The reason I stopped trying to call out to her was because her expression was somewhat impatient.
This is the kind of voice that I’m sure he uses when he’s impatient.
I didn’t know him, but just hearing that one word, I knew he was irritated and upset.
“Please go. I’m at work.”
Eh? Is this a lover’s quarrel?
Somehow, in an instant, I felt like I was hearing something I shouldn’t be hearing.
“…Viscount Farsad, I told you that I was at work. If you interfere any further, I will call for the guard knights of the rear palace and report to my superior, the chief lady-in-waiting.”
Unlike when she was talking to me, Elinia’s voice was harsh.
“Just a little…I just need a little bit of help. That’s all.”
“Viscount, no matter what you say, I have no intention of cooperating with you. I am no longer your nanny, and my daughter, who was your foster sister, is no more.”
Nanny…Elinia didn’t look that old. At least, she doesn’t look at all like she has a child the same age as the one called Viscount Farsad.
It’s amazing, the make-up of a royal courtesan…
“Elinia, don’t say that. Help me!”
This is definitely a bad thing if I come out now.
Or rather, I feel like it’s a bad thing that I’m unexpectedly here in the first place.
I quietly close the door and move closer to the wall. In the unlikely event that the door is opened, it’s a position where I can hide behind it.
“…Viscount, you’ve told me many times why Tysella…why my only daughter died because of the Duke and Duchess of Grachie.”
“Oh, yes. That old woman is the reason why the five-day fever spread. That’s what killed Tysella.”
“…The five-day fever was spread in Neve because the Duchess was wrong in her judgment. But I also found out by hearing stories from various other people…It is wrong. The Duke’s people did all they could to help. It is no one’s fault that Tysella could not be saved.”
I think this is definitely bad that I’m listening to it. The content of the story is very disturbing.
My ears were dumbing down because I was curious and worried.
Fortunately, I could hear them both very well.
“Tysella was infected with five-day fever while tending to Lady Fiony, who was in your service. It was no longer unavoidable. And in the Duke’s household, both the servants and his own grandson provided the doctor the same way, and did everything he could to help us…”
“That’s just a deception! That’s just what they’re saying!”
“Then isn’t that what you are saying, too?”
The sound of a flat voice…Elinia was calm.
“I heard from the Duke that he had done everything he could, not from the Duke, but from the one who had been Tysella’s colleague. The Duke made no excuses. But…he allowed Tysella to be buried in the Duke’s mausoleum. They said that she was loyal to the end…He told me she served Lady Fiony in the Garden of the Mother Goddess…a commoner, a fatherless child. And every year we receive a polite letter from the Duke in memory of that child. I will never forget the pain of losing her. But I will not let it consume me for the rest of my life.”
“Elinia, are you abandoning me?”
“No, your excellency…There is no such relationship between us, of course. But I would venture to say that it was you who abandoned me first. But that’s just as it should be. The child you raised will stand alone…I will miss him or her, but no nanny is ever happy about that.”
“Please do not make a mistake, your excellency…I am a lady-in-waiting of the royal palace. My lord is no longer you, but His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, who will be king tomorrow, and Her Royal Highness the Crown Princess, who will be queen.”
“My Lord Errol is a royal family member too!”
“Yes, I know.”
Elinia gave a small nod with a blank expression.
“Follow me for Master Errol’s sake.”
“No, Your Excellency.”
With the sound of a stifled scream, the Viscount stuffed Elinia with the sound of his voice.
“Viscount, you have no right to order me around. If you continue to interfere, I will call the guards.”
At last, the honorific title of ‘His Excellency’ is gone from Elinia’s words. I think it’s better to call the guards and hand him over already.”
“Wow, I owe you a debt of gratitude for serving my house…”
“I don’t need anymore. I’ll leave the rest to the tutor. More than anything else, I owe it to Count Stassen, who saved my life when I was thrown out of the house with no place to go with a child under the winter sky, and who allowed me to serve at the royal palace by talking to my parents.”
I was a little surprised when my own guard captain and current tutor’s name came up.
I don’t say anything about the ups and downs of gratitude, but even if I’m only here to listen now, I can understand Elinia’s feelings better.
