Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
For a moment there I honestly consider the thought of Lucius actually taking that man back with him to their homeland, the Negroland Empire…… No, no matter how much I try to think about it, the sheer thought of that actually happening is impossible. But what are that man’s thoughts regarding that idea? Looking sideways towards him, his face was as always a cold and emotionless mask not betraying even the slightest bit of emotions, a feature I would like to be gone now so that I could at least get a read on him.
Eventually, the carriage stops with a loud noise. Apparently we’ve arrived back at our mansion. Letting out a deep sigh I get off the carriage with the help of that man and enter the mansion, and at the same time the magic stones inside begin to glow, illuminating the interior with a soft light. As soon as both of them got inside, Lucius turned towards that man and gathered his courage.
「Edi, Lucius-sama. How about both of you change your clothes for now? We can then have some tea in the living room.」
I did that on purpose, to prevent Lucius from speaking up. At this rate he might say something he will come to regret later. I knew that they would have to talk about that at some point, but for now, taking their pride as nobles into account. I decided that it would be better to keep them separate for the time being and let them cool down. Whether it was a good decision, I had no idea but I felt it was the right thing to do for now.
I could see that Lucius still wanted to say something, but he just closed his mouth and nodded in agreement. Looking at his brother’s back, he looked as though he was a small puppy that was going to be abandoned. Seeing him like that just hurt my heart.
「Lucius-sama, please don’t feel discouraged. That man hold that kind of attitude basically towards everyone.」
「…… It’s alright. I understand.」
Even though he said that, his voice made it sound as though he wasn’t entirely convinced by his own words. He still looked his usual self, but Lucius’s eyes looked extinguished and really sad right about now.
「Do you mind brewing us some of your herbal teas again? They would be lovely just about now.」
Even if he was to be rejected, he would still continue to try to get close to that man for sure. And his herbal teas might be the way to go. But contrary to my expectations, instead of nodding in agreement, he just shook his head in negation.
「Or maybe not. The two of you must be tired today. For now, please change your clothes and leave everything to me. I’ll make you some of my original blends.」
Even though both of them seemed to be calm I was sure that, that man and Lucius must have been anxious and stressed out in each other’s company. If indeed so, it is better to prevent than to treat, so I’ll brew some tea that will help both of them to calm themselves down. And in order for that tea to be even more effective, it’s best for them to calm themselves down first.
Even though he seemed reluctant at first, eventually Lucius nodded in agreement.
「–––– I understand. I’ll be looking forward to your tea then, Filmina-san.」
He then made a small bow towards me and then turned around and went right back to the room where he was staying. After seeing both of them off, I let out a sigh and went back to my own room in order to change my clothes and get ready myself.
I was glad to finally be able to change my clothes to something less flashy and what was easier to move around with, but just one look at the dress from the party I was sure that I would not be able to wear it anymore. The sleeve was cut in place where the thug’s knife had cut my arm, and all around the cut the fabric was torn and dirty with blood. That being said, the Marquis promised to give me a new dress as a form of apology. But it would be a shame to let this one go to waste, so let’s just patch it up and then I could adjust it for everyday use at home.
While I was putting my dress back on the hanger, I could still feel my arm hurting. I knew that since the wound was still fresh it would continue to hurt for a while, but at the same time I should be grateful that this wasn’t anything more serious.
I went to the kitchen to, use the magic stone to boil some water, prepare the tea set, divide the sweets into portions and place them on separate plates, prepare the mix of herbs that will be brewed shortly and place it all on a big tray. But just then a hand reached out towards me and took the tray out from my hands. Looking in that direction, I could see that man was already here in some lighter clothes, looking straight at me.
「Edi? Did something happen?」
I thought that he was going to wait in the living room, so why was he here? In the kitchen, my literal castle? I tilt my head in puzzlement, the man only looks down on me in a grumpy way.
「I thought you might be unable to do anything like you normally do with an arm like that.」
While he muttered that, he pointed his head towards my hurt arm. Luckily it wasn’t going to be much of a problem for my daily routine, but the fact that he was worried about me, my heart was filled with so much pleasant warmth.
「It won’t hinder my daily life in any way. The doctor was quite sure of it when he treated the wound.」
「It was to be expected of Marquis’s personal doctor. Still, for his guards to let such scum slip into the mansion completely undetected, it’s simply unheard of.」
Hearing the man say that, I can only smile in a bitter way. On one hand it was disrespectful of him to say that, but on the other it was so right that you couldn’t help it but to not be able to deny it. Especially since I got hurt during the party, which depending on the circumstances, could have turned into a major diplomatic incident.
「Maybe it’s right about time that you started to think more about yourself rather than others.」
「…… Except I’m not doing such a thing in the first place?」
「I’d argue about that one here.」
That man says while getting away from me and shrugging his shoulders. Somehow, I got an impression that he was angry. It seems that I managed to hurt him again in some way that I didn’t even know was possible. But at the same time, I was still so happy that this man cares about me to get angry and worried on my behalf.
With the tray in my hands, I gently trotted towards the man and whispered “Thank you” right into his ear. He didn’t say anything to that, but I also felt that he didn’t find this gesture to be unpleasant. Eventually we arrived in the living room together and once we got there, Lucius was already sitting on the sofa. Fortunately, I felt as though both of them have cooled down a little bit so maybe they would be able to talk normally right now.
「Lucius-sama, sorry for making you wait.」
「Please, don’t worry about it……」
Lucius says as he flashes me a smile, watching me set the tray on the table and then together with that man we sit down right across from him. I start pouring the amber liquid from the pot into the small cups, and soon enough the herbal aroma starts to fill the whole room. But even though its aroma was positively pleasant, I felt that it didn’t manage to lower the tension that has started to fill the room. The man takes a sip, while Lucius takes a bite of a cookie.