Author: lipzoldyck

 

Arriving at the Duke of Barmuth’s mansion, I tilted my head at the attitude of the servants, which gave off a strange atmosphere.

 

Everyone looked at me while smiling meaningfully, and it seemed like they were decorating something.

 

What is it? They’re not the type of people who will bully me or do bad things, though.

 

However, only bad things happened in Lodgemund, so my head only went that way. I stood hiding behind Keller unconsciously as I got a little anxious.

 

“Isabella?” I heard Yuta calling me from my side. “What’s wrong?” He asked cautiously.

 

It was hard to answer, so I just smiled.

 

Then he frowned and gently touched my hand. It was the moment when that child was about to say something to me.

 

“What are you guys doing?”

 

Kellerhan looked down at us and asked with a look on his face as if he found baby hamsters huddled together.

 

“Isabella… looks like she’s uncomfortable about something.”

 

At Yuta’s words, Kellerhan raised his eyebrow. He looked at me closely, captured my expression in his eyes, and then placed his hand on my head.

 

“Isabella, let’s go up to the third floor with me.”

 

“Third floor?”

 

“There is something you need to see.”

 

Kellerhan glanced at Magda in the hall. Then she gave me that meaningful smile and reached out to me.

 

“I don’t know if you will like it, but we worked very hard to prepare it. I’m nervous because I don’t know when the Duke and Miss will return.”

 

Prepared, you say? Prepared what?

 

I glanced at Magda and Kellerhan alternately with a puzzled look.

 

Then she let out a bright smile and Kellerhan moved the hand that was resting on my head to ruffle my hair.

 

“Let’s go.” At Kellerhan’s command, Magda took me up the stairs.

 

We were followed by several maids, Kellerhan, and Yuta.

 

Upon reaching the third floor, Magda’s face shone with excitement and joy.

 

Just what the hell did you prepare?

 

I was really curious, so I pulled my head out and looked around the hallway. But nothing stood out. The hallway was the same as it was before we went to the Marquis of Binkler.

 

“First, Miss, take this with you.” Then, Magda leaned down and placed something in my hand.

 

When I opened my hand, I saw a small, beautiful key.

 

The key blade was as smooth and clean as if it had just been made, and the head of the key was studded with an emerald emitting subtle light.

 

…Oh, it’s very fancy.

 

It was an unfamiliar luxury to me, who lived a frugal life following my parents and was locked up in an attic in Lodgemund.

 

Perhaps this is the gift?

 

Do you want me to keep it and sell it later to make money?

 

As I tilted my head and looked at the key, Magda burst out laughing again.

 

“This way.” She led me to the front of the room in the middle of the hallway on the third floor.

 

I remember. This is a room that has always been closed.

 

It was the only room I couldn’t get into when Yuta showed me around the mansion.

 

But what is it with this place?

 

“Open it with the key.” Magda whispered beside me.

 

I put the key in the doorknob as she said, even though I didn’t know the reason.

 

The key turned smoothly, and the door opened easily with little effort.

 

And in it…

 

“Voila!” Magda clumsily made a sound effect with her mouth.

 

And even when I thought about it, I covered my mouth and coughed in vain.

 

“From now on, this is the room you will be staying in.”

 

On behalf of the ashamed Magda, a maid who was following us said.

 

I looked into the room over and over with a blank expression on my face with my feet stiffened as if they were stuck to the ground.

 

Small pieces of furniture with rounded corners to protect a child from injury, a bed that looks supremely cozy, a table prepared for reading books or drinking tea, and even curtains that flutter from the window.

 

It was really a room prepared for me.

 

“The engagement ceremony hasn’t been held yet, but as the Duke acknowledged, the Miss is no less than a member of the Duke of Barmuth family. So we prepared a room for the Miss. It doesn’t make sense for the Grand Young Lady of Barmuth to stay in a guest room!”

 

Magda, who had returned to her original complexion, softly spoke.

 

I held the key tightly in my hand and quickly looked up at Kellerhan. Knowing the meaning of my gaze, he smiled.

 

“It’s your room. Go inside.”

 

As soon as I heard those words, I ran into the room as if I were flying. And I started to explore the room with a hazy feeling as if I was in a dream.

 

I forgot for that moment that Kellerhan, Yuta, Magda, and other servants were looking at me outside the door.

 

The attic… No.

 

Unlike the attic, where the sun wasn’t shining and it was cold and humid, the sunlight was pouring in this room.

 

Unlike the attic, which creaked with every step, the floor here was strong and safe.

 

And above all else, this place was just for me.

 

It’s not a space where one puts anything and forgets about it, like an attic, but a room that has been carefully decorated with the wish that someone can live comfortably.

 

After looking around the room, I turned to the people who were watching.

 

Yuta looked surprised when he saw my face.

 

How does my face look?

 

Later, when I fumbled it with my hand, I found that I was smiling really brightly and happily ever more.

 

I didn’t hide my smile.

 

Because there is no need for that here.

 

“Thank you, thank you very much.”

 

I bowed my head to the people who had prepared the room for me.

 

“Oh my, Miss!”

 

“Please get up. We were just doing what we were supposed to.”

