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Published at 28th of June 2017 04:21:12 AM

Chapter 9

Chapter 9 – Ten Gold Coins


 

 

Bernard returned home, jolted by the last carriage .

While his thoughts were still in a mess, Eric had swung by to report about the things which were broken by the incident that day .

He was informed that it was necessary to change all the roof tiles since they seemed to have deteriorated . That also applied to the ceiling and floorboards in the attic .

「So the ceiling also needs to be changed?」

「Because bugs seem to have came out from it」

Looking at the estimates, he unintentionally clicked his tongue .

「Also, about the materials for the roof―」

The plan was to use the same baked terracotta clay for the roof tiles, but it’s coating will cost extra .

「Apparently, the roof tiles were originally brown but was later painted blue . 」

「Is that so?」

 

At that time, the mistress of the Orlellian household desired a house that seemed like it had came out straight from a fairy tale, the white wall and blue roof of the mansion was the outcome of such circumstances .

 

「Therefore, if we want the roof to have the same blue coating, it will come to this . 」

「Mm?」

Eric handed over an additional quotation . Bernard’s eyes widen when he saw the figure .

「What is this!?」
「The blue paint appears to be costly . 」

「The coating is unnecessary!」
「But if it is coated, the tiles may last longer . 」
「… No, for now it’s fine . 」
「Understood」

As it was, they were barely able to cover the expenses for the repairs, as things goes, the coating will be decided on a later date .
The next report was about Agnes’ medical expenses which was less than they had estimated .

「Oi, what about the doctor’s hush money?」

「The doctor called was one of Dominic’s acquaintance . His lips are sealed」
「Is that so……」

 

Even though her fever has gone down since this morning, but as she had no appetite, she was still lying in bed .

Seems like he won’t able to hear her story today .

「Even so, this is exorbitant」

The expenses totaled to ten gold coins .

It was the equivalent to two months worth of Bernard’s wages as a knight .

The roof tiles had to be changed . Moreover, they had to ordered a special tile in order to match it which jacked the price up .


「It seems we can negotiate to pay by instalments . 」
「Pay it all at once . 」

「Understood」

As Bernard saw Eric off from the room, he let out a heavy sigh .

Every month, his family gave him funding but that mostly went into his servant’s wages .
Having no choice but to somehow make ends meet, he hardened his resolve .

 

◇ ◇ ◇

Deciding to refresh before dinner, he headed to the bathroom .

On the way, he stopped in front of the guest room where Agnes was resting .

He can’t help but feel curious toward the girl’s true nature

He simply wanted to know the reason why she glared at him five years ago .
Nevertheless, he hesitated if he should enter a lady’s room . But, as the master of the mansion, Agnes was his employee . There wouldn’t be any impropriety whatsoever .

Fortunately, there was no one around .

He planned to ask her and quickly leave, and opened the door .

The living room was in total darkness . Relying on the moonlight that shone in from the window, he proceeded to the bedroom .

 

Just in case, he knocked on the door but no one answered .

Considering it’ll be a problem if he stayed for too long, he decided to enter the room without permission .

The room was only lit by a hand lantern beside the bed . As the light shone faintly, the room was dim .

「H,Hey…」

This time he tried to call out to her from the door, but there was still no answer .

Even so, feeling like he couldn’t turn back empty handed either, he made long rapid strides towards the bed .

He thought of waking her up to ask her about the matters from five years ago .

The light illuminated her pale face that was covered by a thin layer of sweat on her forehead . Even in her sleep, she seemed to be in pain .

「Agnes Le Verges . 」

With a low voice, he called her name . He thought she would not be woken up by his whisper . Nevertheless, Agnes opened her eyes slightly .

Even though he had walked into her room brazenly, the moment he met her eyes, he was startled and his heart beat fast .

He felt like he had done something wrong .

 

He couldn’t read her emotions from her gaze .

 

Inside the quiet room, they stared at each other for a while, Agnes then muttered a surprising word .

「―Ah, mother!」
「Hah!?」

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「I’ve always wanted to see you . 」

Agnes held out her frail, trembling hand from underneath the duvet .

Bernard looked at it dubiously .

 

「Mo . . ther…」
「No, I’m not your mother . 」

Bernard corrected her mistake while he grabbed her wrist, roughly shoving it back to underneath the duvet .

When he closely examined her face, she had heavy-lidded eyes unlike usual which he realised that she was half-lucid .

He heard that Agnes’ mother had passed away when she was a child .

Tears started to welled up in her eyes, all of this made him feel pity for her .

「…P, Please forgive me . 」
「?」

Wondering if she had regained consciousness, he observed Agnes’ expression . But her next word was beyond his expectations .

「―mother…」

When Bernard heard it, he lost it there and then .

Agnes continued to speak .

「No, I can’t go there yet . 」
「Don’t go, don’t go!」

Faced with her delirious words, Bernard ended up tsukkomi-ing .

