Please join our discord to get fast update and assistance for purrpoins
My Male Lead is in the Process of Being Corrupted (10)
What’s with his confidence?
Ash walked out without waiting for my reply.
I-is it okay for me to get my hopes up a little? Well anyway, if it goes well, then I’ll be able to see Adele.
I had doubts about Ash’s persuasiveness, but I dressed up appropriately to go out with Ilina’s help.
Ilina recommended a maroon dress that was simple, but gave off a warm and cozy feeling and although I thought it would be a bit hot, I put it on without argument. Once I had finished getting ready, I headed down to the first floor. Ash looked up at me as I descended.
My mouth fell open.
“Did you really get permission? How?”
“I just said that I wanted to show you something nice.”
Something nice? You said it was atrocious a moment ago…
“I said that you’re working hard to regain your strength, so if it makes you feel better, it’s good for you… even if you cough up some blood. And then I got permission. But we don’t have much time, so let’s hurry up.”
I was so touched that I decided to forgive him.
“I’m reappointing you as my bluebird.”
“Cut it out.”
“If you don’t like being a bird, then maybe a fish…”
“You still haven’t shut up?”
We got into the carriage and headed for the city center where I had bumped into Marquis Claude when I had gone out to buy some books the other day.
“Adele is around here?”
“Unless my steadfast wish has come true and he’s suddenly been struck by lightning, then he should be.”
“… You seem fairly certain.”
“It’d be weird not to notice a pattern of behavior that simple. He’s surrounded by people every day. I’m sure he’s out getting drunk on his own sense of self worth once again.”
I looked at Ash.
“You’re pretty good too.”
“Are you crazy?”
Ash looked offended, so I added an explanation.
“You’re handsome, you work hard at whatever you do, and you’ve been nice to me even though we didn’t get along before. You have a lot of good qualities.”
“… Don’t lie. You’re just trying to make fun of me.”
“I’m serious. I think you’re a fairly decent person, like Olga said.”
He also gave chocolates and took me out to see Adele… I could probably name ten more reasons.
Turning his head away, he muttered in a tiny, ant-sized voice.
“… Come to think of it, I forgot to thank you.”
It took me a moment to understand and react. Ash spoke a little louder.
“When Lady Bliss sent you a letter, you sent her a drawing of me in reply. After she saw your drawing, she decided to show me some mercy.”
“Oh, that. I’m glad it all worked out.”
“I wouldn’t exactly say that it all worked out… I’m still trying to figure out what to do with it. Tearing it up doesn’t really seem like the right method and I’m worried that I’ll get cursed if I burn it.”
What the heck, you jerk? What are you saying about the kindness that others have shown you…?
Fortunately for Ash, and to my great annoyance, the carriage came to a stop. Ash helped me alight, then stepped back.
“This is as far as I’m taking you.”
I was dumbfounded.
“You’re ditching me here?”
He made a face as if to ask what the hell I was talking about.
“You’re going to hang out with the young lord, why would I stick around? You’re on your own. The Countess gave me permission to take you out on the condition that I bring you to him.”
I glanced around.
“Adele is actually here, right? I’m t-trusting you?”
“Saying that while you’re trembling isn’t very convincing.”
He smirked, but his smile wasn’t particularly malicious.
“Ah, I almost forgot.”
Grabbing my arm, Ash kissed me lightly on the cheek and then instantly drew back.
“Well then, I’m off.”
… Why was he so overexcited?
Well actually, at social functions even people meeting for the first time greet each other with a kiss on the cheek, so it wasn’t that strange.
Still, something is off. Did he do that intentionally? It feels like he ran away because he was afraid I’d beat the crap out of him.
Confused, I made my way towards an area that was crowded with people.
My mind was soon filled with thoughts of Adele.
What did he do to warrant the use of the word ‘atrocity’…?
“This is the kind of thing that Anastasia likes.”
Huh? Are they talking about me?
Walking a short distance more, my worries evaporated. I immediately recognized Adele’s voice.
This must be the power of love!
Adele, neatly dressed as usual, was standing with two other scions of noble families. He hadn’t noticed me yet, so I quickly ducked behind a nearby wall to spy on him. Laughing suspiciously, I covered my mouth with a hand, but the people passing by were too busy looking at Adele to notice.
He was holding something, but I couldn’t quite see what it was from where I was standing. Unable to contain my curiosity, I poked my head around the wall.
Books? Are they cookbooks? But there are no pictures on the covers…
I dubiously scanned the titles.
The Basics of Cooking, Understanding Cooking, and The History of Cooking… if he’s suddenly become interested in cooking, I guess those make sense, but what the heck is with How Food Waste Affects You?
While my thoughts were still in disarray, Adele courageously picked up a spider specimen that was on display outside of a store.
“Anastasia has an appreciation for a great many things. She even likes creatures with multiple legs. I was trapped in a narrow-minded way of thinking and I had an unqualified aversion to all creatures that inhabit unclean environments. But she made me reflect on myself.”
