The Pharmacist Lady's Secret Trading - Chapter 25
Translator and Editor: Lea and Aki
“If the Marquis is also a warrior and a Lang, he knows what it is.”
“Don’t tell me you–”
“A duel. I suppose it’s not a bad deal for the Marquis.”
Ian couldn’t answer readily. It’d be April who’d have to walk in this kind of bet, and he didn’t even think he deserved to bet on her.
Carl tried to hold back his laughter as soon as he saw Ian’s hardening features.
‘You said you wouldn’t leave a battlefield even if you had injuries, and now you’re hesitating to compete with me? I’ve never seen you like this before.’
Carl wanted to enjoy Ian’s embarrassing appearance a little more, but he had to hit him again. Carl knew he had a similar mind to himself : the more provocative he would be, the easier it would become.
“Let’s decide it that way. The Marquis has no right to keep April by his side anyway.”
Ian’s face contorted, but the fact that they were bound by a contract was never to be disclosed to anyone else, including Carl.
Above all, Ian had no choice but to agree, thinking April would be exposed to danger again after the contract period was over. He gestured to Yuri behind him.
“Yuri, bring my sword.”
After a moment, Yuri walked into the room carrying Ian’s sword and handed it over to him. Ian placed it in front of the knight.
“Will this do?”
Carl considered this as an opportunity. A battle of honor as a warrior and a battle of rank as a Lang.
If he won, he would be able to capture two rabbits, a victory over April and the Langs.
“If I win, you’ll get out of my way to April.”
“Of course. But if I do, you will not show up in front of her again. But, I would not be able to let you escape satisfactorily, whether I win or lose.”
“…..That won’t happen. I’ll see you tomorrow, then.”
Looking up at Ian, who seemed confident, Carl gritted his teeth. He had already heard some vile words from Gridler, who was very angry last night. Ian’s provocation could not have been satisfactory in that situation.
Carl could no longer stand any more of his pride being stepped on and someone arguing over him.
“Be prepared to die.”
Ian said before storming out of the drawing room without seeing him off. He stomped straight up to his office and sat in front of his desk, breathing hardly. Golden eyes flashed fiercely through his tangled bangs.
He clenched his fist so hard that his fingernails dug into his palm, which formed crescents on his flesh.
“Did I have to do this?”
Reality struck him. He had the ability to handle people like this easily, but then he would not be able to avoid conflict with Carleva. He couldn’t have felt more guilty to know April was behind it.
He needed to make a pact not to sacrifice April again.
As Ian muttered her name, Klaus entered his office with backlogs of the morning task in his hands.
“Master, are you all right? I don’t think you look very organized.”
“Did you hear that?”
Klaus was calm. Keeping his mouth shut, Ian pressed his temple with his fingers. After a deep silence, Klaus carefully opened his mouth.
“This might be impolite, but I’m worried about your health, Master.”
“What does Lady April mean to you, Master?”
The question was enough to knock him down at once, which he had been avoiding all along.
“What do you think?”
Ian looked up to meet his eyes. Klaus was indifferently staring at him. This time, Ian did not avert his gaze away or asked any questions.
“Your face says you’re thinking that it’s more than that.”
A dry laugh escaped him. It was obvious how he had acted so far, even to others around him. However, Ian could neither reveal nor express his feelings to April, who was too cautious.
“What should I do?”
“That is something I cannot answer, Master. I just brought it out of concern, you can forget about it.”
After Klaus left, Ian barely paid any attention to the documents accumulated on his desk. He could write no word.
Eventually, after swirling the pen a few times in the air and putting it down, he walked to the window.
‘She’s still in bed.’
April, who used to wander around the detached building late at night, was nowhere to be seen today. Leaning against the window, he drew out a deep sigh.
He had never thought in his life that a day would come when he’d be troubled by such a thing. The feeling of something blooming inside him was very alien.
“I didn’t want to get hurt like this……”
It shouldn’t even have happened. But he did not have the courage to deny. His insides seemed to be splitting into hundreds of shards.
Thoughts of April clouded his mind. However, the more he thought about her, the clearer he could imagine her face.
April spent the rest of the next morning sitting idly at her desk.
She tried to do a couple of work since she was in bed the whole day yesterday, but she couldn’t get her hands on it.
“What did he mean?”
A long sigh escaped her lips as she recalled the memories of that night.
‘Because I don’t want to see you suffer.’
She recalled the way he had embraced her weak self, his voice still ringing softly in her head.
When she was about to visualize his face, April shook her head vigorously. She hoped to get rid of any other thoughts about him besides her work.
“I should go cool off my head.”
She wrapped a jacket around her to avoid the cold breeze outside. The regions where her wounds scarred her still stung whenever her sleeves grazed them. Ian’s hand had carefully dabbed the medicine on them, and there was no wound he had missed.
“Ah, Lady April.”
Just as she stepped out of the building, she met Klaus, who was seemingly in a hurry to find her.
“What is the matter? Your face doesn’t tell me that the Marquis is unwell.”
“I….I am here to escort you.”
“Master is at the training field. It’s the day of the duel between Master and Sir Liszt–”
“I beg your pardon?!”
She went from being calm to being furious at once. By ‘Sir Liszt’, he had definitely meant Carl. She felt like she’d hit her head on a big stone. She couldn’t understand why he was in this property when the Marquis was reported by Yuri.
“I don’t think I can describe it since it’s a culture that existed a long time ago among the tribe of Langs. It’s an extreme way to solve problems when you don’t want to get your tongue tied up……”
“Then, what did they bet on? There’s no way it’d be me, right?”
April, who knew Carl, asked him. Klaus, who was hoping to find a way to turn her down, hesitated. He gently rubbed his temple as if he was having a headache.
“It’s explained, then. We can go there, right?”
“Ah! You don’t have to go if you don’t want to. Sir–”
“Sir Liszt will be there.”
She finished, clenching her fist. Klaus, feeling embarrassed, could not speak properly.
“It’s like a behavior among animals. It’s very unfamiliar…..”
April stomped past him before he could finish. Clearly, she didn’t need anyone to show her the way she’d walked a few times before.
The maids crept away, clearing the path as she stomped past them. She was definitely boiling inside.
“How…How on earth could the Marquis do that?!”
When she arrived at the training field, Ian was gazing down at his sword with a serious look on his face. Unlike usual, his outfit was also lightly armed. It was the first time for her to see him holding a real sword.
Although her face was overshadowed by her rage, Ian calmly glanced at her. He showed no sign of nervousness.
Her eyes traveled to the field behind him. On the other side of Ian, stood Carl holding a sword in an informal manner.
“What is all this?”
“Just a simple duel. It’s the only way to keep him from coming to you without harming you.”
“So, you’re going to confront him for me?”
Ian nodded, and April lamented.
She had no idea what he was thinking, so she was at a loss on where to start asking. Whether or not she asked, Ian returned to look back at his piece of blade.
Perhaps it was just a feeling, but it looked like he was not going to look up at her on purpose.
“Don’t worry. I’m only trying to set you free.”
“Set me free? Doesn’t this seem more like arguing about whom I belong to?”
“Yes, I know! But look at the world, at the court of Carleva, at that knight. You’ll come to know my reasons.”
“Yes, I understand what you mean. But why are you so desperate?”
“It’s my duty, as your employer, and…..”
Ian swallowed the word, releasing a deep sigh. He could expect her to get offended. April even felt a sense of spite as she stiffened before preparing to yell out.
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