn’t have to dwell deeply into it.
Ravia nodded dryly and shrugged it off.
“You don’t trust your subordinates, do you”
“I think putting all my trust in my master is enough for me.”
“Master Do you mean Herod Orpheus” Ravia asked with a dry smile.
Sir Herod is the only head of Orpheus.”
“..Is that so”
It required a good acting skill to call himself ‘sir’ without hesitation.
That was impressive.
He managed to humble himself down to this point, so it’d be hard to uproot him with simple provocation.
Other people would try to provoke and hurt his pride by all sorts of scornful remarks, but Ravia was different.
She knew very well how to break that mask.
So what could break it was, as usual, a very small crack.
Do you address your own brother in such a polite manner”
Planting a treacherous seed, and creating a very small crack.
Watching the man’s face slowly stiffen, Ravia twisted the corner of her mouth.
Let’s see how far your lies will go, Herod.