Author: Tam

“….!” 

 

The aide was surprised by the first hearing in over twenty years.

 

Although it was a short time, he clearly saw a calm smile on his face. It was something he had never seen at his wedding or even at a celebration for him.

 

But it was closer to the other side than joy or pride.

 

It resembled the brutality just before hitting the enemy in front of a defensive force.

 

‘He had already done this, so he’ll call him once.’

 

The aide thought to himself. 

 

He will be able to change the old traditions, even if he doesn’t directly teach his successor.

 

He was capable enough for the Duke. The Young Master was worth it, regardless of sympathy.

 

Personally— he was also glad because he had often thought it would be good to change the old tradition that didn’t suit the prestigious Denkart.

 

‘Anyway, the Young Master has one of the greatest talents among archaeologists—’

 

However, the Duke didn’t give orders easily. He rarely lowered his eyes as if he was contemplating something.

 

But soon after, a boy came to him.

 

******

 

Why does my mother have such a lonely expression on my face as I grow older—.

 

Edric could only now realize the answer to the question he sometimes had.

 

Aside from his appearance, including the color of his hair, his father and he had a similar apathetic atmosphere, to the point that he felt depressed at first glance.

 

So, as he faced the Duke, he had the strange feeling of seeing himself as a grown-up in front of him.

 

But Edric shook his head.

 

‘No.’

 

No matter what the outside looked like, the inside was completely different.

 

Even if he grew up, he wouldn’t do that to Lobel, and he wouldn’t do anything irresponsible.

 

The aide was restless by Edric’s ferocious energy as if he had lost his nerve.

 

It merely took an unusually generous mindset to let go of the previous commotion. He couldn’t let it go any longer.

 

Meanwhile, the Duke, who had not paid attention to his son even in front of him, put down the documents he was reading.

 

Then he opened the drawer and took out a pile of paper.

 

“….!” 

 

Upon recognizing this, Edric’s face immediately turned red.

 

The red eyes in the glasses scanned the paper from top to bottom.

 

“Again, what a wonderful handwriting.”

 

“Don’t be sarcastic. Now that I’ve only learned it for a month or two, I’m pretty good at it.”

 

Edric was almost discouraged, but he refuted it when he recalled Lobel’s encouragement.

 

“And, they said content is more important than shape.”

 

“Those who can’t speak must have such a long tongue.”

 

“You’re the one who’s never taught me, so don’t flutter your tongue.”

 

He thought it was good to practice talking with Lobel all night long.

 

He was still nervous, but his speech was definitely more open than yesterday.

 

The aide’s expression behind the Duke turned white, but it was no big deal.

 

Lobel said that it’s better to be bold than to be desperate when dealing with the Duke.

 

‘But… I just want to fix one thing… What was that?’

 

Edric hurriedly erased the fact from his mind.

 

The priority right now was to persuade this man, who he wasn’t sure if it was his father or the Duke.

 

He said it clearly.

 

“You have to teach me properly to evaluate.”

 

“…Lack of understanding, lack of patience. Do you think for me to make you do this simply because I’m just playing around and free?”

 

It sounded like a nuance, ‘Don’t tell me my son is that stupid.’

 

He seemed genuinely curious, not sarcastic.

 

Edric gritted his teeth. It was worse than a direct insult.

 

But he didn’t get as angry as he usually did. This is because he recalled Lobel’s bruised cheek and a broken knee.

 

Lobel endured so much for himself, and he couldn’t make his hard work in vain.

 

Edric spoke in a determined but calm voice.

 

“I’m here to warn you because I’m afraid you’ll run away like a coward. Don’t run away.”

 

“Don’t you know the meaning of coward? Just get the meaning of the words right before you start trying to teach me. Denian, buy my son a dictionary.”

 

“No, I know very well. People like you are cowards. You are…coward. You left my mother.”

 

The voice that had been strong the whole time trembled.

 

Edric’s mind went back to the time when he lived with his mother.

 

A wooden table with one of its four legs rotted always leans to one side. His mother used to cry and hold her breath alone in the shade created by the table.

 

Edric knew why she was crying. It was because of this man who abandoned her and never visited her.

 

His mother loved this heartless man, so she had a child, but she broke up with him for unavoidable circumstances.

 

Even young Edric knew it was a lie.

 

The villagers whispered that a man from the capital had abandoned his mother.

 

It was a small and narrow town, and it reached his ears. Even the children pointed at him, saying that he was the child abandoned by his father.

 

Edric hated the fact that his mother had been abandoned rather than he himself had been abandoned.

 

The resentment of that time came to mind, and when he shot at it with his red-bloodshot eyes, the Duke smiled fishily. 

 

“I’ve never owned your mother.”

