< — The founding party — > (3)
Translated by: Miss Ruby
Edited by: ShadowDog
Roy leaned against the wall adjacent to the break room. He had confirmed with the knights guarding the break room door that there were no other entrances to the room.
‘It’s taking a long time.’
Being unable to see the target he was guarding right away made him uncomfortable.
‘Let’s wait for just 30 minutes. Then I have to make sure the Madam is alright.’
A servant approached from a distance and just as he passed by in front of Roy, he made a gesture that signaled their familiarity with each other. Roy naturally shifted his position and moved slightly away from the break room.
“Hey. You. Come here.” (Roy)
The servant, who had walked some distance away, heard the call and approached Roy with reluctant steps. And turning his back to the knights guarding the break room entrance, he stood and said in a quiet voice.
“There are characters that need to be watched cautiously.” (Servant(?))
Roy increased his voice as if wanting the knights to hear.
“Go bring me something to drink.” (Roy)
“Count Ramis and Countess Falcon. The message is to inform you that you should watch carefully if either of them approach the Madam.” (Servant(?))
The break room door opened, and a handmaid came out. The handmaid shared a knowing glance with the knights, then walked in Roy’s direction.
“I asked you to bring it, why do you have so much to say?” (Roy)
“You cannot drink alcohol here.” (Servant(?))
It was the scene of a servant who was pressed to follow a difficult demand, and a knight who was forcing him to bring alcohol. Because it was an action reasonable enough for someone as notorious as Roy, Anita held no suspicion and simply passed them.
The moment the woman passed in front of him, Roy’s head turned sharply in her direction.
‘What the— this smell is…’
It was a familiar but unpleasant smell. Roy knew a woman with the exact same smell. But that woman’s face was not like this. Roy persistently followed the woman with his eyes until she turned around the corner and disappeared.
“…Who? David and who?”
“The Countess of Falcon.”
“Don’t know who that is but anyway, it’s a woman.”
He straightened up and quickly approached the knights standing guard in front of the break room. Seeing Roy suddenly approaching them, the knights raised their guard.
There was no time to tussle. After making this judgement, Roy gathered strength in his fists and unhesitatingly slammed them into the abdomen of the two knights.
Not expecting him to attack without notice, the knights were unable to react at all and toppled over. Roy hit the back of their neck and knocked them out. He grabbed the unconscious knights by the scruff of their neck and using his chin, he gestured to the man who was dressed as a servant.
“Open the door.”
The man’s mouth opened a crack before he quickly opened the door. As Roy entered the room, the man checked to make sure that there was no one around to see them, then he followed inside and shut the door behind them.
Roy abandoned the two knights at the entrance, kicked opened the middle door and entered inside. Seeing the scene unfolding before his eyes, Roy’s eyes widened menacingly. The Madam was lying on the couch with her eyes closed, and beside her, stood David in a hovering manner.
His actions moved faster than his thoughts. Roy sprang at David in the blink of an eye and grabbed him by the collar.
“What did you do to the Madam!”
With the pressure on his throat, David couldn’t reply properly so Roy relaxed his grip slightly. David complexion had turned crimson as he frowned and struggled with both hands to remove Roy’s grip on his throat.
“You heinous bastard! Let me go this instant!”
Rather than obeying, Roy shook him with the hand that was grabbing his neck and threatened fiercely.
“If the Madam is hurt in the slightest, you will die by my hands.”
“The Duchess is saf…kuk.”
“Is this your handiwork?”
“N…No…she passed out for a mome…th-this…let go of this…”
“This fucker! Why would the Madam pass out?!”
As Roy held him by the neck and shook him, David continued to keep his mouth shut. Roy was breathing roughly as he fumed and deciding to listen to the bastard’s words, he relaxed the strength in his hand. But when David continued to look at him with his mouth tightly shut as if showing off, Roy released his neck in annoyance.
David arranged his crumpled collar with a very angry look on his face.
“Will you start talking about what the hell you’re doing here?!” (Roy)
“You insolent—! Do you know who I am?!” (David)
“I don’t care who you are. Explain.”
“And who are you?”
“Me? I’m the Madam’s guard, of course. And whoever harms the Madam will unconditionally die by my hands.”
