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Chapter Fifteen: Impatient Bernard

TL: BabyDalyn

TLC: Krizzis

Editor: Momielxai

QC: Kitts

 

First published on Ainushi

 



 

Bernard opened his eyes wide and stiffened upon hearing Gigille’s words.

While he stood there in a daze, Carol and Celia came out from the rear entrance of the mansion and ran to their mother’s side.

 

「Would this be fine, Mother?」

「Aren’t they properly braided? 」

「Yes, well done. See you later.」

 

The twins also greeted Bernard good morning and left for school full of energy.

Gigille waved her hand at the fading backs of her daughters.

 

「Amazing, isn’t it? The effects of the puff-sleeve liveries. I’m rather against wearing it myself though.」

 

Bernard just kept on standing there, his eyes wide open without answering her.

But when Gigille was about to leave, he held her back with all his might.

 

「W-Wait!」

「A servant’s morning is seriously busy, Master.」

「No, asking her to act as my fiancée, is there really no other way? 」

「There’s none.」

 

Gigille told him to ask Agnes by himself.

She thought of how pitiful Bernard was, having received a great shock, but she told herself not to spoil him too much.

 

◇◇◇

 

Bernard returned to his own room, troubled.

 

It was beyond his expectations that his mother would come to the capital.

His eldest brother already had a fiancée since childhood. Even so, it was their mother who took care of it.

His carefree second eldest brother was also not set on marriage, all he did was work. When he turned twenty-five, it seemed their mother found a fiancée for him.

His third and fourth older brothers got married two years ago also due to their mother’s interventions.

Recalling the various memories from the past, he trembled with fear.

 

All of his older brothers, blissfully married and blessed with children, were leading smooth sailing lives.

However, with his current situation, he didn’t find that enviable.

 

Bernard had thought that it had no effect on him since he was living far away from the capital,  unlike his brothers who live in the territory. Even on the topic of marriage, like most of the members of the Knight Order, he expected his superior to introduce him to a lady once he had turned thirty years old.

 

He knows if his mother said she was going to do it, she wouldn’t leave until she had achieved her goal.

Losing his mind, beads of sweat dotted his forehead.

 

In order to calm his nerves, he decided to work on his filing, but as he tried to write the repair expenses for the mansion, his heart refused to settle down.

 

This can’t go on, he thought and slapped his cheeks, returning to face reality that was simply the document in front of him.

 

Gigille came to his room in the afternoon.

 

「Will you be having your lunch here, Master?」

「Yeah, that’s right.」

 

With vacant eyes, he arranged the documents neatly and placed them neatly into the processed box.

If Gigille wasn’t there, he would have let out a huge sigh.

 

What popped up in his mind after he was finished with his work was the marriage issue.

Presently, in order to avoid marriage, he had no choice but to ask for Agnes’s assistance.

To deal with the matter after the announcement of their betrothal, he would claim their relationship had failed prior to their marriage due to a disagreement between them. It wouldn’t be strange as this wasn’t unusual in society. He felt such a matter could potentially be doable.

Marriage for nobles were simply a means to tie the knots between families for the wealthier ones whereas for the average families, they were free to do as they please.

 

Before serving his lunch, Eric delivered a letter before him on a silver tray.

Seeing the name on the letter, he let out a sigh.

It was a letter from Bernard’s mother. He immediately opened the letter when Eric fell back.

Spelled out in the letter was a frightening matter –  his mother was to arrive in seven days.

She sure acted swiftly. Bernard agonized over that realization.

 

It was better if he asked for Agnes’s help quickly. With those thoughts in mind, he summoned Eric again and ordered him to call her in.

 

「What about lunch, Master?」

「I’ll have it with her in the dining room.」

「Understood.」

 

It couldn’t be helped, it was a state of emergency. Bernard was very flustered that he was unable to make a calm judgement.

After that, he told Eric that his mother will be coming over. The sudden announcement of her arrival didn’t even break his composure, he bowed and left the room. Bernard too headed out to the dining room.

 

「――Pardon me.」

 

Agnes entered the dining hall.

Bernard instructed her to take the seat seated across from him.

 

「I summoned you as I have something to say.」

「Yes.」

 

While she sat down, lunch was served.

Thinly sliced baguette (1), lentil bean soup (2), mushroom quiche (3), chicken vegetable stew (4) – Bernard’s favorite dishes were served.

