10: The Pair of Peers

Today, Lizel walked alone in the city.
Stores slightly better than the normal open stalls lined this street, and Lizel entered the one with a tiny signboard with “I’m confident in my appraisal” written without confidence.
As usual, the only employee inside was standing and diligently polishing the goods on display.
This man hadn’t noticed Lizel yet and continued to properly do his job. Lizel saw this, smiled, and quietly closed the door.

“L-Lord Lizel…!”
“That’s incorrect?”
“…Mr. Lizel…”

Judge whimpered as he revised how he addressed Lizel, and in turn, Lizel smiled, pleased at the job well done.
Because Lizel had visited this shop after every time he went into a labyrinth and obtained a labyrinth item, he thought the two of them had finally become closer.
He had given numerous chances to this man who despite being tall and lean was still an adorable younger man.
If Lizel didn’t care for someone, he would despise the mere idea of them calling his name.

“Ah, congratulations on the formation of your party…!”
“Oh? Did the news reach your ears as well?”
“Yes… Is he not with you today?”
“We’re not always together. We’re grown men, after all.”

It was either that Judge was well-versed in the matters of adventurers because they were his shop’s target customers or the rumor had a farther reach than Lizel had imagined.
This was solely based on Gil’s immense popularity. If Lizel had been by himself, surely no one would have recognized him as the man at the center of the rumor.
Though, it was also because he didn’t look like an adventurer at a glance.
As such, the adventurers who didn’t know about Lizel were under the impression that the person who finally partied with Gil had to be unbelievably skilled.

“…Are you okay?”
“Um, there are many adventurers who admire Gil, so if any of them try to mess with you…”

Just as Judge said, the number of adventurers approaching Gil had increased since their party was formed.
Many were requests to be let into the party, and Gil spent every day irritated and ignored them.
Lizel was often by Gil’s side whenever that happened, but those people were generally the type to become awkward the moment they made eye contact with Lizel.
Lizel didn’t know that the low-ranked adventures talked amongst themselves that seeing the two standing there was awe-inspiring.
Lizel thought that they would normally be anxious if they had to party with someone as weak as him.

“Well, I can protect myself to some degree, so it’s fine.”
“I see…?”

Judge’s rising tone at the end of his statement indicated that he still couldn’t fully believe it.
But, it was natural for Judge to think that way since Lizel surely didn’t look strong.
From Judge’s point of view, he couldn’t at all imagine Lizel acting as an adventurer, let alone fighting as one.
Towards a regular customer, it would be overstepping to tell Lizel he was still worried.

Nevertheless, the labyrinth items Lizel brought with him were always legitimate.
And, Judge knew that Gil wasn’t the type to pair up with useless people despite having only rarely met Gil in the past.
He recalled that Gil had slightly changed as of recently as he accepted the presented labyrinth item.
After his pair of teddy bears from his first round, Lizel brought in all kinds of labyrinth items.
This time, it was a palm-sized hourglass with lovely decorations.

“…An ‘infallible hourglass’, I see.”
“Are there any special effects on it?”
“No matter how many times you use it, it will precisely count to three minutes.”

Lizel had a conflicted face as he looked at the hourglass. He couldn’t tell if this was amazing or not.
He had recently been diving into the middle floors and even occasionally the lower floors, but he had yet to encounter a labyrinth item with typical special effects.
Starting with the teddy bears, he had also obtained figurines of labyrinth monsters, an always immaculate tea set, a wallet that would return even when stolen, and the like. None of these items could be considered a daily necessity.
Because of this, Gil teasingly snickered every time Lizel found a treasure chest.
He wouldn’t complain if that happened to others, but Gil would bring back the fangs of rare monsters or rare ores when he occasionally left by himself, so Lizel couldn’t accept this.

“I thought that, like…these wouldn’t come out anymore.”
“I-I’m happy that I can see such unusual items… you know?”
“Judge, you are a good boy.”

