12: Denied

Lizel closed his nth book and looked up at the sky.
Since the moon was exactly right above his head, he got up from the chair, ready to change shifts.
In the end, nothing happened, so what Lizel really did was occasionally add wood to the fire so it wouldn’t go out.
This firewood was piled up right beside him, so he didn’t even have to leave his seat to do this task.

He approached the half-opened door of the wagon, making sure not to make any noise, and peered inside.
He could see under the faint moonlight two men lying down and curled up in blankets inside the wagon.
As expected, their tall statures made the relatively wide wagon feel snug. While thinking this, he put his knee up inside the wagon.
He painstakingly ensured that he didn’t make any sounds from the creaking wood, but one of the lumps underneath the blanket shifted.

“…My turn?”

Gil got up and looked at Lizel, who was on all fours since he had yet to take off his shoes.
Lizel had never heard this low, raspy murmuring from Gil, so this was probably his voice after waking up. But, still, Lizel couldn’t believe that Gil woke up from such little sound.
Careful to not have his shoes touch anything, he slowly approached and peered into Gil’s face. There wasn’t a hint of sleepiness on the man’s face.

“How can you wake up so smoothly? Did you sleep properly?”

Lizel asked in a low voice, careful not to wake up Judge.
To object Lizel, who was filled with all kinds of skepticism, Gil lifted the blanket he was using and dropped it on Lizel.
Lizel’s vision was momentarily blocked. He struggled to remove the blanket while slowly backing up.
Gil got up, sat at the edge of the carriage, and stretched his feet outside to put on his shoes.

“Of course, I slept. I woke up after sensing your presence.”
“I don’t think you’ve rested enough if you were awakened by just that.”
“I slept enough.”

Lizel also sat at the edge to take off his shoes and abruptly seized Gil’s hand that was placed next to him.
It was faintly cooler than his own, meaning that Gil had slept as he claimed.
Letting Lizel do his own thing, Gil put on his shoes with his remaining hand before swiftly moving his seized hand.
After confirming that Lizel’s hand was gone, he stood up, let out a yawn, and headed toward the chair. But, before he could leave, Lizel stopped him.

“Okay, here.”

Gil glanced at the book Lizel was holding out.
He had taken Lizel’s books without permission numerous times, but it appeared that Lizel managed to grasp his preferences.
He wasn’t particular enough with books to have something like a preference, but there were certainly genres that bored him halfway through reading.
Gil casually raised his hand as a sign of gratitude and this time for sure headed towards the chair.

Lizel saw Gil off until the last moment before slipping inside the wagon.
The blanket was still faintly warm. Thinking that it would be blissful to sleep in, he peered into Judge’s face, who had been sleeping facing the wall.
His baby-face looked even younger with the peaceful expression he had on. His breathing as he slept sounded calm.
After confirming that Judge was sound asleep, Lizel lay sideways and wrapped the blanket around him, ready to sleep as well.
He wasn’t sleepy while keeping watch, but once he was warm, he was assaulted by drowsiness. This meant that he had been on alert, more or less.
Lizel crawled inside the blanket to escape the light entering inside the wagon and slowly closed his eyes.

The next morning with the sky still dimly lit, Judge woke up.
Even though he described the sky as dimly lit, the current time frame could conversely be seen as still nighttime.
However, everyone who operated businesses targeted at adventurers woke up this early. Judge consistently woke up early to set up his shop, so the time he woke up was the same as always.
As he slowly got up and resisted closing his eyes from the drowsiness, he caught sight of the lump lying sideways underneath the blanket.

It looked like a small bulge from the tall Judge’s point of view. Seeing Gil there when he went to sleep didn’t help him think otherwise.
If he told this to Lizel, the man would have surely protested, saying, “I have a fine stature, average for man, and I would like you to not call me small.” But, everyone, regardless of sex, was small to Judge, so this couldn’t be helped.
He stared at the blanket in his dazed state, fresh from waking up, but was suddenly hit with a tiny, curious thought.
This budding curiosity grew bigger and bigger. Unable to hold it back, he slowly inched towards the lump beside him.

