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Yuri was only acknowledging an objective fact but for some reason, Genos seemed bewildered by her response .
“I guess you like roses, Mr . Genos?”
She abruptly recalled what happened last time at the festival and asked but upon hearing that, Genos’ gaze became glued to her face .
He looked into her eyes speculatively, as if he was trying to assess why she asked such a question . Then he soon opened his mouth .
“Ms . Yuri!”
Right then, the sound of someone calling Yuri rang out from the entrance . As she turned her head, she found Anne-Marie standing there holding a paper bag full of groceries .
Genos shut his mouth again and sent a glance in Anne-Marie’s direction .
He didn’t seem to have anything else to say to her so Yuri left Genos alone and headed towards Anne-Marie .
“Ms . Anne-Marie, what are you doing here?”
Anne-Marie quit her job at the clinic just recently . So there was no reason for her to purposefully come to Blue Ferret anymore . Which is why Yuri asked, wondering if something was up then Anne-Marie gave a bright smile and replied .
“I was coming back from grocery shopping, so I just stopped by . ”
“That looks heavy . Do you want to put it down for a second?”
“It’s fine, it’s lighter than it looks . Hestia is eating a lot more lately, I think she’s in her growth period . ”
After saying so, Anne-Marie looked around the coffeehouse .
“I’ve never been here at this time but there’re less people than I expected . ”
“Yes, it’s quite free right now . ”
Then Yuri suddenly grew curious and asked .
“Is today your day off, Ms . Anne-Marie?”
Although Anne-Marie was a caretaker, it seemed she only had to go the old man’s house four times a week, so she definitely had more spare time than when she worked at the clinic .
And when she asked, Anne-Marie shook her head .
“Not really but you know there was a huge incident in the shopping area yesterday, so they told me to just rest up for today . ”
As she spoke, her brows furrowed slightly, and she examined Yuri’s face .
“Are you okay, Ms . Yuri? You must have been really shocked yesterday, you should have just taken a rest today . ”
“I’m fine . I wasn’t hurt at all . ”
That very moment, a loud sound suddenly broke out behind them . The source of the noise was Genos .
For some reason, his eyes were wide, and he was looking in Yuri and Anne-Marie’s direction . The noise a second ago seemed to have been caused when he tried to get up from his seat .
But when Yuri and Anne-Marie’s gaze fell on him, he was startled and turned away . In that moment, Anne-Marie tilted her head .
“That person…somehow, I feel like I’ve seen him somewhere before . ”
And when she heard Anne-Marie exclaim in realization a moment later, Yuri felt Anne-Marie’s eyes were very good .
“Ah, isn’t he the guy that gave Ms . Yuri flowers at the festival?”
“Cough, cough . ”
Instantly, Genos began to cough as if something was lodged in his throat .
Maybe it was because he was a male lead candidate, but his hearing was very good . Even earlier when they were talking, he seemed to hear what they were saying and now, despite Anne-Marie talking in a low tone that Yuri alone should hear, he was unable to hide his reaction .
Eventually, Genos’ coughing settled down and he stood up from his seat .
“Ring me up please!”
Unlike other nobles, he placed the accurate payment for the lemonade on the table and left the coffeehouse, his steps strangely in a hurry .
“Or maybe not? Did I see wrong?”
Seeing Genos’ departing back, Anne-Marie tilted her head again . And soon enough, she chuckled like she had no idea .
“I’ll head out then, Ms . Yuri . Next time, I’ll come as a customer . ”
“Alright . Be careful . ”
Anne-Marie left the coffeehouse with her smile as bright as when she first came .
* * *
“Ms . Yuri, I’m here . ”
And the very next day, Anne-Marie kept her promise .
Of course, she didn’t come alone but with an unexpected companion .
The old man seemed to have grown thinner in the past two days . He hurriedly approached Yuri and his cane clacked on the floor with every step .
“Hello . I see you came with Anne-Marie . ”
The old man’s face looked extremely serious as he examined her then his expression lightened up and his shoulders relaxed .
“Good, you seem well! I did hear from Anne-Marie, but I was worried you might be a little ill after getting caught up in that explosion . ”
He truly seemed very concerned about Yuri .
“I’m alright . I’m glad you’re safe too, Sir . ”
Yuri also realized that and replied to the old man with an odd feeling in her mind .
