༺ The First Letter (45) ༻
It wasn’t long before I spoke again. Senior Delphine’s statement was unexpected, however, it wasn’t that her words were vague enough to make her intentions unclear.
I carefully replied to her question.
“…… So it’s kind of like a recruitment offer.”
Senior Delphine smiled with satisfaction at my answer. Her fair hand tilted the bottle. Soon the empty glass was filled once more with wine. It was the same wineglass she put her lips on.
Instead of drinking from the wineglass again, she tapped the glass and pushed it away.
Another drink arrived before me. I stared at Senior Delphine with a baffled look.
Senior Delphine clenched her chin as she stared at me with a look of annoyance. A languid voice flowed out of her mouth.
“In the North, we pour a large horn chalice full of liquor and share it as a sign of being together. It’s a ceremony we share with our comrades. But well, we can’t do that in the middle of the academy, can we?”
The ceremony seems slightly uncivilized, she added as she stared at her wine glass.
“Don’t feel too burdened. Just think as if we are establishing a friendly relationship. If it eventually garners your interest, then we can continue from there.”
If it interested me, she meant for me to formally serve under her.
I struggled again to formulate a proper response. To be honest, I expected we would just exchange a few words. I didn’t expect to receive such an offer from Senior Delphine.
It was because events progressed too quickly.
Around the 4th year of the Academy, there was a tendency for high-ranking nobles to form factions. It served the purpose of recruiting talented individuals to join them after their graduation. However, these factions only formed under the condition that people who have been acquainted for long periods of time naturally gathered under one person who served as their banner.
It was not so surprising that the nobles frequently united and disbanded based on what they believed to be the best way to further their own agenda. However, the words ‘being together’ had a slightly different meaning. These words meant that they would soon become comrades, and in order to do that, the process of building trust was essential.
There was no idiot in the academy who left their back to someone they couldn’t even trust. Sometimes, even if such an idiot appeared, they would eventually perish.
Therefore, it was possible to interpret Senior Delphine’s suggestion in two ways.
First, she trusted me to that extent.
Second, there was an underlying reason for which she wanted to recruit me at this moment.
Regardless of her intentions, her offer wasn’t a bad one for me. Afterall, I was nothing but second in line for succession, the title of Viscount would be obtained by my eldest brother. I had to find a different path in life.
If that path led me to one of the five most prestigious families in the Empire, it was unquestionably good. Isn’t this the same as receiving a direct offer from one of their successors?
I pondered, fiddling with the wineglass she gave me. All I had to do was drink from the wine glass.
How nice would it be, to indirectly kiss a woman as beautiful as Senior Delphine.
However, there was a reason I was hesitating, I still had lingering doubts.
After pondering for a moment, I let out an audible sigh and let go of the glass that I had been fiddling with. Senior Delphine looked at me as if she was surprised. An intrigued smile formed on her lips, which was accompanied by a faint “oh.”
“Is it because the conditions aren’t clear? You are surprisingly meticulous, Hatchet Lord.”
“……. I am just curious about one thing. ”
As if urging me to continue, Senior Delphine nodded her head without a word. I decided not to hesitate any longer.
“Did you know that Seria has been getting bullied lately?”
At those words, Senior Delphine giggled, then soon burst into laughter. As if saying ‘you were curious about something as trivial as that?’ She straightened her chin and took out a new wineglass.
The drink filled up the glass. Senior Delphine opened her mouth as if the question was trifling.
“Yes, I’ve heard it. But you sorted it out before I even stepped in? How talented. The story of Seria’s mother is heartbreaking for me too, but……”
“But why was such a rumor floating around in the first place?”
Senior Delphine’s hand which reached for the wineglass came to an abrupt halt. Her crimson pupils glared at me.
Maybe I said something wrong. But it did happen.
I continued my interrogation as I felt my lips getting parched.
“It doesn’t make sense logically… Seria bears the same title of Yurdina and is a high-ranking aristocrat. Although Seria’s mother is said to be a taboo for the Yurdina family, it is unnatural for low-ranking nobles to mention the family shame so brazenly.”
“Hmm,” said Senior Delphine, making an odd sound and averting her gaze. She spoke in a disinterested voice.
“The higher the position you settle in, the more enemies you make. That’s the nature of authority. There may have been some high-ranking aristocratic families who were jealous of me, like Rinella, for example?”
