Limited Time, Kitchen Maid of the Fourth Knight Order ~I Got a Job Because I Don’t Want to Get Married~ – Chapter 119

𝐒𝐰𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐨𝐧

That night, Shiro unexpectedly returned. Somehow, there was an absolute sense of reassurance that he would come back.

Nodding with a smile to us who rejoiced in his safety, he immediately knelt before Roa-sama with a serious expression.

“I have returned. I have located the laboratory of Maurice Maigret.”

“First, let’s rejoice in your safety. It was hard work. Well done.”

“You are too kind.”

Roa-sama placed his hands on Shiro’s shoulders and patted them gently several times, as if to comfort him. Shiro’s usual cheerful smile returned, lightening the atmosphere.

Spreading a map on the table, Shiro pointed to a spot.

“The laboratory is here. It’s not very big, and from the outside, it looks just like an ordinary house.”

“. . .Underground?”

“Probably. Even if there are many medicinal herbs in the house, excuses are plentiful. There were windows, and the curtains were properly drawn. They disguise it as a normal house, but they are likely making drugs underground.”

The house was in the middle of the forest. A bit far from the town, with scattered farms near the forest.

“The owner of this house may be cooperating with Dyson. We can approach Dyson from a different angle.”

“Shiro is right. The documents are stored, of course, in. . .”

“. . .Yes. The Valka household.”

Collecting taxes is the duty of the lord. Edgardo’s father, Ian, believes that he is not cooperating with Dyson, but one cannot plan believing this is the best situation.

“Maurice went straight home. There was no sign of him investigating Miss Norchev. We can assume he knows of mine and Rene’s existence.”

“Understood. Thank you, Shiro. Everyone, please take some rest.”

Roa-sama left the room, and Edgardo followed with a troubled expression.

Emilia had always behaved stoically, discussing future plans with Roa-sama. Shiro, too, had not once looked at Emilia since his return.

It’s up to them how they spend their time, but a little consideration would be nice.

Quietly leaving the room, I decided to go outside after some thought.

“Wow. . . What a beautiful starry sky.”

The sky, melted in deep navy, was shining with stars and the moon.

Blue is the color of the royal family, and most people know blue from the sky. Blue clothes and jewels are something one would not see in a lifetime.

Even I used to see the color only once a year at the founding festival from afar. But having looked at the blue flower given by Roa-sama every night, I’ve become oddly accustomed to it. I feel more familiar with blue than pink, as there was blue in the room I used at school.

As I took in the clear, cold air of the night, something was draped over my shoulders.

“It gets cold at night. Please, use this.”

“Arthur-sama. . .”

What was placed on my shoulders was a warm shawl.

“Thank you.”

“Using giving Alice the shawl as an excuse, I was able to leave the room too. I should be the one to say thanks.”

Arthur smiled mischievously, and I smiled back, caught up in the moment.

Somehow, we ended up looking up at the sky side by side. There were no clouds, so the stars were clearly visible. Arthur raised his arm and pointed at the moon.

 ㅤ

“Do you know that no matter where you are in this country, if you head towards the moon, you will reach the capital?”

“No, I did not know that.”

“That’s why it is said that the capital is in that place. Whether the land was chosen by the moon, or the capital was formed and then the moon showed the way, it’s unclear which came first. . . After all, the capital has not changed since the founding of the nation.”

“Does the moon not move?”

“It moves. But when you try to approach the moon, you end up at the capital.”

It’s curious yet romantic that aiming for the moon will lead you to the capital.

“When proposing, it is traditional to use the word ‘moon.'”

“Oh, is that so?”

“My love for Alice is unchanging, like that moon.”

Suddenly, with a serious voice, he said such things, making me look up at Arthur in surprise.

Although he spoke earnestly, Arthur’s face shone mischievously, and his mouth bore an irrepressible smile.

“Haha, I teased you a little because Alice responded with so little interest.”

