Adler’s expression, which had been pensive, twisted violently. It was clear that he was more surprised than she was.
“I have something to say.”
“Are you talking to me?!”
Looking at Adler’s face, it seemed that even if the world were to perish, he would not have such a flustered expression. Of course, she was just as perplexed. Leone wanted a private meeting with Adler. Was the sun going to rise in the west tomorrow?
“Yes, yes. Let’s go.”
Before he could ask anything, Leone took Adler and disappeared into the woods. When the darkness covered and the figures of the two did not disappear, someone shouted.
“Hey. Did you see Adler’s face?!”
It was a voice full of bewilderment and excitement. Suddenly there was a loud noise and she turned around in surprise to see all four knights clenching their fists and making strange faces. Surprise, bewilderment, wonder… While all sorts of emotions were clearly visible, there was one that stood out the most.
“Hahahaha. It’s the first time I’ve seen Mr. Adler look so stupid.”
“Who is it? When he comes back, I will tease him to my heart’s content.”
It was a pleasure. The knights laughed for a long time, as if asking for a very interesting number. On the day Adler was seen kneeling down and weeping, it seemed that there would be an uproar.
‘My, that would be great.’
Suddenly, there were people who knew him, and he was envious of Adler, who received a lot of love from them. Like Adler, moving straight toward justice was not something that could be done with faith alone. It was a law that required financial power, power, appropriate living skills, and skills to protect one’s own body to support him. Adler had it all and grew up in an “environment” where he could have it all. There must have been hard times alone, but according to the information in the novel, he was on good terms with Jung and his parents were friendly. Even though he has been away for 5 years, he was popular among the knights.
Adler was surrounded by people who cared for him. Same with the butler and Jen. It was all for Adler’s sake that the servants stuck at the foot of the mountain and said they would hold out for five years. Wasn’t it very different from Leone, who was puzzled by people’s smiles? Perhaps the reason Leone couldn’t open his heart to Adler was because he was born different.
‘Me and Leone are similar to some extent, so maybe he deserved to open his heart.’
Leone and she had lived through a fierce battle with trauma. Leone’s violence stemmed from his fear of humans, and her selfishness in thinking of saving her life as a priority and even calculating to leave Leone behind her also stemmed from her fear of life. Both of them had improved quite a bit for what had been broken a lot.
“Haha. Do you remember that time? Adler-”
Witnessing Adler’s life made her feel bitter. The knights put on happy faces as they spoke Adler’s name. It would have been nice if that one laugh could have come back to Leone. And for her too. No, it would have been nice if the trauma could not have occurred in the first place.
‘I’m thinking too much.’
She shook her head. Maybe it’s because Leone didn’t look like a puppy these days.
“Sir Adler. Are you back?”
As if the story had already ended, the two returned. The voices of the knights welcoming Adler were mischievous.
“What were you talking about with him, Leone?”
She was curious, so she asked without thinking, but Leone just smiled and put his hand on top of her head and stroked it.
What was that? She was very curious.
“Sir Adler. What were you two talking about?”
Adler suddenly grinned.
“Hehe. He said it was a secret.”
Even if the thread was unraveled, the smiling face seemed so happy that she thought it wouldn’t be that much.
“It’s a secret, a secret. Hehe.”
Seeing that face, the knights rolled on the floor and laughed.
“Ah ha ha ha ha. Adler, look at your face.”
“I will cry for the nickname of the strongest knight in the Empire!”
New to that commotion, Leone sat quietly next to her and she chuckled.
“Are you close with Adler? You now even share secrets.”
“Well, you did very well anyway. Leone, it’s good to be so good. Let’s keep doing that.”
With Leone sitting next to her, somehow all the thoughts and complicated minds withdrew and she became dazed. Her eyelids quickly became heavy. She haven’t even eaten dinner yet…
A low voice came from very close by.
Did he notice that she had been thinking more and more lately?
She smiled faintly before darkness fell in front of her eyes. She couldn’t tell if it was really night after early evening or if her eyes were just closed.
* * *
“Lo, Lord Leone. Why me…”
Adler’s face turned a little red.
Leone examined his face. He knew at least that Adler was approaching him even though he was afraid of him. He was curious about it, but he didn’t think to look closely. What emotions were there, and why were they approaching that way? Various expressions would come to mind on the faces of the many people he saw with Trixie.
