The Pharmacist Lady's Secret Trading - Chapter 24
Translator and Editor: Lea and Aki
April’s past was so grand that it was hard to believe at once.
According to what Ian knew, the Witzer family used to be as famous as the house of Reykis.
The woman in front of him should have inherited the name, which had been erased for quite some time.
“My mother has always tried to contribute to Carleva with her ability and wisdom. But, they paid her back with treachery.”
She briefly stopped, clearing her dry throat with a sip of water before continuing. Expectant, Ian silently listened.
“My mother was framed and executed, and the mastermind, Gridler, tried to force me to sign a marriage contract with the family of Liszt. I ran away from there.”
That was the reason April was so terrified. After hearing her story, Ian’s first feeling was compassion. He felt sorry for her and the injustice she had to face. Along with it, came the crackling hot rage within him.
‘Is she a property to be claimed? They’ve made a grave mistake.’
Her story contained both of his least favorite things. One, she was abandoned relentlessly after being taken against her will, and two, the words of those malevolent nobles were taken for granted.
“I just wanted to find it, the evidence, in my mother’s lab and every part of the house, but before I could find it…….”
Her voice broke again. Tears began to flow down her cheeks. Her shoulders were trembling badly. She couldn’t hide her tears even when she covered her face with her palms.
Ian stammered as he had no idea how to console her. April continued with a weak voice as she cried.
“I recently corresponded with the court of Carleva, so perhaps, that’s when they came to know the fact that I’m a commoner and is still alive.”
“How can a court disclose that?!”
“Because it’s Carleva, Marquis.”
As if the word ‘Carleva’, light and despondent, put everything down. Tears continued to flow from her wide-open violet eyes. When her small and frail figure leaned slightly, Ian was worried she might collapse down at any moment.
Her being dishonest until now, her tears threatening to spark fire, and his emotions for her, which had been growing for a while, pierced him and it made his heart explode.
‘I want to touch her.’
To put it simply, this was the only thing he wanted to do. Unable to resist, Ian eventually reached out to her. He supported her body with one hand before embracing her tightly in between his arms.
His arms became stiff, but he swept April’s silver hair with an awkward but soft touch.
“I’m so…..so tired of it……”
April also leaned into his touch. With her face buried in his arms, he was filled with longing emotions.
“I won’t let you go anywhere. If anything is to happen, let it happen.”
His honest tone shook April. All this time, he was afraid of narrowing the gap between them and now, he had finally paid attention to himself.
“Why are you, to me…….?”
April asked, looking up into his eyes. A beat passed as they stared at each other, their faces closer than before. Him lightly biting his lips, as if trying to hold something in, felt very unusual.
Ian reached his hand out, his fingers sweeping April’s tangled locks away from her face, as he had once done in the library.
“Because I don’t want to see you suffer.”
He hugged her again, giving her a little squeeze. He spent the rest of that deep night with her in his arms and the tumultuous pounding of his heart due to her presence and slight fear.
Ian stayed by her side as she slept soundly and even put off the work he had in the next morning. Perhaps because of the way she had suffered, April fell into a deep sleep without uttering another word.
“Master, do you want me to take a shift? You haven’t slept since last night, and you haven’t had breakfast yet…..”
“It’s fine. I’ll be busy all afternoon anyway, so I want to stay here for as long as I can.”
When Ian answered stubbornly, Leonore bowed obediently and left the room. As he sat cross-legged with one hand on his chin, he glanced at April’s sleeping feature.
‘I wonder how many times I’ve seen this face.’
Unlike last night, he used to fall asleep before April, with her sitting straight while stroking his head whenever his fever went up until she fell asleep herself, leaning on his bedpost.
‘Why is it so overwhelming just to see you? You make me helpless every time.’
He couldn’t say anything in front of her. Just in case April woke up, Ian pulled back his hand that had been stretched out to fiddle with her silver locks. As he swept his palm across his face, a deep sigh escaped through the gap of his fingers.
This time, Klaus’s voice from outside the door woke him up from his daze.
“Is he here already?”
“It’s lunch time.”
Ian had been here for quite a long time. He quietly got up from his seat and put on his jacket.
Klaus seemed to be thinking about something while alternating his gaze between his master and Lady April, but he could not afford to ask.
“Is Carl in the drawing room?”
“Yes, let me escort you there.”
Taking a heavy step, he began heading towards the drawing room. The longer he walked through the long hallway, the closer he got to the room and the more intense and unpleasant the scent became. It belonged to Carl.
When he entered the room, Gridler was nowhere to be seen, whom he thought would accompany Carl.
“I’m surprised you didn’t cancel this appointment today. I’d have tried to find you somehow if you did.”
Ian spat out rudely, sitting on the sofa. He did not even greet him.
“What do you mean?”
Carl’s face became crumpled as he asked. Ian snorted as he watched him, swallowing his own anger. What he’d heard from Yuri seemed to make it obvious that Carl too was attracted to April through his emotions. In particular, it seemed even more vulnerable to provocation or neglect.
“It’s very brave of you to rise up and commit a crime against my people.”
“Ah, I… I just….!”
“Wanted to talk to her? Is that how you make conversations in Carleva?”
“Marquis, do you know what she’s like? It’s dangerous for the child of a criminal to be here. Also, as a member of the Liszt family in charge of Carleva’s security–”
“You know that doesn’t make any sense, right? If you did just try to talk to her, you would’ve asked for my permission.”
Ian struck down the plausible excuse Carl was trying to make. Then, he called in Yuri, who was waiting outside.
Carl was stunned the moment he saw his face. When it became clear that Ian had made him follow her to the inn, all the excuses he’d prepared became useless at once. Now, there was only a straight line.
“What kind of relationship do you have with April?”
“She’s my employee. She’s helping me with something.”
It was far from the answer he expected. If he’d saved April by putting his people on her trail, it was bound to have been more than that. However, watching Ian, who’d successfully hid his expressions thoroughly by showing no personal feelings, Carl felt himself getting relaxed.
“Why are you relieved?”
Ian’s brow furrowed as he saw the relief reflecting off Carl’s face.
“Are you perhaps thinking you can take her if we had nothing else?”
“That woman was supposed to marry me. It’s strange for her to be here.”
Carl absolutely hated Ian’s composure. It made him feel abominable to hit back and drive him into the corner. Carl clenched his fist, which began to tremble as he suddenly felt full of power, under the table.
“I still want to welcome her as my companion.”
“Did April herself agree? I don’t think she did.”
“What do you know?!”
Carl punched the table, which caused the tea cup to clatter and the liquid to splash everywhere on the table.
“You’ve cornered, threatened, and kidnapped April. Is that how a companion should be treated? Besides, you’re the one who threw her out of Carleva.”
“That was the Marchioness Elise Witzer. I only need April!”
“Just for the sake of your needs. Discarding her away is no different from it.”
Ian raised his voice. Carl speaking enthusiastically of nonsense that overlapped with April’s story from last night filled him with raging anger.
Ian could not allow a helpless woman to be treated as an object that was to be thrown away after one use.
“Are you just trying to protect your employee, or is there another reason?”
Carl questioned Ian as he noticed him shaking with anger, but Ian did not answer. He could not. As Carl watched Ian stay silent, one side of his mouth slanted up into a smirk.
“So you’re not going to yield. Would you like to make a bet with me, then? Just like the old way.”
At the sudden suggestion, Ian’s forehead crumpled into a frown. But, the knight had no hesitation. His eyes were already full of poison.
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