Question Rose and Melancholy Rose Devourer - Chapter 2
Translator: MadHatter Editor: MadHatter
Seth promptly averted his face from the man with the appalling complexion.
The man’s physical condition and circumstances were irrelevant to him. Involvement with the man would be a nuisance, therefore, Seth nodded plainly to the concerned employee and rapidly distanced himself from the thickening coffee aroma.
Above all, Seth had something more urgent to attend to.
After finally having a real dinner, Seth left the dining car. The crew member in charge of only opening and closing the door gave him a bow and said, “May the radiant colors show you guidance,” followed by the complete closing of the door leading to the dining car behind Seth.
The sound that had been prevalent in the dining car was now absent, and the sound of the train’s motion was deafening.
With a bouquet of flowers in his arms, Seth strode down the dark green carpeted hallway. Even the sound of his hasty, harsh footsteps was softly engulfed by the thick, slip-resistant carpet.
After passing through the second-class compartment, Seth reached the more resplendent first-class compartment and half-rushed into his cabin.
The upholstered sofa beside the window and the clear, carved oak table were the first things he spotted as soon as he stepped into the cabin. On the far right side of the spacious room lay a pristine, pure white bed. The interior, which was too broad to be termed the interior of a train, was solemnly illuminated by luminescent stones etched into the shape of flowers and fashioned with brass pieces, accompanied by paintings.
The inside of the windows, which were double-layered for both security and protection from the cold, was not made of transparent glass, but alba glass, a colored glass that was designed with an ivy pattern with blooming flowers, so as not to spoil the view of the opulent room, as it was a first-class compartment.
Alba glass was created in the royal capital, Alba, and was the general term for colored glass.
It was renowned not only for its aesthetic appeal but also for its durability, and even Seth, who lived deep in the mountains, recognized it.
“…As expected of Beatrice.”
Seth proceeded inside the room, staring at the roses.
The radiant colors reflected from the alba glass bathed the immaculate white petals, widening his pristine smile. Seth took a deep breath at its bewitching glamour.
His stomach was rumbling.
Everything about the meal served in the dining car was new to him and exquisite.
Cubes of fried badger in butter with pungent cheese were cut into cubes and served over cookie dough as an appetizer. There was also a dish of wild rabbit marinated in red wine and herbs and slow-cooked in the marinade with multiple spices, and a circular millefeuille with chocolate sauce poured in a thin iron lattice and dainty strawberries sliced to resemble roses and garnished at the top with blueberries and mint…
The successive cuisines were presented in an elegant arrangement, creating the pleasant feeling of admiring a work of art – but that was all.
Seth’s stomach was not satiated.
It wasn’t that the portions were lacking.
It was purely that the ordinary food was not nourishing to Seth, and at the same time, it did not have any flavor.
For Seth, the meals served in the dining car were only for his visual pleasure and to enjoy the warmth and coldness of the food.
In all sincerity, he would have preferred to gaze at the food but refrain from masticating it. It was exceedingly unpleasant to taste something that had no flavor at all. Even so, he didn’t want to cause unnecessary worry to the staff by declining to partake of the food in front of so many people. Above all, he was a first-class passenger in a first-class compartment where service was excellent. Seth listened to the explanations of the dishes, feigned adequate savory sensations, and consumed the tasteless meal with gusto, without leaving any leftovers.
Even the most lavish meal was a novelty to Seth, and while it satisfied his curiosity, it did not satisfy his appetite in the slightest.
There was only one thing that could stimulate Seth’s taste buds and fulfill his appetite.
“Thank you… for such valuable roses…”
Seth thought of Beatrice, who was awaiting his arrival in the royal capital and expressed his gratitude.
As he buried his face in it, Seth wrapped his arms around the white bouquet of flowers. He unconsciously felt a copious amount of saliva building up in his mouth. His feeling of hunger intensified.
Seth slowly opened his mouth ― and bit into the white petals.
In the blink of an eye, the mellow aroma blossomed in his oral cavity.
