Chapter 27.
Madame’s lover?

“… My lord, your hand has stopped.”

Pavel, who was working alongside Altair, cautiously pointed out his laziness.
Even though it was not a very important document, he hadn’t made any progress on the same paper for several minutes already.


Seeing as he only belatedly realised the situation after being pointed out, he must have really zoned out.
Altair Aylesford was in a daze.
Pavel never thought he would see Altair like this in his lifetime.
The aide smiled helplessly as he took the papers Altair was holding and sorted them into the reviewed pile of papers.

“You are quite strange today.”

“What do you mean strange?”

He grumbled, but seeing how he awkwardly touched his nape, it seemed that Altair himself was aware of his state.

I think can guess why he is this…

Pavel narrowed his eyes.
He was reminded of the weird atmosphere between Nadia and Altair the whole time they met with the tailor to get their clothes made.

“What happened between you and the madame?”


“I’m sure there was something off.”

“Didn’t I just say there wasn’t?”

“You denied it doesn’t mean there truly was nothing.
Your ears are all red.”

As Pavel shrugged and adjusted his glasses, Altair hurriedly touched his ear with his hand.
Altair, feeling embarrassed at the heat he felt from his ears, cleared his throat and reached for the next document.

“Nevermind that.
Whatever happened to my wife and I does not concern you.”

“The stability of Aylesford depends on the relationship between the madame and the lord.
As a butler, of course I should be concerned.
Did the nutritious food the chef prepared yesterday work?”

“No need to mind the food or anything-…what?”

Altair, who reflexively cut off Pavel’s words, raised his head with a frown.
As soon as their eyes met, Pavel gave a leisurely grin, and Altair’s face distorted even more.

“How did you know that?”

“Well, I am the butler after all.
I know everything about the castle.”

“…Who else was involved in the scheme?”

“What scheme? It was just for the future of Aylesford.
It is the natural duty of those who work in the castle.”

Altair touched his head with a groan.
It was natural for a couple to spend the night, and since it would be known that the couple had a good relationship, nothing bad would come about.
But somehow it felt like a memorable scene to Altair, so he was embarrassed.
Flustered, Altair tried to shake off his feelings and changed the topic.

“Enough with the chitchat, has Blan returned?”

He had entrusted Blan with the investigation on the piece of information of ‘Cassandra’s Smile’ ring that he had obtained from the last encounter with Marie.
It should be about time to bring the results.

“Ah, Blan is…”

As Pavel was about to answer, there was a knock on the door outside.

“My, lord, it’s Blan.”

Just in time they were talking about him, Altair and Pavel exchanged glances and the corners of their mouths simultaneously went up, as they both must be thinking ‘speak of the devil’.

“Come in.”

With Altair’s permission, Blan stepped inside.
As he bowed lightly to show his respect, Altair waved his hand dismissively, impatient.

“No need for the greetings.
What are the investigation results? Did you find anything?”

First of all, I found the owner of the ring you mentioned.”

“Who is it?”

“It’s Count Basmonti.
He is a western aristocrat who owns fertile farmland, and it is said that he acquired the ring through an auction several years ago.
He seems to have won the bid over a pretty big price, as the ring is made of a precious pink diamond.”

“What was its history before it was present at the auction?”

“It was a famous auctioneer in the capital who put the ring up for auction, and he said he bought the item from a young artist in the capital.
The person was Dillion, not a very famous painter, and he mainly painted portraits of noble families.”

“How could such a man own a precious pink diamond ring?”

“That’s why I went to the painter.”

Blan proudly puffed up his chest and continued the story.

“At first, he kept his mouth shut about the route of the acquisition.
But I gave him a little intimidation and he quickly revealed the truth.
He said he got it from the niece of Marquis Vine.”

“The niece of the Marquis Vine, that’s…”

“Yes, it’s our madame.”

“Why did she give him the ring?”

“About that, he stayed silent until the end.
He said that if he didn’t, his source of livelihood would be cut off.
In that case, he would suffer and eventually die, but keeping the secret would also kill him (perhaps Blan was threatening his life).
He said they’re the same and would rather give up his own life…so I couldn’t dig any deeper.”

“Is that so.”

Just thinking about it, silence fell at how strange the situation was.

“Why did our mistress give such a precious ring to a young artist…”

Pavel couldn’t help but speak up and bit his lip tightly.

Was that Dillion person the madame’s lover? Could it be that they were close enough for her to give away such an expensive ring, but couldn’t be together because of the difference in status?

He tried to find a positive answer, but no matter how much he wracked his brain, he could only come to negative conclusions.

“…I want you to buy that ring first.”

After a long silence, Altair ordered Blan with an expressionless face.

“The ring?”

If he doesn’t charge an exorbitant price, made the purchase quietly and obtain it.”

“What if he charges an unreasonable price?”

“It would be fine to scare him a little.”

“Ah, then that would be my specialty.”

To change the subdued atmosphere, Blan answered playfully with a lively smile.
However, despite his efforts, Altair’s solemn expression did not go away.
The relationship between the madame and the lord had finally improved, yet, such trouble appeared out of nowhere.
The two brothers Blan and Pavel carefully exchanged glances and sighed.