“Just a little…”

He muttered this excuse no one would hear and quietly turned the blanket over.
Fortunately, Lizel had been facing him in his sleep. Upon seeing this visage revealed, Judge let slip the mysterious excitement in his chest.
He usually was too flustered to properly look at this face, but now that he could look at it straight on, Judge began to observe Lizel’s sleeping face. He thought about boasting to Studd when they returned despite the likelihood he would be hit.

Lizel’s looks weren’t flashy enough to catch your eye, but his face was handsome enough to arouse a sense of purity.
His eyes were hidden, making this the first time Judge realized this, but while Lizel’s eyes were gentle, a nobility had always dwelled in them.
Now that they were hidden, his face was far friendlier than normal. That was exactly why Judge could observe Lizel without being overwhelmed by awe.
More importantly, while such compliments as “His skin is beautiful” regarding the man’s delicate features floated in his head, his fingers slowly reached out.
Just before his hand could touch the man’s skin, a creaking sound could be heard as the wagon door slightly opened.

“…What are ya doin’?”
“You were awake but didn’t come out, so I thought…”
“Y-you’re wro…!”

The voice shocked Judge so much that he fell on his behind, and he began to create an illogical excuse.
During the time Gil had a full smile on his face while teasing Judge, Lizel woke up. It was a lively morning.

After spending such lively mornings and evenings for two more days, the group finally reached the mercantile country, Marcade.
Although the word “finally” was used here, they only took a little more than three whole days from the capital, Parteda. If this trip was compared to one by a normal merchant’s wagon’s standard, people would have said that they performed well. After all, this trip was supposed to take five whole days.
They were currently in the middle of waiting for their turn to enter Marcade.
As expected of their title as a mercantile country, people and goods from various countries had gathered, making the area near the gate crowded with travelers and their wagons.
A simple form of identification was needed to enter the country, but it would take time until their turn given the sheer number of people.

“How would you like some cino fruit juice? One copper coin for a glass!”
“If you wish to park your wagon, turn right immediately after passing the gate! Clayton’s station welcomes you! Turn right immediately after passing the gate!”

People walking past the rows of wagons advertised and sold their services and goods.
The sun had yet to reach the zenith, so it wasn’t as congested as the early morning.
Nevertheless, these people made sure to appeal to each and every person and group waiting in line.
Witnessing how strong the commercial spirit was before even entering the borders put a smile on Lizel’s face. He listened closely to the hustle and bustle.

“Mr. Lizel, Mr. Gil, we’re almost to the gate.”
“Hm, the guild card functions as identification for adventures, right? How lax.”
”A mercantile country ain’t nothin’ unless people come, so naturally, they’ll be light on the checks.”

Although spies could easily enter the country because of lax security, this also applied to people, items, and information.
This certainly made it a paradise for merchants. In fact, a majority of the wagons lined up belonged to merchants.
Political balance was stable in these kinds of countries, and a leader trusted by many merchants was necessary.
This naturally applied to Marcade’s lord, but this country was a slightly unique case.

“He’s the only ‘upstart’, right?”
“Any opposition to him?”
“No, exceptional people are greatly welcomed. Rather, people will even go to welcome them.”

Gil asked Lizel as the man was a pure-bred aristocrat and understood well upon hearing the answer.
The ones Lizel kept by his side, including Studd and Judge, were all above the cream of the crop.
Studd was said to be the next guild manager, and Judge’s appraisals needed no additional comments.
And, it was Lizel’s insistence that these amazing young men were cute. Gil believed that Lizel’s former student in his original, the king of his country, was most likely another “amazing young man.”
Lizel didn’t have many opportunities to talk about his former student, but Gil was certain from what he picked up from Lizel’s tone during those few times.

“Back when Marcade was known as a shopping district, the current lord’s grandfather married into nobility and became the lord of the land.”
“Surprised you know that.”
“It was written in a book.”