Judge leaned slightly forward to console Lizel, so Lizel gently patted his head.
Immediately after, Judge’s back stiffened straight. Lizel smiled as he took back the hourglass now that the appraisal was finished.
Many adventurers would instantly sell the items if the appraisal deemed that they had little use, but Lizel held the belief that he could use them one day and brought them back with him.
Because of this, he could also use them as gifts for Ray.

“That reminds me. He really did enjoy your wrapping last time.”
“Ah, i-is that so…!”

Judge had been holding his head, still a little embarrassed, but he looked delighted at Lizel’s compliment.
This shop was by no means very large, but somehow it had everything in it. As such, he had visited here before going to Ray’s house before.
Naturally, it was to prepare the yellow-eyed teddy bear.
Gil had unexpectedly looked on with eyes of utter confusion, but Lizel and Judge discussed how they would handle the teddy bear.

“Was it another delivery request?”
“No, that time was a present for Viscount Ray.”
“I see…… Eh…um…”
“He was elated.”

Seeing Lizel’s sweet smile, Judge decided not to think any longer about the matter.
Thinking about it scared him. Was his writing on the appraisal form pretty enough? Should he have used more expensive wrapping paper? But, above all, did he still have confidence in his appraisal?
Nevertheless, he certainly believed that there wasn’t anything else he could have done as a shopkeeper.
Lizel called himself “a simple E-rank adventurer,” but Judge’s previous doubts only grew deeper.

“There was a fine collection of pictures from the labyrinth in the viscount’s home.”
“Ah, there are fairly many of those kinds of picture collectors.”
“Are such items also brought to your shop?”

Judge’s shop dealt in labyrinth items it had purchased.
Since they had tools for adventurers, much of their stock was excellent for daily use. Labyrinth items only occasionally came in.
Labyrinth items with practical use came out from the middle to lower floors, but as there weren’t many of those types to begin with, exceptionally special ones seldom appeared.
That was exactly why Ray didn’t buy his collection from shops since what he desired was labyrinth items from the lowest floors that shops would never have in stock.
As pictures had no practicality and thus couldn’t be sold, they weren’t available in Judge’s shop.

“I occasionally do appraisals for them.”
“The viscount owns a picture of Gil, but it seems that it’s exorbitantly priced.”
“A picture of Gil…”

Judge tried to imagine it.
Since pictures only depicted the scenery inside the labyrinth, it would have to be of Gil fighting a monster.
No matter what he imagined, it was scary. Judge would never put such a thing on his wall.

Judge wondered how Lizel would look in one as he looked over at him.
The noble air around Lizel had certainly lessened since their first encounter, but looking at him now, Judge knew that it hadn’t completely gone away.
The way Lizel tucked his hair behind his ear and narrowed his eyes when he smiled were all beautiful enough to be preserved in pictures.
If Lizel were to maintain the sanctity in his gentle face when fighting monsters, then Judge would buy it regardless of the price.
He had his pride as an appraiser, but he couldn’t guarantee that his fondness towards this man wouldn’t have an effect on his price judgment.

“The viscount said that he wanted a picture of me, but no matter how I think of it, it really is embarrassing.”
“I see. Then, even at this price, the seller…”
“It was also amusing to see Gil that embarrass—hm? Judge?”

When Lizel called Judge who was muttering in a low voice, Judge was startled and blinked.
For a moment, he looked like even he didn’t know what he was muttering. Then, he realized the words and thoughts that had slipped from his mouth.
It appeared that Lizel with his upturned eyes looking at him hadn’t heard what was said, so Judge’s pale face relaxed and returned to normal.
Judge shook his head, saying that it was nothing. In turn, Lizel didn’t press further and smiled.

“Then, you only appraise the pictures. You don’t purchase them, right?”
“Ah, no, I simply don’t display it in the store. There’s a wholesaler, so we do purchase them.”
“A store that specializes in labyrinth pictures exists, so we might as well use it.”

