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Translated by Wook
Edited by Iris Sakura
Calyx looked down from the window at the Radwiell’s spacious garden. People were walking in the colorful flower garden, where the craftsmanship of the gardener shone. Among them was a woman with tied-back hair wearing a white shirt and gray suspenders with pants. It wasn’t an outfit noble girls would wear, but Rosaline had been uncomfortable with dresses before. Dresses must have been a hassle when her job required a lot of free body movement.
Maids followed her as she walked among the flower beds. One was holding a parasol to protect her skin, and another was holding a shawl in fear that Rosaline might get cold. Another maid hurried after her with a fan in fear that she would be hot, and another maid held a snack basket in fear that she would be hungry. The girls, who are about the same age as Calyx, have followed Rosaline well since the old days.
‘Do they not sense the emptiness of this Rosaline?’ Calyx’s expression contorted.
“Look at this, my lady. The flowers are very pretty.”
“But are you not prettier?”
‘Oh my, oh my!’ The maids squealed in happiness.
Calyx had seen such a scene before. On one spring day when the flowers were blooming, Calyx, Rosaline, and the maids had gone on an outing that he didn’t care much about. But the little maids wanted to go out and play, so they went.
Whenever the maids praised the pretty flowers…
[You are prettier, Illya.]
…Rosaline would steal their hearts.
The maids were amazed that their lady’s behavior still resembled her old self, even though she lost her memories.
“Even if she can’t remember, our lady is still the same!”
“After all, our lady is our lady!”
Their words lingered in Calyx’s mind. That wasn’t Rosaline.
‘That’s not Rosaline. That’s not my sister. ‘It’ is not’.
Calyx flipped through Alter’s report with a complicated mind. It was a document about shadows. He habitually continued to look through it, and now he had memorized each line without making a mistake.
[I came to protect.]
[I came to protect him.]
[To protect who?]
[The Master of the White Night.]
She was a perfect stranger, a simple monster wearing Rosaline’s shape. He had only considered her as something wearing his sister’s mask until she said she would protect the Master of the White Night…
Calyx felt like something was burning in his eyes. It was as if embers were trying to burst out of them. He smiled involuntarily. After suffering from numerous doubts, he could finally define her as a perfect stranger. But at that moment, she had truly spoken like his sister. She maintained Rosaline’s ideals even when he threatened her using his father’s name. Because of that, Calyx finally had to put away his sword.
For a moment, Calyx had thought, ‘Perhaps. Perhaps ‘this’ is what she sent. It may have been her best option as her death was imminent. Perhaps… this is what she wanted.’
That day, Calyx decapitated the spy that was lying on the floor of the office. Anyone would quickly question the strange appearance of a corpse with a twisted neck.
[The night air is cold. Please go inside carefully, Sister.] Calyx sternly said as he took the spy’s body and left the room.
Two weeks had passed since that night. Rosaline’s wounds had almost fully healed, leaving only some marks. She used forks and knives skillfully and didn’t even pick up food that dropped on the floor. Taking advantage of her memory loss, Edelweiss had bought a dress for her daughter, but Rosaline stopped wearing it after day one. Shirts, pants, and boots that reach just below the calf: Rosaline wandered around the county in that attire, making Edelweiss weep when she saw her.
She also started to learn letters and languages. It still was not enough, but the progress was fast. It seemed like the process of gradually awakening what she knew before but had forgotten after a long time.
Rosaline, who was looking at the flower bed, turned her head. Her eyes met with Calyx, who was looking down at her with his arms crossed. She raised her hand to her chest and waved it slightly. Calyx was startled, looking as if a rock had hit him on the back of his head. But soon, he responded by waving his hand too. Rosaline slightly raised the corners of her lips to smile at him before she continued walking with her maids. Their figures turned smaller and smaller, and eventually became obscured by the building.
“Is it alright?” Alter, who was standing still behind Calyx, asked.
His question had several meanings: ‘Is Master alright?’ or ‘Is it alright to leave her alone?’ However, Calyx had only been thinking of Rosaline all day, so he accepted it as the latter.
Calyx tossed the papers in his hand into the fireplace. Not caring about Alter’s grim expression, he took a flint and ignited it skillfully.
Alter looked like he was about to cry, ‘My blood, sweat, and tears all turned to ashes.’
“I am a good brother.”
‘Well done, Calyx. Our Cal is such a good kid,’ Rosaline used to say that often when he was young.
Calyx smiled bitterly, “If this was truly my sister’s wish…”
A flash of flame that just begun to burn reflected in Calyx’s eyes. The flame burned without leaving a shred of paper or a drop of ink, then flared without stopping.
“…I will follow along.”
Thick black smoke escaped from the chimney across the road. Rosaline looked at the smoke for a moment as it went up into the sky before moving on again.
No running. No loud noises. No frivolous talk. The butler had just broken at least two of those rules. Moreover, Calyx had his day ruined when he was peacefully practicing swordsmanship. Calyx sensed something was happening based on the appearance of the butler who was rushing toward him. He even guessed that it must have something to do with that woman.
