Reinhardt, who narrowed his eyes, glanced down at his hand that had become a lump of ice, and soon snapped his other finger.
Crack. The ice broke and soon turned into a powder that scattered on the floor.
Carlon Delphine’s eyes widened.
Reinhardt’s eyes sparkled and smiled soon after.
“So you’re an alchemist. A fairly high level one too. Of course, still not as good as Master.”
“You’re also an alchemist, your grace?”
“Yes, as you can see.”
“I thought you’re just a supporter…”
Carlon Delphine’s fairly cold eyes stayed on Reinhardt. He then opened his mouth while in that state.
“It’s impossible for a non-alchemist to be the head of an Alchemist Association. Of course, it’s a secret that is not known outside, so can I ask for your cooperation?”
Valletta nodded at Carlon Delphine’s soft voice.
“I see. I was wondering where my Master was hiding, but to think that she was hiding beneath a giant rat’s feet.”
“Your choice of words are too vulgar.”
Looking at Carlon Delphine who opened his mouth in displeasure, Reinhardt lightly got off the bed.
He glanced at Valletta and saw her let out a sigh.
“Where did Master get the ability to collect interesting things like this?”
“I want to wash up, can you go out?”
Valletta lightly pointed at the window. He goes in and out of the window every time, so she doesn’t even ask him to get out through the door.
When Reinhardt burst into laughter, the faces of the servants nearly turned red.
“It’s been a long time, so I wanted to have a meal with Master.”
“Get permission from the house owner.”
“… How cold-hearted, Master.”
Still, he obediently nodded his head. Reinhardt smiled and looked at Carlon Delphine.
“You can wash up slowly. I will be waiting for you.”
“Yes”, she replied.
Carlon Delphine’s words directed to Valletta were certainly gentler. Reinhardt’s eyes narrowed.
The two people and the servants eventually closed the door and left the room.
Reinhardt, who had stepped away from Valletta’s room, stopped.
“Is there any reason why I can’t join the meal?”
“No rude person can sit at my table.”
Reinhardt frowned at Carlon Delphine’s decisive rejection.
Reinhardt shrugged, let out a low sigh and grabbed Carlon Delphine’s neck.
“How can you say something that hurtful, I don’t remember doing anything rude. On the contrary, I’m treating you quite humanely.”
“If you call this treatment humane, I recommend you re-learn common sense.”
“It’s easy for me to manipulate your mind and make you obey me.”
“Then do it.”
Reinhardt’s expression became strange at Carlon Delphine’s words. He didn’t seem to be afraid.
Reinhardt wondered if he was hiding a trump card, but he couldn’t feel any special energy.
“I mean, only unusual people similar to my Master gather around her all the time.”
They were not as much as her, but they would be peculiar and unique.
Reinhardt was very displeased with these tiny insects gathering around Valletta, but he did not dare touch them.
Perhaps Valletta did not open her heart to other people, so even if they die in front of her eyes she won’t even blink.
It was also true that it was not easy to take care of her since he has personally seen her kill her own heart.
‘I hate being treated the same level as that pig.’
Reinhardt lowered his hand after contemplating.
“Okay, what should I do to be able to sit at that honorable table? Would kneeling down while bowing my head be enough?”
Carlon Delphine’s brows furrowed at Reinhardt’s words.
If he said yes, he would likely get down on his knees as soon as possible. The man in front of him was like that, and so was Valletta.
They have become accustomed to this.
They don’t know the other way. That they don’t need to lower their head, they just need to ask.
“You can just ask, ‘Can we have a meal together?’”
“… While on my knees?”
Reinhardt pointed at the floor with his long finger, showing that he didn’t understand.
“Just ask while you’re standing like that.”
His expression eventually turned strange. He couldn’t seem to understand.
Reinhardt, who had been silent for a while with a look of bewilderment, drew a huge circle in the air and pulled something out.
“Let me have a meal with Master.”
“… What is this?”
“Meal payment? It’s a high quality alchemy stone. If you’re also an alchemist, don’t you need something like this?”
Reinhardt’s mana stone was larger than his fist. At that quality, it was clear that magicians as well as alchemists would want to covet it. It’s price would be decided by the seller.
“You can join us, but I don’t need something like that, so put it back.”
“… Why? Isn’t this expensive by your standard?”
“It’s because putting another cutlery on the table is not worth that much.”
Carlon Delphine sighed.
Reinhardt watched him vacantly as he turned his body around. A deep frown formed at Reinhardt’s forehead.
“What an incomprehensible human.”
“Also, don’t come into Valletta’s room arbitrarily.”
“If a grown man and woman sleep and wake up on the same bed, no one would think of it as a good thing. There would be some nasty news about her.”
Reinardt just shrugged at Carlon Delphine’s nagging remarks.
He didn’t want to listen but he had to. They were pointless words.
Reinhardt walked slowly towards the dining room.
Then he crossed his arms and leaned back into his chair as he watched the meal being prepared.
