You Can Keep the Male Lead Chapter Thirty-Seven

YCKTML Chapter 37

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“Unbelievable…! I definitely saw it first!”

I was about to jump up in indignation when Enoch gently grabbed my shoulder to guide me back to my seat.

I looked up at him with my eyes wide open. “Your Highness was also there. Won’t you be my witness?”

“Of course, I’ll tell them what I saw. But my words alone have its limits. If two people claim to have discovered the magic stone mine, we will have to decide which one did first.”

His words calmed my rage, and I blinked. “Is there a way to do it?”

“At the camp… Rumors are circulating that the Count has died. Not many know it yet, but soon everyone will.”

I listened to him and thought for a moment.

There’s probably a reason why Enoch was doing this.

“Then, are you deliberately hiding that I’m alive here?”

“That’s right.”

“People who said they found the magic stone cave… Do you think they accidentally discovered it?”

The prince nodded slowly. I looked into his serious emerald eyes and bit my lower lip.

For a moment, Enoch avoided looking at my lips. Then, when he turned away, I saw how red his ears were. What’s wrong with him?

“When will you reveal it?”

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“There will be a full-scale cleanup operation tonight. And when His Majesty the Emperor arrives after tomorrow’s score tally, I will come to pick up the Count.”

“Ah, the cleanup operation… So, tonight’s the full-fledged hunting competition.”

Enoch didn’t answer me, but opened his mouth with more difficulty than staring at me.

“This time… I’m sorry.”

I didn’t know what he was apologizing for, but I soon realized that it was about the hunting contest score. You’re sorry this time, so what? Was there a next time?

By the way, I thought I read somewhere that Ladies usually gave something to knights who participated in such events to wish them luck. Did I have anything?

I moved my hand under my neck, then remembered losing my necklace in the cave.

What a waste. In the end, I closed my lips and nodded without giving anything. I understood him, but he seemed to have thought otherwise.

He seemed bewildered for a moment, then answered with a more refreshed face than before. “I only thought of it from my point of view. All right. If that’s what you want.”

“Yes?” I licked my lips, unsure of what he was saying, then I saw him turn his gaze back to my lips.

“… I’ll be on my way, Count.” Somehow as if he was holding back something, he said goodbye with the sound of his teeth grinding.

“Yes, I’ll be waiting.”

He held up a palm as if to stop me from standing. Then he suddenly turned his head and jumped up from his seat.

Although he looked calm, he seemed to be in a hurry.

“Ah, Your Highness.”

“Yes.”

Lia, who was about to enter, ran into the Prince and so she greeted him. As soon as he acknowledged her, he went out of the barracks.

“Is His Highness not feeling well?” Lia tilted her head, looking in the direction where the Prince left.

“Why?”

“His face turned red and he left.”

“Hmm? Really?”

“But he came to pick me up yesterday and…” Lia sat on Enoch’s spot.

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“Was he like that yesterday?”

“Yes, his face was red, and he ran over and found me in a hurry…”

Why would he do that? I couldn’t ask. I looked at the clothes I was wearing, trying not to think too much.

The wide and long sleeves didn’t look like anything I owned; it looked like a man’s shirt. Just in case, I asked Lia, “Lia, did you change my clothes? Whose clothes are these?”

“Pardon? No? When I arrived, you were already dressed that way and asleep. Didn’t Madam change her clothes by herself before sleeping?”

Lia and I made eye contact, and my face turned red as Enoch did. No way. Then… Enoch himself?

Lia and I probably thought the same thing, but neither of us dared to say it. For that, I was grateful. I covered my warm cheeks in a hurry and lay back on the bed.

“I-I need to sleep more.”

“A-a…alright, Madam.” Lia’s face was also flushed pink.

What was he thinking? I can’t seem to control my expression, so I turned around in a direction she couldn’t see.

That’s right, my clothes were wet yesterday, and I couldn’t lay in bed like that, so he would have probably changed it… I was sure he did.

The more I thought about it, the more embarrassed I became, so I pulled the blanket over my head.

