Chapter 11

 

Thank you kuroneko_chan for the kofi~!

 

***

 

“I’ve been doing this over and over again for 20 years now.”

 

“No, that…”

 

The baron, who did not sweat even when surrounded by people, sweated profusely at the question of his daughter. Honestly, the baron loved his second daughter the most, but she was also the most difficult one.

 

The first reason was that she had an unbelievably pretty face, the second reason was that she sometimes seemed smarter than he was, and the third was that she would change her attitude, like now.

 

“I really can’t take it.”

 

“You have to understand somehow.”

 

Seeing his second daughter sighing and getting irritated, the Baron was stupefied.

 

“That’s why I’m asking, how long do I have to understand?”

 

“She’s your sister, what can we do?”

 

“Who asked you to give birth to that kind of sister? If you give birth to her, father and mother should be responsible for her. Why are you also making me suffer this much?”

 

Sweat welled up on the baron’s forehead once more at Ariadne’s sharp words.

 

“I’m already twenty years old. Yet there hasn’t been a single marriage proposal from a family that came.  Even the ugly Pia from neighboring territory received a marriage proposal. She’s only eighteen years old and I’m twenty years old! Even though I’m much prettier!”

 

“T-that…”

 

Baron swallowed his words of ‘Isn’t Pia a Count’s honorable daughter?’. If he said such words, Ariadne would be annoyed and ask why her father remained as a Baron.

 

If you are a man, have you ever been rebuked once or twice  for being ambitious, expanding your territory or entering the capital city or doing something.

 

Other people said that he should endure being henpecked by his wife, so the Baron always had to rip-off her daughter’s many ambitions.

 

“I-isn’t that why you should serve His Highness. If you could capture the Crown Prince’s heart, then what’s the big deal with a marriage proposal?”

 

“Ah! That’s right. I was looking for Father for that matter.”

 

Talking about the Crown Prince, Ariadne’s face quickly turned red.

 

“The Crown Prince’s attendant is looking for you, Father.”

 

“Attendant?”

 

“He said he has something to say to you.”

 

That annoyed expression from before quickly disappeared, and Ariadne was already smiling brightly.

 

“That’s why I was looking for you, so when I saw you being caught by them, I was frustrated.”

 

“Is that why you…”

 

“What?”

 

“When you bowed your head earlier.”

 

“Obviously. Otherwise, what do I have to bow my head for? It’s because I have to get them out quickly and go meet the attendant. And now my eyes sting because I poked my eyes to make them cry while I was lowering my head.”

 

Her bright smile turned to irritation again.

 

“Go quickly. No, let’s go together. I also need to hear what you’ll talk about.”

 

“A-alright.”

 

The baron thought as he hurriedly took a step at Ariadne’s urging. She’s his daughter, but she’s a scary woman.

 

***

 

“So you’re saying you want to continue staying in the mansion longer?”

 

“No.”

 

At Suli’s denial in a single stroke, the Baron, the Baroness and Ariadne’s expression instantly turned pale.

 

“Have you forgotten whose words I’m conveying? It’s the Empire’s Crown Prince’s words. It’s not ‘I want to stay,’, but ‘I need to stay,’ is what he said.”

 

When Suli finished speaking, the three’s expressions brightened. The suffix doesn’t matter. The bottom line was that the Crown Prince would stay longer.

 

“D-did he say the reason why he’s staying longer?”

 

“No. He did not say why…”

 

Suli slightly lengthened his words and pretended to look outside.

 

“Don’t worry and just tell us. The surrounding area is already sated.”

 

“Still, it’s the Crown Prince’s private life.”

 

Suri’s slightly smiling face showed a sly secret plan. And it was Ariadne who caught it quickly.

 

“Of course, the privacy of His highness the Crown Prince is important.”

 

She slowly opened the drawer. Didn’t she deliberately tell the attendant to wait in the baron’s study room instead of the drawing room, in case something like this might happen?

 

With her slightly smiling face, Ariadne pulled out a hundred shillings and slid it out in front of Suli.

 

“But for us, who would be serving the Crown Prince for the time being. If we know the Crown Prince’s intention, I think it will be easier to serve him.”

 

Suli looked at the money with a subtle expression that neither showed whether he liked or disliked it.

 

“This is purely because of your sincerity to look after the Crown Prince more closely. Of course, the attendant must do the same, right?”

 

“Yes. That’s right. For us, his convenience comes first and foremost.”

 

Suli’s hand slowly climbed up to the table and covered the money. Then Suli and Ariadne looked at each other and smiled.

 

“Perhaps the reason why the Crown Prince wants to stay here longer is because of a woman.”

 

“Oh my~ I see.”

 

A bright smile bloomed on Ariadne’s face as she slowly shook her head.