「YOU! BACK TO SLEEP! NOW!」

Though he said so but Agnes’s muttering was not yet coming to an end .

 

「To return the favor to Orlellian-sama, I will go―」
「Li–Like I said, you can’t go there yet!」

After ordering her to “Go back to sleep already . ”, Bernard covered her up to her shoulder with the duvet, then left the bedroom .

After confirming that there was no one in the corridor, he immediately left Agnes’ room .

Entering the bath, he thought about how increasingly mysterious Agnes’ was . . What was the favor that she owed him? He tried searching his memories, but nothing came up .

He poured the hot water over his head, roughly washed his body and hair, before soaking in the bathtub .

 

―It’s no use, I don’t get it .

He’ll just postpone the investigation on Agnes for now .
The next day, Gigille reported that Agnes’ condition was getting better .

She herself said she was ready to work, however Gigille ordered her to take more rest as a precaution .

「Master, will it be alright?」
「Ah, do as you like . 」
「Thank you . 」
「Today, we’ll begin the repairs for the roof and the attic so it probably won’t be a suitable environment for her to rest . 」


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「Well, nothing we can do about it . 」

He instructed Gigille to properly look after her . When it was time for the coach to arrive, Bernard left the house .

 

◇ ◇ ◇

In the morning Lazare came to greet him .

 

「I’m sorry . I was worn out yesterday . 」

Since Agnes did not show up, he assumed that she was not in the orphanage .

Bernard ought to have talked about the matters regarding Agnes, but he hesitated .

Unfortunately in that moment, Lazare had to leave the room to attend an assembly as part of his duties .

 

While he was flustered for missing the opportunity to talk, somebody came to visit him .
He was a little surprised looking at the familiar visage before the opened door .

―Ernesto Barthelemon

The second prince’s guard and the second son of a Marquis’s household .
In his memory, he was the lowest of the low . A fellow who ran around chasing after girls while still on duty .

The last time he saw him was three years ago, during a tea party held by the second prince . Seeing the surprised look on Bernard’s face, Ernesto greeted him as if it was the first time they had met . He had probably forgotten the events three years ago .

「Yo, good morning—–」
「Ah!! ―」

Then, Bernard remembered .
Three years ago he met Agnes by chance in the rose garden when she was trying to get away from Ernesto’s pursuit .

He thought this might have been what she was referring to as the favor and reward, feeling relieved that the mystery was solved .

 

「―You, for you to suddenly raise your voice, did I surprise you?!」
「Ah, forgive me . 」

When he received his identification, Bernard came to his senses .

Since the captain was absent, it was alright for Bernard to handle the matter as the vice captain .

 

Ernesto flumped onto a couch after been prompted to sit

「So what is your business?」

「Ah, I want you to search for someone . 」

He took out a piece of paper and put it on the desk .

 

「―?」

On the paper, there was something like a sketch of a person whose gender was indistinguishable .

At the top of the paper there was “The person who finds her: Ten Gold Coins ” written on it .


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「This is―?」
「Agnes Le Verges’s portrait . I drew it」
「Hah!?」

Ernesto haughtily stated his affairs, seemingly unable to search for her by himself, and shoved the paper even further to Bernard .

「There is a gold reward for this magnificent task . Consider it an honor」

「Umm, rather than that, on whose orders was this from?」
「Mine . 」

He thought it was unlikely to happen .

There was no reason for the ‘third division special assault corps’ to take on a mission from an individual .

「Why do you want to search for Agnes Le Verges?」

「Ah, I want to take that unfortunate lady as my mistress」

 

All of this for the purpose of taking her as a mistress . Bernard looked at Ernesto with an inconceivable look plastered on his face .

 

「If there are no orders from above, we can’t accept a mission from an individual . 」
「Normally, yes . 」

Which is why there’s a reward of ten gold coins, Ernesto calmly said .

 

「Sheltering a lady from the Le Verges house might incur His Majesty’s wrath, do you understand how dangerous this is?」

Those words were also directed back at him . He can’t foolishly go into it half-heartedly .

 

「That’s why there are ten gold coins . 」
「As a reward and as a means of silencing the mouth right?」
「That’s right . No one will ever find out if I hide her in a place like a basement . 」

Moreover, Ernesto gave another tempting proposal . He made use of his authority as one of the royal guards

「Supposing you find out Agnes Le Verges’ whereabouts, in addition to the gold coin, I’ll also recommend you for a promotion at the assembly」

However, Ernesto warned him not to openly spread the word out . Even with the personage of the same corps, he straight out said that it can only be made known to 5 people at most .

 

「If such rumors were spread, I’ll be in trouble . Ah, by the way ―」

Ernesto took out a leather bag with gold coins from his pocket .

「This is?」
「Hush money for doing the job」
「…」

Before him, Bernard gave a deep sigh .
Regarding this matter, he decided to leave the entire thing up to the captain and requested Ernesto to leave .

「Well then, I’ll leave it to you . 」
「…」

Without even replying, he silently shut the door .

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