Frankly speaking, it was a store for the outrageous fanatic.
Ray would be ecstatic, but seeing how many he had in his collection, he was probably already aware.
Judge continued that it was run by his grandfather’s friend. It seemed that Judge’s grandfather had far-reaching connections.

“Is it in this country?”
“No, in the mercantile country, Marcade.”

The mercantile country, as the name implied, was known as the eden for merchants. Lizel had heard it mentioned just the other day in Ray’s mansion.
The capital Parteda, the mercantile country Marcade, and the magic ore country Cavana—these three countries were actually just cities in a larger country.
However, they functioned as independent nations given their unique qualities. That was why the word “country” was added.

The mercantile country was located south of the capital, and a journey there would take five days by carriage.
Just as there was a store that specialized in pictures, there was a store for everything in the city. Even now, new ones were being established one after another.
Therefore, the competition between fellow merchants was intense as well as unique. Each store had its own methods of one-upping the other.
It appeared to be a bustling city overflowing with energy. According to Gil, it was a noisy city that never rested.

“…Mr. Lizel, do you have any plans to go to Marcade?”
“Hm, why do you ask?”
“Um, you see, my grandfather is in Marcade.”
“Ah, yes, Gil told me about the previous owner.”

Judge nodded at Lizel’s words.
Judge was taller than Gil, but this gesture made him look like a small animal.
It didn’t look weird because of Judge’s baby-face, and Gil always mentioned that it was good that Judge didn’t resemble his grandfather.
His eyes wandered around as if he was indecisive about something, but they finally settled, timidly looking at Lizel.

“I plan to go meet Grandfather. And, if possible, only if you’re fine…”

Judge was slowly losing confidence, so Lizel patiently waited.
Lizel had a feeling that he knew what Judge wanted to say, but Lizel wasn’t going to overindulge him enough to do everything for him.

“If your party has plans to go to Marcade, I…would like you to accompany me as my escort…!”
“I’ve never done an escort request though. I believe it would be better for you to ask someone more capable.”

Lizel’s sound argument put Judge at a loss for words.
Lizel had no problem with escort requests. He and Gil had formed a party, so although his individual rank was E, the party rank was raised to D.
Escort requests were C-rank, so they could accept one without issue.
Personal requests would be put through the guild because if they weren’t, they wouldn’t be counted towards the adventurer’s completed requests.
That was why personal requests would be submitted once to the guild. Only after that would it reach the requested adventurer.

Lizel didn’t have an issue with accepting Judge’s request.
He considered visiting Marcade someday, and it would be more comfortable to ride in the merchant carriage Judge possessed if he were Judge’s escort.
But, if he were to consider Judge’s objective, then it would be better for Judge to have someone more accustomed to escort requests than him.
Gil said that he was limited as a solo adventurer before and couldn’t accept many escort requests. He also mentioned that he hated eating and sleeping together with people he didn’t know for several days.

“Do you…not want to?”
“That’s not it. Now, now. Don’t make that face.”

Judge weakly gripped his long ponytail of curly, chestnut-colored hair and looked at Lizel, disheartened.
Lizel placed his hand on Judge’s cheek and gently caressed it.
Judge’s eyes were red and slightly warm, about to burst into tears. When Lizel brushed his thumb against them to cool them down, Judge narrowed his eyes at how comfortable this felt.

“What do you normally do? You have gone out to purchase goods before, right?”
“The adventurers whom Grandfather knew would occasionally come, and I would ask them. But, because I ask them every time, it seems like I’m always relying on Grandfather…”
“Why don’t you post a request at the guild?”
“…I don’t want to lure people in with the shop’s name.”

Judge’s grandfather was a natural-born merchant who had this shop flourishing in one generation.
He would never deal in items of poor quality, and the price of his goods reflected that. As such, it was rare for low-rank adventurers to make use of this shop.
Moreover, the accurate appraisals and its stock of anything you request made the shop highly valuable to those who knew of it.

