Chapter 15: Encounter in the Corridor
On a day when the signs of spring were approaching.
“Shall we go see the daffodils in bloom in the garden?”
So said William-sama, so we were moving down the corridor towards the garden.
The long, wide corridor that seemed to demonstrate the power and wealth of the ducal house.
There was no sign of anyone, and only the sound of our footsteps echoed there.
William-sama, who was walking ahead, suddenly turned his gaze towards the window of the corridor.
When I followed his gaze, countless white daffodils were blooming wildly throughout the garden.
William-sama looked at the group of white daffodils for a while with a soft smile, but then said,
“I want to see it up close soon. Let’s hurry.”
and started walking again.
As I tried to follow him, he stopped when he saw a figure approaching from the other end of the corridor.
A beautiful person with rich platinum hair tied up, wearing a pale light purple luxurious dress.
The dress, with multiple layers of thin cloth stacked like musk rose flowers, made the fleeting person even more attractive.
This was the first time I had seen this person since I began serving as a knight. It was Olivia Moore, the duchess, William-sama’s mother.
Leading a group of maids behind her, standing like a single flower, when she saw William-sama, she wore a seductive smile that seemed to dissolve.
Her glossy lips slowly opened.
She called him without hesitation, facing William-sama.
William-sama remained motionless for a moment, as if frozen.
After a few seconds, he quietly exhaled and responded in an unexpectedly cheerful voice, “Mother, it’s a nice day today, isn’t it!”
Hearing that, she looked at William-sama and smiled even more.
“Theo, dear Theo. How have you been lately? I’ve been worried because I haven’t seen you recently.”
At first glance, it looks like a heartwarming conversation between a mother and child.
If only her son’s name, woven by Olivia, the Duchess of Moore, was not “Theodore”.
(What’s going on? Theodore was supposed to be the name of William-sama’s older brother… What on earth are they trying to do? Are they trying to deceive William-sama?)
Thinking that and looking at the face of the Duchess, I involuntarily gasped.
Her expression, which I had expected to be one of sarcasm or mockery, was unexpectedly full of kindness, contrary to my expectations.
Her violet eyes, like glass marbles, had no doubt that the person in front of her was “Theodore”.
(This person truly believes that William-sama is his deceased oldest son, “Theodore”)
The fact that this was the case was even more cruel and fearful than I had initially imagined.
(William-sama’s unusually cheerful voice… If my prediction is correct, William-sama is pretending to be “Older brother Theodore” in order not to stimulate the Duchess)
He has a conversation with her own mother, playing the role of his deceased brother…
As I shake with the cruelty of the scene in front of me, William-sama continues to speak cheerfully.
“I’m sorry to have worried you. I also couldn’t meet Mother and was feeling lonely! Now, unexpectedly being able to meet you makes me very happy!”
“Well! Theo, you’re a genius who makes me happy. A truly cute child! Let’s have a tea party right now…”
The lady gave a burst of laughter, but her face turned troubled as if she had remembered something.
“That’s right, I have business from now on. Really, it’s rude to suddenly summon you like this.”
She said with a sigh.
She said with a seemingly troublesome expression, but suddenly her face lit up.
“That’s right! We can pretend we don’t know about business and have a tea party. Come on, if that’s decided then let’s do it right away…”
“What foolish thing are you saying?”
The lady’s face paled at the suddenly shouted low voice that seemed to belong to a man.
She made a disgusted face and turned back.
The black-haired man called by that name glared sharply at the lady with his dull-colored eyes.
“Even though there are documents that won’t progress without you, you don’t come no matter how long it takes. Even if I send the servants to call you, you send them back. When I came here to look for you out of necessity… to think you’d be selling oil here… I’ll be damned…”
The man had a face like he had crushed a worm, but he pointed to the back of the hallway with his chin towards the Duchess.
“You’re a man who can’t afford it.”
The Duchess muttered expressionlessly.
Then, turning to William-sama, she said, “Theodore, I love you!” and disappeared into the back of the hallway with her maid.
Tall man with a grim face … William-sama involuntarily called out to Duke Bertrand Moore.
The Duke of Moore glanced at William-sama like that.
Cold eyes with no emotion visible.
As if to say [there is no value in speaking to him], the Duke of Moore turned on his heel and left without responding to William-sama’s call.
We who were left in the hallway stood still for a while.
Suddenly, William-sama called out to me.
“Sorry… Maybe we can appreciate the daffodils another time. I feel like going back to my room.”
Saying that, William-sama slowly walked towards his room.
I bowed in place, and followed William-sama in silence.