Chapter 52: Introducing My Girlfriend (4)

“Who are these people?”

Starchis was flustered. Lying wasn’t his forte. No matter what excuse he came up with, he felt Lily wouldn’t believe him.

Lily scrutinized them closely. No matter how she looked at it, the two men seemed to be together.

Starchis thought to himself, Why did Lily arrive so quickly?

‘Ah, now that I think about it, she always arrives early for appointments.’

At that moment, Rose stepped in.

“Hello, Lily. How have you been?”


Although she responded, Lily’s eyes remained fixed on the two men.

Large, muscular frames. Even at a glance, Lily could tell they were people who used their bodies a lot.

They looked like thugs... or bodyguards.

Before Lily could continue her thoughts, Rose spoke again.

“Oh, these aren’t people I know. They just asked for directions.”

“Your friends have arrived? Then we will be on our way. Thanks.”

Brook, just like Rose, smoothly lied and answered her, then moved away.

They went into the upscale restaurant behind them.

But Lily’s eyes followed the bodyguards.

Seeing this, Rose nudged Starchis with her elbow.

“Ah. Y-your outfit looks nice, Noona. It suits you well.”

Lily’s attention returned to them at Starchis’ compliment.

She stood there, chewing over his compliment with a stiff expression, then smirked.

“Th-thank you. Starchis, you... ah.”

Lily finally noticed Starchis’s outfit. It was the one she had bought for him.

The outfit she had put a spying spell on, which allowed her to hear their intimate moments.

She was so tormented afterward that she removed the spell.

As that memory resurfaced, she realized just how close the two in front of her had become.

Starchis noticed her gaze on his clothes and asked,

“...This outfit? Thanks again, Noona. Does it suit me?”

“Y-yes, it suits you.”

Despite her feelings, Starchis indeed looked great. So much so that it was hard to meet his eyes.

His usually ordinary but lovely face shone. Each part of the outfit was sexy.

She felt both pleased and annoyed that she had bought him that outfit.

Overall, she had mixed feelings.

Her thoughts about the bodyguards vanished completely.

Following Lily’s gaze, Rose looked at Starchis’ outfit and pointed at his shirt with her finger.

“Oh? Starchis, your button is undone.”

“Ah, this? Haha... It’s not undone, I just couldn’t button it because my hand is a bit clumsy.”

He casually spoke to Rose in informal speech.

That made Lily feel uncomfortable. Someone she had known for so long couldn’t even do something this simple because of his clumsy hand.

“I’ll help you.”

Rose rolled up her sleeves and reached for his shirt.

Lily watched.

“I’ll take care of these things from now on.”

Rose seemed quite adept at lying. She was already acting like a real lover, envisioning a future together.

Starchis was impressed. He was learning a lot from her lies.

“Thanks, Elza.”

Starchis said with a smile, and Rose smiled back at him. Lily just watched. There was no room for her to intervene.

Lily wasn’t the only one watching this scene.

“I’m here, Chis.”

Luss appeared, greeting them. She too had dressed beautifully, as much as Lily.

Even leaving her usual sword behind, her intimidating presence was gone, revealing a more feminine charm.

“...Hello, Elza.”

“Nice to see you too, Luss.”

Brightly greeting her, Rose finished buttoning Starchis’s shirt and gave his shoulder a light slap.

“All done, Starchis.”

Seeing Rose getting a bit excited as more people gathered, Starchis couldn’t help but chuckle. Even a stranger would think they were close.

Luss, who had greeted them, was slowly approaching. Starchis, now tidied up, welcomed her.

“You made it, Luss?”

He looked at her outfit. A black dress like her eyes and hair. The dress flowed naturally from her shoulders to the hem, giving a relaxed feel. The hem swayed gently in the breeze.

“Wow... you look beautiful. I’ve never seen you dressed up like this.”

“Hehe... thanks.”

Seeing Elza and Starchis adjusting his clothes together, Luss felt a twinge of jealousy. However, one compliment from him disarmed her completely.

She was nervous about wearing this outfit for the first time, but now she was glad she had dressed up.

“You look great too, Chis.”

Just as Starchis was seeing Luss dressed up for the first time, Luss was also seeing Starchis this dressed up for the first time.

Her heart pounded erratically, and at the same time, it ached knowing that this dressed-up appearance was for someone else.

“Oh, this is the outfit Lily Noona bought for me. She told me to wear it when I got a girlfriend. Remember, you wanted to see it?”

