Sig was immersed in deep thought since early morning. He had been pondering over something since before going to bed, but he still couldn’t come up with an answer.
“My lord, why do you look so serious?”
Evry asked cautiously. It seemed like something had happened at the party yesterday, but he wasn’t opening up about it.
“No matter how much I think, I can’t find an answer,”
He sighed, pressing his temples with his hand.
His closed eyes gave the impression that it was a matter more serious than usual.
“If you tell me what’s going on, I’ll try to think with you.”
Sig opened his eyes as Evry spoke.
“Do you think you can find an answer?”
“I’ll do my best.”
Evry’s seriousness increased in response to Sig’s grave demeanour.
“I can’t figure out how much money I should demand from Britia, no matter how much I think about it.”
“I’m sorry, but could you please explain in more detail?”
Evry was surprised by why he suddenly wanted to demand money from her.
Sig recounted the events of the previous night in a deliberate manner.
“Do I just need to tell her the price of the handkerchiefs that are sold in stores?”
Sig looked serious, while Evry suddenly covered his face with both hands.
“My lord, please think carefully.”
Sig found his words to be strange.
He had been thinking about it all this time, so what else was there to consider?
“Do you need that kind of money, My lord?”
Upon hearing his subordinate’s words, Sig made a sound of agreement and clenched his jaw.
“I told her it was fine, but she refused to accept it.”
She insisted that if she accepted it for free, she would be punished by the goddess.
“Even if you don’t need the money, there must be something you need, My lord.”
“Something other than money?”
Sig found his words to be new.
He continued to think about how much he should receive.
However, if he could receive something else, his options would certainly broaden.
“Then what should I receive from her?”
It wasn’t easy to make a choice.
In fact, it became even more difficult.
“If possible, you should receive the most valuable thing you can get from her.”
“Just for a handkerchief?”
Sig rebutted, saying it was too shameless, and Evry sighed.
“I didn’t mean to ask her for something unreasonable.”
“Then what is it?”
Sig furrowed his brow, and Evry raised his hands.
“It’s an opportunity, My lord!”
That’s what he said, but Sig didn’t understand what he meant.
“An opportunity to meet her. It would be even better if you could meet her several times.”
Sig’s eyes slowly blinked at every word from Evry.
“Why do I have to meet her?”
At Evry’s response, Sig began to doubt his own ears.
“Just yesterday, you were eagerly anticipating meeting her at the party. Why are you saying this now?”
Evry’s eyes narrowed suspiciously at Sig.
“I only thought I could finally give her the handkerchief myself.”
“Are you saying you have no intention of meeting her from now on?”
Sig hesitated at the question.
“Absolutely not. No matter what happens. Are you saying you will never meet her for the rest of your life?”
Evry asked him, checking for confirmation. Sig fumbled for an answer.
If he doesn’t meet her from now on, what will happen?
He wouldn’t have the chance to witness her closed eyes when she laughed or the gradual smile that appeared on her lips.
“Why can’t you answer?”
Evry’s question made Sig slowly nod his head.
“Yes, you are right.”
He wouldn’t meet her.
The thought made him feel uneasy.
Moreover, he found himself wanting to see her voice and gestures again, perhaps due to his mood.
Sig couldn’t understand the reason behind his own emotions.
“I don’t have anything to give her now.”
“Well, I don’t know. Why do you think My lord wants to see her?”
Evry knew the reason all along, but she didn’t tell him.
Evry knew the reason all along, but she didn’t tell him.
He believed it was a problem he needed to realize on his own.
“I only meant to lessen my worries, but it seems to have only increased them.”
Sig touched his forehead with a perplexed expression.
☆ ☆ ☆
It had been four days since the Duchess Robley’s party.
Lockhart was quite surprised by the unexpected visit from Duke Turas.
Furthermore, his face looked quite anxious.
“I didn’t expect you to visit like this today. We’ve suddenly become such close acquaintances.”
Although it was meant as a joke, Sig sincerely apologized.
“Oh, you said that with a hidden desire to become close acquaintances.”
As Sig was already a well-known figure hidden behind a veil, Crave found him interesting and amusing.
“As I mentioned in my previous letter, I wanted to be friends with you, Earl-nim.”
However, ever since he became Crave’s benefactor in the hunting grounds, he genuinely wanted to be closer to him.
“Is that so.”
But what could be happening today? He couldn’t seem to calm down.
He was always as immovable as a mountain.
“Shall we speak comfortably while we’re at it? Let’s talk like old friends we’ve known for a long time.”
Crave playfully spread his arms wide.
His younger siblings would cringe and give him cold looks whenever he did that.
But Sig, on the other hand, looked at him intently and then hugged him tightly, patting his back with a thud.
