There was a light knock and the door opened.
The man’s footsteps got closer, but Ethan didn’t respond as he kept his head buried in a pile of papers.
O’Connell greeted him.
His lord’s face was no longer gaunt, but it seemed to be surrounded by a gloomy atmosphere. Seeing that his hand, which was holding the pen, had slowed down, O’Connell opened his mouth slowly.
“The news I am about to give you is not very pleasant. Sir, Fadenos must have escaped Lorek.”
Ethan was looking not only for Xenon but also for Ruelli’s father, Fadenos, who had disappeared.
But it was strange. Fadenos was a man who cared for his daughter more than anything else. It was very hard to believe that such a man would suddenly disappear, leaving all of Ruelli’s affairs in Xenon’s hands.
“Are you certain?”
Besides, Fadenos was attacked by a person recently and was crippled. It was never confirmed, but Ethan was convinced that the suspicious person was sent by his father, Cedric.
If he ran away due to the fear of someone trying to kill him, he wouldn’t have left Ruelli behind.
“He probably ran away to live his own life?”
The Fadenos that Ethan had known so far was not someone who would leave his daughter behind simply because he wanted to live his own life. He would have done the opposite instead.
Ethan was convinced that there were some reasons that he was unaware of. Perhaps there was someone bigger than Cedric behind this.
“He’s not a Lorekian. I’m not sure exactly when it was, but I’m told he migrated here when Ruelli was a child.”
O’Connell nodded slowly at Ethan’s words.
“Call the one who gave Fadenos the job and find out his background.”
“Check to see if there are any stories from nearby taverns.”
O’Connell’s thick shoulders lifted lightly at Ethan’s words.
“I stopped by the taverns, but they said Fadenos never drank a single drink.”
Ethan, who was looking at his papers, lifted up his head.
“He didn’t drink any?”
“That’s what they said.”
It was an unexpected statement.
It wasn’t like he was banned, but a hard working man stayed away from alcohol?
Ethan, who had put aside his doubts, opened his mouth again.
“How about the Clarks?”
“Hmm….. That’s the thing.”
O’Connell replied with furrowed brows.
“They denied that their son would ever have done such a thing. He would not have done such a vicious thing before marriage.”
It was only a natural response on their side.
Clark was a name-only family who lived on land inherited from generation to generation without a title. Of course, a nobleman was still a nobleman, even if it remained a facade. His only son, Xenon Clark disappeared while traveling, and lost two of his servants.
“And you haven’t heard from Xenon Clark?”
“No, I heard that his family is searching for him as well, but they don’t know if he ascended into the heavens or disappeared into the earth. I’m just very sorry to have caused my lord and the duke so much worry.”
O’Connell was appalled, but he delivered exactly what he heard at the Clarks.
“Have you heard from his cousin in Chemult?”
“I got a similar response from his cousin. Xenon might not be a great man, but he is not a killer.”
O’Connell was afraid that Ethan would react violently, but he just nodded blankly.
“There’s a training session a little later. What should I do?”
“I’ll let you decide.”
Cedric went to the capital to endorse a series of imperial matters. Due to his absence, Ethan had a lot to deal with.
But O’Connell hesitated to leave the room, as if he had something to say. Ethan, who once again fixed his eyes on the pile of documents, asked dryly.
“Is there anything else?”
But his lips didn’t open right away. But soon he seemed to have made up his mind about something and crumpled up his hat.
“Aren’t you going to see Miss Bedivier?”
Ethan’s eyes, which had been following the black prints on the documents, snapped to a stop. O’Connell thought he saw even darker eyes flick up only today, but they immediately fell without any emotion.
“Because the lord is away from the castle, I have no time to pay attention to personal matters.”
Ethan only accompanied Ruelli on the day she came to her senses and on the next day when she was treated, but he never looked for her after that.
“Yes, but…… Miss Bedivier is very confused.”
As he spat out the last words, O’Connell thought he had crossed a line.
Moreover, Ethan was not a benevolent man. But he wanted to be there for Ethan, even if he had to leave the castle right now.
He wanted to believe in the innocence of the man who was willing to die to save Ruelli, and was willing to give her his blood to keep her alive.
