30: Doubts and Confinement (Final Edition)
When Luca came out of Philia’s room, steward Dandro was waiting there respectfully.
He must have guessed what was happening inside the room. However, past his middle age, the steward’s face only had a tranquil deadpan expression, devoid of any disgust or interest.
Luca was unconsciously relieved by this outstanding and never-changing steward.
He was much more excellent and stern than the steward who cared for Luca at his birthplace. However, Dandro, who looked at him with reverence as the child of his Master since childhood while sometimes showing his affection, was much more familiar and close to him than his ever mighty father.
“Where is Cesari?”
“No, the one visiting is not Lord Cesari but his messenger. Along with a few documents, he has some flowers and a card for Lady Philia.”
The steward nodded, not even startled at the short order.
As a matter of fact, it was not unusual to see presents or gifts addressed to the young Lady Duchess d’la Love turn into ashes in that house.
With the Duke in the forefront who adored his daughter to no limit, the household members who tried to protect the sole direct legitimate child as if she was something fragile and precious strictly sorted out the people who tried to approach her by employing all sorts of schemes.
Of course, there was also hard to deal with high-ranking people like the crown prince Alfonso or the knight Laurenz. However, the young Lady Philia screened out even those people untypical of young ladies, marveling at the household members as well as confirming to household members that she was indeed the d’la Love successor, increasing their loyalty even more.
Luca glanced at the door of the room Philia was sleeping in, unaware of this unforeseen situation. He almost turned on his heels to return as soon as possible as Laurenz wasn’t present.
“Please wait, Master Luca. In addition with the messenger from Count Cesari’s house, there’s one more visitor who came for Lady Philia.”
“Yes, Master Fidel.”
Luca squinted his eyes as soon as he heard that name, and his expression became even more complicated, different from when he heard of Laurenz’s name.
“Chase him away… but I guess you will not listen even if I say so.”
“Because Master Fidel is Lady Philia’s friend.”
“However, a man. You can never be sure if he holds wicked feelings for her.”
“In case he developed those feelings, my thinking is that Master Fidel will respect Lady Philia as his friend. This is why Lady Philia is fond of him.”
“I’m sufficient for her fondness…”
The steward’s lips faintly slackened at this somewhat childish grumbling as if he was pouting.
Luca might’ve been a beautiful and perfect aristocrat, but Dandro, who had been familiar with him since he was seven years old, couldn’t see him as anything other than a child.
“Lady Philia is a tolerant person. She seldom dislikes someone, and she likes many people.”
“Well, yeah. I know.”
“However, were you aware that only Master Luca is the person Lady Philia really loves and is affectionate with?”
Luca looked at the steward suspiciously.
Dandro said this while finding his unable to believe amusing expression.
“Since Master Luca joined this family, Lady Philia has always been fond of Master Luca. She used to say this, didn’t she?”
“That must be because she thought of me as a pitiable child. Even I know it was something along the lines of familial love.”
“You might have thought it was a younger brother’s treatment, but Lady Philia never called you that even in front of Master. Even we can see that Master Luca was special for Lady Philia from the beginning.”
Luca’s eyes, who understood Dandro’s words, wavered indefinitely.
The steward returned to his stony expression, pretending not to notice Luca’s conflicted expression hovering between wanting to believe this and not.
“I will guide Master Fidel to the reception. What will you do?”
“Is the errand from the chivalric order?”
“No, he’s in plain clothes, so I assume his business is something personal.”
“I will meet with him then.”
While walking towards the reception, Luca recalled something.
Philia gave her duty-free affection to the young Luca. Whether it was her kissing him on his forehead before the sleep time or whispering ‘I love you’ while hugging him, she was the one who instigated it, and he, as a child hungry for the warmth, coveted this and drowned himself into it.
However, this was really genuine familial love and Luca, who became a man from a kid, clearly rejected this as it wasn’t what he wished from her.
But whether it was affectionate love or familial love, does it matter if he was the only special person for her? Wasn’t that the thing he always wished and yearned for?
