The next morning.
I started my special attack on Shade.
Even though it was morning, my goal is to make sure that there won’t be a time he’d be impolite.
It looks like Shade is weak in the morning. With a sleepy look, he was bewildered in the face of an uninvited guest.
「I apologize for the abrupt visit. But a lot of things are getting tangled up inside me, and I already don’t know what – or perhaps I should say, I already don’t know whose feelings would be the correct one to prioritize. That’s why for the time being, let me hear about your sentiments. You…. In this house… you were locked in a room by Aunt, and your meals were stopped, right?」
Momentarily dumbfounded by my non-stop chattering, he was then plainly suspicious; Giving me a look as if he was searching for my intentions, he stared at my face.
「That is… who did you hear it from?」
「From Crinum. And in truth, I did slightly doubt that possibility」
「It’s not like I’m asking you to trust me, whether it be me or my father, we are on Aunt’s side; I don’t have any means to dispel your suspicion on whether I’m really deceiving you or whether your distrust is unjust. But, I want you to answer me one thing no matter what. Why didn’t you tell Uncle that you were receiving terrible treatment from Aunt? Or for instance me or Father – you could have searched for someone reliable who could take care of you and get you out of this house. Was it that troublesome for you?」
Because I was surprised at the first spoken word he said, he immediately gave out an apology.
「That was rude of me. Since I was poorly brought up, I lost my focus for a second」
「No, I don’t mind. In particular, if you’re able to converse with it, then it’s fine no matter what form of speech you use. But if you want to get used to polite speech, I’ll go along with you」
「Well then, I do hope you forgive me even if I mix in inappropriate words. Personally, I do think you are a person I can trust」(3)
「…even when you’ve only just met me yesterday? As you know, I am related to Aunt, the person who neglected you」
「But… you’re related to me too. You’re my cousin, right?」
「That – might be true, but…」
「At least, no one in this house greets me with the common『Good night』 or 『Good morning』 courtesy. Compared to them, I
consider you as someone who I can speak frankly with」
「Then, would you let me hear the reason? Why didn’t you say anything to Uncle?」
「There was no major reason for why I didn’t do it. It was simply because it would be useless even if I did tell him」
Shade said indifferently, with something akin to coldness in his voice.
「Aside from flowers, the only thing that person is interested in is my eye color. That’s it」
「Eye color? Well, your eyes certainly are unique in color, did you happen to inherit it from your honored mother? 」
「When you say『honored mother』, I had to think about who you were referring to. Mother was normal, she had brown-colored eyes. According to Father, the gene was from his grandmother passed through my father. In other words, I inherited this color from my great-grandmother」
「Great-grandmother…? Oh, her…」
「Were you acquainted with her?」
「Since it’s regarding your father’s grandmother, it’s also related to me. She died long before I was aware of my surroundings so I personally didn’t know her. But, there were a lot of tales about her. Like, she completely ignored the marriage proposal from the royal king of that time. Now that you mention it, I feel like I’ve heard something about her unique eye color before」
「In the Duke Lilia’s family, I heard that a lot of people had possessed hair and eyes of the color red」
Indeed. My closet was filled up exhaustively with a puzzling rouge color. Could this literally be the clan’s image color?
Looking at Shade’s dark red pupils under the morning sun, it was definitely a color closer to rogue.
「Uncle was really fixated over this color, huh? Once in a while, there are those in the aristocracy who love their『Family lineage』 to death, but was Uncle also of that sort?」
「That’s nearly a disease, isn’t it?」
「Even with his abnormality, I don’t think it’s a reason to overlook the problem that’s happening in this family. For the time being, why don’t you try telling Uncle? But then again, wouldn’t this provoke Aunt…」
「I’ve already told him. And he said, 『bear with it for a while』」
「『Right now, my wife hasn’t seen what’s around her. But, she’ll realize your merit soon. Until then, bear with it for a while』」
「That’s… what he told you? Bear with it? Is that… a line a father should be giving his child who’s being abused by his wife?」
「At least, in Narcissus Rankgerüste’s case, it is」
I was at my wit’s end.