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Thinly Sliced Baguette

 

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Lentil Bean Soup

 

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Mushroom Quiche

 

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Chicken & Vegetable Stew

 

Agnes would be having those together with him.

 

「Uhm, will I be also dining on the same table with you, Master? 」

「That’s right. Eat it before it cools down.」

「Yes. Thank you.」

 

His nervousness escalated even more upon Agnes’s arrival. To begin with, it was also his first time having a meal with a woman on a one-to-one basis.

He pretended to be calm but it was in the middle of the meal that he realized he wasn’t really savouring it.

Regretting it, he decided to focus on his meal.

The lentil bean soup was lightly prepared. He found the sensation of the tasteless beans unbearable.

The quiche with the crunchy texture of the dried mushrooms in it was delicious. Moreover, he could savor the mild taste of the eggs.

Placing a morsel of the chicken vegetable stew on the baguette, he took a bite. The meat and vegetables soaked in the tomato sauce paired magnificently with the crisp toasted baguette. The baguette after being dipped into the sauce was also delicious.

 

He finished them all without leaving any leftovers. After he was finished with his meal, he moved to the real issue at hand.

 

「Well then, about the talk――」

 

Ask Agnes to act as his fiancée. It was an extremely simple thing to ask for but he was unable to mouth it out.

However, if he kept this up, the marriage negotiations would certainly go through.

And he wanted to avoid it no matter what.

Bernard mustered his courage and decided to say it.

 

「Actually, there’s a favor I want to ask of you.」

「Yes? Feel free to ask me for anything.」

 

There wasn’t a master that asked a favor from their servants. Listening to her reply made it harder for him to say it.

Agnes observed Bernard’s serious expression and corrected her posture.

 

The insides of his mouth was parched. His heart beat wildly. He doesn’t want to say it. But he had no choice. Grasping his knees tightly with his hands resting on top of it, he told her his request.

 

「――I want you to become my fiancée.」

「Eh ?」

 

Time stopped moving for both of them.

 

Bernard had mistakenly blurted out that he wanted her to be his fiancée and he was sweating from his forehead. Agnes was confused by the sudden proposal.

Both their faces flushed red.

 

I, I――」(TLC Note: Watakushi – formal way of saying “I”)

「――」

「W-wait, I made a mistake.」

「Eh ? 」

「Something troubling has happened and I would like you to act as my fiancée.」

「Ah, s-so that’s what you meant. It seemed I misunderstood you.」

「No, it was my fault for putting it that way.」

 

While becoming flustered, Bernard spoke of the circumstances. Agnes was listening to his story earnestly.

 

「First and foremost, I’m aware that what I’m asking you is something absurd. It’s fine to refuse it if you find it disagreeable. 」

 

He told her that she could give her reply the next day, but Agnes accepted it there and then.

 

「If I’m able to help you, Master, then I would do it with pleasure.」

「Are you sure about that? 」

「Yes. I might not be able to act well though.」

「It’s alright, you just have to stand next to me.」

「……Okay.」

 

For the time being, he felt relieved. With this, he won’t have to marry.

Giving thanks to Agnes, he flashed a smile at her.

 

Bernard wondered, Why did I take her for a haughty, disagreeable woman?

 

It might be too late to regret it, but he planned to support Agnes as much as he could.

 

◇◇◇

 

After work, Lazare summoned Bernard.

 

The conversation was about Agnes.

 

「It’s a branch family of mine, but they have a house in a village to the south――」

 

The local produce was wine.

As sweet as a fruit juice, the delicious wine was also branded the Queen of Wines.

Only merchants come and go from the village. As it was deep inside the forest, tourists never visited it. It seemed to be a quiet and peaceful place.

Lazare suggested letting Agnes live in that village.

 

「Compared to staying in the capital, I doubt Lady Agnes will have a problem with slowly passing her time in a place rich with nature. 」

「Yes, of course.」

 

If that was Agnes’s desire, they would make the preparations to welcome her. He told him if it was a young woman, she would be warmly received.

 

「Why is that?」

「There are scarcely any young women in the village.」

 

There were five sons in the branch family and three of them were still single.

 

「――Well then, I’ll tell her about it. Uhm, there is a small situation going on at the moment so I can’t talk about it immediately.」

「That’s alright. I’m counting on you.」

 

A place where Agnes can live quietly and peacefully had been found.

Since it was farther in the countryside than Bernard’s hometown, the rumors from the capital wouldn’t have reached it.

 

For now, he decided to speak about it after the problem with his mother has been resolved.

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