Translation by burnt.marshmallows
Editing by Team Foxsunes
「I was the one who caused you to fall down. So I thought I’d stay with you at least until you woke up. Moreover, I hadn’t properly thanked you for saving me.」
When I nodded, the young man’s yellow-colored eyes rounded in surprise.
「You mean you want to thank, me?」
「Yes. Of course, it can only be something within my limits. 」
Would that be alright? As I tilted my head slightly, I could see his eyes waver in confusion. Thinking about it, in the past, that man too would give me a look of confusion when I tried to do something for him. His sunrise colored eyes would reflect his perplexion. His usually expressionless and unimpressed demeanor would only break down during those moments. It was so interesting to watch that I would try to do something for him whenever I could ー but, putting that aside.
It appeared that the young man was extremely surprised by my question. It was as if he had never in his wildest dreams imagined that someone would say that to him. His eyes wandered around before his thin lips started to open with resolve.
I couldn’t hear him clearly. When I asked him again, tilting my head further, the young man bit his lip for a second. His thin lips then began to move again, shaking with fear.
「I want to eat some warm food.」
It was truly a soft voice. And it was a smaller request than I had expected. I mean, if he had told me to「Give up your life right now」, I would immediately, firmly reject him. But even so.
From my clothing, one could see that I was of quite a high social standing ーthat I was probably of the level of a noble. But this young man only asked for something as trivial as that. That conversely caused me to hesitate. But I could have thought that because of the blessed position that I was in. To this young man, a request like that could have been something extraordinary. It was something so extraordinary to him that he could not help but ask for it from a noble girl who he had just met.
In reply to the young man who stared straight at me, I nodded once. Mhm. Having prepared myself for more unexpected requests, like those that would have to do with my life and so on, part of me wanted to ask him:「Are you ok with just that?」. But I held myself back from doing that and gave him a smile.
「If that is so, as long as it is alright with you, would you like to come to my mansion?」
The young man blinked dramatically. To him, my suggestion must have been a bolt from the blue. To him, this was probably something that we could have settled just by me giving him money to buy his meal. A part of him might even want to say:「What’s this person saying?」in response to my invitation. For me to go all the way to invite him to my mansion, to him, must have been much more than he expected.
But in reality, this was not a suggestion that I just came up with. I was thinking about it the entire time when the young man was unconscious. After all, It seemed that he was really quite hungry. I had thought that if I could treat him to some of the food that my wet nurse had prepared, it would at least serve as a form of gratitude. And now, the young man’s wish for some「warm food」just coincidentally overlapped with just what I was thinking.
This situation may have called for me to just hand some money over and call it「the end」. However, I just felt that thanking him in that way was a way that I would not forgive myself for. After all, even if I did hand the money over, I wouldn’t be able to make sure that he would really be able to eat the warm food safely. If he tried to buy his meal at a store with the money I gave him in his hands, but something unpredictable happened and his appearance caught the eye of the public, I was sure that it would cause a huge commotion. It was just like that summer when we visited Nibbiellata Isle, when that man had become a younger version of himself and when we tried to buy and eat food from the stores at that time.
At that time, that man was with me and young Juri. But now, this young man was all alone. I didn’t want him to do anything dangerous like crossing a bridge alone. I did not want this young man who had helped me, to get dirty looks or get abused, all alone. I had reached the conclusion that it would then be better to invite him to our mansion. Even if it was just for my own self-fulfillment.
「What do you think? My wet nurse’s culinary skills are no joke, you know? I think you should be well satisfied. 」
I’m sure that my wet nurse will be very surprised when I bring a young man back home. She might even be scared. But at the end of the day, she was my wet nurse. I had already learned that she was of the personality to make a huge fuss over something like this. Rather, the person who I might get an earful from would probably be my husband rather than my wet nurse. But I’ll put that aside for now.
The young man’s yellow eyes harbored a mixture of deep feelings of wariness and doubt at my suggestion. From his messy hair, his black, triangular ears pointed straight up again.
「You, what on earth have you been talking about since just now?」
「As I said, I want to thank you. I was asking whether you want to eat lunch together. Although I do not think we will be able to provide that much hospitality for you.」
「…….Is that, really ok?」
「Yes, of course.」
Otherwise, I wouldn’t have come up with such a suggestion in the place. As if to reassure him, I nodded my head deeply in response to the young man who asked softly.
For some reason, a wave of relief seemed to wash over his face when I answered him. Phew, he let out a small sigh. It could have been that he was just relieved to finally be getting an actual meal. But his sigh seemed to contain a lot more emotions than that. Hm? I had become a little curious, caught up by that expression and sigh of his. But before I could think too deeply into it, the young man’s face turned expressionless again.
「Got it. And also」
「Could you stop talking to me like that? I’m not someone who likes to be talked to like that. 」
「Dear me, is that so?」
He said it in a way that made it seem like he was belittling himself. To be very honest, I didn’t really like it. But I was sure that he’d get annoyed if I told him, especially since we’d just met. If that was the case, I should just be the adult in the situation and talk to him the way he wanted.
「Then I shall take up your kind offer. What is your name? 」
「ーIt’s Noct. No need for honorifics.」
I tried to say the name that he had just given me out loud. 「Noct.」Wasn’t that the word for「night」in my 「past 」self’s world? As that thought came to my mind, the word seemed to mysteriously have a good ring to it, and the word fit well on my tongue.
「I see. It’s a nice name. I’m Filmina. Filmina Von Lancent. Nice meeting you, Noct. 」
I gave him a smile as I placed the shawl I held in my hand softly on his head. The young man ー or rather, Noct, still with some doubt on his face, nodded obediently.
＊ ＊ ＊
Accompanied by Noct, I reached home. What was waiting for us, was a lecture from my wet nurse, who was worried because I was late. The moment we entered the front doors of the mansion, although quietly, my wet nurse shouted at me just like if a thunderbolt struck right in front of me. 「Young Madam!」Not even acknowledging Noct, who had cowered behind me with an 「Eek!」, my wet nurse scolded me with the force of raging ocean waves.
「SIgh, just when I thought you were late coming home. I see you were out there getting wrapped up in something troublesome again, haven’t you? It might have been a mistake to let you go out.」
「Su-suzette…… Please don’t say that. I couldn’t help it.」
「Well then, what should we do about this? Go on, if you have an excuse, I will gladly listen to it. I will decide what to do from now onwards after hearing your excuse. Regarding the person standing behind you as well. 」
My wet nurse glances over at the young man who was behind me. WIth his head covered deeply by my shawl, she probably could not see him to the full extent. But there was no way that he could not feel her eyes on him. I secretly glanced over my shoulder to see how the young man was doing. Quietly, but cautiously, he was looking at my wet nurse and I from under my shawl.
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