The servants knew the Duchess well. Even though she was fully aware of how to act accordingly, she pretended not to be interested, so it was irrelevant to say that half of this was her responsibility.
“I don’t like that child, but I didn’t think I wanted her to be bullied to that extent.”
“What do you mean by that?”
The sound of the door opening and Calex’s voice were heard together. As soon as he arrived, he was still in his outdoor attire, perhaps questioning what Agatha said.
His brow furrowed slightly, as if he didn’t like the fact that his mother and brother were talking about his youngest sister, who is a pain in the neck. Yes, until now, that child has been like that to ‘our’ family. A topic that is undesirable, reluctant, and a topic that we do not want to bring up as much as possible.
“Sit down for now.”
Agatha told Calex to sit across from her and began to ponder about how to bring up the story. Each member of her family had their own reasons for being indifferent to her daughter.
Beatrice was actually a little, or rather a very unusual child. As the child grew older, her facial expressions faded. At first, I thought she wasn’t good at expressing her emotions, but the more I encountered her, the more I caught on to them
And it got stronger as time went on. It’s not that the child isn’t good at expressing emotions, but it’s almost nonexistent. I thought I was mistaken and just felt that I hated that child, but I was able to confirm it at my husband’s and her father’s funeral.
The face that bore quietly without shedding a single tear even after her father died. It wasn’t a kind of facade that hid sadness, but a face that didn’t feel sadness.
The family, who loved the Duke, couldn’t accept it and began to push Beatrice away little by little, reaching the present day. Agatha shook her head once as if she was in denial.
Passing the blame on the child in this situation doesn’t help at all. It was the same thing as beating around the bush.
“It seems that Priest Theodore, who came for the prayer today, had a brief conversation with the child.”
“Did that nosy person ask you to take care of the child who is distant from the family?”
Calex snorted, but when Agatha spoke. His smile died and the look in his face hardened.
“I heard that Beatrice asked him to kill her.”
A chilling silence befalls between the three of them. Calex looked at his mother with his face frozen, and Felix, who was looking out the window while he was listening, widened his eyes as if he had heard it correctly. He even picked his ears a few times with no hesitation.
“I don’t know what you’re saying.”
“You heard what I said.. At first, she told him she wanted to die, but then she said she couldn’t die. She also asked him if he could kill her without any pain with his divine power because she didn’t want to be sick anymore.”
Calex was flabbergasted. If someone said they wanted to die but won’t die, it means that they’ve already tried it several times, and if they said that they don’t want to be sick anymore, it means that they’ve been in pain a lot of times.
“Do you know how she’s doing?”
There’s no way I can answer. She was a complete eyesore to the family yet after years of looking into her, she didn’t really cause any troubles.
Like Agatha, Calex also knew nothing, but they just guessed that she was going to live well on her own. It seemed the same for Felix, so he kept his mouth shut and said nothing.
“For now… Let’s find out more details. Linda, where’s Beatrice?”
“Please wait a moment.”
The three waited for Linda without saying a word. A heavy energy descended between the three of them like a damp room on a rainy day.
Neither Calex, Felix, nor Agatha liked the child, but they didn’t hate or dislike her enough to want to kill her. As Beatrice puts it, they aren’t all that bad.
“The lady is eating in the dining room.”
“What brings her there?”
Beatrice didn’t usually come out of the room. Even her own meals are taken to her own room. However, Felix later recalled that her room was on fire and assumed that she had come down to the dining room to let the servants clean up her room.
I was so focused on other things right now that I didn’t find it strange that the cleaning of Beatrice’s room, which had only one closet in the first place, wasn’t finished this evening. The other two nodded as if they’re all thinking the same thing.
“Prepare our meals in the dining room. We’ll have a meal together.”
* * *
The duke’s dining room is quite big. A long time ago, it was like that because it was a place where cousins, their spouses, and their children lived together, but now there were only four members of the Amber family.
It was natural to think that it was a useless large space, and especially now, Beatrice sitting alone in the center of a long table, it looked bigger than usual.
Beatrice somehow fixed her room. However, closing the windows as the sun was setting became a problem. The room was mixed with the smell of the burnt closet that had not been removed, the smell of dead rat carcasses in it, and the smell of food that had been spilled earlier, so it was impossible to eat in the room in that state.