Why did the lord from two previous generations become the lord when he was only a merchant? That was because this was a mercantile country.
The old lord was such an influential merchant that he even dealt with nations.
He was highly popular among other merchants, familiar with every business that operated in the city, and moreover, used his personal funds to invest in maintaining the city roads.
The feat of expanding Marcade from a “city” to a “country” was practically all thanks to him.
There was a lord present at that time, but all the merchants relied on the man, increasing the influential power of his words.
Nevertheless, it was fortunate that he respected the lord at that time, and the lord was also pleased with how the man rose to power himself.

That was exactly why the lord accepted the man into his family and officially appointed him to be the next lord.
The lord at that time wasn’t blessed with children, so he didn’t regret the decision. The man had humbly declined, but after numerous pleas, he finally became the next lord and earnestly strove to repay the lord’s gratitude.
Thus, the current Marcade was a result of the man’s continual and diligent efforts.
The development itself was remarkable. It was clear as day that a considerable amount of effort went into it.

“The sustained faith in him from the other merchants is proof that the lord is an excellent lord and merchant.”
“Whether it’s to receive permission to open a small shop or to have a plot to open it in, he handles everything himself. Additionally, he would undoubtedly shift his focus to promising businesses and even invest in them.”
“It’s amazing that there are no third parties complaining about these investments. He must really be trusted by merchants.”

Lizel was impressed by what Judge had informed him.
Not only did the current lord handle investments and the like, but he also managed the massive number of shops trying to start their business.
As expected, it was every merchant’s dream to operate a successful business in Marcade, given that it was the mercantile country.
If the lord processed all of them, how much work did he have piled up? As a nobleman, Lizel was impressed that the lord handled this day in and day out.

“I’m also scared when I return.”
“‘Cause of your backed-up work?”

Lizel smiled at how Gil correctly picked up the meaning behind his words.
Still, he decided not to think about it now.

“I see. It’s because he’s busy…”
“What do you mean?”
“Apparently, the current lord hasn’t appeared before anyone. No one knows his face…”

Hasn’t appeared before anyone. These words confused Lizel.
For better or worse, it was a noble’s position to be in the public’s eye. And yet, no one knew the lord’s face.
Lizel ruminated on this with a displeased face while Gil looked outside the wagon.

“Hey, next.”
“Ah, yes.”

It seemed that their turn had finally come.
Judge, sitting in the driver’s seat, showed his merchant’s pass while Lizel and Gil showed their guild card.
The gatekeeper’s eyes widened when he saw Gil’s card. It appeared that his fame had reached even here.
Next, he was startled when he saw Lizel holding out his guild card. He remained frozen for some time upon learning that Lizel was an adventurer.

“Like I said, stop makin’ people freeze up.”
“And I said that it isn’t my fault.”

As the two cracked jokes, the gatekeeper recovered and let them pass without issue.
Right after they passed the gate, Lizel and Gil disembarked the wagon.
Judge would apparently be heading straight to his grandfather’s house. He actually invited the two to stay over, but Lizel declined, not wanting to intrude on Judge’s family.
Judge didn’t try to hide his disappointment, so Gil felt slightly sympathetic towards the grandfather since his own grandson would enjoy spending time with someone else over meeting his own relatives after such a long time.

“Umm, then, Mr. Lizel, if you need a place to stay…”
“We’ll look for one. Things seem to be packed, but cheap inns should have openings, right?”
“Yeah, there’s always been plenty around.”
“Y-you can’t!”

It seemed that after spending these four days together, Judge grew a little closer to Lizel and Gil.
Now able to voice his own thoughts a bit better, Judge objected to their proposal.
Lizel and Gil were momentarily speechless at this rare sight.

“Mr. Lizel staying at a cheap inn… I couldn’t bear the idea!”
“Exactly what image do you have of me?”
“Exactly how ya look.”

Judge trembled and turned pale, probably imagining Lizel staying at a cheap inn.
He had apparently heard that they had hard beds and inferior employees, and this seriously disgusted him.
As a merchant, he was undoubtedly particular about the treatment towards customers, but it was a bit terrifying to ask Judge what he thought about Lizel.
It was probably one of Lizel lying on his side on a canopy bed and having a full-faced smile in satisfaction for the first time.
Having a good image was also a problem. Lizel wryly smiled at the number of times people pointed out this gap in how they viewed him.

