this chapter is brought to you by mio
as translator, proofreader and editor!
Upon arriving at the Grand Duchy using the space travel portal, Lydia immediately started to work without further ado. Her job was easy since everyone who needed her touch was already gathered in one room.
Although there were many horned demons, and demonic creatures that would be outside the bounds of what would be familiar to humans, they didn’t bother her at all.
[Muso] “You’re not a human, are you?”
Muso asked as he looked at her, who he thought would’ve been much more startled, but was unusually calm, as if she was used to it.
[Muso] “Seeing as you have no horns… Do you have more human blood than demon blood?”
[Lydia] “Just like how the size of a demon’s horns does not make a difference to demons, the presence or absence of horns also has nothing to do with how much of each side’s blood you have mixed in you.”
[Muso] “So you are of mixed race!”
Muso didn’t care if she was closer to that of a human or a demon in the first place anyway.
[Muso] “Woah! It’s my first time seeing another half-demon other than me!”
Muso shifted closer to sit next to Lydia, who was washing her hands lightly to heal the next person.
[Muso] “Maybe that’s why I felt you looked familiar…!”
Lydia focused on the next patient after glancing at him for a bit.
[Muso] “My name is Muso. What about you?”
[Lydia] “You’re very extroverted.”
[Muso] “I mean, it’s my first time seeing another half-demon! I even thought that I was the only one in this world!”
The shining eyes that were fixed on her face were quite burdensome.
[Muso] “You won’t feel annoyed if I drop the formalities, right?”
[Muso] “Let’s speak comfortably as friends. How about it?”
[Lydia] “Friends… Even if I’m older than you, I’ll still be 100 years older than you.”
[Muso] “Heok. You didn’t seem like you were.”
Obviously having not thought that Lydia would be older than him, Muso covered his mouth in surprise. But soon after doing so, he began to talk once again.
[Muso] “When did you meet Her Majesty? I first met her 100 years ago, but back then, I…”
Lydia didn’t bother to stop him from talking excitedly about Ara. Since she also liked talking about Ara as well.
[Muso] “…so that I can repay Her Majesty’s faith in me…!”
He continued talking until Lydia had finished healing everyone. Finally finished with healing her last patient, Lydia stretched her stiff body. It had become dark outside before she even knew it.
[Muso] “What about you? When did you first meet Her Majesty? How did you meet her?”
Muso finally concluded his story before asking about Lydia’s story. Lydia turned her head to look out of the open window beside her. The autumn wind was floating in softly.
[Lydia] “The first time I met Miss Ara was on a cool, windy night like tonight.”
Lydia smiled as she recalled that day back then.
[Lydia] “She had an appearance that resembled a black rose, different from what she looks like now.”
[Muso] “That’s right. Her Majesty was beautiful, even when she had black hair.”
Lydia continued to speak calmly when Muso responded to her words.
[Lydia] “At that time, Miss Ara told me something I had never heard before in my life.”
[Muso] “What did she say?”
Since she had something as cool as, ‘You’re going to become an invincible guy’ to him, he similarly anticipated what sort of incredible words she’d say to Lydia. And naturally, Her Majesty didn’t disappoint him.
[Lydia] “It’s the first time I’ve seen such a pretty girl like you. So why are you covering up this pretty face?”
Lydia raised her hand to brush it across the Lunar pattern that covered half of her face.
[Lydia] “I would always try and cover it in a hurry, since everyone around me would only ask why that sort of thing was on a girl’s face.”
[Muso] “Cover it…?”
At her words, a glimpse of a past memory flashed through Muso’s mind.
He sprang to his feet and reached a hand out toward her. His eyes grew round as he covered the left side of her face with the pattern with his own hand.
[Muso] “T-The masked noona from back then…?”
t/n: used by younger males to address older females
Lydia let out a grin at Muso’s words.
[Lydia] “Do you remember now?”
[Lydia] “You’d always follow me around, saying noona, noona. So you’ve forgotten about it all, huh?”
Muso’s mouth was so wide it seemed like his jaw was about to drop.
