Chapter 46: Who the Heck is That? (2)

Vienna hesitated but mustered up her courage.

If she ever acted out of character, there was always one reason.

It was always related to Starchis.

-Tap tap.

Vienna walked over and tapped Casey on the shoulder with her finger.

“Ah, excuse me for a moment?”

Casey, who had been happily chatting with the other saints, excused herself when she saw Vienna.

For Casey, it had been a long time since Vienna initiated a conversation.

Though Vienna always seemed prickly and distant, there were moments when she sought out Casey, and those moments made Casey find her endearing.

Vienna’s beauty probably played a big role as well.

She was curious why Vienna hadn’t been able to approach Starchis all this time.

It became somewhat understandable after seeing his other party members.

“Vienna, what’s up?”

Seeing Vienna looking troubled, Casey couldn’t help but smile warmly.

She had heard rumors about Starchis collapsing recently and had been genuinely worried about Vienna, but fortunately, she had also heard that he had recovered.

Since that incident, Vienna occasionally seemed lost in thought, and now Casey guessed she was coming to her for advice.

“Can we talk outside?”

It was evident how much Vienna had been struggling internally; her once-confident demeanor had turned passive.

Back when that man used to see her off, Vienna was brimming with confidence and often smiled alone.

Even when faced with unreasonable demands at the medical center, she would loudly brush them off despite being hurt. But these days, at the slightest complaint, she flinched and shrank back.

It was a bit pitiful to see.

So Casey could do nothing but nod at Vienna’s request.

Vienna kept pulling Casey somewhere, holding her hand and leading her determinedly with her small frame.

Passing through several doors while exchanging greetings with other saints, they finally arrived at the saints’ bedroom.

It was still too early for anyone to be asleep, so the room was empty.


Even when Casey asked for an explanation, Vienna just pointed to a bed in the corner without saying a word.

Feeling that she should follow along, Casey walked alone to the bed and sat down. Vienna peeked out the door, looked around, and then closed it.

“Vienna? Now tell me. What’s going on?”

Casey’s curiosity only grew with Vienna’s strange behavior.

Vienna hurriedly came to Casey, sat down in front of her, and then pulled the blanket over her head, covering her face.

“...Casey, please give me some advice.”

It felt almost like a confession.

Casey felt like she might burst out laughing at Vienna’s expression, but she held it back because Vienna looked more serious than ever.

“...Hehehe... Ahem. Okay, tell me.”

“I’m going to steal Starchis away.”

Her voice was unwavering. It was as if she had been waiting for the right person to confide in.

The smile on Casey’s face turned a bit awkward. Until recently, Vienna had been blunt and rough with her words but always pure-hearted. Now, here she was, talking about stealing someone’s lover.

“From... his lover?”


“Um... but why are you telling me this?”

“Is it okay for me to do that?”

Casey couldn’t see Vienna’s face. She couldn’t imagine what kind of expression she had while saying such things.

Casey naturally thought it wasn’t okay. It seemed like Vienna knew it wasn’t okay either.

But... having seen Vienna’s struggles up close, Casey couldn’t bring herself to tell her not to do it.

Casey pondered. Vienna seemed to be contemplating too.

It was a choice between guiding her to do the right thing or easing her friend’s guilt.

Carefully, Casey asked,

“But, Vienna, why all of a sudden?”

“...Starchis isn’t waiting for me.”

“Is it because of what happened a few days ago?”


He almost died without giving her another chance. She didn’t get to experience anything that felt like a genuine relationship with him.

Vienna felt like she couldn’t take it anymore.

With him finding a lover, with him being in mortal danger, she thought she might have to give up. But on the contrary, her feelings only grew stronger.

She was willing to risk her life just to hear a sweet word from him.

Casey, thinking she should still guide her to do the right thing, opened her mouth, but then...


Hearing Vienna sniffle, Casey closed her mouth again.

Hearing that sound, Casey couldn’t help but lean towards one side.

“Okay. Being a gatherer, you never know when someone might disappear... It’s okay.”

