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—The Hope of the Future: Princess and the High General, Greet the People.
‘There’s already a madam in the General’s house. What’s this? Who the fuck is the editor-in-chief? If you get caught by me, I’ll set your hair on fire!’
Even 14-year-old Lapis immediately knew Elisha would feel terrible when she saw this article. A man with a wife—her husband—was standing in public with another woman. Moreover, the newspaper never even mentioned Lucerne’s marriage.
‘Why is the portrait so well drawn?’
On the newspaper’s front page, there was a special article with detailed portraits of the Princess and Lucerne, who bowed and greeted the imperial people from the hotel balcony. Lapis quickly hid the newspaper in his elbow. [t1v: omg i luv him]
“Please give me the tea! I’m hungry.”
“Didn’t you have breakfast?”
“No—just, because…. I’m awfully hungry today.….”
Elisha didn’t delve further.
“That’s possible when you’re growing up.”
Lapis liked Elisha’s concise interpretation. Elisha pushed the cookies and scones prepared for her towards him. The fruit basket on the table was fragrant. Lapis didn’t like sweets very much, so he ate little.
“What’s bothering you, Lapis?”
“No! There’s no way. I’m just interested in telling you what kind of research I’m doing these days.”
“I’m curious. I want to hear all about it.”
Enthusiastic, Lapis said this and that.
Oddly enough, Elisha was rather knowledgeable. She seemed to understand about 20% of Lapis’ words. It was surprising since ordinary people understood less than 1% of magic research.
Growing thirsty while talking, Elisha extended the tea in front of Lapis.
“Other knights seem to visit you often. Everyone talks about the lord’s wife.
As Lapis gazed into his cup, he looked forlorn. Lapis was 14 years old, and he understood reality. Just as he realized at the age of three that he was an orphan, he knew that Elisha had already won all the knights’ hearts and minds.
“Don’t we all live together?”
“The environment in this house has improved a lot since the mistress came.”
Elisha laughed briefly at the words. She didn’t laugh well, but she was really bright once she laughed, so Lapis felt better.
“Lapis is the first person I get to serve tea to. I’m grateful and happy you think so.”
Laspis’ hand holding teacup trembled once. So, you’re saying I’m the only knight who got to have tea with you?
“Do you mean …. I….”
“What is it?”
“Are you favoring me?”
How did Elisha feel around Lapis? It was frankly so.
‘Favoritism? Why am I showing favoritism?’
Isn’t favoritism to be nicer than others? Come to think of it……. Since Lapis was young she seemed to care more about him than others.
‘It’s not discrimination to give preferential treatment to young people, so you can do that much favoritism.’
Elisha nodded without thinking further.
“If favoritism is what you like, I think so. However, that doesn’t mean I will distinguish you from other knights regarding external affairs. That’s not fair.”
Elisha’s authority was enough to decide on the meal menu or approve payments for clothing for the mansion’s people. I couldn’t make a distinction there. However, Lapis’ eyes twinkled as if her words seemed exceptionally pleasant.
Lapis, like Lazri, was thrown away in a baby basket in front of an orphanage when they were newborns. To a bright and sensitive child like Lapis, the orphanage was no less than hell.
Teachers at the slums national orphanage were rough and did not treat children with respect. Adults seemed to hate Lapis, who was apprehensive about everything and did not look up to them.
If Lazri hadn’t protected him, Lapis would have been beaten to death by the teachers. Lapis had never received the favoritism or love of his superiors.
‘Then that means you like me more than other knights…….’
Lapis’ heart fluttered—pounding. While he laughed and shrugged.
“Um, Lapis. You don’t seem to like sweets. Fruits would be better,”
Elisha indifferently noted, unaware of Lapis’ heart. On the table was a fresh red apple picked this morning. Elisha picked up the knife.
“Are you going to peel it for me?”
“Do you want to eat the skin”?
“No! No, I don’t like the skin.”
Elisha peeled an apple with an impartial countenance.
“May I cut the skin into a bunny shape?”
When she cut the apple and put it on a plate in front of Lapis, Lapis ate the apple with a happy face.
“Good. That’s a relief.”
Lapis was in a good mood and held out his bowl for another apple. But, as a result, the newspaper under his elbow fell on the floor.
“But Lapis, why are you hiding the newspaper?”
Elisha inquired evenhandedly. Lapis flinched and looked around.
“Er… I don’t like the quality of the articles. There’s only false news in the Imperial Newspaper.”
“Really? I think today’s front page is the same as the Kingdom Daily’s. Isn’t Lucerne’s portrait on the front page?”
Lapis hesitated. He searched the floor with his eyes, looking for an answer.
“Can you please pick up the newspaper?”
Lapis hesitated and picked up the newspaper. Elisha looked at the newspaper. Then, Elisha casually looked at the front page of the newspaper. Lapis could laugh in a monster’s face, but a cold sweat ran down his back at that moment.