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Chapter 108 A secret meeting at night part 1
Knock knock. I opened the door.
Seemingly without reason, Dida was standing there.
“It’s quite late. What are you here for?”
“…Uh, sorry. Were you already sleeping?”
“Yes. Milady slept early today, so my work also ended earlier than usual.”
“Ah, I see…really, though, don’t open the door with your guard down like that. As a woman, you should stay on alert.”
“Well, we don’t really need to worry about that in this mansion…plus, I’m not completely without experience in these situations. If it comes to a desperate situation, I will use force.”
I said this with a smile. An awkward, bitter smile flashed across Dida’s face.
But quickly enough, his expression became serious.
“…what about opponents that you can’t deal with? What will you do then? For example, I would be able to defeat you easily.”
“True…out of everyone in this mansion, only you and Ryle are truly a challenge to confront. As for other enemies who might invade, if I do find any adversary truly challenging, they probably won’t have come for my looks, but for my life. Well…I still trust you two, for the time being.”
Our eyes met. In a late night like this, when both of us were silent and there were no other noises to interrupt us, the silence between us made the atmosphere exceedingly heavy.
“…You win. Of course I can’t do anything if you say something like that.”
Saying this with a smile, Dida shattered the serious atmosphere.
“So? What are you here for?”
“No, originally I was planning to have a drink or two with Ryle, but he’s already asleep. So I thought of you.”
“I can’t believe you…you’d call me out for something like that? I’m still a woman. If strange rumors start spreading about us, I’m not responsible.”
Saying this, he laughed. I couldn’t read the true intentions of this man before me.
“Well…it’s true that it’s late. You’re getting up early tomorrow, right? Sorry.”
“Hold on a minute.”
“I’ve already woken up anyways…it’s a rare opportunity. Let’s go have a drink. I’ll go in and change, wait a minute for me.”
After that, I changed and walked out of the room.
Going to a bar or somewhere like that…it was quite a strange time for that. In the end we started drinking in the servants’ chat room.
The chat room is a room that all the servants share. As per its namesake, it’s a place where servants can communicate and say whatever they want.
Duke Armenia’s family has a mansion corresponding to its social status. More than half of that space is specifically for servants.
To maintain such a huge mansion and allow the masters of the house to live comfortably, they ended up needing a huge group of servants; at the same time, this structure was very fitting for a family that treated its servants so kindly.
“What do you want to drink? I brought this.”
“…Isn’t this a Makarama* specialty product? How did you get it?”
“I grabbed it from Master.”
What a startling declaration, I couldn’t help but sigh.
“Isn’t it great? Master felt sorry about what happened, especially to me and Ryle. He said that this way he’d be making it up to us.”
Saying this, that bitter, awkward smile came onto his face again.
Seemed to be quite a fit for this man’s personality…thinking that, I accepted the bottle from him without a word.
“…If this is to repay you for your hard work, should I be taking a share like this?”
“Ryle said he didn’t want it. It didn’t really count as labor anyways.”
That’s what you say, I thought to myself as I took out two cups and began to pour us drinks.
Of course I knew that the two of them were busy running about each day for Master. They trained the soldiers as aides to the coaches.
At the same time, they protected milady and carried out various other tasks, all while using their free time to train everyone who followed them from the territory to the capital.
Recently I hadn’t seen them around mostly because they were so busy with all of that.
In the past I’d also brought up the fact that they could have appealed to the master or milady to take a break from their work in the mansion.
But Ryle was stubborn. The man before me, on the other hand, bragged that he was “only going to Master’s place to play”.
We took the full wine glasses into our hands.
The clear sound of glasses bumping together echoed through the room.
We poured the wine into our mouths.
A taste that was a bit sweet, but also quite rich spread open in my mouth.
“Ah…how delicious. A Makarama product indeed.”
“…Yes. You really got something good out of this.”
“Everything that Master owns is good wine. He’s such an alcoholic that he’s needlessly picky about it. That’s why people call him the drinking guard.”
Laughing, Dida poured all the rest of the wine down his throat.
“Time to go back, I guess. Finally.”
He said suddenly.
“Yes. So you don’t have to keep running between the mansion and Master’s place.”
“True. There are still various things to prepare.”
“…Are you also looking forward to going back?”
“Don’t read too deeply into it. Just answer the question.”
“Hmm…I don’t know if I can truly call it a return. Where I am must be where milady is at. So it’s a bit strange for me to return to the territory.”
This man was also like me, willing to sacrifice himself for his lady. His usual arrogant attitude made a lot of people question his loyalty though.
“But…well, when we go back to the territory with our lady…there are really too many obstacles here. We can’t really be by her side like we can back there…most importantly, there are so many people here who surpass us in power by far.”
“There don’t seem to be that many people who are stronger than you?”
I said this, playing dumb. Dida laughed. He seemed to understand as well. There was a strange bitterness in his eyes, a bitterness that he couldn’t express in words.
“I was kidding. Yeah, in the capital, you truly feel that you’re insignificant, weak. What we have…before the crushing strength of political power. No matter how long you train, you can never compare to that.”
“Exactly. So I want to go back soon as well–as milady’s protector.”
* I didn’t find this in the translations before, so I just ran with this romanization.