“...It’s okay?”

“It’s okay. Since you’re doing it, go all out. Steal him away, Vienna.”

Her conscience kept pricking at her heart. But she kept telling herself that it was better to support a friend than a stranger.

“..Sniff. But how?”

Vienna’s question.

‘How would I know, Vienna...’

was what Casey wanted to say, but she didn’t.

Whenever Casey was about to do something Vienna might hate, she kept recalling how Vienna had protected her when they were younger.

When Casey had lost her parents and was crying continuously at the church, Vienna, who had been there for a long time, would grumble but still take care of her.

So Casey thought hard as well. She considered something she never thought she would.

‘How can she steal him...’

“First of all, maybe you should speak a bit more sweetly and honestly?”

Casey started by pointing out Vienna’s flaws.

“Sniff... Will that be enough to steal Starchis?”

“...Well... not exactly...”

The bundle of blankets in front of Casey flinched, and the sound of sniffling grew louder.

“Oh... I mean...!”

Panicking, Casey racked her brain.

“Oh, more than anything, you need to be close to him!”


Vienna poked her head out from the blankets, her face covered in tears.

Despite the situation, Casey found her adorable.

“So, you need to keep showing up around him so he gets used to you, right? Then, while asking about things he likes, you can do things for him that he needs. With things he likes!”

Casey rambled on.

“....There haven’t been many chances to see him lately... the gathering activities have been paused for now...”

“Didn’t he hurt his arm too?”


“Memorize some recipes or spells for his arm and help him with that. That way, you’ll keep meeting him.”

Vienna started contemplating Casey’s words.


‘What on earth does that mean?’

Starchis was confused.

This was a girlfriend he created in his imagination.

Who claimed to be his girlfriend, and who was Luss mistaking her for?

It made no sense at all.

Even without understanding, Starchis felt anxious.

Luss was not someone who made baseless claims.

There had to be a reason she thought this way.

A single mistake could cost him her trust and lead to unending trouble.

In that brief moment, cold sweat drenched his back.

“My, my girlfriend?”

“Yes. I happened to meet her. Elza.”

“Maybe it’s just someone with the same name?”

She didn’t exist in the first place.

“Pink hair, pink eyes, a moderate chest, and an average height. Her name is Elza. Isn’t that how you described your girlfriend, Chis?”


‘....Such a person actually exists?’

He swallowed the doubt that had risen to his throat.

Starchis was only focused on finding a way out of the current situation.

He tried to predict what might happen next.

Someone named Elza would come out of the bathroom.

Naturally, Starchis and she would be meeting for the first time.

It was strange that there would be two people like that, but it wasn’t impossible.

So, if he acted like he didn’t know her and laughed it off as a coincidence, things should go well.

…They should go well.

For now, that was the only flimsy plan he could come up with.

“...That, that’s really interesting. You met my girlfriend here? Hahaha…”

The phrase ‘my girlfriend’ grated on both Lily and Luss more than they expected.

Luss, who had briefly met Elza, was puzzled about why Starchis was meeting her.

She wasn’t particularly striking or overwhelmingly beautiful.

At best, she was cute.

Yet, she was being called ‘my girlfriend’ by Starchis.

…To be honest, she was a bit jealous.

“...Indeed, Chis.”

Lily felt extremely uncomfortable with the current situation.

She had been trying to seduce Starchis with her revealing outfit.

Starchis, who was as oblivious as a bear, didn’t notice at all, but if he had a girlfriend, he might react to even the smallest things and embarrass her.

He might scold her for flaunting her chest in front of someone else’s boyfriend.

But Lily steeled herself.

She recalled the moment Starchis had collapsed.

If she gave up now, feeling ashamed for trying to steal someone else’s lover, she would have to live with that regret forever.

She decided she wouldn’t.

She didn’t have the same leisure as before.

She wanted to live each day without regrets.


Lily prepared herself for the fight that might soon erupt.

Even if Elza came back, she was determined to act shamelessly.

