Chapter 17: Juris and Orpheus
I heard the door open right after I shut my eyes tightly.
“That’s enough, Lord Lagerfeld.”
“What?! What are you doing?!”
The shock never came no matter how much time passed, and I timidly opened my eyes questioningly.
Juris stood by the man and grabbed the thick arms, which were about to strike me.
――― Why are you here?
I looked up at the tall butler in surprise.
Why is Juris here and stopping that man?
I looked at the entrance and saw that the door was wide open. I understood that he had flown into the room from the loud sound I heard before.
――― Did he come here to stop the man because he knew I was being struck?
“Let go! I’m punishing this fool, you know?! I know you hate her too! Do you know how much she’s bothered others…?!”
“I know,” Juris said with a smile suitable for an excellent butler.
“However, using violence, no matter the reason, is something I don’t agree with.”
The man must have regained a little composure from the calm tone. He violently shook off Juris’s hand and calmed his rough breath.
“That isn’t violence. It’s education. Children who do bad things should be whipped, right? It’s the same as that. I’m educating my daughter.”
“Then you don’t need to hit her so many times, much less kick her. This is a one-sided assault. I can’t just keep silent and watch.”
“Mr Heiman, who do you think you are? You’re arrogant for a servant.”
“Pardon me. Blood rushed to my head a little because I saw that the Madam was receiving unreasonable violence. It seems like I’m still inexperienced as a servant,” Juris declared calmly. He ignored the man who was going to flare up and kneeled beside me.
“Are you okay?” His smile had disappeared, and his poker-face was back, but his voice sounded unusually heartfelt.
On top of that, he presented me his right hand as if he wanted to help me up.
――― Is he seriously worried?
I stared at his hand.
His hands were usually in gloves, but today he didn’t have them on, and they were bony like a man’s hand and didn’t match his delicate facial features.
His rough skin is probably due to the harsh work he has to do every day, and from the chemical he uses to polish silverware.
When I didn’t take his hand, he narrowed his cold grey eyes which were like his master’s and gave a long sigh.
“Let me see.”
I didn’t even have time to reply, “What?”
He stretched his hand out and gripped my cheek which had been hit.
I was pulled to the side before I could protest and then he looked me right in the face.
“It’s swollen. He seems to have hit you with considerable force. Why didn’t you call for help?” Juris released the hand which was gripping my cheeks and glared as if he was blaming me.
I glared back at him because I didn’t know what he was talking about, and he continued to mutter words that I didn’t understand, “I was waiting the whole time.”
“What do you…?”
“I see. So, you were secretly listening in. Humph, you look like you have an indecently crude personality.” The man standing behind Juris said in disappointment.
He looked down at the scene that was unfolding in front of his eyes with contempt and folded his arms in irritation.
“I thought it was a little strange when I saw the interaction between you two. I waited in front of the door so that if something happens, I can force my way in. As a servant, I should protect Madam… Although, I could have heard you even if I hadn’t listened in because you shout so loud, Lord Lagerfeld.”
“Cut it out! What’s with your roguish attitude?!”
The furious man rushed at Juris, he grabbed Juris’s collar like he had done with me and just barely choked him.
“Who do you think you are when you’re just a servant?! I’m a noble, you know?! It’s easy to get you fired, you know!? Um?!”
――― Argh, enough. That’s why it’s not good to be direct.
“Ma-… Father! Please stop!”
Juris didn’t resist as his collar was held, and I couldn’t stand by and watch as he was yelled at. I even forgot about the pain in my cheek and flew at the man.
However, I couldn’t pull him away because I was powerless, and he brushed me off, and I tumbled onto the floor again.
“Don’t get in my way! You trash!”
“The trash is you, right?” A low voice crept, and the man staggered and fell in a flashy way.
As soon as the man’s fat body hit the floor, it made a loud noise as if the whole room was shaking.
I couldn’t tell what was happening, but Juris pushed the man away and quickly tripped him.
He was so fast and nimble.
The man couldn’t avoid Juris, tripped, fluttered in the air and fell to the floor.
I remained grovelled on the ground with my mouth agape.
The man cussed on the floor.
He had hit his body hard, and his back looked like it hurt a lot. The impact must have been considerable since he’s massive.