Judge believed that everything was because of his grandfather and lacked self-confidence.
Based on what Lizel heard about the previous owner’s personality from Gil, Lizel highly doubted such a man would let an incapable person take over his shop even if he doted on his grandson. As such, Lizel believed that Judge should hold his head up high.

“I see. I understand your feelings, but…”

If Judge wanted to have people come to him without relying on his grandfather, then he needed proof that he can work as a legitimate merchant.
In that case, all the more reason for Judge to work hard and hire actual adventurers. However, Lizel felt that it was too harsh to say that out loud.
He patted Judge’s cheek and removed his hand.

“You really can’t hire another adventurer?”
“It’s not that I can’t, but…”

Judge touched his cheeks, still warm from the touch, as he turned away from the sympathetic question.
After a short pause, he kept his head facing away from Lizel but turned his eyes down to him.

“I…want Mr. Lizel’s party.”

The words he pushed out hinted that he wanted to be spoiled and trembled a little.
Judge wanted to throw his entire body down a hole as he hid his bright-red face.

He staggered as he was too embarrassed to stand up straight anymore. He placed a hand on the desk to support himself as he peeked at Lizel through the gaps of his other hand covering his face.
Lizel momentarily showed a look of surprise but immediately smiled, knowing he couldn’t deny this request. Likewise, Judge also couldn’t stand after seeing Lizel like this and desperately supported his body from crumbling to the ground.

Those eyes indulging him were too much.
This whole situation indulging him was too much.
Lizel, who looked willing to do anything to indulge him, was too much.
Judge wondered what he was making a customer do, but he had to think that lest he lose his sanity.
He was no longer a child, yet here he was acting like one. He couldn’t help but think this way.

“You don’t have to feel that ashamed.”
“I’m…sor…gh… gh……!”

Judge was no longer able to speak from his embarrassment, and his only salvation was that Lizel thought nothing of it.
Lizel chuckled, seeing Judge’s hand covering his face trembling, and he placed his own hand on Judge’s back.

“I’ll return home today and discuss with Gil about accepting the matter of your escort.”

Judge vigorously nodded. In turn, Lizel smiled and left several copper coins on the silver tray on the desk. It was the fee for appraising the hourglass.
Judge didn’t think he could deal with any customers coming after this as he watched Lizel leave his shop. Once the man was gone, Judge slowly crumbled to the ground.
He slowly let out shaky breaths and pressed his hot cheek against the cold desk to cool it down.
Still in that position, he blankly looked at the door and thought about how Lizel saw through his lies and surpassed his perception as a merchant and his eyes as an appraiser.

“I think there’s more to him than just being a kind person…”

He didn’t particularly mind since Lizel was being genuinely kind to him. This thought floated in his head, now hazy and useless from the sizzling heat.

“As such, I believe that Judge will submit a request addressed to us in the near future.”
“Judge will?”

After leaving Judge’s shop, Lizel had nothing else scheduled and headed to the guild.
The time was exactly past noon, and the warm sunlight bathed the inside of the building. There presently weren’t many adventurers inside, and the guild receptionist sitting next to Studd had nothing to do and was beginning to doze off.
When Lizel entered by himself, Studd nonchalantly left his seat at the registration window to sit at the request reception. He never broke his line of sight with Lizel, so Lizel had gone to speak to him.

“Huh? Are you acquainted with him?”
“He has collaborated with the guild before when we required mass appraisals for a haul of labyrinth items.”

It appeared that back when Judge’s grandfather helmed the shop, he had sent the young Judge to the guild in his stead. This was the beginning.
The guild originally requested the grandfather because he was famous for his accurate appraisals, so they were perplexed at first. However, Judge’s talent for appraisals had already blossomed at that time, and he was thus capable of faster and more accurate appraisals than his grandfather. After that point, the guild always requested Judge.
When Judge first came to the guild, Studd, who was also still young, was already working at the guild. It was only natural that they often talked to each other.