‘Ah, this outfit…’

She remembered. Back then, she had thrown a fit about wanting to see the clothes before Lily. Now, thinking back, she wondered why they had fought over such trivial things.

Starchis was already moving away from them back then.

Rose, who had been listening, asked Starchis,

“So this outfit is to show me?”

Starchis looked at Rose and asked,

“Do you think it looks good?”

“Of course, I told you earlier.”

She gave a thumbs up and smiled at Lily.

“Thanks, Lily.”

Rose’s words were innocent and purely grateful, but Lily gritted her teeth. Her mouth clamped shut, she couldn’t even muster a false reply.

She simply smiled tightly and nodded at Elza.

Then Rose looked down at herself. Even though her outfit was intentional, it felt overly plain.

“...Maybe I should have dressed up more. Everyone looks so pretty.”

Starchis reassured her,

“No, you’re beautiful enough.”


Rose was genuinely asking now.

Meanwhile, Starchis was still immersed in the scenario, thinking about how he would respond if she were his girlfriend.

“Of course. Don’t worry about anyone else’s standards. By mine, you’re beautiful.”

Rose smiled shyly.

Lily and Luss fidgeted with their own outfits.

Soon, they saw Vienna approaching from a distance.

“Oh, Vienna is coming.”

She was also neatly dressed.

‘Does everyone think today is really important?’

Starchis thought.

Of course, he had dressed up a bit since he was introducing his girlfriend, but he had expected the rest of the party to come casually.

However, they all showed up dressed to turn heads, attracting looks from everyone around.

Even those who were naturally beautiful and didn’t need to dress up were now drawing even more attention.


Vienna greeted Starchis.

“Hello. Nice to meet you. I’m Elza.”

“Say hi, Vienna. This is my girlfriend.”

Vienna glanced at Elza and gave a small nod.

“Told you she was shy.”

Starchis found Vienna’s shyness amusing and teased her a bit. But Vienna didn’t react.

Instead, she took a small vial from her waist and handed it to Starchis.

“What’s this?”

A vial seemed out of place here.

“...Found it somewhere. It’s good for your arm.”

Vienna’s hands were covered in scars as she handed over the vial. Starchis noticed and asked,

“Did you make this, Vienna?”

“I found it...”

Starchis took the vial she handed him. It contained a blue liquid, similar to the color of mana.

“...You didn’t have to... What’s it good for?”

Vienna stared intently at Starchis.

“Ah, I’m not doubting you or anything, just curious. Should I take it now?”


Vienna answered without hesitation. Starchis wasn’t doubting her at all. If Vienna said it was good, it was good. She wouldn’t give him anything harmful.

Trusting her words, Starchis opened the vial and drank it all.

It tasted bitter and sticky.

“...Tastes strange. So, what exactly is it good for, Vienna?”

Seeing him drink the potion without hesitation, Vienna felt another emotion—pride. He truly trusted her. All the effort of climbing mountains at dawn, gathering herbs, and injuring her hands while making the potion had paid off.

“...It’s good for sensing mana.”

“Oh, really? Wow... Thanks, Vienna.”

Vienna quickly turned her head away, feeling embarrassed.

“Thank you, Vienna.”

Rose also expressed her gratitude from the side.

‘It’s not like I made it for you,’ Vienna thought to herself.

“Anyway, your outfit looks great, Vienna. Did everyone dress up like this?”

Vienna couldn’t help but smile.

‘You look great too, Starchis,’ she thought, though she only murmured it in her mind.

“Alright, now that everyone’s here, let’s go inside and continue our conversation.”


The waiters led them to their table.

It was a large round table, already set with various dishes.

“Did you make a reservation?” Luss asked.

“Of course. It’s a special occasion to introduce my girlfriend.”

Starchis and Rose sat together, Luss sat next to Starchis, Vienna across from Starchis, and Lily next to Rose.

After they all sat down and settled in, there was a brief, awkward silence.

Starchis broke it.

“We all know why we’re here today... I wanted to introduce my girlfriend. This is Elza.”

Elza stood up carefully and greeted the three women. Her manner was poised and impeccable.

Starchis, watching from beside her, admired her, thinking, ‘As expected of a noble.’

The three women, who had seen Elza a few times before, scrutinized her again.

Her beauty was lesser than theirs, her outfit plain, and her greeting not to their liking. They quickly decided she wasn’t suitable for Starchis.

Although they had told themselves they’d let him go if it was someone truly amazing, upon seeing Elza, they thought, ‘There’s no way I’m letting her have him.’

“And Elza? This is Luss, next to you.”

