Thanks to Thea for the kofi!
However, at this moment, Martha’s figure was nothing more than that of a frightened middle-aged maid.
It was understandable because her opponent was him.
Aside from being 195 centimeters tall and 60 centimeters wide, even the duke would be overwhelmed by him.
“What’s going on?”
Martha, who was bowing her head, slightly raised her head and looked at Ellenia.
Eyes that seemed to be begging for help.
On the other hand, Izek did not turn towards his sister.
His outline in the cool morning air was chilling.
Unexpected cynicism flashed in his sharp eyes.
“Will you say it yourself?”
Martha flinched at his smooth and insensitive voice.
Ellenia just wrinkled her forehead.
She didn’t have a good feeling.
Her older brother was rude enough to compare to Sir Ivan.
As such, it was rather normal for him to show his anger.
It was scary for him to be soft-toned like this.
“I’m sorry, miss. This humble maid doesn’t know her place…….”
Was this also related to Rudbeckia?
She felt it was obvious, but she found herself stopping before judging further.
“What did you do to Ruby?”
“I was just worried, since madam doesn’t know much about the situation here yet. It may seem presumptuous, but now that she’s the mistress of Omerta Castle…….”
Martha, who hesitated and trailed off, straightened her shoulders to look straight at Ellenia.
An attitude where she somehow suddenly regained confidence.
At this unexpected change, Ellenia was unknowingly about to hold Izek’s wrist.
“……I told her that it would be better to gradually reduce her bad habits because there are a lot of eyes on her. She got angry and slapped me.”
Looking at Martha, who had an apologetic look on her face, Ellenia felt her headache stirring up again.
This was an unexpected bomb.
In addition, a slap from someone who had a temperament like Rudbeckia, was far worse from pouring tea.
But this incident happened right after yesterday.
“I’m sorry, miss. Because I forgot my place and went out of my way…….”
Martha, who immediately knelt on the floor and bowed her head, looked truly sheepish and sorry.
Nevertheless, Ellenia was unexpectedly recalling the fact that Martha lied to her even the other day.
The story of the small commotion that took place on Izek’s birthday banquet.
At that time, Martha gently admitted to her wrongdoing and after giving her a hard time, Ellenia forgave Martha.
It was inevitable that not only Martha but also most of the servants did not like the new madam.
She thought time would solve this.
This was after the chaos of her escape, so she felt it was normal.
She assumed that such a frivolous thing would not happen again.
That was why she told Martha about Rudbeckia’s secret and what she had in common with her dead mother.
It was okay to have compassion, so she hoped the two would get along well.
Ellenia had sincerely hoped that her nanny and Ruby would get along well.
Was it an innocent wish?
Since yesterday, the sense of incompatibility, which had been weighing on a corner of her mind all day, had been growing.
What is the unpleasant sense of incompatibility that seems to be caught in this trap?
“This is unexpected”.
Izek, who was silently staring at Martha, turned to Ellenia and opened his mouth slowly.
He seemed to have seen the suspicious atmosphere between the two women.
“I was expecting nonsense, but this looks planned.”
This was embarrassing.
Ellenia was not familiar with being in such an awkward and embarrassing position.
She herself felt conflicted. She didn’t mean for this to happen.
“What I said hastily…”
“You can’t make such mistakes hastily, so wasn’t that slap well-deserved?”
“More than anything, she’s sleeping soundly for the first time in a while, and I don’t want to wake her up to ask such a question. I don’t want to ruin her sleep.”
He must be in a bad mood.
Izek was like a wild horse running wild without knowing the end when it comes to Rudbeckia.
Above all, it was Ellenia’s side that would suffer shame if Izek asked Rudbeckia directly.
Martha was supposed to keep it a secret. How did it get so twisted?
She couldn’t blame Martha for it was Ellenia herself who told Martha about it in the first place. In addition, there were other problems.
Even if she told the truth, how would Izek accept it?
Ellenia had been as difficult to adapt to the recent changes in her brother as her father, but she did not want her relationship with Rudbeckia to deteriorate.
