“What a bunch of rude people.”

“My point.
It’s up to Lucia whether she wants to do the favor or not, and it’s funny how she comes out like that when she’s turned down.”

Christine and Bianca stuck their tongues out at the girls’ rudeness.

“Haha, I can’t help it, it happens all the time.”

“Lucia, it’s no laughing matter.
They think you’re easy because you laugh all the time.”

“You’re right, Lucia, in times like this, it’s better, to be honest than to keep quiet.”


No amount of nagging could make Lucia stop giggling, and they both sighed.

“Herwin must be so hard too.
If people come to you and bully you like this, what’s he going to do?”

“I think it’s the other way around.
To be honest, Herwin is not the easiest person to approach, which is why so many people ask Lucia to introduce them.”

“I know, I found him difficult at first, too, because he’s a celebrity, but he’s more than that.”

Bianca smiled her trademark cheerful smile.

“By the way, Lucia, I was wondering about something.”

“Huh? What is it?”

“Didn’t you ever have a crush on Herwin?”

Lucia’s heart fluttered slightly, and she shook her head, wondering if she’d inadvertently given away her agitation.

Why are you asking me that out of the blue?”

“No, just.
I thought you might have had a crush on him.”

“Bianca, do you think Lucia would be doing this if she had a crush on Herwin?”

Christine gave Bianca a small nudge.

“Today alone, I’ve already had three girls ask me to talk to Herwin for them.
Who wants to stand by and let another girl hit on their favorite guy?”

“That’s why you’re turning them all down.”

“Turning them down is natural, Lucia has never been one to get annoyed at people for asking for favors.”

It was true.
Lucia had never once gotten annoyed or angry when faced with a situation like the one just described.

Usually, she would just say no and most people would walk away, but sometimes people would get annoyed that she couldn’t do something like that.
Like the schoolgirls earlier.

Even in such situations, Lucia maintained the same attitude.

“Hmph… So, if you don’t like Herwin, why don’t you do him a favor? He’s the kind of guy who would accept a favor at least once.”

“Well, because Herwin doesn’t like it.
And if you want to be close to Herwin in the first place, you have to have the courage to say it yourself.”

Lucia explained calmly, and Bianca nodded.

“Well, …… that, too.”

It was an excuse, but it wasn’t a lie; in fact, it was the reason she had turned down the girls’ requests.

If someone approaches someone you like, of course, you will hate anyone if you have to introduce them to them.

She didn’t show it, but it made her uncomfortable whenever she was asked.

Lucia was always wary of letting her emotions get the best of her and tried to be as objective as possible.

Sometimes she felt jealous of the women who approached him and wanted to interfere.

But she didn’t, because that was one of Herwin’s least favorite behaviors.

So Lucia let the women who had asked him out and been rejected approach him.

She knew that he didn’t accept them easily, and if he did, it was because he was interested in them.

She can’t control her own heart, so why should she control someone else’s?

‘Of course, if it comes to that… it’s going to hurt.’

Luckily, this has never happened to her so far.
But, if it did happen, she’d have to say….…

She doesn’t want to think about what happened next.


There was a banging sound and the three women jerked their heads up.

A cloud of dirt was blowing from the training ground in front of them.

“What’s going on?”

“I thought for sure there was Herwin in there.”

“Ah! I see it now!”

Bianca pointed to a puffy cloud of dust, through which the silhouettes of two men could be seen.

One was nearly 180 centimeters tall, and the other was smaller, a slender figure that appeared to be mid-160 centimeters tall.


The students surrounding the stage let out a cheer.


With the sound of a gust of wind, the dirt surprisingly split in half.


As the two swords clashed, the remaining dirt was instantly scattered in all directions, revealing two figures.

“Wow, Princess Lydia, you’re amazing.”

“You and that Herwin.
That’s amazing.”

Herwin and Princess Arista Lydia were the first and second-place finishers in the first-year swordsmanship class.

Both of them were surprisingly close to reaching the level of Sword Expert.


At that moment, victory or defeat was decided.

Herwin was the first to exploit the weakness.
The victory was his.

After the fierce battle, the students watching applauded.

The two players took a moment to catch their breath, then turned to each other and talked.

They don’t know if they were giving each other feedback, but they were smiling and enjoying themselves.

“They’re like fairy tales.
How do they look so good together?”

“They’re both so good, I’m not even jealous.
It’s like a match made in heaven.”

“Don’t you think Phoenaeus and Princess Lydia look better together? They’re so different from Agnes.”

Other students who had been watching them like Lucia had started to comment on how well Herwin and Arista looked together, subtly putting Lucia down.

They weren’t too far away, so she didn’t have to listen to them.

But with all the commotion around her, Lucia was the only one who heard it.

She’d be lying if she said she wasn’t hurt by their words, but she wasn’t particularly disturbed by the idea of Herwin and Arista getting together at will.

‘You have reason to be jealous.’

She was jealous of women who approached Herwin with a black heart, but she had no such feelings for Arista.