“We’re the same age, so we’ve had opportunities to talk.”
“Are you two close?”
“I believe we’re close enough for me to be irritated at his insecurity.”

This meant that Studd acknowledged the accuracy of Judge’s appraisals.
And that was exactly why he was irritated that Judge lacked confidence. Though, this was hard to identify since Studd always looked indifferent.

“You’re going to Marcade, aren’t you?”

Studd was at a loss for words at Lizel’s questioning response.
It must have been strange for Studd to have his unprompted question reflexively answered.
He stared at his hands, but he eventually looked up and was met with Lizel’s gaze.
It was hard to identify what Studd was feeling given his usual expressionless face, but Lizel saw that he was determined about something.

“So you’re going to change base?”

Studd’s eyes were fixed on him, so Lizel wondered what this “base” could be.
It appeared that Studd was under the impression that Lizel would move to Marcade and never come back.
It was certain that adventurers hardly ever stayed in one country for a long time, but Lizel didn’t have any desire to move away.
He didn’t believe that he had done enough in this country of Parteda, and above all, this was the place Lizel was transported into.
There was no way he would allow any chance to easily return home to escape him.

“No, I’ll be going for some sightseeing since I’ve never been there before.”
“I see.”

Although this didn’t appear on his face, Studd appeared to be relieved, so Lizel patted his head.
He was slightly worried since Studd’s expressionless face didn’t indicate if it was fine for Lizel to do that. Nevertheless, he knew that Studd didn’t hate it, so there shouldn’t be a problem.
Lizel wondered what Studd was thinking and lightly brushed the young man’s fringe. When he did, Studd muttered something.

“But, that still means we won’t be able to see each other for some time.”
“Do you plan to accept any requests today?”

Lizel asked if Studd had said something, but Studd responded with a question, glossing over Lizel’s.
Although Studd asked, he was certain that whenever Lizel wasn’t accompanied by Gil, he had no plans.
As expected, Lizel said he had no plans, so Studd promptly stood up.

“I will be going on break soon, so can I ask that you accompany me?”
“If you’re fine with me, then I’m also fine…”

The other employees in the back stared at Studd in surprise, so when Lizel looked at them for permission, they nodded.
Nevertheless, when he asked why they were so surprised, they said that Studd constantly worked, never taking a break.
Studd himself had apparently said that there was no need for one since he didn’t feel tired.
Even when the other employees urged him to take a break, Studd would shake his head, so they couldn’t believe that he would voluntarily take one now.
Still, many of the employees looked at Lizel, standing in front of Studd, with warm, accepting eyes.

It was common knowledge among them that Studd was fond of Lizel. Only Studd himself was unaware.
Studd had been a member of the guild since he was young, but his disinterested face wasn’t very childish. Him having any interest in others was frankly and solely the work of a senior employee who got along with him in the past.
By the way, the relatively newer employees found Studd’s change interesting.
The guild employee who had been dozing off before next to Studd was now openly grinning, but Studd kicked the man’s chair from Lizel’s blindspot, causing the man to apologize, “Sorry…” with a pale face.

“Let’s go outside. Please wait a moment.”
“Do take your time.”

Lizel watched Studd walk deeper inside with quick yet indifferent footsteps.
As he left the reception area, Lizel thought, “He simply doesn’t show his emotions. How honest.”
No matter how few adventurers were present, he felt awkward occupying the space for an unknown amount of time.
Lizel was about to stand in front of the board to look at the requests, but before he could, Studd appeared.

“Thank you for waiting. Let’s go.”

He was still dressed in his guild uniform, but he took off the badge that was always on his chest.
Lizel assumed that this must have been some kind of rule and followed behind the quick Studd out of the guild.

“Have you decided where we’ll go?”
“There’s a delicious coffee shop nearby. Is that fine?”
“I look forward to it.”

