Lestia became nervous after hearing Gerard’s deep and low voice. She realized that she clearly did something wrong the moment she heard Gerard point it out himself.
Katrina, who immediately understood Gerard’s intention, interpreted it for her.
“Ah. Little lady. You’re the Verchester Duchy’s lady. You don’t need to make money by creating mana stones and selling them.”
“You don’t think so? What I’m saying is that you already have a lot of money.”
The Verchester Ducal Family was the most powerful family, only second to the Imperial Family, in the entire Morcathium Empire. They could be a mana stone buyer but they did not need to be the producer.
However, Lestia had lived her life poorly in the slums. She did not know how the nobles viewed and spent money.
“That might be true but I think I can earn my own allowance and spend it…”
All of the people present, except for Gerard, curled up their mouths slightly. She looked so proud that they wanted to yell ‘Lestia, do whatever you want!’. But Gerard had clarified his intentions before anyone else could open their mouths.
“You don’t have to make money. You have to learn how to spend money instead.”
He did not talk about etiquette or arithmetic but he told her to learn how to spend money.
‘How can that be possible? I just need to save money and use it whenever I need it.’
Lestia tilted her head. She couldn’t understand what he wanted her to do. But Mathias cheered loudly when he heard what Gerard said.
“For real?! Then, I’ll go shopping with Liti too! We can buy everything since our eldest brother allowed it!”
However, Gerard completely ignored Mathias and only looked at Joel.
Joel could only smile.
“Yes, brother. I’ll take responsibility for this matter and report to you. I think it will really be a lot of fun.”
All Lestia could do was look at her three older brothers alternately in confusion.
After that, Gerard left Lestia’s room by himself. Joel and Mathias remained in the room saying that they would study with Lestia. She also graciously accepted the proposal as if it was something familiar to her already.
Gerard realized that Halo’s report about them studying was true. He stared at his younger siblings in the room for a while before turning away. But he felt an unexpected presence right outside the room just before he turned away.
Gerard slowly turned to look at the direction where he felt the presence.
The owner of the presence was none other than Lysian. The black-haired boy was standing still with his back against the wall.
Just like the other Verchester brothers, he seemed to have read the flow of mana and rushed over here because he was worried about Lestia.
“Are you going inside?”
It was a short conversation but it seemed like that was already the end of the conversation between Gerard and Lysian.
But Gerard couldn’t help but stop in his tracks.
Lysian had blocked his path.
“What’s the matter?”
“Gerard. What are you going to do with that brat’s abilities?”
Gerard’s cold, blue eyes bore into the boy in front of him.
Lysian stood calmly in front of him but a blazing flame was already burning with his momentum.
“By brat, do you mean Lestia?”
“Lysian, this is the first time that you have been interested in matters related to Verchester.”
“I thought only Joel and Mathias had changed but it seems like you have also changed, huh?”
“Just answer the question.”
Gerard just replied casually despite Lysian’s increasing momentum.
“If Lestia wanted it, then I’m going to hide her for the rest of her life. Just like you.”
“What? You want the brat to live like me?”
Lysian’s hand rolled into a fist.
It was extremely cruel of Gerard to say that he would let her live like Lysian. He was someone who kept on living and hiding inside Verchester Duchy without being able to go out freely. And with Lestia’s curious personality, he could clearly see how lonely and frustrated she would become if that happened. At the very least, Lysian had a separate path that he could take to get around outside but Lestia did not have that.
“That’s right. But if she did not want to do that, then I don’t intend on letting her abilities rot. If she wants to reveal her talents then I will let her show it to the world.”
However, it was also dangerous once this was let out in the open. After all, the outside world is extremely dangerous.
“Are you going to let the brat choose everything? Just like what you did with me?”
“…However, the Imperial Family would definitely move once you reveal that she’s the interpreter. Do you have any plans in mind?”
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“I will protect her.”
Gerard spoke firmly. Then, he reached his big hand out and patted Lysian on his shoulder a couple of times.
“So, you don’t need to worry about this matter.”
Because you don’t have to care.
Gerard walked past Lysian after leaving him those words.
Lysian was frozen in place. He stood there for a long time. His head was filled with a lot of complicated thoughts.
With their current situation, Gerard only had a few methods to protect his younger siblings. If his plans failed, he might really just throw away his life and duke it all out in a war against the Imperial Family.
But Lysian did not have the power to dissuade Gerard.
The conversation that he had with Gerard on the day of the former Duke Verchester’s funeral was still clear in Lysian’s head.
Thunder and heavy rain rang loudly that night. Lysian and Gerard were sitting facing each other in the drawing room as cold and heavy air surrounded them. The first to break the silence was Gerard.
― Lysian. My father’s will also had a story about you.
― Why, on that very day, did your mother bring you to Verchester Duchy?
― Why did my father acknowledge you as his fourth son and hid you by saying that you were sick?
― Even your cheeky attitude, all of it.
Lysian did not respond. He just silently looked at the new owner of Verchester Duchy, Gerard.
Compared to the twins, who closely resembled the Duchess, Gerard resembled his father, the late Duke Verchester. However, he was far more suitable for the position of Duke than the previous Duke. He was extremely competent, thorough and cruel.
And that very same Gerard found out about his identity. So, he thought that he would surrender him. After all, Lysian might probably bring harm to the Verchester Duchy.
― Gerard, just say it if you want something from me. You’re already Verchester’s owner so I will follow your decision.
Lysian had decided that he would leave Verchester on that very day if Gerard wanted him to do so. His situation might still be dangerous if he left since all of his preparations were still not yet completed. After all, it would be difficult to create a new identity and status outside of the Empire. But taking that much risk was something that he could tolerate just so he could repay Verchester, a family that he was indebted to.
However, the words that came out of Gerard’s mouth that day were completely unexpected.
― Lysian. I want to know your intentions. I will respect your decisions and help you fulfill them.
His response was something that never crossed his mind. All Lysian could do was raise one of his hands and rub his face.
― Don’t tell me you… you think of me as your younger sibling despite knowing who I am?
― You still are.
He laughed incredulously. He never thought that he would hear this from Gerard.
When Lysian first arrived in Verchester Duchy, the Verchester boys did not welcome this brother that suddenly appeared out of nowhere. Of course, they did not get along well either. But they were at least not that hostile considering that they had the pretext of being connected by blood. Because of that, they believed that they would be able to get along someday under the pretext of being related by blood.
However, for Lysian, everything was fundamentally different.
― You and I both know that we’re not related by blood.
So, Gerard did not have to take care of Lysian as the eldest son. But Gerard just replied nonchalantly to his words. It was as if it did not matter who he was.
― That’s why I told you that I would respect your decisions. Whether you want to live as my brother or not, I will respect your choice.