“Hah, my throat is burning from the duel.”

“It’s hot! I want something cold to drink.”

After class, the group slowly made their way over to Lucia’s.

Brian and Ethan approached the stairs first.

“You guys been waiting long?”

Brian laughed softly, wiping the sweat from his brow with a towel.

He was just as handsome as Herwin, and the girls around him let out a small cheer.

“We didn’t have to wait that long.”

“Good job.”

Bianca and Christine hailed them.

“It’s a shame you had to keep us pretty young ladies waiting in the sun.”

“Ugh, take your face-tickling to those girls over there.”


Bianca flicked a goosebumpy arm away at Brian’s felt remark, and Christine looked him up and down with a rare glance of disdain.

He was the type of guy who liked women a lot, as evidenced by the way he acted and looked.

As a result, it was instinctive for him to do things to attract women.
That’s what he did on the first day when he caught Lucia as she was about to fall.

However, he never acted that way with his group, except in the beginning.

Maybe he knew his flirting wouldn’t work.
Or maybe he thought it was okay to be friends as it was.
He acted like a normal schoolboy, just like Herwin and Ethan.

Of course, sometimes he acted unconsciously.

This time, it was purely in jest, and Brian only smirked and shook his shoulders.

“You’ve both been through a lot.”

Lucia greeted them belatedly.
Wiping sweat from his brow, Brian glanced down at her.
In Lucia’s hand was a bottle of water.

“Can I have some of that, if you don’t mind?”

“This? My mouth just touched it, is that okay?”

“Of course, I don’t mind, I’m thirsty right now.”

“Well, you must be thirsty, so here.”

Lucia graciously handed Brian the water bottle.

“Don’t drink it all, and save some for me!”

Ethan, sweltering beside him, sagged against Brian.

“Okay, just give me a second.”

Brian unscrewed the cap and tilted the water bottle to drink, his lips about to touch the mouth.


Suddenly, someone snatched the bottle.

He turned around to see Herwin standing there.

He gulped down the water Brian was about to drink.

Brian and Ethan looked at him in disbelief.

“He looks like he’s going to die.”

“What the hell is this?”

“What if he drinks it all!”

Brian and Ethan glared at him as Herwin sighed nonchalantly.

Herwin rolled his red eyes at the two of them, then turned his attention to Lucia.

He tossed the water bottle lightly into her hand.

“Whoever drinks first wins.”

“You’re a bastard.”

“You bastard, there’s only one bottle of water, how can you drink it all!”

Herwin listened to the raw accusations from one ear to the next.

By the time he realized it, the water was already gone.

“You’re wrong, Herwin.
Here, do you want to drink this?”

Arista appeared behind Herwin, a jug in her hand, and Ethan cheered.

“Arista, you’re no match for that narrow-minded bastard.”

“Thank you, Arista.”

As Ethan gulped down the water, Brian smiled seductively at her.

Arista smirked and gave him a warning swat, then turned her competitive gaze to Herwin.

“I may have lost today, but I’ll make sure I win next time.”

“Go ahead, try your best.
It won’t work for me.”

The corners of Herwin’s mouth quirked up tauntingly.
For a man of his blunt nature, the very fact that he could joke like this was proof that he and Arista were quite close.

Arista Lydia.
She’s in the same class as him, but they’ve never had much contact.

The boy had gotten to know her through swordsmanship class, but the other three girls hadn’t.
Just classmates who said hello back and forth?

Looking at Arista, Lucia could see why she was so popular with both sexes.

She was pretty, smart, athletic, and had a spunky personality.
There was nothing wrong with her.

As she stared at Arista, their eyes locked.

Lucia involuntarily shrank back.
Whenever she looked into her lilac-soft violet eyes, she was somehow drawn to her.

Usually, when they make eye contact, they look away or smile sheepishly, but for some reason, she always seemed to stare whenever they made eye contact.

This time, as Arista stared at her, Lucia finally gave in and asked.

“Hey… did I get something on my face?”


“No, you kept looking at me, so I thought maybe I had something on my…….”

Lucia smiled sheepishly, but Arista just looked away.
She broke out in a cold sweat.

“I’ve felt it since my first day.”

After a long pause, Arista finally spoke up.
She bent down and leaned in close to Lucia.

“You look a lot like someone I know.”

“Someone, you know? Who……?”

“Well, I don’t know her name, just someone I ran into once… but for some reason, she looks like you, especially these eyes.”

Arista’s hand moved to the corner of Lucia’s eye.

Lucia flinched involuntarily as the beauty leaned in closer.
Arista’s violet eyes seemed to scan her entire body.

“I notice it every time I look at you, but your eyes are so beautiful, they’re like a clear lake.”

“Go, thank you…….”

She didn’t know if it was the compliment or her beautiful smile, but she felt herself blushing with embarrassment.

“Arista, we should get going!”

Just then, in the distance, Arista’s group called out to her.

“Oh, I have to go now.
I’ll talk to you later.”

Arista waved goodbye to Lucia and headed off to join the group.

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