This is the third farewell

Senelia and Benelucia first met during the masquerade ball.

Like most of the youthful men and women in attendance, the two happened to spend the rest of the night together.

“I love you.”

The following morning, Senelia uttered exclaimed to Benelucia.
Once hearing her claim, his shoulders sunk in exhaustion.

A man loved by the mass would never be moved by few mummers of a young lady’s heartfelt love.

“- But today will be the last time I will utter this to you, My Lord.”

It was at that moment, listening to Senelia’s words, the duke felt his boredom fade.

“I will never say that to you again, so… If the Grand Duke would ever request my presence, please call for me.”

This meant that she would never speak those words to the duke again.
At the same time, it had become the humblest confession of a young lady.

Because her confession stated that it would be all right if she were thrown away at the end.
As it was worth it.
As she had gotten to confess her love.

It intrigued the duke for a moment, but Benelucia felt as though it was not that big of a deal.

As at the beginning, many a woman would pretend to enjoy themselves without greed for more than he’d give.
Yet in the end, they clung to him, overtaken with thoughts for more.

I don’t need you.

So, Benelucia laughed lightly at her heartfelt words… And left.

During the first nightly meeting of the two, Senelia would wake alone on a bed that had long gone cold.

It would be a month later that they would spend a night together again.

But the end was no different than their previous night.

It was the same the first time.
Why would it change the second?

It was obvious.

After that, Senelia was graced with the presence of Benelucia repeatedly.
The process of which never changed.

At first, Senelia would never desired more than what was given, was amazed.

After, I decided how long I could go without losing my patience.

So, she brought him into her townhouse.

And now today.
We part.

***

“Haa… What a perfect lover.”

Remembering Senelia, Benelucia smiled bitterly.

Come to think of it, she had never once broken her promises.

“… I did.”

There was no one to listen to his whispered words.

It was Senelia, who would graciously accept his advances knowing that he would heartlessly leave once his goal was achieved.

As Benelucia visited her again, there was no parting on his part.
Rather, this time, it was Senelia who had announced her leave.

So, this is farewell.

“It is going to annoy me for a bit.”

Benelucia clicked his tongue in annoyance.

When the news of his breakup reaches the aristocrats, flocks of nobles sniff him out.

The heads of each family.

Their hostesses.

Young masters.

Young ladies.

Because they all want to have a connection with his house.
They want the power that a concubine of his would possess.

That was it.
And yet, Senelia would not be there.

Benelucia laid across his bed, eyes firmly shut.

Nothing will change.

 

***

 

“Your Highness, you look pale.”

“…”

The commander of the Grand Duke’s Knights Templar stated as he fought with Benelucia.

“Hamilton, can you afford to comment about my complexion at a time like this?”

Clang!

A quick swing of his sword, Benelucia struck.

The force of his attack caused the commander’s sword to break and thrown away.

The entire day- No, to be more precise, ever since Senelia left the mansion, everyone would inquire if I were ill.

The last time I saw Senelia, it seemed like there was nothing wrong with me.

Tch!

How frustrating.

“If take your time chatting, next time my sword will take your neck.
Is that how you fight on the battlefield? With your head in the clouds?”

Benelucia snorted.

He had to live as if a mercenary, at the command of the emperor, he and his knights would unhesitatingly go into battle.

“Repeat your regular training for today, twice.”

“Yes sir.
I will do as you say.”

Hamilton immediately bowed his head, his mistake humbly admitted.

After the Duke gave his order, he obeyed.

Suddenly, Benelucia felt the start of a stabbing headache.

… I feel tired.

Benelucia sighed secretly.

He had spoken harshly to the Knight’s Commander, but in fact, for the past week he has had trouble sleeping.

I dreamt of the battlefield again.
It’s been a while.

The sights pf the screams and rotting stench was vivid and frightening.

So, after startling awake, the duke had trouble falling back asleep.

Benelucia tiredly massaged his temples.

Why at a time like this?

It had been a long time since he has had that dream.
He had almost forgotten.

The duke thought back.

 

“Would you like have something to drink and lie down? We can talk.
Just until you fall asleep.”

Whenever he had a nightmare, Senelia would serve him a cup of hot coffee.

As he drank, Senelia who was usually silent, spoke continuously.

As he focused on her story, he would gradually fall asleep.

 

Was that so?

He thought.

He always wanted to hear her voice.

Ha! How annoying.

Benelucia, who notice the path his thoughts had wandered to, frowned.

It was because he could not think of any other solution besides Senelia.

