Derick suddenly turned around and called me. 'Did he notice?'
My heart was about to pop out of my chest. I checked if my sleeves covered the back of my hand and managed to raise my head.
"Excuse me, did you call me?"
I didn't have to act, because I have the husky voice of a servant.
Two persons came out. The orange gauge bar above Derick's head shines clearly in the dark. I gulped. "You looks like a servant from the mansion," said the other man who looked at me from head to toe. "What brings you here?"
"Ah..I'm here to pick up the laundry for the imprisoned slave." I calmly gave the answer I had prepared.
"Slave? By whose command?" "Princess's"
At that moment, his blue eyes' pupils dilated. Soon, however, he crumples his forehead as if he was displeased.
"Penelope. Did she make you do it?" "N-no. Yvonne... The young Miss did."
I looked at his reaction as I said it. I purposely didn't avoid his gaze.
It was a lie, but he might be suspicious for no reason. The guy who went out could have gone to check with the heroine. Then, there would be no more trouble.
Cold sweat tricked down my neck. Suddenly...
"Be careful with what you say." Said Derick, who seemed to be lost in thought for a moment, suddenly retorted ferociously.
"You're easy to go around spouting things that aren't confirmed yet. You must have been told to be careful."
I was dumbfounded by the sudden turn of conversation. 'You asked me first, why are you getting angry?'
(TL Note: this is why no one like you, Derick)
After grumbling,'I'll be damned if you started treating me very well.'
Suddenly, in my mind came Yvonne who also talked about what she suffered from her brothers who were ill-tempered in the beginning of the week.
'You're such a nasty character'
But I quickly bowed my head, for I was in a position of great trouble if he were to find out. "Ah... I-I'm sorry, Young Duke! I'll correct it! I'm so sorry!"
'Let's bow down up to 90°, like a servant.'
It's a pitiful sight.
Derek asked, with his eyes looking down in all haughtiness, "Are you new?" "Yes, yes!"
"That's strange. This day is really full of weird things..."
My heart sank once again at his words. I couldn't answer and was just frozen.
"You may go."
Derrick's permission finally fell with a clap of his tongue.
"Yes! Thank you!" As I tightened my bent head to the last minute, Derick without a reply, turned around and walked away.
He then disappears into the dark forest.
Looking at him, I carefully opened my wrist under my sleeve. Then I came to my senses and turned to the path in a hurry.
I ran into Derick which took more time that I thought. "Well, I'm here to see the slave..."
With the guards hearing my conversation with Derick, they opened the way for me. "Oh, that slave guy is underground. Don't go upstairs. Just go down the stairs." Thanks to the kind explanation, I was able to go to Eclise easily.
As soon as I entered the building, the stairs led to a corridor. The dreary staircase with a sparsely lit lamp Has been broken for quite some time. The end finally reached the prison cell.
The room was all steel bars. Whether it wasn't used as often, the old prison was empty except for the last one which the light doesn't even reach.
There wasn't even a guard underground. They must be confident at the security. 'He's an apprentice yet the treatment is terrible.' (Tl: my heart weeps for Eclise) The confirmation process is not complete yet and we can't release him right away.
Even worse, the environment was too poor. In addition, he was a servant of the family who brought "the real princess".
I could see how great the duke and Derick's hostility toward him was. 'It's none of my business.'
As I was looking around the dungeon, I rolled up my sleeves and unfastened my bracelet. In the past, I would have felt at least a weak sense of guilt, saying, "This is because the duke did not bring him in first as it was in the original story."
But I couldn't even feel it anymore. His betrayal hurt so much.
As soo as the magic wore off, the flaming red hair fell over my shoulders. When I put the bracelet in my pocket, all I had left in my left hand was a big ruby ring.
Time was running out, so I moved to the end without delay. I took a step at this end. Jabbuck, jabbuck -
Despite the sound of someone approaching, Eclise stuck in the corner did not move.
Jabbuck - I finally stood tall in front of my destination, pulled out a lamp from the wall and lifted it over the bars.
The light scattered over the darkness, and the gray haired head crouched in a pitiful way. "Hi," I said, breaking the silence.
Despite the appearance of a man walking, his unmoving body tensed. Eclise raised his head slowly. My eyes, which had been squinting for a while because of the lamp's light soon expanded slowly. "Master?"
"I can't believe you appeared out of nowhere" Eclise muttered with a blank look I have never seen before.
He then got up from his seat. And began to walk towards me step by step.
He's locked up in such a gloomy basement that I thought he was being treated unfairly but since there were no handcuffs, it seems that's not the case.
I felt much lighter.
While observing the Eclis's coming, I saw he had reached the very edge of his nose to the bars.
