TWB (Novel) Chapter 37

C37

The green eyes that shone beneath the long eyelashes, as if sunlight had entered, gleamed with a golden light.

On a warm spring day, is this how dew collected by fairies looks?

Nicholas, who had thought Bianca's pale green eyes were snake-like just a moment ago, looked at Bianca in incomprehension.

Bianca, who had been looking at the candle, looked at Nicholas. Nicholas's heart pounded as soon as their eyes met. Nicholas bumped his head against the floor. He felt suffocated for a moment, and even making eye contact was difficult.

Previous fears and other unknown pressures weighed on Nicholas's shoulders. What is this? Nicholas took a deep breath as his toes curled and he felt restless.

Contrary to Nicholas's nervousness, Bianca was calm. Twirling the candle back and forth, she asked in a soft voice.

"It's beautiful. Very pleasing to the eye. How many of these can you make?"

"I can make any number of candles."

Nicholas stammered in response.

As he answered, his head grew numb. He couldn't understand why Bianca was asking that question. People always hated when he played with candles. No way, Madam... Does she accept him carving candles? Does she understand? The suffocating breath was choked off at the back of his throat.

Nicholas rolled his big eyes, trying to understand the situation. The small pupils in the big eyes trembled rapidly, as did the tiny freckles placed on the bridge of his nose. Nicholas instinctively noticed that things weren't going badly for him. Nicholas, who could afford to at that moment, carefully looked at Bianca once again.

At that moment, she seemed like a witch as she trembled in fear with every move, but seeing her now again, she was pleasant and smelled nice. She emanated a gentle warmth, like evergreen leaves glistening in the sun. Nicholas's face flushed.

Bianca, who had no idea about Nicholas's thoughts and had no intention of knowing, smiled happily. Worried about her own thoughts, she calmly said something that surprised everyone.

"It would be nice to have a candle like this for my room."

"What?"

The supervisor asked stupidly. He seemed confused, as if he had no idea what Bianca was talking about. Vincent, who quickly grasped the situation, hastily added.

"Madam, these candles don't burn well when they're carved. And unlike the candles used in Madam's room, this type of hardened resin..."

"You can have them carve a candle made of wax. Anyway, it's not like I'm going to use it everywhere, it's just for my room."

Bianca shrugged. Vincent's mouth widened as he casually talked about things others wouldn't even think of. Just a moment ago, he hinted at the meaning of a reprimand for using wax candles, but he didn't seem to care at all. He was far from listening to Vincent's words in the first place. The intention to be sarcastic reached his mouth.

"She needs to learn what she has to do as the hostess of the Arno family!"

Just a moment ago, he thought she was trying to understand the estate's financial situation and reduce consumption, so his heart, which had been somewhat proud, faded like a lie. He still couldn't decipher what her intentions were, but it would have been better for him if she had stayed in the castle quietly. To mock Vincent's thoughts, Bianca tilted her head with a sullen expression.

"If the Count didn't make a single comment, doesn't it mean I can use the candles as I please?"

"However..."

Bianca looked at Vincent with her head tilted at an angle, looking very natural. As if she didn't understand. But Vincent couldn't believe that Bianca had said something without thinking.

Clearly, there is a hidden intention to ridicule him. Vincent's stomach simmered as he saw that natural figure that seemed to know nothing. Of course, not even Bianca was supposed to know that.

"Is the situation on the estate so bad that I can't even use this much? If the steward says so, I will understand."

"...It's not like that."

He's upset, but what can he do? He is the steward, and she is his master's wife. A servant cannot refuse the orders of their master. In fact, Vincent had no reason to reject Bianca's words, as the Count had tried to listen to most of what Bianca wanted. Vincent meekly wagged his tail and stepped back.

"That's what I thought. I hope to see this candle in my room soon."

"...I will do my best."

The winner and loser of the discussion were soon decided. The abacus bounced in Vincent's head as he clenched his teeth. Still, if the size of Bianca's room is limited, it won't cost much money. The only luxury she bought this winter was a fox fur. Compared to last year, it was a noticeably thrifty attitude.

Of course, Vincent didn't expect Bianca to save money. She doesn't know how to save money, but she discards money that she can spend moderately. She never leaves a single cent. Vincent's lips twisted.

The victorious Bianca firmly ordered, as if she had lost interest in the candle factory.

"Then, I have looked around the entire place. Take me somewhere else."

Vincent nodded and moved, with Bianca following him. Yvonne and Gaspard, who had been closely observing the situation, silently watched her.