For countless times since reuniting with Uncle yesterday, his favorability graph with me continued to decreasingly swoop, and I don’t know if it would stop at this point.
「Okay, fine then. Let’s quit trying to rely on Uncle. You won’t be troubled if I told Father about it, right? Then, I’ll immediately inform him」
With this action, I’m probably betraying Crinum. When I begin thinking that she had confided in me because of our friendship, it frankly starts feeling painful in my chest. That said, seeing that there was a victim of child abuse, there was no way I could just remain watching in silence.
Shaking off last night’s events with Crinum which floated in my mind, I headed to Father in high spirits.
However, this should have been called a trick of fate, since things didn’t go so smoothly.
「Eh? He departed from the house this morning?」
「Yes. It was before dawn. A messenger from the capital came by, it seemed there was a sudden job that arrived. Although he was worried about you, my lady, he couldn’t bring himself to wake you up, so he departed alone」
When the butler explained the regrettable situation to me, I wound up placing a hand on my forehead.
A messenger from the capital delivering urgent work to Father wasn’t rare. However, for this to happen so early in the morning, it was extremely unlucky.
I ended up returning to Shade’s room dejectedly.
「I’m sorry… it seems like I can only tell him as soon as he comes back here, after his work is over. In the meantime, I’ll do all I can to prevent Aunt from doing anything to you. That’s why, could you wait just a little bit more?」
Although saying『wait just a little bit more』, was like repeating the hated words Uncle said, I was saved since Shade energetically nodded his head in my way direction.
That was the only thing I informed Shade about, before fleeing his room. Naturally, if Crinum found out that I carelessly went in and out of Shade’s room, I would never be able to look her in the eyes.
Fortunately, according to the maid, she was still in her room.
Since it was awkward meeting Crinum at the breakfast table, I complained that I was hungry in order to quickly eat breakfast alone.(4)
Doing this selfish thing in someone else’s house, who knows what others might think of it, but I wouldn’t be able to escape that problematic situation without making some sacrifices.
However, once again, fate wasn’t treating me kindly.
Since morning, with a daily lesson on how to take care of flowers, I ended up sharing the breakfast table with Uncle Narcissus.
The freshly-baked bread lined up on the dining table were attractive; even with the soup having a different flavor from what I had at home, it didn’t taste bad.
It would have been awesome if Father or Wolf & Duke Ranunculus sat in front of me, oh – just thinking of it shouldn’t be a sin.
In some respects, Uncle could make pleasant conversations, but my responses became unconsciously unenthusiastic.
I had been trying to get Uncle to give a hand in investigating, but now, I’ve already completely given up on relying on him. Relying on Father would absolutely be better. That was how I felt.
「Lycoris, do you always wake up this early in the morning?」
「No, it’s because I slept a little early yesterday… Aren’t you also up early, Uncle?」
「Watering the flowers is, in the long run, better to do in the morning. I’ll take a nap momentarily after eating a light breakfast」
Really, Uncle’s life does seem to revolve around and focus on flowers.
I inclined an ear to Uncle’s gardening lectures for the moment.
Although my heart wasn’t dancing, a peaceful time passed by as it is – it was at the moment as I was reaching out for desserts. Uncle started dropping an exceptionally large-scale bomb on me.
「By the way, Lycoris. Why don’t you, with our boy– Shade, get married?」
Right here, Uncle somehow started speaking an alien language.
(1) Again, he’s adding a polite term. There’s no English translation to properly deal with this, but this is how I cut it “…Good(ohayou)… morning(gozaimasu)” . “Ohayou gozaimasu” is basically good morning. Leaving out gozaimasu is just “Morning”.
(2) He use “Ore”… the little boy used “Ore”. Go back to Family-hen notes, if you didn’t understand why Lycoris was surprised…
(3) he continues using “Ore”
(4) 朝食の席 is actually breakfast seat, or the location you gather at breakfast. I don’t think anyone uses breakfast place/ breakfast seat in English though