He wondered if the thing he genuinely yearned for was always in his hand from the beginning, skeptically looking at his palm, but then he looked up as if wanting to shake that thought and passed through the reception door.
“Hi… Master Luca?”
As soon as Luca showed his appearance, Julio immediately stood in attention and shrieked slightly.
Luca stared at his usual antics and the mediocre face (he was looking even more commonplace because he wasn’t his uniform) and pointed his finger at Julio, who was dripping with cold sweat as if telling him to sit.
It might look like your usual haughty behavior, but in fact, it was a huge concession as an aristocrat for him to sit on equal footing with the commoner Julio. In particular, when it was a man like Luca who thought every other man approaching his fiance was a piece of trash.
Julio’s eye peeled back in disbelief, but as he couldn’t go against it, he honestly sat down on the soft chair soon.
In reality, he was scared of the young nobleman sitting elegantly with his long legs crossed in front of him, but he braced himself so as not to run away and opened his mouth.
“W-What about Phi— the Duchess?”
“What sort of business do you have with her?”
He replied with a question, and Julio, who was already accustomed to being ignored by Luca, didn’t mind that and instead answered.
“Lately, the letters from the Duchess have ceased to come, so I was a bit worried. Even the ones I wrote weren’t replied to, so…”
“Since the Duchess is a ready writer, even in the long gap, I would receive at least one letter in three days… Sorry, I’m sorry!”
Before Luca could say anything, Julio, who sensed the threatening aura brewing from Luca, rapidly apologized.
Luca had never received anything like a letter from Philia. Of course, it was only because they both lived in the same house, so it was never needed. However, Luca couldn’t stomach that another man was holding Philia’s handwritten letters. He couldn’t tolerate insignificant matters like this.
What was more, it was at least once every three days. As Luca muttered this, Julio completely paled and stuck to the back of the chair as if he wanted to stay as far away from Luca as possible.
Then Luca turned to look at the man who was sweating profusely despite the room’s cool temperature with his icy eyes as if they could freeze his very core.
“There’s nothing for you to worry about. Philia is sleeping in her room.”
“W-What’s about her health? Umm, if I can at least look at her…”
Luca smiled wickedly at the man, who, despite his trepidation, asked persistently while looking worried.
“She’s being tied up without her clothes on. Do you still want to see her?”
“Tied… I-Isn’t it a bit cruel…”
“Cruel? But she is delighted by this.”
Luca’s white finger rubbed his lips as if he remembered the sweet taste of Philia’s honey.
Julio averted his eyes at Luca’s nonchalant but wafting with questionably charming movement as if he had seen something terrifying.
“I think Lady Philia will not run away from Master Luca even if you do that.”
Luca squinted his eyes at the words as he muttered to himself, but certainly, ones that seemed to ooze with criticism towards Luca.
Even if he was Philia’s friend, Luca didn’t see any reason to be told this by another man.
Julio frantically averted his face from Luca as if he wanted to run away from Luca’s gaze, but he didn’t remain silent.
“Phil—, I mean the young Lady Philia thinks of herself as someone important ever since she misunderstood that Master Luca does not liking her, I-I think… E-Even if you do anything absurd…”
Julio’s complexion became increasingly paler as he continued.
Luca looked downward as if pondering about something, and when he raised his face again, he startlingly raised from the chair.
“I said too much, please forgiv—”
“What did she say about me?”
With a huff, power slid out of Julio’s stiff and rattling shoulder at Luca’s complicated expression as if he didn’t want to hear it, but he wanted to know.
Luca was still eighteen years old. He was four years younger than Julio and younger than Julio’s little brother in his hometown. Just now, he was trembling while oozing out his murderous intent from his too handsome face and might be an aristocrat, but as someone who had just become an adult, he might still be closer to a child in age.
“Don’t keep quiet. Quickly blurt it out.”
He was still frightening, thought Julio, who was on the verge of tears.
Then he looked up as if trying to dig out his memories desperately.
