Translator: Kurehashi Aiko Editor: Queenie
I don’t want to be protected all the time, I want to protect as well. Although I may be pretty much powerless, I want to be the one that can ease his worries and mend his ailed heart. In that sense, it was hard for me to call this butler here an enemy, but he wasn’t our friend either. I really think that was the correct answer to be given here. It would be good for that man to actually say something here, but instead of opening his mouth, he assumes his best tool when it comes to defense, a mask of cold and an emotionless smile. It’s hard to blame him, since that tool has produced the best results.
「In-in any case, thank you so much for coming so fast. I am sure that my lord is going to be pleased as well.」
「On that note, let’s all do our best.」
After giving that short answer, that man spoke nothing more, looking through the carriage’s window instead. The butler turned his eyes back to the road, wiping the beads of sweat from his forehead with a handkerchief. You could see that this whole situation was wearing heavily on his mental state.
For him, it must have been the heaviest and most uncomfortable carriage ride in his whole career thus far.
To be perfectly honest, for me this short carriage ride was way heavier than the few hours of sea voyage we just had. The atmosphere here was so heavy that you got the feeling that your lungs might rot from breathing in all the stagnant air. So when I finally get off the carriage, I wasn’t sure if I was feeling severe fatigue, relief, or maybe a strange mixture of both of them.
The mansion that was erected on top of a small hill was a fine building, but nothing out of the ordinary. It was probably due to me living in the capital and seeing buildings like that every day that this one hardly left any impression on me. I guess that when you live surrounded by splendor, it was hard for anything to get a reaction of any sort out of you.
Upon seeing the butler returning home, a bunch of servants and maids came out of the mansion and began to carry our luggage inside. It was treatment on par of that of royal family members. That being said, I only brought a bare minimum of daily necessities with myself. It seems that lots of nobles liked to travel with an overwhelmingly enormous amount of luggage on them, but I was always a fair practitioner of the “If I lack something, I might as well procure it on site” method of travelling. That is why my luggage only consisted of one large trunk.
「Um, are you really sure that is all you need?」
「Yes, thank you. Also, could you bring me a shawl and a parasol from this trunk in a moment?」
One of the maids seemed to be surprised by the small amount of my personal luggage. Her hair also had a pair of braids while the rest was being held in a cup at the back of her head. Once again, I thought this must be some kind of local custom, unique to the Isle.
When I received the items I asked for, the maid returned to the mansion, and in the next moment I heard a gasp-like sound somewhere behind my back, which sounded as if a lot of people had gasped for breath at the same time.
Looking back, I saw that that man took off his coat and handed it to one of the servants. At that moment, the eyes of everyone present were drawn to his hair and eyes, and you could see that their reaction was pretty much the same as the butler’s. As a result, the servant almost dropped his coat on the ground.
「P-please forgive me……!」
「–––– Don’t mind it.」
The servant took the man’s coat in a proper way this time, and after giving him a big bow he also disappeared inside of the mansion, going at a speed that could be considered a small run.
All of the other servants who weren’t needed to carry our luggage lined up at the sides of the path leading to the main entrance of the mansion, creating a sort of a corridor leading from the carriage’s door. Then they just stood there, waiting for me and that man to go inside before eventually going back inside themselves.
All the while none of the servant said anything. However, there was no need for words here. Their attitude was more than enough proof that they were currently attending to guests of the highest rank possible. That being said, not even nobles at the royal court would treat the Court Wizard in such a respectable way. Hmm? That maid who is currently spreading the flowers beneath our feet, she’s trembling so much that I get a feeling she might fall down and faint at any moment. Is she going to be okay?
The butler must have been concerned about that as well, for he gave the maid a signal with his hand and said to us, “Please follow me” and took it upon himself to guide us, all the while wiping the sweat from his brow and forehead with a handkerchief.
I was the only one here who knew that man from the early years of his life, but to others who had never seen him before, he must have seemed like some sort of a foreign entity, one whose mystery and beauty could put even fairies to shame. So uniquely handsome were his features, but at the same time it was a kind of iron wall that separated him from others. After all, with his expressionless mask on his face, it was hard for anyone to guess what he was really thinking. They could only see features that even the most skilled sculptors and doll-makers would never even hope to accomplish. And even if you think you’d be able to understand him, you would soon find out that you were able to grasp only the information about him he was letting you understand. That is why his interpersonal skills may have been lacking quite a bit, but that’s why I was here by his side, to help him compensate for that.
