Chapter 53: Introducing My Girlfriend (5)

Rose lowered her head deeply. She was too embarrassed to lift her head. Her hands, which had momentarily picked up the utensils, were now quietly placed on her lap, clenched into fists.

Meanwhile, the three women stared at Rose as if they couldn’t believe their eyes. They held their wine glasses, frozen.


Lily let out a hollow laugh at Elza’s tone. Her red eyes scrutinized Elza.

She disliked how Elza was trying to act cute like a child.

The intention to appear adorable was ridiculous. More than anything, it was an act Starchis would never appreciate-

“Wow...wahahahaha!! Oh, Elza, did you want some water?”



“Here! Please bring us a glass of water!”

Starchis, sweating, played along with Elza’s lines.

Right now, he had to accept whatever Rose said. They were on the same team, so they had to make up for each other’s mistakes.

Even though he didn’t like this kind of playful speech or behavior, there was no choice.

The three women were even more dumbfounded by Starchis’ reaction.


Thus, Luss unintentionally let out a hollow laugh aloud.

She wondered how much he must like her to be so pleased by such low-level cuteness.

‘Does he like that kind of thing..?’

Though it was absurd, she thought that maybe if she acted that way, he would like it too.

Starchis checked Luss’ expression, worried that she might have noticed something strange from her laugh.

Receiving his cautious gaze, Luss tried to cover up her accidental laugh. She couldn’t risk acting rudely and earning his displeasure.

“....You’re really having fun, Starchis~. Does Elza usually act this cute?”

Starchis had no choice but to answer. It wouldn’t make sense to say this was the first time she used such a tone at this dinner.

“Of course! Haha... She’s so adorable..”

The more Elza continued her blatant cuteness beside him, the more it irritated her.

Imagining that Starchis had enjoyed this behavior made the fire in her chest burn even hotter.

‘That fox..’

She wasn’t a child, yet she used such a tone as a grown adult. Luss glared at Elza, finding it utterly displeasing.

But Starchis interpreted her glare as one of suspicion.

He needed to show a more convincing action.

As soon as Luss glared, Starchis immediately reached out and gently patted Elza’s head, careful not to mess up her hair.

“Haha... You are so cute, really cute..”


Rose, whose head was being patted, blushed in embarrassment. She didn’t dislike his touch. It felt like a privilege of the lie.

‘I feel like a pet..’

Rose thought, trying to calm her racing heart.

“It’s so fresh.. you two look great together..”

Luss muttered her observations while biting her lip, then took a long drink of wine.

It felt like there was a fire inside her.

Gulp, gulp

The wine flowed down her throat without pause.




Luss carefully controlled her strength as she placed the wine glass down. Without that control, the glass might have shattered the moment she set it down.

“My throat was dry... Sorry. Did it look strange?”

“...No. If you need more, just let me know.”

While it was unusual to chug a glass of wine, it wasn’t unseemly.

Watching her, beautiful as ever, in equally beautiful attire, downing wine was an irresistibly alluring sight.

Her flushed cheeks only added to it.

The waiter soon appeared, pouring water into the glass in front of Rose.

“There you go, Elza. Drink some water.”

“Th-thank you, Starchis.”

Rose, fanning her reddened cheeks with her hand, rinsed her mouth with the water.

As the brief commotion subsided, everyone picked up their utensils and began cutting their meat again.

Except for Starchis.


Since his injury, he had only been able to eat food that he could either spear with a fork or scoop with a spoon using his right hand. Whenever he needed both hands, he had always asked for help.

But given the formal setting of this dinner, asking someone to cut his meat wasn’t an easy thing to do.

Glancing at Rose, he saw she was still too embarrassed, her head buried in her food, squealing quietly to herself.


Just then, a hand from his left reached out and took his plate.

It was Luss.

Without a word, she began cutting his food.

Starchis wondered if this was why she had chosen to sit on his left.

Despite all their time together, she still always thought of him first and took care of him.

He was especially grateful that even though she had dressed up beautifully for the evening, her considerate actions remained unchanged.