“Well, my little brother is so adorable like an angel. He’s been sharp from a young age that he may not need a private tutor anymore or like always being praised by the principal for his academic excellence even in high grades of the academy…”
“But I never spoke a word to her during that time.”
“Yes, I know that too. But she did talk about how she’s so lonely when you haven’t talked properly with her for so many years while showing me Master Luca’s figurine.”
Julio’s expression relaxed as he conversed with Master Luca directly while feeling a bit moved.
“But even if she was supposedly hated, Lady Philia still loved her younger brother.”
“You’re smirking. It’s getting on my nerves.”
“S-Sorry, I got carried away.”
She had said that she still loved him even after becoming his fiance but was she always thinking that?
If that was the truth…He immediately wanted to meet with Philia. However, he couldn’t just neglect the man in front of him, who was more or less a guest.
The eyes looking at Julio were as sharp as ever, and then he stood up abruptly and approached the writing desk in the corner of the room. The desk was equipped with pen and paper, and taking the pen in his hand, he swiftly wrote something.
He put it into the blotting paper and handed it to Julio.
“I will inform Philia that you have come to visit. You must have spare time since you’re off duty, so go and visit the Bianchini company in the northwest district. If you hand this to them, they will give you a helping hand right away.”
“W-What kind of errand is this?”
“They will make you a new uniform once you say it’s from me because you’re shaming Philia by wearing frayed spotted and disgraceful clothes as her friend. So when you come next time to meet her, make sure to wear it.”
Despite his arrogance and the fact that he was being humiliated for the way he was dressed, he recognized Julio and Philia’s meeting when he came to meet her next time.
Realizing that Luca had miraculously approved of him as Philia’s friend, Julio said politely while controlling his grinning face.
“I’m grateful for your kindness, but in a store used by aristocrats, it is a bit…”
“Don’t fret. Bianchini’s business is so extensive that they have more goods for the commoners than us. It’s not that I frequently visited it, but I just have a connection as the son is a friend of mine.”
“Oh, Master Luca has friends…. ah no, I didn’t say anything!”
Luca snorted happily, seeing Julio shaking his head while quivering furiously.
“Not really, although I said friend, it’s just because he self-proclaimed himself as my friend and clung to me so that I would recognize him as one. He’s a boisterous fellow, but he’s a usable man with his personal connection and a replacement for the go-between his family.”
“Is that what you called a friend…”
Julio made a retort quietly at the relationship between Luca and his self-proclaimed friend.
Regardless, Julio, who received the unbelievable concession from Luca, gave his farewell greeting while trying to avoid Luca’s gaze as usual.
However, he remembered the story of his best friend Philia being tied up and said before leaving.
“U-umm… I have heard the story from Lady Philia about what she wants to do if she has a lover…”
“Why are you talking about this?”
“It’s because Lady Philia doesn’t think of me as a man! She talks to me about anything as if she was gossiping with a girl!”
While disclosing this desolate fact that Philia, who didn’t have any other friend except Julio, was having a girl’s talk with him, there was something he wanted to teach this junior for Philia’s sake.
“Lady Philia dreamt about, or rather, there are times she suddenly becomes girlish and wishes for a lap hug.”
“A lap hug? I have held her on top of me multiple times.”
“No, I don’t want to hear it! I don’t mean in that unpleasant sense, but a lap hug! I’m talking about how she wants to be hugged while sitting above her lover’s knees. She wants to be petted in her head just like a child. Lady Philia has always been a firm person but doesn’t she just want to be spoiled by her lover?”
He kept his silence about Philia’s preference for a man that was a middle-aged man with an astringent and lovely smiling face, who didn’t need to be handsome, which was the opposite of how Luca looked. Luca was younger, had a sweet, overly-dressed appearance, and a devilish smile.
Although he was afraid even to make eye contact, Julio nonchalantly advised him to do so.
He was aware that Philia was sweet to Luca to a blinding degree, but even so, he thought it was too pitiable for her to be tied up.
“I see… I will keep it in mind.”
Julio was relieved seeing Luca nod after some thought and left.
