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“I will go, Master.”
Instead of protesting, Sarah gave them away without a word, and Meia set off on the errand that way.
The attitude of concealing the large amount of money which could be used to buy a couple of houses was genuine.
The turned around back was smaller than I thought. Perhaps because she was a woman, she felt that men’s clothes were big.
‘Meia will be back.’
Why was I so sure that I knew what that kid would do?
The subject of testing people’s minds was funny.
I didn’t follow her for long.
I turned my gaze to the canvas and focused on the painting.
It seemed a little better when I drew the other wing beside the one one I already drew.
When I read Rubenio’s letter, I thought I should send this painting.
Because that was the reply that should be sent to the father who has been curious about his daughter’s life.
This painting was Nineina’s answer that there was nothing to worry about and nothing to be sorry about because everything flew like a bird.
– 「I’m sorry.」
The shape of the characters at the end of the letter was messed up by how much force was used.
The feeling was different from his name, which she had written on the front of the letter without any thought.
Her thick, dry writing erased the original elegance and made it charred.
It didn’t look like a nib, but a pile of ashes.
My lips felt tense.
“I want to paint it again.”
“I don’t like it. Give me another piece of paper.”
I decided not to spend any more than 10 minutes on painting, but I quickly changed my mind.
An equally poor reply to a poor letter, but this wasn’t it.
The painting was too shabby to reply to hundreds of letters.
Just as I read Rubenio’s letter and read his psychology, I want Rubenio to notice my disorganized feelings when he sees this painting.
I wanted to convey that I was doing well, but I didn’t want it to say that I wasn’t doing well if the painting was weird.
The brush strokes that carved the wings of the birds became delicate as time went by again.
I didn’t let go of the brush until my wrist was sore and I couldn’t draw anymore.
‘I’m sorry for him… and I’m grateful for him.’
“The reason is just that,” I murmured inwardly.
When the brush was put down, three of the same paintings were placed side by side.
And Meia came back from her errand before the paintings dried up.
* * *
One morning, Caesar opened my door rather roughly.
The door, which was pushed with both hands, opened wide from side to side, revealing his appearance.
“Did you run?”
He seemed surprised that I didn’t call him first.
My heart was going up and down in a big hurry.
He grabbed the door and breathed heavily.
Then he closed the door again and left.
“Uh… oh, isn’t he coming in?”
I stuttered in embarrassment, but the door closed coldly.
Oom! Knock, knock!
Shortly after the door closed, a knock was heard.
Considering the interval of the knocks, there could only be one culprit.
I wondered why this process was necessary, but I just gave up.
“What’s the matter?”
Caesar came inside and asked.
I came down carefully from the bed where I was sitting.
He walked to the window and returned with three sun-dried paintings.
Over time, three well-dried paintings were waiting for my decision.
“Which of the three is better?”
He looked down at the three identical paintings.
There was a slight difference, such as the clouds being a little round or swollen, but other than that, they were the same picture as if it was made by dipping.
He seemed to be wondering what to say about the three pictures, even the arrangement of clouds and birds.
Well, if you take a closer look, it was slightly different.
“I think you will receive the most dispassionate evaluation.”
“Is that supposed to be rude?”
“You don’t have to worry about it.”
I don’t feel very nice, but you were the one who told me not to mind.
The reason he said, ‘Was that it,’ was simple, as he has recently become as obsessed with my health as I am.
It’s because I don’t want to cut down on my already weak stamina by worrying about trivial things.
But I didn’t care, so I was more concerned.
As I stared at his face, Caesar, who thought for a moment, closed his eyes and smiled.
It was a fresh smile that looked like something out of a boy’s cartoon.
It also meant that I didn’t really get along with him.
“Yeah, I don’t care.”
The problem was with me, who was creeped out every time.
‘It’s really creepy! I think he’s wearing a mask.’
Feeling a sense of defeat for some reason, his lips trembled.
“Can I choose one of the three?”
“Ah yes! Please choose the one that looks the most healthy.”
Recalling the original purpose, I held out the picture again and said.
Common sense was lacking when trying to find health in a picture of a flying bird.
It was a difficult question, but thinking the other way around, any answer could be the correct answer.
I had no doubts that he would give a great answer.
If it was about health, then Caesar was the one!
“May I ask where you are going to use it?”
“It’s for a reply.”
“A reply? Is this a reply to a letter from Rubenio?”
“Yes. Father… You seem to have a good eye for losing, so I can’t send you anything.”
Rubenio sent his daughter all sorts of precious things.
It was natural that it was selected and chosen among all the good things.
Just by looking at the things he sends, but considering Rubenio’s current location, it was clear that he had some sense of art.
I thought it was a painting for him, who had only seen first-class masterpieces, so I couldn’t send it as easily as I initially thought.
“It will be the same no matter what you send.”
“Isn’t that too rude?”
Caesar pointed to the three birds, one on top of the picture, one after another, looking carefully.
“The bird’s wings are strong and sturdy…”
All of them were my favourite.
My body naturally followed him.
‘Wow! strong! What’s next?’
He took a little time.
And when my expectations were at their peak, he added the words I liked the most.
“All three look healthy.”
One perfect shot put a lot of heat in my head.
Excessive excitement made it hard to breathe.
“Are you in a good mood?”
“Then you will send him the letter.”
“Didn’t you decide to send all three?”
“I did, but…”
“Is there anything else I need to do?”
There was no need to write a letter, so all I had to do was put it in an envelope and send it.
“The sooner you send, the sooner you will get a reply.”
When I hesitated, Caesar spoke in a persuasive tone.
I was thinking of sending a reply to Rubenio, but I never thought that I would get a reply back.
My chest was throbbing. I chewed on my lips as I pressed on my heart that started beating fast.
I felt uncomfortable with my stomach turning upside down and rising.
I wanted to finish this quickly, but I wanted to hold on to it for a little longer, so I was confused.
‘It doesn’t mean I won’t send a reply just because it’s scary. If I’m going to send it someday, it’s best to just send it.’
I bravely walked to the desk and put the three pictures in an envelope.
Caesar helped me melt the wax and put the stamp on it.
He didn’t give me the sealed letter and tried to take it somewhere.
Surprised to see Caesar straddling with a large stride, I perked up like a chick chasing its mother chicken.
Caesar turned to look at me as I was following along.
My gaze was fixed on the letter in his hand.
He looked at me slowly and asked, placing a letter on the palm of my hand.
“Would you like to say hello?”
“……In a letter?”
“I learned that it’s a way to send things off well.”