Hale was smiling another one of his excessive smiles.
Malcolm, the butler, was bowing his head so his expression couldn’t be seen well and on Yan’s face was clear incredulousness.
‘You said you wouldn’t be able to eat much,’
His expression was clearly saying exactly that.
Calian, who caught Yan’s gaze, was in the middle of a very enthusiastic breakfast. After eating the bread that was meant for the bird, he was still eating this much.
Thanks to him, Hale also looked a little troubled.
The prince had come down to breakfast, and without another word, was sitting across from the Count, and just eating his fill. Hale cursed at Calian inwardly.
Calian who peeked at his face, narrowed his eyes. Hale might have been hiding it in his own way, but he had spent the entire night cursing Calian and those fierce eyes weren’t going to be hidden so easily.
Because of this, Calian was able to decide for sure what kind of attitude he should show at the meal. Soon, he opened his mouth with an expression of someone who was not apologetic at all,
“Oh that’s right, you wanted to talk? I forgot to allow the Count to speak since I’ve never eaten with someone with lower status,”
(T/N – Etiquette rules, a person of lower status is not allowed to start the conversation with a person of higher status – it must be the person with higher status who speaks first,)
Hale’s smile brightened, careful not to show his anger,
“Are you enjoying your meal?”
“Yes, it’s good,” Calian nodded. He had been eating with such gusto, it wasn’t like he could lie and say it tasted bad.
Hale replied with a delighted expression,
“I was worried you might feel uncomfortable facing me because you refused that gift I had sent you in the past. It’s an hour to be able to serve you a meal. But if you don’t mind, may I ask why it was that you refused my gift?”
When he heard that, Calian replied in a perfunctory tone,
“I didn’t know who you were, it wasn’t a name I’d heard of before and it’s not like there are just one or two Counts right?”
He had been treated as a perfectly obscure aristocrat. Yan bit the inside of his cheeks tightly since he shouldn’t smile in such a situation.
Hale’s lips trembled in an effort to keep his smile from slipping.
“….It’s of course possible to not have known. Still, it’s a relief that you know my name now,” Hale, who said so, clenched his fist under the table,
As he realised once again how Calian was treating him, Hale decided to ask for an explanation for Calian’s arbitrary bedtime yesterday. He thought that if he heard the words ‘I’m sorry’ from Calian, he might be able to actually eat something today.
But since, whether he was acting or not, he had been indecent in front of Calian, so he just apologized first,
“About yesterday, I made a big mistake in front of your highness,”
Calian answered straight away, as though he had been waiting for it,
“But yesterday, did you perhaps use mag-”
“- Since I put you to sleep before you became anymore unpleasant,”
Hale’s jaw dropped open.
Just now, Calian had said it was okay, not because the rudeness didn’t phase him, but rather because he had put Hale to sleep before he became truly unpleasant.
“Ah… I … see…”
“So you don’t have to care about that anymore. It’s understandable that you might have made mistakes since you’ve never served the royal family like this. I understand, don’t worry,”
Calian smiled once with a nod.
He couldn’t deny it. He wasn’t sure how he should respond to finding out that had been put to sleep with magic to prevent him from becoming displeasing to Calian’s eyes.
In the end, Hale couldn’t bring up any protests and rather, had apologised and had been forgiven.
He couldn’t help but explode.
“But then why did you make such a fuss last night?”
With his impatience mourning, Hale’s hand clenched around his fork tightly. Calian’s eyes immediately shot up, glancing to his clenched fist, then into Hale’s eyes sharply.
When faced with those unfamiliar red eyes, Hale glanced away, avoiding them subconsciously and said,
“I – I mean when I tried to apologise for my mistake,”
Calian nodded and said with a small smile,
“I was resting because the investigation into the person who attacked me yesterday was exhausting. Its okay if the Count wanted to apologize, don’t worry about it,”
In that moment, everything became Hale’s fault and Calian, who forgave his mistakes with a generous heart, quietly lifted the tea and opened his mouth again,
“Oh, but I found something rather strange during the investigation,”
Hale flinched, he had tried to find out more about the attacker named Norton who had attacked Calian, but of Calian’s 20 knight escorts, there was always someone keeping an eye on things without break so he wasn’t able to find anything out.
In the meantime, Hale had also not lived a very clean life so he was anxious that there might be a connection between himself and Norton.
Hale’s insides felt like they were burning, so he hurriedly gulped down some water.
The laughter in Calain’s face had completely disappeared as he explained as he explained to Hale,
“It seems to be related to a person with the name of a bird. The people who managed to get away also seem to be related to another bird, so we are now investigating those who had bird names,”
Hale was so shocked at Calian’s words, that he spat out the water he had been drinking and hurriedly picked up his handkerchief to cover his mouth.
A few droplets of water fell on Hale’s clothes but when Malcom quickly approached to try and wipe the water off, Hale nervously shook him off.
A thought popped into Hale’s head,
‘What do you mean a bird? There can be nothing other than the Secretian spy. Does he mean that Blue punk? Why is he talking about Secretia’s spy when he’s investigating a bandit raid? Is he saying the Secretian spy tried to kill him? Why?’
Malcom, who had recently become a priest, kept an excessively low profile around Hale even has he watched the way Hale’s eyes shook.
Calian didn’t miss the image of the two being flustered.
Hale came to the conclusion that he absolutely had to meet that Norton guy. He had to know what was happening.
Double chapter release to try and make up for my sudden absences lol