Chapter 9: Discomfort
It has been a few days since I became William-sama’s temporary escort knight.
Hearing the hushed voice and receiving the rude gaze from behind, I sighed, thinking
The first discomfort I felt was that William-sama does everything on his own.
From making tea to maintaining the lamp and getting ready, he does most of the tasks that should be done by the servants on his own.
I wondered why and noticed that it was because the servants do not approach William-sama.
The next discomfort was the gaze.
William-sama left the room to go to the library to get a book he wanted, so I moved with him through the hallway.
When we passed by the servants in the hallway, they quickly lowered their heads and let William-sama pass.
The servants, who lowered their heads deeply and remained silent, seemed to be trying to avoid being spoken to by William-sama.
After we passed, I felt a gaze from behind and turned around to see that the servants were whispering while looking at us.
When our eyes met, they panicked and left, but the discomfort from the gaze remained.
The next discomfort was the meal.
When William-sama went to the dining room, the Duke of Moore and his wife had apparently finished their meal and were not in the dining room.
William-sama sat down in a chair without showing any particular concern, even though it was unusual.
The meal was brought, but the soup, main dish, and even the post-meal coffee were cold and did not look like they were meant to be served.
However, William-sama continued to chew the cold food as if he were used to it.
There was no emotion in his eyes.
The servants were far away and did not pay attention to us, but I felt a strange atmosphere from them.
Even if his parents, the Duke and Duchess of Moore, treat him like he don’t exist.
He just sat alone in his room with his book like he was used to it.
William-sama’s eyes were always calm, like a calm sea.
The gradually accumulating sense of discomfort grew into a conviction of suspicions that were beginning to sprout within me.
(I see. William-sama is…)
It is a rainy afternoon, with cold rain falling frequently.
We sat facing each other as if it were a week ago.
William-sama takes a sip of tea.
“…my elder brother was a very well-done person. He especially loved fencing. Once, when I was still young and had fallen ill, my elder brother came to me with a toy sword in hand and said [I’ll cut through the cause of William’s illness!], swinging the sword around.”
William-sama smiles thinly.
“My elder brother was intelligent, full of vitality, charming, and loved by my father, mother, and the servants. Of course, I also loved my elder brother. When he came to my sickroom where I couldn’t even leave the room, he read me picture books.”
Looking as if he is remembering that time, he turned his gaze to the outside of the window.
“When I was seven years old, my brother Theodore passed away. Due to an epidemic.”
The sound of the rain splashing sticks to my ears.
I just stare at him without saying a word.
After putting the cup on the plate, he leaned back deeply in the chair.
“After my elder brother passed away, my parents’ relationship deteriorated rapidly. My father said to me [You are weak and not suitable as an heir], and my mother began to make a dark face whenever she saw my elder brother’s features in me. My father and mother decided that if I couldn’t overcome my weak body by the time I was 18, they would expel me to the border and adopt a new heir.”
He continues speaking while looking down.
“After that, the servants stopped approaching me. They were afraid of being sent to the border with me by approaching me.”
There was no expression on his face as he continued to speak calmly.
“There were also servants who were friendly with me, but now they are all gone. All that remains are those who look at me with curious eyes.”
As he spoke, William-sama unexpectedly turned his gaze towards me.
“It’s been a week since you became a temporary escort knight…”
“Now, do you understand? … the meaning of being with me.”
Our eyes meet.
“I am not guaranteed to become the next Duke. There is even the possibility of being sent to the border with me. Furthermore, I cannot escape the curious gaze of the servants. You must have experienced this in the past week as well? Just by being with me, I am kept at a distance by the servants and treated as if I don’t exist.”
In the silence that followed, the sound of rain suddenly became loud.
“I’ll ask you again.”
William-sama asked, staring into my eyes as if admonishing me.
“Do you really want to be my escort knight?”
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