I unconsciously tilted my head to the side.
Is he talking about bugs? But it’s not like it’s strange to dislike bugs, right?
More importantly, can’t he see the bewildered expressions on their faces…?
“S-she must be an extraordinary person.”
“It is best to appreciate many things.”
One of the young lords chimed in as though he was already quite familiar with this kind of talk.
“I feel truly fortunate to know that the young lady of the Sinclair family is a woman of such fine character.”
The short-haired young lord, who had been flustered, came to his senses and joined in as well.
“Her character matches her beauty.”
What are they doing now?
Not wanting to fall behind, the young lord with his hair tied back into a fairly long ponytail became more fervent.
“When I first laid eyes on the young lady at the Marquis’ villa, I believed she was simply a beautiful young woman. But her confident demeanor, undaunted by her terminal illness, challenged my preconceptions. Should the opportunity arise, I would like to formally introduce myself and apologize to her.”
Just do the first part, you weirdos! I’m getting embarrassed.
I struck the wall without realizing it.
I wouldn’t be surprised if my ears start bleeding.
“Is the young lady really human? Perhaps she’s an angel that’s descended from heaven…”
“No, maybe she’s the incarnation of a goddess who watches over the whole world with love.”
Unable to take any more, I covered my ears.
Is this some new kind of torture…?
“I want to go home…”
Mother, why did you let me go out?! Why didn’t you put your foot down?
And Adele should have just held it in and then come to see me a few hours later!
I had suffered a devastating blow. After some time, I finally uncovered my ears and lowered my hands.
Haahhhh. Haahhhh. Taking some deep breaths, I had just managed to regain my composure when a shadow fell over my head.
“Is something wrong?”
Hearing a question directed at me, I raised my head. Adele stood in front of me, alone.
“How did you get here? Did you come to see me?”
“Um yeah. I did, but…”
Was this the atrocity that Ash was talking about? Adele is too well practiced in praising me. There’s no way that he’s only been doing it for a day or two…
I shuddered. I was happy that he was saying nice things about me, but the fact that other people had started complimenting me in order to gain his favor was a problem.
He chuckled softly as if amused by my ever-changing expression.
Th-that’s right. At least no one knows he was negatively affected by Kylis, right? That’s better than nothing.
Narrowly managing to shift my thoughts to something positive, I focused back on Adele.
“What are you holding?”
He was carrying a flat object that had been beautifully wrapped. I wondered where he had left all of his books.
“It’s a spider specimen. I wanted to give it to you as a gift.”
So you bought it after all. But I like living things…
That said, it seemed excessively cruel to ask him to catch live bugs or insects. Especially since I had no intention of looking after them.
I reached out to Adele.
“Can you hold me for a moment? My legs are giving out and I can’t move.”
“You didn’t have to overextend yourself like this. I would have come to see you even if you hadn’t.”
He lifted me into his arms.
My true thoughts slipping out, I asked, “Do you always go around like that?”
I elaborated a bit more.
“I mean… stuff like talking about me with other people.”
“I apologize. As I was walking around I saw a fair number of things that I thought you would like… it happened unintentionally.”
“You don’t have to apologize. It’s just… Ugh. That stuff about angels and goddesses was hard to listen to.”
Saying those words with my own mouth was embarrassing, so I buried my face in Adele’s shoulder.
“Was that why you were covering your ears? It’s a relief that you didn’t hear what followed.”
I was at a complete loss. Adele caught my shaky gaze with a dashing smile.
“There is a dessert shop nearby. Would you like to go?”
I’m sad to say that I didn’t struggle over it for very long.
“Will you keep it a secret from my family?”
“Of course. Although in a few days time I will need to come up with some way of explaining how I discovered the cause of your incurable disease.”
There was a slight chill in his voice. Adele was still determined to let Kylis destroy himself.
I was lost in thought as he took me into the dessert shop.
Ah, wait a minute. Did I just enter the shop in his arms?
By the time I came around, he had already finished ordering and had placed me on the softest seat in the store. I surveyed our surroundings in a daze.
The store was fairly quiet, but it wasn’t deserted. Still, the other people were far enough away that I didn’t think my voice would reach them.
I looked Adele up and down, carefully examining him. There was a good chance that Kylis was also blonde. But that alone was far from enough.
“Adele, I have a favor to ask.”
Hesitating, I opened my mouth to speak.
“Can you repeat the exact words I say?”
He readily agreed without hesitation. I thought back to the words Kylis had said in my dream.
They were um…
“Failure isn’t surprising. Once again, it’s wearisome.”
S-something like that, right? Maybe?
Adele tilted his head to the side as though some part of my request wasn’t adding up to him.
“… I will say it because you asked me to, but does it mean anything?”
“I-it’s just… It’s a line I read in a book that sounded a bit cool.”
I tried to be evasive, but my reaction must have been suspicious. He probed a bit further.
“Uh… It was a book about philosophy.”
I immediately regretted saying that.
No, why did I say philosophy of all things…?