\"I humbly apologize for my remark earlier—!\"
In front of me, Lionel was bowing in a perfect angel towards William, whom sat beside me.
I was treated by the doctor summoned by Stewart. After that, we moved to the guestroom.
As per Stewart\'s suggestion, William and I sat on the three-seat sofa—that was when Lionel bowed deeply.
His bow was so low, I could see his nape. Behind him, Stewart also bowed—even deeper than his own Master.
\"I\'ve acted brazenly towards the Countess—there is no way to overlook my actions! For that, I must ask for your forgiveness!\"
The way Lionel apologized to William, the change from his previous att.i.tude was too drastic. I couldn\'t help but laugh—to which I felt guilty after. William probably thought the same. His smile was milder than usual.
\"The way you behave is as if I\'m your superior, or something…\" William remarked, while smiling gracefully.
My heart throbbed when I glance at his handsome profile. …he isn\'t smiling at you, you know. But… it had been wrapped around my waist since the time I left the room with William—
—yes, his arm.
My heartbeat quickened as my body temperature increased—however, that didn\'t mean I wanted him to let go.
As if making true to his earlier vow, William not only sat next to me, but also embraced me. He stayed by my side.
Being realistic, I doubted his actual feelings—however, when he saw me crying just a while ago, he didn\'t deny me. He even said that he would love me.
—how on earth was Lewis able to incite such feelings in William…?
That day, during the evening ball, he had sworn to me, after all—to never fall in love with me, for the sake of the engagement.
I turned towards Lewis.
At the entrance of the room, he stood silently. Lewis immediately noticed my stare, and again, smiled.
His expression confused me.
His smile was completely different from before—the complete opposite of it—as if he was in pain…
…I soon understood.
This was probably how Lewis messed with people\'s hearts. He made people believe he had shown them his \'vulnerable\' side. William might also be a victim of said ploy. Surely, William didn\'t truly care for me—he was just forced do so.
Whom he truly trusted—was none other than Lewis himself.
…what a tragedy.
Even after realizing this fact, one thing stayed the same—I couldn\'t do anything. Both William and I danced on Lewis\' palm. Even when we were obviously being tricked, none of us could do anything about it—
—after all, I had already fallen victim to it—
—to the warmth of William\'s touch; the thrill in my chest as he embraced me…
…In a way, I also played part in deceiving William.
William smiled at Lionel as he lifted his face.
\"I should be thanking you, instead. After all, you did save my fiance\'s—Amelia\'s—life. I\'m truly grateful, thank you…\"
William turned to me, his eyes gentle and warm. Even if his feelings were false, it mattered not to me.
I stared back at him—then, he smiled; a smile that touched his deep, green, eyes.
After exchanging stares for a while, he turned back to Lionel as if remembering something.
\"That\'s right, I want you to receive this—…\"
William took a check out of his chest pocket. Within it, was a large amount of money complete with William\'s signature. The amount was—yes—it was that great, someone wouldn\'t have trouble living for a year.
Lionel\'s eyes went wide after seeing the numbers on the check.
\"T-that\'s! I can\'t possibly accept it!\"
Lionel immediately shook his head. William acted confused on purpose.
\"You\'re unhappy with the amount?\"
\"No—! Not that—!\"
\"Just tell me, how much do you want, then.\"
William took out yet another check—this time, it was a blank one. Lionel\'s face crumpled up.
\"I, I really can\'t accept it!\"
Lionel rejected William\'s offer. Stewart, who stood beside him, also looked appalled.
I sighed in my heart—William is exacting his sweet revenge… If my a.s.sumption was correct, I should be stopping him… however, I was unable to speak. I glared at Lewis.
Lewis sighed and approached us.
\"William-sama, do stop fooling around for once, you\'re causing trouble for Lionel-sama.\"
\"Come on, now. Is there any reason for me to fool around? I\'m being completely serious.\"
\"Even so, what you did is still bad.\"
William frowned at Lewis\' words, before turning towards me again.
\"Amelia, do you think so too?\"
William\'s gaze was both serious and malicious…
—what, what is it that he wants to tell me?
He narrowed his eyes, and slowly opened his mouth—
\"How much will it cost to replace the window gla.s.s you broke and the carpet you dirtied with your blood, I wonder?\"
William—!! So that\'s the kind of person you are—!!
I was stunned by his words. How was I supposed to answer to that…?
From the corner of my sight, I could see Lionel\'s expression. However, William appeared as if he couldn\'t care less about Lionel.
\"By the way, Mr. Lionel, it seems that you\'ve misunderstood something.\"
\"Me? Misunderstood…?\" Lionel appeared confused.
\"This is a hush money. Lewis told me that you\'re trustworthy—however, I don\'t believe in other people easily. The word of grat.i.tude I mentioned earlier came from the bottom of my heart, since you did save her, after all. However—whatever the reason, the crime of taking away my fiancé is heavy. I\'m saying that I\'ll overlook it, under a certain condition.\"
Lionel\'s face was distorted because of William\'s cold voice.
William continued. \"You must receive this, and forget everything that is related to this incident. I needn\'t tell you the consequence if you ever dare to speak about this matter, right?\"
Looking at his cold appearance, I was equally confused.
—what is this—what is even happening right now?
I glanced at Lewis—for a moment, Lewis smiled, his index finger on his lips—
\'Be silent and keep watching.\'
***T/N: What… what happened to our Amelia? Why did she suddenly turn into this kyakyaufufu female protag? I miss the day when she\'s still plotting nonstop and included Hannah (the maid, in case you guys forget) in her ploy…
…and yeah, for those of you who complained about the slow brewing plot… I complaint about the very same thing every 1 paragraph too (bless my poor editor\'s soul)… we\'re in this together.
~a budding translator~6942