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In the carriage to the Margrave's estate, Mary went on and on for a while about Clarisse's charms, and Sid seemed to enjoy listening to her very much, but suddenly she stopped talking.
"What's wrong? Why did you stop?"
Sid asked in surprise, and Mary felt embarrassed.
"I'm sorry, that was...rude of me; I...kept talking on and on by myself."
He burst out laughing again.
"Did you just realize that now?"
"I mean...Well, I had a vague idea..."
"I see... it's almost as if you were doing whatever you wanted because you didn't care if I hated you, am I right?"
Even Mary felt a little sorry when he pointed out the obvious. He may seem flirtatious by nature, but he is loyal to Jean, and he is also fond of Clarisse and takes very good care of her. He is also someone who takes the time to care for her, although she was just a maid.
While Mary had shoved the memory of her being born a noble to the back of her mind by now, there were moments when the memory would suddenly sprout.
Frankly, part of the reason she didn't like Sid much was that he reminded her of her past because of his resemblance to someone she once knew when she was a baron's daughter. But that was her problem, not Sid's; perhaps it's time for her to change her attitude towards him.
"Yeah, but I'm sorry to be rude anyway-- um, as we speak of this, thank you for taking me to the Farenheit residence yesterday; thanks to you, I was able to be close by when the young lady was in trouble...well...although I couldn't have been of much help."
Sid looked surprised when Mary thanked him properly, then giggled.
"That's not true at all; I'm pretty sure Clarisse was reassured by your presence."
Mary blinked at the sight of Sid's smile, which reminded her of her old friend's.
"Thank you, Lord Hansen."
She hesitantly called him by his family name because she didn't know anything about his position. (Tl note: like if he were a knight, she would call him Sir, etc.)
"Just Sid is fine."
On second thought, she said she would change her attitude towards him, but as expected, she doesn't really like how familiar he acts towards her. The person in her memory, though, didn't have such traits, making her not think too much about him. In a way, it is thanks to Sid that she didn't turn too sentimental.
"That's, um... I think it's unacceptable for someone in my position to do that, so..."
Sid looked at Mary in frustration.
"I don't mind, so what's the problem with that?"
'I don't think it's something that can be done just because you don't mind ... I'd probably be killed if the other maids heard this...'
Sid is very popular among the servants because of his easygoing manner and casual attitude. His cousin Marius is too serious, and the servants feel uneasy interacting with him, but Sid is just the right person for them to chat and giggle with behind the scenes. According to the servants' network, Sid enjoys womanizing in his own way, but he had never touched a servant before, so if the other maids were to find out that he gives special treatment to Mary...
'Wow...I can already imagine being mercilessly shoved down into a frozen river.'
"I wish you would call me by my name, Mary."
'He's still going on about it!'
"This is not appropriate; I'm a servant..."
"Okay, then how about you call me by my name when it's just the two of us? That's fine, right?"
'It's a pain in the ass...'
"Well, I guess so..."
When they return to the Margrave mansion, Sid will go back to his residence, and he will only visit the Margrave's mansion occasionally when he has something to do with Lord Jean, so they won't have to see each other so much.
"Really? Then try to call me by my name now. "
"Okay, ... What is it, Sid-sama?"
Sid looked at Mary as if he was gritting his teeth.
"Mary! You finally called my name...!"
She is completely dazzled by his unexpected reaction; he seems to be deeply moved by something that is very irrelevant to her.
'Did he eat something weird...?'
"Mary, I like you, so please take good care of me."
Suddenly, Mary snapped out of her reverie.
However, despite what he had to say the last time she saw him, Sid had not come to the Margrave's mansion for three weeks after he went back home, leaving Mary to wonder if the conversation they had before he left was a mere hallucination.
But when she learned that Sid was returning to see Jean after a long absence, she began to wonder if there was somewhere she could hide...
"Ahh, you mean that lake?"
Sid, meeting Jean for the first time in a long time, smiled as he brought a cup of tea to his lips. Inside the office, Jean, Sid, and Marius were talking while taking a break from work.
"Jean, you used to love going to that lake when we were younger, right?"
Though Marius is known as the Margrave's aide publicly, when they are out of the public eye, Marius refers to him by his name comfortably, and the two are actually close friends.
"Yeah, since it's so close to my father's hometown."
"Oh yes... it brings back memories."
Jean and Sid were breast brothers, but that didn't mean that only Jean's parents and Sid's were close friends; the same was true for Marius's parents as well. Their parents were all close friends, which resulted in them growing up as friends as well.
"The lake is so beautiful. I'm sure Clarisse will be thrilled when she sees it, and Jean, I suppose you know, but that place is the perfect spot to enjoy some romantic outing with her. Don't speak about things that might ruin the mood xDDDD."
In response to Sid's smirking and teasing, Marius offered a more practical piece of advice.
"It might be a bit cold this time of year, so make sure to take warm clothes for Clarisse-sama,"
"I'll do that. I'm going to be gone for a few days, and I need you guys to take care of the place if anything happens."
Neither Sid nor Marius had any reason to refuse, both of them having witnessed Jean's long and strenuous efforts to serve as a Margrave for the borders, both physically and mentally, and now they had no intention of stopping him from going on a prewedding trip with his beloved fiancée.
"Speaking of which, are you taking Mary along to the lake?"
Sid asks Jean in a casual tone.
"Mary? No... Maybe?... Are we taking her with us? I guess we'll have to ask Clarisse about that if you want to know..."
Marius had no idea why Sid was suddenly talking about Mary, but Jean seemed to understand what this was all about.
"Hmmmm, if we took her to the lake with us, you wouldn't be able to ask her out on a date. Is this what that's all about?" Jean teased.
Marius then witnessed his cousin, who had always made fun of Jean's stiff and aloof nature, turn red at Jean's words, which was the first time he had ever seen him blush.
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