Volume 7 Chapter 3 Part 13


Translation by burnt.marshmallows
Editing by Team Foxsunes


But this man was no longer a child. He wasn’t a child, but a father. That was probably why he was so troubled. I was shocked at myself for not being able to notice that. But at the same time, I. 

「Why would I be disenchanted? Rather, I’m happy.」

「What do you mean happy?」

What do you mean? That man knitted his eyebrows. I gave a smile to him, as he appeared unable to guess my intentions. 

「I have come to understand that you think about this child more seriously than anyone. How could I possibly not be happy? Moreover, allow me to apologize. I’m sorry, Edi. I didn’t notice anything.」

「It’s not something for you apologize.」

As if he were trying to say that he was the one who should be blamed instead, I smiled bitterly at him as I shook my head. 

「No. You’re just dishonest like that. There was no way that you’d be able to straightforwardly tell me that you 「don’t know if you love the child」. I should have been able to notice your real feelings.  」

I really couldn’t thank the Head Knight enough for helping me notice it. That man glared at my face as I decided to formally thank him again another day. 

「ーDo you really think that I will be able to go on loving the child?」

「Hm, I wonder」

In response to my vague answer, that man furrowed his eyebrows, seeming dissatisfied. 

「……Isn’t that where you should be saying「Of course」, even if it were a lie?」

His tone sounded truly bitter. But even if he said that, there was no way that I could reply. Geez, I was largely in the wrong for not noticing too, but he’d be wrong if he thought I;d just pamper him and accept everything. 

As I pointed straight at that man’s nose, he blinked quickly. Looking into those eyes filled with doubt, I could see the reflection of myself smiling.

My dear. Even you know that the answer wasn’t something that I could give you right?

「I”m not you. You are the only one who can decide how your own heart feels, so I won’t say anything. But, let’s see.」

I caressed his cheeks again, and whispered in his ear with a smile.

「The moment that you bore troubles like those, isn’t the answer already clear cut? If it’s you, who’s warming up to Noct.」

If he were so sure that he couldn’t love, then he wouldn’t have cared from the start. But instead, he was so worried. In other words, it means that he really wanted to treasure the baby. For this man to open his heart like that for someone was something that was usually unthinkable. After all, he was a hopelessly cold and unfeeling man towards people other than those who he let in. 

「Do you really think so?」That man asked fearfully, completely out of character, in response to my words. And in response to his question, I smiled and nodded deeply. He didn’t even have to ask. It was obvious. 

「My precious Edi is just not honest. But I know that your love is boundless.」

I knew that this man cared for me more than anyone else. That was all the more why the words and kisses that this man had given the baby in my belly up until now may have just been to be considerate to me. But I also knew that that was not all there was to it. 

I couldn’t believe that his expressions of love up until now have only been to make himself love the baby. How could I believe that the tears that ran down his face when he found out about my pregnancy were an act? He wasn’t skillful enough to do something like that. Or rather, even if he did, it was an effort in vain, for this obstinate man. It is impossible to do something you’re just unable to do, no matter how hard you try. 

The very fact that he was able to express his love for the baby without getting tired of it, made the answer clear as day. To be unable to believe in his own actions, he really was a thoroughly twisted man. I couldn’t help but be amazed. 

As I patted his head like I would with a child, he accepted it surprisingly obediently, although he would usually dislike it, telling me to stop treating him like a kid. Finally, those thin lips of his moved. 

「You might say that, but I still don’t have the confidence.」

「Oh, you’re saying things that are pretty out of character, aren’t you?」

Usually, no matter what he did, he was completely composed and full of confidence. But it seemed that when it came to his own child, even this man fell apart. I wonder if I was a malicious woman for being happy about that. I smiled as I thought so at the back of my head. 「But」That man continued. His voice was no longer trembling.

「Even so, I’m really looking forward to the day the child will be born right now.」

「Yes. Me too.」

That man probably didn’t notice his own eyes gently, and happily narrowing, He stretched his hand out and gently caressed my belly. I placed my own hand on his and I nodded. 

The warmth from his hands was the best proof of his love. Yet, being unable to notice that, that man really was obstinate. If it were the Head Knight, he would probably sum it up in one word: 「stupid」. He really was a thoroughly hopeless man.

*       *       *

It was a few days after the night the Head Knight brought that man home drunk. Ever since I learned my lesson about not noticing that man’s worries that night, I had been paying more attention when looking at that man. And as I started doing so, I mysteriously started to see things other than that man too. 

「Noct, could I talk to you for a bit right now?」

「I don’t really mind」

Just the other day, we placed a desk that we hadn’t put out before at the window side in the corner of the living room. Facing the desk, Noct had opened the sixth volume of the history book and was copying the words on the third notebook that he was using before he looked up and faced me.  As I looked at those straightforward eyes of his, a thought crossed my mind.  「Maybe I shouldn’t do anything 」But even if I let it slide with a「never mind」, I predicted that this exact scenario would probably happen again, so I strengthened my will and continued to speak. 

「Um……, so, recently, I was thinking that there might be something bugging you?」

「What is?」

「I apologize if it’s just my misunderstanding. But you just looked like you’ve been troubled recently. I’d be glad to hear you out if you’d like it……」

Recently, Noct had been making a dark expression sometimes, as if he were brooding hard over something.

He was usually expressionless, and I hadn’t really seen that much of a change in the expression of that good looking face up until now. Instead, I could somewhat sense how he was feeling based on the movement of those ears and tail of his, which could be seen when he took off the decorative cloth. 

However, Noct’s expression had been so dark recently that I could tell even without having to remove the cloth. The air surrounding him was heavy. I couldn’t help but think that something had happened to him. I couldn’t think of any particular trigger events. But I had the feeling that it was around the time after the Head Knight had come to our house.

I had thought that it had something to do with the fact that that man had used Noct as experimental material to test if he could really love children, so I had indirectly asked about it. But it seemed that that wasn’t the case. Rather, it seemed that he was relieved that that man felt positively about him. If so, perhaps all that talk about supporting that man and I had become a burden for him. I felt really bad just thinking about it. Even if that wasn’t the case, I wanted to be of help to him, even if I couldn’t do much.

But, I should say, it was just as I had expected. Just as I predicted, Noct just shook his head without answering me.

「No really. It’s nothing.」

「Really?」

「Yeah」

「……Fine, I guess. But don’t be scared to come talk to me if there really is something alright?」

I immediately knew that he was lying to me. It would be easy to just bombard him with more questions. But this young boy probably wouldn’t confess. That part of him really was identical to that man. That is one of the difficult things about that man. Although he has been improving recently, at his core, he hasn’t changed at all. And I felt that Noct had the same flaw. 

If he can’t talk to me, then he could talk to that man or my wet nurse. If only this kind boy’s heart could just lighten up a bit. 

「So?」

「What?」

As I lifted my downcast face at those unexpected words, I saw Noct staring straight in my direction.

「Was that all you wanted to tell me?」

……It seemed that I was apparently very easy to read. I was being too obvious. As I forced a smile, feeling awkward, Noct laughed a little, as if to say: Gotcha!

I was really happy that he was showing these small changes in expression, even if it was just once in a while. That was all the more what made the thing that I was going to say next very hard to say. It made me not want to say it. But I knew very well that I couldn’t not do it. 

I was going to talk about this today. That’s what I decided last night. It wasn’t a topic that I should be pushing back talking about. It was a good chance, since Noct himself asked me about it. As I repeated that to myself, 「So」I started. 


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