Studd had been staring at Lizel before he turned around and started walking again.
Did this mean he was happy? Lizel thought that Studd was easy to understand in a sense, but then again, Studd hardly ever showed any change in emotion outside of being with Lizel.
That was why even if Lizel said, “Studd is honest and cute,” no one would agree. Even Gil would deny with an amazed look on his face.

Just as Studd had described, they arrived at the stop after just five minutes of walking.
The wooden structure exuded personality, and the faint aroma of coffee beans reached their noses as they stood in front of the door.
Studd opened the door, prompted Lizel to enter, and waited, so Lizel thanked him and stepped inside.
Since it was already past noon, the tiny shop wasn’t crowded, and the few customers there were spread out.
They sat down at a table for two, and each ordered their own coffee.

“Seeing you outside the guild is refreshing, Studd.”
“I would be overstepping my boundaries if I were to speak to you outside of business matters.”
“Not at all. I would be delighted.”

Studd nodded, said, “Is that so?” to the smiling Lizel, and stared at Lizel’s hand.
Lizel noticed this gaze, separated his clasped hands, and opened both hands with the palms facing upward.
Studd extended one hand and walked his fingers across the palm of one of Lizel’s hands to the wrist.
Although this tickled Lizel, he let Studd do what he wanted to do. Studd took a peek at Lizel, and in his satisfaction, he looked down at the exposed wrist.

“I see that your bruise is gone.”
“Gil didn’t seriously intend to hurt me, after all.”
“If that ‘One Slash’ was truly clinging to and begging you, then I wanted to see it.”

After the two coffees arrived, Studd moved his hand away.
Lizel simply laughed, showing that he really had no intention of telling the truth.
Normally, the lack of denial would have pointed towards that being the truth, but strangely it felt like it could swing either way when dealing with Lizel.
As Studd thought this, he looked over at Lizel drinking his coffee.

“It’s delicious.”
“I’m glad that it is to your taste.”

Studd felt his own mood lighten from Lizel’s words and also drank his coffee.
Studd enjoyed coming here for a coffee to clear his head since the guild stayed open late into the night, but he hadn’t ever brought someone with him.
In any case, he didn’t at all regret bringing Lizel with him, and while he questioned this strange feeling in him, he enjoyed it.
He would have refused this if it made him feel sick, but it was exactly because it didn’t feel that way that it felt comfortable.

“’Ey, is that the guy who partied with One Slash?”

And exactly for that reason, interruptions such as this were extremely unpleasant to Studd.

“I wondered what kind of tough guy he’d be, but this is…”
“If you hired him, you’d better quit. You’re spendin’ too much to show off, young master.”

Together with a loud clang, a group of three men entered the shop and walked straight toward Lizel.
They probably saw him from the large window used to let in the sun. It appeared that they remembered Lizel’s face from how often he was seen together with Gil and came in to start a fight after confirming Gil’s absence.
Lizel glanced around the shop and sighed, “Why here of all times?” There were other customers present.

“If you have something to say to me, I’ll listen to you outside. I’m sorry, Studd. Next time…”
“No. I want to enjoy my break with you.”

Studd stopped Lizel when he was about to stand up.
His voice was the opposite of his indifferent expression. It was severe, not at all hiding his displeasure.
When Lizel moved, ready to confront them, Studd grabbed his arm to stop him. Lizel was troubled and gave a strained smile.
This was his most honest expression so far and thus adorable, but Lizel didn’t want to get Studd involved.

“Studd, I’ll certainly come here together with you next time.”
“It has to be now.”
“Please listen to me, okay?”
“When you stay here with me, I become utterly selfish.”

He continued to speak in an indifferent tone, and the adventurers looked on with wide eyes as if they saw something unbelievable.
Though, they were actually witnessing the unbelievable.
Nevertheless, their shock dimmed in the face of being completely ignored while Studd and Lizel carried on their conversation as if they weren’t even there. One man dramatically slammed his fist against the table where the two were sitting.

