Chapter 12 : Sense of Discomfort

“…Artie?”

Beatrice came back to herself with a start as she was called out in concern.

I couldn’t do it.
I just couldn’t stop thinking about it.

She forced a smile, pushing aside the anxiety that has been plaguing her for some time now.

Of course, Edgar would not be fooled by such a smile, but he was not the kind of person who would force someone to talk if they were not willing to talk.

Edgar chuckled and patted her on the head, “Don’t let it build up too much.”

Not only did Edgar send letters frequently, as he said he would before he went to study abroad, but he has returned home three times to visit Beatrice.
That’s about once every three months.

Although she was worried that she might be pushing him too hard, Edgar just laughed and said, “It’s good to have more energy for my studies.”

With one year left before graduation, Edgar went to the neighboring country of Drieste to study medicine, and it seems that he had already earned the credits necessary for graduation.

He quickly pursued a specialized course in medicine while studying abroad, and was busy with his daily life.

He is serving an apprenticeship under a renowned doctor and spends three days a week studying and researching while performing miscellaneous duties on the field.

Despite his extremely busy schedule, he comes home once every few months to see Beatrice, and she really doesn’t know how he manages it.

She felt sorry for him, but at the same time, she was happy to see Edgar whom she adored as her own brother.

Another interesting point was that Edgar, who has acquired some medical knowledge, treated her as if he were her doctor, taking her pulse and checking her nutritional status whenever he saw her.

Rembrandt.
Beatrice’s older brother, who was usually busy with his work at the Palace and was rarely seen at the residence, showed up at the residence on the day of Edgar’s visit for some reason.
He was grinning and was making a knowing face.

Rembrandt warned his father and mother not to make fun of him too much, but they were all over the place.

But such scenery made her strangely happy. 

Yes, I am happy now.

However, it doesn’t mean that she was ever unhappy with her previous self.

Because even then, she and Natalia laughed, and the three of them, including Alejandro, chatted, and had lunch together.

The world was small, and she still tended to miss school, but she never felt that it was a terrible experience.

She can no longer have the time she had back then, at least not with Natalia and Alejandro.

And as much as she remembered being happy, it was still something to be sad about.

Now Beatrice has Vivian.

And both Kaitlyn and Ashley too.

But Vivian is Vivian, Kaitlyn is Kaitlyn, and… Natalia is Natalia.

No one can replace someone else.

So, even if she felt happy, her heart still ached from time to time.

And here comes another factor that makes Beatrice uneasy.

“…Un.
Your pulse is getting unstable.
Is Artie worried about something? Or did you find something stressful?”

“…”

Edgar chuckled at her too honest reaction, which took her breath away reflexively.

“I’m not forcing you to confide in me, but if it would make Artie feel better, I’d appreciate it if you’d talk to me.”

If he tilted his head as if he was at a loss for words, Beatrice’s feelings would easily waver.

What should I do?

She wants to put her trust in Edgar’s words.

She will certainly reach her limit if she continues thinking in circles like this alone.
But…

What should I tell him?

This unspeakable anxiety that I am feeling at the moment.

There was too much strangeness to be put away as a mere coincidence.

Why him this time?

No, not like that.

Why has nothing happened to Leopold’s family this time?

She hesitated for a few moments, then opened her mouth softly.

The key parts were blurry all together.

“Well, I’ve never met him in person.
Apparently, his family has fallen into financial difficulties.”

“…umm?”

“So, you know, there are rumors that he’s going to, you know, leave the academy and get a job, and I’m a little concerned about that.”

“…you’re curious about that person?”

“That’s right… eh?”

Edgar raised his eyebrows in query, which made Beatrice wonder if she had said something wrong.

But that was quickly countered by Edgar.

“Oh Artie, it’s okay.
You didn’t say anything weird.
Well, that’s right.
Is this rumored person a female student?”

“…? No, a male student.
From the Knight Training Department.”

“…is that so.”

“Edgar-sama?”

“Well, I think that working without graduating from the academy will be a disadvantage for a long time to come.
But that’s just a rumor, right? I don’t think Artie needs to worry about that.”

“Well, that’s… you know…”

For some reason, Edgar seemed a bit unhappy, and Beatrice became concerned.

She wondered if he was tired from coming back so often.

She regretted that she just said something unnecessary,  but Edgar continued talking.

“Hey, Artie.
That person is a stranger to you, isn’t he? But you seem very concerned about it.”

“…I’m curious.
Because it could happen in any house.”

Yes.
Leopold’s house was also under a cloud from around this time.

“I don’t think Artie’s father or Rembrandt would s***w up like that, though.”

Beatrice smiled back at Edgar, who laughed at her.

Edgar was right, because nothing will happen to the Marquise of Strydom.

But the Marquise of Reinalpha is now on the verge of falling, supposedly.

But for some reason, after her rebirth, she did not even see any sign of it.

“…”

Which was a good thing.
If nothing happens to Leopold’s house, it’s for the best.
And yet.

This time, why him.

Maybe I just don’t know it and it has happened before?

“…”

Looking at Beatrice, who remained downcast, Edgar was about to say something, but kept his mouth shut.

Instead, he gently held Beatrice’s hand.

While Beatrice felt deeply sorry for making Edgar’s thoughtfulness so impertinent after he had come all this way, she still thought that she could not talk further just yet.

Still, the doubts that once welled up made Beatrice uneasy to no end.

Because of him.

The son of the Viscount in the Knight Training Department who had invited Natalia to come and watch the mock battle behind the infirmary that day.

After that, Nicholas Trad confessed to Natalia, and although they were not officially dating yet, they often met after school.

She can’t believe that the business that Nicholas’ family was involved in has failed, and as a result, they are now in big debt.

Not Leopold’s house.

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