As they moved, the people who had gathered in the untimely commotion of the candle factory fled to their places. Because they didn't know what kind of accusation they would receive after being harassed by the strict steward's gaze and the fierce lady's presence.

When Bianca and Vincent walked away, whispers began that Bianca had once again indulged in luxury.

"Why does she want to intentionally waste that precious thing?"

"I don't know. Maybe she doesn't want to use candles similar to those of commoners? Nobles like other things."

"She doesn't like the shape of the wax? So, is the bread that nobles eat different from the bread we eat?"

"Anyway, I can't understand what nobles think."

"It must be great for nobles to spend so much money! We would die if we wasted such a precious candle like that."

"Doesn't the Count know that the lady is doing that?"

The voices of the people buzzed in Nicholas's ears. Their voices soon turned into Nicholas's own voice. Despite being carved by himself. It is something he has been doing with his own convictions, holding onto it without succumbing to opposition, but being received like this shook his thoughts.

Why?

Doubt, curiosity, and anticipation simmered slowly in a corner of Nicholas's heart. Nicholas ran after Bianca, who was walking away unaware. The people around him held their breath at Nicholas's sudden action.

As his slender fingers curled around the hem of Bianca's robe, someone interrupted Nicholas. It was Gaspard, Zachary's commander who served as Bianca's escort. Gaspard's hands blocked the way, and Nicholas could no longer reach Bianca. But Nicholas didn't care. In his gaze, there was only Bianca. One could even feel the paranoid obsession of a madman.

Everyone looked at Nicholas as if he were crazy. It was a serious offense to block the steps of nobles or chase after them recklessly.

It was natural to rejoice that the person who had been rejected by everyone was being recognized, but Nicholas forgot his place. Young Nicholas was so happy that the faces of those around him, who thought he was going mad without knowing his place, became distorted.

The sight of Nicholas rolling on the ground with his arm bones shattered would be a spectacle worth watching. Some even drew a sign of mourning for the child who would soon be brutally killed.

Bianca looked back slowly. Her actions were always elegant and relaxed. The sun shone behind her like a halo. Nicholas frowned and squinted, asking the question that continued to linger on his tongue.

"Why did you say you would use my candle? As Uncle Jean said, my candle doesn't burn for long and easily melts, so it's useless as decoration. The splendor for decorating the room belongs to the chandelier, and the purpose of the candle is to illuminate the room."

"That's a stupid question."

Bianca frowned in annoyance. It was irritating that her steps were halted along the way, and when she stopped, what she heard were ridiculous words. Bianca looked at Nicholas, who desperately clung to her, with a cold gaze.

"It doesn't matter what you eat as long as it fills your stomach. But don't you feel better when you eat something delicious? Moreover, it's better if the delicious food is beautifully decorated. Writing beautiful things makes you feel good. Even if there's no reason for it to be beautiful because it will soon lose its appearance. I tend to get angry easily, so it's worth the price if these little things make me feel good. Isn't that right, Butler?"

"...of course."

Vincent groaned disapprovingly and clicked his tongue, but he meekly affirmed it. It wasn't a lie that one feels better when seeing something luxurious, and her master, Zachary, would spend any amount of money on something that made Bianca feel good.

Vincent thought it would be very inefficient, but if the "real" pedigreed aristocrats had the same, then that's what he had to match. Although Vincent was competent, he had only worked as a butler, whereas Bianca was a noble lady born into a prestigious family. He also admitted that luxury and appearance were linked to some extent, and he didn't want Zachary to lose face in that way when he achieved more success in the future.

Bianca shrugged at Vincent's affirmation. What everyone thought was important was infinitely light to her, and what everyone thought was no big deal was infinitely heavy for her. Light as a breeze, yet not losing her elegance, there was something inherently different in her attitude. Perhaps that's what you call grace. Although her dressing table was luxurious, Vincent couldn't even argue with the nobility of the attitude that was ingrained in her body from birth. Even if it's just a pretext.

"The candle you carved is beautiful. I feel better when I see it. That's what matters to me."

Bianca replied as if it were nothing, and she looked at Nicholas with narrowed eyes as if that was it. Her gaze didn't linger on Nicholas for long. To her, Nicholas was nothing more than a blade of grass in a garden of flowers. Bianca immediately moved, her white and slender fingers lifting the hem of her skirt. When Bianca moved, all her servants rushed after her.

It was a cold and sober attitude, but Nicholas's heart beat more excitedly than ever. Bianca's words echoed in his ears over and over again, using her voice.

It had been a while since Bianca left, but Nicholas remained motionless, gazing only at the traces of her footsteps.

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