 

“I-is that true?”

 

The surprised Baron leaned forward and asked Suli.

 

They did invite the Crown Prince because Ariadne begged him to. He didn’t know that the Crown Prince would really come, and that Ariadne would be liked by the Crown Prince.

 

“He didn’t say it directly, but that’s what I have sensed; since I’ve been serving him for a long time.”

 

All of a sudden, the money on the table went into Suli’s pocket like magic.

 

“T-t-that, in what sense, what does that precisely mean?”

 

“Oy my, Father. Would’t that be too impolite?”

 

Saying that, Ariadne kept her sparkling eyes fixed on Suli, as if she wanted to hear concrete evidence.

 

“To be precise, the Crown Prince seemed to be trying to give something to that woman.”

 

At those words, the mouths of the baron, his wife, and Ariadne, opened at the same time. And at the same time, they laughed out loud.

 

“I see. That is very precise. Thank you very much.”

 

“Don’t mention it. Since the Baron is telling me that there would be no shortage of service to the Crown Prince.”

 

“Of course I would.”

 

“Ah, then, do you have anything to say about what you want or need for dinner tonight?”

 

The Baronin asked the attendant if she was trying to fulfill the duties of the hostess.

 

(E/N: Wife of Baron is called Baronin)

 

“The Crown Prince has an appointment this evening.”

 

“Appointment? With whom?”

 

“That’s really the Crown Prince’s private life.”

 

Suli smiled, slightly embarrassed, as if this was a secret.

 

***

 

The Crown Prince, at that moment, was not enjoying his appointment.

 

It was good that he forced her to offer a dinner invitation in exchange for the candles. The reason why he said steak when he was asked what he would like was because he thought it was a dish that just needs to be grilled.

 

He thought, if it was just that the woman, who made a garbage soup, would do just fine.

 

But the one on his plate was pieces of mushrooms suitable for garnish.

 

“What is this?’

 

“…”

 

Layla couldn’t open her mouth easily, probably because she was stabbed by Bioust’s words.

 

“Ah, is this perhaps the starter?”

 

“Sure. This is the entire thing.”

 

Thinking that the point was somehow subtle, Bioust narrowed his eyes. He glanced into the kitchen, but there was no sign of anything more coming out.

 

“You mean that the steak is coming out next?”

 

“What are you saying? I already said this is the entire thing.”

 

Layla , who is now speaking informally, said almost in tears when Bioust didn’t seem to understand what she was saying.

 

“Aah- the entire thing.”

 

Bioust looked down at his plate once more. It was just grilled mushrooms. And there was nothing but bountiful green plants between him and Layla.

 

“Didn’t I say I wanted to eat steak?”

 

“It’s a mushroom steak.”

 

“I like meat better than mushrooms.”

 

“Then, you shouldn’t have eaten here and asked your chef at your house to do that for you. This is my cabin, and I’m the chef in this cabin.”

 

“But I gave money to that chef yesterday. To buy meat for a steak.”

 

There was that.

 

It was Bioust who dissuaded Layla to pay for the candles. Because money was not very important to Bioust.

 

Instead, what he wanted in exchange for the candles was an invitation for dinner. Besides, didn’t he give her a hundred shilling as payment for cooking?

 

Even so, dinner was disappointing. If Suli were to see Bioust eating something like this, he would have certainly faint.

 

“T-tha… I’ll give it back.”

 

Layla tried to get up, as if she would return the money right away.

 

“No, I didn’t mean for you to return it. I’m just, uhm…”

 

Bioust was choosing his words carefully.

 

How he could corner Layla,  make her think how dull her cabin was, and what to say to make her realize more specifically that her life was like hell,so she should follow him.

 

“I was just wondering why you didn’t go to the market. Have you been busy with anything?”

 

Biost asked as if it wasn’t a big deal. Of course he already knew the answer.

 

“T-that…”

 

And that Layla wouldn’t be able to answer properly.

 

“Are you too busy to go to the market?”

 

Biost asked again, poking a mushroom with a fork without cutting it and putting it in his mouth. It was grilled mushrooms, nothing special. To put it bluntly, they were thick and bland mushrooms.

 

“I can’t go to the market.”

 

“How come?”

 

While Bioust chewed his mushroom, Layla had her nail on her mouth. With a snapping sound, her nails brushed past her teeth. And once again, her fingernails and fingers went into her mouth.

 

A feeling of embarrassment crossed Layla’s face, and a smile crept up and then disappeared from Bioust’s lips.

 

“I…”

 

(E/N: So I found out that the wife of a Baron is a Baronin and his daughter is a Baroness. I have also found that for a Count/Earl, his wife is Countess and daughter is Komtesse.( all these informations were obtained from wikipedia)

 

***

 

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