“Sir Raymond Cimarron has visited the county to see the young lady!”
[Raymond Cimarron: Raymond of the Bighorn Goat. No, okay seriously imagine if I use their ‘literal’ names instead of substituting them like this. Cimarron goat is another name for Bighorn goat (you may search in google) and I think it looks good as a surname, so just bear with me, okay?]
‘Damn right, it’s urgent,’ Calyx was sweaty, but he didn’t even think to wash first and quickly put on his coat before he went out.
The only people who knew that Rosaline had amnesia were those of Radwiell County. Internally, even Edelweiss knew this would put Rosaline in a precarious position as a member of the Knights of the White Night. But vocally, she still complained that it would be more disastrous for her daughter’s marriage prospects.
The leader of the Knights of the White Night always kept an eye on Rosaline. Radwiell County originally belonged to the 1st Prince’s sect. So, this act of keeping tabs on her was necessary as she’s the eldest daughter of Radwiell joining the Knight Order of the 2nd Prince. He had remained silent for a month because her injuries were grave, and he was kept busy because of the events from the hunting competition. However, enough time had passed for everything to settle, and her sick leave was coming to an end.
Raymond Cimarron was one of Rosaline’s few close friends. His appearance must be both a personal visit and pressure from the higher-ups. However, regardless of whether her wounds have healed, there was a clear reason why her return must be delayed. She could talk now, but she had a hard time knowing the difference between casual and respectful language. Plus, she had no memories of the past Rosaline.
The maids and servants followed Calyx as he rushed into the main building. Impatience and agitation were written on their faces, so Calyx moved a little faster.
“Young Lord, Sir Raymond has gone up to see the young lady first!”
“He didn’t stop and wouldn’t listen!”
“He went up recklessly asking what kind of permission is needed to meet a friend. Since he’s a child of a noble family, we couldn’t even put our hands on him…”
Calyx clenched his teeth and ran. Along the way, he heard voices ring out in urgency.
“Young Lord! Young Lord!”
Rosaline’s door was wide open, and outside, several maids could be seen shifting their feet restlessly. When they saw Calyx, they looked like they were about to cry.
“Young Lord! Young Lord! Young Lord!”
Calyx thought he’d heard his name called enough times to last him a lifetime.
The scene unfolding before his eyes reminded him of the day when Rosaline had grabbed and nibbled on a steak with bare hands… That… kind of… wild picture.
Inside the room was a man in the uniform of the Knights of White Night. Calyx was well acquainted with Raymond Cimarron. But at this moment, Raymond’s posture was a bit strange. He was trembling on his knees in front of Rosaline, who was standing there like a world-dominating military commander.
“Where did you just touch? Are you prepared to die?” Her tone of voice was very similar to that of Calyx’s.
These days, she had been secretly watching him from behind, and he thought she had just learned his way of speaking. That aside… what she said was a bit strange.
‘Touch? What touch?’ Calyx removed his gaze from her and grabbed Raymond’s shoulder.
“Sir, what is this now…? W- What are you doing? Sir Raymond? Sir?”
Calyx’s tone, which was cool and controlled even as he held Raymond’s shoulder, changed rapidly in a short period from interrogative, to doubtful, and then astonished. Raymond’s pale face looked serious. Raymond then trembled, grabbed Calyx’s arm, and fainted with a loud sound.
The sound of Raymond’s body hitting the floor rang out. The young maids were startled and started to weep. The butler was seen running in a hurry from a distance. While this is all happening, Rosaline was picking at her scones on the table next to her.
It was a mess.
They moved Raymond to the bed in a guest room. When his uniform was taken off, there were bright red marks on his chin, and it looked like he was going to have a big bruise sooner or later.
Calyx first asked his sister what had happened. She pinned her flowing hair behind her ear and drank her milk tea with a frown on her face.
“That person is a really, really bad guy.”
“… You shouldn’t say that so casually.”
She was not helping at all, so Calyx asked the maid in charge of her care. The maid said that Sir Raymond hugged the young lady as soon as he saw her. He said it was a source of joy to see the young lady unharmed. He didn’t fumble or do anything weird. But unfortunately, the day before, the maids had been very worried that the gentle and kind young lady had lost all her common sense along with her memories.
[Young Lady. We, as your subordinates, will sometimes touch you to dress you like this. Other than this, if someone you don’t know tries to touch or stroke you, be sure to tell them that they’re a really, really bad guy. Alright? And make sure to punish them.]
[What about Calyx?]
[Young Lord Calyx is fine. However, if someone you see for the first time acts like that, then…]
‘Even if you lose’, they had continued, ‘Young Lord Calyx will take care of it.’
Calyx closed his eyes tightly. What they had overlooked was that to Rosaline, who had lost her memory, it would be her first time seeing anyone else except her family and employees. So, Calyx went back to Rosaline’s room and started the late education that only began after Calyx thoroughly scolded everyone.
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