“Hello. I’m Luss, Starchis’s friend for six years.”

Luss shook her head, naturally flipping her hair back, which wafted its scent over Starchis.

“Luss, I’ve heard a lot about you. Starchis relies on you a lot.”

“Haha... Starchis, you’re such a great person? You should’ve told me more about your girlfriend.”

Though it sounded like a compliment, it wasn’t. She was implying, ‘You may have heard a lot about me, but I haven’t heard anything about you, so when you’re not around, he thinks of me.’

Starchis continued his introductions.

“And across from me is Vienna. She’s the saint of our party.”

Vienna nodded her head in acknowledgment.

“And as I mentioned, she’s very shy.”

“You look like a doll.”

Vienna shot a glare at Elza. Elza, puzzled, looked back at Vienna with a question mark practically visible above her head.

“And lastly, next to her, is Lily. She’s our party’s mage.”


This time, Elza greeted first.

“Hello, I’m Lily.”

Lily received the greeting with a smile.


“Even though this is only the second time we’ve met, I already feel a strong sense of familiarity. You feel like a younger sibling, just like Starchis.”

“Hehe… Thank you for seeing me so kindly.”

“By the way, Elza, can I speak informally with you?”


Rose was surprised by Lily’s sudden approach, but she thought it was a good thing. If they could get closer quickly, there was nothing wrong with that.

“Yes, please feel free.”

“Alright then, Elza.”

Starchis felt puzzled seeing Lily so comfortable with Elza. Lily had never spoken informally to any of the other party members before.

“Noona, you seem really comfortable with Elza. You still don’t speak informally with me.”

“It’s probably because we’re both women. It just feels natural.”

“It makes me feel comfortable too. Could I call you Lily-unnie?”

Rose asked.

Lily didn’t particularly want that, but she knew it was natural to give and take. She couldn’t say no in this setting.

“…Sure, you can.”

“Thank you, Lily-unnie.”

Rose giggled.

Even though she hadn’t been out long, she was happy to be able to make many friends through Starchis.

Especially since the people here were the gatherers she admired. There were so many stories she wanted to ask about.

Soon, the waiters came out with the prepared food.

Knowing that none of the party members liked cumbersome course meals, Starchis had ordered so that the main dish would come out right away.

The menu was, of course, meat.

Whenever they gathered, they always ate meat. It was the safest and hardest to mess up.

Dishes were placed in front of everyone.

Then, as if choreographed, the waiters simultaneously lifted the silver lids covering the dishes.

Steam rose, revealing the meat. Starchis thought there were few dishes that could beat meat in terms of visual appeal.

As the lids were removed, the waiters began filling their glasses with wine.

Starchis, momentarily distracted, didn’t notice. Rose was also preoccupied, mentally reviewing the contents of her lies.

But the other three party members, hearing the gentle sound of wine being poured, felt a silent tension.

It seemed a fierce battle of wills was about to begin.

“Shall we make a toast?” Starchis suggested.

Everyone raised their glasses.

“Elza, do you have anything you’d like to say?”

“Uh… hehe. I’m not very good at this.”

Vienna found Elza’s shyness annoying, forgetting that she sometimes behaved similarly.

“Um… To our long-lasting bonds!”

Elza raised her glass cutely as she said it.

Lily didn’t even like her toast. It wasn’t right for Elza to have a long-lasting bond with Starchis, not if she could help it.

“Cheers!” said Starchis.

“Thanks for the meal, Chis,” said Luss.

Lily said, “Next time, I’ll treat you, Starchis.”

Vienna silently downed her wine.

None of the trio toasted to long-lasting bonds.

Rose smiled and took a sip of her wine.


The wine was more astringent and sour than she expected. Having always drunk very expensive wine, even in a high-end restaurant, this wine didn’t suit her noble taste.

It wasn’t so bad she wanted to spit it out, but she did want to rinse her mouth.

However, there was no water glass in sight.

In her haste to rinse her mouth, Rose instinctively called for her maid.


She stopped mid-sentence, realizing she was Elza.

Everyone was in the middle of sipping their wine, so her voice was clearly heard. No one missed what she said.

All eyes turned to her.

Starchis pretended not to hear, but his eyes nervously darted in her direction.

The three women looked at her in confusion.


Someone named Elza calling for Elza was bizarre.

‘Oh no,’ Rose thought.

She couldn’t let her lie be discovered because of this. Finally, she closed her eyes tightly and said,

“...Elza wants water...”

An emergency escape in third-person speech. Her face turned red.

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