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“…… Er, that—”
Louise’s mouth was sealed shut. She avoided Damia’s gaze with a shaky look. Although she had noticed that Cesare was alive, it was clear that she did not know his motivation for this self-made play.
‘It seems that Cesare didn’t trust her that much.’
Damia was a bit disappointed. If Louise didn’t know anything, she couldn’t get any information out of her.
‘Still, I can confirm one thing.’
The moment she realized there was nothing more to discover, Damia removed her sad expression from her face. She then asked Louise openly:
“I saw you, Miss Louise. I saw the expression you made when you opened the coffin’s lid earlier.”
“I don’t understand what you’re saying. What did you see? What the hell was wrong with my expression?”
“Don’t pretend. You sure were relieved, weren’t you? When you saw the face of the corpse lying in a coffin.”
For a moment, Louise sucked in a breath. But she was still herself, and she could not readily acquiesce to Damia’s words. Even though she did not know why Cesare pretended to commit suicide, she was still on his side.
“I really don’t know what you mean. Do you know you’re acting really weird today?”
Louise promptly pretended to be innocent. And in order to distract and get out of this situation, she became furious.
“How can you act like that, even on a day like this? Don’t you feel sorry towards the deceased Cesare? And yet you dare say that you are his family?!”
Damia was unmoved by her constant stream of personal attacks. Instead, she tilted her head and asked Louise again,
“Why should I be sorry? Brother Cesare is alive.”
Louise’s eyes grew wide, not expecting Damia to say it openly.
She knew her always to be calm and somewhat cold. So, even if she rushed in, threw insults and a tantrum, she somehow felt like she had been shaken off and ignored by her.
It was the first time that Damia had been so direct.
She faltered for a long moment, and because she didn’t know what to say, she decided to avoid the topic altogether.
“Oh, poor Miss Damia.”
Louise put her hand on her shoulder, giving her a sympathetic look; abominably pretending to pat and advised her:
“I guess I’m not the only one shocked by Cesare’s death. But… … I was only an acquaintance, but Miss Damia was his family. How heartbroken you must be right now–my God!”
How easily she changed her words, at one moment, she acted like the person who knew Cesare the best, but now she is ‘just an acquaintance.’
Louise, who cried out exaggeratedly, was full of contradictions. But she steadfastly pretended to wipe away her tears and tried to admonish Damia.
“Although it is incredibly tragic, we have to accept reality. Cesare is…… He is already dead. Even if you deny this fact, nothing will change. You know what I mean?”
Louise was blurring the point now, making it as if Damia denied Cesare’s death because of her excessive sorrow.
“It must have been a big shock for you, so you go inside and rest.”
In the end, she even kindly nudged Damia’s back as if they were friends. She had some decent acting skills.
But her opponent wasn’t easy. Damia smiled after being gently pushed. Turning around, she blatantly scanned Louise up and down and then whispered,
“Then I will ask you one last question, Miss Louise.”
At the words ‘last question,’ Louise was delighted. She only wanted to quickly leave this uncomfortable interrogation and return home where she could secretly inquire about Cesare’s whereabouts, and then…….
However, Louise’s thoughts did not end properly. It was because of the question that Damia suddenly posed:
“The butler who used to be at your house…… Yes. Did they say his name was Lars?”
She pretended to be troubled, stroking her chin with her slender fingers. But there was no hesitation in her eyes.
“Your butler who resembles Cesare. Where is he now?”
It seemed like an innocent question at first glance, but Damia was already convinced that her words hit the nail on the head. Louise’s eyes widened as if she had been stabbed.
Her face had already told the answer. But Damia pretended to be ignorant and kept inquiring:
“Didn’t Lars disappear a few days ago? If not…… was he on vacation? Have you ever looked for his whereabouts? You thought he was such a ‘pretty’ butler.”
Louise’s face turned noticeably pale. Damia saw this and realized that she had also guessed Lars’ end.
In place of Cesare, which Louise couldn’t have, she had taken and used Lars, who looked just like him, as a substitute. Since she was a ‘blue-blooded aristocrat,’ she did not regard commoners as human, so she most likely treated Lars as her toy.
Cecil, who had actually gone to Louise’s house and witnessed his treatment, described the ‘relationship’ as disgusting. Still, Damia thought Louise might harbor some affection for her butler with whom she was intimate because even though she feared Cesare would find out, she still kept Lars by her side.
But now that Damia observed the full range of emotions and realizations on her face, she must have overestimated her. Louise rejoiced only for Cesare’s survival, but when it came to Lars’ death or survival, she was without a trace of grief. What a heartless, wicked master he had had.
‘That’s what happened.’
With this, Damia succeeded in putting all the puzzle pieces together.