Obviously, It's My Child - Chapter 91
Lina handed out the clothes to the ballet, put Stephen’s clothes and shoes back in place, checked the furnace, and dragged the wardrobe down to the basement storage room.
Then came a song. It seemed that rehearsals for today’s performance had begun.
This warehouse was touching the stage’s underground equipment. The stage side was open from top to bottom, and the wall between the storage room and the stage was thin and had many holes, so that went on there would echo all the way here, even if the music was slightly louder.
The orchestra’s accompaniment filled Lina’s body. Her heart is about to burst with anticipation.
And soon, practice began. It started off smoothly, then the soprano solo filled the entire stage with a refreshing and sharp sound like sunlight bouncing back up after streaming down upon water droplets, echoing and permeating even the warehouse where Lina was standing.
Feeling dizzy from the throbbing thrill of joy, Lina crouched down. Her body trembled helplessly. Her lips stammered as she sang along to the song.
She could have done so if she wanted to run away, but the reason she didn’t was because she liked this place after all. She liked working behind the scenes.
Even if she had to go up and down the stairs all day, carrying things, and serving, she could hear that heartbreaking music here.
She liked the song. She wanted to sing. Intoxicated as she was in this moment, she was neither hungry nor cold, and she forgot that she was a poor orphan.
* * *
Sweat trickled down one side of her face.
Sitting in the carriage, Claire looked away. Fortunately, she was wearing a hat with a veil that covered half of her face, so her embarrassing expression was not revealed.
Two men were sitting in front of her, looking away from each other with uncomfortable faces.
Maximilian and Roger.
‘How did this happen?’
Claire originally intended for Roger to accompany her casually.
She didn’t want to, but because Roger was the most reliable in this matter, she had to ask for his help on some personal matters.
Johann Krozik was not in a position to go out in public, and Casey Morris was too weak to accompany her on such a clandestine outing.
Claire didn’t think that it’s going to be a big deal, but she wasn’t stupid enough to go out alone meeting strangers.
Besides, it would be too conspicuous to go alone to an opera house.
Some of the fans might do that, but it’s clear that most of them would already be friends with each other. If she were to go alone, she already knew that people would start talking.
Asking Gray to accompany her would be difficult in many ways. Schultz & Sherwood was a well-known law firm, and there would be a lot of people in the opera house’s attendees who would want to approach Gray.
Besides, considering the rumors and their positions, it was better not to do anything that could be misunderstood.
So, in the end, Roger was chosen.
Claire was accustomed to going on market or factory inspections with Roger, and she could count on his physical strength just in case.
With Claire’s request, which started with ‘I’m sorry,’ Roger readily nodded.
[ If you’re going, don’t just do business, watch everything from beginning to end. ]
[ Do you like watching the opera? ]
[ I’m watching it with someone else’s money, so I have to make the most out of it. ]
That was right. It was a shame to pay with one’s own money to watch it, but if someone else bought a ticket they should make the most out of it. Such an opportunity was rare, so use it to the fullest.
[ Dinner is on me. ]
She said yes. It’s just a meal, so it wouldn’t matter who’d pay.
It was nothing. Claire changed at the Weaving Guild.
She wore a simple gray dress, her hair pulled up like she did when she was working, and she wore an appropriate middle-class outfit that others wouldn’t bother to pay attention to.
The only difference was that she was wearing a hat with a veil covering his face. These days, her face had become so famous that it was now a real concern that someone might recognize her.
After applying a pomade, Roger teased her when he looked at her.
[ Well, if you have to go to the extent of covering your face like that, Baron, doesn’t it feel like you’re doing something secret? ]
[ That’s right. ]
[ That’s not it, when one has their face covered, isn’t it for a date? ]
[ A date? It is a secret meeting. ]
[ Ah, you’re not falling for it. ]
It was obvious which way he was trying to take the story, so Claire chose to just ignore it.
[ I know it’s a joke, but these days, you keep trying to cross the line. Many times, too. ]
[ I’m still standing my ground. It has always been my stance since I myself have said that I’m fine being your illicit paramour, yes? You’re the one who’s become more conscious about it. ]
Roger chuckled. It was much too close for comfort, so she came out feeling awkward for some reason, but Maximilian was standing in front of the carriage dressed as a servant.
Claire was very flustered. She did not plan to have Maximilian accompany her.
Erich asked to cover the case, and she refused to do so, as it bothered her to involve Klausener in finding evidence in this case.
[ I’m not trying to interfere with your work, Baron, and I won’t report the contents to His Grace either. All I’ll do is to protect you in case of an emergency. ]
[ You personally, Sir Maximilian? ]
[ If you have to use only one person, I’m the best. ]
That would be true. Maximilian was now the head of the security department, but he was Erich’s close guard before his predecessor had quit.
She was just meeting someone at the opera house. She didn’t think she’d need any bodyguards, but since it hadn’t been a while since the incident happened, Claire couldn’t refuse.
And Roger kept his mouth shut.
Maximilian was a naturally reticent man, but she didn’t know why even Roger, who was quite sociable, reacted like that. She thought Roger would be chummy with the knight, saying Maximilian was not a man without reputation, and he had a decent title and a name.
She’d rather mediate if the two of them got into a fight, but it wasn’t that, and Claire’s position was quite embarrassing as they were silent while showing signs of disliking each other.
In the end, the carriage arrived at the opera house without the inconvenience being resolved.
Claire sighed. Maximilian got down first and held out his hand to her.
As soon as she took his hand and got off, Roger followed and took the place next to her. And like trying to pick a fight, he said to Maximilian.
“It’s not enough just to wear servant clothes.”
“Roger, don’t get on people’s nerves for nothing.”
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