When asked by Ravia, Leticia tilted her head.
"*Sweetly? Do you mean, literally?"
(T/N: *Correction- last chapter it was ‘kindly’ but ‘sweetly’ is more fitting here because they were talking about affection rather than just friendliness)
"My brother likes your aria very much."
"Oh, really? I didn’t hear that directly from him, but it’s truly an honor for me," Leticia said, heat rushing up her cheeks.
She only gave a moderate answer, and there seemed to be hesitation in her face.
She wondered, ‘Was he kind to me?’ and she wasn’t sure how to answer Ravia’s question.
Usually, innocence is also linked to stupidity, but Leticia’s innocence was different from stupidity. It was a kind of mask that she put on to survive.
Others won’t raise their guard against innocent people. Innocent people could easily be ignored by anyone. There are things that can be seen only by people who claim to be weak.
For example, a subtle change in the other person’s attitude.
At her first meeting with Tidwell, Leticia thought, ‘He’s only sincere to Miss Ravia.’
He was only sweet when Ravia was around, but when Ravia left, his aura reverted to coolness.
Kindness and sweetness are similar, but it was different at the same time.
Tidwell was always kind, but he was never sweet to Leticia. There were certain times when the ice disappeared.
It was when they were talking about Ravia.
It was like that when Leticia went to the Leontine residence. Tidwell looked tired of responding to her, but his attitude changed when the topic about Ravia came up.
-"If it’s really urgent, I can deliver your message to my sister."
-"W-Will that be okay? I’m afraid of being impolite…"
-"It’s not very polite to step into the residence without a prior appointment, however, you will be excused since I can attest that you were in an urgent need."
Leticia was aware that a knife slipped between his words.
At that time, she was sure.
Tidwell had a kind attitude, but his personality wasn’t good.
But he was only sincere to Ravia. That already meant a lot.
So she answered like this.
-"Thank you, Little Duke is so kind!"
-"Do I look like that?"
If he could be sweet for one person, then he was a sweet person.
Tidwell may not have a good personality, but he could be a good person as long as Ravia was present.
Leticia believed in that possibility.
‘And if he can be so sincere toward Miss Ravia, he won’t be harmful to me.’
No matter what society said, Leticia believed in her eyes.
So if Ravia asked her if Tidwell was sweet, she answered.
"He was very sweet," Leticia nodded and continued.
"He saw me in a difficult situation and said he’d help me."
"Yes! He saw me off on my way back, too! He’s a good person."
"Yeah, he’s a good child. So he was sweet to you. I’m glad to hear it."
But why did Ravia, who smiled as she spoke, look so lonely?
[…So, Miss Ravia headed back after we conversed for a little while. She said her punishment has not been completely lifted yet, and it was difficult to stay long. She was able to go out because Duke Leontine was away from home recently, but that day Duke Leontine was scheduled to return. So it was really a pity.]
Tidwell put down the letter after making a light conclusion.
Leticia’s straight handwriting filled the paper tightly.
She was only talking about her meeting with Ravia a few days ago, so what else could she say?
Her writing was only filled with her boasting about meeting Ravia rather than liking Tidwell. The problem was that Tidwell couldn’t miss any of the words in her fully-packed letter.
‘It’d be better if you wrote complete nonsense.’
If she did, he could just skim over it. But all she wrote was about Ravia.
Saying this made him feel like a boy in puberty who couldn’t hide his naiveté. Tidwell rubbed his eyelid and picked up the paper again.
He already read the letter twice, but he perused it slowly. He was afraid that he’d miss some important information, but in reality, the things he kept reading were trivial.
Ravia likes Crème Brûlée.
She learned to use scissors with her left hand when she was young, but after that, she couldn’t use her right hand at all, so she stopped studying horticulture.
And that Ravia’s punishment would be completely lifted because Duke Leontine will leave soon.
Among all that, it was the conversation about the play that caught his attention.
[When we were talking, there was a Hamlet play on the stage below. I didn’t know that it would be difficult to hear from the box seat! I couldn’t even hear what the actors were saying at that time. Well, the background music was a little loud, too.]