Lizel tried to persuade Judge that he wouldn’t stay in such a poor inn, but in the end, Lizel yielded before Judge’s tears. Incidentally, the tears repulsed Gil.
Judge introduced them to several inns and additionally handed over his referral card in case they got denied.
The card had the name of the company Judge’s grandfather was affiliated with, making it considerably effective in Marcade.
A certain number of inns would surely forcibly vacate their rumors for them upon looking at this.

“You don’t need to give us such—”
“You can’t…!”

Knowing that he made Judge cry again, Lizel resigned.

“With a single push from him, you give in like nothin’.”
“I can’t help it when he cries with such pleading eyes. He looks like he’ll fall into despair the moment I turn him down.”

Lizel looked at the referral card he received.
Written on it were Judge’s grandfather’s name, his company name, Judge’s name, and the location of their business.
This location was probably Judge’s current destination—his grandfather’s home.
Lizel wasn’t that well-informed about this, but it should be a large company.

“Then, we will reconvene in that location three days later.”
“Y-you can’t accept escort requests from other wagons, okay…?! We’ll be going back, together!”

Judge knew that with Gil around, there would be a continual flow of escort requests coming to them, so he reminded them as he left with the wagon.
There were many merchants who replenished their stock in Marcade, so their cargo was at risk of being targeted by thieves on their way back.
That was exactly why merchants requested powerful people. However, while they knew Gil’s name, it was hard to say that they would recognize his face.
Lizel reassured the worrywart Judge and lightly waved as he saw Judge off.
Then, he took another look around their surroundings.

“Such chaos.”
“Told ya. They don’t rest here.”

Even though they were by the gate, this relatively open space of stalls and booths was magnificently packed with merchants.
Every street was lined with stores, and even the narrow alleys were filled with booths. If you were to look from above, you would see numerous advertisement flags and posters hanging.
This truly was a city for merchants. The streets were terribly congested with tourists and residents as well.

“In the meantime, let’s look for an inn. Judge recommended several of them, after all.”

As usual, the two walked side by side.
When they entered the main street, the crowd felt unnecessarily massive, almost like a large wall of people existed before them.
While Lizel wondered how everyone was walking through this, he calmly entered the sea of people, following Gil.

“Ah, I’m sorry.”
“Oh, excuse me.”
“Wai—. Gil, wa—”
“…Just walk behind me.”

Seeing Lizel rocked about by the waves of people, Gil grabbed his arm, pulled him close to his back, and led the way.
Lizel had never experienced entering crowds of people like this. It was only natural that things turned out this way.
Bumping and being bumped into, Lizel was about to be caught along with the flow. As he gave a strained smile, he obediently followed behind Gil.
Now, he no longer bumped into anyone. People didn’t open the way for Gil because of his boorish appearance. Rather, Gil simply knew how the crowd moved.

After silently walking for several minutes, Gil suddenly extended his left hand from behind while still looking ahead.
The hand pushed against the side of Lizel’s waist, shifting his body a step to the right as he walked.
Before Lizel could  look up at the back of Gil’s head and ask what was the matter, he heard someone stealthily pass by his side and click their tongue.
When Lizel glanced over, he saw a young man walking away with quick steps.

“…Was I being targeted?”

It appeared that this was a staple among crowds—a pickpocket.
Owners weren’t the only people who could access items inside bags with spatial magic. Anyone could.
Lizel received a tool to prevent such as a present from Judge, but it naturally couldn’t be visually identified.
Additionally, skilled pickpockets could snatch the whole pouch without being discovered, so Lizel had nothing but appreciation for Gil.
The relaxed and well-dressed Lizel must have looked like prime prey to them.

“It’s amazing that you knew he was a pickpocket.”
“I can tell by lookin’.”
“Gil, you often demonstrate superb perception. I’m impressed.”

