Im standing in front of the library staring at the door.

Its a door I have been in and out of in Conlers castle many times, but today Im feeling nervous. 

“Phew….”

I came all the way here after inquiring about Gilberts whereabouts because I felt like I had to apologize and thank him for what happened with Baron Bruno. 

And as expected, Gilbert was in the library.

Is it fortunate that hes in the library that Im a little familiar with? If Gilbert had been in his room, I probably wouldnt have been able to breathe.

I took a deep breath and knocked on the library door a couple of times.

Its the first time Ive tried knocking while entering the library.

But no sound was heard inside the library. I thought he didnt hear the knock, so I put a little more force on my fist and knocked harder, then I put my ear to the door, but there was no response.

Is he not in the library?

The library isnt a place you use by yourself. Its a place anyone can use. Should I just go in? 

I opened the library door as carefully as I could. The door opened with a dull sound.

“B, brother….”

I secretly called Gilbert as I entered the library, but there was no sign of someone inside the library.

There were a lot of books piled up in one place. Maybe Gilbert went out for a while while studying . I headed there carefully.

On the desk was a map of Conler territory. Lines were drawn in various colors as if he was weaving the shortest route that Rex said earlier. Seeing that there were many books related to the reclamation project, it seemed that he was continuing to study relevant things. 

Youre working really hard.

I didnt know you had to work this hard because youre already born as a Conler.

Thats right… Im Conler, but I cant express this ability and I dont have magic. Unlike any Conler, people arent afraid to get close to me.

Yeah, Im a bad girl, so I dont need any ability, do I?

I pursed my lips and looked through the books Gilbert used to read, they were difficult to understand because of my poor knowledge of the Imperial language. 

Then I found a hardcover note in a luxurious leather case on the desk.

“What is this?”

Out of simple curiosity, I carefully opened the notebook. The part where the red string was inserted in the notebook unfolded right away.

Looking at the date…… It was like Gilberts diary.

Oh, I cant look at things like this without permission.

Privacy and security are really important.

Still, I couldnt stop my curiosity. 

I looked with a clouded eye on purpose. White things are paper, black things are letters…….

No, Mary.

Privacy is the most important thing between siblings.

I wont read it all, just the latest one..

All right, I compromised in my own way.

[Baron Bruno came to harm the children. If father was here, he could probably punish him properly. Why cant I resemble my fathers wisdom and judgment? It bothers me that I said mean things to Bonita, too.] 

“Pfft.”

As I was reading the diary I laughed without realizing it. Gilbert is fifteen years old. It was just a diary of that age.

I take back the word that he looks like Grand Duke Estin. It seemed that he was trying to resemble Grand Duke Estin.

He kicked Baron Bruno out well at that young age, but this diary is filled with regret. It was pretty… cute.

“Youre trying really hard.”

I could tell even without looking at the other diary. Its probably full of regrets and reflections like this. He would have looked back and whipped himself for one goal; Grand Duke Estin.

I carefully covered the diary. Then I came to the other side of the library where the parchment prepared by Rex was piled up and cut the paper as square as possible.

And I drew a pretty circle with a pen, I drew a girl and a boy with a smiling face. And I wroteyou did a good job above.

Its a little crude, but still good. I completed it with a mark.

Then I carefully inserted it into the diary that I saw.

I thought I should leave a mark because it doesnt suit Marys personality to sneak a look.

Theres nothing like this mark in the diary. Im proud for no reason.

I think I should say hello later…….

I opened the door to get out of the library, I turned back to look at Gilberts books and notes on the desk.

“Youre trying really hard.”

Im going to try hard, too.

After working hard to plan a business, Ill make it to the top and prosper. 

I was determined to do so, but suddenly the library door burst open.

“Argh!”

“……what is it?”

Gilbert, who had been away for a while, appeared with a mug in his hand. I think he brought something to drink while studying. When I smelled it, it seemed like hot chocolate.

Thats right. If you read a book like that, your sugar level will drop so you need sweet food. 

