Chapter 16 The young silver-haired noble
Behind the mask was a face I knew quite well.
His hair was different because he was wearing a wig but no one else had that cool, gentle voice, calm eyes, and honey-sweet appearance besides my husband.
「Why… are you at a place like this?」
「I’ll return those same words back at you, dear wife」
I gave an unintentional 「Urk..！」 upon my husband’s cross-examination and was at a loss for words.
His face was his usual smiling face, yet his voice was icy cold. I could feel the chill running down my spine.
If I tell him I was looking for the truth behind the rumour about him, he might come to hate me.
Since I’d been wrong about the wide-spread rumour that he was a playboy, this would just make it worse.
I’d only just repented on my sins the other day, but no sooner had I done that, I went and did something like investigate.
My husband had been dealing with me with utmost sincerity, and yet here I am–.
I don’t want to tell him the truth. But, I shouldn’t lie to him.
I decided to honestly repent.
「……I was… investigating the rumour about you」
「The rumour… about me?」
「Yes, I heard something that worried me」
I relayed everything I heard at the tea party to my husband.
「As expected, I guess there was no meaning in forbidding them from speaking about it」
It seems what I heard was true.
My guess was that my husband was introducing ladies to His Highness Augusto had been right on the nail.
Lowering my head deeply, I apologized. My husband tells me there was no need for apologies and asks if I could answer a question.
「What is it?」
「Well, I was wondering… why were you concerned about the validity of the rumour?」
He’d asked if I’d wanted to know the information badly enough to go so far as to attend the masquerade ball.
「It must have been tough for you, in a lot of ways」
Not only was it hard to disguise myself, I also had a hard time bearing in mind that I had to act differently from usual. The atmosphere in this venue was light so I couldn’t calm down and I also hated how pushy the people here are when they invite me to dance.
Masquerade balls were shallow events just like I’d imagined. It was completely different from the evening parties laden with manners and etiquette.
I had imagined something like this. But even then, I still attended. The reason was because–
「I… thought… maybe it would be great if you weren’t really a playboy?」
I formed the words as if to confirm them.
Saying the reason, I was able to accept it as if it clicked firmly into place in my mind.
「Then, did you come here in order to confirm my innocence?」
「That… may be why」
When he asked if I got to confirm it, I nodded my head.
「Is that so?」
Shockingly, it seems my husband recognized me from the moment I entered the venue.
He told me he knew immediately from the way I stood.
「Don’t tell me, has anyone else found me out?」
「No, I think it’s alright. They’re at a level where they can’t figure out who I am after all」
Though he’d said that, I came to realize that I was unable to tell my husband was Erich von Weimar from the way he stood.
Contrary to his calm behavior, he’d been a man who normally moves snappily, but right now, I felt like he really was a genuine noble with how calmly he moves as the young silver-haired noble.
He was probably acting depending on the situation consciously. I think he’s an awfully capable man.
What’s more, I can’t make light of my husband’s observation skills for realizing it was me right on the spot.
「You truly are an impressive man」
「That’s not true. I’m an average man you can find anywhere」
As usual, he was overly humble. I wonder how he grew up with this kind of personality.
May be good to place it among the seven wonders of the world.
「Leaving that aside, my apologies for being late in helping you out」
「No, that had been my fault–」
Violence must be avoided.
Dorothea-oneesama told me to wield force only at times when my life or virtue was at risk. And yet, I ended up losing my temper and slapping someone on the cheeks.
「That was legitimate self-defense. Forcefully grabbing a lady’s arm should absolutely never be done」
Coincidentally, it seems the man I picked a quarrel with was an acquaintance of his, so it seems my husband helped me strike an agreement.
To think he’d go as far as to clean up after my mess, I tip my hat off to him in admiration.
Once more, I said my thanks.
「No, please think nothing of it. However, I can’t permit you to attend the masquerade ball after this」
Although I didn’t want to attend ever again, I was a little curious why I was being restricted from going.
When I asked, my husband smoothly took the mask from my hand and placed it back on his face.
「Even I have things that I find unpleasant」
「Is that true？」
「Yeah, that’s the way it is. Like for example――」
All of a sudden, my husband drew near me and pulled me close by encircling his hand around my waist.
「My wife going all the way with other men」
「G-going… as if! What happened then was simply disgusting！」
Truthfully, I only felt goosebumps all over my body when I’d been touched, but since I didn’t want to make a disturbance, I’d put up with it.
「Does it also feel disgusting when I’m doing this?」
Although I felt chills running down my body when I get approached by unfamiliar men, it didn’t particularly feel unpleasant when it’s my husband. Instead, I felt restless.
When I relayed this to him honestly, my husband thankfully put some distance from me.
「Well, I think I’ll take that as a good thing」
「T-that’s uhh… great?」
I found myself somewhat flustered and couldn’t catch up with whatever I was saying. Since I drank a lot of alcohol, it may be because I was drunk.
「That being the case, I won’t say you’re not allowed from going out to play at night but do please notify me from now on」
My husband says, 「Let’s go home」.
I felt restless again when he pulled my waist to him and my heart was pounding like it was jumping out my chest.
When I paused, surprised by the feeling I’ve never felt before, my husband came and asked me if something was wrong.
This wasn’t something I could answer honestly.
Which was why I ended up asking another question.
「――Why did you come here in a disguise？」
「I’m on a look out」
My husband stuck close to me and whispered in my ear.
「It’s a secret but just a year ago, a certain esteemed gentleman and a certain married woman was having a clandestine meeting at this place」
The esteemed gentleman was probably referring to His Highness, Augusto. The married woman was Keira von Plovak.
It seems they’d kept having trysts by faking their social status and attending the masquerade balls.
With the course of events around here, they most likely decided to spend a night together.
They say love makes people bold, but I think that’s nonsense.
「So, I’m doing patrols to check that His Highness is not secretly attending」
「I-is that so. It must have been tough」
It seems the conversation ended so he pushed himself off me and returned to his original position. Though I say that, he was still holding my waist so it didn’t mean he moved that far away.
「Are you… still going to continue attending after this？」
「No, this will be the last. I’ll be transferring after all」
「Is that so」
When I thanked him for his hard work, I noticed my husband’s lips broadened into a smile.
Under the mask, he probably had that sweet honey-like smile.
I felt relieved since the tensed atmosphere present before had now calmed down.
When we returned to the assembly hall, I noticed the attendees were gradually dwindling. It was already late. They were probably going home or resting in another room.
Still, I feel as if like stinging gazes were piercing me.
I was hogging everyone’s young silver-haired noble all to myself so I was probably garnering some jealousy.
When I urged my husband that we quickly go home, he went and did something unexpected.
When I thought he moved his arm away from my waist, he instead lifted me up in his arm.
I heard shrieks coming from the crowd.
I, myself, nearly shrieked in surprise.
Why did my husband do something so conspicuous?
Thankfully, I was wearing a mask so no one found out who I was.
It made me eternally grateful that we were at a masquerade ball.