It looked like he wanted to get up straight away and return the favour, but he probably couldn’t move his body because he just glared at Juris hatefully.
“Excuse me. But, you’re the one who grabbed me. I only protected myself. This is called self-defence. Isn’t that right, Madam?”
――― No matter how you put it, it’s overkill.
I, who was helped up by Juris, couldn’t even agree and stood there confused.
His voice sounded bright as if it hadn’t been low before, and he was smiling brightly. The man writhed in pain on the floor.
What should I do in this situation?
In the first place, I didn’t understand why Juris, who would never help me, had protected me.
――― Even if I get kidnapped, he would probably just watch and smile…
When I held my aching cheeks and stood there blankly, rough footsteps came closer.
Now what? I thought as I stared at the opened entrance, and two servants and a handsome young man came rushing in while panting.
The handsome young man… Orpheus looked at the disastrous room, especially my miserable face, and his expression changed. He stared coldly at the man who collapsed on the floor.
“What is… the meaning of this, Lord Lagerfeld?”
His voice was more horrible than Juris’s low voice and made my spine freeze.
The temperature in the room dropped drastically.
The man, who was engulfed by anger, must have felt the same as me, he glared sharply at Orpheus, but couldn’t say anything.
“I asked you what is the meaning of this, Lord Lagerfeld. I rushed here because I heard from a servant that you were assaulting my wife. Is this true?”
“Th-that man is the violent one! He pushed me, then kicked me, and I fell down! It’s obvious if you look at how I am right now!” The man answered in anger.
I came back to my senses. Juris will be the one in the wrong if this goes on. I became desperate and defended him, “No! Orpheus, Juris protected me! Juris pushed him and tripped him because he grabbed Juris! It’s self-defence!”
Is it really okay to call that self-defence? ――― I wondered as I spoke, but this doesn’t change the fact that Juris helped me.
I thought I should defend him, even if I exaggerate a little so that he wouldn’t be charged with a crime.
“Ophelia! You fucking-…”
“Is that so, Juris?”
Orpheus looked down expressionlessly at the man who was looking up hatefully at his daughter and turned to face Juris, who was standing right next to me.
Juris nodded, and answered in his usual calm tone, “It’s just like Madam had just said. He suddenly grabbed me, and I felt threatened, so I resisted. Well, I was also angry that he called Madam trash.”
“Trash?” Orpheus’s perfectly shaped eyebrows lifted up.
“You’re listening to nonsense spouted by that lowly servant! Lord Rosenstein, fire that man right now! He became violent after ranting! You should fire him and kick him out of the mansion!”
“Ophelia.” Orpheus ignored the man and stood in front of me.
His handsome face wasn’t expressionless as always and looked like he was enduring pain.
The sadness in his blue eyes made my chest tighten, but it didn’t make me feel cold.
“Did you get hit?”
His voice was filled with anger, but if I told him that I was hit, then he looked like he would punch the man with his tightened fist, so I couldn’t say anything.
“She wasn’t just hit, she was also kicked,” Juris said in my stead, and Orpheus’s thin lips tightened in a straight line.
“… My shoulder, but it doesn’t hurt anymore.”
“I’m sorry. I couldn’t stay by your side and protect you.”
I couldn’t believe Orpheus’s words and looked up.
He had already turned around and was firing instructions at the servants.
“Help Lord Lagerfeld up, Daniel and Marc. Call a doctor immediately after you do… Juris, bring me 20 million marcas from the safe, white paper, a pen and a red ink pad.”
Juris left the parlour. The servants helped the man, who couldn’t get up by himself and sat him down on a chair.
The man violently brushed away the servants’ hands as soon as he sat down. He fixed his dishevelled clothes and hair and glared. Then, he faced Orpheus and smiled.
“Lord Rosenstein. Let me say this since you seem to be misunderstanding something. I am reprimanding my foolish daughter. I couldn’t stand it after I heard the rumours. I wanted her to know exactly who she should be grateful to for her extravagant life.”
Orpheus didn’t answer.
He took my arm, sat me in a chair away from the man and checked my swollen cheeks.
I was at a loss about whether to resist, but I thought that it would be better if I didn’t cause any further uproar, so I behaved myself.
