Chapter 40 - Silver or Gray
Theodore was already starting to forget about the sympathy he had been feeling towards Rick and the nearly-dead Thomas. Theodore was also a person who was full of curiosity.
But Venio never gave him the chance. To Theodore, Venio was a cold master. While Theodore was pouting, feeling sorry for himself, he heard his master speak.
“She’s my fiancée.”
“As I expected!” Theodore was the textbook example of a most simple-minded person—his face brightened instantly.
Seeing Theodore’s reaction, Gideon muttered about how he was a young soul in an adult’s body. Theodore ignored him, not being able to forget about Gideon’s fart.
“But how did this happen..?”
“How…? Theodore, aren’t you the one who carried out the investigation? Can you really not guess?”
Theodore shut his mouth immediately. He remembered then; if her family information could not be found via a surface investigation, there was only one explanation—she must be an illegitimate child.
It was another perfect opportunity where he was going to be chided for his incompetence. But surprisingly, Venio just gazed silently at the pale lady on the bed without looking away.
After a while, he said softly, “It’s happened multiple times today already. She seemed to be constantly taking some kind of medication. But I have no clue if she has any serious illness or not.”
The gears in Theodore’s head started turning quickly. It seemed that Venio had used a different way of obtaining information, but if even he didn’t know anything about her illness…
After thinking it through, he realized something and sighed, “That means…”
Venio’s face was terribly contorted.
“That means she’s never been properly diagnosed by her doctor.”
She must have never had a chance to see the doctor.
‘Or, the doctor was not willing to diagnose her.’
She lived in a place where even a healthy person would fall sick if they lived there, so it wasn’t strange for her to have any ailments. On top of that, she was taking medicine.
They might be painkillers or something, but how likely were they to be normal medication? There were countless other households where such things happened, none of which was good.
‘It’s just too much.’ Venio couldn’t hold back his anger toward the duke’s family. Gideon glanced at Venio’s clenched fists. For a moment, Gideon’s bored face sparked with some interest.
‘I’ve never seen him like that.’
Gideon stood up, thinking that the things that would unfold would be worth seeing. He said sarcastically, “It also means that when Rick comes in, she will be seeing a doctor for the first time. Well, that’s great… Then, I’ll just go and take a nap. Have a peaceful night, Your Excellency.”
Venio nodded silently. The corners of Gideon’s lips raised slightly as he headed for the door. He didn’t forget to fart silently as he passed Theodore, who was focused on taking a closer look at Laila with a strange expression on his face.
As he was before the Grand Duke, Theodore couldn’t shout; he just bowed his head as he trembled. Gideon nodded with satisfaction.
Shortly after that, the door of the room next door opened, then closed again. Gideon’s expression was quite different now.
His face was like that of a proper high priest who was profound and insightful, and could see through everything.
Lying down on the bed, he smiled. And as if singing, he murmured, “Welcome back, you who had left.”
Venio stayed up all night with Laila, and Theodore fell asleep in the corner after asking several questions. For the first time in her life, Laila slept soundly in a cozy bed.
The day Laila Estevan arrived at the Grand Duke Arsen’s residence passed quietly.
* * *
Silver sometimes included gray. However, at least in her world, silver and gray were two distinct colors.
It was like having a light she could always see, but she could never reach.
[His Excellency said to me that you were his close friend.]
He had such a color. A person who had neatly combed-back silver hair, and eyes that were dazzlingly blue. Duke Estevan never forgot to gaze at her.
[You really look a lot like your mother.]
Laila was always afraid, but she was also hopeful. She didn’t need to be as happy as she was when seeing her older brothers, but she knew that it was impossible for her father to be warm toward her.
It was said that the opposite of love was not hate, but carelessness. Laila couldn’t agree.
[Those careless humans should be ashamed of living and breathing.]
Because hatred was, as far as she knew, the furthest from love. The duke’s eyes could break her heart.
[It is a waste to say more. Shut it off.]
Laila exclaimed aloud that she was sorry, apologizing that she didn’t mean to do this, that she didn’t plan for this, and that she didn’t want to ruin anything anymore.
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