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    Translated by Translated by Tam
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    She wondered what would happen if he hung something else, but fortunately, Cesare nodded lightly.

     

    “Well, let me see.”

     

    Then he climbs the stairs through the wide-open wooden door. Catherine stood upon the magic circle for a moment, with a blank expression on her face. She wondered where he was going at first, but after some thought, she realized he had a history of disappearing like this just a few days before. Cesare came down with the sound of footsteps ringing the basement wall as if her predictions had come true.

     

    “Is this the book?”

     

    The object he brought out was a book with the bloody title of [Human Breeding]. It was a title that made Catherine’s back shiver because she knew Cesare’s true identity.

     

    “No, the cover color is the same, but it’s a different book.” 

     

    “What’s the title of the book you lent me?” 

     

    He borrowed it because it was fun, but he didn’t even know the title. It was ridiculous, but Catherine was in no position to beat him. 

     

    “That’s— I’m sorry, but I can’t remember anything other than that it started with ‘Soul’.”

     

    This is because Catherine herself didn’t know the proper title. 

     

    “Hmm.”

     

    After thinking for a while, Cesare went up again and disappeared. She felt sorry for no reason for him to do her a favor without saying much. How much time has passed? Cesare returned with five or six books in his arms. It was a book with a red cover and a title that began with ‘Soul’.

     

    “Among them?”

     

    “—No.”

     

    Cesare, who returned for the third time, had more than ten books piled up in his arms. He asked, with his face covered by a mountain of books. 

     

    “Among them?” 

     

    Oh my goodness, there are so many books with red covers that begin with the word ‘Soul’! She quickly grabbed the book titles, but the book she was looking for was nowhere to be found.

     

    “There’s none. I mean, you just borrowed it a few days ago and can’t remember the title? Did you take it and read it?”

     

    “I don’t know who’s talking to whom. I think it’s better than you who don’t even know the title of a precious book.” 

     

    “Actually, I was talking to myself.”

     

    “I’m glad you know.”

     

    Cesare didn’t laugh. Instead, a short sigh could be heard through the book. 

     

    “It’s better to move the entire study. I can’t help it, let’s go to my house.” 

     

    “Huh?”

     

    All of a sudden? 

     

    She only closed her eyes once in response to the unexpected suggestion.

     

    The change happened in an instant. The cold and humid air vanished in an instant, leaving behind an uncomfortably warm feeling. Her vision, which had been in the dark with flickering lights, suddenly became bright and she couldn’t open her eyes. 

     

    All of these changes happened so suddenly that at first glance, she started feeling dizzy while standing on her two feet.

     

    “Catherine, you can open your eyes.” 

     

    Catherine, who had been covering her face for a long time, slowly lowered her hands to the voice calling her. 

     

    “Ugh—”

     

    She wonders where this is. 

     

    She found herself standing on a luxurious and clean carpet rather than a barren stone-floored basement. The light pouring in through the large window overlooking the sea was especially blue and refreshing. The detailed statues and murals scattered throughout the long corridor could not have been so splendid.

     

    If the prediction is correct, or for certain, this place will be Cesare’s mansion. It is also a mansion boasting enormous wealth, even the nobility who makes a decent living in the countryside can’t even give a business card. 

     

    “Gren.”

     

    “Yes, Sir Cesare.”

     

    Surprise! Catherine took a step back, avoiding the man who popped out from behind her own back. Cesare slowly rolled up his sleeves after all of the books had disappeared.

     

    “Take her to the drawing-room. Miss Phanya, I’ll bring you your book soon, so please wait patiently.”

     

    Cesare just left those words and disappeared. 

     

    ‘It can’t be, I came to this house just because of one book.’

     

    Besides, if it’s the Grand Duke’s mansion, isn’t it a Duke’s house? For one thing, it felt like this mansion was not a Duke’s residence. After all, there is no way to guide someone who only knows their name to the castle. (t/n: I’m not sure about the first part ;; )

     

    “Do I just have to follow you?”

     

    An old man called Gren smiled softly. 

     

    “Of course. May I know the name of the beautiful Lady before that? You can call me Gren comfortably. I’m the butler of this mansion.” 

     

    “Oh, my name is Catherine Phanya. Cesare with me is—.” 

     

    What should she say? Arguing over ownership of that house relationship? Or between borrowing and lending books? It didn’t sit well with either of them.

     

    “We just know each other.” 

     

    “I see. Do you mind if I call you Lady Catherine?”

     

    She’d only see him today, so she wondered if there was any reason to call her friendly. Names like that are likely to be shared in the future.

     

    “Yes, please.”

     

    She followed Gren through the dazzling mansion. 

     

    It was her first time visiting, but strangely she didn’t feel uncomfortable. Usually, in these places, it feels unfamiliar or awkward, but Cesare’s mansion didn’t feel like that at all. 

     

    “It’s very cozy here.”

     

    “This is the first time I’ve heard of such a review. Other guests always said they felt chills— Thank you. It is a compliment that can’t be better than this.”

     

    Above all, the presence of ‘it’, which is often felt during the day, is not felt at all. Catherine, who sat in the chair, looked around her and spoke to him. 