I should sneak into the guest’s room and sleep there. Beatrice thought so and waited for dinner. Although I came down to the dining room because I had nowhere to eat, the chef of this house doesn’t cook for me.
It is obvious to see Mai cooking by herself every time. Beatrice thought about it. What will Mai do to the food this time? Serving rotten food was done several times a long time ago, and mixing soil or insects was a very basic recipe.
She must have harbored a lot of hate because she wasn’t treated as calmly as usual this morning. The dining room door opened without a knock as I thoughtlessly glanced down at the white tablecloth of the spotless table.
Mai, who came in with food in one hand, put the plate down in front of Beatrice with a soft smile. It was a risotto with meat cut into bite-size pieces.
However, unlike usual, it did not seem to have cooled down or was served spoiled. The plate was perfectly warm, and the rice and meat were shiny.
You will know once you try it. Beatrice, who has been playing with her food for so long that she has a knack of picking out the right amount of food, picked up the spoon without thinking deeply.
As she lifted the spoon, Mai, who was still standing next to her, had a glint on her eye. Well, that’s easy to understand.
“Wait behind my back. A servant stares at their master while they eat.”
As soon as Mai heard it, she scrunched up her face, uncertain if she wanted to see Beatrice’s hideous face, but she stood behind her back, murmuring. I usually just leave the meal and go out, but because I was upset earlier in the day, I believe I’ll be able to congratulate you for having the confidence to act around.
I thought I was about to start eating when the door swung open again without a knock. I’d forgotten that knocking is a basic etiquette.
When I looked up, I saw Felix. We made direct eye contact. For some reason, he slipped inside the room and sat down.
Looks like he’s here for dinner. Since this dining room is theirs, the uninvited guest would be her, but she didn’t want to get kicked out during her meal. She placed down the spoon when she saw two men coming in.
From the current Duke Calex to the Duchess. I have a feeling that this won’t be a very comfortable meal time.
“Yes, good evening.”
The Duchess, who was seated across from me, greeted me for some reason. Even if we happened to make eye contact in the hallway, we usually ignored each other, creating an awkward atmosphere in the hallway. Are you greeting me formally because we’ll be sharing a meal together?
On either side of the Duchess, her two sons sat. Beatrice seemed to do nothing when they sat in front of her. Agatha, who had remained silent as though unsure, spoke out once again.
“Your meal appears to have already been made, so please go ahead. We’ll have ours out soon.”
Beatrice’s dish draws Agatha’s attention immediately. It’s not an unusual dish, but it’s far too basic for a duke’s meal. It’s not awful, but it doesn’t appear to have been prepared by the family chef.
When she looked up to see Beatrice’s personal maid, she wondered whether she was the one who was looking after her master’s meals. She noticed the maid standing behind Beatrice, her face blue. What’s that? Agatha’s eyes squinted.
Beatrice would have asked the Duchess for permission, but she started shoving food into her mouth without hesitation, intending to leave the room as she finished. There was no strange taste, and no foreign materials were mixed in.
What exactly is it? Is it poison? However, killing a noble is an entirely different story, no matter how much she enjoyed tormenting her.
The two sitting across from each other were arguing on how to bring the matter out while Beatrice was absorbed into her own world. Calex only glanced at Beatrice, as if he hadn’t yet accepted Agatha’s story.
However, Beatrice’s lifeline was torn, and she was uninterested in them, so she was completely unaware that Calex was staring at her. Felix and Agatha exchanged glances.
‘Baby, you should bring it up first.’
‘No, you still refer to me as a baby, no matter how old I am, Mother . And don’t expect me to do something if you think of me as a baby.’
‘No, I shouldn’t be talking back to my mother.’
Calex was the one who eventually spoke up in the midst of such a quiet argument.
“Beatrice, I want to ask you something.”
However, the following few words were unclear. It was due to Beatrice’s unusual behavior of spitting out what she chewed in her mouth onto the table out of nowhere.
“What a mess…”
But it was only an instant that her expression, which had been frowned upon, was dyed with embarrassment. The food she spat out and her inner lips were dripping with blood. They thought she accidentally chewed her tongue, but Beatrice didn’t just spit out food, but put her finger into her mouth.