Chapter 24 : If you are willing to do so

“Rembrandt, the son of Marquise of Strydom, has sent a message asking you to visit Lady Beatrice Strydom.”

Leopold was surprised to hear that from the butler.

Although he has known Rembrandt for a fair amount of time as a childhood friend, he has never been called upon in this way.

Rather, if anyone would call for Leopoldo, it would be Beatrice, not Rembrandt.

In fact, this was the first time Rembrandt has called him.

“…that, Beatrice isn’t feeling so well?”

The butler looked saddened by Leopold’s muttering, which was dropped after a moment of thought.

“The young lady is suffering from an incurable disease.
Something unforeseen may have happened to her.”

“Well… then I’ll have to go see her.
Pen, could you give them an answer? Tomorrow evening, after the school is over, I will visit her.”

“Understood.”

Frankly, it seemed like the worst possible time to take time off.

He had just been the victim of a robbery while the effects of the shipwreck four months ago were still fresh in his mind.

Leopold’s father, the Marquis Reinalpha, was scrambling to deal with these cases and to make up the losses and raise funds.

Leopold himself helped with some of the office work while he was studying.

He didn’t even spend much time with Natalia now, they would only eat together at lunch time.

The impact of the first two incidents was too great to be dismissed as bad luck.

The current Marquis was still holding up well, but if accidents and incidents like this keep coming, it made him wonder if this was a curse, or if something like this would happen again in the future.

It was a very demanding and busy time for Reinalpha.
However, when his childhood friend’s condition worsened, it was only natural that he should rush to the hospital.
After all, he had received an unprecedented call.

After thinking that much, Leopold suddenly thought.

Come to think of it, they haven’t talked much in the last few years.

Edgar went to study in a neighboring country, which further reduced the opportunities for the childhood friends to see each other.

Although they were in the same grade and the same school, he rarely saw Beatrice because they were in different departments.

The last time he spoke to Beatrice was when Leopold thought about telling Natalia about his feelings for her and asked her to pass the word.

After the male student in the Knight Training Department, who was close to Natalia, left the academy for family reasons… he was in too much of a hurry to ask Beatrice to become his matchmaker in front of the school building before another man approached her.

She always laughed and nodded at Leopold’s request, but only then did she unusually say she could not help.

Moreover, he was a little surprised that she did not give him the usual clinging look, but simply encouraged him, saying, “You’re going to be fine.”

Beatrice is a frail woman.

Unlike himself, who liked to be physically active, she preferred to sit quietly and read or embroider, and even then, if she pushed himself too hard, she would collapse immediately.

Always by her side was another childhood friend, Edgar.

Beatrice, who had been loved and protected by her family since she was a child, naturally received Edgar’s priceless kindness as well as family’s affection, which Leopold found strange and unbearable.

Why didn’t I notice this?

Edgar is a kind guy, but he is exceptionally sweet to Beatrice.

Even Leopold, who is a swordsman and not interested in love, can see it, but Beatrice is the only one who didn’t notice it.

So when he heard that Edgar was going to study abroad, he was extremely surprised.

I wondered why Edgar had decided to leave Beatrice.

Beatrice would probably be sad.
She will miss him very much.

Even though he knew this, he did not think he could say anything as thoughtful and comforting as Edgar did, and as a result, their communication had completely ceased.

“I understand.
Rembrandt even called me out.
She must be in a very bad state.
Let’s go and prepare something for her.”

He prepared a few things to visit Beatrice, wondering what her favorite was.
It was then the evening of the next day, when he had promised to visit her.

He found himself in the drawing room of the Marquise of Strydom, a room that had been cleared of people.
After hearing Rembrandt’s words, Leopold was shocked.

“W-well, can you repeat that to me again, Rembrandt.
It makes no sense…”

“So.”

Contrary to Leopold’s pale face, Rembrandt lifts his cup of tea with an extremely calm expression on his face.

Then, as if to announce a season’s greeting, he reiterated the words that had shocked Leopoldo.

“They’re targeting your household.”

“…” 

After asking twice, he still doesn’t know how to respond to that.

Leopold is better at moving his body than thinking.

That’s why he chose the Knight Training Department at the academy.

Even so, as the next head of the Marquise of Reinalpha, it was not that he didn’t study for it.

Although he was far inferior to the man in front of him, Rembrandt, in terms of offical skills, he was not so stupid as to be completely unaware of what he was being told.

The Marquise of Reinalpha is being targeted — being told this, two things came to his mind.

The sinking of the merchant ship that happened four months ago, and the cargo robbery that happened about eight days ago.

They are targeting us, my Reinalpha family.

But why? And who in the world would do that?

To what end?

Are you suggesting that the Marquise did something to provoke a grudge from someone?

If the last two accidents were the result of being targeted, surely there’s no way that something like that will continue to happen…

“…probably, it will still continue.”

As if reading Leopold’s thoughts, Rembrandt’s voice rang out.

“…Rembrandt, what do you mean? You… how did you know that?”

Rembrandt laughed at Leopold, who spoke with a slight tremor in his voice.

“Don’t get me wrong.
I’m just kindly sharing the results of my investigation with you at the request of an anxious Trice.”

“…Beatrice…”

Several sheets of paper were dropped in front of Leopold’s eyes.

“These were the investigative reports.
It describes the suspicious activities before and after the accident.
The circumstantial evidence is conclusive, but there is no definitive evidence.
If he was a commoner, we could have handled it, but unfortunately, he is an aristocrat.
We cannot move without regard to the law.”

“Then…”

“Until you have proof, you can only defend ourselves a little bit, but that means you’re still fvcked.”

Leopold’s complexion was getting worse and worse as he looked down at the documents shown to him.

“No way.
Our household would be in it for the worst.”

“Hey, Leopold.”

Leopold’s voice was interrupted by Rembrandt, who just spoke up.

“What are you going to do about it? Are you planning on doing something about it?”

“Eh?”

“I thought since I had nothing to do with it, I could just leave it alone, But Trice worries about that.”

Rembrandt looked at Leopold as if challenging him.

“And then? I’m going to ask you one more time.
What about you? Are you willing to take the responsibility for the fire that’s been set?”

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