The time plodded onwards step by step. The rest of the Academy went on vacation, and Louise bid her friends goodbye as they went home.
Simon gave his farewell too, and also told Louise her would meet her at the Sweeney mansion after she returned from her work at the Academy.
“Don’t eat too much cold food, Louise.”
He always had the same anxiety at the beginning of each summer.
“I’ll be careful.”
“Don’t forget to use a blanket when you sleep.”
“I’ll be careful about that, too.”
Of course she intended to eat plenty of cold food and throw away the blankets with a good kick. She couldn’t help it. Summers were blistering hot, even now.
Louise woke up in morning with the unpleasant feeling of her thin pajamas plastered to her skin with sweat. The weather forecast seemed to have hit the mark again.
“The season is just beginning, so why is it so hot like it’s the middle of summer…”
Louise muttered to herself grumpily. The occasional breeze that slid through the open window did little to cool her sweat, and the oppressive heat was unrelenting. Any motivation disappeared. It was always like that every summer.
Louise rolled on to her back on her bed. The dormitories were quiet. It was only natural. There were only four students left. Most of the professors were away on vacation or at academic events. The caretaker left the Academy, saying she would visit home, leaving Professor Hill to take care of the gardens. Before it got this hot, Louise volunteered to help him, but for now it was too tiresome to even go to eat, let alone work in the fields.
She wished she could stay in bed all day with some ice in her mouth or something. But as her body lay inert, her mind was getting busy. On this lazy morning, her head wouldn’t stop bothering her with trouble.
‘The original story is making me go crazy.’
This was a real problem. She didn’t know what was really what now. Until now, she thought she had seen a clear way through her flower path.
‘Then there’s relationship between Professor Lassen and Stella.’
Louise did not want to give any sympathy for Stella, but when she thought of the other girl’s swollen cheek, she felt a little upset on her behalf. She didn’t wish to be the cause of it.
‘And then His Highness.’
She still remembered what the original Ian was like. He was the kind of person who spat out these lines:
“I don’t know what you’re thinking. Nothing exists between you and me.”
She was worried that if his heart leaned away from her, she might hear him say those words herself. There was nothing she could do about it. She had already seen it happen in the story, so Louise did not recklessly come to a conclusion as to what the kiss meant that night. He was just a friend comforting her. Or did he have different intentions?
Louise already knew what her ideal man was anyways–a “Safe Man” never mentioned in the original story. She could have a normal romantic relationship without thinking about his future. Maybe they would exchange gifts on their birthdays. Thoroughly understand each other’s habits and temperament. Sometimes eat each other’s cooking.
‘Safety is alway the best.’
As she hammered the principle deep in her mind, a knock interrupted her thoughts. It was probably Claire. She was the only other girl in this section.
As she spoke, the door cracked open a little.
“I’m sorry to disappoint you.”
Through the sliver of the door she could see Ian’s silver hair and his clear, clean face which had not a bead of sweat on it.
“I know it really is summer when it looks like you’re drooping.”
“Don’t look for seasonal feelings here. I’m worn out.”
Louise muttered as she pushed herself up.
“I know, I know. Louise is very sensitive to heat.”
“Considering how energetic you look, it must be way past morning.”
Louise remembered how Ian was often weak in the morning.
“I hope you don’t tell the time through my condition. I’m tired every morning, too.”
He walked right into Louise’s room without her permission.
“Is it okay if you just enter the room of a lady still in her pajamas?”
“They’re the pajamas I bought you. Is there a problem?”
It was just as he said. The pajamas were sent by Ian on her birthday last year with a note saying, “I’m sorry I couldn’t congratulate you directly.” It was made of a very expensive fabric that kept one cool.
“I paid quite a lot for it, but you don’t look very comfortable.”
He frowned, sweeping away her sweat-damp hair.
“D-don’t touch it. It’s dirty!”
“I’ll wash my hands.”
“I’m dirty! I’m covered in sweat.”
“I don’t care. When I get your sweat on my fingers, I feel like it’s finally summer.”
“Like I said, I’m unhappy thinking about paying taxes to a pervert, so please don’t say things like that.”
“And like I said, I don’t do this to anyone but you.”
He was coming on to her again! This guy couldn’t be real!
Before Louise could say anything, he placed the cold glass he was holding onto Louise’s hot face.
Louise forgot what she was about to say and savored the cold sensation of the glass against her cheek.
“Isn’t it cool?”
After chilling away the heat for a moment, he held out the glass towards her and she took it. Slices of lemon and ice were floating in it.
“Did you bring this for me?”
“Who else is in this room besides you?”
“I thought you were enjoying it.”
“Actually, I already had some before as it was hot on the way here. Drink it down. I wonder if it’s to your taste.”
Louise tilted the glass over her lips. The cool liquid seemed to give her life again, not to mention it was delicious. The ratio of sour to sweet was perfect.
Ugh, what the hell can this man not do?
“I thought so. Do you have the strength to eat now?”
“Eat? Didn’t you say the caretaker wasn’t in?”
“Well, I can’t starve the workers over vacation.”
Louise looked at Ian with a slightly suspicious expression.
“I told you. I had to learn everything I need to survive. Which, of course, includes cooking.”
And so Louise sent Ian out of her room first, then quickly washed and changed. Then Louise, refreshed from Ian’s life-giving water, walked with him to the cafeteria where they found Claire and Dean already eating.
“President, did you make the bread?”
“It’s necessary for survival.”
“What about salad?”
“It’s the only way to survive.”
“Well, what about this beautiful omelet?”
“Did you put cheese in it?”
“Yes, just the way you like it.”
…This perfect human being.
The omelet he made was incredibly tasty, and the cheese folded in it stretched pleasantly. Louise, who had finished the omelet in a flash, lifted her head upwards from the table. She was completely sated.
That man. He’s too dangerous. Too dangerous!