Novel Name : Stone Thrown into the Lake

Stone Thrown into the Lake - Chapter 13

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Chapter 13
Merly Kleir, who’d been looking for Sidis every day, finally achieved her goal for the first time that day. This meant that Sidis, who’d been avoiding her with the excuse of an illness, couldn’t avoid her this time.
“Aha, what the hell is this…?”
Sidis, who’d no choice but to answer to his father’s summons, saw Merly Kleir blushing while sitting at the same table as the king. When he asked what was going on, the king rose from his seat and spread his arms.
“Come and sit, my son.”
Sidis Murka gently raised the corners of his mouth. He couldn’t do anything other than smile, and be polite.
Unwelcome conversations were always superficial, like judging a book by its cover. Sidis, who had seen Miss Merley off, raised his glass of wine, and avoided his father’s grumpy eyes.
It was a wine specially prepared for him by the king, but he only used it to avoid his father’s gaze. It was the king himself who liked alcohol, not Sidis. The king would always give him alcohol as a gift. The bottle he’d received today will be stored in his warehouse and eventually end up in Ziark’s stomach.
“Son, I want you to get married and find love.”
The king said this, while he leaned back in the comfy chair. His voice quietly stirred something inside of Sidis, some distant memory, which caused Sidis to quietly bite his tongue.
His father’s love was an old story. Was it because he loved her that he had countless mistresses while his mother was still alive? He didn’t even care to ask anymore.
“After your mother died, I didn’t welcome a new queen.”
The king spoke eloquently. He seemed to truly believe that his love was so great. Sidis laughed meaninglessly.
“Aren’t you going to do the same? I have chosen a few of these lovely ladies, so choose the one you like.”
The king thought this was the truth. He believed that he truly cared for his son and wanted his son to marry whomever he wanted.
However, Sidis could clearly see the true meaning behind his actions. According to his spies, the nominees for princess had been narrowed down to one person. The eldest daughter of Thiero, recommended by Iga of the North, Konakawa Thiero.
“Two people, who don’t live in the capital, will soon send portraits. Don’t be too harsh on Hearst, as she’s one of the three I’ve chosen for you. What’s with that attitude? This is the child that Mrs. Lemanat cares deeply about. In my opinion, she has excellent skills, and has a good personality, so there is nothing wrong with being friendly.”
There was talk that the wife of Lemanat, a widow who hasn’t taken off her mourning clothes yet, was one of the king’s newest lovers. These rumors had been circulating for days in the newspapers and gossip rags.
‘I heard that Lemanat’s estate is in the east.’
In the end, the king wanted Sidis to choose Merly Keir. Even if public opinion was gathered around Thiero’s eldest daughter, it was a shallow calculation. The king was obsessed with the words of his mistress, and Sidis believed that he’d be pushed to choose Merly Kleir. In the corner of Sidis’s heart, at the edge of a forest he’d never been to, the tree dried up.
“…Thank you for your consideration.”
Sidis Murka replied with a bit of disgust.
◇ ◆ ◇
“Do you not want to go with me?” Yvor had fervently asked.
Duran didn’t say anything about being dragged to the class that day. Of course, it was difficult for him to properly guess what kind of education Yvor had, since he’d never received formal training in the first place. Even so, he knew that she shouldn’t be learning the basics.
Mrs. Harris taught Yvor how to open the door and enter. Where she should place her gaze, how to hold her hands so as to look elegant, and what should be the width of her steps.
In the eyes of Duran, who hadn’t received any training, all of that was pointless for Yvor to learn. Before her teacher even spoke, she was already doing it perfectly.
Rather, Yvor seemed to have realized how to do it incorrectly only after Mrs. Harris had spoken. Duran watched her indescribable enthusiasm as she gazed straight at the floor, gathered and held the hem of her skirt with her elegant hands, and walked wide into the room.
“Do it again.” Mrs. Harris said in a cold voice.
Yvor repeated each of her movements one by one, and slowly repeated them multiple times. Mrs. Harris spoke to her in a monotonous voice as she finally entered the room correctly after she went through the unnecessary procedures multiple times.
“You have to be careful with your posture even when walking indoors,” she said. “Straighten your back.”
“The stride of your feet should not be too large. You should not drag her feet. Also, your hips or chest should not be excessively shaky. Such a posture makes a person look vulgar.”
“Look at the owner of the seat. Looking at the floor makes you appear servile, and staring at objects will make you look frivolous. However, if the host has a painting or something equivalent that they cherish, you should look at it at least once so as not to be rude.”
Yvor repeated this as well. Duran couldn’t help but realize that she was showing him, one by one, what he shouldn’t do. All of these were things that she didn’t need to learn. Then, who needed it, but Duran himself.
She was trying to teach him what he needed to learn in a roundabout way, and made sure that it was obvious. He’d never even thought about living in an aristocratic society, and couldn’t recall any manners for those social circles. He could tell that Yvor cared for him, and he felt thankful and shy. At the same time, his jaw felt tense as if he was clenching it.
If she wanted him to be educated, she could’ve prepared a tutor for him. How would he have felt if she’d done that? Duran wasn’t confident that he would’ve accepted it. He would have been offended about receiving something that could never repay and also felt ashamed of himself for being uneducated. He was sure he would’ve been angry in the end.
In her eyes it was good when he expressed his desires, and this caused Duran to frown. Soon the boy was startled and put his hand on the forehead. If Yvor saw him, she would surely be worried that he was offended.
The tears she shed for him hadn’t reached his heart. Even as she was filling his empty mind, his heart felt heavier and heavier, and now he felt heartbroken when he thought about it.
Duran couldn’t help but feel joy and delight that another person was crying for him. He also couldn’t help, but feel frustrated when he thought of her crying because she was no longer a stranger to him.
“Dew, won’t you play the opposite role?”
After sitting on the chair, Yvor called Duran. There were empty bowls, forks and knives on the table.
“I’m going to teach her supper etiquette, so please play the roles of the prince, a guest and host at least once,” said Mrs. Harris sharply.
The day Yvor set her mind to doing what that voice asked, was when her weak emotions were hidden away, and the letters of the textbook flowed through her veins instead of blood. However the boy, who’d lived in an environment where malice and ridicule towards him was rampant, felt it acutely.
Duran looked straight at her, who he’d never paid attention to before. The reality was, he wasn’t tolerant of malice targeted towards him. While he didn’t know how to return the love he’d never received before, he did know how to return the hatred he was used to.
As Duran’s eyes grew fierce, Mrs. Harris hardened her expression, but soon she remembered an earlier conversation with an incredulous look on her face.
“If you please, young master.”
Yvor then called out to Duran. He turned his gaze away from Mrs. Harris and shifted his gaze to her. He remembered the moves Yvor had demonstrated one by one earlier. She showed him all how to walk, how to carry himself, and how to sit. So, Duran imitated Yvor and sat down across from her.
Yvor was relieved and smiled. Mrs. Harris began to explain in a still chilly voice, and Duran watched as he clumsily imitated Yvor’s movements.
He wasn’t able to follow it exactly right away. It felt funny to imitate something he wasn’t used to. He felt as clumsy as a baby trying to walk, and he didn’t want to show this side of himself to Yvor.
After seven days of repeating this routine, an artist arrived from the capital. Serium Castle, which rarely received visitors, had become a rather hectic place.
As a result, Yvor Adela wasn’t feeling very well. First of all, thanks to the guests, who’d shown up without contacting her beforehand, the cluttered castle made her uncomfortable. Then her father’s letter about the painter made her feel even more disturbed. The biggest reason she was upset was because she couldn’t spend her time as she normally would’ve.
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