Darck Sereknight Part 5 – Her Actual Appearance
“Would you like me to refill your tea, sir?”
Shiela leisurely refills the tea container with a pot of hot water. Watching her lengthy side profile could be describe as soothing. Although, I do not specifically think of Shiela as anything other than being my fiancée but, I’m always reminded by Chloe’s severe remarks which makes me feel shameful to her.
“I apologize, Shiela, for going through all of this because of my family’s selfishness…, You do not really need to sacrifice your own life and happiness just to abide by their arrangements. There’s no merit whatsoever in marrying me. Not only do I have the blood of such a troublesome man flowing in my veins, but I’m also a mere mistress’ child; And more than anything, I’m also that Chloe’s older brother. I’m sure you have been also hurt by her plenty.”
Shiela has always made sure to match my preference. Whether her hobbies, her preference for tea, and everything else. This personality of hers, along with her thoughtfulness, manifests themselves even in our letter correspondence. I thought that we could’ve been good friends; which is exactly why I didn’t want to hurt her.
“I do not mind them, sir.”
“I do look like this after all, so did I expect Lady Chloe to treat me in that manner. I was merely told things I expected to hear so they do not bother me in the least, sir. Rather, wasn’t it Sir Darck who felt hurt by them, instead?”
Shiela drank the tea without sugar or any sort of condiment. The smile on her face remained still. She then took a single cookie out of the two pieces in her cake platter. We have been in this room for quite some time now, which made me wonder whether that would be enough for her. In comparison, I have as many as ten of them in my platter–No, this is not the time to look away from reality.
“That may have been true. I’m just way too tired of having Chloe hurt the people I cared about. I’d rather stay alone than cause those ladies sorrow. It’s just Momo who I…”
“You said ‘those’, sir. Does this mean there are others than your mother?”
Shiela interrupted me right after I mentioned Momo’s name and put her attention to other things instead. I felt my old wounds reopening. It was the bitter memories that solidified my antagonism towards Chloe.
“Y-Yeah… although she is no longer with the ducal house, when I was ten years old, Viscountess Majenta was hired as my tutor. Chloe who didn’t like the idea of that drove her away.”
“Sir Darck, were you not aware of what became of the Viscountess?”
After I talked about the person who could be said to be my first love, Shiela profoundly replied instead. What became of her? Does she know something about her too?
“….No, I figured that she returned to the House Majenta.”
“…She had been divorced right after she was fired from your house, sir. As of this moment, she is still spending her days in the Nansonia Convent.”
My blood rose to my head and I reflexively stood up. That Chloe; she event went that far!? Although being sent to the same place was her just desserts, Chloe’s severe cruelty made my blood boil.
“Why is she in that place!? Just what was the viscountess sent there for?”
“Her ladyship has tutored more prior to her commitment to the House Sereknight. It is said that she had forced obscene conducts to the youths previously under her tutelage.”
Shiela calmly replied to my sudden outburst. It felt as though time itself had stopped…, nay, it was so unexpected that it halted my thinking for a moment. What was she saying? She forcefully performed obscenities? And with juveniles? I can’t believe it. That’s impossible!
“Do not insult the Viscountess! She did nothing of sort to me at all!”
“Is that really true, sir? Does nothing of sort come to mind? Not a single skin contact? Not a kiss, nor even a hug?”
“I remember your birthday two years prior, sir. The letter you sent to me had a very strange fragrance to it so I had it investigated. We found a component of a drug that is prone to cause dependency. Although the timing is mismatched and she may no longer be responsible this time, it is said that Viscountess Magenta was also caught using perfumes laced with narcotics in order to make young individuals do her bidding.”
No way… the gentle viscountess..? That can’t be! Wait, if that’s the case, then how did Momo obtain that perfume? She gave that to me on my birthday saying that she found it in one of the stores in the capital…
“So that was the case. I cannot tell its effects for certain, but I believe it would be better to have its contents investigated to be sure. I shall report this matter to my aunt, so could sir Darck please hand the perfume over to me? I do not recommend its continued use, sir.”
As Shiela gave me a look of concern, my reflection in the mirror could only pathetically nod to her in agreement. The precious memories I held unto crumbled apart only leaving me disturbed. After giving it a second thought, much of the Viscountess’ approaches do bear a semblance of being suggestive. Although they were salvation for someone like me, who felt isolated, I may have been almost dragged to such a dangerous place unaware of the nature of her actions.
Now it’s clear to me why Chloe gave the viscountess such a disgusted look.
“Lady Chloe tried to protect you in her own way, sir.”
“A parasite like me who stole her rightful place?”
“That does not change the fact that you are her only older brother.”
Her one and only brother, huh? That’s true. By consanguinity, she may be my cousin, but we have become siblings now. She may be awkward, ill-tempered, and impatient. Not to mention, she also had quite a terrible mouth to hers. Still, does that provide reason enough to seal her as a witch? The two of us merely failed to see eye-to-eye as siblings. Would it really be fine to seal her and never ever meet her again without even giving both of us a chance to talk it out?
“Did Chloe really become a witch? I find it hard to believe that Momo would lie but… I just… don’t know what to believe in anymore.”
“I believe you are fine as is, sir. As long as you have “noticed” something, I’m sure that would eventually lead to a change.”
After saying that, Shiela took the remaining cookie out of her platter and washed them down with tea, then she stood up carrying the emptied kettle saying that she will get some hot water.
“I am the same as your sister, sir. Although my engagement with you was also brought by my parents, the desire to protect and support you was of my own volition. I merely did what I wanted to do, in my own way.”
“Why would someone as blessed as you go as far for someone like me…, is it out of sympathy?”
“No, it was out of interest, sir. I thought that I wanted to get to know you better. Although I may know your circumstances through reading information about you, only you alone know what burdens your heart. That’s why I tried to think of a way for me to understand your pain– so I chose to bear my own little wounds, just so I would understand what such pain truly feels like.”
Sheila turned her back at me as she said such vague words. For a moment, her front appearance flashed within the mirror’s reflection.
What was that just now? Shiela was the queen’s niece and is the close cousin of both his highnesses, Leddorio and Yello. I always thought that she resembled the two of them but… the lady reflected in the mirror was entirely unknown to me. She looked like a graceful princess who was as white as the snows themselves. The fiancée I had was a pitiful girl most described by others as shameful due to her outward appearance.
What did she say earlier? She bore herself her own wound just so she could understand mine?
Wait, this is House Whitey, a territory classified as a magic specialization zone and Shiela was the daughter of the lord of the house. Using magic on herself should be trivial for her even without the use of magical tools. That’s right, she can use them with ease, even something like say– a perception interference magic.
“What the hell. I was also a fool all along. I was blind to it all.”
My whole body trembled with intense self-mockery. At any rate, I knew what I had to do. When things are properly settled, I need to talk not only with Chloe but with that lady too
MV: I re-edited the previous two chapters and made some slight corrections which are slight misunderstandings due to terms I’m not familiar with. (My lack of interest in the character is also partly to blame.) At any rate, I apologize for such mistakes. Please give them a re-read if it’s to your liking.
This is the final part of Darck’s Povs.