When he returned to Philia’sis room, Philia, while still bound, was leaning her body on the side as if she wanted to hide her exposed body as much as possible. Her arms bound to her knees, and then her breasts squashed by those arms look painful, and Philia’s eyes looking up at Luca was almost on the verge of tearing.
“L-Luca… A-are you all right?”
Why was she worried about Luca despite her appearance?
He was struck with emptiness while feeling guilty for his cruel act and sat down on the bed quietly as if he didn’t want to frighten Philia.
As he thought about how she was always thinking about him, he immediately wanted to embrace her.
“Julio Fidel came to visit you.”
“Oh, but the guest is…”
“You jumped to the wrong conclusion. It was just a messenger from Cesari.”
Philia took a relieved sigh and fidgeted around as if she was ready to return to herself.
“Hey, Luca, don’t you think it’s about time you untie me?”
Of course, he was planning to do that, but once he saw Philia looking at him pleadingly, his throat became parched as his lust rapidly swelled up. Just the sight of her made him hot, and he felt as if his body was burning from inside, making his breathing hard.
“Is it okay to remove the restraint?”
“Oh, of course…”
Luca turned up the body of the perplexed Philia and put his body between her naturally opened knees. His throat unconsciously made a gulping sound from seeing her secret place exposed.
“But, sister, you are super wet here. Did you leak it out, wishing to be here while waiting for me?”
Philia bit her lips and averted her gaze at the obscene words. It was distressing, but with her plump cheeks’ redness, it was just as Luca said in a sense.
He left her halfway after raising her sensitivity, so although her skin became cool, she couldn’t calm down because of the hotness left in her abdomen, burning like charcoal.
However, she couldn’t just agree that it was her fault even though Luca’s hand can make her a lewd person easily.
Whether he knew Philia’s inner conflict, Luca’s hand, who was also easily incited by any expression of his beloved, groped around her thighs’ base suspiciously.
“I’m sorry for doing awful things. As an apology, I will make you feel better than ever…”
He wanted to give her sweet and gentle pleasure to overwrite his rough embracing and binding.
Luca had never lied to Philia after the former confided his feelings to her. For better or for worse, he was honest.
This time too, he did what he said and devotedly serviced her while ignoring his aching body. He caressed her delicate skin as if it was a feather and kissed her carefully and lovingly instead of devouring her in lust. In particular, he caressed her over sensitive lewd bud with his tongue and lips reverently and gently.
Philia’s back arched from the pleasure and quivered while tied up, and maybe it was because of her opened wide legs or her blond hair spread on the bedsheet, but she looked. She was just like a winged butterfly.
That figure extremely satisfied Luca’s dark desire for control. Even if he knew that these feelings were wrong, it was something Luca himself couldn’t help.
“Sister… I love you.”
Even if the words didn’t justify him, he still conveyed them as if he just wanted to say it out and grabbed her thigh.
Philia’s dripping wet and open entrance sucked in the tip of Luca’s penis as if swallowing it, and Luca’s eyebrows raised in pleasure as he hurriedly thrust his hips forward.
The inside of her uterus that Luca had gouged out many times to make his path was as narrow and tight as ever but still enveloped Luca softly.
Luca’s movements became even more impetuous as he felt his body approaching its limit.
“Ah, st— Wait…”
“No, I can’t wait any longer!”
“Please, untie my hands at least…I want to hold you tightly.”
Luca gasped and caved in at the pleading of her moist upturned eyes.
Unable to endure the restraint any longer, Philia said sweetly in half seriousness, half calculation. Even if Luca can vaguely recognize a woman’s slyness, he just couldn’t win against her. More so in a situation like this.
If it were another woman, he would have left her right away or felt disgusted, but with Philia, he felt delighted to be flattered by her calculative flirtation. A human’s heart couldn’t go against his conscience.
When he untied the cord, he found red marks and slight abrasion left on Philia’s skin.
“I will never allow your skin to be injured, and yet… Isn’t it terribly selfish of me to love the thing I have inflicted on you?”
Luca gently lifted her reddened arm, brought his lips closer, and then turned them around his back.