He didn’t dare open his mouth or argue with the other people. It was because he felt strangely cozy seeing the sunlight seeping through the wide window glass.
“What kind of relationship do you and that child have?”
“Child? That’s a fun nickname. What kind of relationship… I don’t know how to define it, and I’ve given up a long time ago so I don’t know.”
Reinhardt sluggishly shrugged his shoulders.
Instead of defining their relationship, he decided to keep the only person who gave him emotions and color besides slaughter.
“You gave up?”
“Yes, if I had to define it… she is someone you certainly could not handle. Master is just as broken and estranged as me.”
Reinhardt serenely smiled.
It was a smile that did not show any hint of darkness, but it wasn’t difficult for Carlon Delphine to see that he was deep-black inside.
“I’m the only one who can fully accept and handle Valletta. So whether it’s foolish pity, or petty sympathy… If you’re going to give up, I want you to give up immediately.”
Carlon Delphine swallowed his breath at the hostility and deep possessiveness that he felt from the sweetly smiling Reinhardt. His hostility was beyond his imagination.
The confrontation did not last long and ended when the dining room’s door opened.
Reinhardt’s ears perked up and he naturally turned his head. A smile crept into his expressionless face in an instant.
Carlon Delphine glanced at it vacantly.
“Master, should I dry you?”
Valletta, who lightly refused his offer, sat down at the empty table.
Although Reinhardt shook his head with an exaggerated expression of regret, he did not dare to add another word.
“How did you know that this child is in my mansion?”
At Carlon Delphine’s question, Reinhardt slowly turned his gaze towards him.
Then feeling Valletta’s gaze at him, he cut off what he was wearing around his neck, grabbed it and shook it.
A terrifyingly bright red necklace soaked in blood, dangled on the string in his hand.
Flinch, Valletta’s shoulder’s trembled slightly. The pain she felt at that time seemed to come back again.
The vivid pain was so terrible that she didn’t even want to think about it again.
“Don’t be afraid, Master. It’s obviously a tool to bind you but… at the same it’s a tool used to protect you.”
Reinhardt said, putting the necklace back onto his neck again.
Valletta’s trembling gaze turned to him.
“What do you mean?”
“It literally means what it means. Wherever Master is, or when you get kidnapped, I will know your location and whether you’re still alive or not.”
Valletta looked at him with disbelief, but Reinhardt just shrugged his shoulders and didn’t explain in detail.
Carlon Delphine had a peculiar expression as he noticed the strange atmosphere between the two.
“Of course, forced summoning is possible.”
It sounded like he was keeping it as insurance.
If he had that in his hand, she wouldn’t be completely free, but at the same time, she wouldn’t be in danger. That was how Reinhardt explained it
“I’m really grateful.”
Valletta, who was lost for words at the delighted Reinhardt, shut her mouth.
Okay, she doesn’t have anything to say.
Rather, it was Valletta who had a headache dealing with this hateful man.
Valletta neatly abandoned the conversation.
“Master, isn’t this the first we’re eating together like this?”
“… Yes, not long ago you would eat in your room.”
“To be exact, I’m trying to eat like that but a dim-witted person said something.”
Valletta raised her head, propped up her chin and blankly looked at Reinhardt.
She looked at him without saying a word and turned her head. To be honest, she had never had a proper meal like this.
“Master, why do you think I didn’t catch you immediately when you ran away?”
“Are you going to keep talking?”
Valletta said as she put down the dishes.
“If you answer me, I will eat quietly.”
Reinhardt, who was sitting across from her, smiled. His tender smile seemed very sweet.
Carlon Delphine watched this bizarre confrontation.
Seeing the two twisted children who failed to grow up in time, as an adult, he felt the obligation to guide them onto the right path.
One side tried to bind the other with unhindered cruelty and obsession, while the other side would cut ties without any hesitation if given a chance without giving her heart.
“You must’ve thought that you should give me an illusionary freedom.”
“… How come?”
Reinhardt’s smile disappeared.
Only after the fake expression on his face disappeared did Valletta feel at ease.
It was ironic that a person who would be uncomfortable whenever she saw him smiling, would relax the moment his smile disappears.
“You took pity on me, who was still caught in the shadows even though I’ve escaped the cage.”
“It was the first freedom given to us.”
The more Carlon Delphine listened to their conversation, the more it seems like they were both twisted and broken inside for a long time.
A soft smile she had never seen before appeared on Reinhardt’s lips. Valletta, who was holding her breath, absent-mindedly watched him and slowly fixed her expression.
“Could you stop treating it like we were on the same boat? You didn’t leave even though I told you to go.”
“I’ve said it earlier. I would be forcibly summoned anyway. The binding magic had that power, Master.”
Valletta did not respond to Reinhardt’s words.
She just mechanically shoved the food in front of her into her mouth.
As promised, Reinhardt did not bother her anymore, and Carlon Delphine started to move his tableware again.
It was quiet meal time after a commotion.
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