12 Years Old: Chapter 57 – The Aftermath
TL: Bloated Bun
First published on Ainushi
After that, the tension somehow disappeared completely from my body. By the time I realized it, I was lying on a bed.
From the things around me, like the fine furnishings, carpet and chandelier – it was obvious that this was not my residence. Hmm, it’s probably one of the rooms in the castle.
First of all, let’s confirm my body’s condition! I thought, as I rose to a sitting position.
There’s no pain in my ankle and my self-inflicted knife wound wasn’t there either. My thrown back, the injury that I had sustained from being on the defense was no longer sore.
The castle magicians must have healed me. Or in this case, the castle healers.
Furthermore, the negligee that I was previously wearing was somehow changed into a frillier nightgown. Whose choice of clothes was this?
Taking in the situation, I sighed as I grasped the fluttery hem.
I can’t really go out looking like this. Or rather, this is such a girly piece of clothing that I’m hesitant to be seen by other people.
I suppose waiting calmly for someone to come might be the best course of action.
It can’t be helped – is what I initially thought; but in the end, that train of thought wasn’t necessary.
As I contemplated on what to do and was about to roll off the bed, I heard a faint knocking on the door. It must be a maid who’s checking up on me.
As I raised my voice to let them know that I’m awake, the door was flung open vigorously. Opening the door so abruptly like that will startle me, you know.
It turned out that the person who opened the door in a hurry was Cecil-kun. It was unexpected of him to come all this way expressly to to check on my condition.
Cecil-kun, with his glossy silver hair ruffled, blinked in surprise at the sight of me awake.
「…So you’ve woken up.」
「I just did, good morning.」
「It’s already past noon.」
「Oh my, I suppose I overslept.」
I wonder how long I’ve slept for?
Cecil-kun, having perhaps guessed my question, offered the answer.“You were unconscious for two whole days”, he added. Instead of being astonished, I instead looked unsettled.
…Even without any serious injuries, I overslept like that as I pleased. It seems like they’ve managed to suppress the rebellion while as I was asleep. If they didn’t, I wouldn’t have been left alone here.
「How did it go after that?」
「It’s not exactly a pleasant topic to listen to though.」
「That’s alright. I can roughly imagine it after all.」
「Alfred Sévéne, one of the ringleaders, passed away. Grandfather is being interrogated. Once that’s over, he’ll be sentenced by hanging.」
It ended up like that after all, huh. Treason is usually met by the death penalty after all. Rather than being hanged in public, perhaps it’s much better for him, in a way, to be finished off by the hand of his own son.
Abbot Georg was apprehended by Cecil-kun, so a public execution cannot be avoided.
…I wonder if I can get one hit in before his sentence. How dare he get Ruby mixed up in this whole affair.
Given that the person involved, Cecil-kun, was reporting the information indifferently throughout this conversation just after I woke up, I couldn’t help feeling slightly apologetic towards him.
I looked closely at his expression.
「…Cecil-kun, are you alright?」
「I don’t have any particular opinion about it. We were estranged despite blood relations, so I feel nothing. Same goes for you. Are you okay?」
「If it’s about my body, I’m perfectly healthy! Not even a single scar is left. Do you want to check?」
「Stop it, stupid woman.」
There goes the first of his biting remarks. Even though it was just a joke.
「Anyway, it isn’t as if there are no scars remaining. Well, it might be a concern for some guys though.」
Cecil-kun’s expression instantly darken as I reflexively shrugged my shoulders without a care. A gloomy expression floated on his face.
To shorten the distance between us, I laughed and told him that I was okay, then grabbed his hand. Just like that, I pulled him down to sit beside me.
「I don’t find you dreadful so it’s fine.」
「…My family – although I don’t want to admit them as my family – was the source of your wounds.」
「But Cecil-kun, you’re not the one at fault. It was the Abbot and the Earl’s son. I was happy that you got angry at him on my behalf as a friend.」
Frankly speaking, the Abbot and Cecil-kun were on bad terms with each other. Moreover, the impetus that started it was his grandfather, so it’s like barking up the wrong tree.
Personally, I was happy that Cecil-kun was angry on my behalf. I really appreciated it.
As I laughed freely, Cecil-kun scratched his cheek awkwardly and turned the other way.
It’s just his way of hiding his embarrassment. I know that for a fact, since we’ve been friends for five years now.
Compared to how harsh he was the first time we met, I think he has grown softer. To the point that I want to spread around how cute Cecil-kun was. But if I did that, fists and fits of anger would definitely rain down upon me.
