Translation and editing: Team Foxsunes
Silence is golden. I told myself that as I had told myself the same thing some time ago, and I dismissed the thick history book on my lap and replaced it with a thin one that I just received.
「I feel like it’d be bad for Lucius-sama if I read it first…」
Even if I’m his wife, I’m hesitant to read the souvenir that he must have gone through a hassle to select. I thought that and as I was about to return the book to the man, his hand stopped me.
「It isn’t a big deal. I have already read the book.」
His words were delivered so naturally that I looked down wondering at the history book that was as good as new. The book was given to him today, in the afternoon and he has already finished it? It’s not that I’m not surprised, it’s just that he’s very convincing. Anyhow, the man is a workaholic and at the same time more addicted to reading than I am. He has a habit of continuing to read from one book to another if he gets free time. It doesn’t matter if he is interested in the topic or not. 「I’ve finished reading it between work breaks」he told me that as if it was nothing. I said 「Is that so?」and gave a bitter smile.
If that is the case, then I’ll gladly read it myself. I immediately opened the first page and got sucked into the world within the book. I was able to read it smoothly as if my struggle to read the thick history book was a lie. At the same time, my good impression of the neighboring country increased.
This is not fair. I finished reading the book in no time and let out a sigh of admiration. This book can make you want to visit the neighboring country even just once. It can’t be, but I became suspicious of whether the youth Lucius purposely picked this book. To deepen the understanding of history and climate is an excellent trick of drawing your opponent into the land. It was a fun book, so good that I couldn’t help but speculate that Lucius was being very prudent beneath that veil of his smile.
I closed the book and he lifted his eyes up from the magic book. Once again, he turned his gaze towards me.
「You’ve finished reading?」
「Yes, it’s very interesting. How about you, Edi? What’s your impression?」
「Not bad. I’ve requested for this author’s other books to be included in the library too.」
That man’s『Not bad』is almost equivalent to a certificate saying『good work done』. Looking at him trying to add more of this author’s work, I’d say that he enjoyed it a lot.
「If that’s so, I’m sure that even Lucius will be pleased. 」
「Fufufu, so you guys have become quite close. Somehow, you’ve made me jealous]
「Jealous towards which one?」
「Well, I wonder who?」
I stared at his face with a smile on my face. He glared at me as if he were offended. His childish reaction was cute so I couldn’t help it when laughter spilled out. He couldn’t stomach my reaction so he put his hands on my cheeks.『Ah』I thought for a moment. And at the next moment, my lips were taken by his lips. Looking up close into the sunrise-tinted eyes that reflected my eye will always be a strange feeling. That pleasantly warm, softly tender, yet scorchingly burning sensation is pleasant yet painful.
When I subconsciously narrowed my eyes, there was a clattering sound at the back. My body was shaken and I hurriedly separated myself from the man’s body. I sprung onto the sofa and I looked back. The front door was open without me noticing it and my eyes met the eyes of youth Lucius, his beautiful pale face was all red.
「Lu- Lucius??? You’ve returned?」
「I’m- I’m sorry!」
Since when was he there? Without time for us to even ask a question, visibly very flustered, he bowed his head. It’s a usual thing and I’ve gotten used to it, but youth Lucius’ behavior makes me think that we were doing something embarrassing if observed from a third person’s perspective. Moving my neck awkwardly, I stared at the man who had started reading the book with a cool face.
「Edi, you certainly had noticed Lucius-sama’s arrival, right?」
「Yeah, what about it?」
「No, it’s nothing.」
I couldn’t say anything to him since he didn’t deny anything and didn’t seem guilty of anything. I held my cheeks that had become flushed from embarrassment and looked down on the history book on my lap. From the information I deciphered from this history book, people that ‘have black’ are comparatively treated better there, as the youth Lucius had said. It isn’t like they completely accept them, but still, I feel like the neighboring country is kinder. Did Lucius purposely choose the book to make me think like this? If it is so, then he’s a fearsome boy.
It is quite a strategic idea that makes me think that he really is blood-related to my husband, even if it is only half. I thought of things like that to escape reality, and that youth who, as expected of the top position holder of the military school, had made a good choice when picking a wonderful book, entered the room with a red face and gently sat on the sofa in front of us. At the same time, he put a tea set filled with his self-brewed herbal tea on the table. I unintentionally blinked from the fragrant aroma and thought, oh my, he has raised his skills. I glanced at youth Lucius’ gaze and at that time,
「Um. Brother. 」
Luscious spoke in a serious tone which was quite surprising. I spontaneously look at him, and his expression was as serious as the tone of his voice. Ah, I somehow swallowed the voice that almost spilled unconsciously. I realized that the moment had finally come, and I was surprised at the calm composure I had. Although I thought that when the time came, I’d not be able to stay calm and only fluster, the reality was nothing like that. My heart was surprisingly calm and I am sure it’s because the man sitting beside me was calm too.
「Brother, is your intention still the same?」
Youth Lucius didn’t state what he was asking about. But even when he didn’t specifically say anything, what he wanted to ask was clear. He wants to ask if the man still has no intention to go to the Nerogrant empire, youth Lucius’ home country, the neighboring country that the man’s father is living in.
Youth Lucius’ eyes are sparkling with expectations. Unconsciously, I diverted my eyes from his eyes that made me want to grant his wish. I glimpsed at the man and the man gazed at me fleetingly for a moment. What does that mean? Before I could understand, the man directed his sight to youth Lucius and opened up his mouth.
「Yeah, I don’t feel like going to Nerogrant. 」
Without any doubt or chance to make him reconsider, he clearly stated it. Lucius gasped and bit his lips. As for me, the man’s choice didn’t surprise me, but at the same time, it didn’t necessarily mean I would just swallow it and agree. Out of all things, I don’t plan to complain about deciding to stay in this country. The question is why has he decided on that. If his reason is absurd like if it is for my sake again then, I won’t hesitate to smack his seemingly unnecessarily smart head, without having any dialogue. Well then, do tell me, without hiding a thing, how you came to this conclusion.
As if he’s speaking for the questions I have in my heart, youth Lucius released the bite on his lip and opened his mouth, holding both his hands into fists and motionlessly stared at the man.「Why?」It was definitely not my imagination that those lips looked like they faintly trembled. But, youth Lucius, as if shaking off his trembles, firmly put his strength into his fists and directly stared at the man.
「That’s… for what reason? If I may ask…」
Although he was trying his best to keep his composure, youth Lucius’ tone was evident of his feelings, he wasn’t convinced at all. It clearly told his intentions, more than his words did. He was not angry nor sad, just 「I can’t believe it. 」 and 「There are nothing but questions」. That’s what youth Lucius’ eyes were saying. Because I felt that even from leaning forward and peeking through youth Lucius’ appearance, the man whose eyes met with youth Lucius’ directly in front of him was probably being questioned intensely「 Why can’t you understand?」. But the man started the conversation by muttering without any hesitation 「I’ve thought about it but…」
The tone of his voice was as calm as my father-in-law’s and yet contained a forceful echo. I wonder just what he had thought about. Together with youth Lucius I was waiting for the man to continue his words and the man started talking calmly and gently in his usual indifferent tone as if he was talking to himself and telling himself the things he was saying.
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