The young man suddenly stood up and shouted as if he was barking. Rashiok was surprised by this and quickly ran behind me.
‘You should quickly take Rashiok away without saying anything.’
My calm self whispered in my mind, but contrary to my will, my feet wouldn’t move at all as if they had been frozen. I heard my heart thump without being able to take my eyes away from the young man’s angry eyes.
Flee. Runaway. I thought, but my legs wouldn’t move.
The young man slowly approached me, grabbed my neck and lifted me up. My neck was restricted, and I couldn’t breathe. My legs floated from the ground, and my toes touched the ground. Rashiok yelped at my feet.
“You’re so easy-going. You just play with your pet, don’t you? What happened to your servant? Did they abandon you already?”
He shook my neck and the scene before my eyes flickered because of the lack of oxygen. I reflexively grabbed his arm, and he hit me with his free hand.
My throat made a hoarse sound as I tried to breathe. I struggled against the pain, but he didn’t move since he was a lot bigger than me. Little by little, I lost the will to struggle, and my body grew heavier. My hand slipped away from the young man’s.
“――― Stop, Igor.”
At that moment, he suddenly released me.
My body fell to the ground as if he had thrown me. My lips opened by themselves to take a breath, and I could feel the crunchy sand spread all over my mouth. I coughed violently. I could hear people arguing about something, but my ears were buzzing, and I couldn’t understand what they were talking about.
My coughing finally subsided, and I finally opened my eyes which had been closed. The young soldier, who looked like he regretted it, and a slightly older solder, who looked disappointed, looked down at me coldly. I recognise this man. He was the one who yelled, “How dare you show your face in front of us?” in the entrance hall. The Earl had called this soldier Gunter.
Rashiok licked my cheeks. Gunter glanced at us in disgust, pulled the young soldier who was still glaring at me, and left in silence.
A cold feeling ran down my face from the corner of my eyes. Rashiok was still licking my cheeks and yelping in worry.
“Sorry, Rashiok…. I’m okay.”
When I gently removed his small body and moved my weary body, I suddenly felt something move from above at the corner of my eyes. I suddenly looked up and saw a figure move away from the window on the second floor.
That window belonged to Earl Thelesia’s office. I clicked my tongue as soon as I realised this. My head was filled with regrets because I had easily moved away from the courtyard and stepped into the place where the soldiers trained.
Sure enough, I was immediately called to Earl Thelesia’s office. “What happened between you and the soldier?” he asked me frankly like always. I replied, “Nothing.”
“It was nothing. The soldier was just straightening my collar.”
“He wasn’t! Didn’t you fall to the ground as soon as he let you go, Eliza-sama?”
Bellway, the Earl’s secretary, objected with a frown. He had seen what the young soldier had done to me from the window on the second floor and insisted that the soldier be punished. He is diligent, like his stern Master, but stubborn, unlike the Earl. It would be easier if he would just agree with me when I said it was nothing.
“I fell by accident. Rashiok played around at my feet, so I lost my balance and fell over.”
“Why are you protecting someone who has harmed you? A commoner laid hands on you, a Viscount and our feudal lord. This isn’t something that can be overlooked.”
Bellway shook his head, stating that he couldn’t agree with me. Earl Thelesia didn’t intend to speak. He stared at me silently.
“No, Bellway. He didn’t do anything to me. I will not tolerate you doubting people unjustly… Or do you doubt my words?”
Of course, he had told the truth, but I declared this in a firm tone. I even included criticism, “I won’t allow you to object.”
Bellway, who was furious, suddenly changed and turned pale. Then, he shook his head, “No. That was not my intention.”
“Then, you were wrong, weren’t you?”
The Earl looked at me sternly when I asked for confirmation.
“Yes. Something like that didn’t happen.”
“Then, fine. You can go.”
I got permission to leave, bowed and left the room. I heard Bellway’s mutter as soon as I closed the door, but the Earl probably didn’t respond to him. I had something to do, so I quickly left.
“――― Kamil, do you know a soldier named Gunter?”
“Eh, why all of a sudden? Gunter-san?”
I visited Kamil, who was sorting documents in his room on the third floor, with Rashiok, and asked him that question straight away, and Kamil asked back, dumbfounded.
“What’s wrong? You’re covered in sand, Tsar.”
“Don’t worry about that, we’re talking about Gunter. Do you know where he is right now?”
He is my servant, but he’s also a squire in the army, so he might know. He couldn’t take his eyes away from Rashiok right now, so he was only a squire in name, so I wasn’t expecting much, but Kamil seemed curious as he nodded.
“… Well, I know. I won’t tell you if you don’t tell me what happened though.”
