Failed To Abandon the Villain - Chapter 41
As soon as Valletta entered the room, the smell of freshly brewed black tea stimulated her sense of smell.
She looked at the man sitting in a dark mahogany colored desk while holding a pen.
‘No one’s here.’
She smelled the scent of black tea, so she assumed the Head of the servants or a servant would be there.
There was no one else besides Carlon Delphine was inside the dreary office filled with documents and books.
Valletta took a step inward.
“The sun seemed to have risen from the west today, since you looked for me first. Looks like you have something to say, how about a cup of tea?”
“I’d like that.”
Carlon Delphine suggested for them to sit at the tea table near the office’s window.
He went into the tea making room and brought out a tea, teacups, and light refreshments, then sat across from her.
After seeing the man wearing a tidy outfit, carefully pouring the tea with his hand, Valletta turned her head towards the window.
It was extremely peaceful.
‘Now that I think about it, that hateful guy didn’t come again.’
He would be busy with things here and there, so he can’t just focus on her.
It was a fortunate event. But at the same time, it was a little awkward.
How long has it been since they’ve been apart like this?
“It’s a long overdue tea time.”
“You can speak comfortably.”
Carlon Delphine raised his eyebrow in doubt.
“When the Delight family disappeared, my title of being the Count Young Lady was now just nominal. You can just call me Valletta.”
“Then I shall do that.”
Carlon Delphine nodded.
“Does it not suit your taste?”
“No, it’s delicious.”
Valletta raised the teacup and took a sip. A warm sensation ran down through her throat and warmed her body for a while.
She frowned slightly at the unfamiliar sensation and lifted her head.
“Your Grace, Duke.”
“I had a good rest in the comfortable environment that you have provided. Thank you for taking care of me. But given my situation, it’s not convenient for me to take a rest.”
Carlon Delphine took a sip of the tea and looked at Valletta. He crossed his leg over the other, then nodded to signal her to continue.
“So I want us to fulfill each other’s contract.”
“… Valletta, you’re like a rabbit being chased without any rest. A rabbit who had no idea how to take a rest even though it’s hunter was already, so it just continued to run away.”
“I won’t deny it. I couldn’t relax.”
Valletta answered firmly.
She honestly could not relax. It was a life that was overwhelming and beyond her control.
Reinhardt, the Imperial Family, and the Crown Prince were all bothering her.
It was impossible to distinguish the enemy from the non-enemy. She could not trust any other person since the only ally she had was herself.
She had to grab hold of her balance and keep herself in top shape without any rest.
“There will be a banquet at the Imperial Palace in a week. If you’re okay with it, how about attending it?”
“… I’m sure I asked you to hide me from the Imperial Family.”
“Sometimes it’s better to show yourself than to hide.”
Valletta’s forehead narrowed. She looked at Carlon Delphine, trying to understand what his real intention was.
Her head was spinning hard. Naturally she also thought of the profit that he would get if he sold her.
“Everytime you look at me with that expression, it hurts my feelings. Baby… no, child. I will not harm you. Didn’t I promise that I would protect you?”
“Who’s a baby…”
(T/N: Now, the ‘baby’ here is not being used to flirt with her, but just a literal baby.)
“Y-yep. That was my mistake.”
He stuttered, appearing to be a little perplexed.
“Anyway, don’t you want to see the expression of those greedy b*st*rds once they know who is behind you?”
Valletta’s face contorted at Carlon Delphine’s words. She slowly rubbed her face.
It was because she understood the situation without any difficulty. Other than the Imperial Family, the other aristocrats were also targeting her.
There were many people who wanted to covet the golden goose that lays golden eggs that has escaped its cage.
“… What are the odds that the Imperial family would not take me away once I step foot right in front of them?”
“It’s not a certainty but…”
With such an anxious expression, he had no choice but to try and reassure her.
Even if she pretended to be an adult, she was still a child who had never grown up.
At least that was what Carlon Delphine felt.
“Let’s just say it’s a 100% certainty.”
“I don’t believe that.”
“It’s the first time in my life that I’ve uttered that number, but one of my principles is to keep my word once spoken.”
Despite the still soft voice, Valletta sighed as if frustrated. After all, there was only one conclusion to this conversation.
She doesn’t have that many options to choose from.
“If that’s the case, then okay.”
“And Valletta, how much do you know about alchemy?”
“I think I have read all the alchemy books in the market. Recently it has decreased though.”
“How much do you know about the recoil of failure in alchemy? What are the maximum abilities you can use? How many formulas do you know? Your specialty? The taboos?”
Valletta’s pupils trembled at the question that came out like a rapid-fire cannon in a calm and relaxed voice.
She thought about the answer slowly. However, no matter how much she searched her memories, no answer came to mind.
“Did you ever have another teacher?”
“There was a time when I was taught by an Alchemist that belonged to the Imperial Palace.”
This was a question that can be answered.
When she answered directly without any hesitation, Carlon Delphin, who seemed to be thinking of something, spoke again.
“What was the first thing that person taught you?”
“How to use a formula.”
Again, this was not a difficult question, and the answer came quickly.
At Valletta’s answer, carlon Delphine’s eyes narrowed in displeasure.
“… I may not know who that person is, but he’s an ignorant one.”
A sigh escaped from Carlon Delphine’s lips.
“I’m telling you, that person has been teaching you how to run without learning about the basics of the basics first.”
“… So far, there has been no problem.”
“It has been fine because you were making a limited amount in a limited environment, but that will not be the case in the future.”
“What I wanted was the other way around. I did not ask you to teach me alchemy from the very basics.”
Carlon Delphine looked at Valletta who set a boundary. Her body seemed to be wrapped around in sharp thorns all the time.
But it was the greedy human who made the child in front of him like that. The child would just adjust to the situation. Count Delight must’ve tamed her so that she would neither have emotion nor morality.
Carlon Delphine racked her brain to find the right word to say to Valletta.
“I’m sorry, but I can’t just give a knife to a child who knows how to run but not walk.”
What was he saying?
She felt like she was stabbed by a sharp needle on one side of her heart.
Enraged, Valletta clenched her fists and opened them.
What’s wrong with it? For her, she doesn’t have much time.
Even now, a lot of people were looking for her. In this situation, at least from her point of view, it was absurd to learn the basics again.
“Duke, I am sensible enough. I can tell who needs to be killed and who doesn’t have to.”
Carlon Delphine’s eyes widened at her calm words.
Valletta swallowed her breath at his question.
He was still using honorifics, but he must be that kind of person who would have a different atmosphere depending on his mood.
Of course, he still had the same calm and relaxed voice, but there was a slight change in his expression. However, it now felt like he stopped hesitating on his choice of words.
“I can distinguish enemies from allies. I will hold onto as many knives as necessary, and I can kill people with that knife, so please stop treating me like a child.”
“But you don’t know how to wield it properly and how to use it effectively. If you only knew how to hold a knife and stab someone…”
Carlon Delphine’s cloudy eyes turned to Valletta.
The pupil that was riddled with good intention, showed no sign of displeasure. But it was adamant.
“It is true that it was something that even a child could do cold-heartedly.”
She was speechless with his assertion that was full of hidden meaning.
“So you’re telling me to study it again? Aren’t we in an equal business relationship with a written contract?”
“Valletta, if you feel comfortable thinking that way, you can.”
She heard a soft voice that was like trying to soothe a child. She does not feel comfortable when she feels an itch from the inside.
She narrowed brows in displeasure for an unknown reason, but in the end, she still did not say anything.
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