The sky outside the window was so clear that it was impossible to tell how high it was.
And the maple tree next to the building was slowly turning red from the top.
It was a scene that truly made you feel the vivid approaching of autumn.

Those look just like Nezar’s eyes. While I couldn’t take my eyes off the red maple tree, Nezar spoke up in a calm, low voice.

“In five years, would the top of your head be able to reach my shoulders?”

I lifted my chin to look at Nezar.
He was staring straight ahead so he couldn’t make eye contact with me, but I could tell he was conscious of my stare.

I gradually lowered my gaze, and it landed on his sidelines.
As expect of a man who practised swordsmanship as a hobby, muscle movements could be seen faintly over his shirt.
As soon as I raised my head, my vision immediately bumped into Nezar’s hard chest and fine abs.

“Are you teasing me right now? Nezar, you are going to keep growing too.
A dwarf like me won’t be able to reach your shoulders even after a lifetime.”

I felt a little bitter having to put it in such a straightforward way.
Even in my past life, which felt very distant from now, my height had always been shorter than those around me.
Still, when considering the height of my father and brothers, there was a strand of hope. 

Right, height is hereditary so I could still grow taller!

“But why all of the sudden?”

Does Nezar like tall and mature women? Fair enough. 

He was nineteen, while I was only fifteen, not to mention knee-high to a grasshopper.
Exaggerated, but still.

Wait, then finding a girlfriend my age would not help at all. 

I frowned at the newly emerged challenge. 

It’s fine.
I can look into it as long as I want.
I wouldn’t reach nineteen until 4 years later… No wait, a whole 4 years left? 

I then decided that I would go to sleep early and wake up late starting today.
That way, time would flow a little faster.

“It’s a little disappointing to think that my Kate will grow up in the future.”

I shudder with disgust at his sudden remark.

“Whoa, where in the world is my Kate coming from? Neither Lockherd nor you are allowed to add possessive adjectives before my name.”

Nezar stopped at the top of the stairs and looked at me in astonishment.

“You know the word ‘possessive’? When did you learn that from a book?”

It was a sentence that clearly voiced how he perceived me so far.
I glared at him and shoved his hand away.

“Of course I know it! Anyway, just don’t put it like that.
I am mine, and not anyone else’s.”

“What is wrong with it? Do you have any idea how long you’ve been following me? Since you were eight years old! When you fell down and got hurt, I would carry you on my back.
When you whined about your hungry stomach, I would pick raspberries for you.
Whenever I had to leave, you would start whining, telling me not to go…”

“Ahh! Don’t know, don’t know! Can’t hear you! Stop!!”

As my dark past was revealed in detail, I covered my ears and ran down the stairs.
I crossed the hall and ran out of the castle, but I had no idea where Lockherd was.
I eventually had to stop running aimlessly.

When I looked back, I saw Nezar walking slowly with his hands in his pockets.
Wearing a disheveled shirt, without a jacket or a vest, he was like the picture of a handsome thug walking through the back alleys.
Even his smiling face was similar to Lockherd’s mean and cheeky face.
This must be why they said that people would resemble each other once they got close enough.
Indeed, they were identical alright.

“Don’t you get it? Kate, I partially raised you.
And yet, you dared to say that I put possessives before your name recklessly?!”

The garden in the front yard of the Knights’ headquarters was full of green grass and well-trimmed trees without a single flower.
As I inhaled the freshness of green leaves at full growth, Nezar narrowed the gap between us.
The leaves’ shadows fluttered over his face.

“Don’t run around alone and get lost again.
Come on, hold my hand.”

With a sullen face, I grabbed his outstretched hand.
As Nezar said, it wasn’t the first time I had wandered around and got lost in a maze-like garden.
I didn’t want to go back to that time when I waited for Nezar, shivering with cold and hunger.

“Where are we going now? I don’t know how to get to Nezar’s castle, so I’m not sure if this road is the one.”

“Your house.”

“I heard that you’re busy.
Can you really escort me back?”

Nezar replied to my question nonchalantly.

“Rather, I’m making time for you so I can take you home.
So be grateful.”

Seriously, how absurd.
If someone saw it, they might think that I begged for him to come with me.

“Can’t I just go alone?”


It was such a firm refusal that there was no need to ask any further.
I turned away from him to look ahead.
Nezar slowed down to match my small strides so I wouldn’t have a hard time keeping up.

When we arrived at Ezellot estate, it was way past lunchtime and the sun was already over our head.
Because I had yet to have my meal, I felt the urge to bolt into the castle as my starving stomach was killing me.
However, Nezar had no intention of spending time at Ezeltot, so he refused to join me at the dining table.

He ruffled my hair roughly before getting back in the carriage and left Ezellot.
I gazed at the carriage as it grew further and further, until it turned into a dot.
Thereafter, I quietly entered the castle.
At that moment, a feeling of deep emptiness arose and overflowed within me.
And I instantly felt down out of the blue.
Up until I put my feet in the bathtub, the smell of soil soaked with sunlight on him did not seem to have dissipated completely.

I called Daisy in a subdued tone.

“Daisy, is there any way to think less of the person you like?”

Daisy, who was cleaning the bedroom from beyond the door, answered.

“How to think less? Hmm, I think I heard that when physical bodies are far apart, the mind will also become distant.”

“So I have to get away? How far?”

“Maybe at least two days by carriage?”

It was ten times the distance going back and forth between the islands and Ezellot Castle.
I dipped my chin just below the water surface, disappointed at Daisy’s suggestion.

“Anything else?”

“Something else…hmm, I don’t know.
It is difficult to forget the person you love in the first place.
So maybe that’s why people often suffer?”

Then I just had no choice but to wait patiently until I got over him.
It didn’t help me much right now.
I took a deep breath and laid my head on the bathtub rim.
As expected, the person who fell first and fell harder was always at a loss.

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