 

Hearing Magda and the maids stood up and said those words, I looked up, and my eyes met Kellerhan’s.

 

“Thank you.” I greeted Kellerhan once more. He crossed his arms with a characteristic stern expression on his face.

 

At first glance, he seemed uncomfortable, but now I know that it’s not true.

 

I approached Kellerhan cautiously.

 

He saw me coming closer and raised one of his eyebrows. He had a questioning expression on his face, not knowing the reason for my actions.

 

Arriving in front of Kellerhan, I swallowed my saliva.

 

Can I really do it? Should I not?

 

But somehow I wanted to convey this gratitude and this joy to Kellerhan.

 

Thank you for accepting me, I wanted to express it in other ways than words. 

 

Even languages were too limited to express this great feeling I felt.

 

“Isabella? What do you want?”

 

As I continued hesitating over and over, Kellerhan asked impatiently.

 

Er, I don’t know anymore!

 

If Kellerhan doesn’t like it, I’ll apologize and never do it again!

 

I jumped right into Kellerhan’s arms and hugged him.

 

I was so short that it looked like I was hugging his leg, but I think the meaning of the hug was conveyed anyway. I hugged Kellerhan as tight as I could, buried my forehead on his uniform, and lifted my head.

 

“Thank you.”

 

And I said it again.

 

Kellerhan was looking down at me with his wide-open eyes.

 

Before I could even read his expression, he covered his face with one hand.

 

“Duke?”

 

I thought he might hate it, but I was a bit upset because Kellehan didn’t even show his expression.

 

He didn’t answer my call and ran his hand over his face for a long time before opening his mouth.

 

“…Get away from me for now.”

 

“Got it.”

 

I quickly withdrew from Kellerhan coldly.

 

“I’m sorry, I went too far…”

 

“From now on.”

 

Kellerhan interrupted me.

 

“If you want to hug me, give me a notice. Because I thought my heart was going to fall.”

 

“…!”

 

I opened my eyes wide and looked up at Kellerhan.

 

“Why?” He asked, giving a finger flick to my forehead that didn’t hurt at all. “Will this be the only time you hugged me?”

 

“No!”

 

I shook his head with all my might.

 

“Alright.” Kellerhan responded briefly and left, saying he had something to do.

 

“How about having a tea time with the Young Lord to commemorate the opening of the room?”

 

I looked at Kellerhan’s back with regret, then turned my head to Magda’s voice.

 

“Tea time? Here?”

 

“Even if it’s impossible for a full-fledged tea time, I will prepare a simple refreshment so that you can enjoy it. It’s been decorated to the best of my ability, but it’s a pity that you can only sleep, right?”

 

Magda said, pointing to the centerpiece on the table.

 

“I like it.” I was hesitating to answer, but Yuta quickly intervened. “I want to have tea with Isabella.”

 

“Then I’ll prepare it!”

 

Magda quickly sent some of the maids to the kitchen to bring the refreshments.

 

Yuta and I entered the room and sat facing each other with a table in between. Soon the maids served tea and refreshments, and they opened the windows so that the flowers in the garden could be seen clearly.

 

The bright scent of flowers suitable for spring came in through the open window.

 

I was definitely in a room, but it felt like I was sitting outdoors with flowers everywhere.

 

Yuta and I had a nice tea time. He didn’t say much, but it wasn’t awkward or uncomfortable at all.

 

***

 

On the next day, a letter came from the Marquis of Binkler.

 

On the day of the engagement, he ordered statues and tablecloths to decorate the hall, secured tableware and wine glasses, then started making my dresses, shoes, and accessories.

 

“There is really nothing you can’t do without money.”

 

I was speechless at the incredibly fast preparations for the engagement ceremony.

 

“Because Marquis Binkler is also a master of this kind of work.”

 

Yuta, who was looking at the letter with me as he sat in front of me, muttered.

 

Today too, we were drinking tea together in my room.

 

“They’ll prepare it quickly but not hastily, without any lack. If it’s Brother Bruno and Marquis Binkler.”

 

“Then do we just have to wait now?”

 

“Uh, that’s…” Suddenly, Yuta’s expression turned strange.

 

That child lowered his gaze and looked into my eyes.

 

“Actually, there are other things Isabella has to do other than prepare for the engagement.” Yuta said cautiously, and I tilted my head.

 

“What is it? Just say whatever that is. I’ll do my best.”

 

“Ummm…” Yuta’s expression became even more strange.

 

“Young Lord? What’s going on…”

 

The moment I was about to ask, the door swung open. Yuta and I looked at the opened door at the same time.

 

There, as expected, Kellerhan was standing.

 

“Isabella.”

 

Kellerhan called me in a meaningful voice.

 

“You have something to do today.”

 

He gestured his finger to tell me to get up and come closer. I quickly got up from my chair and stood in front of Kellerhan.

 

“What’s is it?”

 

Yuta’s expression was unusual, and Kellehan’s voice was also meaningful, so I was terrified and asked.

 

“It is a rite of passage that one must go through to become a true member of Barmuth.”

 

At Kellerhan’s answer, I widened my eyes.

 

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Comments (1)

  1. she hugged him!!! no doubt, kellerhan absolutely adores her now