Roger, who always held his head high with dignity, was the first to break eye contact. The biggest difference between dream Roger and the real Roger was his tone of voice. In her dreams, the way he talked gave her chills, but in reality, he was a gentle person who relieved her concerns.
And now, he stopped calling her the title he always had, ‘My Lady’. It was an intimacy that did not match his large body and cool features.
She wanted to know his heart more and more. Vivian was addicted to him like a child who had tasted their first sweet treat. A fluttering excitement swelled up in her stomach at the thought of peeking into his heart, which wasn’t clearly defined.
“Why don’t you like it?”
As she asked, her heart raced like it was about to burst out of her chest. They had never had such an intimate conversation in her dreams. Of course, they had secret and explicit conversations, but those were purely a tool for pleasure. Conversely, in reality, they were cautious and awkward, as if the other was made of glass.
“Make sure that…”
The moment Roger was about to say something, an urgent voice called out to them from down the hallway.
Roger, who noticed the presence before she did, shook his head. Vivian, who had been anticipating his answer, saw them a beat later.
“Captain, are you there?”
It was Enka. She was wearing a soaking wet jacket with the hood down. Roger sighed and leaned against the wall.
“I think you should see this.”
Enka said she was in a hurry, so she greeted Vivian with a nod, and then they left for the first floor. After the two disappeared, Vivian stared at the point where they became obscured from view and muttered.
“Make sure that… What was next?”
She still hadn’t gotten a proper answer from Roger. For that reason, a feeling of dissatisfaction boiled in her heart.
‘I wonder if I will be able to hear what he wanted to say next time.’
* * *
She couldn’t stay on the second floor in fear of getting in Daniel’s way, so Vivian went back to the drawing room on the first floor. By the time she finished the letter to her parents and posted it, it was already noon.
Roger, who went out with Enka, still hadn’t come back. She wondered if something bad had happened so she asked a knight, but they said she didn’t have anything to worry about.
She wondered if they were lying to her, but their expression didn’t seem suspicious. During their time together, Vivian was relieved to know that the Knights of Eckhart were honest, and that they were not foolish enough to hide urgent matters.
When she returned to the drawing room, Vivian looked out the window. Fortunately, it was raining less than it had that morning, but still, Roger was outside. She couldn’t help but worry.
Sitting on the sofa by the warm fireplace, Vivian recalled her conversation with Roger. The more she thought about what he had said, the paler her face became. She was really curious about his answer.
And as she thought about it, she felt sleepy. Wrapped in the wool blanket a servant had brought, Vivian nodded off. She didn’t get enough sleep last night because of her dream, and because she woke up early.
“My Lady! Are you here?”
Some time later, the door to the drawing room burst open. Vivian, who had been asleep, raised her head in surprise. She wondered if Roger had returned. Turning her head, she saw Daniel, not Roger, whom she was expecting.
Vivian got up.
“Daniel? What happened?”
He was hesitant to speak. This was out of character for Daniel, so she was immediately worried. She hurriedly approached him. Daniel took a deep breath, his hands on his knees.
“Boss was not in the mansion, so I had no choice but to find the Lady.”
“Why? Is there any problem?”
“Not a problem.”
Daniel swallowed with difficulty and straightened his body. His eyes were shining brightly. When she saw his eyes, her anticipation rose.
“It’s open now.”
Her expectations were not in vain.
“That door is open now.”
Daniel spoke in a confident voice.
* * *
The two went straight to the second floor. Vivian took a deep breath in front of the door, which was finally unlocked. She was nervous for some reason. She didn’t want to open the door without Roger, but she couldn’t afford to wait. She wanted to know what was in the room as soon as possible.
Vivian glanced back at Daniel, who urged her on with a nod. Reassured that he was by her side, Vivian steeled her heart and turned the doorknob. Unlike the last time, she felt the door being pushed open softly, followed by a clicking sound. It felt like a blockage had been removed.
“Then… I will open it.”
Biting her trembling lip, Vivian opened the door.
The first thing she noticed was a damp smell from the rain and the smell of old paper. Vivian stopped short.
The room was full of books. Apparently, this room was a study.