“This girl is an absolute moron,” the man kept talking even though no one was listening to him.
“If she can’t understand with words, then you should persuade her by hitting her. This girl is slow. She behaves as if nothing had happened even if you hit her several times.”
“Have you always hit Ophelia for not listening to you?” Orpheus asked in an expressionless voice as he gazed at my cheek.
The man must have been happy that he finally got a reply because he smiled.
“Yes. That’s a parent’s responsibility. Lord Rosenstein, you should do it too. Oh, but I’m sorry for bothering you. If you don’t mind, I can take her home and re-educate her? She won’t behave foolishly again. She’ll behave herself and become an obedient woman. I can’t do anything about her gloomy face and thin body, though.”
He’d said something horrible, but I stayed quiet.
Because I’m a fool who needs to be re-educated.
Even if I were to be re-educated, it might not be bad if I can come back.
In my case, it wouldn’t be strange if he told me that he wanted to divorce me right now.
――― But, even so, that might be fine.
It’s still better to be a prostitute than return to the Lagerfeld house, and my purpose of getting divorced can be achieved.
If Orpheus can be happy, then it doesn’t matter what happens afterwards.
I don’t mind crawling in mud for that or even dying.
Orpheus turned around as soon as I opened my mouth.
“What is it?” The man laughed.
“As you wish, I’ll give you an additional 20 million marcas right now.”
――― Did you request for an additional loan?
I was stunned when I heard their interaction.
This man was extorting Orpheus for a lot of money.
Perhaps, he had come to this mansion not to hit me, but to receive the money.
At any rate, how much has Orpheus loaned this man in total?
I have to pay him back if we get divorced, but my savings might not be enough. I don’t know if I can pay him back even if I sell my body for the rest of my life.
I thought, and Orpheus said something that made me doubt my ears, “You don’t have to pay me back. I’ll give this to you, along with the 40 million marcas that I’ve loaned you before.”
Not only me, but the man and the servants were also surprised.
Giving him a total of 60 million marcas… Has Orpheus gone crazy?!
“I’ll also pay the taxes. In exchange… never show up in this mansion again.”
――― Ah, so it’s like that?
My whole body went weak, and I felt like I was going to slip off my chair.
As I thought, Orpheus intends to use this opportunity to break off with the Lagerfeld House.
Return the daughter in exchange for the money and break up all ties with the Lagerfeld House.
He didn’t need to go that far, I was the one who should pay alimony, and yet he was throwing his money down the drain.
“I also forbid you from contacting my wife.”
――― What did Orpheus just say?
I held my breath and strained my ears so that I wouldn’t miss a single word Orpheus said.
“The money I loaned you is consolation money. I’ll give it all to you, so let’s end our relationship. Well, I might say hi to you if we meet outside… If you can’t promise me this, then you won’t get your additional loan.”
“In short, you want me to sell my daughter for money?”
Orpheus didn’t reply nor nod.
I couldn’t tell what he was thinking from his expression. He just stared quietly at the man.
The man stared at the speechless me in disdain and suddenly began to laugh.
He folded his arms and looked as if he was pondering, then he said as if the scales had tipped towards the large amount of money instead of my utility value, “Alright.”
“I’ll give you this useless good-for-nothing if you want her.”
“Then, can you write that down?”
――― What a waste!
I’m not a woman who is worth sixty million marcas.
I had almost shrieked, but Orpheus didn’t turn back.
“Of course! Hahahaha! Lord Rosenstein, you’re also a fool! Because you’re wasting 60 million marcas for such a girl! She’s not worth that much!”
“It’s cheap if I can get her for just 60 million marcas.”
“No, don’t worry about it.”
Then, Juris came back with an envelope full of money and other tools.
Orpheus whispered something to Juris who nodded in return. Then, he began spreading the tools he’d brought onto the table.
Orpheus came back to where I was and gently grabbed my elbow.
“Come, Ophelia. Cool your face.”
“Lord Rosenstein.” The man called before I could say anything.
But Orpheus, who had taken my arm and walked me to the door, didn’t even stop, then he said as if he was turning the man down, “Take care, Lord Lagerfeld.”