AIWTRO Chapter 28
Technically, she wasn’t lying. She just hid some of the truth.
However, it didn’t sate her younger brother’s curiosity.
Zeke: “Is there a festival or something? Or a masquerade?”
Keira: “Ah, hmm?”
Zeke: “That sounds fun…”
The look on his face made it obvious he wanted to go with her. She felt like she’d feel guilty all day long if she looked away.
But she couldn’t bring her brother with her to the casino…
‘No! It’s not bad to just go. It’s not bad to come and see what kind of place it is.’
She felt a little more at ease after rationalizing. No, maybe it wasn’t because of the rationalization.
Doing bad things together lessened the guilt.
Keira: “It’s not a festival. I’m just going out for a while. Do you want to come with me?”
Zeke’s face brightened.
Zeke: “Then, please give me a moment. I’ll get my coat.”
He was gone in a flash.
Keira’s feelings wandered between the guilt of leading her brother to the ‘path of corruption’ and the relief that more people shared culpability. She thought she was about to do something she shouldn’t, but she thought she’s glad Zeke will be there with her.
While Keira ruminated on her conflicting emotions, Zeke came back with his coat on.
Keira: “Everyone’s waiting. Let’s go.”
Zeke thought he was going out with his sister and walked out full of excitement. He rarely had the chance to meet with his sister because she was too busy.
He just had no idea where she was taking him.
The Grand Duke’s office was located in the center of the main building of the Parvis property, making it possible to sit on a chair by the window and see the main gate of the property.
It was only a coincidence that Ludwig, who was buried in work, suddenly looked out the window.
Ludwig: “What is everybody doing there?”
Several people were gathered in front of the gate– Keira, Zichhardt, and three knights – ready to get on the carriage.
‘The carriage doesn’t have the family crest.’
(Aide): “Your Grace? Is something the matter?”
Ludwig pointed out the window without answering.
(Aide): “Oh… Milady and Sir Arthur? And is that little boy young Master Zicchardt? The blonde one is Dame Reina… I don’t recognize the other one.”
Ludwig: “You have an unexpectedly good eyesight. Sein, did you hear anything about the knights going out today?”
Sein: “As far as I know, there’s nothing scheduled. Since it’s Friday evening, I’m guessing it’s a leisurely trip.”
Sein felt strange.
The Parvis rules are strict. It was normal for knights to go out on weekends to take a break from the rigid environment.
‘But why is milady and the young lord with them?’
He took a step closer to the window and squinted. He thought he had been mistaken, but before he could check again, they were already in the carriage.
Sein: “That’s unusual.”
Ludwig: “Yes, it is.”
Recently, the butler had informed Ludwig that the lady seemed to be in a good mood.
‘She’s definitely looking better than she used to.’
Her visits to him have also decreased. In fact, he didn’t see even a strand of her hair unless he called for her.
Ludwig was surprised to find himself feeling a little despondent. Shouldn’t he be happy since he’s wanted this to happen for a long time?
It was quite bothersome to receive so much affection that couldn’t be reciprocated, so he had always wanted his daughter to become indifferent.
But why was he feeling depressed at the change?
This was a good thing.
It was something he wanted. Therefore, there was no reason to question the cause of change or to be worried about it.
It was absurd to feel bitter.
Ludwig turned back to his desk and continued working on unfinished business.
Only the aide noticed that the Grand Duke had not moved on to the next page of his paperwork for a long time.
He thought he had misheard wrong. Surely, he had.
Pale and confused, Zeke asked again.
Zeke: “So… Where are we going again?”
Arthur: “Casino, casino. A gambling den.”
Zeke: “A casino?!”
His eyes wide open in shock, Zeke looked at his companions in the carriage – his sister pretending to look out the window and avoiding eye contact, Dame Reina, Sir Raul, and Sir Arthur.
Zeke: “Are you all out of your mind?!”
Zeke cried out.
Zeke: “Did you know this? No, I don’t think you’ve been there before. How many people know we’re going to the gambling house? None of them stopped you?”
“Woah. Master, first, calm down.”
Zeke: “Do you really think I can calm down right now?! And Sir Raul, just what are you thinking? How many days have you been coming and going to the casino? You should be more cautious because you’re a rookie!”
Sir Raul: “Heeey, give me a break. Hehe.”
Zeke: “Is this the time to laugh?!”
Having the same conservative upbringing as Keira, it was natural for Zeke to think that gambling dens were houses of sin.
Zeke: “And to bring Noonim with you! You’re out of your mind–!”
He abruptly stopped when he realized something. Why was his sister sitting there quietly even though they were going to the casino?
He turned to her and stared. Keira was desperately looking out the window, but Zeke didn’t miss the drop of sweat running down her cheek.
Zeke: “Noonim… You’re not… Are you…?”
Keira was silent.
Keira: “Uh, well…”
She fidgeted. Her only brother was looking at her with so much faith and belief in her innocence that she was left tongue-tied. In the end, she couldn’t lie.
Keira: “Zeke, you see, these days, I feel that…”
Keira: “It’s been hard to stay inside. As you know, the atmosphere at home is very strict, right? There are so many things we can’t do, and we don’t even interact with other families…”
Zeke: “Yes, and?”
Keira: “I want to see what it’s like outside our home. I want to talk to nobles my age, and do things I’ve never done before…”
Zeke: “What are you talking about?! Why are you looking for a new experience at a casino?!”
It made sense. It was ridiculous to rob just to try a new experience. Of course, it was unreasonable to compare gambling with robbing, but for Zeke, they were no different.
Keira: “I-I’m not really going to bet. I’m just going to see what casinos are like.”
Zeke: “Oh. So you’re just gonna go there and watch?”
Arthur cut in unexpectedly.
Arthur: “Then, you’re only paying the entrance fee? Well, I’m sure it’s spare change for milady… but it’ll be fun if you try it. Besides, gambling in a casino authorized by the royal family is legal.”
Keira: “Did you hear that, Zeke? They say it’s legal. Gambling’s legal, so it’s just like a sightseeing tour.”
Keira completely forgot she was feeling guilty for so long, and was now emphasizing the fact that going to the casino was completely legal.