Upon returning to his room, Bernard glanced out at the window and frowned.
From this room on the second floor, he could see Rosa's favorite rose garden.
Presently, Rosa fell in one of the bushes. She then crouched down, covering her face with both hands. She was probably crying, right?
Bernard sighed silently. He had been aware of his bad personality for a long time.
——I successfully tricked her.
That's the only impression that came to his mind when Bernard saw Rosa crying in secret.
Bernard knew that his life had been a lot grimmer than what Rosa imagined. His mother indeed brought him up all by herself, but she was a drunkard, disappearing from time to time without caring about his meal.
Bernard tried selling things before, but his mother snatched his profit away when he was not careful and beat him up. Those days were brutal; the weak could only hold their breath, and the strong continued enduring the harsh reality. If he didn't accept the violence and deception he had experienced, he wouldn't be able to have an ally.
After growing up in the downtown area, he suddenly moved to a noble's mansion. If he could make peace with his past and sincerely wish to get along with his half-sister, then he would be a saint or a madman.
Bernard knew that he had an advantage if he showed his obedience and had his sister love him, so he pretended to be that kind of boy. For Bernard, who had a small and childlike build, innocence was the wisdom to survive the harsh environment.
He had a bleak sense of value, so of course he didn't expect paternal love from Count Langheim. He just thought it would be nice if he could make some money for the time being. He suffered a lot in the downtown area because of his noble-like features, so he should be forgiven for doing this much, right?
At first, Bernard only intended to snatch money and valuable goods or demand compensation, but that plan crumbled on the first day.
Rosa von Langheim declared that she would take care of Bernard with a compassionate smile.
Rosa. People called her 'The Angel of Rose'. She had a miraculous appearance that could stop one's breath.
When she covered her mouth right after seeing his dingy self, Bernard thought that she would throw her fan to him or something like that. Yet contrary to his expectations, she stretched out her slender arms and hugged him, getting drenched by the liquor in his stead.
Her voice was clear like a bell. From her skin, there was a fragrant scent that Bernard had never smelled before. The reason why he obediently listened to her when she told her to live here was probably that he was a bit shaken by her beauty.
Rosa's naivety didn't change even after they started spending time together. She always smiled like a blooming flower when she saw Bernard, talking to him cheerfully.
A delicate and beautiful sister. She was just like a flower.
But she became like that since she grew up warmly in a greenhouse, not exposed to the malicious rain. She had been protected, receiving a large amount of nutrition.
(Well… Strangely, she can hunt and stitch a wound, though.)
Bernard's expression turned complicated for a moment, but he immediately shook his head.
Still, Rosa was indeed loved by most of the people in the territory, tightly protected from danger. She had never been exposed to terrible violence.
(She's nice to people because she can afford to be like that.)
That's why Bernard always has these thoughts in front of Rosa.
What if he robbed that comfortable life from her? Could she still smile beautifully? Or that would fade, changing into a curse?
It's probably the latter, isn't it?
Humans easily hurt each other. So he couldn't believe them.
Hit before being hit. Deceive before being deceived. Otherwise, he wouldn't be able to survive.
Outside the window, Rosa now stood up and looked up at the sky, still covering her face with her hands. Maybe she was praying to God.
Bernard stared at her.
A stupid woman, who believed him as she pleased, only to get betrayed.
Eventually, Rosa dropped her hand. She looked at the roses absentmindedly…
A stupid woman. That's Bernard's only impression on her.
That should be it, but before he noticed it, he jumped out of his room and ran down to the garden.
Rosa, who was forced to take a nap, woke up at dawn. By then, she felt pretty refreshed.
(Ah… I collapsed. But I slept well.)
She raised her body in a stagger, looking around her bed. Then her eyes widened in surprise.
"Miss Rosa! You've woken up!"
After all, together with Lutz, who might be here because he saw her fainted, was…
...Bernard, who was silent with a sullen face, sat on a small chair beside the bed.
"Eh…!? Ah, eh…….!?"
Seeing Bernard right after waking up was hard for Rosa. But it's 'hard' in a good way.
But then, she could also cry when she realized Bernard might have seen her drooling in her sleep. It's also 'hard' in a bad way.
Rosa was so upset that she grew nervous, retreating onto her bed. Seeing that, Bernard looked away and stood up. He probably misunderstood.
"... I'll take my leave here."
(As I thought, I was drooling!!!???)
Maybe she also snored, her eyes rolled back. That only made Rosa's eyes teary. Lutz, who couldn't bear to watch this, shouted at Bernard. "Hey! Don't just leave! You have something you should say before that, right!? Just finding Miss Rosa and carrying her here doesn't mean that your sins will be erased!"
Thanks to that remark, Rosa remembered that she said, "Let's talk about the horseshoe later."
But above all...
"Bell… Bernard, did you carry me…?"
Shocked by that fact, Rosa immediately grew pale.
Originally, it's the role of the 'uke' to faint and got carried by his 'seme', yet why did it become like this?
(He could just leave me there, a woman who collapsed out of excitement like me…! I'm sure I'll make good humus…!)
Attacked by guilt, Rosa apologized with a quivering voice. Coldly, Bernard answered, "It's fine." Then he went straight to the door. Apparently, he had stopped hiding his true nature.
"It's fine!? The hell is that! In the first place, you are——"
"Wait!" Rosa raised her voice, stopping Lutz who tried to grab Bernard. She immediately jumped off the bed and grabbed Bernard's arm. She could feel his slender body slightly quivering.
"Please wait. I haven't told you what I thought about what happened this morning."
"If you want me to prepare for leaving this place, I already——"
"Bernard, do you like jewelry?"
Rosa tightened her right hand's hold on Bernard's arm, not letting him shake her off. She then quickly took off her necklace with her left hand.
"I think this one is great since you can immediately sell it. It's also easy to carry since it's small. Look, this pendant has the same color as your eyes, so you can also make up the story to make it more expensive… Other than this, you also want jewels, right? How about porcelain?"
Rose took the small porcelain box displayed in her room to Bernard, who stood still in a shock.
"This music box is made using a kiln the day I was born. The best potter at that time crafted it, so this is actually quite expensive. Oh, and this vase too."
Then she pushed the vase and pulled expensive things from all over the room.
"Paintings, tapestries, rings, bangles, silk… Oh, I shouldn't have sold off my collection of treasured swords during the previous poor corp…"
Bernard was staring at her at a loss. That innocent look on his face made him appear his age. It was so cute that Rosa chuckled.
"I'll give you everything. ...No, these are all yours from the beginning."
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