Editor: Misaki Yata
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Chapter 5: An Invitation Letter (01)
By the time his eyes lifted off the documents laying before him, the sky outside had dyed indigo, and the stars had already begun to twinkle.
Following his early supper, Vio had been holed up in the study the entire time. The lights within the room shone brightly, painting an illusion that it was still noon.
As Vio got up to draw the curtains shut, the mutilated garden came into view. Seeing the tragic state it was in, he recalled the afternoon’s events, hating even the memory of it.
That was unexpected. I always thought that if I were to meet Erik again, there would have been more hate and fear in me…
At the time, he was desperately trying to protect Flora and lacked the leisure to feel fear.
But once he calmed down, he realized, all he felt was sorrow and pity.
He wasn’t the only one still shackled by the events which took place that winter night. Erik too, clearly still suffered from what happened back then.
I would probably have had felt more hate, had that mocking smile of his appeared on a face that did not manifest such emotion.
He was vigilantly aiming for the Lesserhain house from another country, even though it would have been better for him to wholly forget about having stabbed Vio and live a happy life.
“He’s an awkward fellow.”
Calling him names under his breath, Vio pulled the deep green curtains shut. At that moment, he heard a knock on the door. When he affirmed his consent, Jill entered the room.
“Young Master, won’t you take a small break?”
He thanked Jill, who had brought a tea-set.
“This is quite unusual. Isn’t it Legi who’s been bringing me tea lately?”
“You’re asking about him? He said that he was going to patrol the area and went out with a hand-lamp. He wished to temper himself a little too.”
“At such a time?”
He cast a glance at the window at once. But the drawn curtains hid the outside from his view.
“He always trains himself in the morning, but he seems to want to cool his head down a bit,”
“I wonder what made him angry. Did being called an underclassman offend him to that extent?”
Vio drained the Black tea in one gulp and voiced his doubts.
Although Legion seemed calm as per usual, if one were to observe carefully, he appeared to be in quite a foul mood. His footsteps were loud, and he swung widely when he closed doors. It was considerably clear as Legi wasn’t generally a clamourous person.
“I apologise for being rude, Young Master. None of us servants can stomach this.”
“I see… wasn’t Lil scared?”
“No. If anything, she’s angry.”
“If that’s so it’s fine then. I truly hate having you all worry over my situation.”
As Vio gave a listless sigh, Jill chimed in, saying “That’s right”.
“It is because I know that Young Master is worried about us. That’s why we feel angry. You need not concern yourself over us. All of us will be content if you can lead a peaceful life.”
Jill bowed respectfully.
Vio’s violet eyes blinked, and his expression eased.
“You truly are adept at pampering me.”
“We wouldn’t mind if you were a little more selfish. Please do ask me if there’s anything at all, I would be happy to do more.”
“Pft, what’s with that? Am I not asking you to serve me tea like this? This much is enough for me. Thank you.”
He unwittingly burst out laughing.
But he felt happy. His heart warmed and his face lit up with an uninhibited smile.
Jill squinted his grey eyes and laughed gently, reminding him.
“Really, you can ask me anything at any time Young Master.”
“I got it, I got it. I’ll ask you if anything comes to mind.”
Really, what was with this situation of being asked to be more selfish? Vio chuckled at his strange predicament.
“Incidentally, Young Master, it seems as though the problem has been solved?”
“Nope, not yet. No matter how many times I calculate, we still cannot afford the expense of the materials needed…”
It was about the cost of repairing the castle walls that surrounded the town.
A section had badly collapsed. If the enemy invaded, it would surely be from there. It snowed heavily near the border here, so it was not a big issue at present. But in an instance of an attack, it would be critical.
The budget he had now barely covered a part of the personnel and material expenses. It was a good idea to look to the townspeople for the cost to repair the wall, but he did not wish to burden them. So he left that option as a last resort.
“I’ll try consulting the Commerce and Industry Guild in the town tomorrow, but… it’s hard as expected. The materials for the bricks are fine, but we have to bake them in a kiln and we need vast amounts of firewood for it. Furthermore, we have to purchase the lime mortar from another place. In that case, the transportation cost…”
His head hurt.
“Young Master, you can leave that to the experts. Simply present the budget and ask if it is possible or not. Let us cross that bridge when we come to it. —Young Master must be tired today. Leave your worries at that and please rest for today.”
After speaking decisively, Jill made the polite request. Vio returned a wry smile.”
“That’s right. I do not understand much about public work. I’ll think about it after consulting with the guild. Well, let’s sleep now.”
“Thank you for listening to me.”
Vio nodded. He left the documents on the desk as they were and put out the lights in the room.