After spending the night at Lockhart’s, Sig departed the residence at six in the morning. He was walking quickly when his feet suddenly stopped as he descended the stairs where he had first encountered Britia.
His gaze fell on the puddle just before the staircase which contained a shiny object.
He reached into the puddle and grabbed something.
Evry asked, holding back a yawn that was about to come out.
Sig slowly turned and looked at his knight.
“But it’s cracked and shattered.”
Sig looked down at a familiar hairpin, gradually recalling what had happened the day before.
* * *
“There’s still time before the party, so I’ll stop by the bar.”
Evry was taken aback when he heard that from the Duke who didn’t like to visit places with lots of people.
“When I arrived in the capital, my uncle told me to put the sword away for a while and relax.”
“So, it was an order from His Majesty the Emperor.”
said Evry, nodding his head.
“He keeps asking me to make friends.”
Sig shook his head slowly, not understanding why.
“I have a friend named Little, who is better than anyone else.”
“Perhaps His Majesty meant you to make friends with humans not with animals.”
Little was his direwolf, which he had left behind in the North.
“I don’t want to, but it’s an order from His Majesty, so I’ll have to go at least once.”
That’s what he said, but deep down Sig was looking forward to a bar he had never been to.
But it turned out to be an unfortunate situation!
There were no customers in the bar, perhaps because of the rain that started to fall in the afternoon. At least there were some men on the first floor.
“The VIPs are served on the second floor, Duke-nim.”
Sig was quarantined on the second floor, where no one was there. There was no point in coming to the bar pretending to not win his uncle’s orders.
Still, he sat down and waited a long time for someone to come up, but he couldn’t even see a shadow.
Just as Sig was about to get bored, he heard the voices of the customers on the first floor.
“The Earl of Lockhart is trying to get his sister married this time.”
“He sent me an invitation, even though I didn’t know him very well. Did you say Britia Lockhart? I’ve never seen her in pbeautiful.
Marcus sighed and snorted.
“It must be a woman who looks like spilled candle wax.”
The man next to Marcus lit a cigarette and said,
“A beauty? Then why are they looking for a man so urgently?”
Marcus asked, but the man held his cigarette in his mouth and did not look at him.
“I see. She has a pretty face, but she got a terrible personality, doesn’t she?
“I’ve seen Leon Lockhart. The personality would obviously be the same with the woman who is his sister.”
“Britia Lockhart is different from Leon Lockhart.”
“Then what’s wrong with her?”
Sig, who was listening to their conversation also thought, if her face and personality weren’t the problem then what was it?
“Is it debt?”
“Marcus, sometimes I’m really tired of your senselessness.”
A man with half-closed eyes next to them clicked his tongue at Marcus, who was constantly trying to dig on that matter.
“What did I do?”
Marcus was frustrated and his friend clicked his tongue again. His friend’s eyes slipped to the man with a cigarette in his mouth.
“I went on a few dates with her in the past.”
He sighed and confessed.
“What? Did you!?!”
Marcus carefully examined his friend’s expression. His expression was bitter, which wouldn’t happen after dating someone a few times. There must be another reason for making such facial expressions.
“Why did you stop dating?”
Suddenly, Marcus was interested in Britia Lockhart.
“Don’t you dare….”
The man tried to block Marcus’ thoughts, as if he had noticed what he was thinking.
“It makes me more curious when you say that.”
Marcus begged his friend to speak quickly.
Eventually, the man with the cigarette in his mouth spat out the latter half of the sentence with a distressed face.
“Can see the souls of the dead.”
He brought up the story, saying it was in the winter three years ago.
He was dancing with Britia at a party and planned to propose to her sooner or later.
As he was thinking about when to hand the ring over, he noticed that she kept staring blankly at something.
“Britia, why are you spacing out? Are you thinking about something?”
“Oh, it’s nothing.”
She shook her head when he talked to her to relax.
“Is it a secret that you can’t tell me?”
When he showed signs of disappointment, Britia was taken aback.
“That’s not it….’
“I don’t believe in any terrible rumors about you.”
After being reassured, she hesitated before opening her mouth cautiously.
“Do any of Confucius’ relatives or ancestors have red hair?”
“…why are you asking me that?”’
His uncle, who died a few days ago, certainly had red hair. But there was no way for her to know that fact.
“I knew that sometimes your eyes were directed to a place where there was nothing.”
He thought she was just a person who enjoyed getting lost in her own world when spacing out. The rumor about her that he said he didn’t believe came to his mind suddenly.
“You can see it, right?”
The man’s inquisitive manner puzzled Britia, but later on she just smiled as she kept her mouth shut.
“The soul of the dead!”
The man with goosebumps all over his body let go of her hand.
“If I had proposed to such an ominous woman without knowing anything, it would have been terrible to think now.”
The man shuddered, saying that he understood all the actions he had handed over casually.
“You’re not going to the party, are you?”
He stopped Marcus, telling him to stop talking about her for the sake of their friendship.
Sig listened to them silently.
A woman who could see souls of dead.
If what they say was true, was that woman able to see the darkness?
And Lockhart… Wasn’t he the host of the party Sig was going to visit tonight?
Sig rose from his seat. He wanted to hear more about Britian Lockhart.
“She indeed could see dead souls…”
Marcus felt something approaching and pricked up his ears like a mouse who sensed danger.A large man strode forward, and it was quite menacing.