“Were you surprised?”

“Yes?”

I was looking at the mug in Gilberts hand for a long time when I heard Gilberts voice, so I answered in surprise.

Are you sorry?

But who would knock before entering the library?

……it was me before.

“Are you here to read?”

“Oh, no….”

“If not?”

“…to find brother Gilbert.”

“Me?”

I wiggled my fingers without realizing it. As if he was quite surprised to hear that I had visited him, Gilbert asked back, pointing at himself with his index finger.

“Well, what happened the other day…… I was going to apologize.”

“What happened?”

Gilberts fine brow frowned, not sure what Im really apologizing for.

But really… Hes handsome.

If Grand Duke Estins black hair and black eyes showed age and strange sexiness, Gilbert was a face that showed the elegance of a minor.

Grand Duke Estin must have had this face when he was young.

Gilberts future was spoiled by Grand Duke Estin.

“Last time with Baron Bruno…….”

“Ah.”

Only then did his eyebrows unfold beautifully as if the question had been solved, but soon it frowned again as if something had been questioned. Gilbert reaffirmed.

“Do you have anything to apologize about Baron Bruno?”

“I think I shouldnt have stepped up…….”

“Oh, thats true.”

Gilbert nodded with his signature arrogant expression as if he was convinced only then.

Thats right, but Gilberts words made me feel sour for no reason, so I lowered my head, slightly stuck out my lower lip, and tapped the floor with my shoe nose for no reason.

Thump~

An awkward silence lingered in the library for a moment, and I relaxed my eyes and stared at the dazedly floating sunlight.

“Good job.”

“What?”

“You shouldnt put up with it when an outsider touches Conlers honor.”

I didnt know how to receive such praise from Gilbert, so my heart beat faster and stronger. An ugly duckling was recognized by a swan!

“T, thank you.”

“From apologies to thanks.”

“……for your help.”

“Father will punish Baron Bruno anyway.”

“But you came forward and helped me…… You know.”

Gilbert laughed in a low voice at my hesitating remarks.

“Brother!”

“…….”

“I felt so reassured because you were by my side. Even without the Grand Duke!”

I closed my eyes and shouted.

“You dont have to scream like that. I can hear you.”

“Oh, Im sure you do. Im sure you have a great hearing.”

What am I saying?

I was so embarrassed that I was just saying anything. Even a moment of silence felt like a pretty long time.

“Oh, I heard the story.”

“What?”

“The story of Rex.”

“Ah….”

“I guess the reason you acted weird was because Rex didnt want to talk about it in person.”

I nodded cautiously. I thought I did very well in my own way, but it looked weird to Gilberts eyes.

Thats possible.

Okay.

No, but does he need to call me weird?

The way I tried to force myself to talk must have seemed ridiculous.

“Mary Conler.”

“What?”

I was grumbling to myself and suddenly Gilbert called my name.

I looked at him with bunny eyes in surprise, but Gilberts eyes softly folded and he smiled

Gilberts unexpected smile was like a twinkling star in the night sky.

No, but why are you smiling……?

Did you remember my weird self?

“Good job.”

“What?”

“Youve grown quite stronger than I thought.”

Gilbert patted me carefully on the head. That hand feels like a big brother.… I felt strange.

For some reason, I felt the heat rising on my cheeks, so I turned my head slightly and fanned my hands.

Now, as I was about to leave Gilbert to continue his studies, the library door burst open. It was a pretty excited Bonita.

Am I the only one who knocks on this castle?

“Grand Duke Estin is back!”

When Bonita said that Grand Duke Estin had returned, Gilbert and I immediately left the library and went out. Before I knew it, Rex was next to me.

When the butler opened the door, Grand Duke Estin, Hestia, and Lucas came in.

“Have you been well?”

“Here you are, Gilbert.”

Grand Duke Estin greeted Gilbert by handing his coat to the butler. Gilbert cant find the gentle atmosphere he just felt in the library.

Completely back to Grand Duke Estin Jr.

“Have you been, Grand Duke?”

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