TWEM Vol. 4 Chapter 10 Part 2
“…Noir. There is something you should know.”
“What is it?”
Noir looked me in the eye.
“The elf princess whom you attacked is in this house. Her name is Ephyr. I bought her at the slave trader’s shop a while ago.”
Noir’s eyes widened in surprise as I continued.
“Would you like to meet her?”
I wonder how she will respond.
If she doesn’t want to meet her, it would be better not to force her to.
All I have to do is make sure that I don’t mention anything about Noir to Ephyr and avoid them running into each other.
That’s what I was thinking, but Noir’s answer was not so.
“…Oh, oh I see. Then, please let me meet her.”
Noir said, looking me straight in the eye.
“—I want to apologize.”
“Oh, okay. But I also need to hear how Ephyr feels, so you can go take a bath in the meantime…Sebas, please see to it.”
Sebas opened the door with impeccable timing and I left the rest to him.
“Yes sir. I will call you when she’s done.”
“Noir. I need you to go with Sebas.”
Seeing Noir nod, Sebas turned on his heel.
“So, your name is Noir. This way please. Lyla, I need two maids who are available immediately.”
He then gave instructions to Lyla, who was behind the door, and then took Noir with him to the bathroom.
“—Okay then, time to go see Ephyr.”
I heard a voice and turned toward the entrance, where I found Finne standing there with a worried look on her face.
“What’s wrong, Finne?”
“Umm, will Ephyr…will she be all right?”
Well, I guess she was worried about Ephyr.
“I’m sure she’ll be fine. She may appear like that, but Ephyr is quite strong, just so you know.”
“I really hope so…”
Finne still seems concerned, but we will never know unless we actually talk to her.
I took Finne with me and headed for Ephyr’s room.
Ephyr should be in her room at this hour.
“It’s me. May I come in?”
“Haruto? Please come in.”
Prompted by Ephyr’s voice from inside, I opened the door.
“I see you’ve returned, what’s going on?”
“I know this is sudden, but I wanted to ask you something.”
“What is it?”
I explained to Ephyr about Noir.
Then, Ephyr nodded with a mysterious look on her face.
“So as for what I wanted to ask…are you willing to meet Noir? Since she’s my slave, you’ll probably run into one another. But If you don’t want to, I can make arrangements so that you don’t run into each other.”
When I said this, Ephyr shook her head.
“I mean. I don’t even remember what anyone did to me after I passed out, and I believe this Noir person was just following the king’s orders.”
“Yes. Besides, for Haruto to bring this person along, it means she’s not really a bad person, isn’t that right?”
“Of course…speaking of which, for a long time now I’ve been putting off freeing Ephyr from slavery, but today seems like a good time as any so, what do you say?”
At these words, Ephyr’s body jumped and she looked up at me with a troubled expression.
Uh-ho? That wasn’t the reaction I was expecting…
“Umm, what will become of me if I become emancipated?”
Oh, does she perhaps think that she’s going to be kicked out.
“Well you just go on about your business as usual, right? I mean, even as a slave, I didn’t particularly restrict your actions.”
Ephyr tilted her head. I guess she is thinking about what to do.
Then, after a while, she looked at me seriously.
“Well, then, I’d like to have the slave crest removed…instead, may I make a request?”
“Hmm? What is it?”
Ephyr’s cheeks turned slightly red.
“I, uh, I like you, Haruto. And, I hope we can stay together forever…so, please make me your fiancée!”
As soon as she said that, Ephyr went all, “Ugh……I said it”, and her face turned bright red.
I was somewhat aware of Ephyr’s feelings, but…I didn’t expect her to say that at this point in time.
“…I see. Thanks. In that case, please take care of me from now on, Ephyr.”
I nodded, and Ephyr let out a big smile.
Then, after a long wait while talking with Ephyr, Sebas knocked on the door.
“Master Haruto, sorry for keeping you waiting. I have brought Noir as requested.”
“Thank you, come on in.”
The door opened and Sebas and Noir came inside.
Noir looked different from when I met her at the slaver trader’s.
Her black hair, which had been shaggy, was now trimmed and shiny, and her skin was now translucent white. She had become very beautiful.
“You look different.”
“Thank you for everything you’ve done for me.”
Noir then quickly bowed deeply expressing her gratitude.
“Come on now. The purpose of your visit this time isn’t me—but rather her, right?”
I put my hands on Ephyr’s back and pulled her forward.
Ephyr’s shoulders were trembling, as if she was recalling what had happened in the village, or perhaps she was nervous.
To reassure Ephyr, I pat her on the head gently to calm her down.
After her trembling subsided, Ephyr smiled and murmured, “Thank you”, and turned to Noir with a serious expression on her face.
Noir looked at Ephyr and bowed deeply.
“Indeed, you are the elf princess at that time…I am truly, truly sorry! Of course, I don’t expect to be forgiven just for apologizing. If you want my life, I will give it up gladly, with your permission of course, Master Haruto.”
Upon hearing those words, Ephyr looked at me puzzled.
“It’s an earnest apology from Noir, but you’ll have to decide what to do, Ephyr. I also won’t intervene. So, do as your heart moves you.”
She nodded deeply at my words and turned to Noir again.
“…Please raise your head. I would like to ask you something, all I remember about that day is the part where that soldier hit me…I think I would have died if the incident had run its course, but you were the one who patched me up, weren’t you?”
Noir looked up and answered.
“Yes, I was the one who patched you up.”
“Oh, I see…thank you. Thanks to you I’ve stayed alive till this day, it’s absurd to think that I would ask you to pay for that grace with your life…umm, well, Noir, did you kill any of my people…?”
“I swear I did not. My mission was to secure you, so I took very little part in the actual battle…but then again, that’s just an excuse when in fact, I was on the invading force.”
What Noir is saying must be true.
Hearing this, Ephyr breathed a sigh of relief.
“All right, thank you. I understand that when you serve your country, there are some things that are beyond your control or defy. On top of that, not only did you not lay a hand on my people, you even saved my life…how could I possibly think of punishing you after all these.”
Noir quietly stared at Ephyr. Tears welling in her eyes.
“Are you, are you really going to forgive me…?”
“What’s there to forgive, instead I would like to express my gratitude to you. I hope you look on me kindly as Haruto’s colleagues from now on.”
Ephyr smiled gently and reached her hand to Noir.
Noir took her hand and said with tears streaming down her face.
“Thank you very much. I intend to devote my whole heart and soul to Master Haruto from now on. So, I am the one who hopes you look on her kindly.”
“I’ll be counting on you. And please do treat your life more carefully as much as you can…”
“Sure, of course. However, I have no intention of showing mercy to those who target Master Haruto.”
“Uh, I think that’s fine…so, once again, I hereby welcome you to the fold.”
When Ephyr smiled at her, Noir also smiled for the first time since entering the room.
After that Noir seemed to decide to learn to work as a maid.
The reason, she said, was “I would like to be useful to Master Haruto even when I am not engaged in espionage activities”.
She has become friends with everyone in the mansion, and her smiles are beginning to appear frequently, albeit gradually.
I guess that settles the matter for now.