Ruda, why did you leave after throwing a bomb in this peaceful school? How could you bring a guy with natural-born, sky-blue hair, who were here to search for his Ice Princess overseas? Promising myself that I should get back Yi Ruda as soon as possible to maintain a peaceful school life afterward, I suddenly raised my head when the guy said something with a giggle.
“Besides, someone else had his phone.”
“Did you get my message?”
When I heard his response, the unknown messages that I received from a few days ago flashed through my head.
‘Was that also from you? How could every strange thing that happened around me were all from you?’ Yelling those out to myself, I asked with a grimace.
“How could you send that message when you knew that I had the phone…?”
The guy, who was still firm as a rock, didn’t look sorry at all. With a shrug, he replied, “I’ve thought you will react in some way if you know where Yi Ruda is. Well, even though I didn’t send the message, you looked as if you had some will to solve the situation.”
While he responded that way and threw a glance at the classroom, I sorted out my thoughts composedly.
Okay, so I didn’t have to explain about the kidnapping incident that happened to me and Ban Yeo Ryung, and even how our abduction had been related to the disappearance of Yi Ruda. He seemed to grasp the overall situation by overhearing our conversation that took place in the classroom earlier. Thus, there was something else that I had to drop first.
“Hey,” I called him carefully.
Putting my forefinger on my lips, I continued cautiously, “Would you keep it a secret that the Ice… whatever is actually Yi Ruda?”
He looked like he had no idea why I was putting that way.
‘It was indeed good to bring this up!’ Aside from that, I felt so fortunate to bring him outside before he dropped the word ‘Ice Princess’ in front of the kids. If I didn’t, Yi Ruda’s gender would have been disclosed in public.
Heaving a sigh of relief, I replied, “Ruda dressed like a boy in this school.”
That was when I smoothed down my chest. Tilting his head in wonder, the guys asked back nonchalantly.
“What’s about that?”
“What’s about that???”
“Oh, hold on… um… I see. I get it, cool.”
He then suddenly looked as if he was suppressing a laugh.
‘What’s wrong with him?’ I thought while staring at him suspiciously. Was it not a big deal for him whether Ruda cross-dressed as a boy or not since Ruda was about to drop out of school? Was he, therefore, being indifferent about the disclosure of Ruda’s real gender?
The guy then began to push me on the back to return to the classroom.
He asked me in a somewhat cheerful voice, “So, just don’t call him as Ice Princess, huh?”
“Uh… yeah, but….” replying hesitantly, I thought that he also felt quite the same as Yi Ruda in terms of being endlessly my pace.
As soon as I stepped into the classroom, I encountered Jooin and Yeo Ryung, who was staring in this direction while looking triumphant with her arms crossed.
Closing the door thoroughly, the guy with sky-blue hair walked toward us and flung a question in an unperturbed voice.
“So, it’s you, huh?”
I then reeled under her following words, praying, ‘Oh, Ban Yeo Ryung, please…’
“You’re the one who’s looking for the ice cream or whatever.”
Why were you always off the track in this kind of situation when you had that brilliant memory? I lifted my hands and shoved my face onto them.
Jooin, beside her, whispered, ‘Yeo Ryung, it’s Ice Princess! ICE PRINCESS, not ice cream.’ Listening to that name twice felt like getting slapped in the face.
The boy with sky-blue hair, who was standing next to me, replied, “Yeah, I’m here to find my Ice Princess, but only Ruda knows where she is. That’s why I tried to locate where Ruda is, and I was told that you guys were whom he had met lastly…”
Rolling his sky-blue eyeballs to glance at me, the guy continued to speak fluently.
“So, I’ve disguised myself as a student in this school and followed you guys for a while. Well, I guess I failed to stay invisible though… Anyway, now I’ve grasped what has happened, so…”
“Let me get it straight. We don’t cooperate in finding Ruda hyeong.”
Since Jooin responded that way while glaring at the guy with sharply raised eyes, Ban Yeo Ryung and I got bewildered.
Ban Yeo Ryun soon shouted with a sincerely furious face.
“Jooin, we won’t ask you for help. Just leave us alone to help him.”
Jooin still maintained his decisive and stern attitude. He then struck a retort fiercely which seldom happened.
“No! Choi Yuri was just an individual and a newb, whereas Yi Ruda’s side works as a professional group. If Ruda could have escaped from them by you and mama’s assistance, he would have already run away before your help.”
At that moment, the guy, who stayed silent until then, opened his mouth and dropped a word.
“Well, aren’t you ignoring the existence of an outside cooperator too much?”
Jooin, who was about to add a few more words, suddenly shut his mouth. Watching that situation, I could roughly guess the reason.
‘A-ha, so it makes a big difference to Ruda if there’s an outside cooperator regardless of his or her level…’
Thinking to that extent, I raised my hand.
“I’m in too.”
“Jooin,” I called his name quietly. Jooin then paused to speak. Drawing in my breath, I continued, “You know how much I hate to get involved in strange things.”
“But this time, I want to jump in by myself.”
Staring at Jooin loosening up the strained look on his face in a flash, I smiled awkwardly.
Just like what I said to him, I sincerely hated to become entangled in weird things. That was because in this world, those weird things didn’t just end up simply as what they were.
Getting involved with strange people in this world meant that it led to attending a resplendent party, being kidnapped by a girl my age, and being saved by a classmate who drove a helicopter.
I could hardly imagine how much spectacular and ridiculous event I had to, again, get involved in to save Yi Ruda. I mean, even if I could imagine such a thing, something way beyond my expectations would probably occur.
But… I clenched my fist.
Although I was just a petit-bourgeois, who got helped by the marvelous protagonist in this web novel, I couldn’t just stay and live my life as if nothing had happened. There might be something that a petit-bourgeois could do.
I concluded my words, “Even if I can’t rescue Ruda by a helicopter, I want to try what I can do.”
Jooin seemed to have much to talk about yet. He opened his mouth hesitantly.
“Jooin, can you imagine how Ruda have felt when he had to contact his mother whom he tried to get away from so desperately?”
“I can’t even think about it.”
I lifted my hand to rub my arm.
What I just said was true. The saddest thing that happened to me was when my parents scolded me for having a poor grade. In this regard, I couldn’t estimate the reason why Ruda tried so hard to escape from his mother and the feelings she might have toward his mother.
When she had to reach out to that mother and trade her freedom with our rescue plan, what would have Ruda thought in her mind? That would probably be a wound that I shouldn’t even dare to look at. Just like the painful memories that Eun Hyung and Jooin had…
I clasped the end of my sleeves tightly. Piercing through the long silence, Jooin’s response returned. I raised my head.
“Geez, okay… I will help too.”
“Sounds good,” replied the guy who was standing beside me.
Although he said that he would help, the hostility Jooin harbored against the guy didn’t seem to disappear. Lifting his head, Jooin blurted, “Don’t get me wrong. I’m in because of mama and Yeo Ryung, and to thank hyeong. I’m not helping you.”
“Anyway, don’t you think you should, at least, tell us your name?”
The guy tilted his head for a second after Jooin’s retort, but he soon stood straight and flaunted a smile.
Putting his hand on his chest, he replied with a tranquil voice, “I’m Lucas. I came from overseas to find Ruda.”