Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
Because of the thug’s attack the other day, the garden in the Marquis’s house is now off-limits. Three days have passed since the incident during the tea party. Before we even knew it a week had passed. Time sure flies fast. Sometimes Too fast, I think.
The declaration the man made saying he’s going to go to Negroland together with Lucius shook the whole palace. But now it was rather peaceful there. Last night I was even told by the Princess via magical communication, that the information was kept a secret. To hide it from the general public to avoid unnecessary unrest.
Ever since that day, Lucius did not go out of the house and kept on following around that man like a small puppy, refusing any invitations that were being sent his way. So far it didn’t cause any trouble and didn’t get in the way of that man’s work at the castle. We decided to let Lucius be for now. Soon the rumors started to spread about how close the two of them were to one another and that their beauty was simply out of this world every time they were seen together.
And seeing that everyone had so much fun with gossiping about the two of them, I understood that nothing could’ve been done to prevent people from doing that. So I just gave up trying.
In that respect, gossiping about people behind their backs is a terrible thing to do. It goes against the teachings of the Goddess of this country, the deity of love and fertility that cherishes openness and despises deception and hypocrisy. That is why the color black is so hated in here, and worn only for well-excused occasions such as funerals. It was the opposite of white, the color of the goddess and was associated with evil, deception and everything bad that comes with it. It was also the trademark of the Black Witch, who was the polar opposite of the goddess and wore all-black. She had black hair and wielded cursed black magic. Hence the persecution towards the people with black hair. If people with white hair were believed to be the chosen ones of the goddess, the ones with black hair were thought to be abandoned by her. Outcasts were unable to do anything except evil things. Amongst all that, the jet-black hair of that man was especially despised and looked down upon. He was treated even worse than normal black-haired individuals. Think of the reactions of the people of the island we went to during the summer. They were a microcosm with the same attitude that the whole country has towards black hair.
That being said, the Negroland Empire is the polar opposite of the kingdom, where not that much thought is given into religion and superstition. The people there are judged based on their abilities and merits they bring to society alone. There is some level of persecution and prejudice there as well, but compared to the kingdom, it is pretty much non-existent. And that is all I really know about it.
Needless to say, the Empire was a much better place to live. Everyone is equal and has to prove their worth in a similar manner, that is the Negroland Empire in a nutshell. That is why it was imperative to keep the gossiping about Agedilus Von Lancent’s departure to the Negroland Empire under control so that the Empire’s side wouldn’t dare to use that opportunity to add fuel to the fire to agitate the situation in the kingdom further.
So far, there were no hostilities towards that man or Lucius. It was probably only a matter of time before the gossiping and rumors would spiral out of control and lead to that. And just like that man, this time around, he seemed to not pay any attention to the opinion of others about himself. He acted as disinterested as he always does.
No matter how wild or rude the rumors about them become, there was no need for either of them to know about them or pay them any mind. That kind of attitude is much more reasonable than trying to address the issue. But so far there was no problem for either one of them, so it was alright in my opinion. Usually that man would not allow for anyone to interfere with his work. Apparently, his attitude towards Lucius warmed up to so some degree. Of course, if I were ever to mention that he would just laugh it off and dismiss any such possibility. But that kind of treatment was more than enough for Lucius.
This day today could be considered the first free time we all had ever since Lucius arrived at our house. Even that man seemed to be taking it easy for today, especially considering everything that transpired in recent time. Even someone like him would need a breather once in a while. But still, his “free time” consisted mostly of drinking tea and reading through difficult-looking books about advanced magics.
That man and Lucius were again on speaking terms, although their conversations were rather short and awkward still. More often than not it seemed that even though Lucius wanted to speak to the man he didn’t want to disturb his work and chose to remain silent instead. I wonder if both of them understood the current situation? It would be nice if they could get along even better, or at least so that no further misunderstandings or arguments would arise from it. But maybe the fault was at both sides here.
「Lucius-sama. Since you’ve come all the way out here, would you like to accompany me and have a look around the city?」
To my words, Lucius looked at me in astonishment, and even that man stopped reading his magic book, his hand that would usually flip the pages at a complete halt. He looked at me in a strange way, but for now I chose to ignore it and spoke to Lucius.
「Ever since you’ve come here we’ve all been so busy. Why not take this opportunity to do some actual sightseeing? I’m sure there would be quite a lot of things that are different here from your country.」
「Eh, umm, I’d love to, but……」
Lucius looked at me with bright eyes while the man glared at me in a nasty way. Lucius then kept on shifting his gaze from me to that man and back at me, before his enthusiasm visibly toned down. That is why I took the initiative.
「It’s decided then. Edi, please watch over the house while we are gone.」
「…… You think I’d let the two of you go out alone?」
「Why, yes. Since you seem to be tired from all of your work, isn’t it obvious that only the two of us shall go? I wouldn’t want you to overexert yourself further over nothing.」
I then smile towards that man in a provocative way. That caused him to glare at me even more, so much in fact that Lucius trembled upon seeing his expression. He then slammed his book shut and stood up.
「…… I’ll start preparing to go out as well.」
Hearing that, I try my best to hide my satisfaction, make an astonished expression, and ask with disbelief in my voice.
「Oh my, you wish to accompany us as well, Edi? But I don’t want you to overexert yourself!」
It’s not like I needed his escort to begin with. While he was busy at work I’d always walk around town alone, so it wasn’t anything new for me. Besides, I really wanted him to rest. I could handle Lucius on my own.
While I spoke to him like that, the man started to frown more and more. The look in his eyes was really intense right about now, but I knew I had nothing to worry about. Then the man let out a deep sigh as if he lost something really precious. It was rather rude of him, but just this once I was going to let that slide without saying a word.
「I’m not overexerting myself. We’re leaving once you are ready.」
「Fufu, I’m glad to hear that. I’ll be ready soon, and I trust that it is the same for you, Lucius-sama?」
Asked, Lucius shuddered on the spot before eventually nodding his head a couple of times. He then looked towards that man, but he was already leaving the living room. Once he was gone, Lucius approached me quickly.
「Yes, what is it?」
「Thank you very much.」
「Ara, what for? I didn’t do anything?」
After saying that thank you in a quiet voice, Lucius smiled shyly. So bright. Seeing that smile of his was something else alright, it was almost a diving expression, so to speak. There was also something mysterious and irresistible to it. If only he would be like that when that man was around, I’m sure that their relations would be much better. But if that man would do something like that instead, it would be downright scary.
It’s a good thing that Lucius couldn’t hear my inner thoughts. Otherwise, it would be pretty much embarrassing of a situation. So instead he thanked me once again and then left the living room as well, his steps seemingly lighter and more lively.
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