Unlike humans, Leone and his family noticed by observing each other’s cries and actions rather than facial expressions. So Leone didn’t have an expression, and he didn’t know what that expression was. Sometimes, when he was in a good mood, he just smiled like Trixie. But this face…
It was like Trixie, like humans at a festival caring for each other and hugging each other. He didn’t call him out because he was curious about his feelings. Leone realized that the face of this man, who hadn’t looked closely, showed deep affection for him.
“I-. Is it good?”
Adler narrowed his eyes in bewilderment. Leone asked with more force.
“You. You’re afraid, ah.”
“Lord Leone, that’s…”
Time, of course, left scars on both of them. Adler could not easily answer that he was not afraid of Leone.
“However. You like?”
Leone looked at Adler like that.
“I am a being who lives for Leone. I respect Lord Leone, and I pledge my allegiance as the only knight.”
Adler’s complex words were not yet within the reach of Leone’s full comprehension. Leone asked again.
Adler’s eyes moistened.
“Great. Lord Leone!”
As he spit out the feelings he had stored in him, somehow the tip of his nose twitched, so Adler frowned.
“It sounds like a confession, but it’s not. It means I like you personally! Oh, shouldn’t I be called a human? That, then… biologically!”
‘Human beings, with their faces and eyes, reveal such complex minds.’
So Leone could figure out that Trixie was leaving. Because of Trixie’s complex face revealed between the words of leaving.
‘A complicated mind.’
Could Leone have it too? Adler and Leone have clashed too much, and the years of hatred have been too long. But Adler’s attitude towards Leone was evidently affectionate. Leone could now tell them apart.
He had already seen that flushed face and moved eyes in Trixie. Leone was at a loss as to what to do with Adler. He could roughly understand that there was affection and that it was given for Leone. But he didn’t want Trixie to look down on him.
‘So, the damn knight- has Trixie, huh?’
‘Uh. It’s strange to say I had it… It’s similar.’
And what? Did he have a lot of money? Adler had Trixie?
“I. Leone. Is that what you meant?”
Adler asked cautiously. Leone made an ‘ah’ sound. He forgot the main point in the sudden flood of thoughts. Okay. If she needed money, Leone should have a bigger one. It’s probably the fastest way to ask someone with a lot of money.
Leone shifted his gaze away from the emotions that had risen in the moment and faced Adler.
“No, I was curious.”
“Yes. Ask anything! Are you curious about His Majesty’s name? Or the history of the Atarta Empire?!”
Leone asked his knight a question in a calm voice.
“How do you get the money?”
“Marriage. How do you get that with money?”
Adler made a blank face.
“Marriage… with whom did you talk about it? What if… Did you?”
“Money is owned. Marriage is— forever.”
“If you are curious about that, then the reason…?”
Adler asked in an anxious voice. He didn’t know exactly, but Adler would kick Trixie out if he told him honestly that he dreamed of an eternity with Trixie. It should be moderately circumscribed.
“Humans. I like them.”
Those close to Leone really liked it when he reacted positively to humans or acted ‘humanly’. So, Leone roughly found a reason to like it, and his prediction was correct.
“Oh oh…! Oh oh!”
Adler looked visibly happy.
“Indeed. Marriage and money are pretty important values for humans!”
It looked like it went well. Adler’s excited voice continued his lengthy explanation. Leone worked hard to carve Adler’s words into his mind.
“This, everything, everything. Secret.”
He didn’t want to let Trixie know that he had asked Adler about things he didn’t quite understand, so Leone didn’t forget to shut up Adler after the talk.
“Secret, keep it. Knight.”
“Heh heh. Yes.”
Adler nodded his head passionately, his throat dropping.
‘It’s a secret. It’s a secret between Lord Leone and me!’
Adler trembled with joy, as if a dwarf was dancing in his heart.
‘Besides, he asked me to go! With a voice that seemed to care for me!’
Adler excitedly followed Leone. Upon entering camp, Leone sat right next to Trixie without looking back at the others. To Leone, this night was really strange. Even though the knights were noisy, it didn’t matter. Trixie was by his side.
Her head, which had been dozing off before she knew it, shook precariously, and she soon landed on Leone’s shoulder.
The full night had arrived. Before Adler freaked out and separated Leone and Trixie, Leone picked her up and put her to bed. And he curled up in his own seat beside her and fell asleep.
Hello there! This is RJR, thank you very much for reading!
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Next post will be released on May, 15.
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