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Leticia seemed to have thought that the reason box seats are expensive was simply because they were only occupied by high-ranking people. Or she didn’t actually believe that the box seat was soundproof. So she came to the conclusion that the cymbals players were overly excited.
But the next part caught his eyes.
[I often perform Hamlet, too. The chief said the ticketing sales will go up if I take the role of Ophelia. When I told her that, Miss Ravia recited Ophelia’s lines. I think it’d be more fitting to say that she sang.]
Ophelia was Hamlet’s lover and was like a harbinger of the tragedy that befell him.
When Hamlet pretended to be crazy and even killed her father in the play, she eventually lost her mind and sang in madness.
[The butler who stole the owner’s daughter is a bad person]
Out of all the lines, was there a reason she needed to sing that line?
Tidwell, who arrived to kill Duke Leontine and devour the family, and Hamlet, who killed Ophelia’s father.
Ravia, who was trying to escape herself, and Ophelia, who drowned while singing in madness.
After all these comparisons, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration that the lines Ravia recited -The butler who stole the owner’s daughter is a bad person- seemed pointed at him.
And maybe this, too, reflected Ravia’s psychology.
‘I’m not sure if my guess is right, but..’
He couldn’t possibly find out about that considering the current state. Maybe it’d be fine if he wore the Herod mask.
Tidwell’s fingertips touched the last part of Leticia’s letter.
Leticia had written the date of her last Aida performance and mentioned that Ravia was supposed to come that day.
"Leticia’s Aida performance is three days after Marquis Callister’s banquet."
Of course, theater performances are conducted in teams.
Every session, the characters who acted and the stage to perform were also arranged.
There are currently three stages on which Leticia had to play: Aida, La Traviata, and Luisa Miller.
Among them, Aida had a small number of people because there weren’t many people in the team to begin with.
Perhaps because of that vacancy, Ravia had set Leticia’s next Aida performance as an appointment date.
As a result, there was a two-week gap until the next appointment. Tidwell also had some business to deal with in the meantime, so he was rather glad that there was quite a bit of time left until the next appointment date.
I should’ve been able to take my time, but…
Why am I feeling uneasy?
Is it caused by Ravia’s unknown intentions? Or is it an anxiety that I feel when things go well?
As the feeling of unpredictable misfortune overwhelmed him, Tidwell inadvertently lowered his gaze. And the source of his uneasiness suddenly came into view.
The tilt of the drawer that was only seen from a high angle, had disappeared. It was not difficult to guess the cause for the change.
It was Ravia.
She gained a lot by feeding him a sleeping pill.
He laughed in vain. It was the kind of expression that may look deranged.
Ravia took the earring. There was no other possibility.
Ravia would definitely find out what these earrings he hid meant.
It was also expected that she would find out that he had deceived her.
If she does, the result would be obvious.
The end of this petty brother-sister act. It would be as tragic as the end of Hamlet.
And whether he should be laughing or crying about that fact…..
While sneering at himself, Tidwell heard a sound coming down the stairs. Tidwell opened the door and went out.
Ravia, dressed lightly and wearing loose slippers, came down the stairs and looked at Tidwell, pretending not to know.
"It’s late, but aren’t you sleeping yet?"
"…What about you, Sister?"
"My father returned, and we talked for a while."
What are you up to right now?
The inner voice that asked was calm, but his anger surged.
No, is that really anger?
However, Tidwell had not received much education in his life, so he couldn’t find any other words to explain.
How should I explain this leaping heart and pulse other than anger?
This desire to swallow her quiet eyes and calm voice full of deceit. The evil desire to break her wrist and lock her in his arms.
‘…Since when has it become this hard to put up with her?’
He could feel his emotion roiling beneath his well-drawn smile. It was so nauseating.
The end of the family game pushed Tidwell to his limit.
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He always knew that he had to face his limit someday, but the limit that he had deliberately avoided was already at his feet.
So he asked,
"Would you like to go to my room?"
Like the bad butler who tried to steal the Lord’s daughter.