Luce, who was walking up hills and ridges, asked blankly.

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“Is that your house over there?”

 

She could feel the boy standing behind her, nodding his head slowly at the question.

 

There was one reason why Luce was perplexed.

 

‘I think I came here with my mother a week ago to pick raspberries—?’

 

When did they get a house like this?

 

Of course, due to the nature of the mountainous area, it was not a huge mansion or castle-like size.

 

But what about a prosperous house with two floors in an area where there were only trees and raspberries a week ago?

 

‘Aren’t I looking at something in vain?’

 

Are the people here really good at building? Is it a flying construction? Or did it even leak out?

 

Luce looked once at the house and then once at the boy.

 

As soon as Luce looked at him, the boy looked away.

 

It was as if he had been watching Luce’s back all the time.

 

‘Well, I don’t think he’s a fairy or a spirit.
It’s big for a fairy and touchable for a spirit.
I don’t know if there’s something like that in this world.
Huh, then what? Did I miss this place because I was picking raspberries at my mom’s urging? What’s wrong with my eyesight? Do I have to wear glasses?’

 

Luce was busy thinking about when this house appeared.

 

But the boy, who had no idea what Luce was thinking and was just quietly looking at him, turned a little red in the ears at the look.

 

With his head down, he was rummaging through his wet pockets.
She wondered what he was doing, but he seemed to be looking for the key.

 

As she watched it with a restless mind, she heard a pleasant sound.

 

Clank. 

 

Luce was perplexed for one reason.

 

Fortunately, he didn’t seem to have lost the key in the water.

 

‘By the way, you just need to carry the key to the front door, but you carry the whole set of keys.
Isn’t it heavy?’

 

There was only one lock on the door, and four or five keys hung from the boy’s key pack.

 

Where does he use all that?

 

She looks at the boy with a mixture of curiosity and worry.
They have to open the door, but isn’t he just messing around?

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‘It looks like the key to the front door—’

 

The biggest silver key, isn’t that normally the front door key?

 

He looks smart by the thickness of the book on his side, but he doesn’t even know his house key.

 

Luce’s eyebrows went down as she thought.

 

‘Well, he fell into the water out of the blue while reading a book and was bullied, so he must be not in good condition.’

 

—No way.
Is it because his body temperature has dropped that his hands are shaking?

 

Regardless, this is a concerning situation.

 

Luce, who misjudged the reason why the boy was nervous, took a step closer.

 

“Excuse me.”

 

When she called carefully, a bundle of keys fell from the boy’s hand.

 

Luce, who picked up the key, tilted her head.

 

“Can I help you?”

 

Luce asked with a smile that was as friendly and harmless as it could be.

 

The corners of his eyes that she could see through the glasses were a little reddish.

 

After seeing Luce’s smile for a long time, the boy nodded his head.
Very slowly,

 

“Okay.
Can you move for a while?”

 

As Luce thought, the front door opened easily with the biggest key.

 

Luce, who handed the key again, opened her mouth to the view of the house at first glance. 

 

“…Whoa.”

 

What kind of library is his house?

 

One wall was simply dense with very thick books.
While on the other side of the wall, there were a lot of globe-shaped beads and sand clocks.

 

When she turned around, a piece of paper was on the table, and the book smelled like ink and a bit of bitter grass.

 

“Can I take a look around your house?”

 

“…There won’t be much to see.”

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What followed was the longest word the boy had ever said.

 

“It’s just a lowly place, and it’s not ready to welcome guests….”

 

After seeing Luce’s look, the boy who spoke quickly and calmly turned his head and bit his mouth.

 

“What do you mean lowly! It’s so cool!” 

 

Luce’s green eyes sparkled.

 

The boy thought.

 

If you’re interested in sharing a friendship with me, and if you really mean it.

 

I received a lot of help from you, so I have to tell you that I will make an appointment and formally invite you next time.

 

I shouldn’t be wet and messy like this when I’m greeting guests.

 

No, I don’t want anyone else in this house in the first place.

 

Those were the manners and rules the boy learned.

 

However, the moment he saw Luce’s bright expression, the words that tickled in his throat were swallowed down for some reason.

 

“I won’t touch anything, I’ll be really quiet, I’ll just watch.
By any chance, do you hate it? If you don’t like it…”

 

“It’s not like that.” 

 

So, the boy answered quickly. 

 

“It’s…okay.
If you’re okay….” 

