Chapter 20 : Pitch Black

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“I’m relieved that your symptoms were less severe than I thought.”

“I am sorry for worrying you, Edgar-sama.
It’s not easy to just come here.”

“Don’t worry about it.
I just barged in on my own.”

Saying so, Edgar smiled softly, being as gentle as ever.

Like he’s always been.

He was quiet, calm, and someone who loved books.

He was completely the opposite of Leopold, who liked to move around in his spare time.

Beatrice liked to watch Leopoldo quietly from the shade of a tree as he wielded a tree branch and imitated a knight.

While Edgar always sat beside Beatrice like this, quietly turning the pages of his book.

Even though she and Edgar didn’t exchange any words, the silence was comforting.
She would always enjoy this kind of peace.

Therefore, she assumed that Egard would always be by her side.

She was spoiled by him and he would make sure to put her first.

Because of this self-serving assumption, Beatrice was terribly upset when she heard about the news of him suddenly going abroad to study before her rebirth.

Beatrice thought that she was really lousy and selfish at that time.

She could neither cheer nor congratulate her childhood friend who was heading for a neighboring country with great ambitions, and as far as she was concerned, she couldn’t even say goodbye to him.

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Still, Beatrice can see now that Edgar must have been a man of considerable character to write to her from where he was studying abroad.

The content of the letter at that time was similar to a research report, which was not at all enjoyable to read, and there was no doubt that Edgar was much, much nicer now than he was before.

“…what is it? It seems like you’ve been staring at me since a while ago.”

“…eh? Uh, well, um.”

“Un?”

Edgar, who curiously tilted his head slightly with his eyes wide open, stared back at her straight.

Although he was not as eye-catching or good-looking as Leopold, Edgar also has quite a distinguished face.

He exudes an inner serenity and intelligence that makes her feel at home with him, or perhaps, more accurately, he has a mature and receptive personality.

Edgar is surely a man who will cherish the woman he loves to the end.
His lover must be very happy.

…If Beatrice would still be alive at that time, she would surely miss him, and would find it unbearable.

She has been with Edgar’s since she was little, and now she was stuck by the question of why she didn’t see the best in him.

Ahh, I see.

“…because I was Leopold’s fool.”

“Artie? What did you say?”

He explained to Edgar, who looked at him with a puzzled look on his face, about the once-disgraced name, which his brother had told him only five days before.

Unfortunately, Edgar said he has no choice but to agree with that.

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“But the fact that I only looked at Leopold, to that extent… no, I knew it… oh, I don’t know… do I?”

Edgar can only smile back at Beatrice, who wants to deny it but can’t.

“Well, Artie couldn’t help but be like that, after all, Leo is really handsome.”

“That may be true, but I think it’s Edgar who’s the good one…”

“Eh?”

“Ah, and, oh, oh, my brother… yes, I think he’s also cool.”

“…ahh.”

Surprised by the sudden mention of his own name, Edgar somehow seemed both relieved and a little sad at the declaration of “my brother is cool” that followed.

“I agree.
I remember that Artie used to tell me that.
Rembrandt and I are the big brothers you can count on.”

Edgar smiled as he continued.

“…”

But Beatrice couldn’t nod back to it.

That’s right.
Indeed, Beatrice used to say those words often in the past.

The older brother, who was not very talkative but takes good care of Beatrice in any way he can.

And Edgar, who was always quietly by Beatrice’s side.

She said he had two dependable older brothers.

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However…

Something was different.

Rembrandt was as reliable as ever, a mean but kind brother.

But Edgar is…

Kind, gentle, and always worrying about Beatrice.
This bookworm only treated himself second to Beatrice.

Whenever and wherever this overprotective person hears that Beatrice has fallen, he rushes to her no matter what.

She always said that he was like an older brother, but he was clearly not her own brother.

Then, Edgar is…

“Artie?”

Edgar’s usual gentle and concerned voice fell on Beartice, who had fallen deep into trance as she silently stared at Edgar’s face.

“Nothing”, Beatrice replied.
There was nothing else she could do but to reply.

Because Beatrice herself did not know what was going on.

She still didn’t know the identity of these slightly bitter, sad, and ticklish feelings she had, which she had never felt before towards her family or her favorite Leopold.

“Rembrandt, sorry to keep you waiting.”

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“Ah, no.
I just got back here too.”

After spending five days returning from the neighboring country of Drieste, Edgar went straight to Rembrandt’s private room after checking on Beatrice’s condition.

He was called in to talk to him.

“Listen, about what you told me before…”

Rembrandt opened his mouth as he poured brandy into a glass.

“What did I say?”

“You know, the thing about Trice having something in her mind.”

“Ah, about that.”

“She told me about it just the other day.
So I thought I should tell you about it.”

As soon as he said this, Rembrandt took out a bundle of papers from his bag that he had left by his side.

“It’s a pretty messed up story, but I think it’s a story you can trust.
No, it’s a story that you might be particularly angry about, so I’d appreciate it if you’d calm down and listen to it.”

“Angry? Me?”

Edgar, who was aware that he has lived a life that has had little to do with anger, repeated that word curiously, but Rembrandt nodded back with a wry smile.

“No, as expected, I think even you would be offended if you heard this.
Because, you know…”

He fluttered and waved the bundle of paper he had just taken out.

“Beatrice told me about this… And even though I’ve only partially investigated this guy, it was already pitch black.”

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