“What do you mean, ‘Sir’? You can just call me ‘grandpa’ comfortably like Anne-Marie does . ”
Like before, the old man ordered tea today .
As Yuri headed to the kitchen, Anne-Marie followed her .
“Grandpa was so worried that I just had to escort him here . I hope we’re not interfering with your work?”
“You’re not . Actually, thank you for worrying about me . ”
Yuri’s words made Anne-Marie’s face brighten up .
After a while, Yuri went up to Anne-Marie and the old man with tea and scones for them to eat .
“Ehm . Ehem . Yuri . There’s something I want to discuss with you today . ”
The old man place his teacup down and looking at Yuri . The atmosphere around him was somewhat unfocused today . Then he seemed to finally make a decision and opened his mouth .
“If you have some time, can you listen to what I have to say?”
Yuri glanced at Anne-Marie but as expected, Anne-Marie looked like she didn’t know anything . She then looked at Gilbert who had been stealing glanced their way for a while now .
The moment their eyes met, Gilbert nodded right away to signal it was okay . There weren’t a lot of customers in the store, so he seemed to have heard what the old man said .
From the looks of things, the old man didn’t have the soundproofing item that Kalian had last time . Either ways, Yuri didn’t reject the old man’s request and sat down opposite him .
“To be frank, I am cautiously making such a request of you . ”
The old man clasped his hands on the table and carefully began .
“Once a week…no, twice…Mm, okay, once a month is fine . Can you be my conversation partner? Only if you’re for it . ”
Yuri blinked at the unexpected request .
“I think you already know but when I see you, I am reminded of my daughter, Selena . ”
The old man looked at Yuri, his eyes filled with remorse and he continued speaking .
“They say children who pass away are always buried in their parent’s heart . Maybe it’s because it’s getting closer to the anniversary of her death but I’m thinking about her a lot more these days . When I see you, I feel like it soothes the emptiness in my heart . ”
Hearing that, Anne-Marie who was next to him called out ‘Grandpa…’ in a small voice . For someone as compassionate as her, it seemed the old man’s situation was very saddening for her . Of course, anyone with a common sense of sensitivity would feel the same .
“Of course, from your point of view, this might be something you are reluctant about . I understand . ”
The old man deeply gaze at Yuri who was just listening without saying a word .
“I am not shameless so I will not ask you to volunteer for an old man’s sake . Asking you to deal with an old man’s words is definitely an exhausting job . ”
Following that, the old man took out a folded document and placed it on the table . Then he pushed it till it was right in front of Yuri .
“This is an employment contract I prepared just in case . You can take it and read through it . Think about it thoroughly and contact me if you’re okay with it . ”
Yuri looked down and her gaze fell on the old man’s hand which was held out in her direction . His voice was calm and collected but his hand was trembling hard enough that she could easily tell with a glance .
Honestly, it wasn’t like she couldn’t understand the old man’s feelings but Yuri herself had no reason to accept it .
However, she eventually decided to look over the employment contract because of the trembling hand holding onto it .
The old man nervously watched as Yuri opened the folded paper . Next to him, Anne-Marie swallowed drily, seemingly taken in by the atmosphere .
“The conditions are too generous for me . ”
After skimming through the document, Yuri finally opened her mouth . At that, the old man quickly shook his head .
“Not at all . I am the one making a request so I have to do that much . ”
As old man said, Yuri could set the deadline and decide on the number of times, whether it was once a week or once a month . Above all, the payment…
‘…it’s just to my liking?’
Yuri began to make calculations in her head .
Secure retirement funding .
Buy a new house .
Get bigger space .
Live a comfortable unemployed life with her pet .
The advantages of accepting the old man’s offer quickly flashed through her mind .
Yuri carefully read the contents of the employment contract and estimated a few things . Then as she was doing so, her eyes fell on the last part and a certain name there bothered her .
Yuri spoke up as though to confirm and the old man sitting opposite her replied .
“That’s my name . Now that I think about it, have I never told you my name?”
This was the first time Yuri was learning of the old man’s name .
Yuri swallowed down a forced laugh that was about to escape her
Bastian Crawford, he says .
So did that mean he was the grandfather of the male lead, Kalian Crawford?
 This might be culturally dissonant . In some cultures, it’s not only biological grandparents that are called ‘grandpa’ & ‘grandma’ . It’s an nice way to call elderly people in Korean . Sometimes it’s not even nice but there’s nothing else to call them .