“It feels like they’ve gone, right?”
Noah, who had been awkwardly holding the other person’s hand, let go and quietly slipped out of the alley.
He hope that his gesture of leaving didn’t appear too anxious.
As she followed him outside, there were still many people around.
While Noah looked around his surroundings, Cordelia, lost in thought, mumbled without realizing it.
“This must be how the male lead feels when looking down at the female lead…”
“Pardon? What did you say?”
“What did I say?”
After a moment of silence, Noah didn’t press further.
A few strands of golden hair peeked out through his hood, sparkling in the sunlight.
He had sensed it before, but he didn’t seem like someone who talked a lot.
Yeah, it’s better that way.
It’s better to have an air of seriousness than to unnecessarily reveal the underlying fabric that’s verbose and not particularly desirable to examine closely.
It gives off a sense of gravity, which is nice, isn’t it?
The past version of herself, who had given quite a few bonus points to the guy who made conversation interesting, looked at him and chuckled, but Cordelia didn’t nod along.
It’s already amusing just looking at his face, so it’s okay!
The past version of herself hesitated briefly and then subtly nodded, a satisfactory outcome.
“But by the way, where did Linus go?”
As they walked side by side on the street, Noah asked, and Cordelia shrugged her shoulders.
“If we ever have to part ways, we’ve set a meeting place here.
I’ll go there.”
Cordelia had her hands in her pockets now and appeared somewhat bashful.
It was to hide the pattern.
Noah’s steps slowed a bit.
A quiet voice followed Cordelia as she walked ahead.
“Hey, I’m sorry.”
“For getting you involved in something like this.”
When she turned around, she saw Noah looking down as if blaming himself.
Seeing her gloomy face, Cordelia was engulfed in a strange feeling.
“It’s not like you did it on purpose, but well, it’s fine.
It’s not bad to have a different experience.”
Cordelia, who had approached nervously, leaned in close and bent her knees to peer into Noah’s face.
“By the way, you’re really tall.
I don’t usually listen to comments about my height either.”
Compared to other women, she was quite tall, but when standing side by side like this, his height was so significant that the difference was that noticeable.
“You do stand out.”
For some reason, Cordelia mentally chuckled at his expression which seemed somewhat uncomfortable.
With such looks and height, he’d likely be quite popular.
Why does he seem so indifferent to it?
“Hey, are you a commoner? Or are you a noble?”
“I’m a commoner.”
“Do you face any disadvantages for standing out?”
“No, not really… Well, should we go now?”
Did he just intentionally stumble over his words?
Hurriedly walking ahead, Cordelia started walking alongside Noah.
Yeah, let’s cut him some slack because he’s cute.
She gazed at the back of Noah’s head, thinking something like “he’s like an old man.”
She was aware of people around them giving them odd looks, but she didn’t mind.
Ah, this feels nice.
It’s been a while since she’d walked so carelessly down the street.
Remembering how she always had to move cautiously as if she were guilty, a shiver ran down her spine.
Even when she wore slightly fancier clothes, they were uncomfortable, and her long, trailing skirt wasn’t suitable for wandering around these kinds of streets.
Even if she were to wear the clothes that other people wore, if she didn’t cover her face, problems would inevitably arise.
She knew the world was harsh, but it was exhausting nonetheless.
Come to think of it, the situation earlier was quite amusing.
“By any chance, do you know how to read?”
“Do you read books often, then?”
“What? As much as others read…?”
Looking at Noah’s genuinely puzzled expression, Cordelia inwardly let out a sigh of relief.
Judging by his speech, he didn’t seem like someone who would read romance novels, for sure.
It might be a good idea to adapt this recent situation slightly and put it into the next work.
It’s a cliche, to be honest, but cliches work well when they’re well-executed.
Two people being chased by someone, finding themselves in a tight space, becoming aware of each other – that kind of development.
Imagining it was quite different from experiencing it firsthand, so it seemed like a useful reference when describing such situations.
Cordelia, still lost in thought about her professional tendencies, walked a few steps forward and then reached for Noah’s right hand with her patternless left hand, intertwining their fingers.
Noah was taken aback for a moment, and Cordelia added a newly concocted excuse while smiling mischievously.
“Just in case I lose it.
By the way, we’re probably going to be walking all day like this.
Let’s get going!”
Noah’s ears turned a pretty shade of red as he bowed his head and occasionally stumbled in his steps, but Cordelia focused on walking in the fresh breeze and didn’t notice.
As they passed through the town and things seemed to quiet down a bit, Cordelia spotted a brown hood in the distance.
She called out to her with a cheerful voice and waved her hand.
Linus, who had been engrossed in a book with her gaze down, closed the book and turned to face the two of them as Cordelia greeted her.
“You’re finally here.
I thought you transformed into a snail.
I was worried that you might have gotten caught up, even though I dragged you out here personally.”
“Sorry, things just ended up that way.”
Linus, who had been teasing Cordelia about how close she had come to getting caught up on their side because of her, scrutinized her face.
“You seem to be blushing quite a bit.
Did you have a good time?”
“I-It’s not like I did anything!”
Linus, who had been looking at Cordelia as she exclaimed and winced, turned her gaze to Noah, who was standing slightly apart, with an amused look in her eyes, and spoke.
“Anyway, let’s catch a carriage and move on.
I have something to tell you.”
“I’ve been thinking about it while you two were gone.”