Whatever the reason was, this was the case.
It was still difficult for even herself to fully understand the reason.
In order to properly discuss this issue, she had to talk about her mother.
Was that really a wise move?
“First of all, let’s move…”
“Why? I like it here. Don’t you already know that?”
It was unfamiliar for Ellenia to be on the receiving side of his violent words.
Ellenia stopped biting her lip.
The butler and the guards, who knew nothing, just looked at her with a dazed face.
“……Don’t get me wrong. It’s something I promised to keep a secret for Ruby. Do you think you can talk about it in front of these people?”
“That’s funny. I thought you already did that.”
“That’s… What do you think of me? You’re not always this sarcastic to Ruby, are you?”
She snapped and recklessly pulled his long arm.
Fortunately, Izek was no longer acting like a jerk and followed her.
* * *
“She throws up after eating?”
“If she has no choice but to eat it. If I or you didn’t hold on and force her to eat, she wouldn’t have eaten at all. But it’s gotten a lot better these days.”
“Are you saying that she doesn’t have an appetite because she’s depressed or that she doesn’t feel well?”
“Yes, I think it’s a mental problem. There are times when she stops and explodes once in a while, but normally…….”
“You sound like a professional. Is it all thanks to mother?”
Ellenia closed her mouth for a moment and stared at Izek.
Contrary to her concerns, Izek was surprisingly responding with a quite calm face.
“That’s what it is. At that time, mother…… she was acting unusual, if you remember.”
“I saw everything. It was obvious that mother was getting thinner. I thought it was just because of depression.”
“That’s right, depression is a cause. But there was much more to it… Who would have guessed that she would refuse to eat?”
“You said you knew from the beginning.”
“I did, mother stayed with me all day, so she didn’t try to hide it from me. I don’t know why.”
“Father. Did he know?”
“How can I know what Father knows and what he doesn’t know? He didn’t get along well with mother back then, so he barely saw her face.… Even if they had a good relationship, I understand that if she had to hide it with all her heart, she would never have told her husband, just like now.”
“Ha, that’s no excuse.”
Izek, who muttered this, crossed his arms and leaned against the sofa.
Red jade-like eyes sank.
Ellenia glanced at the figure and added slowly.
“It’s not that it’s your fault. Ruby was in that state even before she met you. If it wasn’t for Mother, I wouldn’t have known at all, I would have thought she was just a little picky.”
“Are you sure?”
“Mother grew thin slowly. I think Ruby’s been like this for a very long time.”
“What do you mean by stop and explode?”
No matter how strong the hunger was suppressed, human appetite directly connected to the survival instinct, this was the law.
At that time, even after spending nearly a week fasting all day, her mother would suddenly go to the restaurant late on weekends to finish the full course of dinner for two.
When Ellenia told the story, Izek looked completely shocked.
“And throw up again? That would be so frustrating.….”
“I was really going crazy seeing it. I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you. She told me that she would die if I let Brother or Father know, so I kept hiding it until now…….”
“That’s why you kept hiding it, but eventually she passed away. How old were you then?”
At that tone, Ellenia smiled faintly.
She was nine years old then.
Izek, who was the first to find his mother hanging from a willow branch, was thirteen.
“I didn’t see that, thanks to Brother covering it. If you want to talk about a share of traumatising incidents.”
There was silence.
The siblings sat silently for a very long time while the outside scenery became brighter.
While Izek stared at frescoes covered over the pillar with a lost face, Ellenia tried to suppress her nervousness.
“So that’s why she didn’t gain weight.….”
“Don’t say anything to Ruby. This doesn’t solve it, but this was meant to be a secret. I don’t want to be hated by her.”
He turned his head slowly and stared at her for a long time with eyes that seemed to be possessed by something.
Then finally, when he spoke, it was this;
“Just because you’re close, do you get to talk like this with each other?”
“Are you jealous?”
“A little. And if it was a secret, how come the maid knew?”
“That’s… I admit it was silly. I just wanted Ruby to have friends because of what happened last time. Martha knew about mother’s illness.”