“You are surprisingly mischievous, aren’t you, Arthur-sama?”

“Is it surprising?”

“. . .Now that I think about it, not really.”

Suddenly, he came to the kitchen maids’ dormitory, claiming it was his secret, and showed off his puns. Despite his princely appearance, he’s quite aggressive inside.

At that time, Rolf was feeling down, realizing he had done the same as Arthur, who had appeared so unexpectedly.

“I wonder if Rolf-sama is safe. . .”

“Oh, to mention another man’s name in my presence, that does make me jealous.”

Arthur shrugged exaggeratedly, his eyes calm yet with a firm core.

“Rolf will be fine. He has secured the cooperation of the Ouldra family and will prove that he is indeed part of the new royal faction.”

“Didn’t you say you knew that the Ouldra family was not siding with Dyson?”

“Yes. But that is not absolute. To prove it, this short period is not enough. It’s said that a house plotting treachery has a unique atmosphere. By infiltrating someone who can detect it, we have judged that they are likely not connected to Dyson. . . and ultimately, the final decision is up to Prince Linus.”

“Eh.”

“Neither I, nor the sharp-witted Shiro, believe that the Ouldra Count family is plotting a royal usurpation. However, sending Rolf there is not the best course of action. In case of the worst, Rolf, who might be swayed by sentiment, is not the right person for this.”

Although he was somewhat criticizing Roa-sama, Arthur’s voice was gentle.

“Prince Linus is too kind. He can’t bring himself to be ruthless. But I have devoted my life to him, knowing this. Unable to discard kindness, bearing pain, he still struggles to seek hope.”

In Arthur’s eyes, there was a certain light, and he gazed at the moon with an unwavering look.

“Rest assured. If there were even the slightest suspicion about the Ouldra family, we would have stopped them with all our might. His Majesty has also judged that the Ouldra Count family is part of the new royal faction. Not everything will resolve perfectly, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive for the future we desire.”

“That’s right. Everyone is trying their best to get as close as possible to the future they wish for. . .”

Of course, so is Dyson.

 ㅤ

“Speaking of which, I’ve heard that Dyson is quite cautious. Yet Maurice, who is creating poison, stands out. Isn’t it usually something to do stealthily?”

“That’s what concerns me. I’ve found out that Maurice became quite distraught and almost went mad after the former Empress passed away. He was then confined for many years in the Maigret household. He was disowned and his nobility was revoked three years ago, which is when the royal chef changed. Maurice vanished without a trace, and there have only been sightings of him in the past year.”

Since the former Empress died 12 years ago, it seems he was confined for a very long time.

“Why was he disowned?”

“I’m still looking into it, but there’s little to go on. The servants have mostly changed, and the only ones left are those loyal to the Maigret family. It’s more of a priority to investigate the royal chef than Maurice’s past.”

“That makes sense. That person is likely the one poisoning.”

“Rene is also looking into why Maurice started going out. Don’t worry, it will all work out.”

It’s rare for Arthur to speak of comfort or hope like this. He usually states the facts clearly, telling us exactly why we’re making progress, which has always been reassuring.

“What a coincidence. I was thinking it would all work out, too.”

I try to smile slyly. At times like this, it would have been nice to be able to smile sweetly, but my current expression probably looks like I’m plotting something.

Facing a slightly surprised Arthur, I thrust out a clenched fist.

“What’s this?”

“We bump fists.”

“Like this. . .?”

“Stronger.”

Our barely touching fists collide with a thud. It’s a little painful, but I smile without showing it.

“Let’s keep up the good work for a bit longer!”

“Yes. . . Alright. It’s really just a little longer now.”

Arthur, momentarily taken aback, quickly returns to his usual demeanor and smiles. It’s a genuine smile, not one from the Fourth Knight Order that he had been pretending.

“. . .I wonder if this kind of relationship is best. . .”

Arthur mutters, his eyes following the moon. Today, he might be feeling a bit sentimental.

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