“What? I thought it would be some kind of secret laboratory. It’s very ordinary, isn’t it?”
Daniel mumbled in disappointment as he stepped into the study. Watching him enter, Vivian hurriedly followed him inside.
In terms of size, it was the largest room on the second floor. However, the large space seemed much smaller because of the bookshelves.
The two hurriedly looked around. At first glance, it was just an ordinary study that no one would ever suspect.
“It’s no different from any other library. It’s hard to believe it had double security magic on it.”
Daniel looked at a bookshelf and murmured. Vivian, who wholeheartedly agreed, left the bookshelves behind and headed for the window. They were covered by blackout curtains, which she had seen from the outside. She pulled open the curtains and turned the window’s latch, opening them smoothly.
“The window didn’t open last time.”
“It looks like there was double security magic on every door. When one was released, it was all solved.”
A cool breeze blew through the room. Vivian leaned against the window and glanced around the quiet study.
“It’s strange, just like you said. It looks like a normal library, so why did someone put so much magic on it?”
There was a sense of incongruity in the quiet atmosphere of the study. It was so ordinary that it felt suspicious.
‘Didn’t Daniel say that double security magic was only used by the Royal Family?’
It was hard to believe that so much magic had been used over such a humble study.
“They may have hidden something between the books or in the corners.”
At Daniel’s words, the two rolled up their sleeves and began to look around. Once a thought was put into her mind, she couldn’t rest until she had seen it through. She took books from the bookshelves one by one, checked the pages, and looked to see if there was anything behind the books or between the bookshelf and the wall. It was tedious work.
* * *
While she was immersed in her work, Roger returned to the mansion.
As soon as he returned, he heard the news that the closed room had been opened, and he headed straight to the second floor.
“My Lady. Are you here?”
Vivian, who was sitting and examining a stack of various books, straightened up at his voice. She leaned back and saw Roger standing by the door.
“Sir Knight. Are you coming in?”
“Yes. But this…”
Roger looked around the space with a skeptical expression.
It was a voice filled with subtle disappointment. Vivian got up, brushed her dusty hands off, and approached him.
“I think so.”
“What is the Lady doing here?”
“Isn’t it too suspicious? On the surface, it’s just an ordinary study, but when you think about how complex magic was put on the door…”
Originally, Vivian was going to ask Roger what he had been up to when he returned, but she completely forgot as she looked around this disturbing library. And now, she was busy talking to him about the suspiciousness of the study.
He nodded his head in a contemplative manner, as if her doubts were justified.
“So I was just taking a look. I was wondering if there was something hidden.”
“Are you alone, My Lady?”
Vivian shook her head.
“I was originally with Daniel, but he looked so tired, so I told him to go and get some rest.”
“Did you call another knight?”
“I looked around on my own for a little while, and when it became difficult, I called. I’ve been resting since morning, so I have some energy left.”
As Vivian clenched her fists tightly, Roger involuntarily covered his smiling mouth with his hand.
After that, Roger summoned some knights and ordered an investigation of the library.
However, compared to the number of people participating, the harvest was small. No, it was more accurate to say that there was none at all. They looked through all the books, but found nothing suspicious. Everyone was frustrated.
An unfamiliar feeling still lingered in one side of her heart. Her biggest frustration was that she couldn’t resolve the awkwardness between them right away.
“It’s getting late, so let’s go downstairs. We can talk while we eat.”
It was already dinner time. Vivian left the study with great regret.
* * *
When they entered the dining room, Daniel, whom she had never seen in the dining room before, was sitting in the corner. His face was slightly swollen, probably because he had just woken up. The dark shadows under his eyes had faded, and she felt relieved.
“Daniel. It took a lot of work to solve that magic.”
He answered Vivian’s greeting with a rough nod, and then asked straight away.
“What have you discovered since I left?”
He also seemed to be curious about what was in the study. Unfortunately, nothing had been found, so Vivian just shook her head without saying a word. With a disappointed expression, Daniel replied.
“Then there is nothing we can do about it. More than that… I opened the door as I promised.”
As he was speaking, food was being served. Daniel cut into the meat on his plate with a steak knife.
“So the Lady must keep her promise.”