As they conversed, the two left the main road and entered an alley.
The main street was lively even at night, so inns were often located deep in alleys to avoid hearing the hustle and bustle, allowing their guests to have a peaceful night’s rest.
Some people preferred the opposite, so there were inns on the main street, but Lizel and Gil weren’t that type.
They passed through questionable booths and went up the stairs at the corner of an alley. This was their destination.

They were fortunate that one of the inns Judge recommended had room for the two of them.
Normally, they would each have a single room since they couldn’t relax if they were in the same room, but inns that had single rooms generally catered to adventurers. This inn completely catered to tourists, so there were no single rooms, of course.
However, they needed to stay here for several days, so Lizel and Gil didn’t complain.
It would be wrong to have the inn Judge recommended them to specially cater to them, so they were grateful just for the vacancy.

“We’ll be goin’ to Judge’s place three days later, so three days…should be fine.”
“Gil, is there anything you need to do?”
“You’ve been to the mercantile country, Marcade, before, right? The gatekeepers were also surprised.”
“Rumors spread themselves. I didn’t stay for long.”

As they took a short break inside the inn after being led to their room, they discussed their future plans.
Gil had been to Marcade several times for requests, but according to him, he hadn’t stayed long enough to set up a base or anything.
He had no issue getting jobs as an adventurer since there was a guild here, but the country’s liveliness didn’t settle well with him.
He returned to Parteda after completing all the surrounding labyrinths in several days, but that must have been the reason for his high popularity in this country.
Completing four labyrinths in less than a week was no ordinary feat.
Although, he didn’t think he would be telling this to Lizel. He didn’t believe that him completing several labyrinths was important information to Lizel.

“Let me see. I would like to have a look around the area.”
“Then, let’s do that.”

There was nothing to do in this inn besides face each other, so after Lizel gave this mere suggestion, Gil stood up. Lizel wryly smiled and also left his seat.

“Dammit! I’ll absolutely kill you! You hear! I’ll kill you!”

A man faced the two and shouted. With a sword in one hand, he headed straight for them.
Why was this happening? Lizel, standing in the middle of a sea of people and underneath the clear sky, wryly smiled.
The curious onlookers around them kept their distance to an extent and looked at Lizel and the man with eyes filled with blatant curiosity.
They were presently in the middle of Marcade’s famous “open marketplace”.

Lizel was honestly amazed by the scenery before him.
The fairly spacious square in front of the lord’s mansion was packed with rows of stalls.
They ranged from booths to carts and handled goods from food to weapons and armor. It was hard to say you couldn’t find something among the miscellaneous products on sale.
The only place with some breathing room was the fountain at the center, but everywhere else was like a congested maze of shops.
In the back of the square was a wide staircase that continued to the lord’s mansion. People sat down there as they pleased and munched on the light snacks they probably bought.

Occasionally, people walked in and out of the lord’s mansion.
They were likely officials and merchants. It appeared that the country had a joint effort between the groups.
Yet, despite all the various traffic, no one had ever seen the lord’s face, which meant that the lord most likely intentionally concealed his identity.
The reason why someone who vigorously completed their job would conduct such in an unproductive manner…was probably that he must not think of that.
Suddenly, Gil switched his position with Lizel and repelled the incoming attack from the man’s sword.

People screamed and ran away, the man roared, and Gil faced him.
Lizel calmly observed all of this, but he couldn’t figure out the reason why this man had suddenly tried to attack him.
After confirming that all of the people nearby had gone off, Lizel looked at the man from behind Gil. He really couldn’t recognize who the man was.

“I am confident that I will never forget a face once I’ve seen it, so this is our first time meeting.”
“You bastards are all the same! Y’all probably think there’s no need to look at someone like me!”

Gil glanced at Lizel. He cocked his head, his gaze asking if he could cut down this man.
When considering their surroundings, he knew well that this issue should be promptly settled, but he also believed he should ask for the man’s reason.

“Then, let me ask. Have I indirectly caused you any trouble?”
“Pretending like ya don’t know…?!”