After covering myself with a blanket like that, I knew. I was certain I could smell Enoch’s scent from the clothes I was wearing.

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I sniffed the clothes, flustered, and fell asleep again until Lia came to bring me a meal.


The sun was just about to set. On the wide plain on the mountainside, a full-scale hunting competition was about to begin.

Despite the event, everyone somehow had a gloomy look.

Incense rose from one side, with chrysanthemum flowers piled in abundance. And on the other side, Erin’s necklace and her clothes were gathered and burned.

Passers-by took a brief moment of silence and glanced at Rupert. Chloe, who was standing next to him, also wiped away her tears and looked at Rupert.

“…Rupert.”

Rupert stood clenching his fist without saying a word.

This hunting competition did not stop just because a person died in the middle. It was natural to have casualties at this event, so they would usually hold a memorial service at the end of the competition instead of a funeral.

However, since Erin was a high-ranking female aristocrat, her death was considered pitiful, and so they set up a small space for mourning.

It was also unfortunate for Rupert.

“…Poor man. You must be so warm-hearted to be so sad.” Chloe gently hugged Rupert from behind. “I was nervous while you were gone. I was afraid you’ll get away from me… But I really didn’t expect this to happen.”

Rupert, who was still, stroked over her wrist, loosened her arm and looked back.

“But you still have me, Rupert. Cheer up.”

Rupert responded weakly to her words, “Yes, I will. Thank you for your concern.”

Frowning, Chloe stroked Rupert’s face.

“Don’t overdo it this time. I’m alright.”

Rupert then smiled bitterly. “It’s okay, it’s hard, but it has nothing to do with it.”

“Really… Are you okay?”

Rupert smiled bitterly at her careful prodding and nodded.

“Then…” Chloe hesitated, looked into his eyes, and finally opened her mouth. “I know I shouldn’t be doing this in the midst of this, but… Please give me a score.”

Rupert carefully looked into her orange eyes. It was hard to find any malice in her pretty eyes.

“I have something to give you, too.”

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Now that Erin wasn’t there anyway, Rupert nodded; He was giving his points to Chloe.

“Okay, I’ll wait.”

Rupert’s arm, which was trying to hold her, twitched and stopped mid-air. It was because he had seen that the incense in honor of Erin had not yet been half-burned.

He knew that this attitude would hurt Chloe as well, but his last memory of Erin was hard to shake off.

So apart from his feelings for Chloe, he didn’t want to do this in front of her.

Instead, he lightly stroked her brown hair and said goodbye. And with conflicting feelings brewing inside him, he went back to the headquarters.

After that, Rupert tried to pull himself together, inspected the equipment, and wiped the sword. It still had traces of a fierce fight with the monster last night.

Even as he wiped off the blood, he often sat still, looking blankly once in a while.

Others also took care of their equipment in silence, perhaps because they were conscious of Rupert.

Then someone from the Imperial Knights ran into the barracks and shouted, “Come on, everyone! His Highness, the Crown Prince, will speak.”

There was a platform in the middle of the barracks, and Crown Prince Enoch, dressed in a pristine uniform, stood there.

Below, Rupert and the other knights participating in this tournament gathered and looked up at him. Prince Breiman was also below.

Enoch looked at their faces and boomed, “Listen, gentlemen.”

Enoch gave a speech at the front, explaining the significance of today’s competition and lifting the morale of the participating warriors.

It was the day after Erin’s death, but the sky was clear, and Enoch’s majestic appearance underneath still shone. Rupert found it pathetic.

“D*mn it.” Rupert cursed under his breath.

He must have heard about Erin by now, but how could he be so carefree?

Even if it was Rupert’s misunderstanding that they had a special relationship, it remained true that Enoch and Erin were friends.

Her death was so difficult for Rupert, but Enoch looked fine as if it had no effect on him.

“I wish you all good luck. Then, let’s go.”

After Enoch’s last words, the sound of a horn rang long. The sun went down, creating long blood-red waves in the sky.

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