 

“Coward to the end—”

 

Other than that, the insult to his mother was unbearable.

 

Edric trembled with anger, and he uttered strange words.

 

“On the contrary, I was foolishly deceived by the foolish woman’s lies.”

 

“My mother is not the one to fool anyone!”

 

The Duke didn’t even pretend to hear. However, the air in the room became cold for a moment.

 

Edric knew that the Duke would no longer look after him. Although he was angry and resentful, he had no choice but to keep his mouth shut. That was the best.

 

However, Edric tries to achieve his purpose of coming here by deceiving Lobel.

 

He had to get a definite answer for the last time.

 

“This time, promise me you won’t run as cowardly as you did last time.”

 

As such, Edric didn’t easily believe in the one remaining blood relationship.

 

At the very least, he would have heard of his mother, who came to the mansion to beg for his medical expenses, but he didn’t show his face in the end.

 

His green eyes were filled with distrust.

 

The Duke laughed silently at the insult for the first time in his life as if it were ridiculous.

 

“There’s nothing you can’t say to the owner of Denkart. Did you say everything?”

 

He thought he was really going to kick him out this time.

 

The inhuman boredom he felt in his tone scared Edric, but he didn’t give in.

 

Instead, he spoke in a more determined tone than before.

 

“I said everything. So give me a clear answer. I’m not going out until then.”

 

Knowing that decision, the Duke raised his eyebrows.

 

The pressure got heavier. His whole body tingled as if a sharp blade had cut it.

 

But Edric didn’t avoid his eyes or tremble.

 

“Answer me.”

 

“…Now, there is only one test left for you. Prove your worth there.”

 

That was it.

 

Crimson, who had been waiting anxiously, approached quickly and pushed the wheelchair.

 

In the empty hallway, Edric loosened his fist.

 

Blood was splattered on his sweaty palms.

 

‘…Blood.’

 

The fingernails of the clenched fist pierced the skin. He took out a handkerchief from his pocket and tried to wipe it off.

 

Perhaps his hand was trembling, and something else that was with him dropped out of his pocket as well.

 

“…Candy bags?”

 

Crimson rolled his eyes.

 

He knew what it was that fell to the ground.

 

When Lobel was busy getting ready to go out with Edric, some servant recommended it to him.

 

And Lobel didn’t just listen to it but bought it and gave it to the servant’s room.

 

He thought that he must have bought it for the Young Master as well, but something was wrong.

 

‘Why have you been carrying the bag you ate back then—?’

 

Even the clean Young Master wouldn’t have been able to carry such a thing.

 

If so, he’ll clean it up.

 

With that thought, when Crimson was about to pick it up, he shut his mouth.

 

It was because the pants the Young Master wore today were obviously new—. He had a slightly strange feeling.

 

In addition, no matter how skillful Lobel’s fingertips were, he didn’t make trash like that. That thing was stiff, folded in half. (t/n: I don’t really understand this;;)

 

Then, a thought flashed in his mind.

 

How about this—. Rather than throwing out the garbage and forgetting it, it seems like he kept it on purpose—.

 

“Hurry up and pick it up.”

 

—Is it true? 

 

Crimson was very surprised, but he didn’t show it. He picked up the bag and handed it to him.

 

Edric took it with both hands and examined it carefully.

 

Somehow, he seemed to cherish it more than crutches. Seeing this, Crimson made a strange expression.

 

He used to be able to tell Lobel and congratulate him on his successful efforts and tell him that he should take care of himself because he had gained the hearts of the aristocracy, but—. The situation was far from good at the moment.

 

Despite the Madam, this boy was a half aristocrat who never knew when he would be thrown out.

 

So, no matter how good the two of them were, he couldn’t tell if this was good or bad for Lobel.

 

Worrying about Lobel, who was not even in his place, Edric said bluntly.

 

“Go back to where Lobel is.”

 

He said he was going to the bathroom, but he came to the Duke instead—. And after all, he doesn’t go to the bathroom at all.

 

These days, he wondered if he had changed a little, but he still had a selfish personality.

 

‘Lobel, you punk. Why do you fall in love with such a boy—’

 

Crimson sighed inwardly, saying he didn’t really understand, then looked up at Edric.

 

Then, at that moment, he saw a beauty that seemed to purify his eyes brightly. Somehow he thought he’d understand.

 

Well, when he grows up, he won’t have the wild beauty of the Duke, who has the physique of a big and strong knight, but he will definitely grow up to be a pretty handsome guy.

 

‘Certainly, Lobel like his appearance.’

 

“Yes.”

 

Crimson moved while hiding his stuffy inner feelings.

 

 

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Comments (1)

  1. crimson hyung is really convinced that rovel is in love with his master. hahahahaha