Just as Philia had calculated, Luca released her binding, but then he began to slam his waist violently as if saying it should be alright to act more fiercely.
“Huh? Wai— too intense…”
She got what she wanted, but it seemed to add fuel to the fire, and all Philia could do was desperately cling to Luca’s back.
His pistoning that was as if drilling in her meat didn’t last long, and shortly afterward, Luca came as he slammed his hips to her deepest part.
Luca’s exhausted body fell with a thud, and Philia hugged his back with a sluggish hand.
“Your words, No matter what, I will still love you… I will believe in them only.”
There were things they hadn’t told each other yet.
But it was fine like that. Philia softly nodded at Luca’s words as he meant what he said.
Around the time when sunlight was peeking out through the window’s cover, dying it red, Luca walked up to the bed looking languidly with only a pair of trousers and shirt where Philia, who Luca had devoured, was resting. Maybe because he had taken a bath, his platinum blonde hair was damp and quirkier than usual.
His eyes narrowed at his lover, who was lying face down, exposing the beautiful curve of her cream-colored back and buttocks, and he gently hugged her.
“Please let me do what I want for a short while without saying anything.”
“Don’t you always do whatever you want? Well, it’s embarrassing since I’m not wearing anything.”
He embraced Philia, who was hiding her chest in shame, then sat down on a chair with a big armrest that was placed on the side of the bed.
He then gently hugged Philia while placing her above his knees. She was still groggy and unable to understand the meaning.
“You always hug me, so… Today’s my turn.”
He softly kissed her cheeks as her body snuggly fit into his arm and ran his hand on her disheveled blonde hair as if combing it.
When he did that, Philia’s eyes became peaceful, and she flushed just like a young maiden.
In her still dazzling ice blue eyes, there was a joy that could not be hidden, despite the shyness.
“What should I say about this… This really feels blissful.”
Philia said as strength slipped out of her body, and she leaned on him with a relieved expression. Her relieved expression looked somewhat childish, and Luca’s eyes turned wide in amazement as this was the first time he had seen this face on his stepsister.
If you had to describe Luca’s feelings, it was too adorable to a helpless degree. It must have been that feeling.
The soft body and adorable expression of the woman who entrusted herself to him made his body excited. Still, he also wanted to see more of the woman who trusted him so much that she left herself defenseless.
Struggling with the different desires, Philia unintentionally let out a chuckle. She had naturally noticed his lust beneath her thighs as she was still naked. She wanted to comfort him, but it took a lot of courage to let go of this feeling.
She was also feeling a slight conflict, but for better or worse, she was too sweet for her younger lover, and she raised herself from the unexpectedly burly body she was leaning on.
“Well, Luca, shall we return to bed after five minutes? If you promise to do it slowly, one more time is fine…But for five minutes only, stay like this.”
She gave a sweet smile, tilting her neck cutely, and once again leaned back on him.
It was unclear why she didn’t wait to hear his reply. Maybe it was because she knew Luca would not deny her wishes, or maybe she was absolutely determined not to let him interfere.
But anyway, Luca faithfully held out for his rewards waiting for him. The five minutes passed quietly and gently. It was blissful for Philia and for Luca, a test of his preservation.
“Ah, what nice weather! Today is surely bound to be a good day.”
Despite it being a garden, the flowerless courtyard of the Fifth Division’s barrack was turning into a training ground.
I was stretching out in the corner of the said garden. Several knights and trainees were already sweating under the refreshing morning air. As I was doing my warm-up exercises to blend quickly into them since my holiday was over, Guido, a fellow apprentice, raised his voice.
“Oh, Julio. You seem to be in a really lively mood.”
“After today, I will be a different person.”
“The one pitiable person in the chivalric order seems to be in quite high spirits. Did something good happen in between holidays?”
“D-don’t say I’m pitiful. That quantifier doesn’t apply to me anymore! Because I have Louise.”
“Yeah, the poster girl of the Bianchini company’s main branch in the royal capital. She’s so beautiful and super cute.”