After a few days, new clothes arrived one after another in the dressing room.
The clothes that had been checked for size in the fitting stage not too long ago were finally completed and delivered to Aylesford Castle.

“Wow! How pretty, madame!”

Anna clapped her hands in excitement as the beautiful clothes together with matching hats and gloves came in, but Marie let out a sigh of displeasure.

“The outfits are somewhat ready.
However, there still lack a lot of accessories to wear with them.”

“It’s too expensive to have accessories all at once.
We can get them slowly.”

Because of the high price, even nobles who enjoyed shopping did not often buy accessories.
Instead, there were many cases in which jewelry handed down from ancestors was used repeatedly, only by changing the setting according to the fashion trend.
For that same reason, venerable families had their own jewelry or accessories that symbolised them.

My mother also gave me a ring.

The ring, also known as Cassandra’s Smile, embedded with a pink diamond, was passed down from generation to generation in her mother’s family.
She was told that it was originally used as a necklace, then was turned into a ring by her maternal grandmother.

Though It’s no longer in my hands…

It was an unavoidable situation, so her mother would have understood.
As she was looking at her hands, feeling empty, Marie, who knew her situation better than anyone else, noticed how she felt and lightly pushed her back into the dressing room.

“You have new clothes now, so try them on.
It will change your mood.”

“But I don’t have any special schedule today…”

These days, Altair was directing a full-scale mine development, and she had also been spending a hectic time on the castle’s repairs.
She was going to look around Aylesford Castle today to check on the progress, so she was worried that the new clothes would get dirty quickly while looking at the place under construction.
Nevertheless, Marie did not back down easily.

“We can arrange a schedule.
How about asking the lord to go for a walk?”

“I’ll ask him right now!”

When Marie threw a hinted glace at Anna, Anna was quick to notice and left the room with a wide smile.
She moved so fast that Nadia couldn’t stop her.
Bewildered, she looked dazedly in the direction Anna had disappeared while Marie took out a new dress.

“Well then, I suppose you have a special schedule now?”

“The lord is busy, he may refuse.”

“Oh my, that can’t be.
If he was that kind of person, he wouldn’t bother the madame every night…”

“I-I-I get it! Let’s go get dressed! Wow, it’s so pretty!”

As Marie was about to mention something embarrassing, Nadia hurriedly cut her off, abashed.
Marie then nodded with a smile as though the reaction was expected, and diligently moved her hand.
The sound of the door opening was heard as one layer of clothing was removed.
When she turned her head to see if Anna had already returned, Nadia unexpectedly saw Altair.

“Have you met Anna?”


Judging by the tilt of his head, it seemed that they did not cross paths.

“I sent Anna because I wanted to go for a walk with you.”

“You did? But I think going for a walk would be a bit difficult in that outfit.”

When Altair pointed out that Nadia was only wearing the slip and tilted his head, her face blushed as she belatedly came to realise it.
Feeling restless because she has nothing to cover, she hurriedly wrapped her body with her arms, and Altair smirked at the sight.

“Are you ashamed of wearing a slip even when I’ve already seen you stripped off of it?”

“That-, that’s different.”

“I don’t know what the difference is.”

“That-, that was inevitable during the process, and this isn’t it…”

“So you’re saying that if we sleep together now, it will be ‘during the process’ and you won’t be ashamed of what you’re wearing?”

“Your logic is strange.”

“Why? You said it was okay to do it during the process since it’s inevitable.”


Not knowing what to say, her eyes flitted around in fluster and Altair walked right to in front of her.
Marie, quick-witted, stepped down, closed the door, and disappeared in seconds.
Having lost her ally, Nadia was even more abashed and her face reddened.

“By the way, what brings you here? You’ve been busy lately, so much that you could barely make time during the day.”

“…I have something to say.”

“Is it urgent?”

“Not really, but… It just doesn’t suit my temper to keep the questions to myself.
I might get an answer if I dig into it, but before that, I want to hear it from the mouth of the person concerned.”

As she listened to his following words, she became curious.

“Is it about me?”


“I don’t know what’s going on, but please feel free to ask.”

“You know a painter named Dillion, right?”

At the unexpected name, Nadia gasped in surprise and turned to look at Altair.
He was gazing back at her with calm eyes, but somehow a cool chill was exuding from him.

“And of course, you must know this ring too.”

A familiar ring came out of the inside of Altair’s coat.
It was Cassandra’s Smile.

“How does Altair have this?”

“I bought it through a fair process.
Going back in history, I found out that there was a painter named Dillion, and that you were the one who gave him this ring.”

“… He said he would keep a secret.”

Dillion did not keep his promise.
When she bit her lip, upset, Altair slightly leaned forward,  holding the ring in his hand.
His face, which had gotten closer, had become stiffened and serious.

“I heard it was a precious item passed down from generation to generation in your mother’s family, so why did you give it to him?”


It didn’t come off easily.
Where should she start? Altair frowned slightly as she hesitated.

“Could it be that… he was really your lover?”


点击屏幕以使用高级工具 提示:您可以使用左右键盘键在章节之间浏览。

You'll Also Like