Radis suddenly realized that this was the first time she was eating together with so many people in such a lighthearted mood.
Needless to say, she never had a chance to have a light conversation during meals at House Tilrod.
With the subjugation squad on the other hand, while it’s true that she cared very much for her comrades there, she was always so cautious around them because she couldn’t reveal her identity. That’s why she couldn’t be more open and honest with them.
“Lady Radis, eat some of this, too!”
Berry placed a plate of fruit jelly in front of her.
“Gosh, you don’t know Milady’s taste? Lady Radis likes pudding more.”
Nicky snorted and pushed a bowl of pudding in front of Radis.
Then, shaking his head, Brendon chimed in.
“You’re both wrong. Lady Radis always eats well-seasoned meat like lamb, and then she’ll have some sherbet later. Right?”
But Nicky asked in return.
“Then where’s the sherbet?”
“Hoh…! I haven’t made the sherbet yet! It melts too quickly.”
“Then you have to hurry up and make some, right?”
Brendon then tried to get up in a hurry, but Radis reached for his arm and pulled him back.
“You’re wrong, Brendon. I’ll eat the fruit jelly and pudding today.”
When Brendon blushed like a schoolgirl, everyone burst into laughter.
Laughing together with them, Radis thought that it was really strange.
Radis spent so many years with the people at House Tilrod, all sixteen years of her life—no, even the years she spent in the life she had before she died. Even so, compared to them, the people here at the marquisate felt more like a family to her.
Radis made a promise to herself.
‘I shouldn’t sneak out anymore.’
In the past, she thought that no one would care about her for as long as she didn’t bother anyone.
But Radis realized.
Right now, there were people who cared about her, too.
13. If kindness is a sin
It was nearing the end of the year. Around this time, Yves Russell called her.
Radis was with the maids, preparing gifts for the orphanage kids. But as soon as she was called, she went to meet Yves.
These days, Yves was so busy that it was difficult to even see his face.
“Is that you, Radis?”
Yves, in his usual black garb, still continued to cover half of his face with his long fringe.
But because Radis had already once seen his pretty eyes beneath those bangs, Yves’ face seemed to be visible to her.
“How’s your arm?”
“It’s gotten a lot better.”
“Even if it seems to be better now, you should keep applying medicine on it so that it won’t leave a scar. Okay?”
“I will, Your Excellency.”
“You’re being a good kid now, huh?”
Yves smiled broadly as he pinched Radis’ cheek.
Looking at him up close, she could see Yves’ eyes slightly through his smooth bangs.
As he smiled, his eyes were curved into crescent moons.
“I called you here today because of your salary.”
The word ‘salary’ was mentioned out of the blue, so Radis was startled.
“Salary? Already? How many months have I been staying here?”
Yves clicked his tongue.
“Radis, you should read a contract very carefully whenever you sign one.”
Yves opened one drawer and showed her the contract that they signed before.
“100 million rupens on a yearly basis. The date specified isn’t ’12 months’ but ‘per year’.”
“Radis, read closely.”
Yves pointed at the words ‘yearly basis’.
“Well, I guess it’s only natural that you’re confused, maybe it’s not the same as how your family pays your servants. Of course, there’s also a monthly basis, or a quarterly basis…”
Yves continued explaining a lot of things, but Radis wasn’t quite listening to him closely.
This was because she was staring very intently at Yves’ strong-looking hands and long fingers.
‘His hands, they’re big, huh. He can easily handle a huge weapon with those.’
Yves’ hands were proportionally big with how tall he was.
The shape of his fingernails as they were cut uniformly were also shapely. And pretty.
‘Meanwhile, my own nails are short. I always cut them so short.’
Because Radis constantly had to wield weapons while getting dirty on the ground while fighting, she had a habit of cutting her nails too short.
Ever since she entered the marquis’ household though, Berry had been lovingly taking care of her nails. They had grown a little long now, and her nails remained shapely as well.
One of Yves’ pretty fingers pointed at Radis.
“In any case, this all boils down to the fact that I just want to take care of you even a little more. You should know how I feel!”
Radis then came back to her senses.
“But I haven’t done anything here this year. You’re giving me some pocket money, too, right?”
“Pocket money? Radis, you don’t even need to think about that. I’ve got a lot of money. That pocket money of yours is like a small droplet from the vast Silver River that separates the northern and southern region. Anyway, you know how I don’t like repeating myself, yes? Do you want to receive it in cash or cheque? Or, if you prefer, we can open a bank account for you so you can keep it there, just tell me. I called you here to ask you about that.”
While Radis ruminated on the options that Yves presented, her eyes instantly sparkled at the mention of ‘bank account’.
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