I had a fateful encounter at the Bianchini company Master Luca referred me to. Moreover, Louise was also conscious of me for sure. This was the premonition of my love’s beginning.
“I have nothing to be afraid of now!”
“Oh, not even that Lord d’la Love?”
“Well, I feel like I have reconciled with Master Luca a bit.”
Yeah, Luca, Lord La Robe was quite amiable as long as you didn’t put your hands on the bomb called Lady Philia unskillfully… Or so couldn’t be said completely, but he wasn’t such a dangerous person either.
To begin with, he didn’t have an interest in anyone other than Lady Philia.
Because I was Lady Philia’s friend, I was forced to be seen as hostile, but Master Luca was still eighteen years old. He was a clumsy person in a sense, so I was thinking earlier it should be okay if I took the position as his older brother and acted as a go-between him and Lady Philia.
And incidentally, I would be protected from that dangerous person (Laurenz) too… Or so was my intention.
“So you reconciled with Lord d’la Love. Isn’t that amazing?”
As I had said before, Guido, a relatively nice person, was honestly surprised and complimented me.
I was quite satisfied, and it was about time I should train… Just when I was thinking that.
“Huh, aren’t the barracks quite boisterous?”
“Speaking of which… ahh, Julio!”
I was taken aback when I looked in the direction Guido pointed rudely.
Master Luca, with his platinum blonde hair shining in the morning light, had just appeared in the courtyard, looking as elegant as ever even while walking. He didn’t fit in with this training place, which reeked of male odor and was somewhat dirty.
By logic, I should have heard the warning sirens like “It’s dangerous” or “Evacuate immediately.”
Master Luca walked up to me directly, ignoring those surrounding me who were too late to escape and couldn’t move.
“W-Why did he come here?”
“M-Maybe he might have a business with me… I think.”
“I see. I remember you said to have reconciled, don’t you? Then I leave you to that.”
Guido swiftly turned around and took some distance from me. It was not like I didn’t understand his feelings. Master Luca seemed to be smiling. That was probably scary.
It was a radiating and vaguely wafting charming smile.
It was a smile so radiant and wafting of a vague charm that if a woman were here, she would have already fainted from the charm, but it was a terrifying smile for us in the Fifth Division.
I, who should have been the most immune, was also feeling scared. Even though the danger from Master Luca, whom I had more or less reconciled with, should have been reduced, my danger sense was intensely shaking.
Although I put myself on guard for when my name was called, Luca wasn’t looking at me with his freezing gaze like before.
“The information you provided the other day was quite effective.”
“I’m talking about a certain someone’s dream. When I did the ‘lap hug’ just like you told me, she became even more adorable than ever, and last night she straddled me aggressively…”
“Please don’t say that! I don’t want to hear this and that about my friend. Won’t it cause me to imagine strange things?!”
“You bastard, clear them immediately. Change your thoughts!”
“Isn’t that too absurd and unreasonable?!”
Moreover, Master Luca giving a lap hug was bizarre and surreal in a sense.
In the end, I was glared at, but I could now proudly say I had become accustomed enough to Master Luca to retort.
“Anyway, I have understood that even you, who’s mediocre and doesn’t have any merit, seem to have some use.”
“Umm, I am not happy about that at all…”
“That’s why I will make you my friend.”
Looking like the spitting image of his fiance to the point that he ignored my response completely, Master Luca talked with his whole face smiling.
“My friend. From now on, keep inquiring about her taste and report it to me. And if it’s something physical, make arrangements for that. Ah also, be careful about pest control.”
“U-Umm… Master Luca, do you understand the meaning of a friend?”
Although I was scared, I couldn’t help myself from asking, and Master Luca tilted his head (if Lady Philia were there, she would have squealed “so adorable”) and answered me.
“Of course. It should be someone providing me effective information, be ready to act anytime for my interest, and someone who doesn’t ever go against my orders.”
Master Luca, I wouldn’t call that a friend. I looked at the clear sky with my distant eyes.
Gramps… it seemed like I had been recognized as a friend, aka a manservant, by the devil.