21. A Feeling of Liberation After the Battle
“It’s finally over. Thank you for your hard work.”
After the carriage started moving, Phil congratulated me with a smile.
His intimidating appearance from before had vanished entirely. He had simply become ‘Phil’, the one I was familiar with.
As soon as he sat down and the carriage door was closed, he ruffled his neatly-trimmed silver hair.
Looking at his facial expression, I recognized him as the Phil who usually slept on the ground of the Ragulen’s territory.
Regardless, the Phil of that day had a very beautiful appearance.
His attire, although casual-looking, probably cost more than even Alven’s finest clothes.
Phil was wearing such an expensive outfit without hesitation…
There was a small decoration on the collar. It was a very beautiful pearl, similar to the earrings I wore.
I glanced at Phil’s ear.
Currently, it was half-hidden by his beautiful silver locks. However, he was wearing an ear cuff with a gleaming blue jewel—probably made by a goldsmith.
I had just noticed it.
His silver hair was gorgeous in itself. His outfit was fine. It fitted him like a glove, there was nothing unnatural about him.
Nevertheless, that was quite luxurious of him.
The goldsmith probably engraved a pattern into his work.
If I were to think nothing about it, he’d come off as merely a beautiful piece of jewelry.
However, that expression he had shown Count Orfels…. that intimidating feeling… From that, I could conclude that Phil was no ordinary aristocrat.
That ear cuff’s pattern was probably linked to Phil’s true identity.
I stared at Phil.
Phil was smiling as he waited for me to say something. He was behaving like his usual self.
Even so… I couldn’t shake the feeling that something had changed.
There was a slight tension between us. It was as if he was trying to gauge my reaction, my thoughts.
I closed my eyes and slowly took a breath.
…Was it necessary to probe around for Phil’s true identity?
Phil was a friend of Alves, a frequent guest who loved to lay down on the floor or the ground, someone and wholeheartedly savored the simple stew I made.
However, as of the present, he was going out of his way to help us.
That was probably why I was restless. I felt that something was wrong.
When I opened my eyes, Phil was still staring at me.
He was staring at me so much, Tiana had to pretend she didn’t notice.
I reached out and tapped Phil’s nose with my fingers.
“Thank you for your hard work, Phil. You were a great help.”
“…I, I see, right.”
Phil looked surprised.
His smile no longer looked forced.
Therefore, I also responded with a smile.
“Phil, do you have anything to do after this?”
“No, I don’t have any plans for today. I also won’t be tasked with anything. I’ll pick up Alves and send him to Ragulen Territory. Also, what do you say about taking a leisure walk together?
“How can that be? You said to the count that you had business afterwards, so…”
“I’m sorry for making such a unilateral decision. Did you want to stay at the party?”
“No way! That would just make my stomach suffer! I’m grateful for your decision!”
From the bottom of my heart, I felt that. Especially so when I recalled the faces of the father and the son.
Towards me, who started laughing, Phil became doubtful.
“It, it’s just… I’ve never been treated that nicely by Count Orfels. I never knew he could be so friendly! Gorman also bowed deeply—thank you!”
“…Well, they’re also aristocrats who gather at the royal palace, after all.”
“Aah, how refreshing! I’m really glad I my engagement was annulled! I could have never lived with them!”
In my heart, I had been muttering that so many times.
I had inadvertently revealed the truth.
After I had voiced my thoughts out loud, I realized how wonderful it was not having to marry Gorman.
Tiana glanced at me, but I didn’t care.
***T/N: Thus, the crisis is averted… but why do I feel like it has only begun??
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