AIWTRO Chapter One Hundred One

AIWTRO Chapter 101

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Raw Provider: Jessica
TL: Ms MTLer


The heavy rain that began at sunset showed no sign of stopping until midnight. 

With dark clouds concealing the moon and the stars, the sky was as black as obsidian. The lights that illuminated the garden had long since died down due to the strong wind and rain.

Looking out the window where the rain still poured, Ludwig said.

Ludwig: “I don’t know if this is the right time to hold a hunting competition. The ground would be wet. Tsk, I wonder what Aunt is doing without controlling any of these things.”

Shane: “That’s probably because the spirits are very volatile. Besides, there’s still time. If it stops tonight, the schedule won’t change.”

Lieutenant Shane didn’t realize the meaning behind the Grand Duke’s words until three seconds later. The fact that the Grand Duke mentioned a hunting contest meant…

Shane: “Are you going to participate?”

Ludwig nodded.

Shane: “We have to write a reply. Let’s see, the stationery…”

Ludwig: “It’s late today, so I’ll do it tomorrow.”

In fact, he was just finishing his work and cleaning up his desk.

The hour hand of the clock was pointing to the number ten.

After shaking off Shane, who wanted to escort him to the bedroom, Ludwig stepped outside the office.

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The hallway was pitch dark. It was late, so the lights must have been turned off.

Wrinkles formed on Ludwig’s forehead as he stared into the darkness.

What is Robert doing?’

Wasn’t it his duty to ensure that his master wasn’t uncomfortable with such trivial things?

‘He might be helping Keira with her work.’

Ludwig thought he heard that she was very busy during the day. If that’s the case, then it’s not that he doesn’t understand.

Ludwig went back to his office and came out with a lamp, giving him enough visibility to walk.

Bang–!

Beatrice seemed angry. The thunder outside sounded like the ground was breaking. 

Unfazed by the terrifying sounds outside, Ludwig went on his way to his bedroom on the third floor of the main building.

As he passed through a familiar structure and reached the stairs on the third floor, Ludwig could find something white hovering on the stairs.

“Father!”

There was no room for misunderstanding whether it was a ghost. The ‘white thing’ came to Ludwig’s side with a bright voice.

Eventually, ‘it’ came within the range where he could see clearly.

It was Cosette.

Ludwig: “What are you doing here? Your room should be in the annex.”

Cosette: “I came here because I have something to tell you. You’re busy with work during the day, and I didn’t want to disturb you.”

Ludwig glanced at his daughter, no, the person who claimed to be his daughter. 

Cosette was sweet, obedient, and dedicated. It reminded him of Keira when she was still following him around.

But strangely, why couldn’t he feel any affection for her?

Ludwig: “What about the maid? Are you walking around alone?”

Cosette: “It’s late. They need to rest, too. And what’s wrong with going around alone at home? There’s nothing dangerous.”

There was nothing wrong with what she said. Ludwig tried to nod as if he accepted but found something strange. 

Something stranger than her walking around alone without a maid.

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Ludwig: “… Where’s your lamp?”

Cosette: “What?”

Ludwig: “It’s this dark, but you came all the way from the annex without a lamp?”

Cosette: “Oh…”

It was so dark that even Ludwig, whose physical abilities were far superior to those of an average person, needed light. 

But Cosette, a woman more or less than his age, walked alone. He didn’t understand. 

Cosette paused for a moment before speaking.

Cosette: “The lights were on in the middle of the hallway, but I guess a window was open somewhere because the lights then went out. I couldn’t go back, so I was waiting for Father here.”

“…”

It seemed oddly understandable, but it was an awkward explanation.

Ludwig: “Anyway, what do you have to say?”

Cosette: “I heard that the Imperial Family sent an invitation to the hunting competition! It’s a big event that will be held for several days. I really want to go! Can you take me? Yes? Yes?”

Well, it wouldn’t be difficult for him to take her. But he couldn’t quickly agree because of the problems he would face if he appeared at an official event alone with Cosette.

Simply put, it would look bad. 

He fully expected how it would look to others. 

The problem would be solved if Keira accompanied him, but he didn’t think she would follow along just like that.  

The cold attitude, which began a few months ago, persisted, so would she even want to go together?