The man’s expression, laying bare his hatred, was terrifying.
Onlookers screamed, but Lizel maintained his smile. He tilted his head to prompt the man for the answer.
The man must have truly thought that Lizel was looking down on him as he took one step forward.
However, Gil flashed his blade, stopping the man in his tracks. The flag of the stall perfectly between Lizel and the man snapped from Gil’s sword. It clattered on the ground, indicating the boundary line.

“Pass this and I’ll kill you.”

The man had lost his senses, but he at least understood that Gil wasn’t lying.
Upon being told by this low, emotionless voice, the man finally became fully aware of who he just picked a fight with.
He clenched his teeth so tightly that they would chip and glared at the two.

“YOU! Shut down my store! It’s your damn fault! My wife and kids left me!”
“My fault?”
“It’s your damn fault! Damn upstart bastard!”

Lizel nodded in realization. The man clearly had the wrong person.
As expected, Lizel looked like a noble even here. Wandering around the city with a guard (Gil) probably made him look like the lord of the country (Marcade) taking a stroll around.
The area was tumultuous. People were in an uproar as the lord whom no one had ever seen had appeared.

“…You really are a handful.”
“I’ve told you before that this is beyond my control.”

Lizel bitterly laughed at this exchange, something he’d become accustomed to after so many times.
He was told to not look like a nobleman, but he had been living a normal life and even adjusted his clothes.
There was nothing more he could do to blend among others.
Lizel thought he was making great progress as he even changed his speech as Gil told him to.

“I thought that I should at least tell you. You have the wrong person.”
“As if I could believe that?! There ain’t any other noble wandering around this city besides the lord! I’ll f*cking kill you!”

As expected, the man didn’t believe Lizel.
He was completely frenzied, probably unable to make any sound judgments.
Lizel didn’t enjoy having conversations with people who weren’t on the same page as him, but it also wouldn’t be beneficial for him to ignore the man and leave the area.
Lizel nonchalantly surveyed his surroundings and decided to prolong the conversation.

“I will continue to insist that you have the wrong person, but do you know the reason why your store was closed?”
“YOU! Shut it down!”
“Okay, but what was the reason for its closure?”

Lizel asked with a smile. He didn’t look like someone whose life was being targeted right now.
He stood one step behind Gil, but this wasn’t because he was scared of the man before them. Rather, he did this out of consideration to make it easier for Gil to protect him.
Although Gil had already given up reminding Lizel that such behavior only bred misunderstandings.

“YOU! Just because I opened my store in a place I didn’t apply for! You didn’t even listen to my reason!”
“Oh, boo. Then, it’s all your fault.”
“Everyone else must have established their businesses in the locations they wrote on their applications. This is the rule, so why did you think that you were some special exception?”
“Th-that’s petty…!”
“Yet, you are the one who couldn’t even abide by something this petty. Hey, take a look around you. How do you think they see you—someone who stole a prime location without an application?”

Lizel lightly extended his arm, and the man awkwardly ran his bloodshot eyes across the area.
This was the city of merchants, absolutely teeming with them.
This open marketplace, in particular, was packed with the merchants running the booths. They all surrounded and looked at the man.
The merchants wholly trusted the lord, so they naturally had no objections to how he handled their applications. They merely attributed their allocated spots being unfavorable to poor luck. They understood that they had managed to avoid the many other spots that were even more unfavorable.

But, what about this man?
He couldn’t understand the lord and opened his store without permission. So, when he felt indignant that he was discovered and had his store shut down, no one could sympathize with his anger.
On the contrary, the man finally noticed the anger, scorn, hatred, and various negative emotions directed at him.
His pride, which had been held up by the belief that the lord was wrong, was shattered at the core. It was only a matter of time until he would be tormented by the crime he had refused to accept.
But, this man had pushed all responsibility onto the lord and ran away. Such a man would never face his crime head-on.

“Don’t look at me! Don’t look at me! Don’t look! Don’t look!! It’s that guy’s fault!”