“That’s enough…It’s your fault, Elinia. You were my nanny, and that’s why I’ve been meek…”
I felt something very dangerous in those words and gently opened the door thinly.
What I saw was a shimmering silver blade…Wherever he had hidden it, the Viscount had pulled out a dagger and was pointing it towards Elinia.
“Give me the key.”
Elinia takes a few steps back.
“I said give me the key, Elinia.”
The Viscount took a few steps forward.
The key is…that…
There are a bunch of keys at the waist of Elinia’s apron dress.
Probably a bunch of master keys for cleaning.
…For what it’s worth, I can only imagine a future of using them for the unthinkable.
Why don’t I open the door a bit more and let Elinia in and hurry up and close the door?
My eyes met with Elinia’s.
At that moment, Elinia threw the key in my direction.
Elinia’s aim is very precise, and the key fits in my hand.
I rush to the door and lock it, then step through the other door in the room into the next room.
There’s a violent banging on the door, but I don’t care.
…If I go out into the hallway, he’ll probably find me…and if he sees me, he’ll probably catch up with me.
As long as I hear that noise, it means that I haven’t left that place.
I hope Elinia will call the guards to seize him while that man is banging on the door in there…but I’m not sure if it’s going to be easy.
I walked from one room to another, carefully crossing the empty corridor, making sure it wasn’t being used before I slipped through to the next room, using the master key to get through when the doors weren’t open.
There was no more banging on the door, so perhaps the Viscount was looking for me.
The rest is just up to luck, I guess…
I may be looking in the opposite direction, but he could be looking at this side, so I can’t relax. I realized while sneaking away to hide and run away.
What am I going to do? I’m never going to get back to where I came from!
I’m not confident that I can go back at all.
Sorry, Phil, His Highness will be angry!
Mostly, I don’t even know where I’m going.
Maybe it’s the area His Highness uses.
Because the interior decorations are the same shade of curtains and walls as in His Highness’ office. The carpet, which is probably dark blue, is not used, but is rolled up and placed in the corner of the room.
“A document warehouse, maybe?”
Surely that wouldn’t require a carpet.
The wooden boxes piled haphazardly on the floor looked like towers. Many, many, many tall towers, the contents of which were probably all documents.
The next room was the same kind of document storage, and the one after that was also a document storage room. And the next room after that, too. This room, however, still had half the floor visible.
“Just how far does the document warehouse go…?”
Gently and quietly, I opened the door, then peered down the hallway.
No one is here…
I thought it looked okay and went out into the hallway.
“…That, right here.
It is decorated with the paintings I’ve seen before.
I turn back and turn the corner.
“Oh, I knew it.”
As expected, I have some idea of the path I’m on.
The oak door is sturdy to look at. It’s no wonder I feel a sense of déjà vu at the sheen of the shiny brass doorknobs.
A small knock on the door—no one answers.
I tapped on the door again, and when there was no answer, I opened it thinly and slipped inside.
If I wasn’t in a gown, it would be easier to get in without having to open the whole door.
At the far end of the room, past a library-like room full of bookshelves, was His Highness’ office. Slightly nervous, I knocked on the door.
“…I knew he was gone…”
As expected, the office is closed today, and the desk is clean and tidy.
Even though he’s a viscount, he probably wouldn’t come this far.
His Highness isn’t here, nor a knight of escort.
If there is an escort in hiding, His Highness will be contacted…
Then someone will surely come here.
I thought that I should sit in my usual seat, but I felt a little mischievous and took a seat in His Highness’ chair.
Ooh, so this is what it looks like from His Highness’ seat.
Not that it’s anything to do with anything, but it made me feel a little happy.
…When I get to meet His Highness, I’ll tell him about the two of them earlier, first.
I wouldn’t have understood half the meaning of the words that Elinia and the Viscount were exchanging.
What I did understand was that the person called Viscount Farsad had some kind of plan and needed this master key for that reason.
And that Elinia refused to give it to him.
I’m sure I’ll make it right by telling His Highness.
That’s one of my absolute rules.
…Huh? People’s voices?
Just when I thought I heard someone’s voice approaching, I slid down from the chair and went straight under the desk.
If the voice was His Highness, it was fine. But if it was someone else…
The door creaked open, and there were two shadows.
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