Author: Tam Editor: Luna

There was no change after that.

 

Edric didn’t get out of bed. The number of words uttered lessened even more.

 

But then, something strange happened.

 

At dawn, Rovel came into the room, breathing heavily as if he had committed some sort of crime.

 

“…I thought my liver fell off.” (T/N it’s an idiom that means when you feel so startled that your internal organs fall or move.) 

 

He came in like this all the time. But it was the first time he saw him crouching at the door and pressing a palm to the heart.

 

However, Edric didn’t want to talk. So he covered himself with the slightly lowered blanket again. 

 

Unaware that his master was awake, Rovel continued speaking to himself.

 

“No, why did Hyung try to wash away the pain of a broken heart with cold water—. I was so surprised.” 

 

No way. What had happened in the servants’ bathrooms?

 

It’s hard to believe that there was a commotion this morning—but if it was Rovel he would have done something he could. 

 

Still, Edric remained silent because he hated being caught up in situations.

 

Rovel’s tired voice echoed softly in the quiet room.

 

“I almost got caught today—”

 

‘—Got caught?’

 

The words lodged in his mind.

 

Suddenly, Edric recalled the bandage he had seen through the white shirt the other day.

 

Previously during the journey, Rovel had just come back from washing up and water was still dripping from his hair onto his white shirt. 

 

And although Rovel immediately went to change into a new shirt, Edric had already seen the bandage through the wet patches of the white shirt.

 

At that moment, Edric could guess that Rovel was wearing a bandage under the shirt.  

 

It was only for a brief moment but Edric had seen it very clearly. 

 

“I should be more careful—I should wash up earlier from now on.”

 

Maybe he had a scar that he didn’t want to show others even though he seemed to be full of himself during the day. Like himself. 

 

‘…but it has nothing to do with me.’

 

With that in mind, Edric tried to shake the thoughts off his mind. 

 

But today, someone other than Rovel visited him.

 

“Young Master.”

 

Hearing the voice, Edric immediately recalled the older servant’s face. 

 

He didn’t know his name, but he could recognize him without any difficulty.

 

Especially because he was exceptionally close to Rovel.

 

Through the carriage window, he often saw the two of them clasping their shoulders and talking with each other. 

 

However, in front of him, he was a completely different person, not saying a single word. 

 

Annoying things, new things, dangerous things—.

 

If there was anything that could be even slightly troublesome, he really didn’t want to get involved. 

 

‘But why are you talking to me now?’

 

Come to think of it, Rovel had not come to him today.

 

He found it very strange. When Edric replied with ‘hmm’, the servant cleared his throat several times and continued.

 

“I know it’s not my place to intervene, but—”

 

Even without completely lowering the blanket, Edric could clearly see his expression.

 

The servant obviously didn’t want to do this and it was clear that he was forcing himself to talk.

 

What in the world is this about?

 

“Errm. Those crutches— Rovel— saved them with great difficulty.”

 

“…Why did he do that? What did he gain from saving my crutches?”

 

Even when he knew the origin of the money, he was still puzzled about the reason why.

 

When the matter that was giving him a headache came up, he couldn’t help but lower the blanket and asked with apprehension. 

 

The person himself had smiled and said, ‘I saved it because I have one mind with the Young master,’ but it was still hard to believe that it was the only reason.

 

Obviously, there must be a hidden agenda he didn’t know about.

 

“What do you mean by what he gained? Young Master,  why are you asking me that when you’re putting them right next to your bed?” 

 

Is that all?

 

Edric narrowed his eyes in suspicion.

 

Crimson clenched his fist in anger. But soon muttered in a helpless voice when he saw Edric’s emaciated cheeks and thin shoulders.

 

“Without those crutches, Rovel was just torn off,  but if the Young Master doesn’t know about it— it’s more than money— love—.” 

 

Crimson’s voice became choked up.

 

Turning his head to the side, he wiped his eyes with his sleeves and continued.

 

“N, no. Ekhem. Putting everything else aside, Young Master— he said you were more important. Considering his sincerity— how about going out with him even just once—. Plus he was left with nothing and didn’t he even get punished?” 

 

“…punishment?”

 

Edric was stunned. 

 

After returning home, he received several suggestions from the butler. It was about basic rules, such as that a servant should not be dressed in noble clothes.

 

But he hadn’t heard that Rovel was actually punished.

 

And it was strange that he hadn’t told him about it.

 

He was always going on about the useless stories of the beautiful places around this mansion and the emerald pond that everyone loves. But he didn’t say any of that.

 

He couldn’t believe Rovel didn’t complain about the pain to him even though it was painful enough to wear such thick bandages.

 

“Why— did he hide it from me?”

 

He couldn’t understand. And because he really wanted to understand, he asked Crimson about it. 

 

“Yeah, he is always worrying about the Young Master. So how can he say anything?” 

 

“….”

 

“…I shouldn’t have said that. Please forget about it.”

 

Crimson said vaguely and left. 

 

But how can he easily forget about it after hearing that? 

 

Edric didn’t sleep well that night.

 

He felt even more suffocated than the first day he came to the Duke mansion.

 

The next day, he asked Rovel to go out with him for the first time.

 

He made a big decision on his own.