Kamil frowned as he brushed the sand off my hair and clothes. He could do this because he didn’t have luxury goods such as carpet in his room, but the maid who has to clean it might feel displeased. It might be better to clean this up a bit later.
Kamil asked me again after a considerate amount of sand had been brushed off me. I felt like he was treating me like a child because he had bent over and looked me in the eyes, but if I complain now, then this conversation will derail, so I left it alone for now. If I don’t tell him what happened, then Kamil, who knew that the army soldiers hated me, won’t tell me where Gunter is.
“… I had a dispute with one of the soldiers. I chased after Rashiok and went out of the courtyard, and then… Unfortunately, Bellway saw us. I told the Earl that nothing happened, but I’m sure he’ll question Gunter because he was there. I want to keep his mouth shut before that happens.”
I reluctantly gave him a brief description of what had happened, and Kamil smiled wryly.
“I thought it was something like that, but Tsar, you’re a really good person.”
For some reason, I felt somewhat satisfied with the words he had said, but it was probably just my imagination.
“I’m a good person? I’m not though.”
If I really were a good person, then a soldier wouldn’t have grabbed me by the neck. Kamil stared at me in disagreement and sighed.
“And a blockhead.”
His one-sided words annoyed me, and I glared at him. His expression immediately softened and he smiled. He pulled my hand and left the room. I wanted to tell him something, but he guided me to where Gunter was in the end.
Gunter was in a small room next to the reception hall on the first floor.
I have never approached nor entered this room until now, but this seemed to be used as a temporary base for the army while their base was still in construction. It was used as a playroom and salon when my father was alive, but it was being renovated because no nobles visited anymore.
“What did you come here for, Fucking Brat?”
He spat out coldly as soon as I entered the door. He frowned unhappily, narrowed his eyes grimly, and the glint in his eyes was sharp.
“I’m here to give you the feudal lord’s order.”
Kamil turned back at me in surprise when I shamelessly declared those words, without being able to read the situation, and at the same time, a thick file was thrown at the wall just next to me. The cover of the file was made of wood and was extremely heavy. It made a sound that indicated that I would have been injured had his aim been off.
The next second, my sight was covered by a dark shadow. Kamil had protected me with his back. I remembered that Rashiok had hidden behind my back just a while ago. I’ve already been alive for five years, but I’m on the same level as a beast who isn’t even a month old yet?
“Beat it! Don’t show your face in front of me again!”
Gunter looked angry and growled. He looked as if he could barely contain his rage and could take out his sword at any moment. He’s an awfully rational man, I nonchalantly observed him somewhere in my mind.
I pulled my face out from behind Kamil’s back and stated indifferently.
“This is an order. Don’t tell anyone about what really happened between me and the young man in the northern part of this mansion. He was fixing my collar, and I fell because my feet got tangled by the baby Draconis at my feet.”
The wooden plate that Gunter was going to throw dropped from his arm.
He frowned, and his threatening voice sounded as if he was crawling on the ground. His voice came from his stomach.
“I’m telling you to make a false statement if someone asks you to testify. And tell that soldier the same thing.”
“What’re you saying?”
He retorted reflexively. Gunter noticed what he had said after he’d uttered those words, and added, “What the fuck are you up to?”
Kamil answered instead of me.
“Tsar isn’t up to anything, Gunter-san.”
His voice shocked me. He looked down at me as if he was meditating between a child’s quarrel and said, “It’s your fault,” then he roughly messed my hair. I felt like my tied up hair was coming undone.
“Tsar told me, ‘I had a dispute with one of the soldiers. I chased after Rashiok and went out of the courtyard, and then… Unfortunately, Bellway saw us. I told the Earl that nothing happened, but I’m sure he’ll question Gunter because he was there. I want to keep his mouth shut before that happens.’ You could have just told him that, honestly you’re not cute at all.”
I was speechless. I knew that I would upset Gunter if I acted oppressively… But, I didn’t know any other way to speak. If I spoke formally to him, then he would be on the same level as the Earl and Mareshan.
“You know, Tsar. You can just talk to him like how you talk to me.”
I nodded while refusing in my mind, that’s impossible. I don’t know how much my conversation with Kamil differs from that of Gunter’s. I know that it’s quite different when I compare what I say to them, but that’s all I know.
“Are you going to let Igor off?”
Gunter whispered dubiously. He looked extremely puzzled.
“I’m not letting him off. Getting angry and hitting me… his actions are justified. At least, I think so. So…”
I couldn’t put it into words, so I explained why I was doing this was while being flustered. I’m the reason why they hate and resent me. The results of my actions caused their anger to narrow down on me.
Gunther spat out, and the conversation ended.
“Enough, I get it. I get it, so get out.”
His voice, which was trying to chase us out of the room, sounded somewhat similar to Kamil’s tone.