Chapter 12 – Perched on Gargoyle Wings (1)
That wasn't the reason, but I did want to see Benya chew out that dang butler. How hard was it to change the meal menus?!
Still, I felt relieved that Benya was back to his usual teasing self, so I quickly thought of something else to talk about to lift the mood. “Aren't you hungry? You barely ate yesterday.”
“Yeah, I'm starving. I feel like I might faint any minute now.” Benya whined, and I had to stifle a laugh. He shouldn't have staged a hunger strike, then.
“By the way, what were you doing in the library all day?” I asked, curious.
“Eh, a bit of this and that. Sasha, come with me for a minute. I want to show you something.” Benya answered dismissively, clearly not wanting to tell me anything. Even though the topic change was quite abrupt, I decided not to call him out on it.
He grabbed my hand and pulled me toward the library so suddenly that I didn't even have time to voice a complain. Was this child really of n.o.ble blood? How could he just casually enter such a dusty place right after bathing?!
The tables inside the library had candlesticks all over them, no doubt left by Benya during his stay here yesterday. I used the lit candle in my hand to light all of them up and noticed that Benya was placing a ladder beneath the only window in this place, the one from where the wooden panels fell off.
But where did he find that ladder?
“What are you doing? Don't climb that, that's old. It'll break soon, so it's dangerous to you to use.” I warned him, slightly anxious. What if he got injured? We had no way to contact the people outside.
“It won't, I checked all of the yesterday.” Benya rea.s.sured me, a slightly satisfied expression on his face.
“… You checked them?” I asked, feeling my back become cold all of a sudden.
“Yes.” He nodded.
“All of them?”
“Yes. This one was the most stable of them all.” He sounded a bit smug at his discovery, but all I could think was of how risky it must have been to find that out.
“So, uh… How did you check them?” I asked nonchalantly, and Benya looked at me like I said something stupid.
“The only way there is. I moved them one by one.”
Dropping my gaze from his triumphant smirk, I saw ladder fragments all over the floor, surrounding us.
This stupid kid. I thought he had been perusing old books all day, so I didn't come check on him. But instead, he was climbing ladders all day? What if he had been gravely injured?!
But of course, Benya didn't care one whit about my concerns. He completely ignored how I was staring at him with an astonished face and started climbing the ladder with gusto. He was so perky that he looked like a playful child instead of a young n.o.bleman for once.
I had already seen what was outside the window, so I didn't need to look again. Still, I was uneasy with him being on top of that ladder.
“Benya, what are you doing?” I half-screamed as Benya reached the window ledge. To make matters worse, the brat suddenly grabbed the ledge and lifted his leg out the window, and I felt like my heart was going to stop.
“Benya! You're going to fall! Come back inside!” I shouted at him. Just thinking of him falling from such a high place was making me anxious enough that my hands shook.
“I'm not going to fall, it's fine! Come up here too!” Benya shouted back, sounding very excited.
“Are you nuts?! Come back right now!” I could feel cold sweat running down my back.
What if he fell? What should I do?
“I'm not going down until you come up here with me.” He spoke, resolute.
Did this dumb kid have a death wish?! I had to control my expressions because I had the feeling that the more fear I showed, the more dangerous stunts he would pull just to get a rise out of me.
If the benevolent d.u.c.h.ess were still alive, she surely would have given a good smacking on this child's back.
“Benya, please, just come down before you hurt yourself!” I continue to plead with him, worried.
“I'm not going to get hurt. Hurry up and climb here.”
This villain sprout! I should just do the world a favor and let him fall to his death, creating a future of stability and peace. But despite how much I wanted to wring his neck with my bare hands, I found myself climbing the ladder after him.
Protect the legacy of the ducal couple of saving the world from a possible villain. I was trapped in an existential dilemma and cursed my past life's karma for influencing this life.
I swallowed my indignation and climbed until I got to the window ledge. However, to my consternation, the little villain had disappeared from where he had been perched. I felt my vision darken for a second, imagining the worst. Did he…?!
“Here.” A hand suddenly appeared from below the window, scaring me halfway into a heart attack. I got so scared, I almost slipped and fell like the last time, when the ladder broke.
I draped half my body out of the window, looked below, and there he was. “How did you…?”
“The view's terrific from here.” He commented.
Benya stood on top of the stone gargoyle statue that was mounted on the roof. The position of the gargoyle in relation to the window made it completely cover the view of the ground below.
But, more importantly, Benya's position was incredibly perilous. Although the distance between the window and the gargoyle wasn't that big, if he lost his grip and slid down the roof, there would be no coming back.
“Are you asking me to go down there?” I questioned incredulously.
“Just grab my hand and jump!” He offered me one hand.
“What if I fall?!” There was no coming back if I fell from so high up!
“You won't. I won't let you fall. Stop worrying.” He scoffed lightly.