Author: lipzoldyck

 

“I’m sorry, but who are you?”

 

Eleanor asked. The man pushed up his glasses and narrowed his eyes.

 

“Count Tafman. The maternal uncle of Demian and Duke Valentine.”

 

Eleanor nodded at him. He remembered Kaidel’s words that his maternal uncle would stay here.

 

“Ah, I heard it from the Duke. You’re staying at the Duke’s residence for the time being.”

 

“What about the lady?”

 

Eleanor quickly grabbed the hem of her skirt and greeted him.

 

“I’m Eleanor Everett, teaching Demian.”

 

The Count, who looked Eleanor up and down, nodded and answered.

 

“Yes, the lady was very kind and even took him home personally. It’s late, so I hope you go back carefully.”

 

Eleanor’s feelings were hurt by his strangely belittling attitude. But because he was a relative of Kaidel and Demian, Eleanor suppressed those feelings.

 

‘Huh?’

 

At that time, Demian squeezed Eleanor’s hand. His small hands were cold and trembling slightly.

 

Eleanor lowered her gaze. Demian seemed very scared for some reason.She read him as if something was out of the ordinary and stammered an answer.

 

“That… I apologize, Count. I’m thinking of staying at the Duke’s residence for a while.”

 

“What?”

 

“I have an appointment with Demian in advance. Right, Demi?”

 

Demian quickly nodded. Eleanor held his hand a little harder.

 

The Count hardened his expression and answered firmly. His energy became sharper.

 

“Unfortunately, I can’t grant that request. In order to invite guests, you must obtain permission from His Grace the Duke.”

 

Eleanor said, straightening her back and facing the Count. Normally, she would have just nodded, yet at this moment, she could never back down or give in.

 

“When the Duke is away, Demian takes over that authority. I’m Demian’s guest, and although this may be presumptuous, I don’t need the Count’s permission for this.”

 

The Count’s eyes suddenly became harsh. Instead of flinching, Eleanor strengthened her voice.

 

“And if His Grace were here, he would definitely have given permission.”

 

The Count asked, frowning at Eleanor’s words.

 

“How can you be sure of that?”

 

“That…”

 

Because Kaidel likes me.

 

However, she couldn’t bear to say that. Demian was listening, and just thinking about it made her whole body heat up.

 

Eleanor said, looking for the right words.

 

“His Grace and I are friends.”

 

Eleanor lifted her chin. In times like these, confidence was life.

 

“Friends?”

 

“He came to my birthday party and went to the ball with me. He decided to teach me horseback riding and pushed me on the swing…”

 

Eleanor went back one by one to everything that happened with Kydel. Half of the time she just said random things, but after she spoke, it seemed like they were really close friends.

 

“We are that close of friends. There’s no way you can stop me from coming.”

 

“That’s right. His Grace must have welcomed Lady Everett with great joy.”

 

But the butler, whose arrival she didn’t know when, was standing at the entrance and watching the situation approached them with strides.

 

“I’m Jonathan Rostini, butler of the Duke of Valentine. You can call me Jonathan.”

 

He smiled kindly and greeted Eleanor. When Jonathan, the Duke’s closest associate, also stepped forward, the Count had nothing left to do.

 

“In that case…”

 

The Count, who had been looking at Eleanor and Demian alternately with disapproving eyes, suddenly walked away.

 

Demian headed to his room to change his clothes, and Eleanor headed to the drawing room, escorted by Jonathan.

 

“I wasn’t planning on visiting so suddenly… I’m truly sorry.”

 

“No. You can stay as comfortably as you wish. I’m truly happy to meet you like this.”

 

While the servants prepared her room, Jonathan quickly prepared tea and light refreshments. He asked in a kind voice.

 

“Did you enjoy the play?”

 

Eleanor asked back, tilting her head.

 

“A play? Oh, you mean opera?”

 

“Few days ago… No, no.”

 

Jonathan looked a little perplexed for some reason. At that time, a maid came up and whispered something to Jonathan.

 

“No, you can’t take the lady to that room.”

 

Eleanor, who was watching the two people, asked cautiously.

 

“What’s going on?”

 

“Ah, Count Tafman and his companions are here now, so the large and clean guest room is almost completely full.”

 

“I don’t mind a small room. Or I can just sleep on the sofa in Demian’s room.”

 

Jonathan jumped at Eleanor’s words and threw up his hand.

 

“No, no. If I treat you like that, I won’t have the courage to see you.”

 

After thinking for a moment, Jonathan told the maid something. He grinned at Eleanor.

 

“We have a room ready. Let’s go together.”

 

***

 

This isn’t a room, it’s a house!

 

Eleanor’s eyes widened as she entered the room Jonathan had guided her to.

 

“You can stay as long as you want. If you need anything, pull the strings.”

 

Born as a wealthy daughter of the count, she thought she was somehow immune to splendid things. Yet the room in front of her couldn’t be described simply as splendid.

 

“Whoa…”

 

Although she wanted to pretend nothing was wrong, her jaw opened wider and wider.

 

“It’s really beautiful.”

 

“It’s the most beautiful room in the Duke’s residence.”

 

“Can I use that kind of room…?”

