"Of course, of course. You can drink. I know. The Commander of the Order of the Sun can have one… no, half a glass?"
I sighed as well, a haphazard pasted smile on my face. I didn’t mean to do that, but I did.
"Anyway, if you just say you’re a lightweight, I understand why you think you might not be able to save face."
"What do you know about my drinking capacity?"
His tone was as sharp as ever.
It meant that I was starting to get a rise out of him.
Oh hey, this is fun. Why are you getting so serious all of a sudden? I’m just teasing you a bit because you don’t wanna drink?
Suddenly, I giggled boisterously. I probably sound a little crazy, but somehow, I couldn’t control my laughter.
"Why are you so angry about that? How stingy."
I buried myself deep into the cushions.
It seemed like the alcohol had sunk into my system, making everything spin one after another as I lost control over my limbs.
Ah ah, how did that saying go again?
The more you drink, the more dangerous it is, especially if you’re fooled by the sweet scent…
You won’t be able to avoid disgrace.
He suddenly swiped the glass from the table and chugged down the liquor in one swig.
The sound of his gritted teeth frightened me a bit, but the alcohol made me numb to at least that much. It’s not scary.
"You barely drank this, and what? There’s so much alcohol left."
I looked at him and shook the bottle that had more than a half of its contents left.
"There’s another bottle riiight there."
Then I pointed to the bottle that hadn’t even been opened yet.
"And if you need more, we can ask to have some brought in. Well, it can’t be that the Duke can’t drink because there’s not enough alcohol here, right?"
I reached out and tried to ring the bell.
He took the bell from my hand before I could shake it violently.
I held onto the bell like a child being deprived of her toy. But he overpowered me right away and placed it somewhere out of my reach.
"This is enough."
I was forced to give up. I thought I could take the bell again, but I didn’t have any strength left in my body. My limbs seemed like they were melting into the cushions.
"I think you’re drunk."
"No I’m not?"
Of course I know it, too. While saying this, my body was screaming, ‘You’re drunk’ as I felt my tongue twisting into knots whenever I spoke.
"Now, bottoms up."
I poured more alcohol in his empty glass excitedly.
The sound of the liquor being poured into the glass sounded oh so sweet.
I said this as I pushed the glass closer to him. He didn’t readily take the glass.
"It’s not poisoned, y’know. I drank it too."
I lifted the glass and shook it in front of his eyes.
"You won’t drink?"
Messing up his bangs as he swept his hair, he reached out and took the glass, then he drank it all.
Was it the sound of him drinking or me swallowing dryly?
I couldn’t tell. His adam’s apple moved up and down as he drank the alcohol.
With his head back, the angle of his neck showed how his neck muscles moved as the liquor passed down his throat.
And the shape of his collarbone became apparent through his loose shirt.
I couldn’t take my eyes off him all.
"What are you looking at?"
He placed the empty glass and noticed that I hadn’t averted my gaze from him yet.
Normally, I would have denied it—no, I wouldn’t have been staring at him in the first place.
Ah, now that I saw it, I should have watched carefully. Wait, what am I saying right now.
But this train of thought rushed forward with no signs of stopping.
"Do that again."
And this was what came out of my lips.
He looked at me with perplexed eyes.
I stared back with my hands clasped together. His expression hardened as though he was flustered for a moment, then he looked at me like I was a strange creature that came from who knows where.
At the sound of his cold words, I unclasped my hands, then I reached out for my glass again.
"…If you don’t wanna, then fine."
Eyy, how cheap, how petty. I would drink it if I were you.
"What nonsense are you saying now?"
He frowned. Maybe he heard me grumbling.
"No. It’s nothing."
I waved my hand and poured alcohol into the glass I was holding.
"If you don’t wanna, then I’ll drink."
He took away even my own glass and drank all the alcohol that was left.
That’s my drink! Mine!
"Who said you could drink that? That’s mine!"
I shouted indignantly.
"It’s so so precious, I was going to save it and drink it later."
I took the drink from his hand again and hurriedly turned it upside down, but not a drop of alcohol was left.
