Chapter 9. I Will Take Responsibility (2)

 

 

The next day, in the morning.

“Lady?”

Trisha, who changed the flowers in the vase, tapped the front of Elusiana, who was staring blankly.

“Hu, huh?”

“What are you thinking about so deeply?”

Elusiana blinked her blank eyes and sighed deeply.

“About Astein.”

“Ah! Right! Lady, what did you say to him yesterday?”

“Huh?”

Elusiana made a puzzled expression at Trisha’s question, when she asked, curious. The eyes of Trisha, who sat across from her, were twinkling.

“Elli shed tears as he emptied the food he hadn’t even touched before. He will be alive from now on.”

“Oh, really?”

“Yes. I was worried about how to get rid of the dead body… Ah! I-It’s not like that, but anyway, everyone seems relieved that he ate well.”

Elusiana nodded her head slowly. That brat seemed to get himself together.

‘I was a little worried. That’s a relief.’

Elusiana had a subtle smile on her face.

“Do you like it that much?”

“Uh, yes?

‘What?’

Elusiana looked at Trisha with an incomprehensible face. Then Trisha looked at her pitifully.

“Don’t worry too much, Lady. If you have a deep affection for a child who will leave soon… It will only be hard for you.”

“What do you mean by deep affection? How much have you seen to think like that?”

Elusiana, who had pouted her lips, suddenly raised her head.

“But about leaving soon? Who?”

“Uh, didn’t you know?”

“What?”

Elusiana narrowed her eyes and straightened her body, sensing something strange.

“Viscount called that boy. He seemed to have decided on the treatment for that boy.”

“Father called for Astein? W-When?”

“A little while ago.”

“No! Why are you saying that now?”

Elusiana jumped up from her seat and rushed to the door.

“Lady, where are you going?”

“To my father!”

Elusiana slammed  the door open, lifted her dress, and ran straight ahead. Trisha, stared blankly at the back of her running in a hurry, shouted belatedly, “Lady! If you run like that, you will get hurt. Please! Be careful! Lady! Lady!”

However, Elusiana had already skipped two or three stairs and disappeared into the hallway on the second floor.

Trisha murmured as she sighed, “She has been really weird since she got sick.”

She was a lady who always kept her dignity. But since she had been seriously ill, her way of speaking, her behavior, her taste, and her preference for fashion were all changed. As if her soul was changed. But Trisha didn’t hate it. No, she was cuter and more lovely being like that.

“Just grow up healthy, young lady.”

A soft smile formed on Trisha’s lips as she tidied up the messy chair.

 

* * *

 

“Gasp, gasp, you idiot.”

Elusiana hit her head several times while she was running. Yesterday, what did she promise when she met Astein?

 

“I’ll take responsibility for you.”

 

She completely forgot to ask Simon for his consent on the subject of her cheesy words.

“Stupid fool.”

Elusiana gasped as she stared at Simon’s office door at the end of the hallway.

‘No matter what kind of house this is, there seems to be no end!’

But she couldn’t slow down her run. She had to get a definite answer before Simon met Astein. She couldn’t lose the vain trust that she had barely built.

 

* * *

 

“Sit there.”

At Simon’s polite treatment, Astein looked at him for a moment.

A handsome middle-aged man with gently drooping eyes and a likable type, seemed to have a gentle personality, as rumored.

Astein relaxed a little as he sat down on the sofa where Simon gestured.

“Butler, bring some tea please.”

“Yes, my Lord.”

As the butler went out to prepare the tea, Simon began to talk about the routine.

“I heard that your wounds have recovered a lot. Are you okay?”

“Yes.”

“You started eating again, right? Does the food suit your taste?”

“Yes.”

“I heard that you’re quite close with my daughter. Did she bother you?”

“No.”

Simon paused for a moment at Astein’s calm reply. Just in time, the butler who went to prepare the tea came back. The butler, who had set the tea down in front of them, backed away. Simon took a sip of his tea and spoke up.

“I asked you to come here today to decide on your treatment.”

“…”

“So I investigated you separately.”

At that moment, Astein’s red eyes glimmered.

“Don’t feel too bad about it. I couldn’t help it because I wanted to protect my precious things.”

“…”

“Since you also said you have a hazy memory, I thought it would be helpful if I could find something.”

