The Battle At The Door
Because the royal family had reserved the entire lodge, Leddorio breezes through the stairs without bumping into anyone. His destination was the room where Momo was sleeping. At its door was Shin, who, just as Sei said before, was guarding the door. The prince glared daggers at him, threatening the young man.
‘Shin, move aside.’
‘With all due respect, highness. None of the ladies in this room are your fiancée.’
That was true. Leddorio had already previously annulled his engagement with Chloe. While he was to welcome Momo as a bride upon having her adopted by House Sereknight, Darck’s impulsive actions had put a dampen to that plan. All of this resulted in him bereaved of the crown prince’s seat, but he now knew that Momo never had any plans to marry him in the first place. The lady was just playing the uncertain maiden in order to arrive at her desired route.
However, the man in front of him was in a similar circumstances.
‘Do you have any right to put on airs as like your Chloe’s knight? Even though you betrayed her?’
Leddorio wanted to mock himself at his scum’s reasoning. The one who ordered Shin to do so was him. Whether the young butler has the inclination to do that or not, he couldn’t have been able to go against the order of the crown prince himself. Neither could he refute the prince’s blame of him for switching sides.
Although Leddorio was considerably irritated at Locke, he didn’t feel as opposed to the idea of Shin having touched Chloe at that time. He even ordered him to lay his hands on his mistress. Even if he did proceed with the order, the young prince likely wouldn’t have thought worse of him afterward.
It was likely because the previous Chloe referred to Shin as her pet— like a vain aristocrat who toys around with her servant as though they were slaves. However, Leddorio who looked at Chloe with such disdain, likewise, saw Shin as nothing but a tool.
(And this man has seen through that. He did pull out of the plan because of Momo but as far as he is concerned, all aristocrats are his enemies.)
But seeing Shin touch Chloe’s body during the decisive battle had left the prince hugely perturbed. That was because he felt as though the master-and-servant were so close that they could nonchalantly touch each other, despite the lady’s unconsciousness.
Leddorio could no longer feel the same hatred radiating from Shin as he did before. Although he did reunite with his lifelong separated comrades, he felt that what reconciled the butler’s yield was something more previous than that. Prince Leddorio asked once more attempting to pick the butler’s previous bitter feelings.
‘What happened to your revenge?’
‘I had been persuaded by milady; she said that doing so would’ve saddened Miss Momo. Her ladyship truly intends to shoulder the burden of her sins. Regardless of whether she was no longer the same person she was before or not… she was just terribly soft-hearted.’
‘And you’re telling me, you were moved by that?’
‘The Chloe Sereknight who tormented me is no more.. hence there is no reason to seek revenge any longer. My current wish is just to support her lady ship who wishes to shoulder different person’s sins.’
Shin was now completely enamored by his mistress but the question lies in whether the duke would allow him to continue his servitude—Nay, the current Chloe would likely cover up for him, thought Leddorio. However, referring to the previous Chloe as a “different person” still surprised him. It is true that the former ducal lady’s personality took a sudden turn after being condemned. While Leddorio doesn’t know anything about previous life’s memories and whatnot, a person changing to this degree after being filled with new memories may indeed be apt to be treated as a different personality.
In Momo’s case, the personality that had her previous life’s memories had won and completely took over her body, pushing the previous one to her innermost core, or so it seems. If the same thing applies to Chloe then—
‘I came here to inquire about Chloe before banishment— or “Villainess” as Momo called her. I wish to ask the person herself whether that personality has truly disappeared or not.’
‘If she hadn’t borrowed the power of Saintess, the first, she wouldn’t have been able to tear Momo’s previous life’s memories away. If her previous personality will never resurface again, there’s no meaning to asking for her atonement anymore.’
The prince’s words had made Shin look down with meek expression on his face. Leddorio didn’t have any intentions of having someone atone for the sins of “another person.” However, finding a proof for that would be an absurd thing to do and frankly speaking, Leddorio didn’t truly care about that either. He was just searching for a reason to be able to forgive Chloe.
‘That’s how it is, I wish to hear it directly from Chloe herself. Will you move now?’
‘Does it have to be now, sir?’
Leddorio’s reasoning might have satisfied Shin, but he still chooses to put his loyalty to his mistress as a priority. The prince could only wonder what could’ve happened if Chloe recalled her memories much earlier and repaired her relationship with her servant, but worrying about such things at this point in time would not lead to anything fruitful.
As he suppresses his growing irritation, he realized that the stalemate would not progress by smoothing things over and gave up on trying to do so.
‘With Momo still asleep, the two of them are as good as alone. What are you trying to pull with being complicit by keeping others out?’
‘Nothing will happen, sir. I can make certain of what’s happening inside— with this’
Having realized that the prince’s true intention was to impede the two’s flirting, Shin handed something to the prince with a look of disdain; A magical brooch was left in Leddorio’s palm.
It was the same brooch he used to keep tabs on Chloe’s circumstances after she was banished. Leddorio handed his brooch to Momo which ultimately got thrown away and crushed by the debris. The other one was given to Chloe by Keith. The one handed to him by Shin was the brooch the butler had been wearing all this time.
‘The other brooch was currently in milady’s hands. She wouldn’t do anything that would cause unnecessary doubts, sir. I will be recording their conversation so if his highness is so curious about it he could just listen to it after—’
Before Shin even finished talking, Leddorio switched the brooch on and put it near his ears. From the other side, he could hear Locke and Chloe’s conversations.