45. Time Went Forward (3)
…Well, even if Lewis told me to stay silent, from the beginning, I couldn’t speak. I glanced at him.
Lewis seemed satisfied with my response—the moment his gaze returned to William, his expression turned embarrassed.
“William-sama, you don’t have to word it that way.”
However, even after being told so, William continued mercilessly.
“Oh, so you’re finding fault with what I’m saying, now? Even though you’re the one who’s responsible for this, huh, Lewis? You have a lot of nerve.”
William’s expression was cold.
I could only stare at him in confusion.
Lewis was taken aback by his Master’s heartless reply—however, this too, was surely an act…
William continued on,
“Compared to a neck flying, my words are still warm, don’t you think? If you talk back once more, Lewis will be forced to bear the consequence of your crime.”
Finally, Lewis shut up. He seemed hurt.
Lionel was at lost for words—however, he understood that if he spoke out of order, Lewis’ head would fly.
—…what is their real plan?
Lewis, what was it that William was planning? Hush money… why is it necessary in this situation? I had to figure this out sooner or later. For now, I just kept observing.
“Mr. Lionel, as you can see, I’m a busy person. This is a waste of time. I’ll leave this check with the butler—what was your name again?” William looked straight at Schwarz.
Stewart lowered his head while answering.
“My name is Stewart, Earl of Falmouth.”
“Now, Stewart, I’ll leave this with you. Both admonishing and persuading are your duty as a butler, after all.”
William handed Stewart the check through Lewis. It wasn’t the blank one. Lionel watched the entire procession with a bitter expression.
Stewart bowed again after safely putting the check in his breast pocket.
“You can believe in this servant. I’m very sorry for all the inconveniences. Also, thank you for your kindness.” Stewart replied in earnest, which regained William’s smile—along with his satisfactory nod.
“No, I’m the one who should be saying that after all the trouble I’ve caused.” Then, he stood up, arm still encircling my waist.
“Lewis, we’re leaving. Go ahead and prepare the carriage.”
“Stewart, it’s fine if you don’t see us off. The same goes to you, Mr. Lionel.”
“Are you sure you have to leave right away? I’m sorry that I couldn’t provide you with any hospitality.”
Lewis, William, and Stewart exchanged greetings respectively.
—uh, wait, what? We’re leaving? It’s over already?
I was still stupefied as I watched William.
Lionel’s face was still bitter.
In this entire scenario, William was the bad guy—
—huh, isn’t that strange?
Shouldn’t that role belong to me, the ‘Ice Queen’? William, along with Arthur, were supposed to be the most popular men in the kingdom, chased by many women—
—in the eyes of Lionel, who didn’t know of such a thing, our roles were reversed.
…well, certainly, the other party isn’t a woman, but…
As the son of a Marquis—as an Earl, was that kind of behavior acceptable?
William, unaware of my thoughts, kept smiling at me.
“Amelia, shall we go?”
I noticed that Lewis had already left the room. That meant this was really over—!
Unintentionally, I stole a glance at Lionel. He was still staring at William, when he noticed my gaze, he looked like he was about to cry for a moment.
…he was probably cursing his powerlessness.
“Amelia? What’s wrong?”
William uttered my name again.
William stared at me, his eyes gentle, like that of Elliot’s. He gently took my left hand.
—what… is this situation?
Not like I could utter anything, though. I had no understanding to the situation, and no voice to utter my bafflement.
I was stunned, and all I could manage to do was to be led by William. In the end, I left the mansion without saying goodbye to Lionel.
The muddy ground after the morning rain shook the carriage more than usual. No, it wasn’t only due to rain. Perhaps it was also a problem with the carriage. Well, compared to noble carriages, it wasn’t really bad, in general.
“Amelia, how are you feeling?” William peered into my face, full of concern. This time, I couldn’t put on a smile.
The carriage vibrated more than usual. I was rendered immobile.
Usually, I wouldn’t have any problem with it, however, the situation was different. My injured right hand ached with every vibration. It throbbed painfully.
It wasn’t unbearable, but quite tormenting. Before I succumbed to the pain, I better ask why he treated Lionel that way…
I thought so and sent a glance towards Lewis, whom sat in front. Lewis noticed my gaze and informed William.
Lewis relayed it to William. “How about telling Amelia-sama the reason for your previous attitude towards Lionel? Amelia-sama seems to be very concerned. I’m also curious why I was forced to put on that show.”
That word returned my gaze to William.
William looked surprised, then, his lips moved awkwardly.
“That’s right… let me apologize, first. I’ve said something terrible to you.”
“How laughable, right? I said I would protect you, and then, I proceed to do just that—you need to know that at that time, I was upset…”
First of all, I need to ascertain the situation first…
As if he could read minds, Lewis added.
“William-sama, you aren’t explaining anything. Amelia-sama, that exchange happened due to the utmost consideration of taking care of this matter.”
“Originally, we planned for it to be friendlier. Lionel-sama is confirmedly a trustworthy person, and the check was purely out of gratitude.”
“When we arrived at the mansion, Amelia-sama was already injured. William got upset. The plan went awry. We were so scared of Count Southwell’s wrath. He tasked us to bring you back safely, after all. Lionel also knew of your real identity—hence, massive problems would arise if words were to leak. Rumors are scary.”
Lewis didn’t only appear like he was doing his job as William’s attendant, but also appeared as if he was concerned about me from the bottom of his heart.
However, he was the root of this all.
He was the reason for me to be upset. It was very likely William had to take that attitude because of him.
Hence, that exchange from before, which included Lionel, was probably also anticipated by Lewis.
I didn’t care, though.
Because of that, William embraced me.
He swore to love me.
Even if it was a lie, I was alright with that.
Yet, Lionel, who had no involvement in this; who helped me—was I the reason he made such a bitter expression—was he just unlucky, or…?
***T/N: Why… why is she so hung up on William–scratch that–Elliott’s soul? Her borderline obsession is starting to get to me…