They said children would become independent from their parents one day, so Ludwig wondered if that was happening.

When Ludwig didn’t answer, Cosette pouted her lips and said. 

Cosette: “Do you have to think about it for a long time?”

Ludwig: “I haven’t decided whether to participate or not yet. I’ll tell you when I’m sure.”

Taking a step back, Cosette replied in a bright voice. 

Cosette: “Yes, alright!”

She was no longer within an area that the lamp could illuminate, and she disappeared into the darkness.

But it was at that moment. 

Flash–!

Lightning struck outside the window. As if it had fallen fairly close, the surroundings brightened up for a moment.

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A cold, blue light shone on the side of Cosette’s face. The shadow of the window sill also helped create a very bizarre appearance.

“…!”

Clang–!

Ludwig unknowingly stepped back. The lamp that slipped from his hand fell to the floor. As the glass shattered, darkness engulfed the hallway again.

What was that just now?

He recalled what he had just seen – A blue light illuminating the smiling face.

The blue light was the only thing added to her face, but for some reason, the hairs on the back of his neck stood up. He had never felt this way, even in front of the strongest beasts.

Fear went down his spine. 

If he had been wearing his sword, he would definitely have drawn it.

Cosette: “Father?”

Ludwig: “Do not come closer!”

Cosette: “W-why are you like this all of a sudden?”

Even beyond the darkness, he could feel the other person’s embarrassment. 

If he looked at her like this, she was just an ordinary person… 

‘What was that just now?’

He wanted to check again, but the light of the lamp had been extinguished a long time ago. It was completely dark, so he couldn’t see an inch ahead. 

But then.

“Who’s there?”

A familiar voice came from the far end of the hallway. When Ludwig turned, he saw a faint flickering light.

Ludwig: “Robert?”

Robert: “Ah, Grand Duke? Forgive me for being late. It took me a while because I was helping Her Ladyship with work…”

It was the butler, Robert, who approached with a lamp.

As soon as the orange light lit up the surroundings, Ludwig turned his gaze to Cosette. 

Her face reflected in the warm light was as gentle as usual.

Looking puzzled, Cosette asked. 

Cosette: “Father, why did you do that earlier?”

Ludwig: “…It’s nothing. It must have been my misunderstanding, so just forget it.”

Cosette: “Hmph[1].”

She pouted her lips but no longer asked anything anymore. 

Ludwig: “Robert, escort Cosette to the annex. Ah, there must be broken glass near her feet, so take care of that.”

Robert: “Will you be alright? You probably can’t see.”

Ludwig: “My bedroom is within walking distance. It’s almost right in front of me.”

Robert: “If that’s the case then… Let me escort you, milady.”

Cosette: “Okay!”

Robert took a step ahead to brighten their way. Cosette followed behind him. 

Looking back slightly, Robert asked.

Robert: “But what were you doing in that dark place?”

Cosette: “I had something to ask.”

Robert: “Without a lamp?”

Cosette: “There was, but Father dropped it.”

Robert wanted to know why there was only one broken lamp when two people were standing. However, he didn’t ask anymore. 

Asking too skeptically might irritate his superior. 

As Robert shut his mouth, silence returned to the hallway. Thanks to the soft rug, even their footsteps didn’t make a sound. 

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All they could hear was the roaring rain outside the window. 

Cosette cast her gaze towards the rain.

Flash–!

At that moment, lightning struck once more and brightened the surroundings. 

It was evident that her lips were twisted in annoyance. Her glare was frightening as if she were looking at an intruder.

‘That man, his senses must be good.’

When she first entered the mansion, she thought it would end soon. She thought it wouldn’t take more than half a year to get that man’s affection and isolate Keira.

But she’s been struggling for three months. 

To make things worse, it looked like he just ‘felt’ something from herself, so it would be even more difficult to make her way into Ludwig’s heart in the future.

‘Well, it doesn’t matter.’

Affection was just a secondary matter, and her goal was not as trivial and shallow as human emotions.

Cosette’s ferocious gaze once again turned to the sky, where the rain continued to pour down.

‘Don’t disturb me, Beatrice.’


[1] Cosette said, ‘치이’ so I translated it as ‘Hmph’. ‘Tsk’ could work as well.