"My…? How strange. I'm missing one earring…?"
In the morning, when Rosa was preparing to get dressed, she realized that she couldn't find the gold earring she placed on the mirror stand. She tilted her head in confusion.
The earring was the first item she made in the folly of her youth; when she learned how to smelt gold from a book.
It had a lot of impurities since Rosa was still clumsy at that time. It wasn't expensive, but Rosa used it habitually since it was her special item.
(Did I get blinded by Bell-tan's brilliance and lost sight of it?)
That was possible. Rosa nodded with a straight face, but then she shook her head.
If she went with that theory, it would be strange that she could still see the sun. Presently, the sun shone brightly into the room, signaling the clear morning.
If so, the disappearance of the earring was caused by someone.
(Now that I think of it… The steel knife disappeared from the kitchen last week. And the lace decoration on the mantelpiece was gone two weeks ago.)
All of them were trivial things, but Rosa noticed it. Because she refined all of them during her training.
About half a month ago, some servants reported to her, "Bernard was prowling in the mansion at night," and "He's suspicious."
When they passed each other in the corridor, she also noticed them glaring at Bernard.
(I'm interpreting those gazes as them unconsciously getting drawn to Bell-tan, causing them to feel repulsion… But maybe…?)
Perhaps the 'uke' servants were jealous of Bernard's charm and stole things to bring hatred toward Bernard?
Rosa completely didn't doubt Bernard at all.
At that moment, a knocking sound echoed, followed by a whispering voice. "Miss Rosa."
The person entering the room was Lutz, the stableman. Lutz had a complicated expression.
Recently, Lutz's style and features had become more and more 'seme' ish. Together with how Rosa was busy teaching Bernard, she had fewer opportunities to converse with him.
"Please forgive me for suddenly visiting you, Miss. Actually… There's something I want to show to you to matter what."
His voice was low. He clearly was going through a psychological conflict.
After Rosa nodded, Lutz led her to the stables.
Then, looking at that he pointed at, Rosa widened her eyes.
"The horseshoe is…"
"Yes. It's the especially expensive horseshoe fitted to Miss Rosa's horse… Before I realized it, it had been replaced into a cheap one."
Rosa's favorite horseshoe with rose engravings had been replaced by one with a plain pattern.
"Master sometimes sells expensive harnesses and furniture, so I thought he did this at first. Even so…"
"Father is not skillful enough to refit another horseshoe to my horse…" Rosa murmured.
Horseshoe. Refit horseshoe. Metal smelting, and embroidery.
It was then that Rosa heard a faint voice, out of place.
Turning around, she saw Bernard, who smiled at her with his usual innocent smile.
"Good morning. What's wrong?"
Rosa was about to call him 'Bell-tan,' but she shut her mouth in a panic. Outside her brain, she must call him 'Bernard.'
However, Bernard deepened his smile, noticing the unnatural atmosphere looming at that place.
It was different from the bashful smile Rosa had seen so far. His current expression looked like he was hiding a lot of things."
"...Sister, you said that horseshoe brings fortune. I'm sure you're right. I'm thrilled right now. It's delightful to be able to buy things as I like."
Rosa's heart pounded at his unexpected remarks. She didn't have any proof yet, but Bernard said something like that at this timing. He obviously meant something.
For example… He sold the things in this mansion and earned money from doing that.
Lutz understood that hidden meaning. With a stern look, he growled. "Young Master Bernard… No way…"
Bernard only shrugged his shoulders. However, his strangely mature behavior had clearly shown the answer.
"Miss Rosa took care of you so much, and yet you dare to do such a thing——"
Rosa touched Lutz's arm, which was going to throw a punch any time soon. Thanks to her, he managed to endure his anger.
Realizing that her voice was shaking, Rosa coughed a little. Bernard stared at them with cold eyes.
(I see… So it's like that…)
Her palpitations grew faster. She began to sweat.
In a subdued voice, Rosa told both of them, "Let's properly discuss this later. Right now, I… I will see the garden for a moment. I haven't watered the rose yet."
She wondered if they understood that she wanted to be alone now. Lutz leaned forward to her, feeling wronged.
However, Rosa didn't answer him and ran away, the hem of her dress fluttering.
She ran and ran. Ran as far as she could manage. To the garden full of blooming roses, the place she could be alone.
(That means, Bell-tan is…)
Eventually, she tripped and fell to the side of the bush. Rosa covered her face with both hands, arching her body like a shrimp, and screamed inwardly.
(Bell-tan, who actually has a black belly nature, is the best' uke' that ever existed!!!???)
Part of her scream became a real voice, making her leak out a strange sound.
Far from being a crime, Bernard's theft only appeared to be his character's attractive point.
Of course even Rosa would be bothered if Bernard killed or wounded anyone, but she couldn't care less about this kind of behavior. It wasn't a big deal at all.
In the first place, everything Rosa had belonged to Bernard.
(I can't believe this! Can I have a miracle like this!? God, are you sure you can give me such a wonderful deep uke like Bell-tan? He's already good enough when he's only pure, but turns out he's actually a scheming boy!?)
In Rosa's brain, the delusional story of Bell-tan, who met with caring 'seme,' was screening at a tremendous speed.
Both of them were attracted to each other, even if they didn't think they were compatible. They had a moment of happiness.
However, Bell-tan did a sudden betrayal for the 'seme.' It wasn't something the 'seme' could forgive.
But Bell-tan couldn't give him up.
He threw away his apathetic attitude and used all his remaining courage, reaching his trembling hand to the 'seme.'
The 'seme' tried to shake him off. Yet Bell-tan dared to take a step.
Even if he trembled in fear of rejection, Bell-tan shouted at the 'seme.'
'I won't allow you to leave me. Because… you taught me what is love…!'
Rosa looked up into the sky with her face covered, and muttered in a muffled voice. "Too precious…"
The ink that fell on the white cloth drew a magnificent rose painting in the usually impossible speed to achieve.
Ah. The future of the rose world was bright. Right now, Rosa wanted to shout at everyone across the globe.
Listen, everyone. There's a great 'uke' here. He would only exist once every a hundred years… no, every a thousand years.
(Oh… Why am I walking on this path alone in this world…)
Even if her whole body was bathing in excitement, Rosa sometimes still felt sad. She wondered why such an incredible rose love hadn't prospered into this world.
Although she felt joy opening up unexplored areas, having no one to share this sentiment was too painful.
(Surely, somewhere in this world… No, I'm sure the concepts of 'seme' and 'uke' exist as common sense in another world.)
Perhaps that world would use different words such as 'top' and 'bottom' or 'sword' and 'sheath', but Rosa was sure that this concept existed.
(And… in that world, there definitely are many books and operas depicting rose love, cultivating the pioneer of 'uke' character… Various people value different kinds of love, and watch over them… After that…)
Rosa believed that the world was wonderful. Full of happiness. Everyone smiled, embracing their own version of love.
(Such… a beautiful, world…)
Suddenly, her mind turned white. Her consciousness gradually went away.
As expected, she was too excited.
(This is bad. They will think that I fell sick again…)
Rosa collapsed at that spot, worrying over that right before her mind went blank.
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