     

    “My heart calms down, and it’s bright everywhere without a single shadow.”‘

     

    “Ah—”

     

    As if realizing something, Gren shook his head with a brief admiration. 

     

    “I understand now what you are saying. ‘They’ don’t dare to set foot in this mansion. Sir Cesare ordered so.” 

     

    What? 

     

    “The maid will bring out the tea soon, so please sit comfortably and wait, Lady Catherine.” 

     

    Even before she asked what it meant, two maids came into the drawing-room. There are many cute luxury desserts on the table as if they were having tea time. 

     

    “Lady, what kind of tea do you like? Herb tea? Black tea? Or milk tea?” 

     

    The skillful maid asked Catherine. 

     

    “I like both. Recently, I enjoy herbal tea lightly, but—”

     

    “Oh my! That’s a relief. Just name it. I’ll make sure to prepare herb tea next time, too!” 

     

    “When you come, please tell us in advance. I’ll tell the chef and make delicious madeleines.” 

     

    With a smile, the maids disappeared from the drawing-room. What’s the point of treating her as if they’ll see each other tomorrow? Catherine picked up a teacup with a yellow chrysanthemum in full bloom, feeling uneasy for no reason.

     

    She thought she just had something to ask Gren, but the maids were so noisy that she forgot about it. Catherine, who had been quietly sipping her tea, raised her head. 

     

    “Gren, is this Duke Christopher’s residence?”

     

    At the same time, Gren’s expression looking at her became strange as if he was looking at a winged cat. 

     

    “That’s—”

     

    “Miss Phanya.”

     

    A voice interrupted him before he could finish what he was saying. Cesare walks into the drawing-room and hands her an old, red, familiar book.

     

    「Soul and Memory」 

     

    Yes, she remembered the book’s cover properly. This was the title. 

     

    “Ah, this book is right. Thank you, Cesare. You found it quickly. I thought I had to look at 100 more books.” 

     

    “It was the only book with a picture stuck in it.” 

     

    “I think so. I’m bothering you because of this book.”

     

    “It’s not that much of a hassle.” 

     

    The picture of her mother she was looking for was entirely hidden among the books. She breathed a sigh of relief when she picked up an old picture at the end of the book. 

     

    “—Cesare. By any chance, do you know this person?”

     

    Cesare, who sat across from her, was shown a picture. His expression was as calm as usual as he stared at her mother.

     

    “How can I know? Who is it?”

     

    “It’s the person I’m looking for. It was hung on the bedroom bookshelf I’m using now. I was wondering if you knew.”

     

    The answer came straight out. 

     

    “Unfortunately, I don’t remember her.” 

     

    “I see.” 

     

    Yes, knowing the mansion for a long time does not guarantee that he would have seen her mother. Even if someone was living, she would have come and gone. Her mother could have lived for only a few months. 

     

    “But the mansion is really cool.”

     

    “I hear that a lot.” 

     

    “I can see the port and the shipyard.” 

     

    “If you like it, you can go and look around.” 

     

    “Thank you. The horizon that meets the sky is amazing.” 

     

    The view from this drawing-room was by far the best of any of Catherine’s visits to noblemen’s mansions. From the vast sky to the deep blue sea, there are huge ports and iron-smelling shipyards.

     

    It was a scene that could only be seen if you looked down from a high viewpoint. This nice and splendid mansion seemed to be straddling a ridge somewhere.

     

    “I would believe it even if it was Duke Christopher’s place.” 

     

    “Of course, I hear that a lot.” 

     

    “I heard the view there is so nice.”

     

    “I heard that a lot, too.”

     

    She thought he would answer that way. Cesare smiled genuinely joyfully as she glared at him with suspicion. 

     

    He picked up the prepared teacup as if to look at it and poured warm milk and black tea. And then he smiled with his mouth up, and his face was ridiculously cheeky. 

     

    “Sir Cesare, I have something to say—”

     

    “It doesn’t matter, so do it here.” 

     

    Gren glanced at Catherine’s face, but it was only for a moment. He followed Cesare’s orders without delay. 

     

    “It is about the return of the paladins.” 

     

    Tsk. Cesare wrinkled his face in an instant and clicked his tongue. 

     

    “The Pope’s guys are always talkative and noisy. Why, did they ask me to welcome them by holding a festival on the street?”

     

    He was also the one who mentioned the Pope when he pushed Catherine with a sword at the first meeting. There seemed to be a great bad relationship between the two that she didn’t know.

     

    “Yes.”

     

    “It’s hard to be as consistent as they are.”

     

    They’re asking for something like that directly. Thanks to Cesare, she learned something new. As an added bonus, the impression of the Pope, which had been engraved in her head, was a bit crumpled. As always, the Paladins believed in the Pope and they were arrogant. 

     

    Cesare stared into the air with an uninspiring look for a while. 

     

    “I’m going to hold a goat festival.” 

     

    Subsequently, the voice heard did not contain any emotion. 

     

    “We’re having a goat festival to spread the superstition that getting hit by goat dung will bless you. And if you spray it on their faces, they’ll shut up and walk away.”

     

    How the heck does he really hate to see them by talking nonsense in front of guests? She asked him. 

     

    “You’re joking right?”

     

    Swallowing the milk tea, Cesare replied. 

     

    “I’m serious.” 

     


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