“…I’d like to ask for a shirt, vest and tie. I can dry my pants.”
Erich looked like had a lot to say, but he let it go and asked calmly. And he told Claire confidently.
“I’m going to get dressed up again and go up, so wait. I believe we have a lot to talk about.”
“That’s what I wanted to say, so be it.”
Claire shook her head.
* * *
Erich followed the manager. Claire sighed once more and looked back at Grey.
Grey bent down to pick up the ring from the floor and put it in his pocket. Claire didn’t see what it was.
“You. Come up with me.”
“I’m not fine. So, just say that you’re coming.”
Claire swerved around. Grey’s footsteps obediently followed her.
Elliot’s cries had now become whimpers.
“Were you very surprised?”
“Hngg, huuhngg, Uncle, with his fist up…”
Elliot stammered, but he wept and the words got cut off, making it impossible to understand his ramblings.
“It’s okay. Auntie will punish both of them so they can’t fight again.”
Elliot, who had no doubt that his Auntie was the greatest person in the world, nodded his head.
And he muttered as if relieved, and then fell asleep.
Grey stared at her, then let out an inaudible sigh.
The elevator reached the top floor. The waiting butler and maids were horrified to see Grey.
Claire instructed the butler.
“Put some buttons on Grey’s clothes. Do some repairs on the broken ones.”
“I saw that there was a man’s robe in the dressing room, so wear that for a while.”
Claire said that to Grey and took Elliot to his bedroom first.
Martha, who heard the news belatedly, rushed to her, and when she saw Grey’s face, she shouted in embarrassment.
“No, Grey! What is all this about?”
“Young Master Elliot went to the bedroom.”
Grey said in a low voice.
Martha was an extremely ordinary imperial person. Even from the start, she didn’t like Claire’s choice of Grey.
She was neither a middle-class person who has been in a profession for generations and had served nobles, nor was she from a wealthy self-employed farmer.
Fifty years earlier, had she not escaped serfdom, she would have been a handmaiden at best.
Of course, she was much more delighted with Duke Klausener’s marriage proposal than with Grey.
Grey was already well aware that she would consider him out of the question, so he chose to send her to Elliot as soon as possible.
Martha, who entered the bedroom, raised her voice, and quickly shut it down. When Grey heard the sound and turned around, the butler came with a robe.
The robe was a dignified thing prepared for the guest. It must have been hanging next to Claire’s dressing robe.
He did not readily accept it. The butler smiled softly.
“Give me your jacket, Mr. Sherwood. It is better to take off the vest. I will iron it again.”
Grey bowed to the butler and took off his coat.
They had prepared water for washing, and he rolled up his sleeves and just washed his face when Claire came out of the bedroom. Grey hurriedly went to take the robe.
Claire shook her head.
“Are you okay? Why are you wearing a shirt?”
Still, he couldn’t stand in front of her in a dress shirt. Grey wiped his face and put on the robe.
“…How is Elliot?”
“He fell asleep. He seemed quite surprised,and it’s only natural since a child his age shouldn’t see a fight like that.”
Grey bowed his head.
Claire strode up to him, tiptoed, and peered into his face.
Grey stopped and took half a step back, but he couldn’t resist what Claire was doing and bent his head to show his face.
He felt the heat rise on his cheeks and tried to suppress his emotions.
Claire examined his eyes and temples, then placed his hand on the bridge of his nose.
“You’ve got some wounds. Hitting someone in the face with glasses is an attempted murder.”
“No, it’s not.”
“It’s not about the law.”
Claire sighed. Then, after gently stroking the corner of his eye once, he stepped back.
Only then did Grey let out his breath, splitting it into three slow bursts. Because he didn’t want to be found out he was nervous.
Claire said with an uncomfortable face.
“That person learned boxing and wrestling from an early age. The ruling families still keep the tradition of the Rommel nobility.”
“He’s someone like that, but he couldn’t get rid of me.”
Claire laughed a little at Grey’s blunt reply.
“I know. But you shouldn’t have done him in when he decided to hit you once. If that was the case, even that high nose would have sunk.”
“Why did you do that? You know it’s stupid.”
Claire asked again. Grey felt the area where her hand brushed against him tickle, so he put his finger on it and put it back down.
And he had a bittersweet smile.
“We missed the opportunity to get married right before that old bachelor’s eyes. Duke Klausener should understand that much.”
Grey said it inappropriately, like a joke.
Claire had never heard him joke. He was serious, especially in Claire’s presence.
So she couldn’t laugh. Even though they knew that laughing lightly together was okay.
“I haven’t said anything yet, Grey.”
“But have you decided?”
Claire hesitated. Grey said in a low, calm voice.
“You are reasonable, Claire. And I’m sure I can understand you very well.”
He might not dare to say ‘the best in the world’ instead of ‘very well’, but Grey thought to himself that this wouldn’t be too far from the truth.
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