Seeing Roy’s expression full of murderous intent, David flinched. Since it was this ignorant bastard, he wouldn’t care about the aftermath, he would just commit the act. David had often heard of the man’s notoriety in the high society.
“I simply came to meet the Duchess.” (David)
“Why would you?” (Roy)
David smiled mockingly.
“Well, because the Duchess invited me to meet her.” (David)
This dude is crazy. Roy thought.
“This isn’t a place that anyone can come in. I didn’t hear you were in here.” (Roy)
“But you…the way you’re talking to me…” (David)
David ground his teeth at Roy’s tone.
While David and Roy were having a standoff, the man who had followed Roy inside, felt the pulse of the Duchess who was lying down on the sofa. The man gave a sigh of relief and nodded to Roy when their eyes met.
The man shook her lightly by the arm and woke her up.
Lucia pressed her temples, frowned and slowly opened her eyes. Her head was heavy as if someone had placed a bunch of stones on it. She felt a headache different from her usual headaches; her head was just blank.
“Can you stand?”
Lucia couldn’t think of anything at all. She just held the couch and mumbled that she had to get up as if she were performing a given task then she lifted her body. The man at the side helped by supporting her.
“Hurry and escort the Madam out of here. Make sure to keep out of sight. Something is strange.” (Roy)
“Understood. Please hurry, Duchess.”
Lucia wanted to know what in the world was going on. But she judged that now wasn’t the right time for such a thing.
Sir. Krotin was a guard that her husband had placed at her side out of worry for her safety. There was trust in her husband’s words when he said that Sir. Krotin was trustworthy as he was skilled. So Lucia decided to unconditionally believe in Sir. Krotin.
She felt a little dizzy but after a few steps, she was able to move with ease. As she followed the man who appeared to be a servant, Lucia was startled to see the knights collapsed at the entrance. Thanks to that, her vacant head seemed to awaken a bit.
The servant opened the door first and stepped out for a bit, then he came back inside.
“There is no one around. You may come out.”
The hallway was usually vacant of people. As they walked along the hallway, the servant continued to be on full alert as he checked the surroundings.
“Wait. Someone is coming. It would be better to avoid them.”
Since they weren’t very far from the break room yet, it was better to not be seen by anyone right now.
Lucia turned into a dead-end corridor with a bunch of armor set up as ornaments, and hid next to a set of armor. The man in servant’s attire walked forward, calm and composed.
A group of people appeared around the corner, consisting of about ten or so noblewomen and following them was Anita, who was dressed as a handmaid.
The servant passed by them naturally and acted as if he was turning the corner but carefully glanced at them. From the looks of it, the direction they were heading towards, was the princess’ break room.
‘Will Sir Krotin be fine?’
Although he was worried, there was nothing he could do right now. His most important task was to protect the Duchess.
The servant escorted the Duchess and walked towards the party venue.
Lucia was feeling quite better; the heavy feeling that had put her in a bad mood had improved. She straightened her waist naturally, like a noblewoman bring her servant along.
“Slow down. Otherwise it will seems like we’re in a hurry.”
The servant slowed down his steps which he had unknowingly increased. And he slightly glanced at the Duchess.
‘She really is a composed person.’
She didn’t ask anything nor did she get flustered and run around in confusion. The Duchess was merely following Sir Krotin’s instructions, but it was a great deal of coping ability for a noblewoman who had never experienced anything rough and was used to giving orders rather than receiving them.
As they got out of the desolate hallway, people were buzzing around left and right. There were busy handmaids and manservants going somewhere with hurried steps, and also guests in formal wear that had come out in order to avoid the buzz of the party.
The servant called a passing handmaid, stopping her.
“Escort the Duchess to the party hall. And call the Imperial doctor. The Duchess says she had a headache.”
The man naturally handed the Duchess to the handmaid and asked the handmaid to call the Imperial doctor to check if there was anything wrong with the Duchess.
Lucia briefly met eyes with the man. Then she left for the party hall with the handmaid. Her heart pounded as if it would burst, but she kept on taking quick breaths so that she wouldn’t reveal it.
The servant watched from a little distance away as the Duchess walked together with the handmaid, then he slowly followed behind. He walked as if he was coincidentally moving in the same direction. As of now, he decided that he must not take his eyes off the Duchess.