She slipped her fingers into her cleavage and pulled her clothes down a bit more, making sure her cleavage was more visible.

Sharpening her feminine weapons.

Luss gave Lily another disapproving look for her irritating behavior.

But Lily met Luss’s gaze with defiance.

Everyone in the room was lost in their own thoughts, maintaining silence.

It was the calm before the storm.

’...I’ll laugh it off saying,

‘There’s another person like this?’

...I’ll laugh it off saying, “There’s another person like this?”...’

Starchis repeated his plan in his head.

The sudden need to lie was giving him a headache.

He worried if he could make it look natural.

“Chis, why are you so tense?”

Luss noticed Starchis’s anxiety and asked.


Starchis jumped at her question.

“...Are you nervous because you’re meeting your girlfriend? Well…”

Luss glanced at Lily again.

“Lily, don’t you think your outfit is a bit much?”

She pointed out her clothes to keep her in check.

Luss herself had considered doing the same as Lily if given the chance, but she wanted to set boundaries to prevent others from doing so.

“His girlfriend might get mad if she sees.”

“Why would she get mad?”

Lily asked, feigning ignorance. She had decided to act shamelessly.

“Because your outfit is too revealing.”

“How I dress is my choice.”

“Still, it’s making Chis uncomfortable.”

At her words implying she was troubling Starchis, Lily just smiled and ignored Luss, walking over to Starchis.

“Hehe… Really? Are you nervous because of this? I thought you didn’t mind... That’s cute.”

Lily knew Starchis was intentionally avoiding looking at her outfit, but she pretended to just realize it to annoy Luss even more.

In contrast,

‘It’s not because of that.’

Starchis wanted to say but couldn’t bring himself to speak.

If he answered, it might lead to more questions, and he’d have to explain why he was nervous.

“It’s okay, Starchis. I’ll explain everything. I’ll just tell her we were holding hands all day as part of his rehab. Just that.”

Of course, she had no intention of telling Elza that.

She wasn’t prepared to confront Elza yet.

She might get hurt if she rashly picked a fight.

She said this only to irritate Luss or to brag about what she had done.


Luss couldn’t believe her ears.

She fell for Lily’s provocation as she had planned.

“Holding hands all day?”

“It made it easier to sense the mana.”

Starchis answered.

Luss had no comeback to that since it was related to sensing mana. She just ended up looking foolish trying to mess with Lily.

When she glanced back at Lily, she gave her a sly smile, her decadent beauty exuding an air of mischief.

Luss swallowed her spit along with her anger.

But Starchis was losing his composure.

The plan seemed increasingly flimsy and strange.

If he and the woman named Elza inside both claimed not to know each other, that should be the end of it.

Yet, something felt off.

It was a feeling, a gut instinct, that things wouldn’t go as planned.

- Step... Step...

The sound of footsteps coming from the bathroom made everyone fall silent.

All eyes turned to the entrance.

- Step... Step...

‘Laugh it off as a coincidence. Laugh it off as a coincidence.’

Starchis was already prepared to laugh.

- Swish

Then, a woman appeared.

As Luss had described, she had pink hair, pink eyes, a moderate chest, and an average height.

Overall, she was a cute-looking woman.


Starchis’s mind went blank.

The plan was falling apart.

His uneasy feeling had never been wrong.

The woman who came out of the bathroom looked at the people waiting for her.

She looked at Luss.

She looked at a beautiful woman exuding decadent charm, just as beautiful as Luss.

And finally...

“Oh? Starchis!”

Elza exclaimed brightly, waving happily.

Lily and Luss had anticipated this situation but found it hard to face the radiant joy on Elza’s face.

It was the kind of smile only a woman who hadn’t lost Starchis could have.

And Starchis thought,

‘I’m fucked.’

Author’s Note: I’ve often been praised for my impeccable cliffhangers, so here’s my secret: I keep writing until I get to such a part, Haha. See you in the next chapter!

TL Note: Hey, everyone. Gary here. I will continue this novel’s translation from now on. See you in the next chapter soon.


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