「Edi, let us go, alright?」
Standing right beside him, I flashed him a brilliant smile. After a brief moment of silence, the man only said “Yes, let’s” and we went alongside the flower path leading to the mansion. Every time we passed the servants and left them behind you could hear a loud sigh of relief coming from them, apparently glad that everything went smoothly and without any problems. Like that, we stepped inside of the mansion.
As you would expect from the governor’s mansion, the inside of it was as exquisite and marvelous as the outside. Everything in here was expensive-looking and a little bit overwhelming from the moment you first stepped inside. You could even say that the atmosphere in here was a little bit suffocating because of that.
While we were following the butler through the corridors into the governor’s office, I could hear silent whispers and mutterings that reached my ears.
When I looked in that general direction, I could see a pair of maids discussing something in hushed voices. Upon seeing me look at them, they made a deep bow and hurried somewhere else to continue their conversation. I see, so there were also servants who wanted to go and see us out of curiosity. But their reaction was not all that well-taught. They should at least stop and wait until we passed them, not hurrying away like that. Or maybe the customs in these parts were different from those of the big city?
It’s not like myself or my husband were suddenly going to jump at them and attack them or anything like that… No, it was true that he would sometimes become a beast in the middle of the night, but it was the fact that only I, as his wife, was allowed to know.
I continue to walk at that man’s side, trying my best to erase the image of the night beast that was stuck in my mind for some reason. Before I knew it, we arrived in front of the governor’s office.
The butler knocks on the beautiful door decorated with amber ornaments. As far as I know the servants of this household seemed to be well educated, but what about their master, the governor himself? Now, let’s see how exactly this situation is going to develop.
I briefly glance at that man’s face, and I can see that it remains as expressionless as ever. I was afraid that he might have been displeased with that whole situation, but thankfully that was not the case. I return my gaze to the door in front of us.
「Master Agedilus Von Lancent together with his wife has arrived.」
「Right, please bring them in.」
There was a response to the butler’s announcement and for some strange reason my heart almost jumped out of my chest when I heard that voice. I assumed that the governor would be a man, but judging from that voice, they were anything but. While I was like that, the butler opened the door and we could see a person studying a bunch of documents behind her desk. Once she saw us she stood up from her chair and went to greet us.
「Dinart. Please leave our guests to me. Go and make sure that preparations for tonight’s dinner are all attended to.」
「A-as you wish, ma’am.」
After the butler left the room quickly, as if he was trying to escape from something, I looked at the governor again –––– the governor of the whole Nibbiellata Isle, its ruler and lord. It was a very stupid thought of me, and it must have been visible on my face, for the governor smiled and laughed warmly while cocking her head slightly towards me.
「Is it really that surprising to see that the governor is actually a woman?」
「Y-yes. I mean, no! Not at all! Please forgive me.」
「No, it’s no big deal, really. I get that all the time. Please don’t sweat it.」
I see. So that’s how it is. The governor smiled brilliantly at me. She was an extraordinarily beautiful woman, probably in her mid-twenties, and her features were as beautiful as a genuine princess. A perfect combination of both beauty and power.
For a woman she was really tall, her hazel-shaped eyes were deep-green in color, her long hair was dark-brown in color and her skin was ever so slightly tanned. Her facial features were also delicate and different from what I was used to seeing, thus creating a really exotic feeling about her. She was not dressed in an outfit suitable for a young noblewoman, but rather in an attire characteristic of an aristocratic young man. And while it would be simply unthinkable for a dress to look good on a man, these clothes looked really good on the governor and complimented her features. However, it would be impossible for this woman to try to pose as a man. Even though she wore a man’s clothes, it was a given that her whole body was astoundingly beautiful. Looking at her, and especially at the area around her chest, I take a quick glance at my own assets, realizing that I may be average at best when it comes to the breast department. I wonder what was more of that man’s type? Anyway, everything about that person seemed exotic and strangely alluring. One would think it was the effect of her outfit, but I understood that it was only thanks to her own beauty and charm. Her long hair also had a braid or two incorporated in it, so it must have been a custom around here for sure, but aside from that, her hairstyle was that of a ponytail that would shake and sway with every movement. It was also drawing attention towards her.
In other words, this woman was dangerous. Yes, that was the word I was looking for. Not in the typical sense of the word, but she was really dangerous. As she stared at that man, she smiled elegantly and laughed slightly.
「Is my hair that unusual?」