While it’s normal for people to act differently when dressed up, Luss didn’t mind doing this small, somewhat bothersome task even in a high-end restaurant.

“Luss, thank you.”

Luss met his eyes and gave him a gentle smile, trying to build rapport subtly but surely. She wanted him to feel comfortable around her, showing that she was dependable without being overbearing.

Rose realized just a second too late that Starchis was having difficulty.

“Oh, Starchis, I’m so sorry. I wasn’t thoughtful enough.”

Earlier, she had been embarrassed by her own actions; now, she was embarrassed by her lack of consideration.

If she had an excuse, it was that she was still flustered from her silly attempt at cuteness. Even so, she couldn’t deny that this happened because of her shortcomings.

“It’s okay. It’s easy to forget sometimes. Helping out is kind, but not helping doesn’t make you a bad person. It’s really alright.”

“...I’m really lacking...”

‘You’re just realizing that now?’

Lily thought to herself.

Starchis laughed at Rose’s dejected expression. Her feeling bad for not helping him was both touching and amusing.

“You’re kind, Elza.”

“...No, I’m not...”

“You buttoned my shirt earlier too, remember? Don’t think too much about it.”

Luss felt like an outsider again.

She was the one who had cut his meat, who had thought of him first, yet it seemed Elza was the one benefiting from it.

Luss felt like her efforts were being overlooked. She was helping him, yet he was chatting with Elza.

A wave of frustration surged up Luss’ throat. Instinctively, she tightened her grip on the knife, causing a faint screech as it scraped against the plate.

Meanwhile, Rose, despite Starchis’ reassurances, still felt uneasy. Even if she was just his fake girlfriend and hadn’t met him many times, she felt it should be her cutting his food and paying the most attention to him.

Trying to reclaim her role, she spoke up.

“Luss, let me-”

“-No, it’s okay. I’ve already cut it.”

But Luss interrupted her, refusing her offer. The more she saw Elza, the more she disliked her, despite thinking she couldn’t possibly dislike her more.

This was just the beginning. She decided to take bold action.

Luss cut a piece of Starchis’s steak and brought it to his mouth with her fork.

“Say ah~.”

With a sultry smile, she held the fork in one hand and supported the food with the other.


Just as Starchis opened his mouth to speak, Luss gently pushed the meat into his mouth.

She then giggled softly.

“Is it good?”

Luss licked the remaining juice off the fork, savoring it. While the taste was good, the situation felt awkward. It wasn’t Luss making him uncomfortable, but rather the fact that his fake girlfriend was watching.


Rose began to feel puzzled by Luss’ actions. Having never had a boyfriend, she couldn’t tell if this behavior was normal. Even though she was only his fake girlfriend, she couldn’t help feeling a bit suffocated.

When Starchis had told her about Luss, it hadn’t seemed like Luss liked him.

“It tastes good, but you don’t have to go this far. I’m not a baby...”

“But your hand is hurt, right, Chis?”

“Right. But there’s no need to feed me.”


“My right hand works fine. I’ll ask Elza for the rest. Can you do that, Elza?”

“Yes! I’d love to help.”

Rose welcomed his suggestion.

Although she didn’t like that he kept asking Elza instead of her, she had expected it.

Luss, having achieved her goal, returned his plate with a satisfied smile.

She had shown her care for him before Elza, fed him like a lover would, and even shared an indirect kiss.

It was a good first step.

Just when she thought it was enough...

“Say ah~”

Elza, smiling, offered him another piece of meat, making her stomach churn again.

If this unsettled her so much, it was even worse for Vienna and Lily, who could only watch helplessly.

“...He said he can use a fork.”

Vienna commented from across the table. Her wine glass was already half-empty, despite barely touching her meat.

“I just want to feed my boyfriend.”

But no matter what Vienna said, Elza was just doing what a girlfriend would do.

She didn’t put the fork down.

Then, she smiled sweetly at Luss, not Vienna.

Luss raised an eyebrow.

‘Seriously, guys.’

Starchis thought to himself.

