2. My Brother’s Fury
The strike I had been preparing for never landed.
My brother, Alves, had seized Gorman’s hand.
As a man, Gorman was of average height. As such, if my brother, who was taller, were to stand beside him, Gorman would have to look up.
In frustration, Gorman tried to shake my brother off. However, the grip strength of my brother, a knight of the kingdom, was unmatched.
Perhaps giving up, Gorman opened his fist and left me.
Alves quietly let go of his hand. However, he stood between me and Gorman to protect me.
Gorman tidied his clothes and glared at us in a stern manner.
“Hmph, I don’t want to waste my time here any longer. I already have the documents. They’ll soon be submitted to the royal palace. I’d like the viscount’s signature.”
My brother signed the documents.
His handwriting was messier than usual. Due to the amount of pressure, the characters appeared unnecessarily thick.
“Okay, that’s all you need to do. Leave the rest to the Orfels family. After all, Viscount Ragulen seems to be busy with his duties!”
“Thank you for your consideration.”
My brother thanked him formally.
However, he kept staring at Gorman.
At that moment, rather than a viscount, his appearance was that of an imperial knight.
Gorman must had been frightened by the murderous aura he exuded. He didn’t say anymore scathing words and immediately took his leave.
I secretly watched his carriage leave from the window. I returned to the drawing room while dragging my heavy legs.
My brother stood rooted on the spot.
When I gently called out to him, my brother gradually turned to me. He tried to laugh as usual, however, his face was distorted with pain.
“…I’m sorry, Lucia. I wanted you to be happy.”
“When it comes to the dowry, I don’t think it could have been helped.”
“But still, I did something uncalled-for. I had a had time preparing the full amount this year, as such, I consulted with Count Orfels. The count also showed an understanding…”
Alves lowered his head and sighed deeply.
“…Actually, not being able to prepare anything isn’t the case. I have some savings, and I still have belongings I can sell.”
“Brother, I know our financial situation well. Even if you say savings, isn’t it the fund intended for summer and winter? Nothing can be sold… no way! Brother, do you intend to sell your sword?”
My brother averted his eyes and didn’t answer. Apparently, he truly intended to sell his sword.
But that couldn’t be.
If my engagement was to be annulled, I merely wouldn’t be able to get married for the time being.
However, if my brother were to depart with his sword, he would never see it again.
That wonderful sword was prepared by father after mother sold her keepsake in celebration of brother becoming an imperial knight.
After our father had died, brother quit the order of the knights to protect our declining territory.
Living a life with only a few servants, while doing the usual lord’s work such as maintaining security and resolving disputes between territories, he worked together with farmers to cultivate the fields, prepare waterways, and prepare various documents to be submitted to the royal palace. Not to mention, he also had to negotiate with the officials of the royal capital.
My brother was doing the work that normally would take many people all by himself. I had eventually become able to assist him, but it wasn’t enough to help my brother who sacrificed everything.
That sword was the important treasure of my brother. If he had sold it, he’d regret it for the rest of his life.
It was nice of him to consult about division or postponement without overdoing it. If it resulted in the engagement being annulled, it couldn’t be helped.
I was thinking clearly.
“How long are you going to make that face? Sure, it’s quite surprising that it resulted in an annulment. But to be honest, I never thought myself suitable to be part of the count’s family. That’s why, this is such a relief, really!”
“Brother, please stay strong. You were in the middle of repairing the barn, weren’t you? You said you wanted to finish it before it rained.”
“…That’s right. I was in the middle of work.”
Finally, Alves laughed.
He was less energetic and paler than usual, but he had returned to his usual self, someone who always smiled at me.
I liked my brother’s tanned face.
I respected my brother who held carpenter’s tool with his big hands, hands which should had been wielding a sword, to instead repair a roof. Even his slightly awkward finish had its own sense of refinement.
Tonight, I shall make my brother’s favorite stew to cheer him up!
…Yes, everything would be alright.
I was fine and while I felt sorry that I couldn’t get married, I was glad that the expense was kept down. Because of that, I could afford to think about the menu for today’s dinner.
Hence, I laughed.
“I’m going to use the turnips before they are stolen by a wild boar. Would you like turnip stew tonight?”
“Of course. I’m looking forward to it.”
Alves said that and put his hand on my head.
After he had stroked my black hair, which was casually tied up, he clapped his own cheeks.
“Alright! I’m going to get changed! I’ll be finish by dinner.”
Alves, who left the room, seemed a little better.
***T/N: Wh–!? How did the author do that?! In just one chapter, she has managed to not only instill a solid image as to what kind of person Alves is, but also made me empathize a lot with him to the point my heart went crunch. And bruh, dude is a mad bro…
…Starting from this chapter, I, Antoinette Vanessa, is a certified Alves simp.
Man, I love it when Author elaborates, I love it when we gain insight about the character’s past… maaan.