“So, did you find it?”

Simon shook his head.

“No, no matter how much I investigated, I couldn’t find anything.”

“…I see.”

“Is there still nothing that comes to mind?”

Astein quietly lowered his gaze.

He was running away from Grand Duchy Sestain suddenly at dawn. He remembered the words his older brother had whispered in his ear.

 

“Useless brat.”

“That infinite regeneration! I should have had that special power. If that was the case, I would have been the one to fulfill this family’s long-cherished wish.”

“I think this will be your last meal, Aster.”

“If you want to live, try your best. I’m a little curious about how good your luck is. Pfft. Hahaha!”

 

But when Astain looked up again, his face sank calmly as if he knew nothing.

“Yes.”

“As expected.”

A deep wrinkle formed between Simon’s brows. But then he smiled lightly and continued, “Then let’s do this.”

“…?”

“What do you think about staying here?”

Astein looked at Simon with incomprehensible eyes. Simon’s eyes, like transparent glass beads, shimmered and did favors. It was such a pure favor for a suspicious person.

‘Is that real or fake?’

“I don’t know if it’s too much, but that’s what I think. I want you to stay here at least until your memories return.”

Astein pondered for a moment. As Simon said, he had nowhere else to go except here. Wasn’t that why he even skipped meals to buy time in the first place?

‘If I want to hide, there’s nothing I can’t hide, but I still don’t have the confidence that I won’t get caught by them.’

However, he didn’t like this kind of unconditional favor.

“Is there anything you want from me?”

“What can I ask for? Just be as good as you’re now.”

“…I will do so.”

It was then. There were urgent knocks on the office door.

 

* * *

 

Knock, knock, knock.

“Father! Father!”

“Huh? Lusi?”

When the butler opened the office door, Elusiana, who was out of breath, rushed inside.

“What’s the matter, Lusi? Did you run here?”

“Gasp. Father. It’s-”

Elusiana, who ran straight for Simon, suddenly stopped. Her creaking head slowly turned to the side and faced Astein, who was sitting on the sofa.

“A-Astein? You… why,”

Are you already here?

Elusiana’s face became contemplative as she swallowed back her words.

“You’re just in time, Lusi. I have something to tell you.”

Simon smiled benevolently as he put her on the sofa, standing at a distance. Elusiana’s mind went blank, and she couldn’t think of anything.

‘I ran here for nothing.’

Looking at the situation, it seemed the whole story had already ended. What was more disturbing was that she couldn’t read anything from Astein’s expressionless face.

‘What happened? What did my father say? Don’t tell me, did he tell Astein to leave?’

You couldn’t do that.

Simon smiled happily at Elusiana’s nervous look.

“You must have come because of Astein.”

“…Yes. N-No?”

Elusiana replied with a blank face. Then Simon smiled softly and swept her hair.

“Don’t worry. Since we’re going to be together from today.”

“…what?”

“I hope that you can be a good friend.”

“F-Friend? Who?”

‘Is it Astein?’

‘Rather than being a friend, I wanted to be a supporter, a reliable backing, or at least prevent him from being pushed helplessly by the absurdity of the heavenly punishment… No, we weren’t friends anyway!’

Simon continued as if he hadn’t noticed the dumbfounded Elusiana.

“It was always on my mind. After you got better, I didn’t give you a chance to make friends.”

“That’s something I agreed with.”

In fact, it was right to do so in advance as she was afraid to get caught being possessed. For some reason, Simon seemed reluctant to interact with the outside world. Just in time, the interests between the two were in line, and this state was being maintained.

“Don’t you blame this father?”

“I’m happier when I’m with my father.”

“It’s good to hear, even if it was just empty words.”

Simon chuckled and put on a pleasant smile.

“But you should still have a friend of your age. I heard it’s a trend to have a conversation partner nowadays.”

“Conversation partner?”

“I hope you get along well with Astein.”

“Pardon?”

Simon smiled satisfactorily and looked back at Astein.

“Please take care of me, Astein.”

“…yes.”

‘Wait. What did I just hear? Is it true the word ‘yes’ came out of his mouth right now? It’s not a rejection?’

Elusiana looked at Astein in bewilderment. But Astein silently ignored her. 

Notes

N/A

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