As they headed towards the location with the carriage, Linus, sitting across from them, looked over at the two people huddled together.
Both sides were unfamiliar, so Cordelia nodded in a friendly manner at Linus’ stubborn insistence to sit alone.
It’s a perfect excuse to sit together, she likes it!
Though Linus seemed to understand her intentions with a knowing look in her eyes, she didn’t bother to add any words.
In any case, her convenience was what mattered most.
“It might be difficult to immediately undo the magic, but if we simplify things a bit, there might be a way to do it right now.”
Even in the midst of this, Linus didn’t forget to maintain the barrier that blocked sound.
Understanding the potential for words to leak out anywhere, she had earnestly asked Cordelia if she believed in conspiracy theories.
As a result, she got a solid tap on the knee as she slid off her chair and winced, her mouth puckering slightly.
Maybe it was because she wasn’t in her own body, but she felt quite powerless.
“Since you two are truly connected, if we sever that connection, you might return to your original bodies.”
Cordelia raised her left hand curiously.
The intricate design of the hexastar caught her gaze.
The threads that had been attached to her middle finger were not visible at all.
“Are you talking about the thing you hid earlier?”
It’s possible, but… I can’t guarantee what kind of recoil there might be.
It might not work at all, or there could be significant consequences.”
“Then should we just give up…?”
“Let’s do it!”
Cordelia cut off Noah’s words and burst out with determination.
Both pairs of eyes turned toward Cordelia.
Are you serious?”
“I have to try something.
We can’t just leave things as they are.
This guy and each of us has our schedules too.”
“But there might be risks?”
“With the kind of person you are, you wouldn’t say anything if our life was in danger, would you?”
“Well, that’s true, but…”
“Doesn’t Noah think the same way?”
Noah was taken aback by how easily she called his name.
Amidst his surprise, he found himself thinking that her cheerful voice was pleasant to hear.
Despite the self-deprecation, he felt for thinking that way, Noah gave a firm response.
Still, he had a client to meet in two days, and he couldn’t afford to be in this condition.
As Noah nodded with a dazed expression, Linus, who was next to him, lightly cleared her throat.
“Oh, by the way, the Queen’s birthday is in a week.”
“What? Linus knows too?”
“When high-ranking individuals all leave at once, who wouldn’t notice?”
“Then we need to find a solution quickly.
Even if others don’t, my sister has a keen sense.”
Jerania, the queen of this country and Cordelia’s second sister was recognized as a prodigy by the entire family, possessing quick wits and keen observation skills.
If she saw even a slightly odd aspect, she would probably figure it out immediately.
“You don’t plan to miss it, do you?”
“Of course not.”
Not attending the annual birthday celebration, which they had participated in every year, would raise suspicions, and forgetting the birthday of her sister, which happened only once a year, due to a situation like this was out of the question.
“Perhaps it would be better to tell her… It might be okay.
After all, she is the most powerful figure in this country.”
“My sister has plenty of things to deal with besides this.
And for now, I’d prefer to handle it within my means, if possible.”
As Cordelia spoke resolutely, Noah let out an internal sigh of relief.
It didn’t take long for the carriage that carried them to reach their destination.
Unfortunately, there was no trace of the old woman.
Disappointment slightly slumped Noah’s shoulders, but Cordelia’s hand patted his shoulder reassuringly.
Their next destination was Cordelia’s mansion.
It was the closest of her estates to Noah’s residence, and it was where they were heading now.
When the employed servant opened the door, the spacious interior was revealed.
Linus looked around the simple yet well-equipped parlor with a puzzled expression and asked a question.
“You have a place like this, so why do you keep staying at the duke’s estate?”
“Isn’t it more comfortable to be somewhere familiar? But for the time being, I think I should be out and about.
There are too many familiar faces over there.
It wouldn’t be inconvenient for you either, Noah?”
“No, it’s not… I mean…”
“It’s a bit awkward to change clothes alone… Uh, I did get some help from a maid.”
Cordelia blinked at Noah, who was constantly looking at her as he spoke, but soon agreed.
“Oh, I see, that’s an issue.”
Men and women have different body structures.
It’s an entirely natural thing, but she had forgotten it for a moment.
She must have been excited and touched herself all over right after their bodies switched.
Embarrassed, Cordelia cleared her throat softly.
“Alright, if the method Linus mentioned doesn’t work, I’ll try to find a maid or something.
But you don’t have to worry too much.
It’s not a big deal even if some maids get a glimpse.
I mean, they’re used to dressing and undressing others, so what’s the big deal? It’s something we can’t help.”
It seems like he’s quite tense.
She was trying to lighten the burden on his end by saying that, but it seemed to have the opposite effect as Noah’s lips tightened slightly.
“You don’t know me well enough to say that out of the blue, and it’s bad enough that you’re putting me under surveillance right now.
In a way, it’s because of me that this happened…….”
Worry filled Noah’s face as he spoke softly in a voice that was oddly subdued, contrasting with his previously charming smile.
The calm gaze of the person he had thought was somewhat naive felt unfamiliar for no reason.
Even though it was his face, it was as if it revealed itself to be someone else.
That’s why the feeling was even stranger.
Ignoring her fluttering heart, Cordelia replied cheerfully.
“Well, I said it like that because I thought you’d talk like that.
I have a somewhat perceptive eye when it comes to people.”
“That’s not the issue.”
“If you’re concerned about that, would you just take responsibility for me?”
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