Marcus got angry thinking that the man approaching him related to the Lockhart family. He felt like the large man was angry when he heard the story about Britia Lockhart.
The man who rejected Britia when saw aporoaching Sig looked at Marcus and his other friend. Even if the three of them tried, it didn’t seem like they would be able to defeat that one man.
“Why did you stop talking?”
They gasped for breath at the low.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you.”
Apologizing, the men hurried away. Evry shook his head, watching the situation from a corner without a word.
The emperor seemed to want his nephew to have a friend, but it was very difficult. The situation was not good rather than a problem because Sig was not willing to do so.
That used to happen. Sig once asked a young lady, who had turned white, if there was a problem with her, but the lady collapsed with breathing difficulties.
The lady was scared because Sig frequently made a stern face when he spoke to a stranger for the first time. This is why she felt frightened when she saw such a frightening face. So, perhaps because that event was traumatic, Sig found it difficult to speak to strangers after that time. Additionally, in the capital’s social circles, the falsification of the story spread like a ghost story.
“Everybody, did I scare you just now?
It was unusual for Sig to show such bravery, but when he approached, the opponent ran away, which hurt his heart and made him not want to approach first.
It was a vicious cycle.
“I guess something urgent came up.”
Evry checked the pocket watch and stood up.
“The party must have already begun. We must hurry.”
When Sig came out, the raindrops that had begun to fall in the afternoon were already thickening.
“If you put on a scary face like that, all the girls at the party will run away before you even talk to them.”
Evry said to Sig, who was staring at the street.
Sig glanced at him and rubbed his cheek with his big hand.
Evry had been watching that Sig had been paying attention to his appearance these days. Evry, who had been watching him with his eyes narrowed, opened his mouth.
“Duke-nim, are you still wishing for a love marriage?”
It was hard to believe at first sight, but Evry who had been with him knew that unlike Sig appearance, he had a pure heart.
“It would be great if you could do that. But only if you find a girl with a lot of guts…”
When Sig heard Evry’s remarks, he was speechless and gave him a piercing gaze.
“… I’m very curious about what kind of girl Duke-nim will fall in love with.”
When he saw Evry still babbling on, Sig quickly changed the topic.
“Today’s party feels good. I’m afraid something’s about to happen.”
Sig’s lips twisted violently as he said that. Evry said nothing to that because the Duke’s instincts were as sharp as those of a wild animal.
But on the way, the wheel of the wagon fell into the mud, and one of them was completely broken.
“Something really happened, as I said.”
Having such intuition wasn’t always good even though it was something that one should be proud of having.
“Let’s walk to Lockhart Mansion. It shouldn’t be far from here.”
Sig was afraid of what he would look like when he arrived at the party, but it was too far to go back to the home from here and change.
He could only hope for Earl Lockhart’s favor.
Eventually, the two reached Earl Lockhart’s house with difficulty through the rain.
And the woman who greeted Sig with a tearful scream was Britia Lockhart, whom the men of the bar talked about.
* * *
Sig finally remembered that the pin belonged to Britia.
When Sig was a child, he accidentally broke his aunt’s(The Empress) favorite accessory. He remembered how badly he was scolded at that time.
“She’s going to get angry.”
In Sig’s mind, her aunt’s face and Britia’s face overlapped.
“I’ll be punished.”
It wouldn’t end with just saying sorry. He was certain that Britia would grip his tail. She knew too well that his tail was bis weakness.
Sig couldn’t even endure the slightest touch and made sounds. But he couldn’t imagine what it would be like if she grabbed his tail tightly.
Sig was genuinely frightened.
“I can’t beat her.”
Evry doubted his ear when he heard Sig’s murmuring.
Sig could be held accountable for breaking her hairpin, but Britia was the one who threw it in the first.
Putting it aside, what Sig said perplexed Evry.
What the hell did he mean by saying he wouldn’t win?
If the undefeated Sig Turas couldn’t win against a weak lady then Evry could only think of one reason.
Did he fall in love with her?
He remembered how Sig kept glancing at her last night.
“Is she so special that you care so much about her?”
Evry examined him.
“There will be no one as special as her. It was the first time I had such an intense feeling.”
“Oh, my God. I didn’t expect that!”
Upon hearing him, Evry made a series of admiring exclamations.
Sig Turas, who had no interest in anyone, focused solely on the subject of fantasizing about dating and getting married.
In Evry’s imagination, Sig and Britia fell in love, she rose to become the Mistress of Altheim, the enormous castle in the North, and the image of their adorable child playing in the snow flashed by so quickly that his eyes went round.
“I must go and apologize to her right now.”
Sig tried to climb the stairs with a confused face, saying that it was better to be quick.
Evry grabbed the hem of his clothes and shook his head firmly.
“If you wake up someone who is sleeping and apologize, you will be scratched.”
“What do you want me to do then?”
“First, go to the store and buy something similar to it. And you will offer a sincere apology while giving the present you bought for her.”
With that excuse, Evry calculated that Sig would be able to come to the Lockhart Mansion again.
“An empty-handed apology doesn’t feel sincere.”
“But will she forgive me for that?”
“Then you should apologize until Britia-nim forgives you.”
It was a perfect plan to let Sig meet with her again and again!
“Evry, what’s with the big grin?”
Although he was serious, Sig frowned at his knight who was grinning at him.