But that was all O’Connell could do.
“I’m sorry, sir.”
O’Connell lowered his head and was about to turn around. He heard a voice behind him.
“Ruelli needs stability more than anything. She thinks I’m Xenon Clark, so seeing me won’t help her.”
O’Connell’s voice rose a little higher.
“But didn’t doctor Xavier say that it helps to talk to familiar faces often to jog her memory?”
He crossed the line once, so it was easier the second time.
“Miss Bedivier doesn’t even know why she is here. I don’t think it will be helpful for her just to lie there with countless questions.”
“Miss Bedivier can’t help but feel strange because, as His Excellency instructed, not a single word is spoken, whether by the servants, or the maids. Even this morning, the maid who was questioned narrowly escaped.”
When O’Connell said that much, Ethan’s heart was in a terrible knot. Even the doctor didn’t know exactly what was wrong with Ruelli.
He just said that it was a phenomenon seen in some people with badly injured heads. Due to the shock caused at the time of the attack, she seemed to have mistaken people for others.
Ethan’s mind went back to Ruelli dozens, or even hundreds of times a day. But he didn’t have the confidence to face the woman who mistook him for Xenon Clark.
It was none other than Rueri Bedivere.
“Sir, at least go see Miss Bedivier….”
“You want me to go and imitate Xenon Clark?”
O’Connell was silent at Ethan’s cold voice. He said it was for Ethan’s sake, but Ethan didn’t seem to be able to see deeply into his true intentions.
‘D*mn it, please say something else.’
Silence descended on the office. It was a moment of stifling silence.
O’Connell turned his head at the sound of impending footsteps. Walking in was a servant from the East Annex.
“What’s going on?”
When O’Connell asked, the servant opened her mouth with a very troubled face.
“I think you should go see Miss Bedivier now.”
When they entered the room where Ruelli was staying, three or four servants surrounded the bed area.
When Ethan came closer, the maids retreated behind him, revealing Ruelli, who was sobbing with a bright red nose.
Ruelli was leaning back on a large pillow and crying.
Ethan’s heart began to beat wildly at the sound of her crying.
Why would she be crying so sadly? Could it be that her lost memories had returned?
The heartbeats did not subside easily. Ethan clenched his fists, and immediately his arms tingled.
“What’s going on?”
At the sound of Ethan’s voice, Ruelli stopped crying and looked up at him.
As Ruelli tried to get off the bed, the maids dashed over to stop her.
“Lord Clarke, do you have my necklace by any chance …a red, half-moon shaped necklace?”
Ruelli still looked like she was trapped in hell, but Ethan was relieved.
Because at least she wasn’t in pain.
“I’m taking good care of it. Don’t worry about it.”
Ruelli’s face, which was filled with anxiety, slowly unraveled. Rubbing her wet cheeks, she breathed a sigh of relief.
“Thank you, thank you. …Thank you so much.”
She was scared that she might have lost something precious. Ethan gave it to her, of all people.
When Ruelli went away she had a half-moon shaped gemstone, which Ethan left with a skilled draper to make into a necklace after struggling with it for several days.
Ethan looked at Ruelli’s disheveled hair and opened his mouth.
“Did you make all that fuss because of your necklace?”
“I’m sorry, no one’s telling me what’s going on……, that necklace is so important to me.”
Ruelli lowered her head, wiping away the tears. Then she spoke again.
“Lord Clark, where is His Highness now? I have something I must say to him.”
Ethan didn’t know what kind of expression he had to make. It was heartbreaking to see Ruelli as thin as ever.
He turned away from her due to the discomfort he couldn’t handle. O’Connell stood right in front of him.
He nodded and his voice trailed off.
“Sir, please give Miss Bedivier a brief explanation.”
“It won’t help her if all you do is avoid her, my lord. You don’t want Miss Bedivier to live in this shattered memory forever, do you?”
When O’Connell had said that much, Ethan slowly closed his eyes and opened them again. Understanding the meaning in his lord’s eyes, O’Connell gave the order to his servants.
“Miss Bedivier needs her rest, you all can leave.”
Then he too left, closing the door lastly.