The smoothness of the texture enticed him to keep it on his tongue indefinitely. If he pressed it with his tongue without using his teeth, the sweetness would burst out as if the juices were overflowing. The deep, clean sweetness intertwined with the overflowing saliva. After a delay, the saltiness crept into his face.
A momentary chill rippled across his tongue, sending a comforting shiver down his spine like a trickle of cold water.
Swallowing deeply, he said, “…Hah.”
A sigh of contentment leaked out naturally.
“This is succulent…”
Fuelled by his craving, Seth stood upright in front of the table and devoured the petals of the white rose.
With his right hand, he plucked just the head of the rose and chewed it. Almost half of the petal was consumed in one bite, and he scooped the petal with his tongue, which almost fell out of his palm like a piece of crushed sugar cube.
“The taste is sweet, with just a hint of unobtrusive saltiness. How wonderful…!”
While engrossed in the process, a sound was abruptly heard behind him.
Seth, with a white rose in his mouth, reflexively turned around.
Seth’s thoughts were frozen by the color of the thing, which was the polar opposite of the rose he was eating.
A tall human clad in a crimson dress with a prominent frill stood in front of the open door.
Their blonde hair was so short that it exposed their neckline. On their ears were chain earrings of such length that one might have wondered if they had been made by tearing a necklace to shreds. Around their chest, an elaborately crafted brooch of alba glass shone with a luxurious luster.
The gray eyes of Seth and the azure eyes of the other party intersected in a straight line.
While keeping his eyes fixed on the other person, who was looking slightly pale even though they wore makeup, Seth neatly put the rose in his mouth, which was still halfway in his mouth, and chewed it.
As Seth was swallowing the white rose, “My Last Sugar Rose…” the other party’s red rouge-tinted lips moved lightly.
Following that, the other party formed an exceedingly lovely smile.
The other party approached Seth in a wide stride, the soles of their heels nimbly making a song that led Seth to wonder with all his soul how they could wear such high, thin heels if they had such a sharpened sense of equilibrium.
Before he could utter a word to the other party who had intruded into his room, the person’s arm reached out to him.
Seth’s gaze was drawn to the crimson that was abruptly stretched toward him.
The long, ruffled sleeves that covered their fingertips.
It hung down like a cat’s tail and snarled vigorously.
A dry sound penetrated from Seth’s jaw to his brain.
His eyesight reflected the ceiling for a split second before going blank again. There were stars twinkling in his gaze. Why was he facing upward? And before Seth had a chance to drown his misgivings in the turmoil, the world was spinning this time.
His thoughts were lagging behind.
A jolt struck his body.
Seth blinked twice, experiencing the inorganic coldness of the table on his cheek and a dull ache in his jaw.
I see. And then, he grasped what was happening belatedly.
A thick, ruffled long sleeve struck him in the chin from below, throwing him off his feet and slamming him against the table. And Seth now had an understanding of his situation.
Despite his understanding, he was at a loss as to what to do to deal with the situation.
“You seem remarkably calm.”
The sound of a cold voice descending with a sweet aroma made Seth lift only his eyeballs. It didn’t take him long to figure out who had pinned him to the table: the crimson voice.
In this passenger cabin, there was only Seth and the other party.
“I just haven’t caught up with the situation…”
Seth answered truthfully.
“I don’t understand why I’m suddenly being put in this position…”
“It’s because you stole my Last Sugar Rose, right?”
“Last Sugar Rose?”
The Last Sugar Rose was the name of the white rose Seth was given.
Sugar roses were white roses that only grow in the snow.
It had large, semi-double, flat flowers with a sweet fragrance. The blooming season lasted from October to February. If the snow falls early enough in some places, it will bloom in mid-September.
Last Sugar Rose, as the name signified, was the last white rose to bloom in the sugar rose growing season before the weather warms up.
Since the Last Sugar Roses, which will be harvested all at once at the end of February, are subject to stringent inspections and the number of roses shipped is limited, they are more valuable than regular sugar roses.
For the rose-eating Seth, this can be described as a luxury confection that only lasts for a limited time.
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