"What… is this…"
When I muttered in disappointment, he sighed deeply in return.
"You’re already drunk."
At those words, I felt a surge of determination that wasn’t there before.
I didn’t drink enough! I’m not drunk at all!
I pulled out the cork from the other bottle.
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Music to my ears.
I didn’t care about anything and filled the glass with alcohol again.
Huh? Wait wait.
I definitely thought it wasn’t full yet. Alcohol dripped out of the glass.
For some reason, I couldn’t stop myself from pouring more alcohol in.
Eventually, the bottle was poured out until the bottle was emptied.
I looked at the floor, devastated.
Why didn’t you stop me! You could have stopped me earlier!
I looked at him with a resentful rather than apologetic expression, but Amoide looked back with a calm face.
"It’s all gone. Satisfied now?"
He asked this, but I replied in tears.
"…Such a waste."
Seeing the liquor spilled on the floor, I really thought it was a pity.
"Do you know how hard it is to make this?"
The whole process of growing, fermenting, bottling the herbs all throughout a meticulous process.
You don’t know the pain of manual labor because all you do is sit down and drink comfortably.
He repeated quietly.
"You don’t have anything to drink anymore. Stop it now and stand up."
Obviously, he drank more than I did, but I couldn’t even hear the slightest slur in his speech.
For some reason, this just made me angrier.
"You did it on purpose!"
"You’re the one who spilled the alcohol. Look at it."
He pointed to the soaked floor.
"You’re the one who did this. Why are you blaming me?"
"You could’ve stopped me!"
It’s definitely his fault that he let me pour everything out. It’s not my fault, it’s his.
"I’m drunk, too."
He replied in a hard tone, but no! Not even a little! His voice didn’t sound even a little drunk!
"I’m not lying."
For some time, we had a fierce staring contest as we looked into each other’s eyes.
It kinda sounded like there’s something that cracked somewhere, but I didn’t feel scared at all.
"Narrow-minded, petty, spiteful man."
"…Keep going, why don’t you."
"I’m telling the truth, so what, huh? Huh?"
"You really don’t know yourself well. You’re narrow-minded, stingy, and you have a terrible personality."
"I never claimed that I had a caring personality."
"Wanna make a bet?"
He looked at me with a smile on his lips. Again—it’s that face again.
Those unfeeling eyes as he looked at me like I was talking about the stars, as if he’s waiting for what kind of nonsense I’ll be saying this time.
"What kind of bet?"
I trailed off after I finally ran out of words.
Bet. A bet. What kind of bet should I have with him?
"Grant a wish."
I clamored for a wish. The words that I spat out had none of the reckless energy fueled by alcohol I had earlier anymore, but even though I knew this and the callousness had disappeared, I couldn’t stop.
"The person falls¹ first will have to grant a wish."
He furrowed his eyebrows as though he was seriously thinking about it.
"What wish are you going to ask for?"
At his question, I crossed my arms and mulled it over. Wish. Wish. Wish.
"I’ll say it if I win."
I swished the glass in my hand in a circle.
"Stop shaking your head."
"When did I do that?"
Oh? Come to think of it, I’m kinda dizzy.
It’s not that I was spinning the glass, but it was my head that’s spinning?
"Anyway, if I win—"
I adjusted my posture as I said this.
"If you do? Tell me how much it will be."
He leaned back slowly, crossing his legs.
"How much? Why do you only look at people like they want money?"
I said this with a straight face.
"Of course, money is the best! Huh? If I have money…!"
"…You can do anything."
I shouted in a ferocious tone.
At that moment, he looked at me so leisurely that it was almost cheeky.
It’s that easy for you, huh.
I can’t believe he could say that. He wasn’t kidding, nor was he bluffing.
How could he say that as if he could give me anything I wanted? For me, that was what I was so desperate for.
"Why are you quiet now?"
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He stared at me as I grew quiet, his tone curious.
With my head down, I spoke.
¹ fall, meaning collapse from drinking too much, but the original text was also vague, so you never know ????