The prepared place for tea time was in Diello’s office, or rather, our office. There have been many changes in this office over the past few days. First, to help Diello relax, the temperature was raised, but when my office was moved right next to this room, the temperature returned to its original state.
However, when I returned from my break, I noticed a door had appeared between my office and Diello’s office.
“What is this door?”
I asked, and Diello casually replied.
“It’s installed as a precaution for emergencies. Does it bother you?”
It didn’t bother me.
In fact, it made it easier for me to find Diello. Though at some point, Diello started leaving the door slightly open to the point where I could hear his reports.
While it may mean that it was okay for me to hear the reports…
“Does it make you think we’re working together?”
I casually remarked while looking towards the door, and Diello’s response came from the other side of the door.
“That’s why I can concentrate better, Krua.”
Despite his words, his work efficiency that day was very low.
“The documents that the lord hasn’t authorized yet…”
“It’s a matter that the lord hasn’t addressed yet. I will inquire again.”
And after hearing this statement about four times while trying to complete my work, I lost my focus and closed the magical door that was causing his work efficiency to decline.
A surprised voice came from behind the door, but I firmly replied.
“No doing other things during work hours.”
After saying that, after a short pause, the response came back.
“Does it bother you?”
His voice could be heard from behind the door.
“Do you keep thinking about me?”
I turned and glanced at him through the door, and he uttered.
“Is that a problem?”
Behind him, I saw the attendant who was reporting standing there.
…Ah, it was an act. I smiled wryly.
“That’s also not allowed.”
And then, I gently pushed his head back through the door and closed it.
“No thinking about me until work is done.”
From behind the door, I heard Diello’s longing voice, but I didn’t open the door. Ignoring his suffocating sweetness on the other side of the door, I focused on my work.
Work needed to be done!
‘I’m an Argenta!’
Then, this morning, work suddenly came up.
The door blocking the space between Diello’s office and my office fell down.
And the one holding the door was Diello. He looked at me with a puzzled expression, holding onto the handle of the door that had fallen off.
“…The door broke.”
It was obvious to anyone that it wasn’t an accident. I couldn’t help but burst into laughter at Diello, who was shamelessly looking at me.
“It seems more convenient to work in the same place, don’t you think?”
When I said that, Diello cautiously nodded his head.
“I can’t live like this, really.”
I wondered if it was too difficult to talk about working together, but anyway, we ended up merging our offices. That happened earlier this morning.
“The office is a bit noisy.”
I uttered while watching the maids move the table.
“No, it’s fine.”
Redias Argenta, who was invited to the office for tea time, seemed a little surprised but soon recovered his expression.
As the decision to move my office was sudden, there was no suitable place to have tea time elsewhere. Except for the spaces for the staff on the fourth floor, the rest were either Diello’s or my personal spaces, which would be awkward for other people to enter.
“You may already know, but this person is Redias Argenta. He is my father and mentor.”
After we took our seats, Diello introduced him. It seems that he’s being formal. As I recalled the image of the two people I saw on the battlefield, I glanced at Redias. He, with deep gray hair, and Diello, with jet black hair, seemed completely unrelated at first glance.
Nonetheless, the closer I looked, the more I realized that their aura was similar.
“I am Redias Argenta, Madam. I apologize for the delayed introduction.”
As he spoke while standing up and greeting me in a polished manner, I nodded, indicating for him to sit down.
“I apologize for the delay. I’ve been quite busy.”
It was only natural for him to arrive late. As I accepted his greeting, Redias sat down with a more relaxed expression on his face.
“But I didn’t expect the lord to be present as well.”
He said, glancing at Diello.
What was he talking about?
I noticed a brief pause in Diello’s response as he raised his teacup.
“My lord and I have never had tea time, at most a meal—”
Diello interjected, his voice sounding somewhat awkward, though Redias shamelessly continued his statement.
“Is that true?”
In response, Diello smiled, appearing somewhat more perplexed.
Well, people can choose not to have tea time.
“Some families don’t have tea time either.”
I added, trying to support Diello. However, it was evident that Redias was a more mischievous person than I had initially thought.
“I’ve only had meals with him three times since we were young.”
He responded unexpectedly, causing me to lower the teacup that I had just raised.
“Then, how do you usually have conversations?”
Typically, in noble families, conversations are either during tea time or during meals. If even having tea in the office was considered tea time, that was. Still, there was no reason for two people who were related by blood to meet in the office.
Redias chuckled at my question.
“Well, we would just talk and leave?”
I blinked at his words.
…What, no food either? In the Empire, calling someone without even offering a simple snack to have a conversation, unless you were in a position of command, was quite tactless.
“Just get to the point?”
“Yes, just that. I haven’t had many opportunities to build a relationship.”
Diello began to say but then hesitated, withdrawing his hand as if to say it wasn’t true. However, seeing that he couldn’t say anything afterwards, it seemed like it was true.
“Surprisingly, there are many people who aren’t good at building relationships.”
Redias responded, looking at me.
I saw his strange expression and knew it was time for me to say something.
Diello interrupted him, his voice gentle.
“Since my parents passed away, he has taken care of me like my parents, so I respect him.”
Redias didn’t object to his words either. He raised both hands as if to say he would stop the playful banter. Taking the opportunity, he began to speak.
“It’s a good thing I don’t have a son.”
From then on, Redias and Diello comfortably continued their conversation, returning to the original topic. Diello’s face was softer than usual. Of course, he was always a gentle person, but now, he seemed even more at ease.
“I never thought I would have such a long private time with the lord.”
“Please continue to impress me a bit more.”
Eventually, while observing the two who were back to their original topic, I spoke up.
“It seems like Diello is more comfortable in front of you.”
Diello turned to look at me.
Surprisingly, his eyes were slightly wider. Didn’t he know? After a moment of silence, he suddenly asked.
“Then, what about in front of you?”
In front of me? I blinked and replied.
“That would be the kind-hearted Diello Argenta.”
The answer came back immediately.
Of course, it wasn’t just that…
“Also, a sweet… person.”
I hesitated, feeling embarrassed to say such words in front of Redias. It was as if I couldn’t easily say it even though I knew this relationship wasn’t real.
As if I were truly feeling the sincerity.
“I should treat you a little more especially.”
Diello uttered, smiling mischievously. Suddenly, he approached me and lightly held my fingertips. It was hotter than a teacup, that was what I thought at that moment.
His voice was close. I was taken aback.
Before I knew it, there were only three of us in the room—Redias, Diello, and me. I quietly pushed him away with my fingertips.
“Do you have to do this in front of him?”
As I was about to answer, I noticed that his eyes were shimmering with a hint of blue.
…He must still be experiencing the aftermath of an emotional outburst. What could his true nature be? Seeing him continuously pleading for me not to leave, it’s clear that he has developed feelings for me. Was he unable to hide his emotions?
I looked at him and impulsively grabbed a cookie in front of me, offering it to him.
“Sweet things are good for stability.”
Upon hearing that, Diello immediately ate the cookie.
I was momentarily taken aback.
What did I just feed him… and he just casually ate it? It might be something that would naturally happen between a married couple or in front of others, though it felt strange in this personal space. I felt a bit awkward and tried to withdraw my hand.
But then, Diello, who was very close, grabbed my fingertips.
He didn’t like sweet things, so this was strange…
After saying that, he picked up another cookie and ate it.