Ch. 158 It Was Enormous (1)
It came as a sudden shock to Mirabelle when she found out that Kuhn would leave for the palace. She had settled down her mind and decided to go on a picnic with Kuhn, but now she felt as if everything was falling apart.
“Kuhn, are you really going to leave for the palace?”
Kuhn replied immediately, despite the quiver in Mirabelle’s voice.
Her clear, green eyes trembled even more at his answer.
“Why? Why would you go to the palace so suddenly?”
“It pays well…”
“Then I’ll pay you better than the Imperial Palace does.”
Kuhn stared at Mirabelle’s determined face before a thin sigh escaped from his mouth. He had failed to capture the rat hiding in Blaise mansion, and now that Elena was married, the rat would naturally follow her to the palace. Kuhn had to do the same. He had to complete his original mission, but now an unexpected obstacle lay before him.
‘What do I do here?’
Kuhn felt the stare of some maids as they walked past. Though the maids were some distance away, his sensitive ears managed to pick up on their conversation.
“Look, the Young Lady is with that servant again.”
“I know. I think it’s true that she’s in love with him.”
Mirabelle’s intense affection had put Kuhn in the center of attention in Blaise mansion. He couldn’t help but sigh again.
Mirabelle looked at him questioningly.
Mirabelle was about to open her mouth to speak when—
Kuhn grabbed her shoulders and quickly pushed her where no one else could see them. She was quickly driven into a dark storehouse, with a hard wall at her back and Kuhn’s face right in front of her. It was an awkward position. Mirabelle’s eyes widened even further in embarrassment.
“Shhh. Or other people will see.”
Kuhn’s low voice caused her cheeks to color, but she managed to steady herself.
“What does it matter if others see us?”
“They’ll gossip about a close relationship between master and servant.”
“The servants in my family don’t do that—”
“Everyone’s the same. Take my advice so you don’t get involved in a scandal.”
Mirabelle’s face scrunched up as she reflected on his words, but Kuhn only stared down at her with a smooth expression.
“….I’ll be more careful in the future.”
“Please keep it in mind. In any case, I’ll be leaving for the palace.”
“Why? Did I do something wrong?”
Mirabelle pouted at him like an abandoned puppy. Kuhn furrowed his brow at the sight and swallowed the words he couldn’t say.
‘You’re the problem.’
The lady of the house could do no wrong to a servant, and she couldn’t be criticized for any mistakes she made. Such was noble society, and such was the gulf between Mirabelle’s and Kuhn’s positions.
“This relationship with you is somewhat uncomfortable, Young Lady.”
In truth, Kuhn needed to return to the Imperial Palace to complete his mission for Carlisle. Mirabelle’s behavior towards him had nothing to do with him leaving, but it was a convenient excuse, even if it hurt her. After all, the relationship between the two was only a fantasy from the beginning.
Mirabelle’s face paled.
“My actions made you uncomfortable?”
“Yes. I don’t want people to stare and gossip about me, and I don’t feel comfortable with someone who knows my past. I’d like to make a fresh start in the palace, where no one knows me at all.”
That was the perfect, plausible reason. Kuhn thought it would be enough, but Mirabelle turned out to be surprisingly stubborn.
“…I don’t like it.”
“Even if you’re uncomfortable…stay.”
Kuhn looked surprised as if someone knocked him over the head.
“I’ll be more careful now that I know what the issue is. You still have some time left on your employment contract, and…and I’ll give you a raise, as I said. Oh! I can also make other tasks easier if you want.”
Mirabelle started to ramble, but it was a hopeless distraction from Kuhn’s point of view.
Mirabelle’s face stiffened as she knew what his soft tone meant.
“You won’t be able to go anywhere unless I allow you. You are contracted with Blaise mansion for a year.”
Kuhn was speechless. She wasn’t wrong, however. He had signed exactly that on his contract.
“…So I will not send you. Don’t go.”
Mirabelle clutched at Kuhn’s collar in a childish gesture, a stark contrast to the sternness of her words just before. She gave orders like a noble and completely disregarded his thoughts, but she was gripped with desperation. Kuhn looked alternately between her thin hands and trembling green eyes.
He didn’t know what to do with this little bird-like girl.
Batori was busy packing his things as he was selected to go to the Imperial Palace. Instead of volunteering and arousing suspicion, he had planned to arrange an “accident” for a servant so he could take their place. Fortunately, a vacancy opened up without him needing to do anything, and Batori was able to save himself the effort.
Batori was humming a happy little tune to himself when—
The door opened and Kuhn entered into their shared room. The dark-haired man looked rather gloomy today, but Batori greeted him with his usual bright look.
“Hey~ Are you there?”
Kuhn sat down on his bed without a reply. Kuhn often ignored Batori’s attempt to talk to him, and so Batori was used to it.
‘I strangely like that he’s cautious with his words.’
Batori could charm anyone, and was easily able to infiltrate as a jewelry store clerk. It quite suited his aptitude. Artificial smile, artificial actions, artificial conversations. Batori displayed considerable skill in it, but he was strangely attracted to this man of few words. It almost felt as if he had been searching for someone of his own kind. Batori smiled at the thought.
‘If he infiltrated into Blaise’s mansion like me…it’s too obvious.’