Before I knew it, he reached out his hand through the bars and I felt the coldness of another person on my cheek, so I hesitated and suppressed my body, which almost retreated.
"Am I dreaming?" "...?"
Eclise said to herself with a real doll-like face, as if he was a few days old. At that moment.
I wish this fucking situation was a dream more than anyone else. But seeing the system window clearly, it was never a dream.
"...that can't be true."
I answered with a wide grin. Then, the palms on my cheek tensed.
Only then did he realize that it was not a dream, but his jet-colored eyes which reflected the light shook violently.
"My lady, how did you get in here?"
He asked me still not believing that the moment is real. I still didn't avoid the hand stroking my cheek.
"How are you?"
Eclise took a deep breath and then asked me back with his quiet voice.
..."What about you, Master?" "I am allright."
His eyes, which used to be passionate, were silenced.
I opened my mouth, staring at it, which was as dull as ever. "I've been wrong."
"So much as I had to sneak up on you like this."
Words that I wouldn't have brought up to him at all in the past were flowing out. Eclise was not shaken by my words.
You were so far and desolate, with a bare skin.
Like a crumbling sand castle.
"Did you hear the news? All your countrymen who were about to run away were captured and executed."
"Thanks to this, the remaining Delmans on the farm were scattered all over the country." I thought seeing his face would make me angry in no time.
When I faced an his icy wall, he did not rise that much his head. It was tolerable.
In reply to my dry eyes, Eclise nodded silently.
I uttered my words to him, which help I had intended to drown. "...I've been thinking countless times for three days."
"Why did you do that to me? Was there anything that I didn't do for you? Or maybe our status were so different, even though I never cared about it?"
My gaze slowly went down and touched his neck. Still, his neck is neatly tucked under a yellow beaded choker.
"...Or is there some kind of ridiculous misunderstanding?" "Master..."
"I've thought desperately, Eclise."
I took my gaze from the choker and raised my head.
"But you said you didn't want money or title. And what's more."
His face was still expressionless but one of his fingers on my cheek flinched. I asked whispering, rubbing my face in his hand, as he does every time. "...Did I offend you so much?"
"To the point where I want to hang myself to death for buying you? Or did you hate me enough for you to bring out the real daughter of the Duke?"
Eclise slowly breathed in.
Being close, I could his doll-like face turn slightly pale.
"Or, did you want to change your owner who didn't even have the strength to give you a shave?" "That's...!"
Eclise suddenly raised his voice. "It's not like that, Master."
"How dare I think such a thing."
"But why did you do that to me, Eclise?"
I tried to speak as softly as possible, but my arguing tone keeps coming out. It's difficult to suppress this intense feeling.
He then pushed his other hand and gently reached out to hold my face. He doesn't seem angry
He looked more like a person who is more worried about the rain more than anyone else.
"I can't help you anymore because you've put me in a difficult situation with my family, I could no longer help you."
"Then, now who will your new owner be?" "That won't happen."
He answered in a rare emphatic voice.
"I'll be relieved soon, so I don't need any more owners." "What are you talking about?"
"Now that the Imperial Palace has learned that the accuser is a slave from the same Delman, to set a precedent for others, he's setting the grounds to the common people."
"Then why did you refuse the first brother's recommendation?" "That way I can stay here without any doubt. "
I opened my eyes to an unsolved mystery. "What?"
"If I had asked to be a small farmer for a cotton cloth or a title, he would have let me out of the mansion under that excuse. "
"It's disgusting, but it's pure, to serve as a loyal servant to repay the kindness of the family....
So that I could remain by your side, my master, the Duchess of Eckart." "By my side"
I mumbled the his words. "Yes. By my master's side." He repeated his answer. "Haha"
At the same time, I burst out laughing.
It's so laughable that I can't understand what he's talking about. Ha.. what are you talking about Eclise.
"You've been by my side all this time. But thanks to your help with the real princess, I'm driven away by the duke."
'But how could you possibly stay by my side?'
"ThenI will follow you master and support you when the duke tells you to move out."
"Stop talking nonsense!"
At that moment, I realized that everything I had been doing was useless. Eclise couldn't believe I was the closest character to him.
The hand, which was holding my face, burned my skin. "When did I ever say I wanted it?"
The blackish red gauge bar on his head blinked dangerously. I knew I had to stop, but I couldn't stand the burst of anger.
"You made your own guess, you made your own conclusion, you crazy bastard!" "Not this time, Master."
"It wasn't for you. It was for me." "?!"
"Not for you, but for me entirely."
At that moment, my eyes were stunned.
Tl: whew! That was a long chapter, and this chapter made my heard waver. I kind of feel sorry for Eclise now.