“There you go.”
‘What’s with the sudden closeness?’
Crave’s eyes widened, and he froze.
‘Come to think of it, was Britia the one who was behind this?’
He wears a severe expression, but he seems to be lonely and in need of friends.
Crave rolled his eyes around and then tapped Sig’s back lightly.
“You’re quite quick in making friends.”
Crave awkwardly chuckled and stepped back, and Sig exhaled.
“It seems like there’s something you need to do as a friend right now.”
“Is there something bothering you?
Did you come to see me for a particular reason?”
Crave asked half-jokingly if he needed advice.
But Sig nodded his head.
“I’m ready now.”
He mumbled some incomprehensible words and looked at Crave.
His eyes showed determination as if he had made a big decision.
“If you came to talk to me about a duel, I’ll decline.”
Crave raised both hands in surrender, saying he would decline any talk of a duel.
“If I may speak,”
“I have come to meet Britia-nim,” Sig replied.
Crave nodded vigorously, pointing to Sig with his index and middle fingers as if to say he understood.
“I see that you are not here for me but for our Tia,” he said with a subtle smile, looking at Sig.
“You seem mischievous. Did you want to see
daughter of our Lockhart Family?”
Crave teased Sig, who was taken aback.
Half of what he said was always a joke, and he knew it himself.
The words he had just spoken were also meant to be a joke.
However, Sig looked a bit uneasy and then parted his lips.
“How did you know?”
He had not said a word about wanting to see her, so how did Earl-nim know?
“Does the tail that shows to Britia also show to you?”
Did he mean to say that everything was visible through that tail?
Sig was taken aback and covered his mouth with his slightly clenched fist.
“No one in our family can see the tail except Tia,” he said.
A sense of relief washed over Sig, causing him to place his hand on his chest and exhale deeply.
If everyone in Lockhart had hidden talent like Britia, they would surely suffer a terrible defeat.
“You made a good judgment.”
“A good judgment?”
“Forget it. I’m sorry to disappoint you, but there is sad news for someone who came here to see Tia.”
“Unfortunately, she is not at home right now. She’s out.”
Sig’s disappointed expression was evident.
Crave inwardly marveled.
He thought Sig was a man who did not show his emotions on his face.
But now he could see quite well.
“Marquis Slanford has invited Tia to a tea party.”
Crave looked at him. He could see how desperate he was from his face.
“That’s too bad,” Crave said, waving his hands in the air.
“What did you want to see our Tia then?”
Sig looked crestfallen, and Crave pressed him for an answer.
“Why are you just gaping? Has some sort of magic been cast on you so that you can’t speak?”
Crave urged Sig, who was only moving his lips.
After much hesitation, Sig cleared his throat and spoke slowly, furrowing his brow in thought.
“I wasn’t even be sure if I wanted to meet her or not.”
He wanted to meet her, but he was also afraid of not knowing what to say, so he didn’t want to meet her.
“But suddenly, when I thought we couldn’t meet…”
“It’s strange, like my heart and mind are completely empty. Lately, I don’t feel like myself.”
Sig pressed his forehead with a serious expression before turning to Crave.
“I’ve seen knights who lose their minds because of bad water in the capital, could I be one of them?”
“If your mind was affected, your stomach would hurt, not your heart.”
“I guess that’s true.”
Sig muttered, “I don’t know why I’m doing this.”
“Sometimes I get lost in my thoughts and feel spaced out.”
“I’ve even run out to clear my head when I felt like my brain was about to explode.”
His voice became more agitated.
“Have you heard of a disease spreading in the capital like this?”
He looked genuinely worried.
“So, if I summarize your symptoms, you feel like Tia’s thoughts will make your head explode?”
“Is that right?”
Crave closed his eyes and nodded, placing a hand on Sig’s back.
“Do you know why I’m like this?”
Crave opened his eyes wide, trying not to laugh.
‘This man is even more pure than I imagined! How can he say such serious things with such a stern expression?’
He clenched his fist in his mouth, trying to stifle his laughter.
Britia Lockhart and this naughty and cute guy!
He said they were not involved, Sig Turas and her, but now he’s so obsessed with her?
Crave took a deep breath to calm himself and turned around with a calm expression.
“I know a little about that disease, and based on your symptoms, it seems like a serious condition.”
Sig’s lips slowly parted as Crave’s wrinkled his face.
“How serious is it?”
“If it gets worse, you could suffer until you die.”
“Then, is there no way to cure it?”
“It’s difficult, but there’s not absolutely no way.”
Crave continued with a serious tone, holding back his laughter inside.
In the end, playfully teasing one’s friends can be considered a positive trait.
It was the philosophy of Crave Lockhart.
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