 

“Of course I’m fine! Then, excuse me!”

 

It was also the first time he answered so quickly.

 

The boy looked at Luce, wondering whether the pounding heartbeat was guilt from breaking the rules or some other reason.

 

He couldn’t stop himself from looking at her.

 

As she had promised, Luce sat quietly in the chair, looking around her with shining eyes. 

 

“Wow, there are so many books.
Have you read all of this? Whoa, what’s that shiny marble-like thing over there? N, no.
I’ll ask you later.”

 

Luce smiled awkwardly and gestured.

 

A gentle gesture like a fan would mean to come here.
It’s not polite to leave a guest alone.

 

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He can’t believe he just remembered it. 

 

He sat across from her, hoping she would forgive his rudeness, and Luce opened her eyes like a startled rabbit and soon smiled. 

 

“Why are you sitting here?”

 

The boy was puzzled.

 

“Since a guest has arrived, if I leave the front seat empty—”

 

“No, no.
You have to change clothes first! You’re all wet right now.
Are you doing this because you’re afraid I’ll touch things?”

 

His face flushed with heat.

 

“That’s not what I meant.”

 

“I know.
I was joking, too.
Hurry up, change your clothes and come out.
I’ll sit here without touching anything.
All of them must be very precious.”

 

It’s not like that, and I wasn’t worried about you breaking it.

 

It’s against etiquette to just leave a guest behind.

 

“It was a real joke.
You’re going to catch a cold.
Hurry up and change.
I have a lot of questions.”

 

What joke? 

 

A joke is something people say to stab others as if they hid a blade under pretty warm velvet.
That’s how he learned it.

 

However, the girl’s jokes sounded as smooth as a knife, and the boy went to his room, feeling a little dazed.

 

“Look at the color of the book.
It looks like a very old book, but it is well maintained.
So it must be expensive, right?”

 

Without seeing the face of the boy who went to change clothes, Luce looked at the bookshelf.

 

The titles of the books cause her a headache, such as some introduction and the development process, but the back of the book is swollen. 

 

It means someone read everything.
Several times till the bookbinding dulls. 

  

 

No way.
Did he read all of this?

 

It’s nice to see someone of the same age, but he looks like a great kid.

 

He took a sneak peek at the papers on the table.

 

Papers with incomprehensible words were she believed to have been printed.
There wasn’t a word that went out. 

 

Luce admired and thought deeply.

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‘He’s a very smart kid.
It’s not that he pretended not to hear Dominic even when he talked to him, it’s not that he was trying to ignore it, I think it was because he was completely absorbed in the book.’

 

From what she had heard earlier, she knew that when she said something, he responded well, even if it was a bit slow. 

 

Luce shrugged her shoulders.
Somehow she thought she knew a little bit about the unknown boy.

 

She thought there was a word to describe such a person—.

 

Luce, who was looking back on her memories, clapped.

 

‘That’s right.
He’s such a nerd type.
If he focuses on one thing, he may be unable to pay attention to other things.
He’s way more focused on that thing than other people.’

 

Thinking of the boy’s face that turned red and pale, Luce smiled slightly and opened his book.

 

‘Come to think of it, the house is really quiet.’

 

It’s almost dinner time, and she can’t see anyone.
She doesn’t even feel any sign of presence.

 

It didn’t seem like someone was just going out, and the house was empty.
That was the field of intuition.

 

It is a house where the warmth of people is hardly felt.

 

And in a normal family, why would someone study in the living room when they should be in their own room or study room?

 

‘It’s a two-floor house, but is he living alone? Is there no family?’

 

But it would be rude to ask that.

 

‘In my previous life, I used to get a lot of stress from people who looked down on me when I said I didn’t have a family.
At times, the thought of whether or not I was the one to be pitied made me depressed.
So I shouldn’t do that.’

 

There are circumstances that no one can talk about.

 

Luce, who had once again vowed not to ask questions, stopped in one place.

 

‘What is that?’

 

In one corner of the table was a bottle of water with some traces of drinking.

 

Of course, the fact that there was a water bottle was no surprise.

 

‘Why is the color like this?’

 

There was a sticky green liquid that bubbled up in the water bottle.

 

‘Does he always drink this?’

 

In a positive way, it seems to be a bad drink, but in a negative way it looks to be poisonous, so she keeps her eyes fixed on the mysterious liquid.

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