“Well, ain’t you two close, hey?! But, you can’t be ignorin’ us—”
“Yes, I am quite fond of him. That’s why—”

In the next moment, the air around Studd rustled as mana surrounded him.
This wasn’t the same indifferent gaze hiding his emotions that he had toward Lizel; the absolute zero degrees glare slowly pierced the man.
This wasn’t limited only to his glare. The surrounding mana robbed the atmosphere of its heat, decreasing the temperature.

“If you’re bothering us, I cannot guarantee your life.”

The portion of the table where Studd’s hand was touching began to freeze, and ice finally covered the man’s hand on the table.
It continued to corrode his flesh as it made its way up his arm. The man let out a strained cry and swiftly withdrew his hand.
There was a cracking sound as he moved away. His arm up to his elbow was completely frozen, so when he tried to brush it off, his arm was frigid enough to freeze the fingers touching it.
The man turned pale as he could no longer move his fingers. In contrast, Studd spoke with an indifferent voice.

“If you don’t quickly melt it, your arm will need to be cut off.”

Lizel watched Studd turn away from the dumbfounded men as though they no longer mattered, and smiled wryly.

“It’s dangerous to swiftly heat it up. I think it’s best to take it slowly.”

Lizel’s words brought the men back to their senses, and they hurriedly left the shop, letting out a soundless scream.
It seemed that they knew that this wasn’t a joke and the man’s arm was in serious danger.
Lizel believed that in actuality, that level shouldn’t pose that much of a problem as he watched the men run away from the large window.
Still, the man would be in danger if it was left untreated, but based on how the ice looked, Lizel knew that it would instantly melt.

The exchange that happened in this corner of this shop wasn’t conveyed to the rest of the shop, so Lizel apologetically bowed. Then, the mood relaxed and returned to normal.
Studd brushed off the ice left on the table.

“You can’t do such dangerous things, Studd.”
“Do you hate me now?”
“I don’t. I’m simply worried about you.”
“I’m happy.”

Studd was now aware of his fondness for Lizel, so he no longer held back.
He hadn’t really held back before, but with this realization, he displayed his preference towards Lizel even more openly now.
Studd looked proud about something, so Lizel couldn’t help but smile and extend his hand.

“Why are the young ones often so fond of me?”
“I can’t believe you’re doin’ this unconsciously.”

Lizel and Gil happened to be having dinner at the same time, so Lizel frankly sat together with Gil.
As he recalled today’s events, Lizel asked this question to be cut down in one slash.
Although Lizel thought that even if he said that, he still wanted to be close to them if possible. But, he couldn’t figure out the definite reason, so he let out a sigh.

“Well, I may be showing some favoritism to the ones I like.”
“…It’s too much work to comment on that.”
“What do you mean by that?”

Lizel gave a disgruntled reply to the frowning Gil as he recalled that he needed to discuss Judge’s escort request.

Author’s note:
The pair of peers are in their 20s.
Lizel and Gil are roughly in their late 20s.
Judge becomes shy after being spoiled. Studd becomes more open after being spoiled.
It naturally turned out this way. What a mystery.

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6 responses to “10: The Pair of Peers”

  1. silvernSkye Avatar

    (I don’t have anything interesting to say but thanks for your hard work!)


    1. AdCaelum Avatar

      Thank you for commenting still 😀


  2. rise Avatar

    dang judge is in Love Love


  3. Jess5154 Avatar

    Thank you for translating.


  4. Melinda DeGroot Avatar
    Melinda DeGroot

    Thank you for all your hard work in translating


  5. Yemane afom Avatar
    Yemane afom

    this gives me so much gay vibes but at the same time i feel like not , like i feel like lizel is really a tease but he also feels like a brother . it feels like i am constantly in the state of blue balls . sorry english isn’t my first language .


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