Read Daily Updated Light Novel, Web Novel, Chinese Novel, Japanese And Korean Novel Online.
This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
“Your ears are frozen stiff.”
“It’s your hands that are stiff.”
He took away his hand, stared at Louise for a moment, then eventually pulled her head into his bosom.
“It heard it’s better to do this way.”
“I—I never heard that!”
Louise lifted her head that was pressed against his clothes. Their faces were very close, but she was more worried about their bodies.
“Wh-what if someone is staring at us?”
“Don’t worry. The student council maintains tight control of the Academy’s rumors.”
He squeezed Louise’s body even tighter.
‘Come to think of it.’
Louise remembered a recent conversation with Claire.
“Oh, but you might be able to check it, Louise. You’re pretty close to the President, aren’t you? Enough that you can put your hand in his clothes?”
It was warm inside of Ian’s arms, but his arms were always warm, so that didn’t count as proof. Louise would have to put her hand inside his coat to know for sure. But there was one small question in her mind.
‘Can I put my hand in his clothes in this position?’
Of course she could easily slip it in. The only thing lacking was her courage.
Louise clenched her fist, and her frozen hands slightly warmed.
“Are your hands cold?”
Louise quickly hid her hands behind her and took a step back. The arm wrapped around her neck let her go.
“….Let’s—let’s go where it’s warm.”
Louise smiled. Afterwards, they walked side-by-side to the library, talking about the business at the greenhouse. The library was warm enough that they didn’t have to wear coats, and Louise knew that it was because of love that she did something stupid. They should have hurried inside, instead of embracing each other in the cold wind.
‘Still, another person’s warmth feels better.’
—even if the cold weather is annoying. No, it was because of the cold that the warmth of a person felt even better.
Winter was the best.
Inside the librarian’s meeting room, the new books bought by the dean were piled up like a mountain range. The Academy frequently purchased books, but this year there were an unusually large number of them, thought it wasn’t because the dean got into a new hobby of filling the library. Books were valuable, and money did not guarantee a good book.
“To be fair, it’s because of Count Lapis.”
Stella gave a cup of tea to each of the members of the student council who came to help. When she spoke, it was in a self-deprecating tone.
“There were investigations on several other families since Count Lapis.”
The investigations had also revealed some financial irregularities from other families. Some avoided taxes, and there was also circumstantial evidence that documents had been forged to receive funds that were not needed.
“The families all had to be held accountable, and each needed a way to come up with payments.”
“So that’s why they’re selling books to the Academy?”
Louis pulled a book from a pile opened it. The last page was stamped with the seal of a noble family.
“That’s right. The Academy never cuts the price of books.”
As expected, the Academy never went for bargain costs.
“Why do we have to inspect the books then?”
“Because of this.”
Stella took out a book she had prepared for an example.
“When a book is purchased, it’s usually rare books that are thoroughly inspected. But we have something like this.”
The book she held out was partly torn, perhaps the result of a young boy or girl playing with it as a toy.
“Or something like this. ”
Another book had a large ink stain over it, sticking the pages together.
“It sometimes it has hidden treasure in it. We have to get rid of it all.”
She shook a book and some leaves fell out.
“And sometimes, there are personal keepsakes.”
She pulled out a letter and a small picture from a last book.
“We have to get rid of everything before we put it in circulation in the library. I look forward to working with you all throughout the day.”
Stella sat down, and the student council began the exhaustive task of examining the books. It’s wasn’t difficult, but the workload was steep. The table itself seemed to bear more than a hundred books, and many more were stacked in piles around them.
“Quite a few families have sold books.”
All of this was a luxury. Even when nobles were short on money, they would order expensive flowers. Louise memorized the names of the families written in the back of the books. It would be a great help for her father’s business.
Time crawled by slowly, their work punctuated by breaks and food. After the sun passed over the middle of the sky, Louise occasionally glanced outside the window.
‘Claire should be back by now.’
Worried whether Claire’s heart would be fine, Louise kept waiting for news that her friend had returned. On the other hand, the inspection work Louise thought would be boring was unexpectedly enjoyable. There was always a new surprise to be found in the pages of the books.
“Why is a receipt in here?”
Ian frowned at the dirty receipt he pulled out. Louise flipped some pages on her book and answered quickly.
“It was probably used as a bookmark.”
“Receipts should go into the ledger, not in the books.”
“If they were a strict family, they would have never sold a book like that.”
Ian gave a nod in agreement, and meanwhile Louise found a letter. She wanted to open it and read it, but Stella and Ian stopped her. It looked like a love letter. Louise had no choice but to put the book in the “Inspection Complete” section and the letter in the “To burn” box.
Louise picked up a new book and flipped to the last page again, and saw a crest she had already seen a few times already.
“This family’s library must be empty.”
“Not completely. My family also sold books when I was a child, but we kept the journals that were passed down from generation to generation.”
As a result, the children of the Lapis family had grown up in an environment which had nothing to read except the family journals.
“That’s why you like the Academy library, right?”
“Yes. Sometimes it makes me feel strange to find a book with my family’s name on it.”
“You think if Count Müller has children, they’ll feel the same way when they go to the Academy?”
Ian found yet another receipt.
“A boy from that family…where have I heard it before?”
He opened another book to the last page. Ian frowned for a moment, and as Louise was about to ask him why, there was the sound of the door bursting open.
It was Dean Crissis. He was absent from the day’s work because he had been ill until recently. He came in panting, and was not even wearing a coat.
His breath was shaky, and when he spoke it was in a gasping voice.
“Claire hasn’t returned from the capital yet.”
Louise’s head whirled towards the window. The sun, fully tilted, was already painting the sky red. That meant the curfew set by the Academy was approaching. Sometimes, some students were distracted and broke their curfew. But Claire wasn’t the kind of person, nor did she go out for pleasure today.
This wasn’t good. Claire probably wanted to return to the Academy more than anyone.
Ian gazed at the book spread open on his desk.
When Stella spoke of this family, the reason for his surprise was simple. Claire Iris was set to marry into that family. Ian knew about her marriage contract, which included large financial aid and some business rights.
Right now in Ian’s hand was a book from the Müller family, who sold it for quick money.
He couldn’t shake off his sense of unease.
Liked it? Take a second to support Wuxia.Blog on Patreon!