[Muso] “W-Why did you pretend not to know me?!”
[Lydia] “I was wondering how long it would take for you to remember.”
[Muso] “I-It’s because I thought you were a human! Obviously I thought you were already dead…!”
Lydia grabbed his hand which was covering half her face, still seemingly not believing him.
[Lydia] “Long time no see, crybaby.”
He had deliberately pretended to be energetic and strong for 100 years already, since he didn’t want to be criticised for being vulnerable, just because of the human blood in him. Overturning all that effort he had put in, Muso started to cry upon reconnecting with the friend he hadn’t met for 100 years.
* * *
pls do not share this anywhere or u will always stub ur toe when u walk past a door frame !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:
Late into the night, we put our heads together to plan a counterattack.
[Linden] “Wouldn’t the Little Duke have wanted to prove Meliara’s innocence, judging by how he gathered all the evidence like that?”
[Ara] “I still think it’s simply because he wants to restore the Duke of Darchez’s reputation.”
I just couldn’t believe that he was struggling to clear his sibling’s name after leaving Meliara neglected for so many years beforehand. But Meliara was a bit more innocent.
[Meliara] Still, I’d like to think that he did it because he believed I was innocent… Is that too naive of me…?”
In any case, she would still carry the hope that he believed in her since she still had affection for her older brother.
[Linden] “It’s still a bit strange when you think about it. No matter what his initial intentions were, why isn’t he revealing it and just staying put when he now knows for sure that his little sister is innocent?”
Linden expressed more doubts about Alion’s current actions than the reason behind it.
[Ara] “Maybe he still lacks all the sufficient evidence, or perhaps he’s just waiting for the right timing to reveal it.”
While we exchanged our varying opinions, the one who gave the most useful conclusion was Lecht.
[Lecht] “No matter if it’s his initial intentions or what his current mentality is. Nothing will change unless we meet him.”
We had to meet him to see what his intentions were, and what his current mentality was right now. We also had to meet in order for us to take the evidence too.
[Ara] “Regardless of anything else, he’s more likely to meet me rather than Lecht or Linden, so I’ll request for him to make a visit.”
I was a bit worried since I had sent him back so cold-heartedly last time so he might not agree to my request to meet now. If he said he wouldn’t meet me, it’d be beyond my capacity, since there was no other way for us to meet, seeing as I currently was unable to leave the temple.
However, it was immediately revealed that all my worrying was meaningless the next day. Receiving the message, he came to see me as soon as the sun rose.
* * *
I greeted him in the temple’s parlour.
While I was meeting with Alion, Linden said that he’d look into Olivia while Lecht also left, saying that he’d try to track Frody’s footsteps.
[Ara] “You came quite quickly.”
[Alion] “…it’s because I’ll always be too late.”
He hesitated for a while before he spoke.
[Alion] “So it’s my desperate struggle to make up for it, even if it’s only now.”
I couldn’t help but pay attention to the expression of Meliara, who was sitting next to me, at his words that were filled with a meaning I couldn’t quite understand. Looking at Alion with a complex expression on her face, she whispered.
[Meliara] It’s a bit awkward, since this is my first time seeing my older brother’s face this close…
But still, to think that it’s her first time seeing her brother’s face this close despite living under the same roof for so long. As long as they’ve had a meal together, no, then doesn’t this mean they’ve never even had tea together before?
Alion seemed to look even more annoying for no reason.
He spoke quietly, perhaps because he had glimpsed the emotions that showed on my face.
[Alion] “Drinking tea together… I think it’s our first time.”
[Ara] “So you know.”
To be honest, even though Meliara had been amazed by this ‘first time’ of theirs, I didn’t think that he’d notice either.
Even though I was conscious of my detest of him, my voice still inevitably sounded a bit too curt. My cold reaction caused him to look at my face.
[Alion] “I heard you had a disturbance with the Crown Prince.”
He changed the conversation soon after.
[Alion] “That’s probably why you contacted me, right?”
[Ara] “It’s similar to that.”
[Alion] “What do you need?”
