Novel Name : Stone Thrown into the Lake

Stone Thrown into the Lake - Chapter 22

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Chapter 22
However, her eyes were not as sharp as they used to be. Although they were not kind, her eyes shifted awkwardly in order not to hurt the other person.
The girl following him, as he rushed off from his position, was a maid that was always lingering by Yvor’s side. What was her name again? He could not remember the name his sister calls her with.
Duran asked briefly. The handmaiden, Lucy, shyly lowered her eyes.
“If you go too far, the master will be concerned.”
A polite reply came back. Lucy raised the lamp a little more to illuminate the path before Duran’s feet. Experiencing such treatment was a first for Duran, thus he became increasingly uncomfortable.
‘She definitely hated me.’
Duran Craig was keenly aware of the ill-will of others. It was a sense honed from young, through countless abuse and the contempt of others. As such, he was well aware that all of the personnel from Serium Castle didn’t like him, even the guy who mucked out the stalls in the stable.
Their feelings were the same as the personnel in his previous residence, so it was nothing new. However, not everything was the same as the mansion in the capital. While the maids were reluctant to address him as ‘Young Master’ or ‘Young Lord’, they did not neglect him. In spite of their reluctant face, the knights were polite and kept to knightly decorum.
Barring his habit of hating others, Duran Craig was intelligent. He soon realized that while they hated him, they were trying not to hate him. It has already been several times where his hatred had gone astray.
“Go away.”
Duran spoke coldly, and paused for a moment, before adding awkwardly.
“It’s okay, so you don’t have to follow me…. Go in.”
Lucy quickly answered that it was not possible. Duran made a slightly annoyed face, and gave up. He didn’t even know why she had to follow him. Lucy spoke up as if she had heard his thoughts.
“If you’re walking alone in the dark, the master will be worried.”
Even without the lamp Lucy was holding, the trail wasn’t that dark. Lanterns that were hung high above to light the road are still lit, and it was not yet the time to put them out. Without sparing a glance at the bowing girl that was shorter than him, Duran turned around and headed back to the annex.
“Don’t follow me.”
But after standing for a moment, the maid followed after him, pretending that she did not hear his words. This walk at night was an unfamiliar experience. It was difficult to suppress his rising nervousness, as the handmaiden holding a lamp walked behind him. The ambiguous anger became lukewarm. Duran kicked the stone on the floor.
He probably should not have done that. Frowning, he recalled Mrs. Harris’ numerous repetitions that one must not kick a stone on the floor as they walk. ‘Intrinsic elegance arises from small actions.’ Though it was not a direct quote from her, he could imagine her saying so.
She was well acquainted with Duran’s lack of grace, and habit of kicking stones on the floor. Duran was well aware that he shouldn’t, but his body was accustomed to this behaviour. He was three days and nights away from descriptors such as ‘dignified’. He became annoyed with himself.
When the phrase ‘elegance comes from small actions’ came to mind, Duran always thought of his sister. She was a person that exemplified that phrase, and Duran himself wanted to be like her. He had to be, because…
Perhaps now, Duran Craig was able to put his feelings to words. Just the thought of it made his stomach tickle and his heart swell up fuzzily, and he had the urge to speak his feelings aloud.
‘For my sister, Yvor Adela.’
Duran kicked another stone. The stone tumbled through the bushes without anything to obstruct its path. Duran increased his pace unknowingly while following the stone. He soon broke through the low wall made of bushes.
Unlike the promenade he had been pacing around haphazardly, the road leading from the main castle to the annex was shaped by laying flat stones on top of well-compacted soil. It was also conducive for a rolling stone to travel longer distances. The stone rolled over and over again.
And after it had finally stopped, Duran found his sister, Yvor Adela, in the distance. The moonlight seemed to be exceptionally bright tonight. Floating over there, was a star that would never fall to the ground.
He opened his mouth before closing it silently. She wasn’t the only one present. Sister. The call stayed within his throat. Standing with Yvor was the man who had come along with Ranan Elmund a while ago.
Judging from his outfit, he was probably a knight. The prince’s knight. Duran didn’t like the word ‘prince’ very much. It was a word he heard too often. Yvor Adela still reads children’s books to him every day.
Recently, books of the historical genre such as historical novels, were added to his reading list, at a ratio of one to four volumes. Despite that, there was still an abundance of fairy tales he had to read. Sooner or later, Duran Craig was going to specialize in knowledge of fairy tales.
When he was young, he had wanted to listen to such stories, but there wasn’t anyone that read them to him. Duran Craig thought that this was the reason behind him only reading and hearing fairytales now, when he was well past the age to read children’s books.
He had always associated Yvor with the princess in fairy tales that his sister reads, and now occasionally makes him read aloud. He was reluctant to link the prince he had met today with the image of the prince riding a white horse in those fairy tales.
“Please excuse me, Lord of Serium. Thank you for your generosity in allowing uninvited guests to stay here,” Ziark Dunmel greeted again. Yvor, who received the knight’s greeting, radiated elegance. It was the scene of farewell between the handsome knight and his sister. It was something that Duran couldn’t even imitate.
The once lukewarm anger within his heart increased in temperature, making him feel stifled. Duran Craig couldn’t move, as if boiled glue from the furnace was placed on his feet and mouth.
Yvor started to leave after Ziark disappeared into the building. The maid chasing after Duran, Lucy, speeded up and exclaimed softly.
Her shadow swayed wildly as the lamp in her hand flickered. Glancing briefly at Lucy, Duran refocused on Yvor again, who turned at the sound of Lucy’s call. Though it was someone else’s voice that called for her, their eyes met, as if it was him that called her.
Duran thought for a moment that Yvor had called him. But he soon realized he was wrong. She wasn’t loud enough to be heard from here. Nonetheless, Duran could tell that his sister had called him. It was because a smile like the early spring sun lit up Yvor’s face, it was because her eyes were tinged with warmth instantaneously.
Yvor Adela called him silently. Now he knew when it was time for her to embrace the soft warmth in such an instant. His feet, which had never moved, as if they were stuck to the floor, moved suddenly. Duran walked towards his guiding beacon.
All of a sudden, the temperature that had remained ambiguous, somehow surged. Lucy, who had been following him frantically, read the atmosphere and retreated. The light from her lamp went away with her, but he didn’t care. His sister was brighter than the lamp.
Yvor spoke this time around, in reality. With eyes just as warm as her voice sounded, she was looking for him. As she stretched out her hand gently, she spoke.
“You left so suddenly… You didn’t trip over anything, did you?”
Did he leave as something offended him? She kept thinking, perhaps she had made him uncomfortable and failed to notice it again… Why did he go so far? Was Father’s stay making him uncomfortable…? Even now…?
Within Yvor Adela’s voice, worries and concerns were attached like honey, while tenderness and affection glittered like powdered candy. Duran thought that the voice that entered his ears melted in her head and overflowed and reached her tongue. He took her hand carefully and cut her rambling off.
“I’m fine.”
“Dew?” Yvor repeated again. But before she could continue speaking, Duran threw out his clipped words.
“I was a little tired. That’s all.”
‘I don’t want to see that person. I’m just a little… I’m sleepy, too. I’m going to go back and sleep now. Sister, you should return to your room too.’
The words didn’t come out as nicely as he thought. If Yvor’s words were akin to powdered sugar, his words would be powdered charcoal. The darkness clung to the insides of his mouth, making unpleasant sounds. This wasn’t what he wanted to convey to her.
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