Louis glanced back at the closed door with a thud, then back at Eisel. Her long silver hair swayed gently at her waist as she walked ahead of him.
As he watched the silver hair sway gently in a dance, Louis’ attention was drawn to the voice from before.
Eisel held out her hand. She glanced over at Louis, who handed over the papers in the familiar gesture, and let out a low, raspy breath.
“Why are you here today?”
“Huh? Like I said, I wanted to give you those papers…….”
“Louis. We’ve known each other for years and you think that lie will work?”
Eisel narrowed his eyes and pushed his eyebrows up at an angle as he crossed his arms. Eisel stood on tiptoe, lifting his chin to look up at Louis.
“You lock yourself in your room on your days off and don’t show your nose, you don’t even listen when I ask you to come in and help me with something urgent, and when I ask you to do something, you do it the day before it’s due, and then you show up on your day off with this project that’s still well overdue? I’d rather believe a stork carries a baby.”
Louis laughed awkwardly as he listened to the rapid-fire cannon barrage. He had no excuse, because he hadn’t said anything wrong.
“Eisel was urging us to hurry up.”
“When did I ever tell you that it doesn’t matter if you hurry? When did I ever hurry anything for you?”
Eisel tilted her head waving the papers. Glancing down at the silver hair cascaded softly over her shoulder, Louis’ eyes rose again.
“What do you want?”
“Nothing? Don’t lie.”
Louis spread his palms out in frustration. When Eisel glared at him in disbelief, Louis pouted on his lips.
“Can people be consistent? Some days are just a bit different from others. It’s just that the weather was nice and I was free, so I got the job done quickly. I remember feeling rushed and frustrated all the time.”
“…… Are you sure you’re not in an accident?”
“What’s the point of me telling you that? Plus, I’m really upset right now, Eisel?”
Louis’ shoulders shook with sadness. His blue eyes crinkled softly with sadness.
“I’ve been in such a hurry to think of you, Eisel, and now I’m being questioned whether or not I’ve caused an accident, let alone thanked for my efforts. Is that the image I usually give you?”
“No, it’s not like that, it’s just weird…….”
“Okay, maybe I shouldn’t have done this. I’m sorry I was in a hurry.”
“Oh, no, it’s really nothing. I’m sorry, Louis.”
He was sensitive these days. Eisel could feel his nerves getting the better of him as time drew nearer. When she remembered she overreacted to every small thing, she finally lowered her tail. But Louis had already turned away, pouting.
“Are you angry?” I’m sorry, I was wrong, okay? I’ll never doubt you again.”
“Okay. I’ll just get back to what I was doing and stay home, so don’t bother.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. Don’t pout. Okay?”
“Forget about it. The small bastard should go home. I’m outta here.”
No, he hadn’t said the word, and Eisel stared at Louis’ back as he walked away.
“I don’t think you said that.”
Eisel watched Louis disappear and ran a hand through her disheveled hair. Was I too harsh?
“Was I too suspicious?”
“It was severe.”
Kronbe’s gruff voice returned as he watched the situation from beside Eisel, who muttered quietly.
Glancing at Kronbe, who suddenly appeared, Eisel sighed and nodded. I’ll apologize later. Eisel turned away.
* * *
As Eisel turned, the mansion’s open door slowly closed behind him. Louis, who had watched the scene from afar, turned his head to look at her panicked expression. Eisel’s expression was rare.
He didn’t know if it was her lack of emotion or her strong heart. However, she didn’t blink an eye at anything, and for once, he was drawn to her. Louis laughed as he listened to her stutter and repeated she was wrong.
The wind picked up. The bitter cold that blew in from the distance chilled the already warm area. Ruffling his windswept hair, Lewis breathed. His voice mingled with the pristine breath that escaped out of his open mouth.
“What are we doing here?”
The voice that had sounded so sulky and pouty to Eisel a moment ago was now heavy and low. Louis removed his glasses and slowly turned his head. A man with dark red hair appeared from behind an unoccupied tree and bowed his head.
“That’s why you came to get me.”
“Of course not. They came to me directly to see if something had happened to you. I’m glad you’re okay.”