Without even asking what had happened, he asked. At his sudden reaction to tell him what I needed, I felt a bit flustered.
[Ara] “Is that what you’re most curious about…?”
[Alion] “…What would you like me to be curious about?”
[Ara] “You must have heard the full story already. About how they found the drug in my bag, or how I’m being suspected of spreading the epidemic. So I thought you’d be the most curious about whether or not I’m innocent.”
[Alion] “You said it’s not you.”
[Alion] “You said it wasn’t you. That’s what you told me, or did I mishear that?”
[Ara] “It wasn’t me… I did say that.”
[Alion] “So is there any reason for me to be more curious about that?”
At his sincere looking appearance and the words that were said with a frown, as if they were a given, I was lost for words for a moment. I didn’t know how he interpreted my silence, but he added.
[Alion] “If you say it’s not you, then it isn’t.”
[Ara] “…Did you always think like that?”
I was rather embarrassed by his completely unexpected response.
[Ara] “Did you always believe… that your little sister was innocent…?”
[Ara] “Is that why you investigated like that every time a situation occurred?”
[Alion] “You knew I investigated it all, as expected. I thought I had been pretty secretive already.”
He paused for a moment before speaking again.
[Alion] “It wasn’t that I specifically believed you were innocent. I just believed you.”
[Ara] “What do you mean by that…?”
He said to me, who didn’t understand the difference between the two.
[Alion] “Because you always said it wasn’t you.”
[Alion] “It didn’t matter if you weren’t innocent. I just believed you when you said it wasn’t you.”
I kept suspecting that the reason he investigated was to protect the reputation of the Duke of Darchez. But that wasn’t the case. Regardless of whether the reputation of the Duchy was restored, or whether she was innocent or not, he had only simply believed his little sister.
I turned my head at the truth that was unusually heavy. I could see Meliara next to me, who was just as shocked as I was.
[Meliara] Brother… believed in me…? But I thought you hated me, Brother…
[Ara] “Do you normally believe the words of someone you hate without doubting it?”
I threw Meliara’s question back at Alion. At that moment, Alion’s face was stained with embarrassment. His eyes shook violently.
[Alion] “It’s not that I hate you…!”
Instead of saying something that sounded like an excuse, he just kept his mouth shut. After a brief moment of silence, he opened his mouth again.
[Alion] “Tell me what you need.”
His objective of switching the topic was too obvious.
[Alion] “Seeing as you’ve got both the Grand Duke of Arvis and the Lunar religion on your side, you must need something that can’t be done without me, right?”
[Alion] “Tell me. I’ll see if I can do it.”
[Ara] “The things you’ve investigated about me so far.”
He frowned without saying anything, as if he didn’t understand what I was saying right away.
[Ara] “You have the messenger who delivered the tea to Saintess Olivia, right? I need that person.”
[Ara] “Other than that, all the evidence that can prove my innocence, like the ledgers of the shop that sold the poisonous herbs.”
Realising what I was aiming for, only then did his frown deepen.
[Alion] “Are you thinking of using it?”
[Alion] “You won’t be able to restore your relationship with the Crown Prince if you touch Saintess Olivia. You know that, right?”
[Ara] “I have no thought of restoring that relationship.”
I peeked at Meliara who was next to me. I thought she would hope for that relationship to be repaired, since she loved that foolish Crown Prince. However, she shook her head, as if she could read my thoughts.
[Ara] “I can’t go back anyway.”
Meliara nodded in agreement with my comment. She seemed to have made up her mind too.
Alion seemed to be troubled over something for a moment.
[Alion] “I can give it all to you.”
I was even momentarily surprised by his unexpectedly refreshing answer.
His words that meant to introduce conditions caused my lips to shut.
As expected, there’s no way he would just give it all away. I was the one who was foolish to think that he would help me without a price after hearing all that nonsense of him believing his little sister.
In the end, he too, was a nobleman who took net profit into account.
As I waited quietly for his request, his lips moved slightly before he spoke in a breathy voice.
[Alion] “Instead, will you come back to the Duchy if I ask you to?”
get ready for the next chapter ;-;