「Even so, I wish I could’ve attacked the Earl’s son at least once. That damn lolicon.」
「…Well Giles….no, never mind.」
「What a pain in the arse. How dare he, to a person’s chest…」
I felt defiled from just recollecting it. To begin with, the Earl’s son was off his rockers, so being close to him is definitely a no.
When I get home, I’m going to take a bath and thoroughly sterilize myself. My body looks like it was wiped clean, but when I recalled my neck that he had licked, I really want to quickly purify it.
「Since I kicked him there, it would be nice if it’s beyond recovery.」
「…You don’t have to worry about that. Mmhmm.」
…Why is Cecil-kun avoiding my eyes. And what’s with that faraway look on his face.
「Are you really alright? As a girl, wasn’t it scary to be forced like that?」
「Well…I mean, I’ve already cried.」
「Oh, but I’m okay now! I’m just stiff around guys I’m not familiar with.」
“I don’t have problems like that with close friends though”, I laughed as I held my thumb up. Cecil-kun gave me a look of amazement.
Then, he sighed and stretched his palm towards my head. I thought he was going to pat my head, but instead he messed up my hair with all his strength.
「Stupid, you’re not okay at all. If it’s painful, you need to tell Giles and me.」
「Wow, Cecil-kun is being affectionate.」
「Are you making fun of someone who’s worried about you, huh?」
He pinched and stretched both sides of my cheeks.
If anyone saw my appearance just then, it would surely look very comical; what with my hair all disheveled and with stretched out cheeks accompanied by a silly expression.
Being mean to a girl is the worst! I narrowed my eyes in dissatisfaction and pouted to show my displeasure, which softened his expression. He let go of my cheeks and ruffled my hair once again. This time, however, he did it gently.
「Alright, looks like you’re back to being lively.」
Despite the mischievous glint in his eyes, there was nothing but concern and affection contained in his smile.
…He really has opened his heart and became gentler. I feel like girls would fall in love with him if he displayed this in front of them right now.
「Oh, right! Cecil-kun, thank you for saving me!」
「Eh well, it was also beneficial to me in those circumstances. If I hadn’t shown my allegiance to the King, I might’ve gotten disposed of as well.」
Because there was a slim chance of my fate being tied to the Steinbert’s, Cecil said and shrugged. Thanks to his family perpetrating the events, he was probably feeling extremely ashamed..
Well, it’s not like Cecil-kun cared enough about the change of rank. As long as he was not imprisoned or killed, he didn’t seem to care. From the start, he was indifferent to things like one’s peerage.
「I will also appeal to prevent the sentencing of their family and their followers.」
「That would be helpful. Well, Alfred’s retainers may already be dead though.」
「I don’t want Giles to be mixed up with it.」
「He was removed from the family registry so it should be okay. Didn’t he end up serving you 8 years ago after he threw away the Sévéne name?」
If he’s been officially removed from the registry, he should be alright…for sure.
They can’t blame Giles for anything, as he’s only a servant. Nothing more can be done to rank. Even if they were to condemn him as a son of Sévéne, I think he should still come out favorably.
…Giles, I wonder if he’s okay.
「How is Giles now?」
「…Lots of things are going on for him.You can hear about it from the person himself later.」
「…That’s true. Oh right, Cecil, can you call Father for me please? I can’t really go out dressed like this.」
The negligee that I was wearing when I was kidnapped was of a simple design, and given that it was a state of emergency, I wandered around in my pajamas, but I’m not going out in this extravagant-looking negligee. It’s improper, and I would get scolded if discovered.
It doesn’t suit my tastes, I let out a aggrieved sigh as I gripped the hem of the frilly negligee. Furthermore, this negligee is too short.
I guess this is the kind of clothes that is meant to be seen by men, so there’s no need for practicality. People are going to hit on me if I waltz about in them! It’d pretty much be me fanning the flames, purely because of the design. At least it’s not made of transparent sheer fabric.
「…Cover your legs, it’s improper.」
Cecil-kun, who now understood the situation after listening to my grumbles, covered my legs with the bed sheets. He also averted his gaze. What a gentleman.
「At any rate, I’ll go ahead and call Wolfe for you. I’ll be going now.」
He didn’t have to hurry, but he left in a fluster anyway. Finding it somewhat comical, I let out a hearty laugh.
Last of the batch. Sorry it took us this long to churn it out.