Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
Editor: Team Foxsunes
Ahh, not good. I must stay composed and behave myself now. Otherwise, I might laugh or giggle again seeing Lucius’s amusing reactions. But that also gave me some ideas.
「That’s right! Lucius-sama. You’ve yet to have lunch, right?」
「Ah, now that you mention it……」
Before Lucius could actually finish that sentence, a huge growling sound came out of his stomach. In the moment of brief silence that followed suit, his face turned even redder than before. He seemed to be at a loss for words, and I was torn in between wanting to laugh at that sound or to cry because of the timing it happened. But still, I managed to keep my composure. Especially since it was so loud that it would be impossible to pretend that I didn’t hear it. I looked at him.
「If you happen to be hungry, would you like to accompany me again? Once we have lunch we can also go and buy the ingredients for dinner. And since you are staying with us for the time being, I thought I might cook some of your favorite food, now that the opportunity has presented itself. Edi also agreed to that.」
This time I giggled a little bit about how easy he agreed to the idea, and after that, we went by carriage towards the market square.
Then, when we walked sided by side, I approached a hood-wearing Lucius and asked him about a matter I was curious about ever since yesterday.
「Lucius-sama? What is your relationship with the Ambassador Gabriel?」
Ever since the Celebration day, I get this strange feeling that the Ambassador pays close attention to Lucius, as though he is special to him in some kind of way. For me it even seemed to be unprofessional and improper sort of attention, and to my words Lucius spaced out while he was looking for the proper words to answer me with.
「How should I put it…… Without his help I wouldn’t be able to come here, I guess.」
「That’s right. I really wanted to come here, to the country in which my older brother lives. The Ambassador handpicked me to accompany him here once he heard about that.」
Even though his position in Negroland was rather privileged, it still must have been hard for him to oppose his Father’s wishes so much. And since he was still just a student, it seems that he would not have been able to be a part of the group travelling to this kingdom aside from the official diplomatic mission. That is because as a student he may lack the knowledge about the country they are going to and how to behave when meeting certain people there. And it was something truly essential to diplomatic missions abroad.
「Filmina-neesan? Is something wrong?」
For a moment out there I was so lost in my own thoughts that I didn’t even realize when Lucius got closer to me and looked me in the eyes. In that exact moment his appearance seemed to have overlapped with that of that man in my mind. I guess that man must have looked exactly like that during his time at the Magic Academy. The only difference between them was that Lucius’s hair was of a different color and the atmosphere surrounding him was different as well. His expression was also a lot more friendly. But still, the resemblance was quite shocking to me.
While I don’t blame that man for studying in the Magic Academy, the least he could have done at the time was to come back during the vacation period. That way I could have seen his beautiful appearance some more myself…… What am I thinking? I shook my head in a hurry to chase those thoughts away.
「…… Sorry about that. I was just thinking about where we should have our lunch. Since we are already here, why don’t we go somewhere a little bit extravagant?」
「Really? Can we?」
「Of course. But in return, once we buy the ingredients for dinner on our way back, will you please help me prepare the meal back home?」
And since my bag had plenty of free space available, we could buy a whole lot of ingredients. To my suggestion Lucius nodded energetically while laughing, and then we moved on and delved into the crowd of people surrounding the marketplace.
「That was truly delicious!」
「I’m glad to hear that.」
We left the restaurant accompanied by the ringing of the doorbell. This place was called “Leeznapool” and it was a small establishment that offered dishes that you’d hardly ever prepare at home for fairly reasonable prices. Its location was also really well-thought, just right next to the market square, located in one of the back alleys.
The dishes that I usually make at home are all meals that my Mother and Nanny taught me to make, although from time to time I’d try to recreate the dishes back from my own world, as long as the ingredients would allow me to prepare it. That is why for today I chose this place, to try out something different and uncommon. And judging by that reaction it was a good decision on my part. It was also amazing to see the amount of food that Lucius was able to eat, which stood in direct opposition to his beautiful and delicate frame. It was even frightening to a certain degree. But it was good that he liked it. So much, that in fact even though he ate so much he still had space in his stomach for dessert. Now, since we have taken that out of the way, here’s where the real talk would begin.
「Now then, Lucius-sama. I know we just ate, but would you like to accompany me for buying the ingredients for dinner?」
「Of course I would love to! Please, leave all of the heavy lifting to me!」
Perhaps it was thanks to his full stomach, but I do believe that Lucius was shining way more than usual. There was also no way for any lady, no matter young or old, to be able to say no to that dazzling smile of his. I think that with a smile and personality like that, he must have been loved by others throughout his life. And he must have been aware of that fact, always being ready to share his bright and cheerfulness with others.
「What kind of people are your parents?」
It was a question that I asked in a hushed voice, so quiet that it would probably get lost amongst the crowd of other voices of the street, but apparently Lucius heard that clearly. His eyes opened wide and then he smiled in a dry way while casting his gaze downwards. His smile right now was different from his usual one. There was a visible trace of loneliness to it.
「Do you mind if I answer your question as we walk?」
「–––––– Of course.」
I nodded my head while taking his hand in my own as we started to walk forward. I soon realized that the reason why we were walking was because I wouldn’t be able to look him straight in the eyes during that time, and after a period of short silence Lucius finally spoke up.
「My Father is a government secretary back in Negroland. I was always being told that we are almost identical when it comes to facial features and physique. So much that I was often mocked about it when I was younger.」
Lucius’s father is also the father of that man. And since they are half-brothers, does that mean that their beautiful features come from their father as well? It would be a logical thing to assume. But while I was thinking about it, something came to me as strange. It is said that there are no two people who are exactly identical in this world, so I do believe that if those three were lined up together, there would be sublime differences to their appearances. At the same time their beauty and radiance would be almost too much to bear. It was a truly strange thing to imagine. Fortunately, Lucius didn’t notice that I was deep in thought like that and continued speaking.
「I never doubted the fact that Father loves me. I truly believe it. But sometimes, when he looks at me I can see the loneliness in his gaze. I truly hate that.」
Lucius’s voice was solemn and lonely, just like the sound of raindrops falling to the ground during a stormy night. I wish I could have seen the expression on his face, but his hood prevented me from that.
「Now that I think about it, the reason why I chose to go to the Military Academy was because my Father was against the idea. At first the only good thing I found about that place was its uniform, but as I got more into my studies I gradually opened up to others and learned to derive pleasure from being with them. But still, I didn’t want to follow in Father’s footsteps. I always thought that whenever Father looked at me, he saw me not for who I was, but he saw me for someone else completely. At that time I didn’t know that it was all because of my “Brother”, of who I learned only when I was thirteen and went back home briefly from the Academy.」
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