It was easy to imagine that at this rate, the man would rampage and harm those around him.
In response to the man recklessly waving his sword around, Lizel grinned, not at all panicked.

“Abiding by the rules is equivalent to earning trust. You aren’t suited to be a merchant.”

He redirected the man’s attack from the surroundings back to himself.
The crazed man shouted and charged at Lizel. He probably couldn’t see Gil anymore.
In turn, Gil didn’t hide his tedium and brandished his blade.

“I want to hastily leave here, so please don’t hurt him.”
“Ugh, so annoying.”

Gil grumbled and clicked his tongue. When he looked down, he saw that Lizel was no longer looking at the man but somewhere else. Faster than he could check what Lizel was looking at, the man rushed towards them.
He only sent the man’s sword flying. It soared and pierced the center of the signboard of an archery game booth that was directly horizontal to them.
The man had lost his balance from that attack, so Gil kicked him down and stepped on his shoulder.
With the matter settled in seconds, the crowd around them didn’t hold back on their cheers as they chatted in excitement.
Lizel confirmed that there were members of the police among the crowd. Only after confirming this, Lizel finally looked back at the man.
His face was smiling, but his eyes showed that he no longer had any interest in him.

“I will tell you again—”

He rummaged through his pouch and took out a card.
The man was still pinned underneath Gil’s foot, so Lizel waved his card in front of the immobile man.

“You have the wrong person.”

Upon realizing the meaning behind revealing the guild card, the man was left dazed, so Lizel left him alone and walked off.
The police called out to him to stop, but Lizel didn’t, focused on one destination, and merely told them, “Next time.”
Lizel plunged right into the crowd, despite how much he said that he wasn’t accustomed to being in them. Gil didn’t hide the puzzlement in his face as he chased after. Naturally, also ignoring the police.

“Hey, what’s the matter?”
“Prolonging the commotion yielded results. It appeared to have successfully lured him out.”

Why did Lizel go along with the man who falsely accused him?
Why did he continue to talk to someone who was the type he hated talking with?
He could have easily asked Gil to instantly gain control of the area without any damage to anyone or anything.
This was how confident Lizel was that a certain person would appear at the scene.

Smoothly following Gil out of the crowd of people, Lizel spotted the back of his target.
The man, despite having intently watched the commotion before, did an about-face the same time the situation was resolved.
The click-clack of his long legs taking long strides on the ground exemplified his quick pace. Lizel finally caught up with him by the time he reached the main street leaving the open marketplace.
The man didn’t stop, so Lizel walked right up to his side as if they were friends.

“Are you free now?”
“Denied. I’m busy.”
“But I’ve been entrusted with a letter addressed to you.”
“Denied. I have no knowledge of such.”

The man looked straight ahead and continued to walk away, causing Lizel to give a strained smile.
The creases in Gil’s brow only deepened upon realizing his bad hunch was spot on.

“Then…how about you treat me to dinner as an apology since I was almost killed for being mistaken for you?”

The man stopped dead in his tracks.
Then, he looked at Lizel for the first time, letting out an intensely loud click of his tongue.
His face revealed his reluctance, but he began walking again, his steps resounding in annoyance.

“Follow me.”

Lizel grinned at these words said in a low growl.

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4 responses to “12: Denied”

  1. niwx99 Avatar

    Thank you for the chapter! Judge is so pure. His “mysterious excitement,” ahahaha. I cannot stress enough how good it is to have these extra details. Reading about Gil’s impressions of Lizel is fascinating. I’m looking forward to Marcade!


    1. niwx99 Avatar

      Thank you for the second part of the chapter! Mr. Denied is so grouchy. Too bad he’s up against Lizel!


  2. Ai Avatar

    Thank you for the chapter❤ I was sad that the manga version of this story were stop being translated. But then found that the novel had tranlated. This story was a hidden gem too.


  3. beeberry Avatar

    Thank you for the update! INTRODUCING——!!!!!!!! :3c
    Lizel’s brilliance is just too much for everyone around him. And Gil! A beast cares not for the nobility of man, or something lmao.


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