“Then they must’ve slandered you, Senior Delphine. There’s no point in slandering Seria. Seria’s mother isn’t even a member of the family. Since she does not belong in the Yurdina family, she has become Seria’s weakness.”
Senior Delphine sipped her wine without turning towards me. What annoyed me the most however was her unpretentious attitude.
It was a strange intuition. My voice deepened a little more seriously.
“The reason I was confident in my own safety after I had embarrassed the Empire’s five noble families was because I had a good backing.”
“Even if that’s the case, so what?”
“But no matter how long I ponder this situation, I can only think of one person.”
Even as I made these statements, Senior Delphine continued to gaze out the window. She looked bored, as if she had no interests in the world’s affairs.
I had no other choice but to feel anguish once again.
Senior Delphine looked indifferent. She looked like she was listening to a story that was completely unrelated to her, as if the feeling of ‘interest’ had evaporated from her.
Is it really possible for a human to express such a face? However, It was too late to turn back now.
The reason I accepted Senior Delphine’s invitation was so I could ask that one question.
“….. Did you do it?”
Senior Delphine clammed up. She admired the scenery outside her window while silently sipping her wine. The illuminated view of the Idallos Pavilion gave off a cozy atmosphere.
I also remained silent. I have already said everything I wanted to say.
There was no need for me to continue speaking, it would not change Senior Delphine’s stance on the matter. Because I had little to no evidence to back up my claims.
If it was Leto or Celine instead, they would have devised a more intricate plan. Now that I think about it, I wondered if things would’ve gone better if I had taken their advice. Or if they would have called me ‘lunatic.’
Despite being Seria’s older step sister, Delphine Yurdina is exploiting Seria’s tragic family history.
Even her purpose was unclear. Without knowing her motive, trying to understand her reasoning was of no use. Besides, isn’t my opponent the heir of the Yurdina family?
To doubt them was a sin. Honor was more important than life to the aristocracy. This doubt was enough to damage Senior Dephine’s honor.
In other words, I did something insane once again today. Now I await the consequences like a prisoner waiting for their sentence.
Parched, I held up the bottle of wine that had been used to pour alcohol into the two wine glasses. I quickly gulped down the remaining wine in the bottle.
Senior Delphine spoke after having remained silent for some time.
“….. Is there any reason for me to do that?”
Her words were stabbing a sore spot in my line of reasoning. I replied with a sigh.
“Well, I don’t know either. I was just curious.”
Senior Delphine’s gaze finally turned towards me. Her eyes were unchangingly beautiful, that blazing crimson shade reminiscent of a ruby.
A pale arc manifested on the corner of her mouth, contrasting the otherwise indifferent expression on her face.
“You know how rude that was right?”
I squinted, and slightly lowered my eyes to avoid her gaze. Given Delphine’s faint smile, the atmosphere did seem too bad. However, I never knew how it would change.
My head just slowly nodded, as I couldn’t take back the words I had already spat out.
“…… Yeah, I already know that.”
In the next moment, a small laughter erupted from Senior Delphine’s mouth.
It was a clear and bright sound of laughter. I couldn’t understand why Senior Delphine was laughing, so I gazed at her in bewilderment.
Her eyes captured my interests as she continued to laugh. Her Ruby-like eyes soon settled in interest.
“It’s funny, you are being too plucky how much I think about, right? You are alleging Delphine Yurdina based on such doubts, right after threatening Elsie Rinella with a hatchet?”
“Apologies, if I might have offended you…..”
“No, no. Courage has to come at a price. Like a northern noble, I will respond in earnest.”
Senior Delphine spoke to me with a serene expression, a smile still etched on her face.
“…… You’re right, I was the one behind it.”
I couldn’t comprehend the meaning of her words.
It was a nonchalant voice. The flat tone and the sense of disparity in its content ruined my thought process. My stupid gaze was drawn to Senior Delphine.
She was smiling brightly, just like the day we first met.
“Just like you said, I was the one behind it.”
Despite the unchangingly beautiful smile, the sentiment behind the smile had changed.
Before I felt like I was the bright sun amidst the northern breeze, but now that had changed.
I felt my blood run cold as I gazed into the eyes of what seemed to be a beast.
Apologies for the delay. No excuses. Life was lifeing and gym was gyming. I will try to up the release rate. Thank you for your patience and I hope y’all will keep supporting Genesis.
We all gonna make it brahs!!! FUARK!!!! :ZyzzPose:
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