Chapter 66 – A Warm Hand
The Theater Ardenfeld was the biggest opera house within the kingdom.
And they were currently performing a work by a national playwright who was popular even outside of the country.
It was based on an epic about a hero who slew a dragon, and the front of the opera house was currently crowded with people who were trying to buy tickets.
“Hmph. I cannot see…”
She grumbled after standing on her toes a few times. But when I chuckled she said, ‘Hey! You’re mocking me!’ with a sulky expression.
“No, I’m not. I just found it amusing.”
“You’re treating me like a child.”
I had never treated her like a child.
How would she react if I said that to her?
The thought made me smile, even though I could not do it. And then I coughed as a way of calming myself.
During these past few days, I had exerted all my efforts after much research in order to create this date plan.
And this was the first phase of the plan.
…There is still some time left. Want to eat something?
She loved to eat.
There was no way that she would not jump on the idea.
I was now aware that there was a certain popular gelato store nearby.
And I also knew that there would be fewer customers than usual at this specific hour.
Still, after this much preparation and research, why won’t those critical words come out of my mouth?
(What are you doing? You idiot. Hold yourself together…!)
The words were stuck in the back of my throat and had to be pulled out.
“Th-there is still time until it starts. Do you want to get something to eat?”
While my voice was a little unsteady, I somehow maintained my composure.
How would she react?
I turned back to look at her.
Apparently, we had been separated.
Did she get lost in the crowd?
But we had barely moved. With a feeling of confusion, I scanned the area.
After a brief moment, I saw her making her way through the crowds while holding food in both of her hands.
“This looked so good, so I had to buy some.”
“It’s fine if you go off on your own, but you should have told me. I was surprised.”
So she had gone to one of the nearby food stalls.
She was holding two skewers of fried chicken and fried potatoes with black pepper.
Apparently, she had bought some for me as well.
“Thank you. How much do I owe you?”
“No, this is not for you. I’m going to eat all of it.”
What the hell?
“I thought that you would have eaten breakfast already, Luke. And you never eat between meals, so surely you wouldn’t want any.”
“You didn’t eat breakfast? That’s unusual.”
“Me? Oh, I definitely ate.”
“Ah…yes. Of course.”
“But I always have extra space for fried food.”
She said while humming happily.
“Ah, crispy fried chicken! Why do you taste so good!”
She smiled blissfully as she chewed into it.
Seeing her so happy caused me to sigh.
Even if things were not going as planned, that was enough to make everything alright. It really was not fair.
“Ah! I want to eat that as well! Grilled kraken!”
“…You want to eat more?”
“I always have space for squid. Now, let’s go, Luke.”
“Slow down. Or I’ll lose you again.”
I frantically chased after her as she swiftly waded through the crowd.
“Ah, yes. We would not want to get separated again.”
She said with a nod, and then grabbed my hand.
“Really, Luke. You’re like a child, in spite of being so tall.”
No, you’re the one who is childish, since you went off on your own.
But I was not able to voice such protests.
The small hand that pulled mine.
The warm sensation.
This situation of us walking. It made me happier than I would have thought.
Things were not going according to the date plan at all.
She was free and did what she wanted.
And yet it was more than anything I had imagined.
Because it makes me want to be by her side even more.
Really, I just can’t beat you.