 

“You can use it comfortably.”

 

A dome-like ceiling, a majestic yet bright beige rug, and well-maintained plants came into view one by one. As she crossed the living room attached to the room and entered the bedroom, she saw a bed large enough for four people to lie down on.

 

“I want to go see Demian…”

 

“The maid will bring the Young Master here soon. Please have a restful night.”

 

Jonathan bowed politely, closed the door, and walked away. Eleanor, with the help of the maid, changed into comfortable clothes and threw herself on the bed.

 

Fluffy.

 

Eleanor rolled two laps to the left and two to the right, thrilled by the perfect cushion. The emotion she felt when she lay down on the hotel bed for the first time in her previous life filled her.

 

“If I spend my whole life rolling around here, I won’t have any more wishes…”

 

Eleanor took a deep breath, burying her face in her cloud-white, fluffy pillow.

 

Then she heard a knock on the door.

 

“Come in.”

 

When Eleanor answered, the door creaked open.

 

“Demi.”

 

Demian changed into the pajamas and entered the room hesitantly. Eleanor raised her body.

 

“Shall we sit down and talk?”

 

He nodded at her words. The two sat across from each other at the tea table next to the bed.

 

“Do you think you’re ready to talk?”

 

“…Yes.”

 

“If it’s hard, no need to rush.”

 

Demian, who had been staring at the vase on the table for a while, opened his mouth.

 

“The Count doesn’t like me.”

 

“Why?”

 

Eleanor asked cautiously.

 

“I…”

 

Demian bit his lip for a long time, unable to continue. Eleanor quietly waited for him.

 

How long has it been like that? Demian whispered in a voice, barely audible.

 

“Because I’m not like my brother.”

 

Eleanor’s eyes widened slightly.

 

“And…”

 

Tears began to well up in Demian’s big eyes.

 

One by one, Demian brought out the words he had heard from several of the vassals, including his maternal uncle. The things he had been pressing down in his small, dry chest poured out endlessly.

 

At some point, thick tears began to fall from Eleanor’s eyes.

 

Her heart ached even more when she saw that he was calm and dignified for his age. It would have been better if he had been rude and pampered.

 

“Come to Teacher.”

 

Eleanor lifted Demian up, sat him down on her legs, and hugged his head tightly. As she gently stroked his back, his body trembled.

 

Demian, who was unable to make a sound and only let his tears fall, began to whimper from between his lips.

 

“It’s okay to cry out loud, Demi.”

 

Eleanor held Demian tightly and whispered constantly.

 

It’s okay. Everything will be okay now.

 

Demian stretched out his arms and hugged Eleanor tightly.

 

“Baby.”

 

As the crying subsided little by little, Eleanor gently wiped Demian’s wet cheek.

 

“What do you want Teacher to do?”

 

Demian wordlessly gave a little more strength to his arm holding Eleanor.

 

“Do you want to sleep in this room today?”

 

He nodded when Eleanor whispered.

 

“Shall we look around the garden and study together tomorrow?”

 

“…Yes.”

 

“I think it would be fine for you to stay at the Count’s residence until your brother comes.”

 

Demian nodded his head again.

 

“Alright, let’s do that.”

 

Eleanor stroked Demian’s head and smiled. He asked, sniffling.

 

“Are you going to, hicc, tell Brother?”

 

Eleanor read the worry and hesitation in Demian’s eyes.

 

“Demi, Kaidel likes you. As much as you care for and like your brother, so does Kaidel.”

 

Demian blinked slowly with an ambiguous expression.

 

“Don’t you believe it?”

 

“It’s… not that I don’t believe it.”

 

Eleanor shrugged her shoulders slightly.

 

“Of course, Kaidel is blunt. When he’s not smiling, he looks a bit cold. His voice is low, and his eyebrows are so sharp… This is something we only say between ourselves, alright?”

 

Demian’s lips twitched at the words Eleanor urgently added.

 

“But if you get to know him, he’s a really good person. You need to learn how to express yourself a little more.”

 

Because there are some things that won’t be conveyed if you don’t say them

 

Eleanor made eye contact with Demian. She spoke in her characteristic calm tone.

 

“I won’t tell him if you don’t like it, Demian. There is no one who cares about you and will do anything to protect you as much as Kaidel.”

 

An image of Kaidel quietly watching Demian from behind appeared in Eleanor’s mind.

 

Her heart was sad. Even though they care and worry about each other so much, they’re the only ones who don’t know it.

 

“…He’s going to worry.”

 

Demian muttered helplessly. Eleanor cupped his cheek with both hands and looked into his eyes.

 

“Demi, even so, Kaidel always worries about you. He wondered if you were hurt or if something upsetting happened outside.”

 

Demian blinked his big eyes a couple of times. Eleanor continued her words in a low but clear voice.

 

“And that’s not a bad thing. After loving someone, scary thoughts always follow. Demi gets worried too when your brother goes away or doesn’t come back on time, right?”

 

Demian gave her a slight nod. Eleanor smiled brightly.

 

“Kaidel loves you, Demian.”

 

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Comments (1)

  1. Poor baby 🥺💔 can’t wait to see this resolved soon!