It was then that he felt he had taken his first steps to becoming an idiot.

Was he not just a moment ago confident that nothing would change?

It’s not like I can’t sleep.
What’s the big deal?

So, Benelucia decided to move forward.

After all, his body wasn’t weak.
Not sleeping for a month or two would not be a cause for worry.

Sleep, he thought. If I get more tired, I will eventually fall asleep without worry.

Benelucia thought that if he continued like this, he would not have a problem with Senelia’s departure.

Because she is just one person.
And she no longer lives in his mansion.

 

***

 

“… The taste has changed.”

Benelucia took a sip of coffee to combat his exhaustion.
He removed the cu and glared down at the cup.

Today, the coffee scent was weak.
Most importantly, the taste was bitter.

Without a second thought, he summoned the attendant.

“How can you call this coffee? The taste is terrible.”

As far as his Duke residence was concerned, the coffee beans purchased was of the best quality.

So, if there was a problem with the taste of his drink, Benelucia thought it was the attendant’s skills that was lacking.

The attendant’s expression crumpled visibly.

“That er… It is the normal coffee beans Your Highness.”

“Then what is the problem?”

“… The Daphnen’s Young Lady usually made Your Highness’s coffee.
She would soak her beans in icy water before magically preserving it.”

Benelucia could understand what he meant without listening to the entire backstory.

So, now my coffee is also gone.

He should have known.

He was tired.

One month.

Two months.

Huh.

He hadn’t even lasted a week.

So, he tried to drink coffee as usual on an empty stomach.

“Then why don’t you make it the same way?”

“…”

“…”

“The… The Young Lady Senelia had always made it herself.
No one knows how she did it.
We have been trying to replicate it right now.”

The result was this.

The weak cries of the attendant got on his nerves.

Bang!

Benelucia’s fist harshly fell against the surface of his desk.

“What the hell were you people doing when Senelia was making it? You don’t even know how she did it!”

Brewing coffee with cold water instead of hot water was not a common method if brewing.

So, it wasn’t necessarily the servants’ fault for not knowing it.

It was a method that Senelia should not have known either.
Well, that is, if she had not remembered her past life.

In any case, the employees didn’t know how she made it.
No matter how cold the water was, the brewed coffee didn’t taste the same.

“The Young Lady said she had learnt it somewhere about three years ago.
She said she could make it herself and would not need our assistance… I didn’t think.
Forgive me Young Lord.”

The attendant bowed at the waist and begged for forgiveness.

Benelucia’s fury paused.

As Senelia had lived with him in his Afron Mansion, for over a year or two, everyone had gotten use to her existence.

It was not only the duke.
The mansion’s employees as well.

That is why three years ago, no one thought it was strange that a Young Lady knew about such things.

After all, they had thought that Senelia would always remain in this mansion.

“Get out.”

It was an order from a duke.

Fury.

Maybe it’s normal.

Because Senelia had stayed in his mansion for six years.

Still.
His discomfort was intense.

Benelucia understood.

His mansion… And him.
They had become accustomed to Senelia.

… Though Senelia didn’t seem to think the same.

If not, then she would not have left the mansion without an ounce of remorse.
Without coveting anything from him.

The traces she left behind were not particularly great.

It was so miniscule that he was not usually aware of it.

“… It’s annoying… Why is it-Is it annoying?”

However, the more those traces exposed themselves in his eyes, the more they pricked at him.
Like a thorn of a rose, embedded deep into the tip of his finger.

… Annoying.

Benelucia licked his lips.

For the first time, he allowed his thoughts to wonder.

He thought about his ex-lover.

The duke hoped Senelia was losing her confidence.
He didn’t want her to move on.

Only then will you have no choice but to come back to me.

 

***

 

Senelia had moved on.

It had been a week after the breakup, and she was doing better that ‘well’.

Because, unlike in the Grand Duke’s residence, in her very own townhouse, there was no need to be on edge.

Or pretend.

On the contrary, dare she say, it was peaceful.

Thinking of Benelucia, his brother the emperor and his first love, Lucalina came to mind.

Especially the fact that I should never love him.

With those types of thoughts, she naturally felt tired.

She had been working hard for eight years now.

So, it wasn’t unreasonable for Senelia to occasionally fall ill from time to time.

Even during the past week.

She would take a rest.

But unfortunately, her vacation ended here.

“Looks like my dog has become overly comfortable these last few days.”

“…!”

The emperor has come to visit.

In the middle of the night.

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