Gardenia Of Blooming Desire (BL) Volume 3: The Secret of Golden Camellia Chapter 132 - A Mutual Kiss
"Did Young Lord have fun with that Young King in Velvet Castle?"
Aster paused. He stared at his servant who had that bitter glare towards him. Aster could feel Ramuja's rough hand gripping his tightly and his finger bones were cracking.
Aster winced, "Y—You are hurting me…"
Ramuja realized that he gripped his master's hand too tightly, he slowly loosened his grip. He didn't want to hurt his master, but whenever he imagined the moment where Young Lord kissed anyone, his heart burned.
'You can give it to anyone, but not me…'
Ramuja's bitter glare didn't change, but slowly sadness clouded his eyes. Aster could see everything in Ramuja's eyes, his servant was an open book for Aster. Ramuja lowered his gaze and said, "Begging for Young Lord's apology, this slave had hurt Young Lord unintentionally."
Aster's heart felt heavy when he saw Ramuja's clouded eyes. But he couldn't ask what was wrong about him here, in front of other guards, Aster resumed his cold demeanour and talked to Irion, "Dismiss all the guards in training. Since I just returned from my work, I will treat all servants, guards and guards-in-training with feast."
Everyone cheered up, they complimented Aster for being generous and kind to his subjects. But Aster saw Ramuja who didn't react at all, there was no light in his clouded eyes. Only bitterness and grief.
'How did he know about me and Tuskan?'
'Not only that… how could he easily trust information without confirming it to me? Am I that debauched and dubious in his eyes?'
Aster sighed, he let the guards and servants laugh in euphoria, so he and Ramuja could have their time alone without no one gossiping about them. He crouched to Ramuja's level and then whispered, 'Meet me in the east garden at dawn.'
Aster knew if he met his servant in his chamber, his mother would find out and it could be a trouble for both of them. Aster glanced behind his back, Jain was standing behind him, glaring sharply at Ramuja, but he said nothing.
"Jain, use my Monday pocket money to treat the feast for the servants, give them the best food, I think it should be enough."
"Yes, Young Lord."
Aster left the training ground with woe in his heart. He returned to his room, washed his face and sat on the sofa.
Jain appeared inside his room not long after.
Aster glanced at Jain and smiled bitterly, "I guess you have your own doubt, right?"
"Yes, Young Lord."
"Tell me what do you know."
"Young Lord, is it okay for me to…"
"I allow you to speak," Aster said. He had his doubt right when he saw Ramuja became hostile towards him. Ramuja wouldn't know about his affair in Velvet Castle, unless someone told him about it.
And that someone was without a doubt, his mother, Grand Duchess Camille. Nobody had access to Velvet Castle around Ramuja except his mother, because it was under Grand Duchess' surveillance.
'If I didn't read Floren's note, I would never doubt my mother. Maybe I would think that Ramuja was informed by a random guy.'
However, even though Aster already suspected his mother, he didn't think that his mother meant bad, at least to him.
'My mother wouldn't put me in hell, I'm sure of that, but… what is her intention to inform Ramuja about this, why did Ramuja get the wrong message?'
Jain cleared his throat. He had been suspicious of Grand Duchess for a while now. But she was his master's mother, it was improper for him to accuse her in front of Young Lord.
"This subordinate suspected that Grand Duchess was the one who set Young Lord to meet with Crown Prince at the autumn banquet a while ago. This subordinate was fighting against Crown Prince's assassins during the banquet, there were many shadow guards around the duchy, yet, none of them were aiding me to protect you."
"They might be busy with other stuff," Aster tried to reason. Jain shook his head.
"Young Lord, when Crown Prince was about to touch you, there was a guard who finally aided me, so I was able to return to your room…"
"That… that is just your prejudice, it might be a coincidence."
"And the last thing, there was an assassin who was going to kill me when I was wounded. I was able to react on time and he relentlessly chased me around the palace. Yet, no guards that you dispatched cared about protecting me. They didn't even guard the door. The assassin stopped when I was near your room."
"So, based on your suspicion, that assassin was an insider that didn't want me to find out, because he was related to someone I know? And that person was so powerful that she could control all the guards inside the palace? That is ridiculous! That's just simply narrowing your suspicion to…"
"Yes, either Grand Duke or Grand Duchess. But only Grand Duchess was present at that time, Young Lord…"
Aster inhaled deep. Because it was too much to take. He still didn't believe that his mother was the culprit. She was always busy with grand duchy's administration and….
'My mother loves me the most…'
'There is no way she would let me be harassed by Charles.'
'But Jain's suspicion does make sense…'
"You can leave now, Jain. I need to clear my head first," Aster ordered. Jain nodded and disappeared from the room. Aster laid on the sofa, he was unsure whether he should trust his mother or his intuition.
He believed his mother wouldn't do harm to him, so there must be a reason for her to do that.
But if he followed the logic, there was much evidence pointing at his mother. At least from Jain's suspicion and Ramuja's hostility. It was all pointing to his mother, Grand Duchess Camille.
'Maybe she was forced by the Uncle Emperor? Or by Charles?'
Aster sighed. He decided to go to the bed and close his eyes, because he would meet his mother tomorrow anyway.
'All I need to focus right now was to clear the misunderstanding between me and Ramuja…'
'Maybe if I do that to him… he will understand my feelings.'
Aster blushed. He covered his face with the blanket. He would try his best to clear Ramuja's doubt tomorrow morning.
Aster washed his face and combed his hair, because he was going to meet Ramuja in the garden again. He was strangely nervous, probably because it had been a while since they did this together.
'I just wish everything will go well…'
'He's easily influenced, he has no trust in me…'
Aster glanced at the dried-out flower he had preserved, it was a gift from Ramuja. It had been turned into an ugly sunflower, but to Aster, it was still beautiful.
'Because he put his heart in it.'
Aster smiled. He took the sunflower and headed outside.
Ramuja was standing on the entrance of the garden. There were no guards outside the garden, because Aster had given them a day off after the feast last night. Aster's smile bloomed when he saw Ramuja, he quickened his pace and approached Ramuja.
Ramuja kneeled in front of his Young Lord and greeted him as always, "This servant is present in front of Young Lord, this servant shall accompany you during your garden walk."
"Yes, thank you," Aster said.
Ramuja frowned when he heard that. Since when had his master said thank you to him? Young Lord was not in his right mind.
"Follow me," Aster entered the garden with Ramuja tailing him. They said nothing like usual, but Aster stopped near the fountain. He turned to face Ramuja whose eyes didn't stop following his master's gesture. When their eyes met, Ramuja immediately lowered his gaze as always.
Aster smiled again and ordered his servant, "Ramuja, look at my eyes."
"No, Young Lord, this servant cannot gaze at your eyes with equal footing."
"I order you to look at my eyes."
Ramuja raised his gaze straight to Young Lord's eyes. The golden circle flickered beautifully, which made his heartbeat quickened. He closed his eyes immediately.
'No, I can't fall into this again! Young Lord is not mine!'
Aster saw Ramuja closed his eyes. Honestly, Aster didn't understand why would Ramuja always close his eyes and avoid his gaze. But this was the right moment. Because Aster was unsure that he could do this with Ramuja's deep eyes making him weak every time.
Aster observed Ramuja's stiff body again. Somehow, he felt warmth inside his heart. Because this servant, this servant never changed. He was always the same person who loved him wholeheartedly with all his pure heart and straightforwardness.
'Because you melt me with your humble heart.'
Aster picked a yellow chrysanthemum near him and put the bottom of the flower on his lips. He tiptoed to reach Ramuja's height. Aster closed his eyes and…
He kissed Ramuja.