 

Hearing that, Rovel asked anxiously.

 

“By any chance, are you feeling uncomfortable anywhere?”

 

*****

 

Arif Broyer, a tall blonde knight, was given two missions on this journey. 

 

First, the Young Master will be encouraged in front of everyone, and he will express his condolences to his late mother.

 

Second, if the Duchess is harmed, a request containing the content that he will provide a huge reward will be filed with the head of the department. It is signed by Edric. 

 

Before going on the journey, the Madam explained the situation and gave the forged request directly to him.

 

[If that child becomes the successor, many things that Denkart has built up will go awry and fall apart.] 

 

It was hard to believe that the Madam had requested such a thing from him, but the letter was also very shocking.

 

‘This is—’

 

In it, there was a promise to compensate as much as he wanted when he succeeded in his endeavors in the future. 

 

He read the letter several times. And he couldn’t help but hesitate before accepting it.

 

It was because, although it was the benefactor’s request, it meant that he would be betraying his upstanding chivalry and beliefs.

 

However, after much consideration, he had no choice but to accept it.

 

[…I will do it.] 

 

When his family was on the verge of collapse, it was the Madam who had saved him and his younger sisters. So he had to repay the kindness. 

 

He had already pledged his loyalty to her since then.

 

However, the plan, which was decided with difficulty, was thwarted from the beginning.

 

[Hello, Knight!]

 

It was because of a boy named Rovel.

 

He was a servant of Edric Denkart. He would come up to him whenever he had a chance.

 

Whenever he was having a meal or taking a break, the boy would show up, as if he would forget his face. 

 

The clear purple eyes would stare up at Arif every time.

 

Guilt gradually gnawed at him after being looked up with such innocent-looking eyes that knew nothing about the world. 

 

In the end, Arif couldn’t stand it any longer. 

 

Assuming that the boy was chasing after him because he wanted to be a knight when he grew up, he decided to give the boy some advice and get rid of him as soon as possible. 

 

Because boys like that come to him all the time.

 

[Do you have anything to say?]

 

[No? I don’t have one.] 

 

[Then… Why… Are you staring at me like that?] 

 

When asked, the boy made an expression of having swallowed something bitter and answered proudly. 

 

[Because you’re handsome.]

 

[….]

 

He was used to hearing such words from time to time, but coming from this boy, the meaning seemed to be quite different.

 

He was confused about how to react, and he decided to just respond with ‘thank you,’ but the boy said to him first.

 

[Can I call you ‘Hyung’ when there’s only the two of us?] 

 

[…You can do that.] 

 

Arif was soft and gentle by nature.

 

He wanted to refuse, but he couldn’t open his mouth to say the words to the boy’s excited face.

 

[Ah, Hyung. But.] 

 

He was a little surprised.

 

He hadn’t noticed because the boy was always smiling.

 

So it was a surprise that the bright cheerful face of the boy could give him quite a cold impression.

 

[Why are you so surprised when you see me? Like a bad guy who was caught trying to do something bad to our Young Master.] 

 

[….]

 

[Ey, I’m joking. There’s no way a cool and handsome knight like Hyung could be such a piece of garbage. right?] 

 

The boy finally got the answer ‘Yes.’ from Arif, whose face had hardened.

 

After that, it was difficult for Arif to meet the servant and the master properly.

 

So, he couldn’t even tell the Captain that he had been ordered to harm the Madam, and the evidence he had prepared in advance. 

 

It was a complete failure.

 

“I apologize, Madam.”

 

He said while kneeling in front of the Duchess. She smiled slightly, then gave a raise of her chin. It was a command to get up. 

 

She looked at the handsome knight who couldn’t raise his head even after sitting in a chair, and smiled quietly. 

 

It was a rare and genuinely gracious expression, so Arif felt very surprised.

 

The atmosphere was gentle just like from that one time when he was an apprentice knight and when she supported him. 

 

“Sir Arif, don’t be too hard on yourself. It was rather great. If the request had been delivered to Sir Blivan, it would have been a problem as it was.” 

 

The Duchess fanned herself slowly in contemplation.

 

They tried to educate Edric on this or that on the surface. And his education was delayed even further because he refused to even treat his condition.

 

But who would have expected that the Duke’s son did not know how to write anything other than his name? 

 

Just before returning home, Rovel encouraged the Young Master to try the tradition of leaving his name and surname on the rock with a dagger as it was the Young Master’s first journey. And then he heard that Edric became angry after only writing his name.

 

When Rovel asked if he could write his last name, they said they all witnessed how Edric’s face showed embarrassment. He obviously didn’t know how to write.

 

How absurd it was to learn about this only after Edric returned.

 

He was still amazed no matter how many times he thought about it.

 

“Moreover, those crutches— Yes. It was my mistake, too. The little boy was struggling to find just one crutch, and Sir Blivan didn’t take it lightly.” 

 

She admitted neatly.

 

The Duchess, filled with a sweet sense of defeat, smiled deeply.

 

“Then, it’s time to treat him worthy of that level.”

 

“….”

 

“And.”

 

The Duchess gave him an order, with the smile gone from her face. 

 

“Keep an eye on the child named Rovel.” 

 

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