Louis stared wordlessly at the man, who bowed his head, hiding his red eyes.
Normally, he would have attended the meeting as he always did. He was never one to miss a meeting or be late, no matter what, but there was something else that made him turn around.
The sight of Archduke Byron entering the mansion behind Eisel made Louis turn his steps toward the mansion, not the meeting.
Golden eyes stared at him like a competitor. Lewis laughed at the fierce look in those eyes. There was some truth to the rumors about the Archduke of Byron, the leader of the Black Lion. But even more unpleasant than his hostility to him was his look at Eisel.
The slanted upturn of his mouth, the narrowing of his eyes, as if he owned her.
“Modify the role of the Archduke of Byron.”
“That is difficult, for the Archduke of Byron’s position in this play is not small…….”
Louis looked up in bewilderment at Calzac, and slowly turned away.
“……Okay, but I’ll bring forward Lord Widgard’s death in a bit.”
“I don’t care how you kill him, do it yourself.”
No more words were needed. Louis watched wordlessly as he bowed his head in silence, then turned his attention back to the manor. The corners of his mouth twitched upward at the tiny ripples in the distance.
Turning, he walked past Calzac. The corners of his mouth twitched, and his blue eyes flashed, then flashed red.
* * *
Eisel’s carriage pulled up in front of the mansion, and the massive doors swung open. As soon as the doors swung open, a wave of gold rushed out.
Lancia leapt out of the door to greet Eisel. Her hair was ruffled like molten gold. When the carriage door opened and Eisel stepped out, Lancia immediately stretched out her arms to embrace her.
“It’s been so long!”
“……We met four days ago.”
Eisel laughed slowly, as if Lancia’s fierce affection display was familiar. When Lancia released her arm, Eisel straightened her hat.
“It’s been four days and I want to be with you every day!”
“Lancia, you’re the one the Count wants to take me to live with.”
Count Ermund the Jackal had given up trying to stop Lancia, who had been chasing Eisel since they were children. The jackal felt his mouth go dry as she ignored him when he introduced her to men, even though she was past marriage.
He had to wonder if his precious only daughter would be the last of her kind.
‘I can’t believe I have to think about this when so many people love my adorable, doll-like daughter.’
But, regardless, Lancia was quite happy in her current state, chasing Eisel.
“It’s not every day that my father does this. Never mind, come on in, I’m ready to eat.”
Lancia smiled broadly and led Eisel into the dining room. As soon as Eisel was seated at the pre-prepared table, Lancia sat across from her.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve eaten with Eisel.”
“We’ve been drinking tea all the time. It’s been a while since we’ve sat down to eat together.”
Lancia’s eyes drifted from the dishes as they appeared, one by one, to Eisel.
“What’s been taking place on with you lately? Your father hardly ever comes in?”
As Basquiella expanded, House Ermund naturally reached. A fringe noble, the Jackals moved their home to the capital, allowing Lancia to remain here as an adult.
“I overheard you say that Eisel had you on a tight schedule. What’s going on?”
“Same as everyone else, the sky has suddenly gotten weird, the weather is changing, demons I’ve never seen before are blocking the guild’s paths, there’s been a lot of incidents, and everyone is freaking out.”
“Is that so?”
Lancia tilted her head and picked up her fork. The light lunch didn’t last long. Small talk was exchanged, and when the meal was over and tea was brought in, Lancia gently wrapped her palm around the teacup.
“I’ve been worried about the tea leaves lately. They say they’re not growing well because of the weather.”
“Did you run out of the ones I brought you before?”
“Uh, no. There’s plenty, but I’m using as much as I can because supplies are low.”
“Don’t be stingy. Tell me when you don’t have enough.”
Eisel, who was already aware of tea leaves scarcity, had already accumulated a huge amount and variety of tea leaves. He could magically process them so they wouldn’t decay over the years and make a fortune.
“Hah, I hate it when that happens.”
Eisel tilted her head at Lancia, who sighed slowly through her clenched jaw. Lancia’s blue eyes sparkled as she tilted her teacup and asked.
“Is there anything you need?”
“If I were a man, I’d ask you to marry me, Eisel.”