Kyle is a very tiresome bastard, who was morbidly obsessed with Siella. He was a complete bastard that even a normal person would have difficulty shaking him off, and unfortunately, Siella was in a completely not normal situation. To Leonard’s point of view, Siella had an inconvenient flaw. That flaw was her trauma that had developed ever since the day she was attacked by Kyle.
For example, being unable to ride a carriage or cannot bear to be alone with an adult male in an enclosed space. Leonard first learned about it when he was making a deal with Siella over the title of the Leroy Family Head. Even now, he could see the glass door of the greenhouse open over Siella’s shoulder. It was because Siella came inside without closing the door.
“You’re not even going to hand me over the entire ownership but only a portion of mining rights.” Leonard leaned his upper body against the back of the chair, lifted his chin slightly, and looked at Siella. “No matter how much I think about it, it wasn’t a very attractive condition.”
“Is that so?”
Siella softly replied as she fiddled with her fork on the table.
Leonard’s reaction wasn’t very different from what Siella expected. Befitting of a man who betrayed his only brother, Kyle, and took over as the head of the household, Leonard is a person who can easily turn his back away from his blood relatives for money. And that’s what made Siella consider him as her last remaining helping hand in this world.
‘Leonard will help me as long as I have money.’
Leonard will have no reason to stab me in the back as long as I could afford to pay him. Even though I couldn’t trust Leonard, I can trust in his consistently materialistic nature.
Meaninglessly looking down on the table, Siella raised her head, opened her mouth and met Leonard’s gaze with an expressionless face.
“It’s a white stone mine.”
Leonard was visibly shaken at that moment.
“… White stone? Did you just say it was a white stone mine?”
“Yes, white stone mine.”
When Siella openly nodded her head, Leonard asked back in disbelief, “The Duke gave you the white stone mine?”
Leonard couldn’t help but be surprised that Eschert handed over the entire white stone mine to Siella, considering the value of white stone in the empire.
“Yeah, he did.”
Siella nodded her head again as she swallowed a sneer. Siella could have guessed that with this, Leonard will eventually accept the deal.
“If it was the mining rights for the white stone mine, even a portion of it….”
“Leonard, the profits you’ll get are worth as much – or maybe a little more – than the profits you claim to have in abundance.”
Leonard’s eyes widened. He stared blankly into space for a moment, as if he’s doing some calculation, and then looked back at Siella with a sharp gaze.
“Alright. If you’re talking about a portion, how much are you thinking of giving me?”
How much can I give you? At Leonard’s straightforward question, Siella also opened her mouth without any hesitation. But just at that moment.
“Wait.” Leonard resolutely raised his hand and interrupted Siella’s words. “Looks like there’s someone nearby.”
Conscious of people, Leonard lowered his voice and whispered so that only Siella could hear him. He peered outside the widely opened door of the greenhouse behind Siella’s back. His eyes were sharp.
Siella only looked back indifferently on the contrary. She stared blankly at the two figures, who were gradually getting closer, their figures overlapping with each other that they seemed to be one entity.
“I think things are going to be more fun.”
It was the butler, Dennis and Camellia. The two appeared in the back garden that people rarely go to except for Siella. And they even looked intimate together.
“Do you know them?”
When did Camellia get so close with Dennis as well? It was just amazing. I don’t think they’ve had so many contacts with each other that they could get closer with each other, but I think that wasn’t the case.
“But I don’t know what those two are doing over there.”
As they hadn’t discovered where Siella was, Siella watched the two of them spend time alone together with curious eyes. She was quite curious how the two of them would reach if they noticed them from the other side.
“Didn’t you say that this place is desolate?”
“Yes, I did.”
Siella shook her head at Leonard, who was about to stand up from his seat. Leonard frowned and confused as to why, but he quietly followed Siella’s signal and stayed seated.
The closer Camellia and Dennis got to the greenhouse, the sound of their pleasant conversation became clearer and more audible. It even sounds like they heard them talking about Edwin.
That moment when Siella was quietly frowning her brows, her and Camellia’s eyes met right through the window of the greenhouse.
Pausing for a moment, Camellia stopped in her tracks and opened her mouth in a daze. But she soon came back to her senses and hurriedly pushed Dennis’s arms away.
A moment of cold silence ensued in an instant. In the heavy silence, Siella slowly pushed her chair and stood up from her seat. As if Leonard was waiting for that, he followed after Siella and stood up.
Dennis and Camellia had been standing outside of the window and were hesitant before eventually entering the greenhouse. Siella silently watched as the two entered the greenhouse without permission. It wasn’t long before the two of them came close to Siella and Leonard, then stopped in front of them.
“… L, Lady Siella.” Dennis took a step forward and spoke, “What, what are you doing here?”
He stood with Camelia behind his back. Siella felt it was a bit funny as she watched him acting as if he was trying to protect Camellia. If she were to threaten someone here and make a guess on who would cover up for that person, that man would definitely be the most likely candidate.
“Lady Siella, I am asking you what you are doing in this secluded place.”
As if he hadn’t hesitated in panic just a while ago, Dennis was holding his chin up with his usual impudent expression. Siella watched Dennis’ behavior questioning her and opened her mouth.
“As you can see.”
“What do you mean?”
“Yes, as you can see. I was having lunch with the Count, whom I hadn’t seen in a long time, to catch up on some things.”
Dennis stared at Siella and Leonard at the side with peculiar eyes. It was as if she could clearly see what Dennis was thinking as she looked at his eyes.
So, what do your eyes see? Siella glanced back at Leonard, then fixed her gaze on Dennis again and smiled.
“What’s wrong? You know, the men of Leroy you mentioned before who weren’t related to me by blood.”
“He’s my oldest brother. Say hello.”
Dennis, who was holding his head proudly, opened his mouth widely at Siella’s words. He couldn’t believe and was embarrassed that Siella would recall those words he told her before in this place.
Siella looked at Dennis’ bewildered face, swallowed her bitter laugh and then turned to Leonard. Watching the situation silently, Leonard raised one of his eyebrows. He had just listened to Siella’s words and had long since guessed what the brown-haired man in front of him was trying to do.
“I guess there’s still people here in the north who talk nonsense.”
Saying that, Leonard had a tired expression on his face. It wasn’t the first time that he had faced such a situation. He had experienced it so many times that he had grown tired of it.
Back when rumors of Kyle’s eccentricities toward Siella became rumors and spread widely, he was also affected and suffered quite a bit. Even after Siella became engaged to Eschert Nocturm and moved to the North, the rumors may have subsided quite a bit but didn’t completely disappear. Moreover, more than once had he found authors of such gossip even at social banquets he attended with his wife.
Leonard murmured in a low voice, “It’s surprising to see that there are such terrible employees in Nocturm.”
(T/N: Dennis is the kind of character that you’d want to meet in real life and give him a heavenly punch [roll eyes].)