Even with his hand injured, why did everyone treat him like a baby? Just cutting the meat was enough help.

Despite everything, Starchis was truly grateful to everyone.

“Eat up, Starchis.”

Elza urged him with a voice that was both playful and serious.

He couldn’t refuse the food offered by Rose after accepting it from Luss.

“Say ah~.”

At her words, he cautiously opened his mouth.

For the first time in her life, Rose fed someone else. It felt much more refreshing and fulfilling than she had expected. Maybe it was because the person she was feeding was Starchis, she thought.


Rose smiled as she placed the meat in his mouth. It was no longer an act; the laughter was now coming from deep within her heart.

All eyes turned to Rose. Starchis couldn’t just sit there after receiving food. The awkward looks from his party members made him uncomfortable.

“Luss, could you press my steak with your fork for a moment?”

Starchis asked Luss to hold his steak down with her fork.

It wasn’t for any other reason; holding the knife in his right hand, it was more convenient for Luss, who was on his left, to press the steak.

“Uh... Me..?”

Caught off guard, Luss quickly complied, piercing his steak with her fork to hold it steady, worried he might change his mind.

She smiled brightly and glanced at Elza, sending a smile her way as well.


Rose felt a pang of disappointment. Even if it was just an act, she was his girlfriend. Did he not trust her? Had he already given up on her because of her previous mistakes?

Without a word, Starchis cut a piece of steak, then set down the knife and took hold of Luss’ fork.

Luss naturally let go of the fork.

Slowly, he brought the fork to his mouth, then changed direction and offered it to Rose.


Lily let out a deflated sigh.

The fork stopped in front of Elza’s mouth.

Luss blinked. She had just helped cut the steak that Starchis was now feeding to Elza.

Starchis spoke up, pushing himself to clear any doubts from the trio.

Since Rose was going out of her way for him, it wasn’t right for him to just sit there and not make any effort.



Elza froze, surprised. She hadn’t expected him to feed her.

She wasn’t the only one who was shocked.

“...Hurry up and eat.”

Starchis said.

Vienna lost her appetite.

The piece of meat Starchis handed to Elza seemed to shine compared to her own.

What Elza was eating looked radiant, while her own seemed like a sad piece of rubber.

Starchis’ slightly embarrassed face made her heart flutter even more.

His clean and well-groomed look, along with his slicked-back hair, made him seem even more handsome.

His blushing, despite his sturdy appearance, was endearing.

Casey had said he wasn’t that good-looking, but how could anyone look at that face and think such a thing?

Especially with that expression. It was a rare sight, one that he didn’t show often.

She watched Elza take in that expression as if it were entirely her own.

Perhaps because they hadn’t known each other for long, Elza didn’t seem to appreciate the value of that expression, wearing a clueless face.

Luss felt a surge of frustration and almost wanted to smack her own forehead hard enough to make her eyes water.

She wished he would look at her like that, just once.

Elza hesitated, her lips trembling slightly as she took the meat. Though it was likely just an act, she couldn’t understand why she was so nervous.

She worried about whether she looked messy while eating, if anything was on her face, and if she appeared awkward.

“Is it good?”

Starchis’ face was right in front of hers, only a hand’s breadth away.

She couldn’t meet his eyes. Was this what it felt like to have a real…


In a barely audible voice, Elza answered.

“It’s delicious.”


The moment Elza answered, there was a sound of a glass being set down, and both Starchis and Elza turned to look in that direction.

Vienna had finished her wine as well. Starchis wasn’t worried since she could handle her alcohol, but he was concerned that she might neglect her food by drinking so quickly.

Vienna seemed like she had something to say.

She chewed her lips and glanced at Starchis now and then, clearly deep in thought.

‘Should I ask Starchis to order more wine for me…’

She pondered, feeling her face flush, possibly from the alcohol or the mere thought of asking.

Imagining how Starchis might react to such a request made her feel too embarrassed to even try.

“I... I’d like another glass of wine…”

In the end, she settled for the more conventional request.

Vienna shot a sharp look at Elza, silently cursing her.

‘Crazy bitch…’

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