“…….Rui-sama. I have brought the requested documents.”
……since then, the busy days have continued.
Ever since that day, I have been investigating the source of the fake Army uniforms. By going through the records of the past uniform orders that had been made from within the Palace, I was able to hone in some suspicious points.
Leaving aside orders made during wartime, having large numbers of orders of military uniforms during peacetime was suspicious……and when I checked for that, I had a hit.
It seems that Father is also investigating this time’s matter in his own particular way.
Even though his normal duties had explosively increased from the diplomacy with the Rinmel Principality, he was further increasing the amount of work he was doing……lately it had become remarkably rare to see Father at home.
Although I was also in a similar situation.
After I finished handling the documents that I received, I left the Palace, deciding to return home, though it was a little early.
A sudden whim hit me and I decided to take back a few more documents before returning to my room, and I headed to the book room.
It could not be compared to the library in the main residence located in the Duke Armelia territory, but even then there was a vast book collection within the book room. In particular, since even more documents would be produced while performing the duties of a ducal house, there were numerous books in it.
I walked inside the room and searched for my desired book.
Suddenly, I discovered someone collapsed within the room.
It was my mother, Aurelia.
I quickly lifted her up.
Fear rushed through me internally upon seeing how much lighter she was compared to my memories.
“……what is it? Why is it so noisy?”
It seemed that her consciousness had returned, as she furrowed her brow while responding to my shouts.
“Noisy, you say……Mother, don’t you know that you were collapsed here just now!?”
“It is not something so important as to require you to raise your voice. It is a trifling matter.”
“We must hurry and get a doctor to……”
“I’ll have someone call one tomorrow. I just got a bit dizzy when standing up. There’s no need to worry.”
She was far skinnier than I remembered her being, and in the face of her incredibly pale appearance, I could not wipe away my anxiety.
That was precisely why I planned on obstinately turning down Mother’s refusal, but……
“Listen to me. You should absolutely not cause an uproar. If you do that, then it will reach Romel-sama’s ears too, right? Right now, he is working on something incredibly important. There’s no way he has the time to be occupied with me, and I also do not want to get in his way, with my pride as the Madam of the Armelia Ducal House…….Rui, it’s the same for you, alright? Do not pay any heed to me, and hurry and go rest. You have to wake up early tomorrow as well, do you not?”
Mother did not take even a single step back.
Seeing her dignified appearance, one would not think that she was the same as the person who had just collapsed earlier.
I silently gazed back at Mother.
“……understood. You absolutely must have a doctor see you tomorrow, okay? Also, I’ll see you back to your room.”
I replied to Mother, my words mixed together with a sigh.
“It’s fine even if you don’t worry that much. Well……since you offered, I’ll take you up on that.”
And then, Mother took my hand and stood up.
“Even so, why are you in a place like this all alone?”
“……everyone in the residence is worried and won’t let me out of bed all that much. But if I sleep all day, I become unable to sleep at night. Today I woke up earlier and slipped out of bed to come to the book room.”
“……if everyone in the residence is worried, then…….that means everyone knows of Mother’s condition?”
Hearing my words, Mother was momentarily rendered speechless.
Eventually, she made a troubled expression and let out a sigh.
“Yes…….lately, my condition has gotten a bit worse.”
“I was keeping it quiet…….and also forbade the residence employees from speaking too.”
“……I cannot deny Mother’s desire to not want Father and I to worry. However……Mother is our precious family. If something were to happen to Mother, both Father and I would regret it greatly……”
“……you are a kind child. And……that is true. I am sure that Romel-sama would also worry about me.”
“This is my pride. If he knew of my state……then even if he was unable to come to me, he would surely worry. There are plenty of people that need his intellect and hand…….this is not a situation in which he has the freedom to be able to care about me.”
“Why does Mother know of that……?”
Neither Father nor I had told Mother about the attempted attack on the important persons of Rinmel Principality.
Despite that, Mother had an expression that seemed to express that she had perceived everything.
“I naturally do not know the particulars…….however, just by seeing Romel-sama’s and your states, I can tell that something grave is occurring.”
Her decisive manner that did not expose a hint of hesitation made me leak out a bitter smile.
“……I have already received Romel-sama’s heart. That is enough for me. That is why……his hands should extend towards those who need him right now. That is the only thing that I can do as the Madam of the Armelia Ducal House.”
“……I see. But in the future, please do not sneak away on your own.”
Seeing Mother’s appearance of not drawing back even a single inch, I let out a sigh.
Likely, this choice……went against Father’s will.
However, even then……after seeing her strong gaze, I could not ignore Mother’s wish.
“My……you say exactly the same things as everyone else in the residence.”
Mother wove her words while laughing pleasantly.
“Of course. Everyone is just that worried about Mother. That is why, please, take care of your health.”
“Yes…….I will do that. That is why you should also quickly forget about what happened this evening.”
Then, I watched over Mother until she entered her room, and then returned to my own room.